Hi! I would like to know when it is safe to start free jumping a young horse. I know that you can't jump under saddle until at least 4. But what about free jumping to see how the horse will do without a rider? My horse is only 18 months, so I'm in absolutely no rush, as he has still got a LOT of growing up to do! So far he has only walked over several poles during a 4-H meeting because we were practicing trail, and I think a horse is never too young to learn how to walk over a bridge, poles, etc. I was only leading him over them, and he really seemed to enjoy it and started having some fun once he got the hang of it (and discovered the poles weren't going to eat him... ahh, silly boy!).
I'm not planning on doing any sort of jumping with him anytime soon. I would just like to know when it is safe to let him try to take a crossrail or two so I can see what he's like over fences.