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age to start riding a young horse

This is a discussion on age to start riding a young horse within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-24-2009, 01:46 AM
Bone development wise, you shouldn't start riding a horse until 3.5-4 years of age. 1 and a half is much too young. A horse that young will have back pain and serious consequences later in life, you should try to inform the owners if you can.
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    10-01-2009, 07:19 AM
WHAT!?!?!?! Your neighbor needs to be beat upside the head. That is wrong! You never get on a horse any younger than 3, 2 is pushing it. You honestly need to smack some since into that neighbor before he ruins that poor horse
    10-01-2009, 09:25 AM
Anyone that is trying to ride a horse under 2 years old is stupid, at that age they are hardly more then foals!! (ok, a bit of an overexaduration there but you get the point). My mum's QH Smarty is 7 yrs old, he was broken in by someone when he was a bit over 2. For some breeds (eg. Tb, Arab, ect.) that would be out right stupid, although I still think he was a bit young. The result is a quite, dependable, well educated gelding BUT one with a VERY heavy mouth. Generally he's hanging on your hands although after about 10 mins of work he does come collect.
I don't know if this is because of the age or way he was broken in, but that's just how he is.
    10-01-2009, 10:43 AM
Well now you have the answer 1.5 yo is far too young.
However the horse had some common sense - it threw the rider off.
    10-01-2009, 11:04 AM
Personally I would not ride a horse of ANY breed before 3 at the EARLIEST!!

I usually bring them in at 3 to start basic groundwork and the start lightly backing around 3.5yrs old.
    10-01-2009, 11:52 AM
Ugh, poor girl. I am willing to back and start riding a horse consistently as a long 2 year old if I have to but I prefer to wait until 3 if possible. I know lots of those horses that were started as long yearlings and early 2 year olds for shows and all that. Too bad that at 15 or 16, they are too crippled up with arthritis that they are unusable :(.

And one thing that many people probably don't agree with me about is that I don't spend any days or weeks getting the horse used to the saddle. Most times (providing the horse isn't unmanageable) the first saddling is also the first ride. With proper preparation and good groundwork though I have yet to be bucked off on the first ride. They usually wait until about 2 weeks into training when they are sore before they throw a fit if they ever buck at all. :p
    10-01-2009, 11:59 AM
I agree with the consensus. 1 and a half is way too young. The horse could develop back and leg problems later on, not to mention behavioral issues. I hope you're right that your husband's experience will give that horse a bit more time to grow. I'd say no introduction to tack and such until 2 and a half or three and no riding until late 3 or 4.
    10-01-2009, 12:42 PM
Oh wow I've never heard of a horse being ridden at that age!

Our horse, Storm, is only 3 and while he was broke when we got him he was not ridden very often and was neglected when we got him. Though he is wonderful under saddle, he has not been ridden by us but a handful of times because of his weight issues, coupled with the fact that he is so young still.

And a yearling horse should definitely not be ridden then, as they need time to grow and mature. I'm so sorry your husband got bucked, but I'm sure that the horse was just terribly confused as to what was going on! At least he saved the horse the trouble of being ridden by the much heavier actual owner....ouchies!
    10-01-2009, 12:48 PM
I have in the racing industry over here :(
    10-01-2009, 02:12 PM
The little gelding hasn't been ridden since my first post. Husband's butt/hip is still really sore and he has huge bruises. Nothing broken, but lots of soft tissue that needs to heal. I think the boys learned their lesson.
When I tried to discuss it with DH, he told me that the horse was already 2 (still too young IMHO), not 1 1/2 like I thought. However, that is bull, since he was only 14 months old when the owner got him in June. I remember the owner telling me that.
Hopefully they'll hold off for a while. I have a feeling they won't mess with him much over the winter and hubby won't be healed before it gets colder here. Cross your fingers.

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