Isn't he a bit young to be jumping this high? - The Horse Forum
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  • 2 Post By Allison Finch
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-10-2013, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Isn't he a bit young to be jumping this high?

I saw this on my Facebook news feed from someone I'm acquainted with, but not really friends with. (I haven't got round to deleting her) I'm no horse/jumping expert, but it is a picture of a rising 2 year old freejumping quite a high jump. She also posted a picture of her jumping her 4/5 year old.

I just wanted an opinion before I start assuming things without proper knowledge!

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!

Last edited by Saranda; 04-10-2013 at 05:46 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-10-2013, 05:10 AM
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wheres the picture

The foolish reject what they see, not what they think,
The wise reject what they think, not what they see.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-10-2013, 05:23 AM
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Jumping at that age (less than 4 ) will probably cause joint problems in later life.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-10-2013, 07:12 AM
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The photo showed a young horse being lunged over a jump. It was a facebook link, so was removed. However, this photo was no big deal to me. Try checking photos of the young stallions going through their stallion testing for many of the warmblood breeds. This is not something done every day to these young horses.



As for the 4-5 years old jumping under saddle....the jump was small and the horse puts more pressure on himself bucking in the pasture.

I will say that I am no fan of jumping early, myself. I rarely start a horse over small jumps until well into its fourth year and save any consistent jumping until after five.
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Last edited by Allison Finch; 04-10-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-10-2013, 01:59 PM
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I go along with all Alison says and will add that Paul Schockemöhle, one of the top horse breeders of horses in Europe will have foals pop over a small fence to see how they jump. They are free jumped as foals, weaners, yearlings and two years old. If it was harmful then no one would buy his horses.

In the UK horses cannot compete in ridden classes until they are four years old. This includes all jumping.

Where damage is done to young joints is when they are jumped on poor surfaces, jumped to often or jumped to big.

In the UK horses start their affiliated career in Newcomers fences up to 3'3" (3'6") jump off.
Foxhunters 3'3" + with two fences 4' in the first round.
These classes are limited to horses that have won less than certain amounts of money.
The Foxhunter classes are hotly contested with winners qualifying for regional finals and then those winners going to the finals at Horse of the Year show.
Most serious riders will keep a horse's winning under the qualifying amount until it is 5 years. That year they will get a qualifier late August to compete in the regionals the following year. By the time the horse reaches the regional final it will have been competed and won enough to be a Grade A horse and well on its way to competing in bigger classes. Most of the top horses are 6 years old, some are seven but rarely any older. These horses go on to compete for many years sound. (No drugs allowed in the UK and regular random tests are done)
So, no, it does not harm a horse to jump it in the right conditions as a youngster.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-10-2013, 02:06 PM
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If done professionally, not often, and over the correct sized jumps for breed qualifications or such I don't have a problem with it. However, I have a friend who jumps very competitively in hunter jumper rings, and she was jumping her welsh cross pony mare over 2' rails as a 3 year old 3-4 days a week and tons of 'hardware' on the mare's face to keep her 'collected'. As a 4 year old the mare was being jumped 2'6 and 3', as a 5 year old she was doing 3'6 and above. Five years later the mare was retired from riding completely due to severe artheritis in her back and hocks, and she's on high levels of medication. Same with this girl's 16 year old paint horse. He's been retired for 4 years.

You have to know what you're doing if you're going to jump a youngster, and you have to realize the limits. If you don't, and if you ride on bad surfaces, push the horse too hard, and don't let it learn to balance first...Yes. There is a very high chance of injury or joint problems.

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post #7 of 7 Old 04-10-2013, 02:14 PM
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I have less of a problem free jumping two year olds than I do jumping four year olds under saddle- though it sounds like she was doing it properly.
On that note, there's a four year old TB listed near me that is 'consistently jumping 3'6 courses' and jumping 4 ft single fences -sigh- and they wonder why nobody has snatched him up.
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