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When does a horse mentally mature?

This is a discussion on When does a horse mentally mature? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Mental maturity horse
  • How do horse mature

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    11-25-2012, 08:25 PM
  #11
Foal
I was going to ask this question today, but I found this thread. I have a 3 1/2 year old, so, LOL, I guess I have a little longer to see some maturity!

I will tell you that, from what other people say to me, I have a very mellow young one. On the flip side, I wouldn't trade having gotten her at 1 year old, b/c I enjoy her being playful. Well, usually, haha.
     
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    11-25-2012, 08:34 PM
  #12
Started
Glad it was helpful! I will say, over the past year my guy has settled down from a green spooky goof to a pretty steady guy who I now trust to help lead younger or nervous horses on trail rides. Our training still has miles to go, but mentally he's matured a huge amount is just a year. Miles, age or training, or all together, I'll take it!
     
    11-25-2012, 09:56 PM
  #13
Green Broke
Some bloodlines are slower than others in terms of mental maturity.

Some horses, like people are old souls at 2, others are the village idiot all their natural born life.
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    11-25-2012, 10:09 PM
  #14
Teen Forum Moderator
I agree that it depends. I have a 4 1/2 year old mare who wasn't able to handle more than ten or twenty minutes of work until she was almost four, but once she turned four it was like she was a new horse. I still try not to work her for more than 45 minutes or so, but its a lot easier to get her attention and have her retain what I've taught her now.

We also have a now 7 year old mare named Spanks. We considered her to be unridable because when we tried to start her as a 3 1/2 year old, she almost killed one of our cowboys. She did well with ground work but once the saddle was on her back she became an explosive monster.She just couldnt handlle the idea of being ridden. We had given up on her and threw her out into the pasture with the other horses for years, then I decided on a whim to try again. I'm now working her again and have gotten as far as saddling and bridling her without her blowing up, where even the sight of a saddle pad used to make her go crazy. So far it seems like she just needed some time to mature, because she's doing wonderfully now. I just have to go slow and give her time to process everything.

And then we have our 8 year old mare Xcia. She was broke as a three year old and put into her lesson program as a 5 year old. Sounds crazy and a lot of people look down on us for it, but she was born broke. She's never tried anything stupid (except to get OUT of working when an experienced rider is on her xD)) and is a perfect lady for the kids. Normally I'd never put a 5 year old into a lesson program but she's absolutely mature enough to handle it.
     
    11-25-2012, 10:52 PM
  #15
Weanling
Every one is right so far..lol..seems strange.but it does depend on the horse. It does depend on the training.and it does depend on the age.go figure. Rule of thumb is a horse is mature between 8and 10 . Then some horse breeds is different. For there body maturity and there mental maturity are different. But I find the fun of horses if learning there temperment. Watching a young horse mature is a awsome thing. Thanks for a great topic. Ride safe everyone
     
    11-25-2012, 10:57 PM
  #16
Green Broke
I think there's a huge gulf in this conversation between personality and maturity. Grabbing a feed bucket and smacking another horse with it is personality and must be hilarious to watch. Please get it on video and post it so we can laugh along with you!

From my experience their personality is pretty well set by the time they are 4 and what you have is what you get for the rest of their life. But they don't fully mature mentally until 10. Again,this is in my experience, every 2 years they seem to take a step up in maturity until fully mature. That's when they are really ready to settle down and work for a living.
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    11-26-2012, 06:43 AM
  #17
Foal
Yup, we got a while longer till she's "mature". Darrin you're spot on about personality vs maturity... Jazzy is definitely playful and full of it. She whips buckets (thank god for corner feeders!), she dumped her water on my trainer and I saw her do it --- it was intentional! Yesterday she took off with her sheet in between her teeth and last night she picked her halter up off the ground and took it alllllllll the way to the other side of the arena. Then she stood there do proud of herself :)

Sometimes I hate hate hate having a young green one, but those moments go away really quick!
     
    11-26-2012, 09:39 AM
  #18
Yearling
Rusty is 11 and I don't think he'll ever mature. I got him as a 9 year old, and let's just say that while he has grown up a bit, he still has the mind of a 4 year old in certain aspects. When he gets around another horse, his mind tends to go out the window. When he's scared, there's no calming him down...it's like the sense just gets knocked out of him. Fortunately, he rarely spooks. Rusty's the one that always somehow stupidly gets tangled or tries to jump something he's not supposed to.

It's so funny though, my friend has a horse, Sunny, that's 7, and Rusty and Sunny just GET each other. Both are on the high end of the totem pole, and they tend to try to show that even when they're being ridden (ears back, etc.). But nope, Rusty and Sunny just have this mutual understanding of goofiness.

It's nice to have a mature horse, but I like my goofy, immature one.
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