Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at
from Cherry Hill

How To Think
Like A Horse
101 Longeing and
Long Lining Exercises
Longeing and Long Lining
English and Western
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill
Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage
Making Not Breaking by Cherry Hill
101 Longeing and Long Lining Exeercises
Longeing and Long Lining the Western Horse

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  2004 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information


June 2004

Ask Cherry

Page 1

- Round Pen Walls
- Round Pen Footing

  Page 2

- Catching Your Horse
- Leading

Page 3

- Age to Begin Training
- Explosive Behavior


Age to Begin Training

Dear Cherry,

Making Not Breaking by Cherry HillI've just received your audio, "Making Not Breaking", and it is wonderful. Thank you so much!

I do have one question. My horse turned two years old this past March. Is she too young to begin training (riding)?

Thanks so much for any and all advice.

Hi Jane:

Longeing and Long Lining the Western HorseIf a horse turns two early in the spring like yours, I often do longeing and long lining training (go to my website for info on these topics) 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 at your filly's knees to determine if the growth plates are "closed", that is, mature enough to begin training.

I'm glad you like the tape! Best of luck, Cherry Hill

Explosive Behavior

Dear Cherry,

In one of your books you talked about estrus in the young horse, and you indicated that some mares may have a particular problem which could be the reason for undesirable behavior. My two-year old filly occasionally exhibits dangerous behavior such as squealing, kicking, bucking and slinging her head excessively while being lounged and trying to jerk free while being led. I think the most alarming thing about these behaviors is that sometimes they are quite unexpected. The filly will be going along quietly and then seem to "explode". I know that she is not agreeable to lessons when it is near her meal time, but isn't this behavior a little too extreme a reaction to her desire for dinner?

Any suggestions, comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much! - Jay

Jay -

Making Not Breaking by Cherry HillWhat you describe sounds like typical, but not necessarily desirable, young horse behavior. It is common with yearlings and two year olds receiving training. And because your horse is a filly, some of her outbursts could be hormone related. With all that in mind, you still need to implement means of discouraging such behavior because if left unchecked, it could result in an unruly, even uncontrollable animal. Safety is always the first thing in my mind when I hear of sudden outbursts, so take care.

Be sure that before you embark on any in-hand or longeing lessons that the filly has been turned out for free exercise. This allows her to burn off that excess energy that often shows up as bucking and head slinging etc. It is hard to expect a horse of any age to not be a little frisky or head strong if she has not had the opportunity to kick up her heels and be a horse before being asked to pay attention to lessons.

Good luck. Cherry Hill

To read other training and riding articles, look under Ground Training at Cherry Hill's Horse Information Roundup

That's it for this month.

Keep your mind in the middle and the longe line straight!

Cherry Hill

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  2004 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

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