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Spinoff: When do you start over fence work under saddle with your young horses?

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  • Spinoff: When do you start over fence work under saddle with your young horses?

    I was planning on waiting until my horse was 4 before starting over fence work under saddle and the waiting is killing me . Then I noticed in the "what are your 3 year-olds doing" thread that some are doing over fence work with a rider already. What are your opinions on when a young horse should start over fence work under saddle?
    Tracy Anderson
    Cornerstone Farm - Breeders of quality sport prospects for the amateur and professional
    We're now on facebook! Follow us here

  • #2
    I am starting a 3 year old filly in free jumping only in order to prepare her for her mare performance test in October. That consists of very brief schooling sessions to get her comfortable in the jumping chute.
    Mary Lou


    Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


    • #3
      We introduce raised cavaletti and small jumps at 2 1/2 in our little indoor arena in conjunction with loose schooling, partially to deal with winter boredom. It is a great way to tone up loose stifles and get a young horse to have a sense of where all four feet are going.

      Since our program is aimed at all types of performance, it helps us direct the young ones in the direction of their aptitude.

      Under saddle jumping is done on an individual basis, after knowing how to jump without a rider is established. We really like to add the rider after the young horse has made all their big mistakes without a rider!
      "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


      • #4
        We do free jump our 3 year old fillies for MPT prep also - but I hate, hate, hate having to do that and my strong preference would be to wait until they are 4. And if a filly is particularly growthy in the three year old year I do hold off until 4 to do the MPT.
        Roseknoll Sporthorses


        • #5
          I just want to mention that one of the 3 year olds you saw jumping u/s is Panzyr. He did a little bit of free jumping at 2, and then went back out to pasture. In the photos you saw of him on the 'what are your 3 year olds doing?', it is his 4th u/s jumping lesson. He gets jumped about once every week. At the end of Aug. he will go back out to pasture until Spring. So he will have had a total of about 10 small, very short lessons. He won't really get going until he's 4. Hope that helps clarify.
          Chris Misita
          www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
          To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
          Victor Hugo


          • #6
            I don't jump my young horses undersaddle until a min of 4yrs of age. I will free jump lightly at 3yrs but that is it. I like a good solid foundation of undersaddle training before I introduce fences and a bit more time for them to mature.
            Cindy's Warmbloods
            www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
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            • #7
              I'm in the same boat as most in not wanting to do too much to quickly. However, the 4yo classes here and 1.10. So if you aren't doing some sort of jumping as a 3yo, you haven't much hope in competing in those classes. The big show to qualify for over here is the RDS which is the beginning of August. So qualifiers start in April and are through to the beginning of July I believe.

              I think doing 1meter 10 for a 4yo is a bit of an ask really. You can do schooling shows much lower in order to compete at 1m10 successfully.

              How ever at the moment, my 3yo is doing trotting poles, and the smallest of crossrails every now and again. It's something different and fun. She loose jumps maybe once a month, if that. She's only loose jumped once this year. She is pretty mature for her age physcially. She only trains about 3 or 4 days a week, but will continue training throughout the fall and winter. One thing she doesn't need in excess is flipping grass! She gets plenty of turnout and that won't change. Most of the time she lives out at night as well.

              I guess it would all have to do with your goals as well. If you want to sell as a 4yo you probably need to push more than others that are looking long term. I'm just looking for happy to do what you ask and don't feel I need to push my filly. They let you know when they're ready for more.

              COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

              "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


              • #8
                They can start to jump when you have a good understanding of "forward", and some approximation of "straightness", and "bending" under saddle. How long that takes is largely dependant on the individual, and how early you can start him under saddle (his coordination and muscular development). If you can start him under saddle early (as a long yearling for horses with early maturation eg TB), and have a good idea of how to do that without increasing his chances of injury while doing it, early jumping is largely a mental challenge, not a physical one. Growth plates are still open in many bones, but with a light rider and some knowledge and experience, calculated work load early drives maturation of bones by remodelling them at the time in life where this sort of strengthening is the most possible. Being able to start a youngster early is determined by coordination and muscular development, not bone maturity. Bones will be immature, and the trainer takes that into consideration with the workload presented. Not all horses can be started under saddle this early, some can.

                I've had a few who are easily loping around 2' courses at the fall of their two year old year. With good cushioned footing and a non-goal oriented training schedule, stresses of this are not more than regular riding. They are ready to show in the 2'6" baby divisions as three year olds. But the training is never "serious", perfection in performance is never the goal, multiple repetitions are never done. This sort of progress is only possible if the horse is one of those who seems to already know much of what is expected, they do it right (or close to right) the first time, naturally. If you let the horse direct his own training, have some fun and enjoy the training, tell you what he is and is not ready for, rather than drive to attain your own goals only, errors are rarely made. The ability to read a horse, know when to push him and when to turn him out to pasture for rest for a while, recognize stresses and strains before they become a problem and act accordingly, a horse can progress faster than following dogmatic theories.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tanderson View Post
                  I was planning on waiting until my horse was 4 before starting over fence work under saddle and the waiting is killing me . Then I noticed in the "what are your 3 year-olds doing" thread that some are doing over fence work with a rider already. What are your opinions on when a young horse should start over fence work under saddle?
                  little freejumping at long 2 or 3 and under saddle at 4
                  Providence Farm