When is a Young Horse Ready to Ride?

Q: I have a fine-boned 3-year-old Welsh/Quarter Horse cross that I would like to start in regular work and training, but I’m reluctant for fear of placing too much stress on her young spine. When is it safe to start and ride her on a regular basis?—Anita Covelli, Homosassa, Florida

A: In the performance horse world and with many breeds, 3 to 4 years old should be an adequate age to start a horse under saddle. In the racing breeds we start a little earlier (around 2 years of age) and the data doesn’t s

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