Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Southern California
• Horses: 0
My first reaction was also potentially no, but for more than one reason.
I will start off by saying that there ARE in fact 3 yr olds that would be perfectly fine for a beginner, and then there are of course 3 yr olds that are NOT suitable for beginners. I was working with a 3 yr old that was off the track but never raced and he acted like a 12 yr old. Only spooked once in the few months I was training him, super mellow, super safe, etc. He actually found a home as a hunter for an 8 yr old! He would be perfect for a somewhat beginner.
I now have a 3 yr old that is a little over 2 months off the track (raced) and would NOT be suitable for a beginner, WITHOUT the often assistance of a trainer. I have been riding for about 9 years and so far have been working with him 100% on my own (trainer boards elsewhere and we have not had any lessons yet).
My second point is that you need to consider how much you want to a) bring up a baby and be working 80% on HER training and 20% on your advancement as a rider, or b) proceed with YOUR advancement as a rider and get a horse that has a little more training so while you are still working to train the horse, it's still at the level where you are able to keep improving yourself as a rider (since you are still somewhat a beginner).-- Don't get me wrong, while training a baby you can still improve as a rider, but sticking with the basics and taking things slow for the baby's sake can also hold you back in what you could be doing on a slightly older/more experienced horse.
For example, with my horse that retired a few months ago due to an injury we were in training for eventing, going to xc clinics, and had worked enough on the flat to be able to jump over 3'. While in training (actually just lessons) my horse was progressing and I was progressing.... we walked, trotted, cantered, and jumped (obviously things I have been doing for years). Now I have a baby who is still a little speedy from the track and we are only walking and trotting at this point. MY training and progression (compared to where I was with my other horse) is on hold because the 3 yr old is not up to my "level" yet. He won't be cantering under saddle again until his trot under saddle is at a consistent speed and is relaxed, and until his canter is steady/not a gallop on the lunge. He won't be jumping until his canter has the same qualities under saddle, and until he is a little older. Then even at that, we will only be jumping small x-rails... not over 3' like I (as a rider) have the ability to do.
I sometimes wonder why I got a 3 yr old because of this, and why I didn't look for a 5 yr old instead, but keep reminding myself that he will eventually be there.... it will just take a long time and my advancement as a rider will just be on hold until then.
Last edited by LostDragonflyWings; 01-04-2013 at 05:59 AM.