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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
  • Jumping four year old horses
  • Is 4 too young for a tb to start to jump

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    02-24-2012, 05:03 PM
  #31
Teen Forum Moderator
I would say that its fine to jump her, but, like everyone else mentioned- stay around 18". Now is the time to teach her not to rush, to stay balanced, how to approach a jump and land correctly, etc. Give her complicated courses with difficult turns or striding as she gets further into her training, and really make her THINK. You can do this all at far under two feet.

A friend of mine has a 14 year old horse who was started as a two year old, started jumping as a early 3 year old, and was already competing at four in 2 foot classes. He is now so artheritic that he's always in pain dispite the acupucture, chiro, and massage therapy that they constantly invest in, and he can no longer be ridden for more than a hack. He was pushed too far too fast and he has paid for it with his health. Now she has a barely four year old little mare that she's doing the same thing with. BEAUTIFUL talented little pony, but she's already being ridden every single day for over an hour, jumping 4-5 days a week at 2 ft to 2'6. Already they're having to have chiropractors out for her. I expect the same fate for the little mare as the gelding.

IMO, a horse is too good of an animal to waste all at once. If you build them up and let them develop naturally, they'll be much better of. Another friend of mine has a 24 year old who is still pretty much in his prime, jumping 3'4 consistently without pain. She didnt jump him until he was four at all, and even then she went slow and allowed him to develope on his own. He didnt jump 3 foot until he was a mid to late 5 year old.
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    02-24-2012, 05:17 PM
  #32
Super Moderator
I start horses over fences at four. I will start with x-rails and small grids and won't go much over 2'6. And, I only jump once or twice a week.

Yes, it is legal to event through training at four and I have had a couple of novice level horses at four. I won't go above novice until five. That's just a personal decision.

Let's face it, a horse will put more stress on their legs on a daily basis in turnout.

As for boots, you need to understand that boots don't offer much (if any) actual "support" of the structures in the leg. They offer protection for hitting poles. I use very light poles at first and usually only use light boots.
     
    02-24-2012, 10:25 PM
  #33
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
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.
I believe we are getting our info from the same source, because I really did think I was right when I said something about the joints ;)

I know we are looking to get a 4-yr old, so I've been stalking this thread well ... It all makes good sense to me. I kind of have a question piggybacked onto this question - Do you all think it would be alright to be cantering pole-courses at 4? Obviously after much groundwork, flat, trotting, etc., but when we reach that point I was thinking we would canter groundpoles, with a full course (Not like outside line, diagonal, outside line, I mean full courses with lines, singles, turns, all that good stuff.) and then just raise the jumps very slowly as the horse gets older and more skilled. We are thinking a TB by the way. The progression to be like - poles, to crossrailes, to 18' to 1'6 to 2', all going very slowly. I don't want to make joint problems! We have a 23 yr old that was started in barrels too early and now has arthritis in his back legs :( I know he's kinda up there, but it could have been avoided... anyway, I was thinking only jumping once or twice a week, with flat in between. Maybe do the poles every other workout, and maybe pop over a crossrail line once a week? Do you all think this could work out and the horse we get still not be worked too fast?

Sorry for the huge question! I just don't want to mess this up, as this will be the youngest horse I've had. I've always gotten 5+. Thanks!
     
    02-25-2012, 07:44 AM
  #34
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by xJumperx    
I believe we are getting our info from the same source, because I really did think I was right when I said something about the joints ;)

I know we are looking to get a 4-yr old, so I've been stalking this thread well ... It all makes good sense to me. I kind of have a question piggybacked onto this question - Do you all think it would be alright to be cantering pole-courses at 4? Obviously after much groundwork, flat, trotting, etc., but when we reach that point I was thinking we would canter groundpoles, with a full course (Not like outside line, diagonal, outside line, I mean full courses with lines, singles, turns, all that good stuff.) and then just raise the jumps very slowly as the horse gets older and more skilled. We are thinking a TB by the way. The progression to be like - poles, to crossrailes, to 18' to 1'6 to 2', all going very slowly. I don't want to make joint problems! We have a 23 yr old that was started in barrels too early and now has arthritis in his back legs :( I know he's kinda up there, but it could have been avoided... anyway, I was thinking only jumping once or twice a week, with flat in between. Maybe do the poles every other workout, and maybe pop over a crossrail line once a week? Do you all think this could work out and the horse we get still not be worked too fast?

Sorry for the huge question! I just don't want to mess this up, as this will be the youngest horse I've had. I've always gotten 5+. Thanks!
that should be fine to do with a 4yo. I had my 4yo jumping 2'6" lightly by the end of her 4yo year. Its not really surprising that a horse would have some arthritic changes at 23 !

Also, 18" and 1'6" are the same height....=P
     
    02-25-2012, 12:18 PM
  #35
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
that should be fine to do with a 4yo. I had my 4yo jumping 2'6" lightly by the end of her 4yo year. Its not really surprising that a horse would have some arthritic changes at 23 !

Also, 18" and 1'6" are the same height....=P
Yay! Thank you! I know it's pretty normal, but Oatsy is really active and acts like he is 2 half the time, but he can't trot :/ He goes from walk to canter, and gallop, but it hurts his joints to bad to trot. I just feel like it could have been avoided had he not been started hard early :/

Are you serious about the heights? I'm so stupid XP Shows that I can't use a measuring tape... time to go redo the numbers on the standards...
     
    02-25-2012, 10:28 PM
  #36
Foal
I jumped my 4 year old. As long as you keep it 2ft. Or under they should be fine. (:
     

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