hi: i was looking for other people's ideas/experiences on riding young horses. from reimer klimke, he suggested i ride my 4 yr old, 4x a week. my instructor recently suggested adding a 5th time. please add your experience.

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probably not good to ride your 4 y/o more than 3x a week until his muscles are strong and adapted to the type of training your implementing after that when he is physically and mentally ready then you can up the # of riding days

Some horses depending on their body structure will need more ground stretching and handeling before they are ready to perform undersaddle and that time is especially important. If you have done a good job on the ground and the horse really trusts you than your training schedule will reflect that. If your horse is nervous and a little edg then less riding until a relaxation period has been reached the better.

Hope this helps!!
I rode my 4 yr old 4-5 times a week depending on the week and my time. She is now 51/2 and I ride at least 5 times. It depends on your horse.

Mine is still but high and not done growing. So I took it slow. I also had plenty of other horses to ride. It also depends on your goals. Her birthday is at the end of June, so even though she is considered 6, I have treated her as a five year old. I clinic with Jan Brons and he thought she was right on track for her age, however if you want to show FEI young horse, you need to push her more.

I wanted to show FEI young horses but the timing just was not right, so may be we will do the 7-8yr olds.

Scarlet is now doing everything for the FEI 6 yr olds, but the change is not quite confirmed. It is a lot of pressure for a young horse. I am not a breeder (yet) so it was not as important to me right now.

She is awesome and she gets better and better, she is an over achiever. I have had her since she was 4 months old. It is nice to have horse that does not have everyone else's problems!
wow! lots of cool advice and experiences!! a bit of background for you. my delphi is smallish, just 15.2hh at 4 yrs, 3 mo. she is hano/tb and has a short back and has also just looked lovely-never gangley. she and her full brother, now 2, grow in proportion it seems. she was bred by me, and mum was deathly ill just before her 42 day scan- a very strange colic she got at the stud, that lasted and lasted (and cost and cost!) so i think that may be partly why delph is smallish ( and i like to think, also why she is so great to work with). we have done all the ground work and backing work-taking it slow. we can take her anywhere, by herself or in company-within reason-i don't ride down the road or anything-i'm talking forest or beach hacking, or to a show ground. she has been to 4 different show grounds, and she takes it all very cooly-no stress, just workmanlike. boy, am i lucky!
when i ride, at 3 it was sometimes only 15 min. and now at 4 yrs, it may be 20-30 min only. when i hack it is only for 1 hr max, and most is spent walking. when we show, i am so trying to get used to a short- 15 min warm up. she has scored up to almost 70% at level 1 (nz- don't know what that equates to in usa).

just a bit more detail.
Wow, so that means my mare should be doing PSG next year?? Show quality PSG or all the movements?
my previous trainer who schools with leonie bramall has a 6 yr old at level 4 this year, and i won't be surprised to see him ast psg next year.
The problem is Scarlet is really 5 not 6, but the way the system is set up, she is considered 6, she won't be 6 till the end of June. So I guess I haven't pushed as hard as I could. Frankly I want her to be happy in her work and work her accordingly. Everybody is different. I don't want her to do her fist PSG at a later age either, but somewhere between 7 & 8 would suite me.
i wouldn't worry about it. my delphi is a very young 4. in the s. hemisphere, horses age on aug 1, and delph was born jan 27. i guess i should move back to canada!! i think between 7 and 8 for psg is great.
Thanks everyone. It sounds like we all have good ideas and are on the right track!
yes i agree. many thanks for the ideas and suggestions.
next one--- should a 4 yr old have time off, or just keep going year round??
here in nz people often give their horses some time off in the winter. we don't have many indoor arenas and it gets so wet and muddy underfoot. many also think with the young horses it is good to avoid over cooking them. i have seen ring sour horses, and so wish to avoid that! i think with mixing the work up i can avoid that. many thanks.


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