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[RC] Kat - trail help - Larry Miller

Kat's answer was just fine.  She is just being honest.
What did I do when I started my young horse?  I waited until he was four.  I ponied him, maybe 3 - 4 miles a couple times a week.  When he was 4 1/2, then I started riding him.  How far?  Maybe 3 - 4 miles a couple times a week.  I don't have a pen or arena to train in.  I used the great outdoors.  We did just fine.  I also had babysitters.  Probably more for me than the horse.  When Rowdy was 5, he did one 25 miler towards the end of the season.  This year as a 6 yr old, he did 225 miles.  4 of those rides were 25s back to back so he did 50 miles in a weekend.  The rides were about a month apart except for the last month.  We also did competitive since the pace is slower.  I gave him a break of about 5 weeks after the last ride.  Why?  He looked skinny to me, the last ride vet said there was a small splint probably from him trying to jump the front of the trailer,  and he was growing again.  The rest didn't hurt him any, he didn't forget anything he learned, I can barely find the splint, and he was annoyed with me for going so slow yesterday with a younger horse, that he started looking for things to spook at.  Sometimes we are so eager to start riding the babies that we start too soon or too fast or with too much.  I don't care what breed one has, those bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, are all still growing and forming when they are 3, 4, 5, and even 6.  I have shown my most patience with Rowdy.  After all, he is going to be the old lady's horse. I don't want to hurt him, it doesn't matter how fast he comes along, I can take all the time I want.  His main job will be to take me down trail and keep me on his back while my bones become creaky and my body arthritic!
Take your time, you have years to enjoy the horse.  Jeanie