I believe that regardless of your discipline, you should aim to improve your horse. Improve him physically and nurture him mentally and whether you end up with an Olympian in your chosen discipline or a fabulously safe all-rounder, you’ve done well.
Whatever horse you choose, are given, or can find, if you aim to improve that horse and you train him or her systematically and slowly then chances are you’re more than likely to be on the right track.
Here we see a series of photographs of four thoroughbred horses at very different stages of their careers all jumping the same fence at various heights. You can see by their expression and style the differences in their development. They all started out looking much like the gangly 4 year old (though some a less gangly than others…bless!).
Four fairly different types of horses, all thoroughbreds, from 4 to 16 years of age and competing from 65cm up to three star level. It’s all in the training. Keep it progressive and keep it simple. Remember – if training is exciting to watch, chances are it is not good training.