I am prompted to write this by a post from Mel over at Boots and Saddles who was musing on the changes in her horse over the years..
It is very true I think that horses go on changing for FAR longer than we really think: we all expect them to grow and change shape between birth and about 5 of course:
But do we really think they have stopped growing by the time they’re 5 or 6?
Joe is registered in his log book as 15hh… He got that when he was 5. He’s now a solid 15.3. He didn’t fill out through the chest until he was 4 and a bit, and he has continued to get broader and more solid. There’s a lot of horse there now, and there wasn’t when I first started riding him. Not all of this is down to muscle development either… He has bigger feet, and more substantial leg bone.
I started Joe at three and a half… I originally planned to do it at 4, but he was the sort of horse who was clearly bored in the paddock and needed a job to do, so we went a bit early. Nowadays I wonder if I was too early, and I plan to try and hold off from starting Faith until she’s at least 4.
Is even that too early??