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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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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)
 

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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
 

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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
That is a problem over here in Ireland as well. I have always wanted to show in the RDS Dublin horse show since I was young and there is no way to get into it unless you have your 4 year old jumping 3'3" courses or you are a professional jumper jumping 1.50m courses so I don't think I will ever get in now lol

I agree with all of your opinions on jumping horses
 

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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.
 

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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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Depending on the breed, I have no problem jumping at four. My horse spent his 4th year in babygreens, and now at 5 he's moving up to pregreens. For breeds such as warmbloods, who seem to mature mentally and physically slower than breeds such as TB', 5 seems a good age. Ponies ridden by good kids, 4 is fine. If no good kids are avaiable, 5 with an adult (who will put more strain on smaller animals)
 

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I think 5 is a good age to start serious jumping, and take it slow even from there. My shetland, King was being ridden almost daily over 2.6" at four years... I hack him and thats about it right now. He is 10000000000000x happier :). My 8 yr old TB is showing in 18" currently. He could jump ALOT higher, but I want to take things slowly so that we have many amazing years together!
 

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I have a 6.5 yr old OTTB ... she came off the track at 4.5 and I have been doing flat (i want a solid horse on the flat) with her and plan to start jumping her this spring (she will be 7 in May). I have ridden her over polls and even some small X's but I would rather take it slow and get a solid horse then try to jump before she is ready.

I really think this is a "to each his own" thing because some horses have the ability and some don't.

:D
 

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My 3 year old is started over ground poles and some cavaletti (like 20cm) at a walk / trot for bounce pony and other gymkhana games, but this is pretty rarely that he goes over the cavaletti. Maybe once a month if that.
When he's 4 he will be started over 30cm cross rails at a walk / trot once a fortnight til he's 4.5 and then it will be once a week for about 15 minutes in a riding session.
When he's 5 he will start getting verticles and bigger jumps and move our way up.

I was rather annoyed to hear that when he was being broken in at 2.5yrs, the breaker was jumping him at 70cm. He's now on Calplus with Biotin to make sure his bones will be strong and will be started on a joint supplement when he's 4. Idealy, I would rather only be putting him on joint supplements when he's like 15 but you can't win 'em all.

I agree with what another poster said, the market is demanding the young horses to be doing what older horses can. It is unfortunate, but there are still those trainers out there that believe you don't jump a 3 year old like you would a grand prix show jumper earning the big bucks.
 

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I'm currently training a 4 y.o horse who was jumping 3ft with her old owners. I mainly do flat work with her now b/c she is very wiggly and is still learning bending and transitions and stuff...I personally have jumped 18" to 2ft with her, but I dont jumper her often. I think its ok to jump the young ones once in a while if the jumps are under 18" and as long as they have most of the essential basics down.

Here is my reasoning:

You dont set a horse up for failure, you set them up for success. Just incase your horse loses confidence in jumping or anything really, you need something simple and easy that they know how to do to fall back on for a while...but if you've spent all of your time jumping the horse, they won't have those flatwork essentials they need that will boost their confidence level. It's simple...work with the horse until they have the basics down...then start moving up with little jumps, then bigger ones, and you can start adding the good stuff like flying changes and framing up too. I just feel you need to have the basic essentials down b4 jumping should even be considered. :))
 
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