I have no desire these days to push futurity horses. I started out that way and have the arthritic mare in my pasture to show for it, winning isn't that important to me anymore. I like to start mine as long 2's, slow & easy walk/a bit of trot through fall/winter and then start into more work as 3's in the spring. By the time spring rolls around they've got a great neck rein, understand leg pressure and have control over every part independently. Makes for an easy finish as 3 yo's.
Ive personally known several 6-8 year olds that were put down because of degenerative joint issues that vets believed were most likely from heavy use/training as young hroses. These horses competed in futurities at 2 years old and were ridden pretty hard as yearlings. I'd never do it to mine personally.
I breed mares at 3 and break at 4. My stud colts don't start under saddle until a minimum of three years old.
Ugh, I couldn't imagine breaking a long yearling... there's so much training you can do with them at that stage that DOESN'T involve riding that will make their training just as good, if not better, once they mature. =/ I just don't see the point in breaking them down like that.
That is your oppinion. But professionals have more experiance than us. If a horse is matured,which they can be with a very sertain amount of protein and excercize,then they can be rode lightly.if there knees are closed on the inside they are fne some horses mature at 4 some at 1. They know what they are doing,especially if alot of them r doing it.