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Too young to jump?

This is a discussion on Too young to jump? within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How young is too young to jump a horse in training
  • Horses. what age is too young to jump

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    02-22-2012, 07:03 PM
  #21
Trained
MM I thought the neck got done at 5.5-6yrs ? Where do you get your information ??
     
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    02-23-2012, 04:40 PM
  #22
Yearling
What about jumping her on the ground and introducing her to trot poles caveletti on board. As part of Ella's ground work before I get on she's popped over all sorts of scary jumps that are still small 2 stndatd tires high maybe 45cm
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    02-23-2012, 08:42 PM
  #23
Yearling
The upper level eventer that I used to work for was competing a 4yr old sales horse at Training level, & would have moved her up to Prelim if it was legal. She was schooling her over 4ft fences. Did I agree with this? No. But that doesn't mean people don't push their horses too far at a young age in order to turn a profit faster.

And actually, YEH competitions are allowed to max out at 3'3" for 4yr olds & 3'7" for 5yr olds.
     
    02-23-2012, 08:46 PM
  #24
Showing
Just take your time and you should be fine. Jumping is very stressful on joints, and the caps don't fuse until they fully mature around 5-6 years old.
     
    02-24-2012, 04:27 PM
  #25
Weanling
You should be fine because you are going to need several months of trotting (not cantering) ground poles, cavelettis and cross rails before you start raising the jumps anyway. This isn't because the horse is 4, but because he needs to learn how to use his feet, how to rock back and push off the ground and how to think independently about jumping so that he isn't totally dependent on you to tell him when to leave the ground. Once you have that, you'll be able to start gradually raising the bars, adding in small oxers and cantering jumps pretty quickly. By the time you are there though, your horse probably will be rising 5.

And as others have said, limit jump work to a couple times a week at most, although you can do ground poles anytime because he shouldn't "jump" them - although he might at first :p. Ground poles are nice because they have to pay attention to what they are doing to with their feet without having to stress the legs.

I wouldn't put boots on his legs when you start jumping him. You WANT him to feel the pole when he hits it - that is how part of how he will learn to tuck his legs up. And the "strain" on his legs will be minimal bc the jumps will be low. Once you start moving up and get to 3 feet or more or solid x-country-type jumps, that is when the boots should come out. My instructor doesn't boot her main jumper until the jumps hit near 4 ft.
     
    02-24-2012, 04:35 PM
  #26
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quixotic    
The upper level eventer that I used to work for was competing a 4yr old sales horse at Training level, & would have moved her up to Prelim if it was legal. She was schooling her over 4ft fences. Did I agree with this? No. But that doesn't mean people don't push their horses too far at a young age in order to turn a profit faster.

And actually, YEH competitions are allowed to max out at 3'3" for 4yr olds & 3'7" for 5yr olds.
I'd be interested to know if she would compete her own horse at that height at that age. WHen I was looking in FL for a new horse, I saw tons of sale ads advertising 4yo jumping 4ft. The trainers get their babies jumping high fast so they can get a quicker sale for more money - "Hey, this 4yo is so talented that he is jumping 4 ft already!" Doesn't matter if the horse breaks down or is on joint injections by 13 because they already got their money.
     
    02-24-2012, 04:38 PM
  #27
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoohLP    
I wouldn't put boots on his legs when you start jumping him. You WANT him to feel the pole when he hits it - that is how part of how he will learn to tuck his legs up. And the "strain" on his legs will be minimal bc the jumps will be low. Once you start moving up and get to 3 feet or more or solid x-country-type jumps, that is when the boots should come out. My instructor doesn't boot her main jumper until the jumps hit near 4 ft.
i totally agree ! Most people want to have boots on all the time, but starting with out will teach them to be more careful.
     
    02-24-2012, 04:48 PM
  #28
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoohLP    
I'd be interested to know if she would compete her own horse at that height at that age. WHen I was looking in FL for a new horse, I saw tons of sale ads advertising 4yo jumping 4ft. The trainers get their babies jumping high fast so they can get a quicker sale for more money - "Hey, this 4yo is so talented that he is jumping 4 ft already!" Doesn't matter if the horse breaks down or is on joint injections by 13 because they already got their money.
Actually, I guarantee that she would, considering that she started competing her 3* horse (who she has full ownership of) at the Advanced level when he was 6.
     
    02-24-2012, 04:51 PM
  #29
Trained
Thats crazy ! My mare is 6 and she's definitely not ready to go advanced !!!
     
    02-24-2012, 04:58 PM
  #30
Yearling
I know! It was weird for me when I was there, because we both had 7yr old horses, but mine was schooling Beginner Novice while hers was competing in 2* events!
     

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