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at what age can you back a horse?

This is a discussion on at what age can you back a horse? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        11-28-2012, 07:06 AM
      #31
    Green Broke
    Why the rush, OP?
         
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        11-28-2012, 11:53 AM
      #32
    Weanling
    Depends on the horse and breed.
    I've had Arabians and started them out at four. "Small stature"
    Recently got a Reg Appy with Thoroughbred blood in the lines who was trained at two..He's a big horse...
    I hear that when you press on their backs if it gives they are not ready and if it don't give then they are ready.. (Old timer tips)
    Everyone has their own opinion on this with some truth to each each one..You have to decide on if yours is ready or not.
         
        11-28-2012, 02:05 PM
      #33
    Trained
    The thing people think about with two year olds is that they are going to be ridden hard and broken down....Futurity and derby people breed that aspect.

    As far as I'm concerned, my horses get started at two, and if I feel they need time off or weren't ready they'll get turned back out. If they do great, I don't push but I keep poking away at them. If they are ready to be shown in the derby/futurities, fantastic, we'll do it. If not? Oh well, they can show in the older crowd. Whatever. However, you get some people who just ride and ride and push their babies hard to meet the timeframe that end up breaking their horse down. I don't believe in that.
    Cherie, Army wife and TheAQHAGirl like this.
         
        11-28-2012, 07:36 PM
      #34
    Yearling
    Yeah guys don't get me wrong. I don't plan on riding him hard or anything. All I was wanting to do is just ride him for a few mintutes everyday at a walk (without a saddle. I plan on riding him bareback) and teach him the cues. Summer is about 6 months away who knows, he might mature by that time.
    Is it safe for him to carry very light weight kids, now?
         
        11-28-2012, 07:57 PM
      #35
    Started
    Horse- what's the rush? No I wouldn't put a child on an untrained horse. There are so many very important skills a horse can/should learn on the ground, and so many more that are just fun to do on the ground. Why rush into riding them? They only have a few years to just 'be a horse' before we start riding them. Let him enjoy life the way it is, if you're eager to ride can you lease another horse that's ridable for now?

    Personally I wouldn't back that horse for at least another year - he looks to me like he needs the time physically.

    I have a gypsy cross colt who's 2 1/2 now, and I wouldn't think of backing him for at least 8+ more months.
    This is him flying around his paddock:


    He's 2 1/2 but as you can see from the pic he's not nearly mature enough to carry a rider (physically) even me at just over 110pounds. His withers are chin level with me, but he's not developed enough to carry a rider. I don't think it will cause much permanent damage for a young horse to carry a light rider, but it's just not worth it IMO. Why risk it?
    Master his ground work, once that's mastered teach him tricks or other skills. Teach him all his ground work using verbal cues until you don't need anything physical anymore. Let him play and be a horse, there's no need to rush backing a horse.
    EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
         
        11-28-2012, 10:54 PM
      #36
    Yearling
    This is my mare she is turning 2 in the spring and I am going to saddle break her first and not get on her until late summer or fall. This is 2 months ago and she has grown about 1" since then

         
        11-30-2012, 06:38 AM
      #37
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EvilHorseOfDoom    
    Yup, commonly held belief but incorrect. I think people might have got confused at some point between physical and mental maturity - certainly some breeds and some horses are mentally ready for training sooner than others, but their joints all fuse at roughly the same time.

    I'd not back a horse til it was 3 myself, there's so much time in a horse's life it makes little sense to rush them. And there's heaps else that you can perfect on the ground that so many horses don't have down pat (to their owner's frustration) like loading, spending time away from the herd, ground tying, picking up feet politely and other stuff that those of us who have adult horses would have loved their original trainer to put in before they weighed 550kg...
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Man! I am so glad someone else knows this! I was beginning to think I was the crazy lady who threw out random info on ppls thread!!! Lol I have to say, the ones that worry me most these days, are the hocks. Apparently they take a while to completely close (can't remember the exact age.) Makes me nervous b/c my good ol trusty mare just had a considerable amount of time off due to a hock injury. She was started at 4!! So makes me really wonder how some of these young horses are going to be sound in 5 years...NOT talking about sorrelhorse! My mare is almost 13, this is the first and only isolated incident of lameness for her.
         
        11-30-2012, 09:38 AM
      #38
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Army wife    
    Man! I am so glad someone else knows this! I was beginning to think I was the crazy lady who threw out random info on ppls thread!!! Lol I have to say, the ones that worry me most these days, are the hocks. Apparently they take a while to completely close (can't remember the exact age.) Makes me nervous b/c my good ol trusty mare just had a considerable amount of time off due to a hock injury. She was started at 4!! So makes me really wonder how some of these young horses are going to be sound in 5 years...NOT talking about sorrelhorse! My mare is almost 13, this is the first and only isolated incident of lameness for her.
    Me too - hooray!! I read a fantastic article on the topic that was shared by someone in the Classical Riding Club (UK) that discussed joint development - they'd studied a heap of different breeds of youngstock and showed the breed had no influence on joint development rates.

    IIRC hocks aren't developed fully until the horse is 4.

    Hope your mare's OK - what did she do to it?
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        11-30-2012, 10:21 AM
      #39
    Weanling
    Start with light riding and basics at around 2, but lots of working with and desensitizing before that, then at 3, start doing serious training. Simple as that!:)
         
        12-01-2012, 02:24 AM
      #40
    Yearling
    She got hung up in panels. On the ground, in the rain most the night. She almost didn't make it. I think I would've died if she had died. That's how close we are.
         

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