Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Just five years old and already jumping what appears to be 2'9" or 3' oxers. This horse did not just start jumping like this at this height. The horse had to be started over fences much before his 5th year. Will his legs last until his 10th year? Fifteenth? Some would say depending on the breed, the horse could peak in performance earlier than other breeds but the argument I have with that is he is still in a high impact sport regardless of breed. It's akin to the Olympic sport of gymnastics where little girls start at birth, peak before puberty and retired from the sport at the ripe old age of 16 or so. Growing skeletons in a high impact sport, cannot develop while having to maintain such stress. But again, this is a society of 'get ' er done' attitudes and make a quick buck. I really do not believe that a 5 year old horse of this size should be jumping at this level. It's just too much stress physically and mentally. Will this horse be able to carry riders well into his teens or even twenties? I don't know but he's for sale if you'd like to buy him and find out.


  1. Gee FH2, how did you get pix of my horse? (I kid... Sonny is a bright red.)

    That is EXACTLY how he wound up here with me. (The first time.)At the age of 3, he was being put over 2'6" to 3' fences. Eight months of work into him, he was sound. Sent him home with STRICT written instructions.

    Eight weeks later, I get a phone call. Next day, Sonny was back here. Minus about 250 pounds, lame all the way around, bruises and swelling all along his back, and a kick to the near side hock that may well be the end to his riding career yet. (Of course, falling into a pool in August during the theft attempt did not help either.)


  2. You are so right. I thank god for the hunter/jumper riders I know who won't even consider jumping on a youngster until four, and then usually after seeing if the knees have closed or not. They want a sound horse for life.

  3. That's just sad. Poor horse.

    I was so impressed one day when I looked up Authentic and saw that he was still competing at that high level at age 18... Someone started that horse RIGHT!

    I didn't really think much of riding horses that were say, 3 years old, lightly, and the light jumping of four and five year olds (by that I mean cross rails and small verticals), but then I was pointed to The Ranger Piece, something anyone who ever thinks about training a horse from a young age should read.


I am just one judge with one judge's opinion. Almost all of the classes I judge are based on the rules of USEF & AQHA. Judging a horse show is very subjective to the interpretation of the rules. Please keep this in mind when commenting.