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yooperbug 08-07-2009 12:50 AM

Horse jumping question
Hey all I was just wondering what you all thought about a three year old being started lightly over jumps?

Amba1027 08-07-2009 12:55 AM

I got my horse when she was 3 and she was already jumping 3'. She never had any problems while I had her so I think it was ok.

yooperbug 08-07-2009 02:00 AM

It's not my mare but she's been ridden as a 2 year LOTS and as a 3 year old LOTS. I'm an advanced beginner (just need more time in the saddle) and the owner feels comfortable with me riding her. Another friend of both of ours has been working with her lightly on the cavaletti poles on the ground and a 8"-12" jump. She's not being pushed in anyway to be perfectly honest. She's really doing great. Anyway, just wanted to explain where this mare is at. I must say she picked it up like it was nothing the first day. I was pretty darn impressed.

Jillyann 08-07-2009 02:08 AM

If she doesnt seem to be having any problems, then I would say go for it. Not to high though like you said at first! Just work her up, she will be fine!

jody111 08-07-2009 03:30 AM

I wouldnt jump a 3 yr old myself - they havent finished developing etc... perhaps trotting poles etc... but I wouldnt be doing 90cms or even close to it.... theres heaps of time for that - just take things slow... It may not hurt them now but it can catch up later.... especially if they are late developers... I know there are 5 yo series etc - but thats just my opinion

I have a 2 year old whose gonna be broken soon and Im not really going to consider jumping her till shes at least 5 - In the mean time lots of inhand days, flat days and baby dressage show etc...

makin tracks 08-07-2009 05:12 AM

I'm with Jody111. She's just a baby and her bones are still soft, personally I would stick with trot poles and gymnastic exercises up to 30cm. I don't like to start mine jumping until they are 5.

However, there are plenty of people who jump early, so ultimately, it's your preference.

savvylover112 08-07-2009 05:52 AM

wel here in ireland i disagree with it but for big shows the classes start at 4 yr old classes and the lowest class for a 4 yr old is 1m

upnover 08-07-2009 08:20 AM

It's done surprisingly frequently. Mainly because people want to get their horse's moving along as quickly as possible (and don't always care about their wellbeing or long term consequences). I'm personally not a huge fan of it. BUT, every horse is different and matures differently. My opinion is that the majority of horses are not physically and MENTALLY mature enough by 3 to have a serious jumping career. But as long as their joints are developed i don't have a problem with hopping a 3 y/o over a crossbar or two here and there for the experience. The problem is a lot of 3 y/os are NOT ready. While it may be ok at first I've seen a lot of young horses that are emotionally fried from being pushed to fast and a lot of middle aged horses that should be sound not because their joints broke down to quickly. Unless the horse I'm working with is a slow developer I usually wait until 4 to really start over fences.

MIEventer 08-07-2009 09:06 AM


I got my horse when she was 3 and she was already jumping 3'
And this is why we have horses who end up lame before they should be.

I highly disagree with how riders in the Adult Ammies have 2,3 year olds jumping 4'0" already.

And that is why, we see many horses turned out to pasture with lameness issues, before they even hit their prime.

Now on that note, I do not disagree with riding babies slow, steady and educatedly. There is nothing wrong with putting them over trot poles, cavaletti's and very small x rails once in a while - while focusing primarily on ground work and flat work.

The horses welfare should be put into consideration 1st and foremost. Regardless if their joints are fused or not. It isn't about how much they enjoy it, it isn't about how well they are doing at that age - it is about the long term effects that will show, and I promise you they will - when they get older.

Pinto Pony 08-07-2009 09:37 AM

I am with MIE, it should not be the focus of their training yet, even if they are bred to be a jumper. A little pole work here and there ok, but their main focus should be flatwork as they are just babies still growing and learning about themselves. In the long term, you will probably have a more reliable mount both physically and mentally.

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