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What is the earliest age I can ride my horse?

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  • Safe age to break a horse
  • Whats the earliest age to break a horse??

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    03-30-2009, 10:15 PM
I think you are misunderstanding what mature skeletally means. It actually means the rate at which the bones fuse from cartilage to bone. It has nothing to do with growing size or rate. It also has nothing to do with how the confirmation turns out.
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    03-30-2009, 10:22 PM
I definitely think that large horses like Clydesdales, Shires, and other heavy boned horses deserve more time to let the bones settle, as well as let the knees form before bearing weight. But i'm always living by the "better safe then sorry" motto ;)

In looking for an article to quote, I found something that really, really confused me:

According to Bailey, "on-going studies of the effects of training on the body at a very young age indicate that we should be training horses before the skeleton is fully mature."
Source: Horses - A Horse of Course by Don Blazer - August 2001 - Equiworld - Equestrian Information on the internet


I'm baffled o.o;
    03-30-2009, 10:25 PM
If you read the whole thing, the doctor herself points out "The taller your horse and the longer his neck, the later the last fusions will occur. And for a male you add six months"
    03-30-2009, 10:27 PM
I personally don't like to start a horse before it is 3 years old.
As a buyer, I don't like to consider horses started before 3, so your best bet in giving your horse a good start in case you EVER have to sell him, wait until he's 3.
    03-30-2009, 10:30 PM
Here we go, this is what I was looking for:

Bone Development
The primary consideration when deciding the best age to break a horse is bone development. A foal is really no different from a newborn infant; young horses' bones have not yet fused entirely into an adult skeleton, and are therefore subject to breaks and fractures.
Starting horses under saddle before their bones have fused can cause numerous injuries, including permanent lameness. It is best to have the bones X-rayed before breaking a horse to make sure those bones are ready for the weight of a rider.

Breed of Horse
The breed of the horse has an enormous impact on when one should start a horse under saddle. Some breeds, such as quarter horses and appaloosas, can be started at two or three without any problems. Others, such as Thoroughbreds and Arabians, should not be started until they are at least three (preferably four). The reason, again, is in the bones; horses with finer bone structure should not be ridden as young.

Some horses take longer than others to "fill out". Much like human children, horses will begin to develop more muscle mass as they age and will hold their grain easier. A lighter horse is more difficult and dangerous to break because he is more fragile.
Source: Best Age to Break a Horse: When to Start Horses Under Saddle

I wanted to post my little opinion first, but when I saw that first article I couldnt focus. Lol

I agree with the stuff I quoted in this post.. I don't think I could phrase it better if I tried :p
    03-30-2009, 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by wanderlust    
If you read the whole thing, the doctor herself points out "The taller your horse and the longer his neck, the later the last fusions will occur. And for a male you add six months"
Nice <3 Its amazing what reading the entire article will yield! =)
    03-30-2009, 10:33 PM
Please read the link I posted earlier... like any other topic in this world there will be people who take both sides.
    03-30-2009, 10:34 PM
Also I did read the entire article.
    03-30-2009, 10:41 PM
I don't have the .pdf program on my computer, so I can't view it, sorry.

I don't know of anyone who would take -both- sides... You (metaphorically, not you personally) can't just say "Its cruel and grossly innappropriate to break a yearling to ride because their bones arent mature" then turn around and say "It is best to break a horse before their bones mature"... because those two answers are complete opposites o.o;

There will always be people who take -either- side, and defend to the death how right they are to take that side ;) that's the beauty of the Horse World! Its just human nature ^^
    03-30-2009, 10:43 PM
Here is the link again


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