Originally Posted by kimberlyrae1993 View Post
If it was so so bad for the horse we would have stopped starring them at 2 years ago.. just saying.. almost all horses are started at 2.
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Just to step in and support rb and what she is saying...she is talking from everything that she has been brought up with..this statement is interesting to me in the discussion, because if we are are talking about the history, you have to agree that there is a longer tradition of horse riding in the UK than there is on the West side of the Atlantic. Over those 1000's of years we came up with our own long held and long understood beliefs, which include the fact that horses should not be started, as in backed until 3, and not ridden until they are 4, of course all ground work is in place before that.
It is also a long held belief in the UK that 15% MAYBE 20% at a push is the very maximum that a horse can carry. Strange how I still believe that backing and riding at two is wrong, but I have an easier time re arranging the truths I used to know to allow myself to ride, albeit with a burden of guilt.
Oh, and my UK side is fine with horses working on the roads, standing on cement floors, being towed in little trailers behind cars. Our beliefs in what is right are largely set by our early experiences and teaching, the older we get the more difficult it is to re program that thinking.
I believe that I have read studies talking about the ages that grwoth plates close up, and it is way later than two, but no I can't link you to them, bed time for this old girl.
Just remember, just because you were brought up believing something, just because "we have always done it" it does not make it right or true. Also every horse matures at different ages, many breeds mature at different rates.
My conclusion, one horse MAY be ready at two, his pasture mate may not be physically or mentally ready until he is four. Blanket statements never apply to all.