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Thread: What age would you back a horse?

  1. #21
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    Boo was backed in August last year at 4. I think its good for her as she can be a bit immature although it probably would have been good if she'd been backed earlier in the summer before the weather got all foul and windy and spooky!

    Smile because it happened.
    Jimmy 2003-2011

  2. #22

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    So i am assuming that backing a horse is the same as our term breaking a horse (and yes i do realize our term seems rather vulgar) i prefer to say start. But anywho, is this correct???

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candycowgirl View Post
    So i am assuming that backing a horse is the same as our term breaking a horse (and yes i do realize our term seems rather vulgar) i prefer to say start. But anywho, is this correct???
    Yeah it's just different terminology

  4. #24
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    Depending on how quickly the horse had matured both physically and mentally.

    Id always think Id like to wait till 4 but could potentially be a little more or less.

    To your question, if I backed the horse now, Id ride until October time then turn away till spring
    [center][IMG]http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt70/loveshorses/dxjrt1.jpg[/IMG][/center]

  5. #25
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    Vega is 4 next month and she's only started leaving her field

    Depends on the horse. She's gone through some very immature stages, and some very temperamental stages.

    She's still a bit bum high and very narrow in her chest compared to the rest of her, but she's better then she has been, and ready.

    The last four days she's had a rug on, been tying, leading, feet picking out, had her first trim in over a year, loading, travelling, new place etc ... and she's fine. No hardship at all. I personally think doing too much 'handling/groundwork' whatever, gets boring for them and can sour them. No need to spend 6 months doing the basic stuff. It'll be another month before she goes for breaking, but thats just circumstance.

    I am starting a little later then I'd have liked (before winter she was too gangly, and still stuck in a sort of 'terrible three's phase!) and I can't work her over winter with weather/work etc.

    Gratutious pic from today of course



    The cut and shut can't be helped at this stage, with her draught breeding she's just going to keep fecking growing!!

  6. #26
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    Ooooo Vega has grown into a rather nice young lady!!

    I backed (as in literally sat on and walked around in a circle half a dozen times) my filly at 4.5 late last year. My intention was to give her the winter off (which she got) and then to ride her away this year. We started the groundwork this year as planned but because of my it doesn't look like I'll be riding her away till next year.

    I don't believe in rushing young horses, I think they need baby time, and they all need to be treated as individuals. I'd never back and ride away before 4 personally, but other horses can need that extra year to just mature and grow up. My filly is Friesian cross, and Friesian's are notoriously slow to mature, so it's not entirely unexpected we've had to wait the extra year to get there.

    I read a study somewhere that saved on my old laptop and am now struggling to find after laptop died, that indicates in basic terms that for every month after their third birthday you leave them (up to 6 years of age I think it was), you get between 3 and 1.5 months extra on their ridden career (sliding scale) at the other end of their lives. Horses backed later tend to stay sound and active longer. If anyone finds it please let me know! It was published in a vet journal.

  7. #27
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    For me it's all based on their actual age not their year. If Phil was backed in the Spring of his 3rd year he'd only just have been 3 (born May). He was sat on around August of his 3rd year (so 3 years 3 months) ridden in w/t in December of his 3rd year. His backing was far from ideal but I'd want a horse to actually be at least 3 before sitting on it, personally. So no backing in March if the horse wasn't born until May/June time.

  8. #28
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    To me it depends on the horse in front of me but I don't tend to back before the age of 4yrs

    Tx
    "Horses - Be to their virtues ever kind and to their faults a little blind"

  9. #29
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    I agree Robyn - rising three = 2, end of, and 2 is too young. Although Annie is desperate to be ridden and pays close attention to other horses being lunged and schooled and is fascinated by riders in the byways next to her field!

  10. #30
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    I'd do lot's of ground work with them early on, even if it's just tying, leading etc as a youngster and learning manners. I'd aim to back summer of their first year, so backand be riding (light hacking etc) have the winter off then into 'proper' work, taken slowly in the summer of their 4th year. However every horse is different and some might need longer to grow up both mentally and physically.

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