Jumping horses too young. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 02-06-2020, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping horses too young.

Hey everyone, I posted a thread asking what classes I should enter my young horse in, not because I'm a newbie and inexperienced rider, I asked because I wanted different opinions. I already had her classes picked out, but I was unsure about the age limits, show experience, and crossovers, etc. Yes, I have a 3-year-old ottb that is jumping. POLES AND CROSS RAILS, every other week. I am not jumping my horse 2' or 2'6, I am trotting her over 8 inches. She is literally going right into the canter when I get on her because she wants to work. I would not be working her over "jumps" if I knew she wasn't ready.

I have seen many people jump 3 - 4-year-old horses 3'6 and not have long term injuries, I'm not saying it is okay in any way shape or form, but they did not get hurt, and they did it occasionally, and the horse wanted too. Some horses love to work, get ridden and jump and have fun, some don't. But if you know your horse and your horses' limits, then I don't see a problem as long as the horse or rider will not get injured.

So this was all to ask you guys what you think, and if I am disagree with my training methods or agree on some level. Thank you.
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post #2 of 42 Old 02-06-2020, 11:31 PM
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Growth plates are not closed until the horse is 5 years old, placing them under the stress of impact of jumping is foolhardy. Top Warmblood trainers don't start them until they are 5 and don't usually jump until 6 or 7. This is my mode of operation, my horses are too valuable to me to risk immediate injury or cumulative injuries further on.

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post #3 of 42 Old 02-06-2020, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Which I understand that, but when you are only jumping them 8 - 12 jumps that they literally walk over every other week, is it really that bad? My vet cleared me and the farrier cleared me. I have had my previous trainer and her old owner look at her and give her the ok. Again, I am not jumping her anything above 10 inches. The cross rails at the show are literally 6 - 8 inches. Honestly, just poles like an X. The middle is a few inches off the ground at that.
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post #4 of 42 Old 02-06-2020, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 42 Old 02-06-2020, 11:50 PM
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I don't have a problem with responsibility jumping 3yr olds. I used crossrails to reinforce the canter on a previous horse of mine. He liked to jump so it taught him something and kept him interested. Horses who are naturally talented will have an easier time than those who are not and it'll be harder on their bodies.

Simple elements, no tight turns or roll backs, not all the time. They do more damage to themselves bouncing around with their friends. Controlled exercise is good for growing bones as it builds bone density.

You may find some rule books have age restrictions on jumping classes. Otherwise they are providing incentive for people to overwork and overjump young horses.
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post #6 of 42 Old 02-06-2020, 11:52 PM
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Its impact on the structure, it don't take much especially when you add the rider, the gear and the course. Free jumping, meaning no rider, the horse choses his own frame and direction. I really suggest you find different equine professionals to help you further your & your horses' jumping careers. You have the desire & the drive, now you need proper direction.

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post #7 of 42 Old 02-06-2020, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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My apologies if you did not understand. I do not doing full courses with her. I have 10 ground poles set up around the arena and 2 of them are raised. One is a 4 inch pole, and the other is a 8 inch cross rails. I do mostly the raised pole and a couple times the cross rails, after every set of poles, she walks. Thank you for your feedback, I greatly appreciate it.
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post #8 of 42 Old 02-07-2020, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your feed back.
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post #9 of 42 Old 02-07-2020, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
Top Warmblood trainers don't start them until they are 5 and don't usually jump until 6 or 7. This is my mode of operation, my horses are too valuable to me to risk immediate injury or cumulative injuries further on.
Not true in Europe at all.

Top breeders/trainers will, with jump bred foals, try them loose over small fences whilst foals. Dittomas yearlings and 2 yr olds. By 3 they are backed and being ridden and shown over a fence with a rider.

At 4 they are competing in novice classes.

In the U.K. We have a series called Foxhunter this is for 4 yr old+ horses. Max height is 2 fences at 4'. This leads to a Regional Fina and then the Final at Horse of the Year Show in October. A very prestigious class to win. To qualify horses must not have won more than a certain amount.

What happens is that riders compete in here classes with four yr old horses, they do not compete in the Regionals. They wait until that year's qualifiers are finished in September, then qualify as soon as they can after that date to qualify for the followimg season. By the time the followimg season starts the horse is already competing in bigger classes. By the time the Regionals come around the horse is a long five yr old or maybe six, and already an Open Class show jumper.

Agreed that the growth plates are not closed but what causes the problem is what sort of surface the horse is jumping on,

Jump racehorses start at three over hurdles and fences. Majority of them continue to remain sound through their lives.
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post #10 of 42 Old 02-07-2020, 01:32 AM
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3 is too young for anything more than ground poles. You can introduce raised poles and crosses again when your horse is 4. Nothing over 2' until 5, and then progress as the horse is ready. My 8 year old is confidently jumping up to 3'6 because I took it slow and respected her physical maturity as well as her balance in the canter - without a developed canter you should absolutely not jump.

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