What is the best strategy for working with a two-year-old mare?
A two-year-old obviously is going to be a horse that has a lot of energy, right?
When you’re working with a horse that’s got a lot of energy, you want to make sure that you are focusing that energy on something productive. So with young horses, if you’re not directing that energy, not directing their feet, they’re more likely to get in trouble.
You can think of them as kids, right? If you don’t have some structure for your kids, you know they’re going to be getting in all kinds of trouble, throwing crayons all over the place and pulling out the toilet paper, whatever kids get into, right? And so the same is true with our horses.
You got to make sure you give them some structure, you’ve got to give them some purpose. You got to give their feet something productive to do. So what I like to do with these younger horses is sending them out since that’s something they can do easily.
When I say sending, I’m talking about lunging. Sending’s a little bit different than lunging since you’re sending those feet out with purpose. You’re doing those transitions upwards and downwards with them, taking a deep breath and transitioning from a trot down to a walk or pointing and showing them where you want them to go and pushing them into a canter, whatever the case might be. But those transitions are going to be so important because every time we do a transition, that kind of intermediary space gives them an opportunity to kind of rest and understand that it’s not all about going fast. It’s not all about going slow, that there’s this kind of space in between that they have to negotiate and begin to understand.
Also when you’re working your horse, give them a lot of opportunities to rest.
They’re going to have more incentive to want to take a deep breath, relax, look for you for leadership, look for you for rest. And so those are those times in between. You know that active work that you’re doing, where you’re sending them out.
Make sure that you take a lot of advantage of those times when you stop them when they lower that head, when they soften their countenance, go in there and start rubbing and loving on your horse, encouraging them, letting them know that they’re doing a good job.