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4 things we absolutely love (and maybe don’t love) about having a young competition horse

Finding an exciting youngster brimming with potential might seem like a good idea at the time, but is the responsibility of training a young horse all that it’s cracked up to be?

Here are four things we love — and perhaps don’t love as much — about bringing on the next generation of competition stars…

1. The intial ‘get on’

While you may feel some trepidation, the first time you sit on your young horse is like no other. If your preparation work has gone well and you’re working with an ammicable beast, the initial backing is one of the most rewarding part of the process.

2. The opportunities

Whichever discipline you compete in, in normal circumstances there are ample opportunities for young horses to get out and see the world. There are plenty of classes, events and specific fixtures aimed at youngsters so they can get valuable competition experience without the pressure. So don’t feel embarrassed about popping on a neckstrap…

3. The growth spurts

While we love to see them grow, mature and develop into real horses, the sudden changes in height and width mean every few months you’re guaranteed to need new equipment. Youre also going to be constantly on the hunt for new rugs, headcollars, bridles and saddles.

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4. The training breakthroughs

Just when you think you’re not making any headway at all, your young horse will surprise you and nail that exercise or transition you’ve been working on for what seems like a lifetime. Every little progression is a big win and there is nothing more satisying than finally getting it right (they might forget it again by tomorrow, but this mini breakthrough makes it worth it). Plus, training up a novice really can make you into a better rider.

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