We adopted a yearling Mustang this weekend. I wondered if there were any others that adopted younger Mustangs and when you started riding them. I know some people start horses at 2 years old, and some not until they're 5. Any thoughts?
It really depends on the individual horse's mental and physical maturity. I personally like to have them started at 4-5 because they're basically finished growing and are generally able to remember things you teach them and pay attention. Some people to break ar 2-3, but there really isn't a reason to do that. It often ends up with sore joints and problems later on.
You can start a horse fairly early on in their life. Just getting used to everything that they need for later on is always an advantage. Like bathing, clipping, trimming, loading etc.
Of course, horse shouldn't be ridden before two, but you can always get a head start and get some ground work done with them. Get them used to the saddle and a bridle for instance.
Once they are two, you can start lightly riding them, but don't expect a finished reiner or dressage horse in a short time. Be willing to continue walk-trot work until they are balanced with a person in the saddle, and slowly introduce the canter.
It really depends on the horse. The mustangs I've been around were really small at 2.
I would definitely start with the ground work, but would probably wait until the horse is 3 or even 4 to start riding.
Adopted my mustang, Bella, at 11 months. She turned 3 in March & I plan on sending her to the trainer in the next month or two (waiting till she gets over her latest injury, she has an uncanny talent for finding the ONE thing in a pasture that could hurt a horse). Will wait another year or two for serious trail riding, but I think she's ready, both physically and mentally, to start under saddle.
I think you'll find the time goes quicker than you think. In the meantime, the time you spend on groundwork will help forge a relationship you will cherish for a lifetime. Bella is the most personable horse I own & while I absolutely look forward to riding her, the last two years have been a journey I wouldn't trade for anything. Good luck!
Hey I just did I post on my colt www.wildhorseproject.blogspot.com
We adopted what we thought was going to be a 4yr old stallion...exept when he got delivered he looked about 18months, teeth showed him to be about 2....anyway 8 months of good feed and nutrition and he lost all his baby teeth & had a full mouth of 4yrold teeth...so we backed him and have bben riding ever since such an awsome horse!!