When does a horse mentally mature? - The Horse Forum
 7Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
Started
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
When does a horse mentally mature?

I bought a 6 year old last fall. Now he's 7, right in nice early adulthood. He's fantastic, easy going, has a good work ethic, and is forgiving of my mistakes. He also relies heavily on me to be a good leader (he's low/middle in the herd) and gets stirred up/reactive when other horses do and can be mildly spooky, though he is improving in both regards. He will challenge people, but only a bit and accepts that they're in charge easily.

When does a horse really mature? I know their training and technical skills can improve essentially forever, but when do you know their personality and attitude have settled? Eventually, I would love for this guy to be a bit more steady/btdt so he can be my babysitter for less experienced riders (friends, family, etc). Is that something that will come with more time, maturity and experience/training, or do you think a 7 year old horse is already set in their way of approaching life and riders?

What's the difference between a 7 year old and a 5 year old? Or a 3 year old? Or a 10 year old?
Sharpie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 07:22 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 16,846
• Horses: 1
I don't know if this will help but I knew my horse since he was 9 and he couldn't handle being ridden by people. But by the time he was 10, he could handle multiple riders but he wasn't feeling good about it. By the time he turned 11, he could handle a beginner without freaking out.

So I think around 10-11 they begin to settle down and mature.

But that's only from my experience. Which obviously doesn't speak for all horses.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
post #3 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 08:25 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 406
• Horses: 1
Much like with people, it really depends on the horse. My mare is 8, and I would say that this is the year she finally developed a work ethic. I've had her since she was coming 5, and shew as always pretty level headed, but she would get grumpy and cranky if she thought what you were asking was too hard. That just finally started to go away this year.
DraftXDressage is offline  
post #4 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 08:29 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SW UK
Posts: 10,232
• Horses: 0
I do not think it is possible to say when a horse mentally matures. Some horses never really 'grow up' and will always take advantage of a novice rider on their backs - not by bucking but just by being naughty, like stopping to eat or looking at things they would never normally bother with.
Others can be naughty with a good rider but excellent with a novice or small child.

I have a 16 year old gelding that has never mentally matured. If he can cause bother then he will! He will pick up any feed bowl in the field and bash another horse with it until that horse tries to take it away from him usually ending up with a tug of war which the feed bowl looses out on and gets destroyed.

I would trust this horse with a baby crawling between his legs but would not trust him to behave with someone who thinks they know more than they do.

All are different.
Foxhunter is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 08:50 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Finleyville, Pa.
Posts: 405
• Horses: 0
Foxhunter-Good point because my horse sometimes rebels when being asked to work TOO HARD, but I can put my 8 year old daughter on him and he is happy to do whatever she asks because she justs walks him around. She can steer him and stop him no prob. But he can sometimes be a handful with me and my older daughter. I kinda wish I could let him just be a kids pony but feel that would be wasting his potential and make him fat and lazy. BTW he just turned 7 in May so he is not anywhere near to retirement lol.
hberrie is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 08:56 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,841
• Horses: 0
I was wondering this too! I got a 6 yr old in October and he acts just like a 2 year old. Picks EVERYTHING up in his mouth and even had the hay feeder thrown in the middle of the pasture the other day. And somehow got the salt block dish out from under the 50 lb block....

He also has a stick fedish and will collect sticks and whatever else he can find and will 'hide' them in a pile in his shed.
Posted via Mobile Device
Cowgirls Boots is offline  
post #7 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 09:05 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,182
• Horses: 1
I think it really depends on the horse.

For example, the now fifteen (I think..) Standardbred mare named Maggie is now suitable for beginners and is pretty calm usually. My instructor said that, up until around eight, Maggie would go around at shows and buck and was the definition of crazy... she even came close to running over a judge. It took lots of work and eight long years for her to become even slightly level-headed.

As for Major, he's always been quite laid back. My instructor said that when he was a yearling, he got his head stuck in a step ladder and just lifted his head up and looked around as he waited for someone to get it. As a foal, he had been brought down from Manitoba in a trailer with twenty or so other foals and was the calmest of the bunch.. whereas his half sister was crazy. (and still is, apparently) He rarely spooks, although he is quite energetic if he doesn't get normal exercise.

Forever loved, never forgotten; my beautiful Indie. <3 Hoofprints on my heart.
Jore is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 09:36 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 286
• Horses: 0
For me they hit that stage around 8-10 But it depends on the people working with them too. They are like children, the adults around have to set a good example!
Sharpie likes this.

The Truth Harsher Than One Would Think
KissTheRing is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 10:09 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Somewhere in WA
Posts: 1,222
• Horses: 11
Completely depends on the horse, just like in people. Some horses mature faster then others....there is no for sure way of knowing how a horse is going to mature.

Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
BarrelRacingLvr is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 07-28-2012, 10:20 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 11,644
• Horses: 3
I also seemed to find mares mature faster mentally than their male counterparts. Pretty much like humans, lol, sorry guys!
Posted via Mobile Device
waresbear is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mentally challenged TWH groom robbed, and then beaten in retaliation needs our help. Palomine Horse Talk 1 07-06-2012 10:36 PM
Mature story to come, very mature. 888vegas888 Horse Stories and Poems 2 07-02-2011 07:12 PM
When does a male horse mature? mpleasance Horse Health 7 04-07-2011 11:45 PM
My Mare Is Not Quite Right Mentally Ammeratsu Horse Health 6 12-09-2010 02:48 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome