This years 4yo's. What are you doing with them?

ljohnsonsj

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Thought it would be a nice time for us to talk/discuss/share pics of what we are doing with them! As most will probably be starting their ridden career at some point this year, even though the awful weather puts me off doing much with my mature horses, never mind the youngsters! Anyway, mine is officially 4 in June i believe, she is lightly backed but hasn't done much of anything in ages with the weather, I pretty much wrote off working her over the winter, with the dark horrible nights by the time i'd finished work and had the other 2 to get fit and start competing from mid Jan. Anyway, on a brighter note the nights are getting slightly lighter now and we have been doing bits of lunging and long reining to build fitness back up. She is a KWPN mare by Glasgow van't merelsnest out of an Ahorn mare. She's really sweet, and so far she has just took to everything like a duck to water, she is a pleasure to work with. I aim to get her back riding away in the next month or so and hacking out, and march-april time aim to go to a few unaff dressage shows to get her out and seeing the world. She will hopefully then start popping a few jumps at home if she's ready, do a handful of jumping shows and my overall aim if she is ready is to do the 4yo's at Arena Uk's festival in September.
Back in the summer,looking much nicer than she does now. She has put more weight on now, she looks really well condition wise, but the fluffy ball she is at the min makes her look awful


Her now, in her full winter fluffies



Thanks for reading, and look forwards to seeing your pics/updates! :)
 

Bing184

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She is gorgeous, mines is 4 in May and is just starting to go out for small hacks, we haven't cantered yet on lunge or ridden but we aren't in any rush and he is still quite babyish, hopefully within the next few months we will be cantering and thinking about popping some jumps depending on how he's going, this weather is making things so much more difficult though, winters are the worst when you have horses and I'm surprised at how much he has behaved himself. Best of luck with your lovely mare.
 

Jenna1406

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Inverness
Thought it would be a nice time for us to talk/discuss/share pics of what we are doing with them! As most will probably be starting their ridden career at some point this year, even though the awful weather puts me off doing much with my mature horses, never mind the youngsters! Anyway, mine is officially 4 in June i believe, she is lightly backed but hasn't done much of anything in ages with the weather, I pretty much wrote off working her over the winter, with the dark horrible nights by the time i'd finished work and had the other 2 to get fit and start competing from mid Jan. Anyway, on a brighter note the nights are getting slightly lighter now and we have been doing bits of lunging and long reining to build fitness back up. She is a KWPN mare by Glasgow van't merelsnest out of an Ahorn mare. She's really sweet, and so far she has just took to everything like a duck to water, she is a pleasure to work with. I aim to get her back riding away in the next month or so and hacking out, and march-april time aim to go to a few unaff dressage shows to get her out and seeing the world. She will hopefully then start popping a few jumps at home if she's ready, do a handful of jumping shows and my overall aim if she is ready is to do the 4yo's at Arena Uk's festival in September.
Back in the summer,looking much nicer than she does now. She has put more weight on now, she looks really well condition wise, but the fluffy ball she is at the min makes her look awful


Her now, in her full winter fluffies



Thanks for reading, and look forwards to seeing your pics/updates! :)
She is lovely. :D mine is only rising 3 :(
 

ljohnsonsj

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She is gorgeous, mines is 4 in May and is just starting to go out for small hacks, we haven't cantered yet on lunge or ridden but we aren't in any rush and he is still quite babyish, hopefully within the next few months we will be cantering and thinking about popping some jumps depending on how he's going, this weather is making things so much more difficult though, winters are the worst when you have horses and I'm surprised at how much he has behaved himself. Best of luck with your lovely mare.
Sounds like a good plan! She too is very babyish in her appearance,but has a very mature head on her. Thankyou, you too
 

muddy_grey

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Your girl looks lovely. The weather is really frustrating isn't it. I am finding it really hard and am considering leaving her now until the weather improves and we can hack. She is 8 weeks under saddle and has been amazing, just feeling I would rather leave her than schooling. Walk, trot and short canters under saddle. Hacking on her own and has been amazing and hasn't blinked an eye at anything cement lorries to mental dogs. Similar aims to you time wise. I am besotted I must admit. Mostly she just does this







And has been making new friends



If anyone cares she is by Eldorado van de Zeshoek x Landwind Mare
 

Stroppy Mare

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Mine spent the best part of summer doing the 'hard work', working in walk and trot mostly with a few canters thrown in towards the end into a relaxed frame in the school, and hacking at w/t/c and popping the odd log (maybe 6-12" at most!). Over winter, not a huge amount, bad weather and no where weatherproof to ride her has meant a fair proportion turned away, not that it'll do her any harm, just me as she hoons round saying 'wahoo I'm being ridden again!'

Back in November my older lady went lame, so she came for the experience to an indoor trec competition. She was very well behaved and although babyish, tackled everything rather grown up and nicely. Apart from the COP, the obstacles were done either out of walk or trot - however she felt most comfortable. Most certainly didn't stress her out!

