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Discussion Starter #1
My Quarab filly just turned 2 years old January 16th. She is 13.3-14hh and 675-685lbs (I used a weight tape today). She has more of the quarter horse build than the arab. Very round!:wink: We've been working with her from day one with training and such. What I was curious about though is how much weight she could carry. If we did start riding her this year it wouldn't be until, at the VERY earliest, late summer, but most likely late fall. I'll probably weight untill the spring of '11 though. If I did get on her this year though, mind you, I wouldn't be trying to ride her real hard or anything of course. Just walking around a little bit and getting her used to things and probably getting myself tossed off!:wink: haha jking.. kinda..:)
 

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I think it depends how she carries it...I know a 15hh appy cross that looks fat at 1000lbs, and a 14.1hh welsh pony than looks thin at 950lbs. It depends on body type, muscle mass, and overall how they carry it. I'd like to see a picture of your filly...
 

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I'm trying to download pictures of her that I took with my phone today, but I'm having some issues! haha I have some pictures of her on my computer, but they aren't recent. Here are a few, but like I said they are old. This was last summer so she was only about a year old. She is now bigger and has changed color because she is eventually going to be a grey (most likely flea-bitten grey). Just to give you an idea, her tail almost touches the ground and her legs, mane, and tail are black. Plus she's more preportionate (spelling?). Like I said, these are just to give you an idea! Also, in the one pic with all the sticks she was only there for a few seconds after I took it I scooted her outta there, but with the angle it looks 10x worse than it was!
 

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Hard to tell if you have a chubby 2 year old by just looking at yearling pics...but she looks like a solid little girl. I wouldn't worry about her being overweight unless it's an obvious hay belly or it's affecting her feet...at such a young age, growth spurts happen over a matter of weeks. She could shoot up 2 inches and spread whatever extra weight she has into looking like she's a little slender.

As for riding 2 year olds, I personally see nothing wrong with asking them to accept a rider and walk around the yard after long reining is done and they understand whoa, turns, and voice commands for walk and trot. I think worry comes when you just jump on a 2 year old that has never been worked with. No ground training or long rein work - getting on a 2 year old that doesn't understand these things, it's way more likely for them to pitch a bucking fit out of frustration and not understanding and THAT'S what's going to damage their joints. Bucking with a rider with open joints will cause ALOT more stress on their bodies than a calm couple laps around the yard with an extra 140 pounds on them. It depends what you've done with her so far to help her understand what's expected once the rider's on her. If she's only worn a saddle once or twice and never seen the bridle or long reins, I'd say hold off and do the leg work first...that being said, most of my youngsters were introduced to ALL the tack and equipment as yearlings, long reined since and into their 2 year old year, so when I stepped up on them as 2-2 1/2 year olds, it was naturally the next step and they accepted me gracefully and calmly. It's really a judgment call.
 

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As for riding 2 year olds, I personally see nothing wrong with asking them to accept a rider and walk around the yard after long reining is done and they understand whoa, turns, and voice commands for walk and trot. I think worry comes when you just jump on a 2 year old that has never been worked with. No ground training or long rein work - getting on a 2 year old that doesn't understand these things, it's way more likely for them to pitch a bucking fit out of frustration and not understanding and THAT'S what's going to damage their joints. Bucking with a rider with open joints will cause ALOT more stress on their bodies than a calm couple laps around the yard with an extra 140 pounds on them. It depends what you've done with her so far to help her understand what's expected once the rider's on her. If she's only worn a saddle once or twice and never seen the bridle or long reins, I'd say hold off and do the leg work first...that being said, most of my youngsters were introduced to ALL the tack and equipment as yearlings, long reined since and into their 2 year old year, so when I stepped up on them as 2-2 1/2 year olds, it was naturally the next step and they accepted me gracefully and calmly. It's really a judgment call.

This is pretty much how I raise my youngsters. Here is a picture of Lillie as a yearling with a saddle. She was driven pretty much all around the farm last fall. So just like ES said..come this spring/summer, getting on her should be the next natural step. I plain to do some light riding with her this summer/fall.



and here she is this winter..



She's appx 13.2-13.2 and weighs (last time I checked) appx 650 lbs.

