I know that there are many different thoughts among horse people on what is too much too soon in terms of schooling young horses. After talking to multiple pros and also doing a bunch of my own research I feel really confident that what I am asking of Annie is both fair and reasonable. There is no reason that as an almost 4 year old she cannot handle speed bumps. I am not jumping her over 3′ fences 5 days a week. She jumps 2′ maybe 1x a week – obviously more at her occasional show. As we go through this year she will probably jump up to 2’6 and I feel really comfortable about that and did not make any of the decisions pertaining to her training lightly.
Dr. Marks also touched on what keeps a horse sound for a long career and he said, “the problem with a horse staying sound for a long time is not when you start them, but at the age that you start to show it at a very high level.”
I don’t know about you guys but I think I am probably going to take the advice of the team vet of USET to heart. Dr Marks was even recently inducted to the Show Jumping Hall of Fame! No matter what your discipline I think that there is a lot to be said about the fact that it is not so much when you start a horse but rather what you do with them when you start them.
Do any of you have any strong opinions one way or another? Are there reasons or research that lead you to feel the way you do?