I'm waiting til spring/summer to get her out again, I'm aware that technically she was too young although mentally capable, so not breaking the rules for our local club!
 

dianchi

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Mine is in 1/2 clipped (damn proper grown coats!) and is back doing inhand work with the plan of getting on and doing ridden work again come March.
I still think she looks tiny- but i guess its actually just filling out that she needs as the stick says 15.2......
 

Darkwater

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Mine was very, very lightly backed at the end of summer and then had some time off until after xmas. Since then we've started long reining/lunging lightly again and we've done a couple of inhand walks, but we need to do a lot more of this when the weather sorts itself out. I plan to sit on her at some point soon (when the school isn't frozen!) and I've got some time off over Easter so i'm hoping to get going properly then, and then she might have a bit more time off until summer when she will have hopefully stopped growing - she's suddenly very bum high again!
 

Hemirjtm

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I backed mine last summer, but he's very mature, and he has been hacked out ever since then. With the odd week off here and there! He walks, trots and canters out hacking and also hacks out alone and is happier in front out hacking! He'll go past anything and is more sensible that my 20yr old!!

He's never been in a school! But hopefully this year we'll start training, and might go to the French dressage YH classes and see what happens! We have a lesson booked on 28th February with a French YH specialist so it will be interesting to see what she thinks :) I love him to bits as he's such a talented pocket rocket and I can'twait to get going properly. I don't think I've rushed him, but I know people will say I have as he hasn't been turned away over the winter, but as soon as he doesn't do any "work" for any longer than 2 weeks he becomes a bit of a thug on the ground so I'd rather keep him ticking over with 30mins hacking 4 times a week!
 

PorkChop

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I backed mine just before Christmas and then turned her away - she will be re-backed March/April and then we can continue her education over the summer - can't wait :)
 

tallyho!

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I backed mine just before Christmas and then turned her away - she will be re-backed March/April and then we can continue her education over the summer - can't wait :)
Snap.

Right now she is fat as two pancakes and still out in a herd of fluffy things high on a hill far far away.
 

ellie_e

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Mine was backed in November had a few weeks off in December as had a Woolf tooth out and now been lightly schooling, walk/trot/canter, been to a view different clinics with mums horse, long reining once a week, and hacking out. Currently having saddle problems so will more than likely have a week off now to sort that then she's booked in for a jump clinic at the end of the month! She still starts off on the lunge then I get on, lunge again, then off the lunge. Shes been aimed for the age classes possibly in June, however nothing is set in stone so if she's not ready we will wait. She's standing at 16.2hh by Verdi x heartbreaker
 

ljohnsonsj

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Thought I would do another update :) Mine has been doing brilliantly, she is growing and growing and it's getting quite difficult to get a saddle on!


She has had a few easy weeks (again) recently due to bad weather, but up until then she was w/t/c easy and quite balanced of the leg, which is nice, and between these times she has ate loads of grass :)
She also had her first jump, and she just took to it like a duck to water! Nothing seems to phase her




I haven't actually measured her, but she will be a good 16.2 now I would imagine, and bum high again. I have had her a year on Sunday, it has gone so quick :)

 

Britestar

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Our new 4yr old is too immature, so will just get used to being handled this year. Has spent his entire life hanging with cows, so doesn't really know he's a pomy yet.
 

Sheep

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Thanks! She's really matured over the winter. I planned on keeping her fluffies on but she got terribly itchy skin so hacked it all off and gave her a good scrub and some creams and she is 100% better than she was :)
She looks so grown up - she is going to be one heck of a horse!
 

tallyho!

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Looking good!!!!! Cracking little jump and looks absolutely massive compared to my 15.2 filly!

Well... we have been busy too over here... no photos as never anyone around! Got a video in the school as I wanted to capture a good trot but she was too busy snorting and bucking.

Went to my friends in March for bootcamp to get that fat off so lots of in-hand work, some time in the horse walker and a bit of hacking. She came home Tuesday to continue and had some cavaletti, and a little hack today. Nothing too stressful and I've even gone out in the rain!!!

Plan for this season is... more cavaletti and polework (weak back so need to build up those abs!)... more hacking... a bit of schooling and learning some new aids... hello lateral! Interrupted by a show or two and maybe a fun ride.

God wiling, back in the field end of November for another four months rest :D
 

Slave2Magic

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Mine will be starting the backing process very soon. He has done some groundwork already and we are just waiting for his wolf teeth out as one of them is unstable. Soon after that is done we will be cracking on. He is 4 in May and 17.1.
 

