I’d like to give you a concussion

Weird post title, right? Did it grab your attention? Make you click a link to read it? Pick at your curiosity until you just had to find out what the frak the crazy girl was talking about today?

GOOD! Job well done me! Ok, time to go home.

Crap.  Right, haven’t written anything yet.

Without further adieu, I give thee (pause for dramatic effect) repetitive concussion on a 3 year old’s knees! (applause)

Lily is a 3 year old TB mare; she is broke to ride and relatively calm. Lily is started to fences jumping at 2 foot 6 with a rider and 3 foot free jumping. Lily has been started English however has gone Western a couple of times. She is requiring a more experienced rider to continue her training; she just recently has become a little faster passed. She does have a 10 yr. old girl who rides her on a lung line and is good with her. She is not the typical hot TB however she has her moments. With time she will be a great kid’s horse. She is starting to accept the bit, and getting better in her transitions. Lily has a very slight club foot, however she is sound. She stands 15 hands (approx.) she really has a great attitude. She is easy to load, falls asleep when being clipped and is pretty good when having a bath. She is good for farrier, as I said a 10 yr. old tacks her up and does all that stuff, she is patient. Please contact me with offers on this beautiful girl.

Ps. this horse is for sale in Alberta, Canada (this’ll be relevant information later on!)

While there is no hard and fast rule for when to start a horse jumping, I’m pretty confident in saying that it ain’t at 3 years old – at least not 2’6″.  If you want to vary your training curriculum, some trot poles and maybe an “x” here and there can be great things!  But to be jumping your 3 year old 2’6″ with a rider and 3″ free is insanity!  You’re not just asking for joint issues, you’re going out to the department store and obtaining an ironclad rain check.  Even taking into consideration the fact that this mare is a Thoroughbred doesn’t excuse the owner’s disregard for the musculoskeletal structure of a young, developing horse.

Not interested in taking my word for it?  (That’s ok, neither would I.)  Then check out this forum and this one for other opinions.  Not interested in opinions?  Ok, here’s a well laid out article on growth plates and their general timeline for fusing.

The general opinion these days seems to be that because Thoroughbreds are raced from a young age it’s alright to start them for regular riding around the same time.  WRONG-O!  Does no one remember that racing Thoroughbreds carry jockeys?  Little, tiny people who weigh all of 115 pounds. No offense to the woman riding in the picture, but I doubt she weighs 115 pounds.

What’s this? Another sale picture?  Why wasn’t it included with the above?

Hmm, looks to me like this photo was taken on a nice, sunny day.  What’s that you say?  There aren’t many of those in Alberta during the winter?  Well maybe they got lucky.  Hold the phone!  She looks to be riding in an open field – shouldn’t it be muddy and show evidence of a massive influx of liquid, either by way of rain or snow?  Jump back!  You mean to tell me that they were jumping last summer! When the horse was a mere 2.5 year old?!  Shut the front door!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you yet another asshat who doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone.  One thing is for sure, taking your horse’s training slowly, allowing them to grow and mature, and letting their young muscles properly develop isn’t going to do them any harm in the long run – can the same be said for rushing a horse’s training?

[personal note: I think the word applause looks like “apple sauce”]


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Posted on February 21, 2012, in Bad Horse Ads and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Poor baby…. 😦 Wish she could have just been a baby and loved on a while before she had her joints crammed together repeatedly by an asshat who probably thinks they are an AWESOME trainer to get such a young horse to jump 2’6″ .

    I apple sauce you for writing this post!

  2. I have -always- thought the word applause looked like apple sauce combined. I’m glad someone else notices these things! 😀

  3. Other than wear and tear for her age – they are ruining any jumping career. Jumping with a rider without transitions, leads, she is getting fast……. Let me guess – they are galloping her at the fences and assuming she will go over. When she learns how to run out and stop it will get more interesting.
    I see a lot of that in western riders here. Throw an english saddle on, run them at a jump. Voila! trained jumping horse. If they persist, they they get a stopper.

  4. That applause and applesauce comment was too much for me. My brain’s fried. LOL

    Yup, don’t much matter where you are. Stupid people are everywhere.

    God I hope I am not one of them.

  5. And this is why I was so happy to take on the 7 year old Arab mare that had only been ridden 2x in the past year. Yep, only two rides on her. She is now 12 and still going strong, where as the QH mare that was ridden at 2, shown extensively, and is the same age (12) is almost crippled with arthritis. I have the proof that waiting is worth it in my pasture!

  6. That’s just insane.. I thought Jumping my Saddlebred as a FIVE year old was pushing it (so I ended up not doing it other then over cavalettis which.. he just trotted, he was still growing so I was patient) I’m just *now* getting him into jumping maybe a 1’5″ free jumping as a SIX year old. And plan on waiting till close to the middle of summer for me to actually get on him and jump.

