Is he too young to sit on?

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Is he too young to sit on?

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    10-27-2011, 09:54 PM
Is he too young to sit on?

I've been working with Banjo, my 2 1/2 yr old Morgan, since I got him in Feb. Of this year. He's doing very well at lunging, ground driving, free lunging and liberty work. He saddles and bridles without any problem and is generally very easy to work with. Last weekend I watched the Trainer's challenge at the Mane Event in Chilliwack, BC. These big cowboys were taking unstarted 3 yr old QH colts straight off the range and within 4 one hour sessions over 3 days were riding them. Banjo is the same size as these colts, and quite well developed as he was gelded late. I am tempted to begin sitting on him for short periods, just to get him used to it. I don't plan to do any real mounted training till he's 3- maybe just walk around the pen once or twice so he gets he idea, but is it possible to do him harm if I start sitting on his back too soon? The vet says he is definitely developed enough to hold my weight and I know he is quiet enough not to go bronco on me- just wanted some input.
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    10-27-2011, 10:07 PM
Aires has been broke for a couple of months now and he's almost 28 months old. He gets ridden once a week (sometimes twice), but nothing really hard. Usually just riding around the arena at a walk with a trot tossed in every once in a while. We've been on one trail ride (was three hours long, but we didn't go faster than a walk and it was mostly flat with just a few small hills and obstacles). Take into consideration, though, that Aires is fast approaching 16hh (I would almost be willing to bet he'll hit 16hh at the end of the growth spurt he's going through right now) and is built like a tank (he probably weighs 1200-1250lbs right now).

There's a guy at our barn who has a two-year-old QH that is just about the same age as Aires, but MUCH smaller (he's maybe 14.1hh). Before the guy left on an extended business trip to Minnesota, he rode him on several 4 hour trail rides.

I personally don't see a problem with starting your boy now, but I know that others on here will.
    10-27-2011, 10:09 PM
If your going to sit on him you'd just as well go ahead and ride him. I'll tell you a little secret about all these "trainers challenges". The secret to them is to flood the horses with stimuli while they still feel awkward and don't have the confidence to blow up and buck. Most colts don't buck untill they get to moving good under saddle and are less scared of the rider. If you can hold them together untill you get 10 rides then thier probably never going to buck.
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    10-27-2011, 10:16 PM
Yes, that's definitely what they did- completely desensitized the colts, but nobody seemed to think there was a problem with them sitting (and in one case even standing) on them, even though these colts had never had any previous training or work to help them develop their muscles. My boy is in pretty good shape compared to them. I have leaned over his back from the fence a few times and all he does is turn around and look at me- he doesn't even try to move (that might actually become a problem, later on!)
    10-27-2011, 10:23 PM
If he physically looks able, then I would have no problems starting him - not just sitting on him, but actually starting him, getting him to move under you, go forward, start moving his body parts, etc. I think it's good for them as long as you are aware of what they can physically handle.
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    10-28-2011, 01:27 AM
I started my colt(now gelding) spring of his two year old year. Rode him 2-3 times a week for the summer, w/t with a few instances of cantering straight lines. I'd say you're fine.
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    10-28-2011, 11:24 AM
If he has been lungeing,then his knees are most likely closed and he is ready for training
    10-28-2011, 05:44 PM
Well they appear to be closed but I have not had them x-rayed. But is it just the knees or should I be concerned about his shoulders, spine, etc.? I really don't want to do anything which might cause him problems later on.
    10-28-2011, 08:59 PM
If you're small it'll be ok. If not, you may consider hiring a good midget. Some of them can ride really well and the horse will get conditioned to accept things that are different. Midgets are lighter than normal sized humans. Pound-for-pound they are very strong and have a low center of gravity so they stay on good if a horse gets salty. Just put an ad on Craigslist that you need a midget
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    10-28-2011, 09:27 PM
Your vet says he's ready, I assume you trust your vet. Since he has seen Banjo in person and inspected him, I'd say his advice is probably more accurate than any you would get on the internet ;) Go ahead and get him started if you want to.
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