Saddle Breaking horses REALLY young........
Another thread brought this to mind, but instead of getting off-topic on someone elses thread I thought I would start my own.
There was an article in Western Horseman a little while back, which I don't have in front of me, but I think it might have been December 2011. Anyway, they were interviewing trainers on their thoughts on riding long yearlings. I mean actual yearlings that wouldn't turn two until the next spring. No one was flatly opposed to it. They all sort of said "if the horse is mature and you take it easy, yadda yadda, yadda."
It kind of makes me wonder, are they wrong in their thinking or is everyone on the internet wayyy too sensitive to the subject?
Now I certainly think riding long yearlings is risky and they are too young to really carry a rider. But how can that be so common in the stock horse industry if the horses are going crippled right and left? Same with race horses. I KNOW it is not in the horse's best interest to start them before they are two, and yet it happens pretty regularly. Are we all just too sensitive? Or are people really sacrificing soundness for show and racing careers? Is it really that bad?
I'm not trying to knock anybody. Heck, I've sat on my (almost) two year old a couple of times. Just sat there bareback for a few seconds while he was standing next to the fence.
I'm talking about folks saddle breaking horses in the fall of their yearling year. I had no idea that even happened. And if it did, I though it was a taboo subject, not something Western Horseman would have an article on in a positive light.
So that leaves me to ponder.......does it really do that much harm? Are these horrible people putting money before the horses? Or are we all overly sensitized here in Internet land?
On this forum the moment someone mentions they've ridden a 2 yr old the collective "we" jumps all over them. But here professionals are doing it as the norm, sometimes before they are even two years old. Thoughts? Did anyone else read the article?