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Young horse - novice rider: Five tips for success

Hobbes, the Quarter Horse gelding purchased at Colorado State University's 2010 Legends of Ranching Sale, pauses on our suburban Poudre River trail.
Hobbes, purchased at the CSU Legends of Ranching Sale, continues to amaze us. Pairing Gregg, an owner new to horses, with a three-year-old was a gamble, but the other day, our suburban Poudre River bike trail proved no problem for this young Quarter Horse gelding.

Hobbes calmly and safely navigated cyclists, strollers, roller-bladers, pedestrians, wood and cement bridges, as well as a tree-root infested water obstacle. In the arena, he has mastered canter pickups, leg yields, and is working up to spins. Hobbes also spent an entire day recently herding cattle at a friend’s Wyoming ranch!

I credit much of Gregg’s success to the following:

  • Round-penning before riding
  • Using an experienced horse as a buddy
  • Being open to the voice of experience
  • Regular workouts for horse AND rider
  • Wearing a helmet. Yes, there have been a couple spills after we broke the workout routine, and it was cold, windy and close to dinner.

Stay tuned as we continue to work with this amazing horse!

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(Karin Livingston was a career 4-H leader specializing in horses, and is the author of the young adult horse novel, Winning Bet. You can subscribe to this blog ad-free on your e-reader.)