Training A Young Horse - 5 Expert Tips - MirrorMePR
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Training young horses takes time and patience and is not to rushed. This equestrian blog brings you the best professional rider advice on training your young horse.


Short & Sweet Schooling Sessions

Your young horse still has to develop stamina and muscle. It’s not only physically tiring to school them for longer periods, but it is also mentally tiring for a young horse.

British Olympic dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin prefers to take her time with young horses and believes you should keep your young horse’s schooling sessions short and sweet. Focusing on walk, trot and canter, and keeping them straight and on the bit.

Keep your schooling sessions up to 20 minutes long, and make sure you offer your young horse the opportunity to have a good stretch during and after flat work in a walk on a long rein.


Jumping With Confidence

If you plan to train your young horse into a confident showjumper, then you must build their confidence. Start with poles on the ground, starting with just one pole and progressing to five poles to fit with your horse’s natural stride. You can try a small cross pole once your horse is confident over ground poles. 

Top showjumper Tina Fletcher recommends that you add a landing rail so the horse learns where to put their feet after the jump and that in the early days of teaching a horse to jump, to do so in trot, then progress to canter.


Don’t Forget Your Ground Work

You don’t have to teach everything from the saddle. Groundwork is hugely important for the young horse. Teaching your horse to stand still at the mounting block can be done without tack, and respect for your personal space while leading or handling are valuable life lessons that will help keep you safe in the future.

Introducing your young horse to new objects slowly and sympathetically can build trust in your partnership. Objects, including flags, cones and tarps on the floor, can offer positive new experiences that can lay down confidence for encountering these and other scary objects out hacking or at competitions. 

We are big fans of the TRT Method for our young horses and have seen amazing transformations in nervous and spooky horses.

Have Fun Training A Young Horse

Remember training a young horse should be fun for both of you. You want your horse to enjoy their partnership with you. Keep your training sessions positive and be prepared to finish on a good note, regardless of whether you are 10 or 20 minutes into your training session. 

Make every schooling or outing a positive experience for your horse to help build a strong and trusted relationship. If your horse has tried hard, stop, make a fuss, and finish your training session for the day. Horses learn by repetition, so return to the exercise another day, and they should be eager to replicate.


Treat Your Young Horse As An Individual

Your young horse should be treated as an individual. Some young horses are more confident than others. Some require more competitions and outings, while others benefit more from training at home and building trust in their rider. 

Horses, like children, learn at different speeds. They also develop physically at different rates, so it’s important to consider this too, when training your horse.

Top professional eventer Piggy French is renowned for her skill in developing young event horses and preparing them successfully for top-level competition. Piggy acknowledges that young horses develop at different stages and always prefers to give them more time to ensure they are ready to move up a level rather than hurrying the process.  


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