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so. my paint horse is 3 and a half years old. he has had his BIG growth spurt. like a hand in 2 months when he was 2 years old.for the past two months i have been jumping a little bit. like at most a foot once a month for about ten minutes. i was considering keep doing this till hes old enough to get into serious jumping training. i heard these small jumps are actually good for his muscles and mind. because hes a baby he will get to focus on something without being over worked. well my question is. what do u think?
 

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I personally wouldn't jump him over anything until he's at least four - he is still a baby by physical (and mental) terms and he's joints aren't ready to take the strain of jumping. Also, "jumping training" starts with basic flat-work training; so I would direct you in that direction of getting him to understand yeilding to pressure and work that would help him develope his over all muscles that will prepare him to be a well rounded athlete that can, when physically mature enough, aim towards jumping.
 

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I agree with Jag, he is much too young to be jumping. You can teach focus and flexibility by walking over poles on the ground, forwards, backwards and sideways. Let him grow for a few more years, there are more important things to work on with your baby.
 

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Wait till he's four. At three, you can work with flying lead changes to get him ready, but no jumping.
 

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i disagree, you can keep doing what your doing, it is not doing your horse any harm & hes learning what his job is going to be. dressage is harder on a horse than jumping is. i always find that starting small fences helps their canter a lot as well. if you were jumping 3 days a week i would say back off, but for ten minutes once a month ? no thats totally fine.
 

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i disagree, you can keep doing what your doing, it is not doing your horse any harm & hes learning what his job is going to be. dressage is harder on a horse than jumping is. i always find that starting small fences helps their canter a lot as well. if you were jumping 3 days a week i would say back off, but for ten minutes once a month ? no thats totally fine.
Although you have a point, to be on the safer side, you shouldn't jump a horse until they are 4. And as for dressage being harder on them than jumping, I disagree. At that age, jumping could damage the horse's legs and joints whereas low level dressage does nothing. I say lower level because usually a three year old isn't doing complicated grand prix dressage moves.
 

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I would wait till 5! The horses joints aren't fully done growing/fusing, you could do some serious damage to his legs! You could start with ground poles perhaps, just to get him aware of his body/how it moves over things. Dressage is COMPLETELY safe for a horse his age, and will pay off BIG TIME when he is older and ready to jump, he will pay more attention to you leg etc. (This especially pays off if you have interest in Jumpers)
 

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The thing with saying Oh it's only ten minutes once a month, it will be fine is that with bone plates that aren't fused properly it can only take one misshap to do irreparable damage. I hate to sound like rainy day dolly but I do know of a rather tragic incident that involved a friends young arab. The young gelding was playing in the paddock, it was a nice paddock with one fallen branch, he jumped it, it tapped him on the leg he faltered when he landed. He landed so awkwardly that he snapped his front shin bone completely, bone fragments severed his tendons and ligaments and his skin. His leg midway down the shin was almost completely severed, held on by a flap of skin.

I know that it is an extreme example but it really drove home to me the frailty of young bones. This gelding wasn't even carrying a rider.
 
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