Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Middle-of-Nowhere, Illinois
In my opinion, no horse should be jumped before the age of 6. It makes more sense to me to play it safe and make sure the horse is completely mature before you start asking anything strenuous of him.
I loath the "knee closing" rule. A horse's "knees closing" has nothing to do with whether or not he's ready to jump (or barrel race, or whatever you want to do). Horses mature from the bottom up, which means that their backs and necks are the last to develop. Chances of damaging their legs are much less than the chances of hurting their spines. A horse's legs could be done growing, but the growth plates in his back may still be immature, and in that case, he's not physically ready for serious work. Keep in mind that there are growth plates on every bone behind the skull, and every one of them should be fused before a horse goes near a fence.
I knew a lady that broke her 2 year old, jumped him at 4, and the horse went lame with Navicular Syndrome at age 6 and could never be ridden again.
"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
Last edited by Jessabel; 09-08-2010 at 05:29 PM.