Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Southern California
• Horses: 0
I agree that you shouldn't rule the horse out because of his/her age. It all depends on your experience as a handler/rider and the horse's level of training.
When I got my first horse (pony) I had been riding for about a 6 months (?) and while she definitely took advantage of my lack of riding experience, she was very well broke, a lesson pony, etc. She was great to teach me the basics, how to jump, etc. and we had many great years together (she's retired in paddock now). She was I believe 13 yrs old when I bought her. (She will turn 22 this year).
Then I got a 9 yr old TB, who was green (mainly over fences) and who taught me even more for years. He is now 16 yrs old, and retired (due to injury) with the pony.
NOW, I have a 4 yr old OTTB, who I bought (was 3 when I got him a few months ago) when he was 2 weeks off the track and I have been working with him solo, except for two rides from another boarder.
I am thankful and lucky to have had the chance to have horses that took me to the next "step". I would have in no way wanted to start with either of my TB's, as the pony was a good rock for me. Each horse fit my experience level, basically.
I also agree that you need to figure out if you want a horse that knows a little more who can teach you and get you to the next level, or if you want a horse that you need to work with that may also hold you back a little in your riding while you work on HIS needs first.-- I did not have that issue with my pony or first TB, but I am running into that problem now with my new OTTB. I jumped over 3' with my first TB, went to clinics, shows, etc. Now I am not jumping at all, not leaving the property (yet), and am back to working on the basics of getting an OTTB into "normal" riding. He is still very green.
I am learning some things from my OTTB, but like I said, he is holding back my progress as a rider. Right now, would I go back and change my mind of getting him so young/green... probably not. We are working things out and will get there eventually. You just have to commit to it.
Also, if you have noticed, I can't sell my horses due to fear of where they will end up, so am also thankful we can afford board on three (two paddock puffs, and one actually in work)!