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  1. #1
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    Oct. 22, 2008
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    Default Buying young horses started over fences (stolen from the George Morris thread )

    A little while ago in the George Morris article thread there was a comment about US breeders starting their horses later whereas when shopping in Europe it is not nearly as unusual to find 3 year olds that you are able to try under saddle and even pop over a fence or two... I am not a big fan of pushing babies but at the same time I do understand that a horse with absolutely no preparation for the job it is expected to do in the future is not very well set up structurally or bone density wise to last the way a horse that has been conditioned is... my question is...where do people feel the happy medium is ?



  2. #2
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    If I'm buying a 3 year old, I absolutely want to be able to jump a couple fences. That said, I don't care if it has jumped before I try it. I want to see what it does when faced with a new situation, whether that's jumping at all or jumping a fence or exercise that it hasn't jumped before. But the unstarted 3 year old? Not terribly interesting to me, and certainly not for comparable money. The market for young, green horses that require further training time is limited enough as it is, so if you have a young horse to market I think it's in your best interest to make sure it is comparable at least in learned skills to the most advanced of its peers.



  3. #3
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    I think it is perfectly fine for the 3 year old to do small jumps under saddle. After all we are breeding horses that should find the "tasks" quite easy.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 9, 2007
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    Default what thread?

    can you give me the url for the previous thread? Thanks!



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBoylen View Post
    If I'm buying a 3 year old, I absolutely want to be able to jump a couple fences. That said, I don't care if it has jumped before I try it. I want to see what it does when faced with a new situation, whether that's jumping at all or jumping a fence or exercise that it hasn't jumped before. But the unstarted 3 year old? Not terribly interesting to me, and certainly not for comparable money. The market for young, green horses that require further training time is limited enough as it is, so if you have a young horse to market I think it's in your best interest to make sure it is comparable at least in learned skills to the most advanced of its peers.
    I couldn't have said it better (though I could have used more words and been less clear ).
    __________________________________
    Forever exiled in the NW.



  6. #6
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    Dec. 25, 2005
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    Not that I am advocating it, but I think there may be some correlation between how we used to develop horses and how we do now.

    In the "good ole' days" there used to be 3yo hunter classes, and they were not jumping over 2' courses, if I remember correctly they were at least 3'3", but I believe 3'6; on the heights I may be a little off, but on the classes there is no question.

    This would not be part of my training program, but it is one that was well employed, during a period when we did develop horses here in numbers, and were very successful at it.

    I personally think every horse has their own timeline, and it is our job to recognize that and work within it. However coddling horse as we tend to here, until they are 5 or 6 is overkill in my opinion, and waste of substantial development time.

    We should be less worried about chronological age and be a little more concerned about the physical age, as we tend to not jump, but ground work and lunge the dickens out of our young horses here. Which is often followed by hours of saddle time logged to allow for the correction of rider errors, and the alleviation of rider issues.

    The happy medium is not necessarily in start age, but in the development program . Start horses over fences when the exhibit the ability to do so, get the horses into a good development program, even if that means, you the owner, are not the sole rider, and recognize that a horse only has so many jumps in them from the time they are born, so do not waste them all working on your confidence issues or your leg problem, etc., consider the badge of honor being the owner of a successfully developed horse period, and not a DIY project worthy of bragging about.

    This is the real difference between our "program" and the European program.


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  7. #7
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    Default Buying young horses started over fences (stolen from the George Morris thread )

    Buying young horses started over fences (stolen from the George Morris thread )
    WHAT G.M. thread? Please help me out here!

    Thanks!



  8. #8
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    Apr. 1, 2011
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    We should be less worried about chronological age and be a little more concerned about the physical age, as we tend to not jump, but ground work and lunge the dickens out of our young horses here.
    THIS. The amount people lunge their babies absolutely BAFFLES me. My 6y/o has been lunged 10, maybe 15 times in the 2 years I have had her. It is so completely unnecessary.



  9. #9
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    Jun. 21, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauwse View Post

    In the "good ole' days" there used to be 3yo hunter classes, and they were not jumping over 2' courses, if I remember correctly they were at least 3'3", but I believe 3'6; on the heights I may be a little off, but on the classes there is no question.

    This would not be part of my training program, but it is one that was well employed, during a period when we did develop horses here in numbers, and were very successful at it.

    I personally think every horse has their own timeline, and it is our job to recognize that and work within it. However coddling horse as we tend to here, until they are 5 or 6 is overkill in my opinion, and waste of substantial development time.

    We should be less worried about chronological age and be a little more concerned about the physical age, as we tend to not jump, but ground work and lunge the dickens out of our young horses here. Which is often followed by hours of saddle time logged to allow for the correction of rider errors, and the alleviation of rider issues.

