Summary: Side Effects Of Starting A Horse Under Saddle

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Side Effects of Starting a Horse Under Saddle before the Age of Three
Starting horses under saddle have been a question many people and trainers have asked for years. There are many benefits to starting a horse before the age of three, but greater drawbacks as well. A horse at the age of three is not skeletally mature enough to carry the weight of a human without major side effects. The growth plates in the vertebrae and in the knees of horses have not yet completely fused (Franz, et al 1). Starting a horse after the age of three decreases the risk of bowed tendons, sprained spines, and the deformation of the carpal bones in the knee. Many trainers want to prepare their young horses ' for the futurities and for thoroughbred racing at the age of sixteen through eighteen months. “Dr. Deb Bennett raises awareness
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Shortly after a horse is born it should be trained without a saddle on the ground (Conditioning Young Horses” 3). This will teach a young horse to show respect for the trainer and give the horse a positive mindset. Exercising a young horse can be extremely beneficial for the development of their muscles, joints, and tendons (“Conditioning Young Horses 1”). The first three years of a horse’s life are very important for the mental and physical development of the young horse. A young horse will normally be easier to train under saddle once you have developed a relationship with the horse on the ground. Young horses will often have “training issues” under saddle which is normally caused by being stressed and not being mature enough to be under saddle (Geor 2). At the age of two, a horse cannot physically perform to its fullest potential, unlike a horse that is skeletally mature (“Conditioning Young Horses” 4). Even though a horse should not perform before the age of three there are many things a trainer can work on with a horse preparing him or her for being trained under

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