Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Middle-of-Nowhere, Illinois
In my opinion, no younger than 3 for light saddle work, and preferably 4. If I ever get another baby, I won't break him out until he's 4. There are plenty of things you should be doing with a youngster prior to riding, like ground manners, desensitizing to things like tarps and water, ponying on trails, loading, learning to stand, tie, clip, put his head down, yield his fore and hindquarters from the ground, etc. I also don't believe in doing any serious work (jumping, barrels, whatever) until the horse is at least 6 years old. Some horses don't even grow out of their obnoxious, attention span-less baby phase until they're 8 to 10 years old.
"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be." Abraham Maslow, 1968