Riding a Green Broke 3 Year Old?
I am going to look at a green broke, 3 year old Paint gelding tomorrow. The owner would like him to go to a home where he can be worked with daily. She says he is excellent in temperament and has even had her 8 year old son on him! Has never thrown a buck or anything, she says he literally only took her an hour to break!
However, I am wondering if 3 years old might be too young for me - as I would like a horse that I can ride 3-5 times a week with (though I usually only ride for 30 minutes to an hour at most). I realize that I'll be doing a ton of ground work with him especially in the beginning, but I obviously want to ride as well and am not sure whether or not he is too young for what I want. He sounds mentally ready to be ridden more often - but I'm not sure if he is physically ready. He looks like a sturdy little paint, though he is still growing. His legs look good and strong and he has no health problems. I will try to take some pictures of him tomorrow.
What do you guys think? Is he too young to begin riding this often? Any advice would be appreciated!
* If this belongs in a different forum, please feel free to move it! Thank you!
We bought both our younger Paint mares as green 3 year olds and riding that much is not a problem...they are very sturdy horses. As with any young horse, the biggest thing to understand is that they will not have the day to day consistency in performance that you expect from an older horse. Time, age, miles, patience, and maturity will get you whet you want.
At three he should be fine for general riding - physically.
Whether he is the horse for you depends on what you want.
If you want a project that requires you have goals and work toward them, then he might be just the one. However, if you want a horse that you can ride 3 to 5 times a week for months on end and then when life happens, you don't get to ride for even a couple months, yet hop back on and have him be like he'd never had a break... it may be wise to keep looking.
I'll use a friend as an example. He used to train very good roping horses. They were in demand by competitive ropers in the region and he made a good living from training. Then things changed and he had to take over the family ranch. No more time for the glory work. Now he gets to ride spring and fall, with only a couple times the rest of the year.
He has 3 horses in their early teens that only need a little conditioning before the intense spring and fall cattle work. He claims these 3 are more valuable than any of the youngish ones he trained that needed schooling and re-schooling to stay sharp.
Thanks for the response! :) I was mainly a little concerned about his physical ability, as he is a young one. I never take a break from riding/working my horse for more than 5 days at a time. So he definitely would not just go with out work for months at a time all of a sudden. The place where I board also has an indoor arena - so even in the Winter months or bad weather, I can still work with him. Hopefully he's what I'm looking for! Thanks for your help, and I'm still open to other opinions/advice if anyone else has some!
As long as you don't expect him to have strength and balance of a more mature horse, you'll be fine. When our mares were 3, I mainly noticed it on the fore..they just haven't bulked up enough in the shoulder/chest areas.
I learned that a green horse needs to be ridden at least five days a week for the first year to establish a good work ethic. I have started over 30 horses to saddle and usually started them at 3, and made sure they were worked at least three days a week.
I wouldn't the boy into the ground, but the only thing I see wrong is that 30 minutes might not be long enough. For a green horse you really want lots of wet saddle pads so they learn all that they need to know. I would say that you should lean more towards the hour rides, but I think he will be fine.
My personal view, he is to young for what you are describing, I would look for something a little older, 3 is little more than a child to me, and should have short bursts of work, but a lot of time playing and growing, not really time for regular work.
A three year old can definately do what you want. I have to ask what is your skill level, experience and confidence. Young horses are not for beginners, low skill (though experienced) riders or people with confidence issues. You have to be honest with yourself when considering those three points. If any apply then go out and buy a horse that is over 7 and prefferably over 10 yrs old. Wait until you can honestly say you are good in all three categories before attempting younger horses.
Thanks for the response, everyone! I have definitely considered my experience, confidence, and skill level when thinking about buying and training this horse. I have also consulted with a few friends who are even more experienced than myself, and they have also given me the go ahead. I obviously need to meet the horse first though - I've had to re-schedule my visit until this coming Saturday morning. I have a good intuition when buying though and will not make a decision unless I'm sure he is the right horse for me. :)
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