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Jumping the "young" horse.

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  • The effects of jumping a horse to young?

 
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    01-31-2008, 02:40 AM
  #21
Green Broke
Grrr! I just wrote the worlds longest post about my opinions on jumping too early and it just got erased!! (<- haha, i've been waiting to use that face!)

Here's the gist of it:

1. Horses may jump a bit in the wild, but they are not built to jump. CATS are made to jump. Horses? Are built to eat and run away.

2. Jumping puts a tremendous amount of strain on their legs, why in the world would you want to do that to a horse joints and ligaments that are still forming?

3. Just because a horse will jump well doesn't mean it's mentally ready for it! My vet (a reiner, but has a lot of hunter/jumper clients) who is on the national board for equine behavior says that reiners (who start at 2) and hunters (who start at 3) have the most mental breakdowns then any other discipline! Does that tell you anything?

4. Use your brains and common sense people!

5. Your horses love you, love them back!
     
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    01-31-2008, 05:20 AM
  #22
Foal
The best trainers are the patient ones. Do you want to risk your horse going permanently lame early in life? Or would you rather wait an extra year so your horse will have a better chance at staying sound through it's life??? Would you rather teach your horse slower and develop a more physically fit, mentally sound, physically sound horse? Or would you rather rush your horse and have a damaged horse?

There is no such thing as a bad horse, just bad pasts.
     
    01-31-2008, 06:42 AM
  #23
Trained
Oh man! Here we go again! Im very disappointed that there are people here who are so impatient that they are willing to risk their horses soundness for the sake of a few jumps between this and the horse racing thread I really am stunned.

Ok, a horse may seem to enjoy jumping but does the horse have the faculties to know that what they are doing could be harmful to them?? No!! Its up to us as thinking people to make these decisions for them. A horse would not naturally jump in the wild...especially not grand prix height and I know we arent talking that but it comes down to logic. Logic states that a horse is subjected to huge amounts of strain even when they are "old enough" for jumping. Why, oh why would we do it before their joints are even in a position to remotely handle it???

I can't put into words without blowing my top just how angry it makes me that many people are more than happy to jump their horses before they are sound enough to do so. Think of your horses. They love you and will do anything for you but why take advantage of that? They do their best for you so why not do the best thing for you horse? Its been something I've heard my entire life. People from all around my country and from many others agree on age and jumping. Who is anybody else to question it?

Anyways, before I go on so much that I find myself in trouble im going to leave it there. All I ask is that people start thinking about what their horses NEED rather than what YOU want
     
    01-31-2008, 10:05 AM
  #24
Trained
My horse is 4 years old and over the summer I introduced ground poles and baby cross rails. I would first hand walk her over it so she got a feel for it and basically knew what it was. Before I jumped her while I was riding, I'd play with her in the ring and have a jump set up and make it part of our play time, just so she would associate that with having fun.

You wouldn't take a child and tell tell him/her to go jump over those hurdles. You have to teach the child what to do, how to get the approach and how to land. And even then it will take a couple of months (i'm not sure on the time frame) and we have to use that same thing for young horses. Yes horses can jump at a young age, but they aren't ready for it. They have to be mature and mentally ready to learn how to jump. If you rush into it, you could ruin a horse, not saying all horses started young are going to be ruined. I do remember reading on here that someone had bought a horse that rushes at jumps. I forgot the details and stuff, but I believe someone said it was because the horse wasn't introduced to jumps properly and the horse just wanted to get it over with.

By having a horse, you are making a lifetime commitment to them. Don't jeopardize their soundness just so you could join the "My horse is 4 years old and jumping 4'" club. When they are ready to jump, you'll know and you'll have a blast with them.
     
    01-31-2008, 10:49 AM
  #25
Showing
*wipes away tear of pride* yay! I'm so glad Appylover and jazzyrider agree have some sense in them! They took the thoughts out of my head and put them on paper.
I could be a good human example: I loved hurlding as a kid, and pushed myself higher and higher... while my joints were still weak. I didn't think anything of it then, but now (and I'm not old by any means!) I feel it. My knees and ankles are weak because I was jumping too high too young. Sure, I could do it, but was it smart to do so? Probably not.
I see horses the same way. If we push them too far... injury is inevitable. Like I said, you might not notice it right away, because young horses seem to bounce back from injury very quickly, but you're writing off their sound older years.
Sure they can do it, but so what? It doesn't mean their joints are ready to! And are they mentally ready? NO! Do you think it's coincidence that most Grand Prix horses are in their early teens? No. If you listen to announcers on T.V. When they introduce a 9 year old to the ring they say "Now here's a youngun'! This horse is just starting its Grand Prix career." There's a good reason for that.
     
    01-31-2008, 11:33 AM
  #26
Trained
JustDressageit, I know exactly what you mean! A couple of months ago there was this grand prix thing on TV and of course, I told my boyfriend I HAD to watch it! Lol Well almost all of the horses were in double digits, maybe there was a 9 year old in there. And you could see the difference between the 9 year old and 12 year old horses. The older ones just seemed to know exactly what to do, and didn't seem to care that they were on TV, in a huge area with hundreds of people around them.

Not to mention if you start jumping a 4 year old 4' right away, do you think by the time its 9, 10, 11 or older that it will be able to jump those grand prix jumps? I'm going to say no.

And I was looking at another horse to buy, to lease to someone to help make some money, well there were like 10 year old horses that could only be lightly ridden, even though it had competed with jumps (i want to say hunter, but i'm having a brain fart)
     
    01-31-2008, 02:25 PM
  #27
Weanling
A golden star for appylover & jazzy! Haha, golden star?...
Anyway, I don't even like free jumping at a young age.
     
    01-31-2008, 02:59 PM
  #28
Trained
Lol yay I have a golden star!

I think free jumping young horses is just a way for people to be like "look at my young horse. He can jump so high" What is the point of that? I don't know, I think you have to give horses time to be what they are before you start asking them to work for you.
     
    01-31-2008, 03:04 PM
  #29
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by appylover31803
I think free jumping young horses is just a way for people to be like "look at my young horse. He can jump so high" What is the point of that? I don't know, I think you have to give horses time to be what they are before you start asking them to work for you.
YES YES YES! Sorry, but I totally agree with you.
     
    01-31-2008, 03:10 PM
  #30
Trained
Don't be sorry Cheval.

Where I board my horse they have an indoor ring, so you can ride all year, but I have ridden her twice all winter. I'm giving her the winter off and letting her chill and relax. Other people are there everyday riding for a while (and even though they aren't jumping, they don't really seem to let the horse rest)

The funny thing is, there is such a huge difference between how my horse acts around me, and the other horses who are worked act around their owners (one horse refuses to let his owner into his stall, especially around feeding time, and there I am talking to my horse, petting her, grooming her in her stall while she's eating)
     

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