Is this horse realistic for me - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 08-04-2013, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Is this horse realistic for me

So I am an intermediate rider, 17 yrs old. I have never really been trained in anyone skill. I just have taken lessons here and there, watched and listened and read and read and read, and asked questions. I have been riding since I was 10, reading since I was 6 :p

I have been leasing one horse for a year but her lease is ending and she's not the right horse for me.

I have another opportunity to buy a horse from a family acquaintance. It's an 8 year old gelding most likely quarter or Morgan or Arab. I have not actually seen the horse as of yet. We were so set on the horse we have been leasing but it fell through recently. I do plan on looking at it and spending time with him and getting the bigger picture.

What I do know is he is 8 yrs, gelding. Same owner. Has lived in the barn he was born in all his life and trained by the same people who helped birth him, and who have owned him.

They are not in a big rush to get rid of him. They are doctors and their kids no longer have an interest in riding and they are busy. They have been offering the sale for a year now, they are trying hard to find the right home for him and his mom. They say he is good on the trail but he has never really been trained for any one thing and he is not ridden a lot. Almost never at this point. I know he has a good personality but I don't know what his attitude is riding.

My situation is I really want to start endurance riding, and barrels, and poles. Even if it is just for fun and not for the big win. I need a horse I can condition and train. I can get a riding instructor and I have places to train at. I have just been looking for the right horse.

Is 8 yrs too old to start training for something like that? I want to be fare to the horse, not just myself. I am in no rush to go buy a horse, and I really want to make the right choice.

Like I said, I want a horse I can train to do barrels and trail endurance and poles, even if it is just for fun.

I am confident I can tell if his attitude and perks will be right for me and what I want to do. But it's the age I am not sure about and the fact he has not been trained or conditioned as of late.

Thanks for any feedback/advice.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-04-2013, 05:51 AM
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IMO I don't think that is old at all. I'll be bringing my 7 year old mare back into work next who has done nothing but trekking and a tiny bit of hunting. I want to do dressage and maybe jump, which she has never done in her life. Plus she has been off for two years on maternity leave haha
So I reckon go have a look, get a feel for him and go in with an open mind :) good luck! Keep us updated :)

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-04-2013, 07:26 AM
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I don't think 8 is too old necessarily but I think you are much better off getting a schoolmaster been there done that type of horse based on your experience.

A green/untrained horse is alot of work - and for someone without a whole lot of experience is generally not a good idea. I too have spent many many many hours reading and watching but its not the same as doing.

I would buy or lease something that is trained and has been doing what you are hoping to move into and start there!
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-04-2013, 08:23 AM
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If you have a trainer, I'd take them along to get a second opinion. Can't hurt to look, finding out what you don't want it just as important as finding out what you do want.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-04-2013, 02:47 PM
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I second bringing your instructor out with you when you try this guy. There is an old horseman's adage that says green + green = black & blue. While there are always exceptions.. In general a green horse and a green rider is not a good combination. I would think you would be better off looking at a horse already trained, even if not in speed events or distance riding specifically, than one who is just green broke.


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post #6 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 10:40 PM
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You're into the same stuff I'm into! I don't think 8 is old at all. But based on your description, this horse is VERY green. If I were you, I'd get a horse that at least has a very solid foundation, if not training in at least one of the disciplines you're looking at doing. Buying too much horse is no fun at all. I was in the situation of riding a horse that was too green for me when I was in highschool. (Thank God I didn't own him!) It was ok at first, but even with a trainer to help me, I was lost when dealing with him on my own and he absolutely destroyed my confidence and I certainly wasn't a better rider for it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 10:53 PM
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I can't really say anything about you buying a green horse, as I am 15 and I trained my horse (with the assistance of a good trainer). He is not to old, my boy was an aggressive, feared, generally avoided, recently gelded 18 year old when got him, and I am now doing dressage and jumping with him! There physical age and mental age do not go hand in hand. My buddy bucks and plays in the pasture at his age, and is angry if he misses a ride, but my friends mare acts like a hundred year old woman at 16. It really depends on whether or not you click with the horse, and you have a good trainer to help along the way. Just make sure your skills are up to it, then do what feels right and is logical. :)
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-27-2013, 11:57 AM
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You are very wise to question the suitability of this horse. Too many people rush out and buy a horse totally beyond their level of experience. Generally, a green horse and inexperienced rider is not a good combination.
8 is not too old. The important thing is to get a good assessment from the trainer you know as to what this horse's level of training and personality really is and how it would match with your ability. It will take time, patience and a lot of training before you can begin to compete in the activities that interest you.
Good luck to you, Kiddo!

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-27-2013, 12:36 PM
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As far as the age of the horse to do the things you want, he's ideal. That's a great age!

Now on to the other stuff. As Becca said, reading isn't the same as doing. It's great that you are planning / willing to get a trainer, but unless they are going to be with you quite a bit, there are a few things that you need to feel confident in doing without any help before considering a green horse. Are you able to control a horse's shoulders & hind quarters? Do you know how to get a horse to go in a circle when they don't want to? Are you comfortable and clear in using your seat & legs to "drive" a horse?

Stuff like that. A lot of those things are going to play a HUGE roll in what you want to do with the horse later on.

One of my lesson kids (who I love to pieces, and really is quite a good rider) just purchased a horse similar to the one you are describing, but had a little more time under saddle, before she started with me. She was having difficulty getting him to go in a nice circle, transitions needed a lot of work, stuff like that. She considered herself intermediate to advanced, and had place in shows quite well.

But when I asked her to leg yield, or use her seat and legs to get a good bend for a circle, she was completely lost. No fault of her own, she was just never taught these things. Now rather than having these skills be second nature and automatic for her, she's struggling to learn how to do them correctly on a horse that doesn't know what she's asking for.

It's easier to teach when you know the end product, and can break it down for your student rather than learning together.

If you are confident you have some of these skills and others like it down to a point you feel like they are second nature, then I think the horse would be a great match.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-27-2013, 07:25 PM
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8 years is nowhere near too old for you interests. My concern would be whether or not you and this horse would be a good pair together though- I'm not saying he wouldn't be, I just think you need a lot more information about him before you can tell. Definitely meet and try him (I'd say at least a couple of times) before you buy. Since they are in no hurry to sell I'd also see if they would consider a trial for you, even if it's just you riding at their barn. They may not be willing, but it's worth an ask!
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