Ages to start jumping
Okay now this is another debate that is different to each person. But IMO i think 3 y.o is too young to be showing in jumping classes.. to young to be jumping in general. First of all, 3 y.os should be learning their basic flat work and basic leg pressure and respect etc etc.. and ground poles ofcourse but not jumping 2 -3 ft.. So what does everyone else think ?
I think its sad only bc in the long run the horse will most likley not be a riding horse past 17. Thats IMO . Im not sure if some breeds develop faster than others ?
I dont have a horse im starting to into to jumps, im asking b/c i see a LOT of sale horses 3-4 y.o jumping 3 ft show courses. and are for sale for $10000 - $17000 . when in all reality they wont be able to do too much come 10 yrs down the road.
I wouldn't even think of jumping a horse until they were 5 and then it depends on the horse (and it wouldn't be 3 feet either). But that's just me.
i start xrails around 4yo but not very often. i find poles & small xrails help with their canter a lot. during their 4yo year i will jump about 2' or so.
in their 5yo year i will jump them 2'6" ish regularly maybe 3ft a couple times.
by the time they are 6 i have no problem jumping them over 3ft.
this obviously depends on the individual horse as well
I 10o% agree with your methods :D i wish everyone did haha. (in general)
I think 5 is a good age to start introducing jumping. Unfortunately, the market demands younger horses.
My horse started ground poles when she was 3, moved to crossrails at 4, and was jumping 2 foot courses at the end of her 5 year old year. She's now almost 8 and can jump 3'3" courses with ease.
I agree that 3 is too young to be JUMPING. However, ground poles are fine. Ground poles are really no different than a horse stepping over a log in the pasture. Some say it depends on breed, but I don't think it does really IMHO. I treat all of my horses like they are slow maturing drafts.
This is why i have a HUGE problem with the Young Event Horse series that the USEA is putting on. I see people taking their green 4 year olds and jumping them 2'6" and they are basically tested on how green they are! They look for style, and a more experienced horse won't overjump and win in the YEH like a green horse will.... UGH
Oh yeah...I thing groundpoles are useful. However actually jumping I think should be put off as I perfect flat work :)
I agree with all of your opinions on jumping horses
4 or 5 is a good age to start IMO, and I wouldn't really go over 3'3" until the horse was late 5 or early 6. I think I read somewhere, don't recall where, that anything under 3ft really won't do much harm to a 4-5yr old horse, its when it gets 3ft and higher that it damages young horses. And of course conditioning factors in as well.
My sisters 4 1/2 year old is doing 2'6" right now, did a lot of pole work as a three year old and did some crossrail grids as a late 3 year old. They were more like raised canter poles for him, just to gain some butt muscles before she actually started jumping. My sister lunged him over higher jumps (as a late 3yr old) at the trot for butt muscles, or she tried, but she kept on raising them higher and higher because he wouldn't jump them. He just took them as raised trot poles, finally she gave up when he trotted over a 3' jump. That was interesting to watch.
I agree with what gypsygirl said. However, that being said (I know this is different than having a rider on their back with tack, etc.), I was at a friends house and we were watching a mother and foal in the paddock and there was a two foot jump in the middle, and the foal was running with its mom and just jumped it. It was so cute!!! But as far as riding and jumping courses, 4-5 is the earliest. And small to start.
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