Thursday, April 08, 2010

Spring Training

We are currently working with the “C”s which were born in 2007. They are Calypso (Sandreo/Jazz), Charlton (Concorde/Hamlet) and Crispin(Sandreo/ Jet Set).

Our training plan is to halter break the foals and then do some in hand work with the yearlings. They learn to walk and trot with us and be groomed and handled in general.
In the fall of the two year old year we teach them to lounge and tack them up. They may do a few steps with a rider leaning over them. We lounge them lightly but they learn to lounge and to accept the bit and trot and canter with the stirrups down. The stirrups bumping against them desensitize them to contact on their sides. They learn to work with the bit in their mouth . We do a lot of work at the mounting block asking the 2yr old to stand while a rider stands on the block on both sides. The rider does all the things a bad rider would do. This includes whacking the saddle to make a noise and clapping hands over the top of the horse before mounting. This, hopefully, prevents any surprises when real riding starts. All three C’s were started on this routine last fall and then given a winter break.

We have started back with them this spring and the first step is to review last season lessons. Then we move on to sitting on them and then a few steps with a rider and then on to some walking while being led. Then a few trot steps working up to walk and trot of the lead. By mid summer they should be able do walk-trot figure eights. Last summer we were able to take all three of the “B”s to a show. We only showed one but the other three went in the warm up ring and behaved well. We go slowly and always “quit while we are ahead”. By late summer they should be ready to hack out with an older horse as a steadying influence.

This is all accompanied by lots of trailer rides. We do not have an indoor arena so to work in the winter/spring we have to trailer the young ones to an indoor arena. This takes time but getting them off the farm and trailer savvy is a big part of training.

The “B”s are doing what we think four year olds should be doing. They are doing walk, trot, and canter and getting in condition. They have learned to go “on the bit” and are getting various experiences. The ones that are not sold will go to some shows and continue to get various experiences.

Working with young horses is a very rewarding experience as every day they learn something new and progress one more step in the training process.

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