How young is too young to start jumping/pole work?
I have two rising three year old ponies (13hh) arriving tomorrow for me to break in/train. I am wanting to give them a basic jumping start as well but to me three seems too young to start jumping, even over little jumps on the lunge.
However, I have seen photos of horses as young as 18 months free jumping over jumps around 60cm high!! Surely this is not right? Also TBs start racing at two so presumably they are broken to saddle around one and a half at least and the OTT TBs I have seen have not had joint problems.
On the other hand, a friend told my to wait until the horse is 7 before jumping, I don't really want to keep these ponies for 4 more years!!
Surely 7 is extreme?
5yr old horses compete in show jumping over huge fences, this doesn't seem to hurt them either, is it ok to jump little jumps if they are well booted/bandaged up and are on a good surface?
What about lungeing over poles?
Thankyou for your thoughts.