    The happy medium is not necessarily in start age, but in the development program . Start horses over fences when the exhibit the ability to do so, get the horses into a good development program, even if that means, you the owner, are not the sole rider, and recognize that a horse only has so many jumps in them from the time they are born, so do not waste them all working on your confidence issues or your leg problem, etc., consider the badge of honor being the owner of a successfully developed horse period, and not a DIY project worthy of bragging about.

    This is the real difference between our "program" and the European program.
    The swedish "rules" which I think correlate with most of Europe when it comes to maximum heigth at shows:

    3 yo - chute only
    4 yo - 100cm - 3'3"
    5 yo - 125cm - 4'1"
    6 yo - 135 cm - 4'4"



  10. #10
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    It would be nice to see more "young horse training and sales" programs where A circuit folks actually shop. That is a huge European advantage. I can start horses all day, but I have little market for them unless I send them to a top trainer's barn. I can sell them easily -- for 1/3 of the price I would get from an A barn.

    However, if they don't sell immediately, all the profit is gone, gone, gone as keeping them in an A barn is so expensive. After a month or two, especially if it goes to any shows (which it needs to, to be seen and prove it has what it takes), the $30,000 horse you paid $12k for as a yearling is a loss for your program. And the market is slow.

    Which is why my pastures only currently contain personal horses right now. It is not worth it right now as even really good A barns cannot guarantee that quick of a sale even on a very nice horse.

    I have no problem hopping a 3 year old over something to see what it will do. I start all my horses over fences at 4. Once a week, progress at their own pace. Not uncommon to jump around the Hopeful Jumpers (2'9 to 3') by August if they start jumping once a week in May. Then they do a year at Level 3 when they are 5, maybe a show or two at Level 4 in the fall if they are ready. They don't drill. Jumping is easy if they horse has good flatwork. If you can keep a baby forward and straight, it will go over the jumps you put in its path.



  11. #11
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    I also agree on the longeing. Regular longeing is far worse for the legs than a couple of jumps at 3! I longe my babies probably 5 times for 5-10 minutes before I get on when they are babies, just enough to teach them "whoa". Some people ground drive, I prefer the longe. Then I climb on and go. What's the point of all that longeing?

    If you need to wear the horse down to be able to ride it, get a new horse.

    The 3 & 4 year old hunters were 3' in the nineties.



  12. #12
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    Dec. 2, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauwse View Post
    I personally think every horse has their own timeline, and it is our job to recognize that and work within it. However coddling horse as we tend to here, until they are 5 or 6 is overkill in my opinion, and waste of substantial development time.

    We should be less worried about chronological age and be a little more concerned about the physical age, as we tend to not jump, but ground work and lunge the dickens out of our young horses here. Which is often followed by hours of saddle time logged to allow for the correction of rider errors, and the alleviation of rider issues.

    The happy medium is not necessarily in start age, but in the development program . Start horses over fences when the exhibit the ability to do so, get the horses into a good development program, even if that means, you the owner, are not the sole rider, and recognize that a horse only has so many jumps in them from the time they are born, so do not waste them all working on your confidence issues or your leg problem, etc., consider the badge of honor being the owner of a successfully developed horse period, and not a DIY project worthy of bragging about.

    This is the real difference between our "program" and the European program.
    This. Can't agree more! There is a lot of debate on COTH about when to start babies, I am with those that believe that waiting until they are 5 or 6 is unnecessary. Lightly breaking them at 2 1/2 or 3 is fine as long as it's done right (and then there is the whole debate about what "right" is) by someone who is qualified for the job. When I start babies, even when they begin to show o/f I rarely ever do full courses at home. All mine were blessed with natural auto changes from their natural balanced build as well as me riding to maintain their proper balance. There was no need for me to do more than hop them over a few fences once a week to keep them sharp. CONSISTENT AND PURPOSEFUL FLAT WORK is what will make the o/f come together.

    Edit: The young horse market is competitive, and I agree you should AIM for your horse to be at the level of it's most advanced peers.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 22, 2006
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    I agree, I find that horses started earlier usually have less holes. Since they are younger people often repeat exercises more often and spend more time on the basics since they don't want to stress their bodies. If their body can handle the light flat work they can certainly handle popping over some low jumps as to get the idea of what jumping is. While people who start older horses often say they are being patient once the horse is started it is like playing catch up and because their minds are often more mature many things are often not repeated as much as they should.

    A few summers ago I started a horse that the owner wanted to wait to start until knees were closed, it took until he was 5, up until that point he had been sat on and maybe jogged around. He was way behind and I would say at this point 2 and a half years later has finally caught up, and he really wasn't that hard (I will say he has also been ridden by kids too).

    For most horses holding your weight is not a problem, it is what we ask them to do, but someone can work these younger horses lightly so when their body is ready they are ready for real work.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    It would be nice to see more "young horse training and sales" programs where A circuit folks actually shop. That is a huge European advantage. I can start horses all day, but I have little market for them unless I send them to a top trainer's barn. I can sell them easily -- for 1/3 of the price I would get from an A barn.

