I've been looking at horses for a while now...I'm 13 and I've been riding since I was 8. I use some parelli & clinton anderson techniques. I'm looking for the perfect horse for me. Arabians have always been my favorite, but after reading some of the posts on here, would they be too much to handle for me? They're supposedly very smart...not sure if that's a good thing. I've been emailing back & forth abut a thoroughbred, and I'm going to ride him tomorrow, but now that I think about it, I feel he might be too tall for me. He's about 16.2 hh, and I'm about 5'4" We are going to show cross country and I want an...active horse. Not exceptionally high strung, but I'd take that over a dead beat one. Riding bareback is my favorite thing to do, and I think the horses like it better, too. I used to ride 14-14.2 hh ponies and I could just vault back on. Is it even possible to vault that high on 16.2 hh TB? Sorry this all mixed up and random but I'm lost. I thought warmbloods might be good for me, but they are all out of our price range. Our budget is about $3500 and under. My parents are buying the horse & I'm paying for tack & equipment, and also half the board each month. I've basically narrowed it down to Arabians and TBs. I want a horse I can bond with...I usually ride in a halter except shows.
Please help :) Feel free to ask questions, becuase I know that was very mixed up. Wasn't sure what to include. Thanks.
Arabs are great for bonding. They're intelligent, yes, and you have to know how to cater to their intelligence. You can't bore them, but you can't ride the same pattern every day in the same order with the same routines....even if it is interesting. They'll start anticipating your next move. They'll jump into a trot as soon as you shorten your reins. They'll change leads early when doing figure-eights if you do them constantly, because they're incredibly smart and know what to expect--they memorize.
My uncle and aunt have an arab and half-arab reining ranch in Colorado I love to visit, and their horses are NOT high-spirited, out-smarting little devils because they know how to work with arabs. They change things up and put their intelligence to work in a good way, where both horse and rider are comfortable.
I rode all of their arabs when I was there, fell in love with one of their horses (National Show Horse [arab x saddlebred cross] in my avatar, worth $30,000) and man, was she smart. I taught her to bow in thirty minutes one day. I still can't get my Paso Fino to bow, and I've been working on that with him for a year! I spent one day of riding her just working on "throwing her out" with the reins, then gathering her in, working on not letting her change pace, even when she expected to go ahead and trot because horses often associate gathering the reins with going faster. At the end of the lesson, she understood perfectly that she was not to change pace unless asked.
Thoroughbreds....Well, I have two, and let's just say they need ridden every day. If you can give that to them, they'll be happy. They're probably a better choice if you're looking at their competetive, jumping and dressage aspects alone, rather than temperament. Personally, I prefer the NSH or arab to the TB for temperament, but I honestly would never go out and buy an arab for eventing.