I’ve been busy packing the house up ready for our move across the Isle so the horses have enjoyed a break from their training recently.
It’s been three weeks since I’ve been able to continue the groundwork on my unbroken 2 year old Appaloosa ‘Haverlands Sully Fire’ or Sully as he’s known for short.
All horses require basic groundwork before they are broken to ride and everyone has their own view on what should happen when.
It’s a bit like bringing up your own child. You know roughly what stages at each age they should be at, but it’s your choice in the end how you bring them up.
Sully turned two at the end of April, but his groundwork has started right from when he came to me age 6 months.
To continue his education in preparation for backing I’ve been introducing long reining to him.
This is where we have a bridle on and a baby rubber straight bar bit (which is gentle on his mouth) with lunge lines clipped on and through a roller pond his tummy.
This allows Sully to learn what it will be like to be ridden without the weight of the rider. He can learn how to turn left and right, stopping, and walking forwards on command and get used to the feel of the bit (contact).
It’s important you have help for your first time backing a horse. It often requires two or more people at a time simply for safety reasons.
Young horses are essentially more unpredictable than a trained horse. This is because they are learning what is expected of them and what is acceptable.
Sully has been brilliant to start with. He’s enjoying learning and is very trainable so far. I’ve had fantastic help with my experienced friend, Ellen.
We are taking things slowly as I’ve got the rest of my life with him and it’s important to me that we take things at his pace so he continues to enjoy his education in the future.