The New "In" Thing--Riding Yearlings (rant) - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 48 Old 01-17-2013, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I found that I had a hard time explaining to people why I wasn't riding my guy, when he was a baby. My guy is a 4 1/2 year old, 19hh, 2,000 pound Percheron, who has only grown an inch since he was 3 years old. YAY! So he was a big baby!

I have been riding him for about 6 months now. I try to explain how important it is to let a horse grow, develop mentally and physically, and get muscles. How a big horse doesn't mean that he is mature, just big. People just see a huge horse and assume he is "strong."
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post #42 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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A guy offered to break my yearling over a weekend and my parents almost said yes to it! Honestly, what is going on in their minds!

At the same place, the woman was riding a yearling or 2 year old stallion, on trails and had been riding it hard on a regular basis.

My yearling, at 1 1/2 I sat on his back. At 2, I sat on his back and asked for a walk. At 3, I sit on him bareback or saddled and encourage and speed movement.
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post #43 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 12:54 PM
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I started my mare at 20 months.
She's 6 now, and still kicking.

Even tho she was started at 20 months, I took my time with her. Now, at age 6 I am just starting to compete on her.
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post #44 of 48 Old 01-25-2013, 01:36 AM
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No one should be riding yearlings! They are not yet mentally or physically sound for riding. In my opinion, it's just plain cruel.
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post #45 of 48 Old 01-25-2013, 02:30 AM
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A girl i ride with started her horse at one and a half it just baffles me, the horse is an absolute brat now, and bucks everytime she is asked to canter at the age of three and they will be jumping her at early four, not even checking with the vet oto make sure her knees are ready first
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post #46 of 48 Old 01-25-2013, 11:26 AM
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The mental stress as well as the physical stress is to much for that age. Even if the poor young things manage to hold up physically, their minds are a wreck.
Once again I am proud to ride a breed that is not allowed in the show ring under saddle until at least 4 years old. They cannot compete in adult classes until age 5.
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post #47 of 48 Old 01-25-2013, 11:31 AM
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Quicker they're broke, the quicker they sell. It's obvious the yearlings being ridden are either A) For racing or B) Profit... Both of which the owner could care less that the horse breaks down at the young age of 9 (if that).

My filly I broke in I put a Wintec AP on her back for a bit just for her to "feel" it when she was a yearling, but didn't do anything more. The closest she got to "wearing" a saddle was a girl strapped around her girth by another leather. She was ridiculously broke to ride on her first ride at 4 years of age (I had her at 11 months old). Just because I did nothing but ground work with her. 'Course she was the first horse I broke and forgot they don't come with auto-pilot steering lol!

I can't stand people breaking in two year olds and breaking in a yearling is just cruel.

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post #48 of 48 Old 01-25-2013, 02:15 PM
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Actually, breaking yearlings is nothing new. Easy Jet ran his first race as a yearling, the Christmas Futurity at Blue Ribbon Downs in 1968. (not exactly recently) and he won the race.

He was put down in 1993 after he foundered late in life. He was 26. He retired from the race track completely sound after racing 38 times. Didn't exactly hurt him did it?

So, I guess there are no hard fast rules and I guess that it can NOT be said that early riding always leads to early lameness. It has not been my experience anyway. I have not had any problems with horses started at 24 months or even a month or two earlier than that. They have trained just a well and stayed just as sound. While it sounds like it makes sense, it is just not proven out in the real world that waiting is better. It mainly costs more money and takes more time as you have to maintain and feed a horse for years longer before you find out if they are going to work for the purpose they were bred and raised for. I personally think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages of waiting until a horse is 3 or 4 years old to even start.

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