Read the answer to my latest advice column for Horse and Hound here.
Q: “Assuming she passes the vetting on Friday, I will soon be the proud (and incredibly broke!) owner of a beautiful just turned five-year-old 15.3hh Oldenburg mare. She was broken last summer and then turned away over winter as the breeder had too many horses and has since been slowly brought back into work this spring. This is the first time I’ve owned anything this young and green and I’m equal parts excited and terrified at having the opportunity to bring her on from the start and planning for her long term future.
“I’ve made the decision to keep her on schooling livery at our yard for at least the next six months to ensure she’s brought on correctly and I have the necessary help and support in place for when we hit the inevitable ups and downs that come with bringing on a youngster, but it would be great to hear from others how much work their five-year-olds are currently in as I don’t want to get it wrong.
“At present the schooling package includes three days of schooling, one hack and one lunge session and on top of this I will be having a short weekly lesson on her, but already I’m worrying that’s quite a lot of work for something that’s only been back in work a few months. Am I being too precious?
“I’m in absolutely no rush with her. My long term goal is to get her up to elementary/medium dressage and make sure she’s just a nice, confident, well-rounded little mare. I have no plans to compete her this year, aside from maybe the odd intro test to get her out and about and seeing the sights and sounds of somewhere unfamiliar but I’m sort of at a loss as to how much work she should be in as I don’t want to push her too hard too soon.”