I'd love to see current pics of filly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As for riding 2 year olds, I personally see nothing wrong with asking them to accept a rider and walk around the yard after long reining is done and they understand whoa, turns, and voice commands for walk and trot. I think worry comes when you just jump on a 2 year old that has never been worked with. No ground training or long rein work - getting on a 2 year old that doesn't understand these things, it's way more likely for them to pitch a bucking fit out of frustration and not understanding and THAT'S what's going to damage their joints. Bucking with a rider with open joints will cause ALOT more stress on their bodies than a calm couple laps around the yard with an extra 140 pounds on them. It depends what you've done with her so far to help her understand what's expected once the rider's on her. If she's only worn a saddle once or twice and never seen the bridle or long reins, I'd say hold off and do the leg work first...that being said, most of my youngsters were introduced to ALL the tack and equipment as yearlings, long reined since and into their 2 year old year, so when I stepped up on them as 2-2 1/2 year olds, it was naturally the next step and they accepted me gracefully and calmly. It's really a judgment call.
I've been putting a saddle on her since she was a yearling in those earlier pictures. She gracefully accepts the bit (actually, she loves it!!) I deffinatly wouldn't be getting on her without her knowing the basic commands (all of which you have mentioned). I'll be working on that stuff all this summer/fall and more!!! This summer I'm taking her up to my friend's house whom use to be a profesional English trainer! I wouldn't be jumping her really at all however. Maybe later down the road (like in a few years? She would definatly be fully matured before I started.) She'd be used mostly for trail riding, although she probably will ride english aswell!

I was able to get pics off my phone (finally!!) They were just real quick shots because I wasn't sure I could even do it! I'll get you guys more pictures of better quality tomorrow! Note: She is standing on a bit of a hill! Also, her head is kinda cranked around because I had treats in my had haha. I was going to post 3, but I have to load them online then resize them and I need to go to bed. I'll post more tomorrow!!!! Just to give you an idea! I took these day before yesterday! Also, do you think she'll dapple?:)



This is pretty much how I raise my youngsters. Here is a picture of Lillie as a yearling with a saddle. She was driven pretty much all around the farm last fall. So just like ES said..come this spring/summer, getting on her should be the next natural step. I plain to do some light riding with her this summer/fall.
Oh, she's a cutie! Looks like she's going to be a stout little thing, judging by her winter pic! What breed is she? I'll be doing a ton of driving this summer with her too! By the way, not sure I mentioned this, but her name is Sasha!:)
 

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Personally, I would give it at least another year before you even think of riding her at all. She is about the same size as my 7 month old colt but I wouldn't dream of riding him. Because she is so small, her muscles and bones will have to work so much harder to carry any weight at all because she is not accustomed to carrying any kind of weight, thus putting more wear and tear on immature body structure. I think the equation says that a horse can carry 20% of their body weight comfortably. If she is at most 700 pounds, that would be a total combined rider/tack weight of 140 pounds. I don't know about you, but my saddle weighs about 45 pounds so that would leave me 95 pounds for a rider. I personally am not comfortable on a horse much smaller than 900 pounds, especially one so young.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
She is about the same size as my 7 month old colt but I wouldn't dream of riding him.
Well, yes I wouldn't dream of riding a 7 month old horse of any size either. He must be a bigger breed of horse (or had bigger parents), if he's only 7 months old and that size. Sasha is a Quarab, we own both parents. Rebel (the father), my QH is only 14.2-14.3 hh and our Arab mare, Dandy, is the same size maybe just a tad bit taller. Sasha is almost as big as them, and as I said I wouldn't be getting on till late summer probably late fall. She might even be 3 by the time if I wait till next spring. It depends. Also, even though not fully developed, she is more developed than a 7 month old. (sorry that sounds snooty, I'm not trying to be honestly!!!:shock:)

I think the equation says that a horse can carry 20% of their body weight comfortably. If she is at most 700 pounds, that would be a total combined rider/tack weight of 140 pounds. I don't know about you, but my saddle weighs about 45 pounds so that would leave me 95 pounds for a rider.
That's a very good rule, I believe I'd heard of it, but it really wasn't imprinted in my head. Thank you! I'll definatly take that into consideration!
 

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As a note, the OP DID say she wasn't even considering riding until late this summer/fall, and probably not even until next spring. She's not discussing jumping on a fresh 2 year old.

That's essentially the age I started breaking Jynx to rider. I just started riding her in late fall (October) of 2009 and she'll be 3 years old as of April. I've kept my rides extremely short and productive, and I also spent a solid six months of ground work/driving on her every single day to ensure she would be ready for me.

Essentially, a young horses knees are closed by 2.5 - 3 years old. So joint issue really isn't an issue in the horse being ridden at that age. Your concern is the spine, which does not fully fuse until the animal is about 6 years old. Of course, it's much LESS fused at 2 years old. I take extreme care to ensure my horses are not going to be throwing rodeo fits underneath me - if you want to "break 'em out old school", then wait until that animal is a solid 3-4 years old.

