Are you wondering how old does a horse have to be to ride? Here are a few important tips to keep in mind!
Your young horses well being is your priority.
If you begin on a youngster before their ready, you may cause both physical, and physiologically damage.
As a responsible owner you have to understand your horse, and the appropriate training to go with it. Have a read on how to bond with your new horse in order to gain a better understanding of where your horse is at!
The trick when understanding if your horse is ready for a saddle is having your young horse want to learn instead of asking them to preform. For example, if ground work sessions are longer than their attention span it will result in a negative response.
Now you’re wondering, well what does this have to do with saddling them?
Your horses behaviour could worsen as they become of age to be under saddle, putting the rider and the horse in danger.
So, how old does a horse have to be to ride?
This answer depends mostly on your horses breed, lineage, and your horses maturity. A horses bones, make up, and maturity are not fully developed until seven and a half years of age.
Rushing the saddling process will not be of any benefit to you, nor your horse.
Taking your time, and warming your horse up to the idea of saddling them is the right way to approach riding. Trust me, you need the time just as much as they do!
You may begin to lightly introduce your horse to a saddle before they have reached their full maturity. However vigorous saddle work shouldn’t be happening. It can lead to stress and damage on their skeletal, and become unsafe for a rider.
Having your horse fully mature will lessen your work load and make both yours and his ride more enjoyable.
Affection and Ground Work is 100% Necessary Before Even Considering Saddle-Time
Do lots of preparation before starting under saddle. An un-started horse tires quickly, leading to possible injury.
Trusting your horse, and having your horse trust you is essential.
A trusting horse will willingly do what you intend. A horse which does not trust you will have difficulty with the idea of having you lead them.
Leading by foot is a great introduction to leading in the saddle. Your horse and you have to learn to respect each others space, all while maintaining a calm and collected pace. This may seem pretty basic, but it takes effort. It’s the continuous effort in all aspects of bonding that’s most important.
We talk in more detail about this process in how to bond with your new horse!
Your horse will take care of you if he loves and respects you.
Once you are on a horses back you will realize how much of a team effort it is.
Every Horse Deserves Retirement.
None of us can escape time. That being said, unavoidable changes occur onto our horses as they age. From teeth, to their digestive track, through to their mobility. In time, their capabilities will begin to be lessen.
I think its fair to say every horse deserves retirement. Time to graze, relax, and spend time just being a horse!
In summary, don’t rush to put a saddle on. Figure out your horses lineage, do all the necessary steps leading up to saddling, and mostly – understand your animal.
Figure each other out first, and you’ll know what comes next!
Hope you enjoyed my explanation on how old does a horse have to be to ride. Drop a comment below, I would love to hear your feedback!