Starting to train 5 year old to be ridden (Need tips)

Hope Price

Well known member
Mar 21, 2016
Okay so I have been training this horse since early this year, And I have now sat on him with barely him reacting at all and he even started relaxing and lowering his head and closing his eyes when he had all my weight on him so we think he is about ready to start being trained to be ridden, but I haven't trained a horse from completely green before (I've trained other green horses before just not from a blank slate) He absolutely loves to learn and does best when learning something.

Any tips for starting the ridding process?
Last edited:

Hope Price

Well known member
Mar 21, 2016
I would say get your ground work right first, if he's too physically immature to do much groundwork I would guess he's to immature to do any ridden work either.
Very right. I don't think i specified that his acting up was in the past. His groundwork is really quite perfect now, Besides cantering because its so hard for him to do it we are waiting till we have a round pen to work him in. But his trotting and respecting is really quite marvelous


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Very right. I don't think i specified that his acting up was in the past. His groundwork is really quite perfect now, Besides cantering because its so hard for him to do it we are waiting till we have a round pen to work him in. But his trotting and respecting is really quite marvelous
If he can't canter because he is physically immature and doesn't have good enough balance to canter without a rider he's not ready to carry a rider IMO.
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chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
I would just work on walking and getting him use to your legs moving around. Getting him use to the legs touching and squeezing. Gradually start to ask for a few strides of trot.


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
Why have you edited the post?

You have taken out that he struggles to canter and until you get round pen to stop him escaping you can't do it. That suggests a problem. Either you or them. You shouldn't need a roundpen to introduce a few strides.

You have also taken out that they are bum high and lacking in muscle at the front. So you won't get people suggesting how you could help this horse build that up.

You have taken out that he flips out. If this is in the past there is no reason at all to even mention it.

I can't offer any help because your post only wants certain replies that tells you what to do and to get on with it.

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
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If you really have no idea how to start this horse on his ridden career, you need to find someone to help you and show you what to do. If you get it wrong at this stage you are setting the horse up for a lifetime of problems. My advice to ideally find a professional to stat him for you, or at the very least find a good instructor to work with you.

The young horses on my yard are generally hacked out with a more sensible horse in their first year of work. Canter is introduced in short periods in straight lines on hacks and they do not do any school work until they are muscled up and balanced enough with a rider in straight lines. The process needs to be done slowly with a quiet rider who gently teaches the horse the ridden aids through repitition. Ask yourself if you really have the knowledge and skills to do this? If you don't it will be the horse that suffers in the long term.


Well-Known Member
May 22, 2008
East Yorkshire
WE have just restarted Gems ridden education, she is 5yrs,backed and lightly hacked out by previous owner.

We have taken her back to basics , spent first 2 weeks on ground work , halt - walk- trot - walk - halt transitions in short lessons on the lunge, week 3 she was ridden in the field , same process for 20 minutes on weekend only, then back to groundwork and same again following weekend but with a short hack out after the schooling work, this week she had been ridden once in the field - she is now more balanced, is not rushing and slowly starting to stretch into an outline and work from behind and taking up contact. We are hoping to repeat tonight and then same again at weekend weather permitting, inbetween she is handled daily but allowed to be a pony and clear her head, her shape is changing with the work as she muscles up and she has lost some weight as she starts to exercise more, she was not overweight so have increased her hard feed slightly , grass is restricted for all our natives, to support the increased workload and so far so good.

We have not touched canter and do not expect to until we are happy with the 2 gaits we are working on - we will increase length of time for hacks out , we don't have the luxury of an older horse for her to go out with so it means someone walking out with her, shes not got a giddy nature just very green and forward going so firm repetition and reassurnce is the key making sure she is comfortable with each stage before moving on.

Patience and time and short training sessions always ending on a good note and a feeling of achievement, definitely not a process to be rushed.
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