I thoroughly enjoyed Sarah Lorenz’s recent piece for COTH, “We Are All Individuals.” As someone who brings a lot of young horses up the levels of dressage I agree wholeheartedly that there’s no timetable, that they come along at whatever rate they come along, and that, as trainers and as stewards of their lives, we have to treat each one as an individual and evaluate what they’re capable of by using our own best judgement combined with advice from exceptional veterinarians, farriers and trainers.
As a 5’10” dressage trainer, my own personal horses are exclusively warmbloods, and most are north of 17 hands. Swagger is the youngest of the current group, bought in July of his 3-year-old year, a stallion, and already at least 16.3. Gelding him made him pop another inch, and between that and being put on a plane he arrived in the States looking like Skeletor. He needed time to eat and get healthy from the trip, and so he had about two months of vacation time where we fed him and turned him out. Once he looked healthy enough, he went to an event rider student of mine to work three days a week for a month or two, and then he came home where we worked him three days a week.
Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!