He is an 2007 August foal. When would you start breaking him to ride? He'll finish medium. I am 5'2" and still a tad over 120lbs (normal weight 110lbs, still have some post-pregnancy weight to loose!).
Had he been a normal spring foal, I'd feel 100% comfortable sitting on him a bit during the winter, but since he's a later foal... Should I wait? I am just unsure because ponies have different growth rates than horses. He's a Shetland/Yak mix ().
I probably wouldn't sit on him until I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 110lbs, plus I want to teach him to lunge and long-line beforehand.
What do you think? Or is the pony vs. horse growth pattern a myth? That might just settle it.
I'd wait to sit on him until he's 3 at least...JMO. Until then, I'd do ground work with him. No reason why you could not work on his manners, introduce him to new things, general handing stuff like trailer loading, walks around the property, ponying, obstacles, in hand work, ground driving, wearing tack, etc.... There is lots of "work" that you can do without overstressing young joints and actually riding...then when he is mature enough, he's way ahead of babies that have not had any real work.
I would use the winter to get him used to new experiences, work on his ground manners and start long lining him.
In the spring, in the latter part of his "two year old year", I'd start lightly riding him. The late birthdate kind of throws things off!
We like to get our late two year olds used to tack, long lining nicely, brush up on ground manners if they haven't been part of the summer show team, and put a few rides on them. Then they get the winter off and we bring them back to light work in the spring. The groundwork ahead of the riding means that they take it in stride and it is non stressful. We keep the rides very short and as quiet as possible.
We still don't work them very hard as three year olds, and our '09 3 year old show ponies got ridden a bit this spring, several months off, then back to work. They are all having downtime right now, then will come back to real work as four year olds in February.