My First Horse Young Untrained or Older Trained? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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My First Horse Young Untrained or Older Trained?

I am looking to buy my first horse at 40 years old and I am working with a trainer where I will be also boarding the horse. After looking at several different types I am settled on a draft preferably Belgian, Percheron or Clyde but not in that order. Looking to do primarily trail riding and driving. No intention of showing, hunting, jumping or any of that stuff.

My trainer is trying to steer me away from buying a young 2-3 year old untrained horse. The trainers reason is possible cause of injury to me. I am 5'7 200 lbs so by no means small and I am athletic even at that build. My trainer would prefer I get a horse already trained who would only need a little work if any.

I would prefer a younger horse as one I would like to have a greater hand in training the horse. My other thought on a younger one, is I would have some time to learn how to just take care of the horse and learn some ground work. Then in a few months or a year when the horse is ready to be trained in riding and driving I can concentrate on that as I will already have an good start on the basics of care.

What I am looking for here is a different opinion from someone other than my trainer. My trainer was my first contact and while I do trust her. I have also learned as in other things in life to trust, but verify. Thanks in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 09:21 PM
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If you are still learning the basics of care, you don't need an untrained horse. You need to be an accomplished rider before you can even think about a green horse. Get the older horse; they are a lot less trouble! (And you're less likely to get hurt or ruin a horse.) I have a greenish four-year-old who drives me mad. Can't do anything fun with her.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 09:24 PM
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I highly recommend getting a horse that is trained as your first horse. They don't have to be old but trained is important.

Green horses are very rarely a good idea for a beginner rider.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 09:28 PM
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I agree with the two above. You can find a good 6-8 year old that knows what's going on and just needs some fine-tuning. There is a saying that goes something like green horse + green rider = black and blue. =]
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 09:32 PM
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I think it's all according to how quickly you wish to get going. With a young horse, it might be a couple of years before you have him trained well enough to ride/drive him yourself. Also, a young horse might have not been handled well or much. Might have some bad habits.

An older horse, properly trained and as bomb proof as possible, you can ride/drive right away. Hoooowever, it will likely cost a good deal more than an untrained youngster.

Both of our last sales of Gypsy Horses, were young, well handled and sold to older ladies who wanted to grow and learn with them. But everyone is different. Tons of wonderful young Gypsies around right at reasonable prices. Most handled a lot and they are wonderful first horses to ride and drive. As we grow older, we sometimes like a horse a little closer to the ground - although there are some tall Gypsies.

Whatever you choose, I suggest spending time with the horse for a while to see if you connect. One of our sales recently, went to a lady who flew from NY to California, to spend the weekend with the horse she was thinking of purchasing.

Lizzie
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 09:49 PM
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I agree with the above posters... to a point. You did mention that this is your first horse to own but you didn't state whether you have had any other kind of experience in the past with horses. Either on the ground or in the saddle. We're all assuming that you haven't had any kind of experience and in that case I would definitely tend to suggest a previously trained horse as someone already stated you will be able to ride/drive them now instead of waiting. The most important thing IMO... and that is what you asked for afterall... is that you go an look at horses available around you in your price range, take your trainer with you, and work around the horse. You will know almost right away if you and the horse are suited for each other. Personality-wise at least. Then, because you're new with horses.. or I assume you are, I'd visit the one's that you like a few more times before making a final decision. It's not something to jump into without thinking it through and making sure it's the "right" choice before you buy.

Good luck on finding your new horse.. and remember, we're all here to give advice to you

Show me your horse and I will tell you what you are. - English Proverb
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 09:55 PM
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You will be a much better horse trainer after you have had a few years just being a rider and letting your first horse "train" you. It's like parenting, we usually do so much better with the second, third child.
How lucky you are to get a first horse. Don't think of the "old" one as OLD. A ten year old horse is NOT old.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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I have very limited experience riding but I am not shy in the saddle or on the ground. Have done some handling experience but what I would say is very minimal. The two I have looked at have been handled alot, lead cross tie and both of them backed up for me willingly without much problem at all and only light pressure on their breast. They also lead very well with a slack lead and followed me with no problem. One a mare will be two in June the other a gelding 3 in May both Clydes. Planning to look at a Belgian in a week or so. Also going to the PA Farm show to talk with some of the breeders there and the Pennsylvania Draft sale right after that. So planning on a significant amount of looking yet. Just want to make sure its in the best direction.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 10:14 PM
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If it were me,I would take a gelding over a mare. I know, I am being prejudiced. But Mares are more comlicated. That can be a plus or a minus, but for a beginner, a minus.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-08-2011, 10:18 PM
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As said before, you didn't say what, if any, experience you have with horses. If you're a somewhat experienced rider and know how to work/train a horse, just remember that training a horse is very time consuming and doesn't happen in a short time. Training a horse to ride will take 1-2 hours a day, 5 days a week at least and for several weeks. If you are having someone train it for you, that could cost a good chunk of money. If you are learning the ropes yourself, you would be better off getting an older, well trained horse to learn from. You'll have less stress and headaches.
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