Why start them so young? - Page 10
   

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Talk

Why start them so young?

This is a discussion on Why start them so young? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

    Like Tree531Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        07-07-2014, 11:58 AM
      #91
    Started
    Quote:
    people pay thousands of dollars on these horses there not going to dump all that money to ruin a horse..
    yes, yes they are. I know the racing industry fairly well. Even a poor-mediocre race horse, extensively raced at 2-3 can earn tens of thousands of dollars. A decent prospect can earn a lot more. The biggest races are for two and three year olds, and they absolutely will run the horse to death to make money. I have seen it many, many times. I know someone with a horse that was sold for a crazy sum as a yearling, had countless thousands in training and board, won lots of money at 2 and 3 and was raced until he broke completely down with a severe fracture, and had to be ambulanced off the field. The run them until they can't run any more, then they breed them or ship them off to whatever awaits them, often slaughter.

    why? Money. The big money is won as a 2-4 year old. They start them at 1.5, so they can win at 2-3. And by start, I mean gallop. And this is other disciplines too, if you want money, you have to win. If you want an extremely marketable breeding operation, a stud with a mile high stud fee, and a reputation for winning foals in the disciplines where the most money and prestige is won on young horses, you have to follow the crowd. Until they stop putting big money and prestige on competitions for two year old reiners, wp, Tennessee walkers, thoroughbred race horses(etc, etc), people will start their 1.5-2 year olds hard.

    I don't think lightly starting a two year old will hurt it. The key being LIGHTLY and correctly. Putting a few rides on a two year old wont make much of a difference. Forgetting that horse is two and riding it like its 10 will. I personally wont start a horse till 3-4. I find a 3-4 year old to be more mentally and physically ready.

    similarly, if I was looking for a partner doing a job where their physical strength, coordination and mental maturity could be the difference between success and me being seriously injured, I would rather hire the 20 year old guy than the 15 year old.
    jaydee, Chevaux and Horseychick87 like this.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        07-07-2014, 12:11 PM
      #92
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbarlo32    
    And I'm sure is a 15 year old was carrying some one on their back for athe same length of time as a horse they would have issues,because a human just running around is a good way to help prevent osteoporosis...
    20% of a 16 year old's weight is around 35 lbs. That qualifies as a light day pack. In the case of my 16 year old daughter, 20% of her weight is about 24 lbs...which is probably less than her school book bag weighs. A 2 year old racehorse carrying 120 lbs is carrying about 10% of his weight.

    At 18, my SIL in Iraq was a machine gunner. IIRC, he was carrying about 120 lbs on a 200 lb frame, except he lost 50 lbs on both deployments so he finished carrying 120 lbs on a 150 lbs frame. Yes, that damaged his shoulders and back - but that is at 80% of his body weight. I grant that we shouldn't allow 800 lb riders on a horse...

    There is nothing magical about picking an age where all bones have stopped growing. Lots of 15 year olds have bucked hay for a summer, tossing 100 lb bales all day. I doubt many enjoyed it, but they didn't seem to suffer lasting damage.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jaydee    
    Research something called Osgood - Schlatter Disease. Its most common in young people that were involved in extreme athletic activities, especially males...

    ...but that's totally ignoring the fact that the many horses started young that do suffer as a result aren't managed with such a care - a young immature 14.2 - 15h horse that suddenly goes from being ridden lightly by a 120lb person for a an hour or so a day gets sold on (to make that fast profit) to having to carry a 200lb man plus a heavy western saddle for a whole day likely isn't going to do so well
    [Note: Osgood Schlatters disease typically consist of pain at the tibial tuberosity or bony bit at the top of the shin....The disease is a very common cause of knee pain in children and young athletes usually between the ages of 10 and 15. It occurs due to a period of rapid growth, combined with a high level of sporting activity. Osgood-Schlatters Disease - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment ]

    First, a two year old horse is physically more mature than a 12 year old human. It is not a period of rapid growth, and in fact the bones HAVE fused in the lower leg.

    Second, if you do ANYTHING wrong, you get bad results. As I pointed out, if you ride with contact poorly, you create all sorts of problems. Does that mean we should ban English riding? And an English saddle distributes weight over a smaller area - does that make it cruel?

