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Do you notice a difference under saddle in youngsters going through growth spurts?

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  • Do you notice a difference under saddle in youngsters going through growth spurts?

    Do you notice a difference under saddle in youngsters going through growth spurts?

    My prior experience with a young horse was a 4 year old OTTB. He did grow up and out after I bought him, but not by much. I never noticed any change in behavior or skill under saddle associated with the growth.

    My current greenie I bought as a 3 year old, he turned 4 in May. He's a warmblood and has been going through some major growth spurts-- both up and out. He's usually a good 1-1.5 inches higher at the rump than the wither, though he'll have more level-ish moments and then the butt goes up again Unlike the TB, he is clearly GROWTHY and LOOKS growthy at times.

    I've noticed he seems a lot more balanced undersaddle when he's in a more even phase. Which doesn't surprise me. But he also seems more focused/able to listen to the aids, realxed when he's in a more even phase. He's not bad when he's butt high, it's just like I have 80% brain and 70% body in those times as opposed to 100% when he's not growing.

    Is it just me, or is this a baby thing?
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"

  • #2
    Yes. My youngsters (TBs) couldn't canter when they were butt high. So we didn't. Just trotted until their muscles and tendons and ligaments caught up, and they got use to the changes in their bodies. When the front grows it seems easier for them to acclimate to the changes in their bodies, but when butt high they had more issues.

    I figure that when they are in a growth spurt they are too busy trying to figure out how to make their body parts work together to be as focused on their rider as they are when everything is more level and balanced.


    • #3
      Think TEENAGERS like someone else mentioned recently. Their brains don't connect all the time. Their bodies get twitchy! They're clumsy, they lack social skills, don't connect consequences. They have real growing pains. They often get joint problems - Osgoods Schlatter's for example.

      He's just a big Baby Huey right now.


      • #4
        YES. I go through saddles and equipment very fast when they are in growth spurts and I notice that sometimes they just seem uncomfortable in their own bodies.
        Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN


        • #5
          I had to realize this when my young teenage daughters were riding. One grew rather tall over the winter and her equitation went right out the window. I had to stop to think about it. I am so glad that I didn't yell at her at first. She had grown so much that she actually had to relearn how to use and where to put her body parts. She was frustrated too. But upon thinking about it and discussing it with her we came to realize and took the time to readjust.

          I have a gelding like yours right now. We're just hacking him out and showing him the world, using a sidepull on him and he is soooo enjoying the buddy up time. So many good positive conversations with him, without formal schooling. I had someone riding him that has a different approach. We've gone back to our philosophy and he is a different horse, the one that we knew from the start. He is so happy and kind and relaxed riding him out on a long rein and just hacking thru the fields. Mentally and physically it is what he needs right now.

          Go slow and just enjoy the bonding time with him.
          Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


          • #6
            Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
            But he also seems more focused/able to listen to the aids, realxed when he's in a more even phase.
            Aren't you able to focus more on the task at hand when you aren't (partially) focused on figuring out which leg goes where?
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by JB View Post
              Aren't you able to focus more on the task at hand when you aren't (partially) focused on figuring out which leg goes where?
              Haha, absolutely.

              I think he fools me because when he's in a level phase he SEEMS much further along than his actual years. So it makes the goofy stages stick out even more. And he's generally so level headed and good, that it makes it tough to understand how he could steer on Monday and have no idea what the aids mean Tuesday. LOL.

              So, er, when do they stop growing?
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


              • #8
                Check back when he's 7-8 and see how long it's been since he's grown
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  Yes, I have had this happen. Most recently, I started a sport pony at 3 and when I ride her my saddle slides forward because her withers aren't developed and she is croup high. She also isn't as balanced, obviously.
                  'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vxf111 View Post

                    So, er, when do they stop growing?
                    You don't want to hear this, but Her Highness turned 5 last month... and I realized tonight that she's slightly butt high again . I couldn't figure out why she looked was looking so lanky again when all she does is stuff her face all day long, but that would do it...

                    And in answer to your question, YES, they do grow in and out of being coordinated. I can finally ride without bells... sometimes they were on all four...
                    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."