    However, if they don't sell immediately, all the profit is gone, gone, gone as keeping them in an A barn is so expensive. After a month or two, especially if it goes to any shows (which it needs to, to be seen and prove it has what it takes), the $30,000 horse you paid $12k for as a yearling is a loss for your program. And the market is slow.
    I feel for anyone breeding in this country, that is not very well "established"; it just cannot make any financial sense, and has to be absolutely demoralizing to produce a nice horse, in all ways, then to have the horse, and ones work, marginalized because it was bred in North America.

    There is no doubt we have people who have the knowledge and ability to produce horses at the very top level, but we just do not do it in numbers of any sort, and I do not think that is for a lack of desire to do so, but because it just makes no sense.

    I may be way off track but I have to think that lack of breeding and development here has to influence our general knowledge base and muddy the waters when it comes to the question of this post. Our lack of base knowledge, or scattered pockets of knowledge, and the endless reams of contradictory information available only lead to more and more questions and more and more random conclusions when it comes to development.



  15. #15
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    Oct. 22, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by afox2332 View Post
    WHAT G.M. thread? Please help me out here!

    Thanks!
    I think it may have been deleted I can not find it anymore and it does not show up in my sub'ed feed



  16. #16
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    Oct. 22, 2008
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    Thanks for all the input its good to hear everyone's opinions I have popped my 16.3hh coming 4 year old over a few Xrails to get the basics of it before putting her on a break to *grow*/ I need time off for health reasons. I like the idea of her understanding the concept now and enjoying it before going to sit and do a whole lot of nothing for a few months.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponyface93 View Post
    Lightly breaking them at 2 1/2 or 3 is fine as long as it's done right (and then there is the whole debate about what "right" is) by someone who is qualified for the job.

    Have no desire to start a fire here but that's a problem for alot of people with young horses they have either bought really young or bred, they can't train it. Assumed it would sell as a dead green propect to somebody who could.

    This does not mean everybody, of course, but some really ought to take a good look at themselves and their ability to make up a young horse-maybe admit they are afraid of it in some cases. JMO but that's part of the reason for all that endless lunging and procrastinating getting that late 3 or 4 year old going to the point the others on the market are being presented at for the same price. Or less.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  18. #18
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    Dec. 2, 2011
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    I agree findeight. Breaking young horses is not for everyone. It makes me sad to see some decent horses being broke by people that thought "Hey I can buy (or worse breed with no knowledge about bloodlines and producing quality babies) a young horse and bring it along, it will be fun, like raising a kid!" when they really have no place within 100 ft of a greenie



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Have no desire to start a fire here but that's a problem for alot of people with young horses they have either bought really young or bred, they can't train it. Assumed it would sell as a dead green propect to somebody who could.

    This does not mean everybody, of course, but some really ought to take a good look at themselves and their ability to make up a young horse-maybe admit they are afraid of it in some cases. JMO but that's part of the reason for all that endless lunging and procrastinating getting that late 3 or 4 year old going to the point the others on the market are being presented at for the same price. Or less.
    This!
    I think most people in the US cannot train a young green horse. I think a lot of people are afraid of them. And it is soooooooo costly to have someone train the horse for you. Its just not worth it as you will never get the money back out of the young horse by the time you feed it until it can be ridden and then put the training money in to get the horse ready for sale if you cannot do it yourself.
    There is no reason why the 3yo cannot be ridden. And then as a 4yo you put the dressage basics on them so by the time they are ready to jump they can steer to the fences and remain semi balanced. Just because you don’t want to jump them until they are a little bit older doesn’t mean they cannot be trained. I think the people who say they are waiting for them to grow up and then leave them in a field are afraid of the horse. That is why there is endless lunging. Its less scary and also makes the horse less fresh so they don’t buck and pull antics when you do get on.
    I am doing a young horse. I bought him as a 3.5yo. I waited until 4.5 until I started to jump him. But 8 months later he was jumping around 2.6ft with lead changes. And this is with strictly amateur rides. Unfortunately for me I broke my leg by slipping on ice, so my horse lost his 6yo year. And by 7yo year he was a bit more horse than he used to be. Frankly I was less confident on him. This is where I realized I was over my head and employed a pro rider and got myself into a very good training program and now he is going very well. But its not cheap. Luckily for me, I am not worried about making a profit. He is my horse to enjoy. But for a breeder, this would eat away at the profits.
    I don’t exactly know how Europe is, but I think there is more access to training programs for riders and I think they develop their riders better so they are not afraid to bring along young horses. I think that is where their niche is. They can train the quality horse and still ream a profit whereas we are not able to do this.



  20. #20
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    Holy crap, I agree with findeight!



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