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Pic Of Two Year Old Futurity-Smilie

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Someone on another site was asking about false tails and tail extensions, so I dug up this two year old pic of Smilie

Excuse the poor quality of the picture-it was taken off of a video of that futurity. Unfortunately , someone has since copied over that video, so this is all I have left from that futurity-not happy! There was also a pattern and halter segment

There were 32 two year olds, and the rail class was split into two goes and then a final each time. Two NSBA judges each day (4 in all )

I was very happy that we placed in the top 10 both days.

I guess I posted this to back up that starting a two year old slowly, if they have correct conformation, does not hurt them. I never pushed her,


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you're right--the quality of that photo is terrible LOL!!

from what i can tell (or correct me if i'm wrong) is she elevating at the canter? we had a discussion of male lusitanos growing (considerably) even after been gelded fairly late. doesn't it also depend on the breed as well in terms of when to start? i talked to a trainer of quarter horses and missouri fox trotters once (in missouri) about the psychological difference between those two breeds, and he told me "you're riding down the road a whole lot quicker on a quarter horse because they mature mentally much faster.

over here they start warmbloods off at five under saddle, and they ride out forward, forward, forward and up and down hills and over natural obstacles for a good 12 months. one of the biomechanics experts that lectures at our barn also says it's every bit a mental as well as physical factor.

i don't think you can generalize based on conformation alone. (i don't think :questionicon: )

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Hi Nick

I agree you can't generalize, even within the same breed. I mainly started horses in the fall of their three year old year, as the norm.There is acoewbred filly I now have that is coming four, and she is only now being started, because of her physical maturity

I did not trail ride Smilie until the fall of her three year old year.

I certainly did not mean to imply that all horses can, and should be started as two year olds, just that it can be done, with some horses, if that horse is not pushed

She is loping pretty nice for a two year old, bringing those hocks under her nice and deep, and loping true.

I don't expect two year old to be moving as consistently and as finished as when they will be 4 or 6.

I think what breaks those horses down, the ones that win at the World level as two year old, is they are started as long yearlings and expected to perform like a horse that has had several years of riding and showing-ie pushed.

Anyway, how do you like this switch, versus that full tail? This is a pic of Smilie waiting to go in and show in Hunter in hand Mares


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i can't tell the difference--you need to work on your photography skills haha.

i guess what i keep thinking about is the mental maturity being just important as the physical. maybe that's what you meant by saying you "never pushed her"?

i guess it's like saying you can't expect *most* 17 year-olds to quarterback the superbowl, no matter how physically superb an athelete he is.

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Never pushed her, is I never went at that furturity like a true professional would, meaning if she showed any physical or mental stress, I would back off, versus using calming suppliments or injection hocks-as is considered very 'normal practice' in the western pl industry, or elsewhere

If you read any of my other posts on joint injections, You know that I have no problem having already diseased joints injected, to slow down any degeneration and help keep an older horse going, but am totally opposed to 'maintenance ' injection of healthy hocks, with the mind set that (a) , because you are using HA, it is harmless and (B), doing so allows you to push a young horse to the max, and help prevent it from breaking down in that process.

Lets just say I trod middle ground, having a two year old going beyond what most recreational two year olds would be at, but not to the point of 'win at all cost"

I'll be honest that we push our western performance horses too hard, at an early age, because, if you are a pro, that is where the money is at,-same as racing

Luckily I never had to do that, as I kept my non pro status, raised my own horses , with mostly only my own time ,far as training expenses involved, and my 'real' money came from being a lab tech.

Could Smilie have been going better, with a professional training her, 5 days a week, for a year ? Most definately !

We have an chicken and egg situation. Take the money off of the young horses, and they might not be pushed as much, or will that mean it will only give trainers more time to get them going even more 'perfect' as two year olds??

at an Equine conference, reiners already admit that the programs for a reining horse, geared towards Olympic competition will have to be changed, as right now, most of those three year olds showing in the NRHA futurity would not be there without the help of drugs. (NRHA has no drug rules)

In the talk section, after the presentation< i asked the reiner giving the talk if he ever used drugs to keep a reiner going. This person won both the NRHA three year old $100,000 futurity, plus Olympic Gold in reining for Canada. His reply was that he 'always played by the rules'

Luckily, since I always just trained my own horses, remaining a non -pro, I never had to meet any owner's expectations, nor make a living based on my results as a trainer, thus could more 'play' at an event, setting just personal goals, like making my horse look competitive at a certain level

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Beautiful horse!

I really like the fact that your taking your time with her.

I see too many horses with cranky attitudes and tails that were pushed too hard and too fast so that their owners and trainers could make a fast buck in the horse version of a puppy mill.

I've known people who start "riding them at 2 years old" and the foal is actually only 18 months or less, just because a breed registry decided that January 1st made the horse one year older.

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