Loose Schooling over jumps at 22 months?

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I was always taught not to start jumping until 5 years at the earliest, but I know many respected trainers in my areas start at 4 years and have been very successful doing it.
However I noticed just now a 22 month old pony being loose schooled over a jump....is this normal?!
 
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It is to have a look at potential but as a one off. Horses are jumped at gradings a little later on and talent needs to be assessed
This isn't exactly going to be a show jumper though...I doubt. Its a native kids pony type. I guess it may have been just for photo purposes but still, I have a 3 year old and have no idea how he'll do jumping other than seeing him clear a gate in the field in tort and thinking "holly *********** I've got a jumper!)
 
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Also described as having lovely floating paces (god hear that all the time, but thats another thread!) and a good scoopy jump, he's probably only doing 1ft6 in the images as he's 11h. Just never even considered putting mine over jumps that young!
 

catroo

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If he's only do 1ft 6 I doubt it's going to do him any harm, my youngsters hammer round and round the field all day jumping and leaping higher than that on their own accord, they are only shetlands. One of my two year olds jumped over some upright barrels a couple of weeks ago, no need for him to do it, they were turned out in the same field as the jumps and he obviously thought he'd have a go
 

tessybear

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Also described as having lovely floating paces (god hear that all the time, but thats another thread!) and a good scoopy jump, he's probably only doing 1ft6 in the images as he's 11h. Just never even considered putting mine over jumps that young!
I wouldn't bother loose schooling over jumps, saying that Dolly cleared a 4 foot fence from a stand still the other day :rolleyes: at 2 months
 

Casey76

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My 2-yo will take himself over jumps if they are left up in the school.

I wouldn't intentionally "school" over jumps - at liberty or not, but if he wants to jump them, he is free to.

He would also jump back and forth over the fallen tree in the paddock when he was 9 months old.
 

JFTDWS

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It is to have a look at potential but as a one off. Horses are jumped at gradings a little later on and talent needs to be assessed
This. I "allowed" my native to free jump at that age. I say allowed as I was actually freejumping my older horse and he jumped out of the next field to join in :rolleyes: But we are talking about a 14hh pony who took on a 5 bar gate at 6 months and has been popping my fencing since he was 2.

It's interesting to see what they make of fences, and once or twice isn't the end of the world. He's certainly ridiculously confident over fences, though that may not translate under saddle.
 

Dry Rot

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There's a big difference between an animal jumping because it wants to and being forced to by being chased around.

I'll occasionally put the youngsters' feed bowls beyond some sort of jump and if they want to jump to get it, that's fine. Their choice.

What breed are these horses that damage themselves so quickly? Certainly not mine or I'd have to think about keeping them out of the wood for fear they'd try to jump fallen trees!

I suspect it is the gangly sports horse/TB types that have been selectively bred for speed, without any consideration for economy, that need so long to mature and are so easily damaged when young.
 
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