Saturday, June 7, 2014

Baby getting backed!

Baby Al isn't such a baby anymore, he has now reached that age of wisdom we call "3" where he's considered old enough to have a job.  My long term plans are to start him under saddle walk trot and canter and take him to the barn I lesson at to hack him around a few times, then hit a late fall show where he gets a stall and gets to hang out with all the big horses but probably doesn't actually enter.

Right now he's learning all about big horse things.  I'm starting slow with basic groundwork like teaching him to lunge (ok at the walk, exciting at the trot), and to be used to having a rope all over parts of his body.  He learned how to wear a saddlepad last week and went from NO WAY! to MEH in one session.

One of my current favorite horse trainers on Youtube is this guy, Warwick Schiller.  He's a NH type trainer who does tons of groundwork with his client's horses.  He believes that good groundwork makes good horses and after carefully studying his videos I tend to agree.  Click on this video and look at the other videos he has made and watch the quiet progress of this young horse from rank to well behaved.

Here's baby Al with his first time feeling weight on his back, I don't have a timeline for actually getting on him and he probably  needs to wear a saddle first anyway but it was a good moment.  He has "ack!" baby horse spazz moments that blend in nicely with his "whatever moments."


  1. Backing babies is one of my favorite parts of being a horse trainer. I've got a three year old named Booger in my care right now (she'll be four in a month). I started with her as a two year old. We did lots of desensitizing and ground work (round penning, lunging, etc.) as a two year old. She learned to wear tack and ground drive as a three year old. Last week, I sat on her for the first time. This week we took our first few walk steps with a rider up. My goals for the next year are similar to yours. I completely agree that lots of ground work makes for good horses. I always say that if you do all the steps correctly, the first time you swing a leg over should be a total non-event :)

  2. lt so exciting when they reach this stage isn't it?

  3. It's exciting, I'm so ready to put a set of manners and a job on this guy. It's also a little scary being the first person on baby. Will he buck me off or will he take it with a "whatever" attitude?


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