Training a young horse has always been done in many different ways.
Good ways and bad ways.
Ways that work and ways that don't.
Ways that work for a while and then they don't anymore...
A horse has a natural flight behavior and if humans want to interact with and "use" horses abilities for their purpose, they have to build up TRUST.
The horse has to learn to trust you that you won't eat it,
and the human has to learn to trust the horse that it won't panic and hurt someone...
That's the basic idea, that's where horse training starts, ideally with a foal right after birth, and/or later with a young colt or filly, when they are 2,5 or 3 years old.
Lots of horses get started ("breaking" them - an expression which comes from breaking their will to be free and independent from humans),
when they are 2,5 (US, QH) or 3 (Europe, Warmbloods) years old.
At least in the Quarter Horse world I know they start very early.
They have to perform on futurity classes in the age of ONLY 3 or 4 years old...
THEY ARE STILL BABIES for crying out loud!!!
But that's the way it is in the horse business world.
And that's why so many horses are physically worn out too young,
crazy in their heads, behaving like maniacs and buck people off or run them over...
Those horses have been overchallenged or overworked, had to perform too hard and too early in their lives.
INDIGO was 2 years old when we bought him.
He was brought over from Spain a couple of months before that and looked pretty miserable.
It was obvious that he was underweight and underdeveloped for his age.
He didn't have a good start in life.
He had many blockages and weaknesses in his body AND mind, which needed time to be resolved.
We let him be a young horse, we gave him time to develope a strong, healthy body but also a strong, healthy mind.
Of course, we started working with him as soon as we got him, we had to build up TRUST with him, tought him to be brushed and that it wouldn't hurt to get feet cleaned and trimmed.
Things like that...
Last fall we decided that it was time to be introduced to a saddle on his back and he was very cool about that.
But still, we had him checked and there were still blockages in his back and neck that needed treatment and time.
He was growing and changing so much in his body this last year, we just couldn't imagine to put a human weight on him - YET.
But now, at the age of 5, he seems to be ready, and that is a very good feeling.
We want him to be strong and healthy for many years to come, that's why we waited.
We didn't have an agenda with him, are still not thinking of making one.
What will be will be...
*Arabic horses usually get started with the age of 4 or 5 years because of their need of extra time to develope well enough physically.
*The Spanish HOFREITSCHULE (Riding School) in Vienna is also schooling their young and famous Lipizzaner horses not before they are at least 4 or 5 years old...!
To the question of WHY Carola is helping with Indigos training, is easy to answer...
It's not just that Carola trains horses in a way that benefit their physical possibilities and bring out the best possible, natural movement in a natural way;
She has also more experience in working with spanish horses (they are "different" in so many ways, so lovely ways!!!)
she has always had a SPECIAL BOND with Indigo, right from the beginning.
So it's just natural that THEY WORK TOGETHER.