How Old Does A Horse Have To Be To Ride?
Your vet will tell you if your horse is physically ready to be saddled and ridden.
Once your vet gives you the go-ahead, you will need to teach your horse to accept the saddle and bridle.
This is usually done by gradually introducing the horse to the necessary riding equipment, one piece at a time, for several days or weeks.
After your horse has accepted the equipment, your horse trainer will get on your horse and teach him how to receive a rider.
The Average Horse
Young horses should not be ridden forcefully, not until they have been physically matured enough to safely support the weight.
For most breeds, this will occur when the horse is approximately 2 years old.
Some trainers choose to start training when the horse is one year behind, meaning when 18-24 months old, while others will wait until the horse is 2 1/2 years old before training begins.
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Regardless of the horse’s age, it is essential that you do not ride a horse whose knees have not finished closing.
If your horse’s knees have not closed, it means that the knees have not fully developed and are extremely vulnerable to damage that can occur as a result of putting too much pressure on the joints.
When horses are mounted too early, they can damage their joints and affect their strength for the rest of their lives.
Some horse breeds mature earlier or later than the average horse.
Thoroughbreds mature a little earlier than horse quarters and other similar breeds. They are ready to ride from 18 months of age, so they are ready to run at 2 years old. Hot blooded and draft horses mature later than average and cannot break to ride or pull carts until they are 3-4 years old.
In the world of performance horses and with many breeds, horses 3-4 years old is a suitable age to start riding a horse.
In racing breeds we start a little earlier (around 2 years old) and research does not show that starting these horses early is a problem.
Generally 3-4 years is a good age and the horse must be skeletally mature enough to ride.
Although at this stage, the horses are not completely mature and are still growing and developing.
You will need to approach this phase with utter caution, play it safe as some horse breeds require different training regimen than others.
A three-year old warm blood will most definitely look a lot different when in comparison to a six-year old warmblood.