    Mia is tall for her weight and leggy. If I tried to push her to be competitive at reining or barrel racing, it would be obscene. But I'd bet her back could handle endurance racing if mine could. Western curb bits work well with Mia. If I jerked the reins, rode with contact and never gave her relief, they would be brutal. Used properly, they were the single best decision I made about tack on her.

    In like manner, you can ride a 2 year old in a way that trains them or in a way that destroys them. How much that differs from riding an 8 year old horse, I don't know. I am pretty confident that growth plates in the back are not the critical factor!
    MyJumper likes this.
         
        07-07-2014, 03:01 PM
      #93
    Super Moderator
    I think everyone trying to make others change their opinions (which is not going to happen), needs to learn the difference between 'subjective' and 'objective' information interjected into an argument. EVERYTHING presented as FACT by everyone is simply SUBJECTIVE information -- that means it is all just based on opinions and not facts. There is little if any information available that could be considered fact based -- much less anything I have read here.

    Next -- all of the 'stories' presented to 'prove' a point are just just that -- STORIES, commonly called 'ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE' (defined as 'not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts or experiences rather than facts or research').

    About the only FACT I have seen presented (and it cannot be quantified) is to say that bad training at any age is harmful while good training and preparation at any age is not harmful.

    Something mentioned by some but pretty much ignored by most others is that the age of starting a horse is only one small part of what contributes to a horse's later soundness or lack thereof. I would guess it to be less than 10% of the whole picture.

    Here is just a partial list of what contributes as much or more than the age that a horse is started, to its later soundness:

    1) How well was the horse 'legged up' and gotten into good physical form before starting it into serious training or ridden hard?

    2) How much exercise did the horse get prior to putting it into training? Soft 'couch potatoes' are much more prone to injury and take a LOT longer to get legged up and in condition for training and serious riding, even when they are started at 3 or 4 or older.

    3) What kind of diet was the horse on before starting it into training? Obese, over-fed horses may grow out more quickly, but are usually much more difficult to keep sound when they are pushed very hard. I am sure a lot of that goes back to points 1 & 2. [Personally, give me the underdeveloped scrawny colt that has run out on 100 acres of rocks and hills over the well fed horse that has been stall raised or raised in a small area.] many 2 year olds that have been 'pushed' have DOD problems that are completely unrelated to work. A lot of high priced yearlings and 2 year olds are now x-rayed before purchase. Some big sales require x-rays because OCD lesions are so common. [Again, horses running out and not over-fed seldom have DOD problems.] Also, something that cannot be blamed on the age of starting a horse.

    4) How heavy is the rider? Most trainers put small riders on their young horses -- at east until they are legged up good have some muscle tone.

    5) What are the horse's genetics for soundness? The offspring of horses that did not hold up for training are at much greater risk for becoming unsound than are those from good sound horses that were sound for many years. I cringe when I see horses that are crippled up early in their lives and then sent out to breed because they are 'well bred'. Cutting horse breeders used to be really into breeding their cripples. Many have figured out that that just gave them more cripples.

    6) Is the horse structurally correct? Horses with crooked legs and structural problems like small round knees (instead of big flat knees) or tiny tied in hocks, off-set knees, long low pasterns, very small, light bone or hocks that are either too straight or too angled are not good prospects to stay sound when started at any age. This is also true of horses that weigh 1300# and stand on '0' or '00' feet. If horses that have conformation problems get crippled with hard use, the age they were started cannot be blamed.

    7) Has the horse had good hoof care or run out where its feet 'self-trimmed' and did not get long -- which stresses joints, tendons and ligaments? Long 'over-grown' toes and under-run heels contribute to many lameness issues.

    8) Has the horse had access to a good mineral while growing up? Most horses lack Calcium in their diets (unless they are eating alfalfa or another legume). We think this greatly contributes to soundness issues in young horses.

    About anyone can take any set of facts and bend them around to fit their cause when there are a dozen or more variables. Common sense goes a long ways. Not over-riding a horse of any age helps a lot. Understanding the process of 'legging a horse up' is very necessary. Recognizing leg problems or muscle soreness early is also very important.
         
        07-07-2014, 03:33 PM
      #94
    Yearling
    You want fact you ask your vet next time you speak to them what age a horses spinal growth plates fuse they will tell you around six as that is fact. Riding for any length of time before this point can and most of the time does damage a horses neck or back in some way, some insignificant other damage causing permanent issues. This is fact not opinion. Also the growth plates of the legs should play as big of part as the growth plates of the spine due to the direction of the growth plates.
         
