Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
People are right... It's a touchy, very opinionated subject because think and train different ways all the time and there's really no right or wrong way if you always keep the best interest of the horse in mind.
That being said, this is my opinion on the whole situation.
Would I start riding her? Absolutely not.
Check her knees. I can guarantee that they are not closed.
Riding a young horse like that, especially an Arabian as they develop much later than other horses - some taking as long as five years old to finish developing completely - it puts a LOT of strain on their muscles and bones.
Their leg and back muscles are not fully developed, nor are the bones. By riding and starting a horse as young as 18 months to 2 years old put an enourmous amount of stress on their musclar and skeleton system and causes damage. The bones can get deformed, the muscles pulled and stretched so nothing is quite as it should be.
This is why at seven years old, you can see horse that look like they are twenty. Or you have a lame five year old reining or cutting horse. Too much stress put on them physically when they were too young.
I don't think there is anything wrong with saddling her, bridling her, doing some lunging, pony her on trail rides, all that sort of stuff.
But if she were my horse personally, I wouldn't ride her yet.
I've got a four year old that I'm just going to be starting this fall because her knees have finally just closed and everything is coming together for her.
The Arabian show circuit has the Arabian Futuries for the two year olds which are all halter classes because they don't expect them to be rode and broke as a two year old.
Lots of people do ride two years olds. Lots of people show two year olds.
I'm not one of them. I'm too worried about what the long term problems are. I keep my horses around for a long time and I don't want to ride a two year old to have a useless six year old, you know?
But that's not saying it will always happen.
You CAN ride her carefully, and you might never have any problems with her.
It's just not something I would do personally.
Use your best discretion, I suppose I would say.