I find that its always good to do some basic handling with all breeds, this starts with basic yielding. I’m also wary of over handling and spoiling the natural ways of the horse. Some things I would be looking at with say a weaner from 6 months on would be basic haltering, leading, yielding of the hind quarters. Once I have control of the horses feet through the lead rope I can start playing with feet and general desentisizing. This may include acceptance of a rug, ideally one with a surcingle, this is great preparation for a girth later on. Once of the biggest things I really like to see is a horse that can back up, this is excellent for teaching a horse to respect your space. There are many more things you can add as a horse heads towards starting under saddle but it all depends on your experience. So in regards to the original question, many horses especially the Warmbloods do take more time to not only physically mature but also mentally, but I have given many of these horse a basic start at 2-3 years of age. When I say basic its just carrying a saddle, accepting a bit, having a rider up above them and maybe just a little walk under saddle yielding the hind quarters, front quarters a little back up along of course with some quality groundwork. Sessions are only short, under half an hour, I have found that’s enough for them mentally.

I send them home for 8 months maybe a year then they can come back for a little more. This really sticks with these young horses and I find when they come back many months later its like I worked with them yesterday.

In regards to the Friesian and breeds that are more uphill in conformation they seem to be a little slower in developing their hind end, thus finding hind quarter yields a little more challenging. Backing up can seem to be a sticking point as well. The most notable thing with the Friesian is that they need more time to process a request or a feel that you present to them, so its really important that I take things slow and give them the time it takes. Of you try to hurry one through the moves they can get mentally upset and resort to self preservation using their strength against you.