Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters
Definitely depends on each horse & personal preference. I've started a lot of them right at 2 for clients but with my own I generally wait until the fall of their 2 yo year. Lots of light work, getting them solid at a walk & trot through fall & winter, don't do any true work on a lope until 3. I will try it out a time or 2 before but never for any significant length of time. By the time they are ready for it they have an excellent handle and it's easy to quickly progress to more advanced maneuvers like lead changes, etc. I'm a take your time making a solid horse kind of girl.
I do have one that I started young though. She was my first start to finish and I was young and overly driven to make a goal. I met it but looking back the time put on her to make a 2 yo wp futurity wasn't worth the risk. Fortunately for me she is still sound at 23 with just a touch of arthritis that's managed with MSM but I think I'm very lucky.
I'm not in so much of a hurry anymore. Less stressful for me & the horses
I completely understand with it being dependent of the individual horse. My only thing with Rodeo is, he's so much like a sponge!! He soaks up so much so fast, and holds onto it!!! There are things I started with him when I first got him, that we still can go back to without a problem. He just loves to learn!!!
I have been careful to only do so much with him. As I want it to really stick! With both of us! Im in no rush, I was thinking his 2 yo year, depending on how he is doing then, if he's not ready, I have no problem waiting!! I had a guy tell me today that I could start lightly riding him, once or twice a week once he turns 18months....IMO, I think that's too young. For my guy anyways, I really don't want to take any chances of anything damaging effects. :)
Thanks so much for your responses! I always look forward to the great info you always give me!!