Riding a 2-Year-Old
2009 Cherry Hill ©
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.
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.
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.
you for being my trusted source.- Nancy
Well, I'm glad you posted this
question because it is an important one.
of all, I have several articles on our site that deal with this question.
2004 Newsletter I say:
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
to Start Riding I basically restate the above with more information.
far as what I recommend in How
to Think Like a Horse here are the excerpts from that book:
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".
Chapter 10, Training, on page 165 there is a table entitled:
Length of a Training Session"
second heading of the table says "Remember, all handling and riding is training"
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
so much for writing and feel free to post this reply to that blog if you think
it would be helpful.
Best of Luck,