Cour d’Alaine is 6yo, enjoying his 30th ride, and doesn’t cease to amaze me 😍
The horse is dependent on the rider to prepare him for riding. There is an ongoing push to ride young horses beyond their actual body and mental readiness to produce the quick effects and “check” whether the horse is enough for the training that lies ahead of him. All this happens with a great cost. When the muscles of the developing body cannot take more strain, and they tense, or if they tense because of the mental stress (sic!), all the fatigue is taken by the bones – muscles do not amortize the movement, the movement is from now on being amortized by bones and ligaments. If the horse’s bones are not fully fossilized by this time, the rider risks that the body of the horse will be seriously damaged.
It’s worth to wait until the horse are 6yo to start the more regular riding, and it’s worth to take care about the groundwork beforehand to prepare the horse not only physically but also mentally for what will lie ahead of him.