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Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.comHorse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com   Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com  

Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com

February 28, 2009

Riding a 2-Year-Old

  2009 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

 

 

Hi Cherry,

Although I have many of your books and feel that I know them inside and out, I came across a puzzling post on a horse blog but now I can't remember where I saw it.

As I recall, the person claims to be a horse trainer and had posted that she generally likes your books but then freaked out that in To Think Like A Horse you were telling millions of people to train their two year olds and ride them several hours a day.

Well, I don't remember you ever saying that and I wonder if you did in that book? I can't find that in any of the books I have.

Thank you for being my trusted source.- Nancy

 

Hi Nancy,

Well, I'm glad you posted this question because it is an important one.

First of all, I have several articles on our site that deal with this question.

In my June 2004 Newsletter I say:

"If a horse turns two early in the spring, I often do longeing and long lining training during the summer of the 2-year-old year and do some light riding training in the fall, then turn the horse out for the winter and resume in the spring when the horse is 3. It depends a lot on the breed and size of the horse and the maturity of the limbs - you might want to have your veterinarian look the horse's knees to determine if the growth plates are "closed", that is, mature enough to begin training."

And in my article Age to Start Riding I basically restate the above with more information.

How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry HillAs far as what I recommend in How to Think Like a Horse here are the excerpts from that book:

In Chapter 7, Horse Timelines, page 94, under 2 year old, for various reasons I recommend that a 2 year old "not be made to accept the workload of an adult".

In Chapter 10, Training, on page 165 there is a table entitled:

"Ideal Length of a Training Session"

The second heading of the table says "Remember, all handling and riding is training"

In fact, throughout this book and all of mine, I stress that all of the in-hand, grooming, longeing and other ground work is part of the training session and in fact may comprise the entire training session - in other words, there would be no riding at all.

In that table, for the two-year-old it says "60 minutes 4-6 times a week" which means handling your horse an hour a day most days of the week is ideal.

If the blogger just read that and did not read the rest of the table or the book, he or she might have misinterpreted my advice, thinking that recommendation referred to riding. No. An hour of riding 4-6 times a week is not what I said or have ever recommended.

Longeing and Long Lining the Western HorseIt's easy to see that is the case in the table because just above the entry for the 2 year old, there are session recommendations for Foals, Weanlings, and Yearlings of 15-60 minutes and of course, those babies aren't ridden at all.

So, its probably one of those "out of context" cases where someone was sleepy when they read it or in a hurry and needed something to bring up in their blog.

By the way, I did a search in google and found this one which is perhaps the one you are referring to.

http://ihateyourhorse.blogspot.com/2009/01/grain-o-salt.html

I scanned it quickly and think that is the one you probably saw and I do see a reference to "60 minutes" in her post so I assume she took the table entry out of context and then just went away with that.

Thanks so much for writing and feel free to post this reply to that blog if you think it would be helpful.

Best of Luck, Cherry Hill horse trainer and author of 30 books and DVDs

Ask Cherry Hill

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