For me it completely depends on the individual horse, some are physically and mentally more mature earlier, some later. I generally start mine lightly as long 2 yr olds doing just walking and getting a good handle on them through that fall & winter. By the time spring rolls around they are 3 yo's ready to do more & they already have a great neck rein, stop, back, & sidepass.
When I started training, I did start them young with futurity goals in mind. One of my older mares I started at 18 months and won my first wp futurity on as a 2 yo. She is my one & only with any hint of arthritis. Though it is very mild and easily managed with msm & yucca, I am certain the damage was done early on. I was young and extremely goal driven & unfortunately my mare paid for it. Needless to say in the 15+ years since then I have changed quite a bit in my thinking as far as training. My motto now, we get there when we get there. If only I had that luxury with those I get paid for....
Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
Last edited by MHFoundation Quarters; 09-30-2011 at 03:38 PM.