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3neighs 07-23-2008 10:43 AM

What age to start drafts?
I was planning on starting Luna in harness and under saddle next year as a two year old, but didn't think about the draft part of her. When are they done growing? Should I wait another year (until she's 3) or would her being a cross not matter so much?

Solon 07-23-2008 11:45 AM

Very light work and no riding at 2 and 3. Riding at 4. That's what my vet told me and what I did with my boy. He's a full draft.

Personally, I think people start most horses way too early.

Kirsti Arndt 07-23-2008 12:12 PM

i agree with Solon, just because they are big doesnt mean you wont do damage on a young spine and or joints- i just think it best to let the mind mature a bit too-

danastark 07-23-2008 01:46 PM

Lots of ground work and saddling up at 2, but no riding. Got on at 3 but didn't really ride much, mostly trail ride/hikes where I'd ride for a little, then get off and walk for a while until close to 4, now just trail rides but I'm planning on starting more serious riding soon if I can find an arena to work in. I've been told by my farrier that he will continue to grow until possibly 7 but that after 5 it's OK to do what you want to do with them.

Solon 07-23-2008 01:53 PM

They can grow til 8. Solon had his last growth spurt after he turned 7.

3neighs 07-23-2008 01:58 PM

Wow! Thank you, everyone, for saving me from making a huge mistake!

Erin_And_Jasper 07-23-2008 02:37 PM

my friend stated trail riding her drafty at 1 and a half. i dont agree with this and i told her but... she said she didnt want to deal with a big horse that bucks. she is 2 now and is an awesome trail horse. my 10 year old sister rides her.

Solon 07-23-2008 02:44 PM

Talk to your friend in a few years and see how well the horse is.

Riding at just over one? That's flat out irresponsible.

Kirsti Arndt 07-23-2008 03:07 PM

yup-sometimes those injuries do not show until later in age then the poor animal suffers. my friend has 21 rescued race horses and you should see the amount of damage done to spines, necks, joints from working them so young

Erin_And_Jasper 07-24-2008 12:48 PM

its aweful. her mom said she didnt care if the horses back got hurt. she didnt want to deal with a rearing drafty. the poor horse doesnt even longe

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