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Saddle Breaking horses REALLY young........

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  • Reining futurity soundness
  • Soundness futurity horses reining

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    06-28-2012, 11:33 PM
  #101
Trained
Again I under stand what you are saying and I think it is a differance between English type mind set and western type mind set. I say this b/c with reiners for example out 3yo futurity horses are running the same paterns and being scored the same way that the 4,5 and 6yo derby horses are, and they are doing the same as all the other horses regardless of age. So I am just trying to figure out why a horse would have a problem doing a lower level test and then keep going into a higher level test. Even though the maneuvers in reining do not have all the maneuvers has at the higher level of Dressage they do have all the same things you discribed. Change of pase lead changes and then you add in the stops turns and rollbacks and such. Not to mention what the horse dose at home to refine these maneuvers for the show. So again I am just trying to figure out why our futurity horses are still showing when they get to the FEI level and the younger dressage horses are not.
     
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    06-29-2012, 12:11 AM
  #102
Trained
I think it is very much to do with how they are bred - as I said before. The young horse class horses, tend to be bred with enormous, flashy paces in mind with a back that doesn't swing. The horses bred to be superstars in the higher levels, are bred for good paces yes, but we also want swing and adjustability within the paces - not just going hell for leather in a big flashy trot constantly.

Also, the nature of dressage training. It is something that is developed over many, many years. A dressage horse or indeed a warmblood, is not considered mature until at least 6-7 years of age. We want to work them gymnastically, developing each step of the training scale. Perfecting each step before progressing. It is very much a sport for the perfectionist. To develop enough strength and balance for a horse to perform a movement such as the piaffe, or passage - and perform it true to its description - lowered croup, hocks closer to the ground, low stepping hind legs, high stepping fore legs, remaining on the spot or very slight forward movement etc etc etc takes years upon years of careful and correct training.
I believe the warmbloods are also less 'hardy' than your quarter horses - they seem to break down much more easily! As much as I hate to admit it, but warmbloods are not bred with hardiness and soundness in mind. Hence, we take things very, very, very cautiously to keep a horse sound at a high level into its teenage years.
     
    06-29-2012, 12:45 AM
  #103
Yearling
I bought my moms horse last year and the guy said he turned three last month and broke him then and a month later he's home with me. He seems a little young yet.. to me he looks 3 to 3 and a half.. right now a year after we got him. So they could have broke him at 2 and then we got him I am going to have my horse dentist to look at his teeth to tell me but his teeth are really little yet and his ankles fused this winter and he still looks young.. I've been barrel racing him for 10 months now.. and working on jumping..
     
    06-29-2012, 10:12 AM
  #104
Started
Some soundness issues may have been caused by breeding/stabling in race horses, but the work they are asked to do under saddle at a young age is crazy. On the farm we have
Miss - arthritis in her back and front end, started at 2 on the track
Cat - big boned gelding, started at 2, knees messed up by 3
Raz - arthrisis, severe mental issues from over stabling at 7
S - Had to be put down at 8, arthritis, navicular

But if you want some western examples:
Digger - Western pleasure, started at 2, hocks ruined by 4
Silver - Started for cutting at 2, severe arthris in the front end, hock issues, he's 11
Barn that trains for reigning and cattle work periodically runs 9-10 head throught the auction as "broke but sore". Started at 2, sold to the meat buyer so arthritic they could hardly walk at 5-7..

I'm not saying starting young is the only cause, but I think it definitely contributes alot to young break downs. Young human athletes have similar problems when they compete too hard too young.
     
    06-29-2012, 10:20 AM
  #105
Trained
For every 1 of those I can give you 1 started at 2 that are now in their teen and20s and are fine. Again how are those horses started? That and other factors including maintenance goes into a lot of it.
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    06-29-2012, 11:45 AM
  #106
Started
I also think there's a big difference between backing v. Starting v. Riding. I backed my QH at 16 mos. But he's not yet started, nor ridden. I backed my WB at 2.5 yrs, but he too is not yet started nor really ridden as his joints are very open still.

Backing to accept weight (lean across, eventually sit on, maybe walk a few steps, get off) once every few months (as in a total 3-4x per YEAR) I have no issue with and I find with a more temperamental or opinionated horse it can definitely be beneficial to get them used to the concept of being sat on while they are still younger. Fully STARTING (training to accept aids) takes far more time imo than 3-4x of sitting on the horse for under 3 minutes a year, and is something I feel should be reserved based on individual horse, their development, and maturity with a specific focus on their joints and growth plates.
     
    06-29-2012, 03:33 PM
  #107
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark    
Some soundness issues may have been caused by breeding/stabling in race horses, but the work they are asked to do under saddle at a young age is crazy. On the farm we have
Miss - arthritis in her back and front end, started at 2 on the track
Cat - big boned gelding, started at 2, knees messed up by 3
Raz - arthrisis, severe mental issues from over stabling at 7
S - Had to be put down at 8, arthritis, navicular

But if you want some western examples:
Digger - Western pleasure, started at 2, hocks ruined by 4
Silver - Started for cutting at 2, severe arthris in the front end, hock issues, he's 11
Barn that trains for reigning and cattle work periodically runs 9-10 head throught the auction as "broke but sore". Started at 2, sold to the meat buyer so arthritic they could hardly walk at 5-7..

I'm not saying starting young is the only cause, but I think it definitely contributes alot to young break downs. Young human athletes have similar problems when they compete too hard too young.
In all of these examples....sounds to me like commonsense was NOT used. I could go through one of the barns I board at and do the same thing, for horses that weren't EVEN shown, started later, and the owners haven't done proper horse maintenance on their horses...because all horses ARE athletes and need maintenance.
     
    06-29-2012, 04:04 PM
  #108
Yearling
What does it mean to "back" a young horse?
     
    06-29-2012, 05:30 PM
  #109
Weanling

I think this is really sad.
     
    06-29-2012, 07:36 PM
  #110
Yearling
We rescued an appendix filly who is supposed to be 2-3 yo and she grew 4 inches in 3 months this spring. We are not riding her, just working on ground work and ponying. We have placed empty packsaddles and saddles on her, but that is it so far, and as long as she is still growing, we plan on waiting another year at least. And its tempting because she is such a SWEETIE!
     

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