        07-07-2014, 04:48 PM
      #95
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbarlo32    
    You want fact you ask your vet next time you speak to them what age a horses spinal growth plates fuse they will tell you around six as that is fact. Riding for any length of time before this point can and most of the time does damage a horses neck or back in some way, some insignificant other damage causing permanent issues. This is fact not opinion...
    The first sentence references a fact. The second is pure opinion, and it is opinion that chooses to ignore the world many of us live in.

    I've seen no study providing any evidence that the spinal growth plates all need to fuse for a horse to be ridden without damage. Nor can I think of a good reason why it should. It certainly is not required for humans to work with heavy weights. That it is done successfully by millions (when done right) makes your premise unacceptable.
    SorrelHorse, Palomine and MyJumper like this.
         
        07-07-2014, 04:57 PM
      #96
    Green Broke
    ... and rbarlo32 is free to continue to back her ponies at six-years if she wishes. We don't mind.
         
        07-07-2014, 05:24 PM
      #97
    Yearling
    In fact yes I have just backed one at six and she is learning quicker then any I started in the past at 4 or 5 or any younger ones I long reined. She has only been ridden I think 4 times now and she is almost ready to been shown in walk and trot. This is a filly who if you told be last year she would be ridden I would have probably laughed at you. BSMS and I find riding at 2 due to then risks unacceptable
         
        07-07-2014, 05:48 PM
      #98
    Trained
    I have started client's horses at six. I'll be darned if any of my colts are going to wait that long. OP is welcome to start horses at whatever time she wishes. As am I and every other person. Works for me. I like my colts to still be colts when they're going through the baby horse stage.
    franknbeans, smrobs, bsms and 3 others like this.
         
        07-07-2014, 06:09 PM
      #99
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    20% of a 16 year old's weight is around 35 lbs. That qualifies as a light day pack. In the case of my 16 year old daughter, 20% of her weight is about 24 lbs...which is probably less than her school book bag weighs. A 2 year old racehorse carrying 120 lbs is carrying about 10% of his weight.

    At 18, my SIL in Iraq was a machine gunner. IIRC, he was carrying about 120 lbs on a 200 lb frame, except he lost 50 lbs on both deployments so he finished carrying 120 lbs on a 150 lbs frame. Yes, that damaged his shoulders and back - but that is at 80% of his body weight. I grant that we shouldn't allow 800 lb riders on a horse...

    There is nothing magical about picking an age where all bones have stopped growing. Lots of 15 year olds have bucked hay for a summer, tossing 100 lb bales all day. I doubt many enjoyed it, but they didn't seem to suffer lasting damage.
    Actually the long term problems from children carrying heavy back packs is something that specialists have long been raising concerns about
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0...ype=blogs&_r=0

    I think Cherie's post said it all as far as starting a horse off at 2 is concerned - there are so many 'ifs' involved that as a general thing unless you can put a tick in all her boxes that make the horse a good case for starting early - you know its history and have done all the right prep work and then done all the training from that point on correctly its probably not a risk worth taking. I certainly wouldn't buy a horse that had been started that young unless I knew everything had been done 100% right up to that point.
         
        07-07-2014, 06:18 PM
      #100
    Yearling
    How is when a horses skeleton physically mature enough to be ridden anything to do with pride? No amount of 'success' stories can change that fact.
    And again oh how I do hate repeating myself I NEVER once said anyone was evil, I dislike the practice of starting a horse at 2 I think it is wrong and I think there is too much of a chance of a horse getting hurt to be worth it never once did I say or even imply that anyone is evil. You want to call people that then go right ahead but don't go putting words into my mouth. To me it is too much of a risk and not worth it if you want to take that that risk well that's up to you I never said otherwise. And I did start this thread as a discussion as I have never understood the reasons for backing a horse at 2 and for the most part all I got was either money or impatience neither of which IMO us a good enough reason to take the risk and nor is just because the big names do it.
         

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    start young or Prebroke? thorson Horse Training 6 01-25-2014 07:47 AM
    How young is too young to start jumping/pole work? Standardbred Jumping 16 05-22-2013 08:17 PM
    Is 3 too young to start training? SkyeMac Horse Training 12 02-10-2013 07:19 PM
    How young is your horse when you start training? racerider Horse Training 23 11-26-2010 02:03 AM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:30 PM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0