I don't see any harm in light riding on a youngster that's had proper work put on it. I find their minds extremely moldable and inquisitive, as long as you're willing to take the time and patience to do it right. For some people, it's better to wait until 3-4 years old when you can get "tougher" with them and not worry, mentally or physically.

It's a fine line and not all horses are ready for it at a young age. Just don't push your filly any faster then she wants to go.
 

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im not an expert..but from what i understand and had herd from a few horse loving friends that have been around horses and baby horses all there lives the weight limit for any horse is half there size...so if it is a horse that is 1000lbs then the weight limit total with tack,saddle,rider,etc would have to be around 500lbs....byt like i said im not an expert...maybe try and walk into a local vet office and ask them..good luck!
 

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im not an expert..but from what i understand and had herd from a few horse loving friends that have been around horses and baby horses all there lives the weight limit for any horse is half there size...so if it is a horse that is 1000lbs then the weight limit total with tack,saddle,rider,etc would have to be around 500lbs....byt like i said im not an expert...maybe try and walk into a local vet office and ask them..good luck!

Oh jesus, half their size? That is grossly over estimated! If you put a 450lb person and a 50lb saddle on a 1000lb horse, it would be under EXTREME strain. Especially a young horse.

Like someone else said, 20% of their weight. For an 800lb horse, it would be about 160 lbs, and that includes tack and rider.

Then again, it all depends on how proficient the rider is. I'd rather see 200lbs of excellent balance that can move with the horse and not slam on their back, than even 120 lbs of horrible balance that moves against the horse and wrenches around and balances on their mouth.

Either way, both of the young horses that were posted on here still *look* very young and baby-ish. I wouldn't ride either of them until they evened out. Like one person said, while the knees close up between 2 - 3, that is the least of your worries with a young horse.

Also, like it was mentioned that horses can practically grow two inches in a week, it puts strain on the horse. Just like a gawky kid can have growing pains, it hurts to grow that fast. I wouldn't ride a horse while they are growing so sporadically, either. Depending on the breed, between 2.5 and 3.5 they even out and their growth happens more overall, instead of teetering between butt high and whither high.
 

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Like someone else said, 20% of their weight. For an 800lb horse, it would be about 160 lbs, and that includes tack and rider.

Then again, it all depends on how proficient the rider is. I'd rather see 200lbs of excellent balance that can move with the horse and not slam on their back, than even 120 lbs of horrible balance that moves against the horse and wrenches around and balances on their mouth.
Yeah this is a fear of mine since I am 228 and my horse is 1300-1400lbs I'm in the clear but I always worry but I felt a lot better when an old trainer old me the same thing about how a heavey balanced rider can be better than a feather with no balance :D
 

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Yeah this is a fear of mine since I am 228 and my horse is 1300-1400lbs I'm in the clear but I always worry but I felt a lot better when an old trainer old me the same thing about how a heavey balanced rider can be better than a feather with no balance :D

Aw I hate it when riders that are a little heavier worry about their weight! You are FINE for your horse! It is harder for riders that have a little more cushion to maintain the balance they need, but the more you practice the easier it gets. And, the more you practice, the less cushion you end up having.... which is fantastic in my book. :)

I'm not really fat, but I'm 6'2, and I weigh between 175 and 185 at any given time of the year, but I have good balance so I don't worry about getting on lighter breed/smaller horses. If you look in my pictures, there is one of me showing a QH pony from last summer. He was just between pony and horse, and he's a little dude... pretty muscular though. He had no problem carrying me because I could move with him. I've ridden arabs, standardbreds, etc with no problems.
 

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Don't feel bad Dartanion - I'm in the same boat! I think that's why I often get annoyed at the weight "calculations" - it's like that stupid BMI chart, it takes NOTHING into consideration as far as outside factors. And is silly anyway because a fat horse shouldn't be able to carry a heavier rider - a horse that's 200lbs overweight will have more strain then a 1000lb horse in prime condition.

There are some 1400lb horses that have a blatantly long and weak back and would NOT be suited for heavier weights. And then you have Arabs with short strong backs who hover between 800-900lbs and are regularly ridden by 200lb+ men without issue!

I am about 190lbs right now, and have been for quite a few years. My 900lb Arab carries me JUST fine thank you, and has been for 7 years now!

And completely agreed - I don't care how much you weigh, it should be obvious to anyone that a 120lb rider slamming her horses back is FAR worse then 200lb+ rider with perfect balance.
 
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