Firefly9410

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Mine has spent the winter doing short rides in the arena, the purpose was to look at all the spooky stuff and settle down. It has taken ages but worked well and we have started trotting now. Last summer was spent riding round the field building basic fitness and learning to canter towards the end of summer but with time being stretched and needing to keep sessions really short in winter together with the major spooking we are not at the cantering stage in the arena yet. This summer will be more field riding and hopefully improving the canter. There might be a bit of hacking too it depends on amounts of traffic because of the spooking. I am pleased with progress so far :)
 

ljohnsonsj

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Thought I'd pop a little update in here. Mine recently did her first ever show and she was fab. We did the clear round,which was really small! Then just the 70cm class. She got clear in the clear round and just a pole due to a slight woopsy in a double in the 70cm. Love her.








Looking a lot more 'horsey' than she previously was. The body protector is now off which is amazing and I feel like I can actually ride rather than just bob about on her back! How are all of your babies doing? x
 

tallyho!

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Oh how lovely! She is really rather gorgeous!! Great photos. She has a lot more jump on her than you've given her credit for in those pictures! Good girl! Aren't babies funny when jumping? I haven't ridden mine over a jump but she seems to love them off the lunge/free and gives them a fair clearance...

Anyway, fancy a swap?

I'm having a few issues with forwardness right now though and feel like the work getting her ready for her first "show" was a bit much (she had to lose quite a fair few kilos) and has really lost her sparkle. In the show itself she was flat and lethargic. In fact a few weeks ago, it went a bit sour... anything asked of her was met by a very distinct "no, sod off. I don't want to. You can't make me." Followed by maybe a lovely levade which nicely deposited me into a rather lovely walnut tree.... a canter pirouette into a delightfully bright EDF van (you know the one with the poo with big eyes?)... and a half pass up a steep bank giving one poor dog-walker a suspected hernia as she had to move out of the way really fast.

So, I gave her a "holiday". A couple of weeks off, on the grass with her herd and the last two weeks have been more forward going and a bit more relaxed. Although I do miss the constant comfort of having fluffy brown ears up my nostrils...

I get lots of very experienced people tell me all sorts ranging from "do more!" to "do less!", however, I can only work with what's in front of me/or under my saddle so we have cooled off a bit right at this moment and focussing on two things:

Calm for the whole ride.

Straight for the whole ride.

If I get that I will be pleased as blummin' punch!

p.s. if that van man tries to sue me, I'm defending myself on the premise of "offensive colours and scary shapes".
 
Last edited:

ellie_e

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Mines been for 3 weeks boot camp and will be going to her first show at Wales & West on Sunday to jump the British novice... Nothing like throwing her in at the deep end!
Will then have 2/3 weeks off before the final few county shows of the summer.
 

ljohnsonsj

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East Yorkshire
Oh how lovely! She is really rather gorgeous!! Great photos. She has a lot more jump on her than you've given her credit for in those pictures! Good girl! Aren't babies funny when jumping? I haven't ridden mine over a jump but she seems to love them off the lunge/free and gives them a fair clearance...

Anyway, fancy a swap?

I'm having a few issues with forwardness right now though and feel like the work getting her ready for her first "show" was a bit much (she had to lose quite a fair few kilos) and has really lost her sparkle. In the show itself she was flat and lethargic. In fact a few weeks ago, it went a bit sour... anything asked of her was met by a very distinct "no, sod off. I don't want to. You can't make me." Followed by maybe a lovely levade which nicely deposited me into a rather lovely walnut tree.... a canter pirouette into a delightfully bright EDF van (you know the one with the poo with big eyes?)... and a half pass up a steep bank giving one poor dog-walker a suspected hernia as she had to move out of the way really fast.

So, I gave her a "holiday". A couple of weeks off, on the grass with her herd and the last two weeks have been more forward going and a bit more relaxed. Although I do miss the constant comfort of having fluffy brown ears up my nostrils...

I get lots of very experienced people tell me all sorts ranging from "do more!" to "do less!", however, I can only work with what's in front of me/or under my saddle so we have cooled off a bit right at this moment and focussing on two things:

Calm for the whole ride.

Straight for the whole ride.

If I get that I will be pleased as blummin' punch!

p.s. if that van man tries to sue me, I'm defending myself on the premise of "offensive colours and scary shapes".
Ah youngsters, I'm expecting her to turn at about 5. She is quiet as a mouse but still such a big horse I think growing takes it out of her,so we only do 2-3 sessions a week. I agree a quiet calm ride is much better than spending ages trying to get work out of a horse that's not playing! People are always suggesting contradiciting ideas but you know your horse best every time I say! Good luck! :)
 

ljohnsonsj

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Mines been for 3 weeks boot camp and will be going to her first show at Wales & West on Sunday to jump the British novice... Nothing like throwing her in at the deep end!
Will then have 2/3 weeks off before the final few county shows of the summer.
Good luck, I can't wait to get mine out BS but she's just growing and growing at the min I think it will be to much for her just yet.
 

ellie_e

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Good luck, I can't wait to get mine out BS but she's just growing and growing at the min I think it will be to much for her just yet.
How big is she now? Mines about 16.2 so praying she isnt going to get any bigger as my mum already struggles to tack her up!!!
 
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