I have a young warmblood Colt and I usually start them off with slight flat work and lots of mouthing to enhance the rounding and softening☺️
I should mention that I am a professional, however, I haven’t had a young one in a very long time. I needed a jog in my memory, on what others do. I plan on starting to ride him when he’s three years old (May 2019). He’s a Shire Sport Horse. I bred his dam (whom I own), so I’ve had him since birth. Thank you all for your answers!!!
At 2.5 they don’t need to be doing much. Long frame, no small circles. A lot of potential to do damage when their bones are not yet formed. Just want to get them used to the idea of being worked, and help them to develope a rhythm. 15 minute rides 3 times a week max for soundness. Usually don’t start ours till 3, and work them as above until 4 before we start adding in circles and start to pick up the contact more.
Ive seen trainers in my yard starting with lunging and groundwork, and slowly adding in basic flatwork whenever the horse is broken to ride. Also, never rush with a young one, always be patient, otherwise it develops anxiety and starts to form bad habits
Round penning and desensitizing. Lots and lots of ground work, build a bond before getting on.
Lots of desensitizing and poles on the ground both in hand and under saddle. Exposure to anything and everything out on the trail
Groundwork would establish a good relationship while setting the boundaries (ie not coming into your space).
You could watch a few Monty Roberts videos on YouTube which are always helpful. As previous comments mentioned, exposing him at shows would also be really helpful for his carrier.
Ground work, ground work, ground work. Establishing a trusting relationship and respect on the ground will make your job in the saddle 10x easier. Hand walking on trails, learning to lunge, teaching them how to go over (very) small obstacles. Trailering and taking to shows and off property to develop confidence. You can also start desensitizing your horse to the saddle, adding bumpers or small boat fenders. These are all great tools to get your horse’s mind ready for his future career.
Bringing them along to shows and outings as much as possible, to expose them to new situations. Pony them on trails and cross country courses/tracks
In addition to the everyday riding routine: Streching and massage after trainning 2 or 3 days a week. Riding ir walking the horse in different surfaces once a week.
Lunging and pole ground work.