View Full Version : When is young too young?

25-03-00, 07:03 AM
I have the option of purchasing a 2.5yo gelding. Brocken and quiet. Ridden by 13y.o and myself. Ridden in all different environmental, in bush, farm with other horses on trail. I am an inexperienced rider but can ride him and he is sweet peoples horseand absolutely adorable. I fell we will make a great partnership. My friends concern is his youngand impressionable age. Should i be concerned about this? what are peoples opinions. Should i reconsider. May his age be a problem?

Jan Heine
25-03-00, 07:37 AM
I answered this post on South West forum but please if you have any questions feel free to post them here - this is where I check regularly.

25-03-00, 12:51 PM
Jan, I would be interested in your thoughts (and the thoughts of others) on this one. Any chance you could cut and paste?

Black Beauty
25-03-00, 01:08 PM
Quite frankly that horse is still in nappies and should not be being ridden at such an age,
its bones are not fully developed and will not be until 4yrs old, a horse doesnt get a full set of teeth until 4yrs old!!, ask yourself this: would you put your 2 and a half year old child into an adult gym class ??.
The horse will suffer future skeletal problems if you ride it at such a young age.


Jan Heine
25-03-00, 03:09 PM
Here is what I posted in reply on South West (I'm not sure my directions are correct there - but I am a dumb-assed showjumper so please excuse my ignornace on directions)

I would like to add that AS asked later in that forum what I meant by turn out - well I mean put in a big paddock with lots to eat (no hard feeding), no shoes (if the feet are good) and maybe a friend or two to play with - do this for at least 6 weeks - then you can bring him in and "play" with him! Brush him, lead him, pick up his feet - all that sort of socialising stuff but without any pressure. Resist the urge to sit on his back - it needs time to strengthen and finish growing.

Dear AS - my advice is if you have a good feeling then buy him - you have obviously ridden him a few times and feel safe. Then when you get him home, turn him out in the paddock and give him a chance to grow up - both physically and mentally. Unfortunately in Australia (probably because of the racing mentality) we tend to break horses way to early and this then causes many problems later on with soundness. You don't say what breed but I am guessing it is a thoroughbred. What do you want to do with your riding - compete (dressage, jumping, eventing?), trail, or what? I am a strong believer in "if it feels right , do it!" but as I said - do yourself and the horse a favour - take him home and turn him out until he is at least 3 and then do only very light work on him until he is 4. You cannot compete a horse under 4 years old in EFA or Pony Club - there is a good reason for that! They are not physically or mentally ready before that. Ideally a horse should be well handled (headcollar, lead, even a bit inhis mouth)but not backed before 3 years of age - then worked for 2-3 months and then turned out until just before they turn 4. And by the way that is just my opinion. Good luck and be sure and let us know what you decide to do!

26-03-00, 07:09 AM
A 2 and half year old horse has about the same physical and mental maturity (comparitively speaking) as, say a 7 year old human. If you keep this in mind when looking at horses, allow 3 of our years to one of theirs. This means a horse of 10 years old, rather than being 'old' as most Aussies seem to think of that age, is the equivalent to a 30 year old human. Hardly ready for retirement! Anyway, that's just a tip for the future, to help you put horses ages into perspective. The other posts have given you some useful info so no need for me to repeat. Good luck with your purchase!