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Thread: backed and ready to be ridden away-advice please.

  1. #1

    Default backed and ready to be ridden away-advice please.

    My rising 5 year old was backed last autumn, then turned away at grass to mature over winter.

    I have had some physio work on her and have bitted her and long reined her this spring. Re-established voice commands and understanding of the bit.
    I re-backed her early this week, very happy and relaxed little horse, then got off. Today I sat on her and asked her to move a few steps away from the mounting block across the other side of the yard to the area that I tie her up on.

    She was very good with the steering and I felt that she understood my leg aids quite well. She kept stopping as if to ask "am I doing ok?", so I got her to go forwards, lots of fuss, and we reached the tie up area. Lots of praise and carrots, bridle off and back for a pick at her haynet.

    Any tips on where to go next?

    I am currently working her every other day, on her day off she still gets brought up to the yard for a little hay and a thorough groom. On her work day, she gets a quick flick over with a body brush, then tacked up for a little work session.

    Do you think that the every other day regime is a good idea?. I ride her mum also, who is semi-retired and my friend's pony once a week, so as well as working well with those ponies, I think maybe it is helping keep the youngster fresh.

    I aim to hack her this year. Then next year get some flat work lessons, taking things slowly at her pace and hope to do a walk and trott at our local RC in the summer, and maybe a couple of hours out with the hounds in the autumn.

    Temperament wise, she is very forward thinking, aims to please, yet is a worrier!.

    Any help greatfully recieved, am totally open to honesty and you can be as up front as you like!.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    When Lexi was rising 5, I was hacking out alone and in company, having regular flatwork lessons and out competing Walk/Trot & Prelim Stressage (and getting placed everythime).

    Each to their own, if you feel you are doing enough with her, then carry on as you are. I personally would crack on abit. Your horse will tell you if you are doing too much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    As above, I would be aiming to "crack on a bit" (great phrase MBF!). At rising 5 she is capable of doing more than being ridden from one end of the yard to the other I would have started hacking her out as soon as stop/go and steering had been established - that's personal preference of course - I do believe that youngsters at the start of their ridden education benefit greatly from hacking (maybe even more so than school work). Personally at the bare minimum I would be aiming for a rising 5-year-old to be hacking out, walk/trot/canter in the school, popping over small crosspoles.
    Last edited by joosie; 01-06-2012 at 20:55.

  4. #4
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    I spent my chap's 5th year doing lots and lots of hacking - alone, in company -- I rode 3-4 times a week and also did some schooling and a few dressage tests



  5. #5
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    I'd be cracking on with it now if I were you. Both Alf & Belle (my 5yolds) are late starters and lightly backed last year - both are in work now, Belle more so as she's for sale. My 5 year olds are normally out ridden competing by now, but I've been lazy and Alfie wasn't physically ready.
    Native pony addict!

  6. #6

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    Thankyou to everyone who has replied.
    I wanted honest opinions, and I am grateful for that.

    I would have started her last year, but Im at uni and work part time and I didnt think it would do any harm to start her until now. (ive just graduated). She also had pneumonia which seemed to stent her growth quite a bit and put her behind.

    Anyway, we are both keen as mustard to 'crack on'. I had a little ride on her today, again mounting block to tie up area, but this time I sent her past the tie up towards the calf shed and back. This was only the 2nd time that she had moved with me on board, so I didnt want to go too far with her.

    My plan next is to ride her on the loop that forms the top of the yard. This loop is where I have always long reined her, so it'll be a natural progression to take.

    Then I cant see why I cant extend it further and head down the farm drive.

    I have alot of time on my hands at the moment,so I am lucky that I can spend the next few weeks getting her out and about.

    I know that she has done less than most rising 5 year olds, but I dont think it has done her any harm to have been left longer.

  7. #7
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    Don't get me wrong, I don't think leaving her will have "done her any harm" in the slightest, there's nothing bad about giving a youngster time to chill out It's perfectly possible to back them at a slightly later age and still end up with a really nice horse.

    Extending the route is a good idea in theory but personally I would be wary of doing rides that involve going from Yard to Point B and then straight back from Point B to Yard - IMO turning around to go straight back to the yard the way you came, can encourage youngsters to rush/jog home - certainly not a habit you want her to get into as it can be pretty hard to break! Personally I would just bite the bullet and take her out for a full hack (40mins+) straight away, this is what we do with our youngsters the 3rd/4th time they've been sat on & their behaviour can be a pleasant surprise!

  8. #8

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    Thanks Joosie, I really appreciate the input here . She was a surprise foal, so is the 1st youngster Ive owned and broken in.
    There are plenty of people on my yard to hack out with, although my OH is happy to walk out with us too.

    She's having tomorrow off, as Im working. Then im going to work her monday and tuesday.

    It's just a great feeling that after all these years, Im finally on board!.

  9. #9
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    Aw I bet you are! My pony Mouse is only 2 so I still have a few years to wait, it feels like a lifetime though!

  10. #10

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    It sure does feel like a lifetime, but hopefully with lots of happy times ahead!.

    enjoy your BH weekend

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