Lunging and free-jumping
My gelding is three, coming four (he'll be four on March 23rd). I've been riding him since he turned two and currently he's on a six month break because I feel like he's deserved a nice break from riding... but I'm still working with him on ground and all.
Anyway, I was thinking about lunging him (he's known how to lunge since he was a year and a half, though I don't lunge very often at all... just every now and then) and setting up a small jump or two to lunge him over... nothing bit, about a foot/foot and a half/two feet.
My question, though, is that with him being just barely four, would it hurt him any to free jump him a few times? I have jumped him before... not much at all though. We ride on trails, and sometimes come across a foot high or so log across the trail or a ditch that we have to pop over. The trails that I know for certain have 'jumps' on them, I try to stay away from those trails with my boy until he grows up a little more, though.
So, what about it?
I wouldn't do too much jumping with him but I do not believe that a little free jumping would be bad for him. Too much jumping at a young age is bad for them but as long as you aren't sending him over large jumps all the time he should be fine.
I lunged him a little today and asked him to go over a small foot-high crossrail-jump. He was nervous at first, but then figured it out. The man who owns his sire came by and asked me to put him over the jump a few more times while he watched. I did and the man (he's been training horses since before my mum was born) said that he had potential considering neither of Dakota's parents are 'jumpers'. Lol... Dakota's a pure TWH and his sire is just mainly a breeding stallion and his dam is a trail horse, though she can jump fairly high when she wants to.
I'm hoping to get pictures tomorrow, since I'll have a friends help (hopefully). Lol.
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