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dapplefred5

What To Do With A 2Yr Old- Keep Her Interested

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Hi Everyone,

I have posted a little in the general forum about a 2yr old I have been working with. I've been handling her for about 3 weeks and she went from skitish/shy to my new little love, quiet confident.

Anyway, she is broke now and I have been riding her about 3 times a week, maybe 4. I have cantered her 2 or 3 times, but she still has a lot of growing to do and I can tell it's a little hard for her still yet so I'll probably keep to the walk trot for a while.

My rides last about 15 min and start with my pre-ride ground work, which is becoming shorter and shorter now that she is used to the saddle. I hop on and work on halt or walk transitions and teaching her to steer and stop with the bit. I ride her in a rope hackamore and a bridle and wean her on to the bit, but still have the halter there in case she doesn't understand or I need to be stronger on her head.

But seeing as she is only 2, I don't want her to get bored. Currently she has a fantastic attitude and is very happy to go forward. I dont want her to get in the arena and go, uhg same old drills again.

What do you all suggest I can do with her? I have been meaning to get some poles for my other horse so I can start doing those. We have 3 different arenas and a track to ride on, plus plenty of grassy open space. I try to switch up where I ride each time to keep it interesting. And I still have trailer loading and stuff to work on and could start desensitizing her to a lot more stuff.

Other than that I would appreciate any suggestions!

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Ground poles, leg yielding, turns on the haunches and forehand, all these things help develop a very good handle on your young horse without stressing joints. I worked my 2yo last year for months at the walk and trot, gradually strengthening him and teaching him to move off my leg. By the end of his 2yo year I could ride him bridleless at the walk and trot, steering with just leg pressure. Very handy tool to have!

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Check out John Lyon's book "Bringing Up Baby".....lots of exercises in there mostly aimed for weanling/yearlings but certainly applicable to older horses as well.....geared toward foundation work for later stuff and does a great job of putting a solid foundation without holes in it. Haul her around to local shows and either don't compete or put her in things like halter and showmanship. Pony her out with other horses for exposure to all kinds of terrain and experiences....cars/trucks, livestock, trains, hot air balloons etc.

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^great ideas thank you! I don't own her (yet, hehe) so I don't feel too confident hauling her around or even ponying in case she got hurt. But I like the turn on FQ/HQ stuff. And definitely poles.

Wow for riding a 2yr old bridless!

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you can teach her to play soccer. google horse ball for different makers, sizes and price range. great confidence builder as well as promoting coordination, being clever with her feet and nose, and most horses once they get over the initial skepticism seem to enjoy it. (mine plays with his freestyle, or when riding it's his choice of "thing to do" during a break.

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Oooo yes! I have been meaning to get a soccer ball for my own gelding! Good idea :)

We did the trailer yesterday. Completely uneventful! Loaded my horse Todd up and filly pretty much self loaded in after him. Then they chilled on there eating grain for a little bit. And she did a trail ride around the property e/ a quiet mare. Gosh I'm in love with her more everyday! This is bad!!

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just be careful what size you get--too small and they could get their legs tangled up. our horses are 16 hands and over, and our ball is 1 meter 45 in diameter.

also when you start roll the ball away from her, and let her get curious. much faster to teach this way than confronting them with it. my horse is VERY rough with his, so i put a lot of priority on durability over price.

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I have several videos on my youtube page (www.youtube.com/rabbitohio) of my yearling/2yo playing with the ball. I used a large exercise ball, it was indestructible even with him leaping on it...until my dog got to it and bit a hole into it. The videos are hilarious and you can see how much he really enjoys playing with the ball. It provided lots of entertainment for both of us!

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