dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Birthday!!

Tomorrow is Steele's birthday.
He will be two years old.

Two is a big deal. By now Steele's has likely reached 90% of his final height. He looks like a real horse. Many many people advocate starting a horse at 2.
Shang Hai Bobby - at 2 years of age he's unbeaten in 5 starts

While I can see why I deeply disagree with this idea. Horses are still growing and developing. I don't think it's a good idea to put strains on joints that are not finished. Many race horses do not race past 4 years of age. Many more break down. I've seen the same thing with Quarterhorse Futurity winners.  Others think that nothing should be done with a horse until they are 4. I am not in entire agreement with this either. I think that the second year is a great time to get horses used to saddles, bridles, ground work and all the myriad things they need to know. It's a ideal because they are keen to keep their brains busy but are still highly cooperative.

Convention is that all horses' age is calculated as of Jan 1. This means that Steele was two as of Jan 1, 2012. However, since he was  a late baby I was never comfortable with that. I will likely be like this for his lifespan.  It will just mean less as he gets older.

Enough of the musings. Let do some photos:
Here is Steele shortly after birth:
14 hours old
24 hours old

first time  in snow
Now he's officially 15'2. Last week he was even front and back but now his butt has shot up again. I bought him a new halter for his birthday. I do love leather halters. 

I can see the horse he will be when he's all grown up. 

And I was able to get a conformation shot - a rare moment when he stood still.

I bet that the next two years will be fun. 


  1. Awww! I saw him shortly after he was born, and it's lovely to know how and who he is spending his life with! Happy Birthday, Steele!

    1. Thanks Julie. I think it would be fun for us to ride the two brothers together - one day. :)

  2. He is sooo beautiful! Happy birthday Steele!!!! His new halter looks great on him!

    I've never gone by the Jan. 1st thing for birthdays. I thought that was just a racehorse thing lol. :D

    It's funny you mention the starting thing because I was reading the Ranger article again today. If you haven't seen it, here's the link http://www.equinestudies.org/ranger_2008/ranger_piece_2008_pdf1.pdf After reading it I was starting to feel bad for having ridden him eleven times since he turned three in May, but the rides were only ten minutes and spaced well apart (never days in a row). I can tell he sinks his back though, so I'll probably wait before I start doing a whole lot more riding. I still want to teach him to longe and play around with ground driving some more anyway. :)

    1. I think light riding at 3 is good to do. Of course it all depends on the individual horse.

  3. I love the ranger article! I was just reading it again myself. I don't think we should feel bad. Short rides here or there with a balanced rider aren't going to ruin a horse. I totally agree though tht two is too young for serious work. At three short rides with a few trot steps depending on how naturally balanced they are is ok. Neither steel nor chrome have to worry about mommies that will push them too hard.


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