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What age do you start your colts/fillies on trail rides?


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#1 riderr.fqh

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:14 PM

Hi! Just wondering what age you start riding your youngins' on trail rides? I have an almost 2 1/2 year old colt and was considering on taking him for short trail rides. Would it hurt to take him or should I wait until next spring/summer? He is kinda short, not quite 14hh at the withers but, weighs about 850lbs. He is a foundation bred quarter horse. Thanks in advance for any advice! [Smiley Wavey]

#2 trails4me

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:22 PM

I would guess it depends on the developement of the horse. We started riding ours young. My husband's QH turned 2 in May of last year, and in August (of last year too) he hit the trail. Most rides were about 2-3 hours, but some were longer. My gelding was 3 last summer and went on the same rides. Some people would think that's too much, but the horse was ready.
Have Fun! It's great to start out a young one and watch them learn!

[ 09-07-2006, 10:49 PM: Message edited by: trails4me ]

#3 Peppers Dad

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 12:25 AM

Had a horse started last fall as 2 year old taken on short trail rides, with easy going. But granted they were short as in 30-45 minutes. Best Wishes. PD

#4 riderr.fqh

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:04 AM

Thanks trails4me and PD! I appreciate your replies!

#5 iheartcalaban

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 11:34 AM

As soon as their basic training is done, so usually about 2 months after they have been started under saddle. Most the horses are around 3-4 when they hit the trails.
I'll take them on short rides, about 45 minutes. Once they do well on the trails at home, they go around on small rides at different parks.
Most the time, I ride them by themselves around home, and when they go on their first few rides away from home, it's good to keep it a small group, just a couple people.

#6 creis

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 03:36 PM

I am a firm believer in getting them out on the trail as soon as possible after starting them undersaddle. Once you have a good foundation laid. (Your horse will turn, stop, go forward, back etc.) then get them out there and on short rides with a calm, steady older horse. You can teach them just as much on the trail as you can in the arena.

#7 K-N-J

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 02:40 AM

I am with Creis on this one. You won't believe the difference it makes in your youngster after a day or even a weekend of trail riding!!

#8 NC trails W/ Sundance

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 05:21 AM

he he my filly was 8 months old and she was a tralil horse! (not ridden ponyed or lead) but now we do pony wiht the saddle (she is 20 or 21 months and starting her undersaddle training) [Big Grin]

#9 normas

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:15 AM

We used to take Mystery out on trail rides when she was about 1 or 3 months old. She would run up the trail then run back to us. When she grew up she loved trailriding. She loved riding period.
The land we rode on was private so it was safe.

I sure miss her.

#10 catben

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 05:05 PM

My sons colt turned 2 this past June. In May we started a 30 day training then July 4th went to CCTR. He was great. He took some 3-4 hour rides. All walk a little trot. Labor day we went for 4 days he rode every day Back feet were not shod. He got a little tender last day, but feet loof great. We are going to pull fronts and try the barefoot thing. He has only had shoes on 2 times. He is 15.1 and built pretty nice so he seemed fine. We kept an eye on his knees for any swelling. He is soooo laid back and does't spook at much of anything. CCTR took care of that. It is a ride in Emminence Missouri, that hold about 2000-4000 horses. Many river crossings. Cart, draft, mules you name it he got full exposure plus fireworks and handled it great. For $375.00 I think I got a pretty good buy. He is a registered QH. I would insert a pic but am new to the board and am not sure how.
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#11 Driftin'Mom

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 05:22 PM

We hit the trails as soon as they are going under saddle and we have a handle on them.

As to the statement about their learning just as well in the arena as out on the trail - I think it hammers home alot of training out on the trail, and they learn better out than in. IMO. Don't get me wrong, they can learn it in the arena, I just think it takes twice as long.