How do you know when a horse is ready to start under saddle?
I have an APHA filly who was born in late August 2011. I have worked with her since she was about 8 months old, and she is a very mature and easy-going horse.
Since she was born pretty late and was behind her half-siblings (all 8 mares were bred to the same stallion) in growth, starting her this spring and late summer was out of the question.
Though in show years she is 3, she is now 2 years and 4 months old. She is about 14.2 hh, and will probably mature to about 15.2 or so.
When do you know a horse is okay to start under saddle? When would you think, without knowing the filly or seeing her, she is okay to start?
I personally won't start a horse before they are 3, I prefer to wait until they are 4 though. That being said, a lot of people start horses at 2, and as long as you go slowly, most of the horses I know started at that age are fine. The think you need to remember is even though she maybe seems mature, she's still a baby in all ways, and you can't push her too much too fast. Quite a few of the "problem" horses I've met are ones that seemed to be really mature, so the owners really pushed them when they were younger, and the horse finally got fed up with it. Are you planning on starting her yourself, or sending her to a trainer? Pictures would also help.
I always waited until their knees closed up.
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