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Is there no such thing as a slow maturing breed? Find out!

This is a discussion on Is there no such thing as a slow maturing breed? Find out! within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

     
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        06-22-2009, 09:58 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    Ridden since 18 months? Wow.

    Vida - I think what your doing isn't bad. You are limiting the time. There are so many people that are already riding hard by the time they turn three. You see so many broke down horses before they are 7 and I think some of it has to do with started too young and too hard.
         
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        06-22-2009, 10:26 PM
      #12
    Foal
    I know Solon, I couldn't believe it, but was told "They mature faster than your QHs so it's ok. All of my horses get ridden at 18 months old and it's pointless to wait." I just stood there wondering how some people can truly stand behind this.
         
        06-22-2009, 10:28 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Clydes... definitely clydes, too =)
         
        06-24-2009, 06:55 PM
      #14
    Zab
    Yearling
    Ok, I admit I didn't read through everything..

    I just wanted to say; training nothing at all with young horses is almost as bad as training too much.
    I'm not saying you should ride or put weight on 18 month olds, but the horse needs to work with it's body from day 1 of it's life, to get a strong, durable and sound body. The bones need to carry the horse and the muscles need to move.
    The first work for a horse is to get up and manage to get a sip of milk ;) Next comes running with friends in big, un-even and rough pastures. After that, it's human-made work.. except learning to listen and trust the human, the horse need to strengthen it's body for the extra stress of a human rider. One was is to walk on the ground it'll later be ridden, to walk up hills or to work in long reins; where the only weight is the one of the horses own body.
    If you lack a good, rough pasture, you need to start working the horse earlier. Again - not by riding it sooner, but work that strengths the muscles it'll use later, without extra weight, and that teaches it to use it's body in a good way for when the unatural weight of a rider lands on it.
    I'm saying it since I know that when people usally get the idea of ''don't ride to early'' they think ''leave the horse in a pasture until it's 3,5 before even trying a saddle on''.. but walking the horse daily with only a saddle for some months, helps it gain the right muscles. And that slight weight can start already at 2 years old as long as there's no rider in the saddle.

    Then it's important to work the horse in a nice form, one that first off lifts the back. Collection comes later, but lifting the back is important...

    And I don't get this with riding the horse when it's 3 years old and has as much hormones running through the body as it ever will.. handle it from day one and start riding it at 3.5-4 years old when most of the hormones are gone and it's safer for the rider to sit up the first time.

    But most important; patience.

    Well.. my thought..

    Oh, and one more thing: An hours work for such a young mind and body is way too much! It's much better to have lots of short lessons n the start.
    Crow was ridden about 10-20 minutes, 3 times a day, 5 days a week when e was sent to a trainer to get started under saddle properly. (he was 6 at the time, I bought him when he was 5 and he was pretty much a pasture pet aftr they found out he wasn't fast enough for the track ;) But riding was new to him so he needen short quality sessions to stay focused ) He often seemed to learn more between the sessions than on them. I rather have a focused horse for 15 minutes than one that get's unfocused, distracted,stressed or bored after half of the 1 hour session. :)
         
        07-03-2009, 12:05 AM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Thank you for that article, I read the entire thing and it was fascinating! What REALLY made me start thinking is the part about youngsters bucking out of primitive self-preservation - knowing they're not ready to be ridden. I find that highly interesting, as I've known many horses who were left until they were older, and had zero buck in them. My grandpa had an old Arab broodmare that was never broke to ride, and when she was in her teens, I got bored and climbed up to see what she would do. She blinked sleepily. She was confused by what I was asking her and didn't move more then a few steps, but was completely unconcerned. I've heard countless stories of broodmares never broke to ride not objecting to weight on their back for the first time. I always wondered why, and this sounds like it has some real merit!

    As for basic riding at 3 years old, I don't think you should worry Vida. The article itself says 3 years old is a good age to start "climbing on and off". Optimally, it's saying you should wait until 4 years old, but if you're restricting yourself to very short rides of easy walking, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Most horses I know that lived fully and healthy lives were started very lightly under saddle as 3 year olds.

    This definitely gives me more to think about with my Paint filly! My Arab mare was lucky in that sense, I followed the adage of Arabs maturing later, so she wasn't ridden until she was 4, with serious riding starting at 5. I'll be taking this into consideration with my plans to start my Paint filly next year as a 3 year old!
         
        07-03-2009, 09:11 AM
      #16
    Weanling
    I know Andalusians are slow at maturing.

    I won't do anything with mine until their around 4/5 years old.

    Just the usual groundwork with them is fine, but then I turn them away for about a year, then I'll start work with them.
         
        07-03-2009, 10:25 AM
      #17
    Started
    Most draft horses and warmbloods are pretty late bloomers and a lot of them don't start riding until they're five. Wish I could say the same for race and show horses.
         
        07-03-2009, 05:22 PM
      #18
    Green Broke
    The point of the article though is that no, Andalusians and Drafts aren't slow matureing. For some reason, we just think they are so they're actually started at a proper age since the article voices that no horse, anywhere, ever, has matured before the age of 6 years old. So it's not that Andalusians, Drafts, Arabs, etc. are slow matureing, it's that we assume that QHs and TBs are "early" matureing. Which they're not - they all mature at the same rate. We've just bred stock horses and racehorses to "appear" physically mature at a young age. Hence, the staggering amount of breakdowns we see in those breeds.
         
        07-04-2009, 03:09 AM
      #19
    Foal
    I believe whatever the breed and their 'rate of maturity' we must be very sure we are preparing the horse to be able to physcally do what we will be asking.

    We breed PREs - Pure Spanish Horses. Their handling is from day one.

    At 3-31/2 they begin school-work in hand, a 6 month program directed to the development of muscles that they will need when they start to carry a rider.

    Just like when a human starts a new sport, it starts with short sessions a few times a week, increasing steadily.

    First easy and loose, then carrying a saddle. Muscles being built up include back and quarters. Head easy, neck not up.

    Then leaning over the saddle to introduce the idea of the rider, and finally the rider on board.

    A constant parallel of building to the physical maturity, and working with the mental maturity - and of course these are smart horses!

    Again, once rider is on board, short sessions first, building up, until at age 4 he is going easily, comfortably and happily, ready to start learning aids.
         
        07-04-2009, 02:19 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zab    
    Ok, I admit I didn't read through everything..

    I just wanted to say; training nothing at all with young horses is almost as bad as training too much.
    Not working with a youngster until later is not bad for them at all. There are still plenty of people out there that let the youngsters be youngsters until they are around three and then bring them in for training. That's how my Grandpa operated. And just about all the cowboys I knew growing up. I've heard a few people on this forum mention they still do it.

    That's how my draft was dealt with. When I got him at two he wasn't handled at all.

    He's turned into an almost perfect horse. Personally I think it's better to let them be young then start working with them when the are 2-3 then ride when they are four.
         

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