  7. In England there is a general rule of never, ever jumping before four, and even then taking it easy until five. And pretty much every show association does not allow horses younger than four in ANY ridden class.

  8. I’m not a jumper but I think starting a 3 year old at 2 foot 6 with a rider, even a 10 year old rider, is abusive. She’s still a baby, still learning to carry herself but they just throw a rider on her and point her at a jump and call that training. So she’s still learning to accept the bit but these people don’t seem to have a problem with making her jump big fences before teaching her the basics on the ground. Gawd dammit! People suck.

  9. I’m more bothered by the jumping 2’6 with the rider, than by the freejumping at 3′. It’s not uncommon to do a little free-jumping with young jumping prospects – really the only way to showcase a horse’s potential as a jumper without jumping it under saddle. But that’s generally on good footing, with jumps set with proper spacing to encourage the horse to the optimal take-off spot, in a straight line and of course, no rider’s weight. All to make it easy as possible on the horse. There’s certainly more to it than just running the horse at jumps.

    I never jumped my young horse until she was four, and that’s when we started with little cross-rails and logs on the trail. Never did a course until the fall of her four-year-old year and she never showed over fences until she was five. My current jumper prospect is an ex-broodmare who never jumped at all until she was 7 – I’d much rather a horse that is still green at age 7 then one who was having her legs pounded at 3.

    I think there’s pressure for this kind of thing from the show world … there are “Young Horse” classes in jumping that expect horses to be jumping 3′ at four and five years of age. These classes were meant for well bred, athletic horses, the kind of horses that jumping 3′ comes to naturally, so they only need minimal preparation with a good rider to be ready to go jump a course. Of course in reality, most real life horse/rider pairs need a LOT of practice to be ready for a 3′ course so they think this means they have to start jumping early. (Personally I am much more in favour of classes that just specify being for horses in their first or second year of competition, regardless of age).

    And all of this is too bad, really, because the horse in the ad looks reasonably cute and like she actually might make an okay lower-level jumper. 15 hands is a tough size to sell in the h/j world, though, people want ponies or 16 hh plus.

  10. “She’s beginning to accept the bit?” I’d think you’d want that well established before you, let me see, JUMP her, but I guess that’s just me.

  11. Can’t edit comments… also meant to point out, considering what a train wreck many ads are, that the rider looks well-balanced and correct, the jump equipment looks safe and the jump is properly set, and there seems to be correct and safe tack and a helmet. This isn’t a yahoo jumping over some lawn chairs bareback in a rope halter, they look to know what they’re doing. If the horse was just one year older, I’d see nothing wrong.

  12. I live in Alberta, and that picture was probably taken in July, maybe August. You rarely ever see a 2 yo being sold for a purpose other than racing unless it is for one of two problems. Either the horse has absolutely no athletic ability what so ever, Or there’s a soundness problem. I don’t mean common 2 yo problems like splints and bucked shins, I mean SERIOUS problems. The ones with no ability usually are not sold until the end of their 3yo year since 2yo’s can be funny. The 2yo that wins everything could be a total dud at three and the horse that can’t run at 2 can be amazing at 3. 2 year old years are not a good indicator of what the horse is actually capable of, so I’m going with serious soundness issues, meaning this horse REALLY shouldn’t be jumping

  13. Depending on what part of Alberta she lives in, it is possible that wasn’t taken during the summer and was taken more rcently. This year has been incredibly mild, especially compared to last year. We’ve had hardly any snow in Southern Alberta and the snow we do get melts and dries up almost immediately. However, that doesn’t excuse her jumping a 3 year old.

  14. Now, if that horse we from BC I’d say that picture could be current, since we’ve had all of maybe 6 inches of snow since October (darn coastal weather – it’s all rain!), but yeah, for Alberta that’s a summer photo. Ugh! When will people learn?!

    That is one adorable mare who probably could have been a pretty darn good jumper at larger heights in the future had she not been started so young. Now? I’m betting pasture ornament by 10.

  15. And people wonder why horses are “used up” so long before they are officially old. Around here [the Redneck Riviera] the rule of thumb is a horse is ready for riding when the knees close around age 2 or 3. Silly, since those are the first bones to close. The last bones to close are actually the ones at the wither area around age five or six (you know, where the saddle and the rider’s weight is? *rolls eyes*). Dr. Deb Bennett at the Equine Institute has some excellent information and case studies on this stuff.

    It makes me cringe to see so many young horses pushed to do things like this way before their bodies are physically ready for it. Kind of like the little kindergarten kids I see at school trying to lug a 50lb backpack around – half the time the book bag weighs more than they do. Oy.

  16. I live in Alberta, Canada – have for 14 years. And although we do have the occasional winters that would look like that, I know it sure as heck wasn’t last year…or any of the recent years in fact. People are stupid, it’s really all I can say.

  17. Honestly, people need to learn to leave well enough alone for sure.

    P.S. Now I’m gonna be saying “apple sauce” instead of applause from now on! Haha.

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