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what age can you start riding a horse?

This is a discussion on what age can you start riding a horse? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What age can kids start riding horse
  • What age can children start horse riding

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    01-18-2012, 01:23 PM
Originally Posted by rob    
i can mature him physically with muscle and every step in any direction that I ask of him without a battle just matures him mentally.
You're right about being able to increase a young horse's fitness and being able to help direct their mental maturity to an extent. However, there is nothing you can do about the maturity of joints. In fact, a person could conceivably argue that you (general you) could be stressing the bones/joints even more by subjecting them to a greater muscle mass/force than they are able to withstand due to their maturity.

Just like with kids or puppies or any other animal out there. You can have a 7 yr old that is mentally and physically (muscularly/motor skills) mature for his/her age, but they still aren't the equivalent of an adult in terms of structural or mental soundness.
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    01-18-2012, 01:26 PM
I agree with one word you said,patience,and if you have that mixed with alot of experience and knowing how to read a horse,you wont blow him up.everyone has their opinions,im usually showing my 3 and 4 yr olds that im training and I don't have a problem with it.
    01-18-2012, 01:27 PM
It depends on the horse.

Personally, I would rather start a horse at two and get them at least walking and trotting solidly (maybe some cantering) and give them that winter off before heading back into training at three. I started my coming six year old at two on the dot and he's in fine shape.
Yeti likes this.
    01-18-2012, 01:34 PM
Mn,a kid doesnt stop growing until they about 18.so lets let him sit on the couch and watch tv until then so he doesnt strain a joint.after 18 tell him he has to go welding outside in 100 degree weather.please let me know what he tells you.
    01-18-2012, 01:35 PM
Thank you britt.
    01-18-2012, 01:39 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Originally Posted by rob    
mn,a kid doesnt stop growing until they about 18.so lets let him sit on the couch and watch tv until then so he doesnt strain a joint.after 18 tell him he has to go welding outside in 100 degree weather.please let me know what he tells you.
Wrong. A kid's joints don't fuse completely until about 18, they're generally mostly done a 16. Just like with the horses, kids are slowly asked to take on small amounts of work as they mature, starting at a young age learning to say their ABCs, progressing to Algebra as young teenagers, and being expected to act like an adult once they are an adult. At 18.

As for physical work, I'd rather not even start on that as I have my own complete idea of what should and shouldn't be done by children. Just look at how often kids hurt themselves in football and running and gymnastics and soccer. You can't possibly tell me that it wouldn't be better for them to finish growing before trying anything strenuous like that.
    01-18-2012, 01:41 PM
Rob, I think you are missing the point we are trying to make, no one is saying do nothing with youngsters, but like your 18 year old..

He wants to be a weight lifter, but he can't lift real weights until he is 18 and grown, so no he doesn't sit on the couch, he does age appropriate exercise to prepare his mind and body for his chosen discipline.
    01-18-2012, 01:46 PM
That's not at all what I said Rob and I think if you re-read you'd realize that.

To clarify I will say that you CAN have a child/horse/animal that is mature for his/her age. However, you CANNOT push any animal to full maturity at a faster rate than they are biologically programmed to do. No matter what conditioning program you use.

Do you let any animal rot in a stall or on a couch until they are fully mature? No, of course not, that leads to as many problems as asking an immature body/mind to do too much before it is ready.

What you should do is help the body and mind be as mentally/physically fit as is possible for their age. You wouldn't ask a 7 year old child to do the task of a 15 yr, but you would begin laying the groundwork in order to give them the tools necessary for the task. Same thing with young horses, you should be laying the groundwork to enable the horse to complete the tasks that will be asked of it when it is mature. But the basic timeline for maturity isn't negotiable.
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    01-18-2012, 01:51 PM
I just have one question to all of this...why do you all say to give the horse the winter off?
    01-18-2012, 01:53 PM
Endiku,even adults get hurt,thats just life.and gh,if the vet says his knees are closed and he is sound,then who are we to determine at what age a horse should be started.like I said earlier,we all have our own opinions on this topic.

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