06-30-2011, 07:44 PM
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I would avoid it; why do something that may potentially damage the joints when you can wait a few years? Why risk it? Why subject their joints to stress that is 100% avoidable? Sure, foals run and jump and play - but if you put them in a situation where they must jump, you're subjecting the joints to unnecessary stress; they're also very awkward, unbalanced and don't know where their feet are all the time, so the chances of injury I would imagine are substantially greater than a horse that has had time to learn balance and coordination. How many times do you see foals do stupid stuff in the pasture because they've forgotten a foot, or a leg seemingly appeared out of nowhere? Lots.
More to the point: what's the point in jumping them? You can't tell a darn thing about future jumping ability from a foal - they're so light and leggy that almost any foal that doesn't trip over its own feet will look alright popping over a fence.
It's one of my (seemingly many) pet peeves.