Originally Posted by x Branded Heart x
Depending on the size of horse/build and when they have finished growing. I generally do all of the ground work training (leading and such) at ages two and three, have them being ridden in the fourth year and started jumping in the fifth or sixth year once they are done/almost done growing. If they are going to be big, I wait until at LEAST six as they tend to take longer to grow fully. Like I said, they are usually not done growing until 6. Yes, back problems would be the main issue after 3 starting them working hard, but I never said their joints didn't close until six. I just said you should wait until they are at least 6. Especially considering he raced, she will want to get him trained well on the flat before starting him over fences, as all horses should be. And in this case ^ I said *I* generally do all of the ground.... etc. Using my method as an example. But not saying it is the only way. The only thing I really suggested was that she waits until their joints close (for any horse).
You don't want them to start jumping until their joints close though or you will have to deal with joint problems in the future. And make sure they have all of their flat work down pat before starting!!
And there is no problem with doing poles and small crossrails. But like I said *I* prefer to use that way, rather than start them at an earlier age.