Is there no such thing as a slow maturing breed? Find out! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 06-18-2009, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Is there no such thing as a slow maturing breed? Find out!

I found this article after hearing two different sides. One side claimed TWH are slow maturing, and another claimed that they mature faster than other breeds and it's ok to start them at 18 months. This shocked me and went against everything I believed. So I went on the search.

I found this and thought I would share.

"Maieutic Manege"
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post #2 of 24 Old 06-21-2009, 09:50 AM
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Thanks for sharing (not done yet, it's LONG) Now all we have to do is tell all those horse racing owners and trainers, but they really don't care about the horse, just about how much money the horse will bring them. And then we tell . . . everyone else in the world.
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post #3 of 24 Old 06-21-2009, 03:29 PM
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Friesians are the same way. You don't start riding them till they are three or older. They grow and mature very slowly.
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post #4 of 24 Old 06-21-2009, 03:57 PM
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Thank you so much for this post. I have a 5 yo (turned 5 just last week) walking horse that looks exactly like the pictorial image of Ranger in the article. He wasn't really started being worked with (other than basic manners) until he was 3 and now I'm very glad of that as it seems he still has at least another year of maturing. I'm hoping he'll stay happy and healthy for the his entire life.

I also have a Paint horse that I recently purchased as a companion to my walker. Poor guy was a great roping horse in his day, but was worked a lot when he was younger and now has pretty bad arthritis and he's only 13. He is such a sweet calm horse and it really is a shame. I feel very bad for him on his bad days.
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post #5 of 24 Old 06-21-2009, 05:02 PM
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Thanks so much for the article!

I have heard a lot of conflicting information about the age to start horses, and this has helped be straighten it up a little bit.

I do know that larger breeds (coldbloods, draft types) should be started later than light horses in most cases. I have also heard that mules shouldn't be started until four or five years of age. Not sure if there are any mule people on this forum, but I just thought you should know. Hey, it might be the million dollar question on some game show.
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post #6 of 24 Old 06-21-2009, 11:07 PM
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LoL, come on, give me an abstract of the's so long!

J/K, I will read it tomorrow. :) But it sounds from your all's posts like it says what I have always sworn by. I have a TWH, and she's 3 with baby teeth. She was broke when I got her, but I have stopped riding her to work on ground manners and slow things down a bit. She's still growing and doesn't seem to have the maturity level to do a lot of things that are often required of 3 year old horses. She gets a bit "ADD" if we work for more than an hour or so. I figure, why push it? She will live 30-some years, I hope, so we have plenty of time.

I actually had a pointless and silly argument with a person used to working at tracks with Thoroughbreds (NOT saying all, or most, thoroughbred owners push their horses too young - lots of walker owners start their horses too young too, IMO). He wanted to get my horse out and ride her on a whim to "try her out..." whatever that means. I explained to him that she was starting over on ground manners and she had already done her "work" for the day, so I wasn't comfortable with him working her. He said that that was ridiculous, horses can work all day, etc.

LoL, frustrating, needless to say.
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post #7 of 24 Old 06-22-2009, 12:22 AM
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My vet told my no riding on my Perch until he was four and no cantering until five. I took his advice and I'm glad. He's a very healthy very stable horse.
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post #8 of 24 Old 06-22-2009, 02:29 PM
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I totally agree with your ADD statement, Lori. My horse just turned two. Even if he were physically ready right now (which he is certainly NOT), he has the attention span of a gnat: there is no way we'd get any meaningful work done. His limit right now is about 20 minutes, then all bets are off I've found that the lessons that he learns best at this point in his life are the one's he figures out within the first ten minutes of a session.

Excellent article, by the way, I had not read that before.
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post #9 of 24 Old 06-22-2009, 03:16 PM
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I feel bad now that I have started riding our 3 year olds. I hate to stop now that we have been making good progress
We limit the time to 30 minutes to an hour. Some days we just take a couple of turns around the pasture. Never faster than a walk. I have been going slower with Shiloh. She is one of those long necked long legged horses that the author stated matured slower. I had heard that someplace before so I was already taking that into concideration.
That was such a great article. especially the part that gave specific things a horse should be able to do by what age. Thats one of the things I've always been curious about but never gotten a good answer till now Thanks for posting this and I will slow it down even farther with my babies.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #10 of 24 Old 06-22-2009, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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I know how you feel Vida. I got a colt who had been ridden since 18 months and at age 3 he is still so delicate that it scares me to think what he was like when they started him. Right now I've only done ground work and a little mounting. I don't think a little walking will hurt much, but avoid things that are really strenuous on the back or joints. Once they are 3 if you take it slow I think you will be okay, but ideally you should probably wait until 4. It also depends on the individual horse.

I thought this was an amazing article and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it as well.

"Maieutic Manege"
The art of horsemanship through sharing new ideas with one another
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