What to Look For

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What to Look For

This is a discussion on What to Look For within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        01-23-2010, 11:23 PM
    What to Look For

    I Need a Horse, And im getting one during the summer( most likly) But like I really really really really really really want a rescue horse, because it makes me sad someone would abuse a horse. So I think I should rescue one. The one I actually want is a 16 hh Chestnut TB he's 7 years old, is there anything different I need to look for in him that's different than a regular healthy horse? My baby(;( I want)
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        01-23-2010, 11:28 PM
    Well first off - what's your experience level? If it's next to none, rescue is probably not the way to go. What do you want the horse to do?
        01-23-2010, 11:33 PM
    Oh yes right, IM pretty experienced. I've ridden English since about 2nd Grade, I've galopped and jumped up to 2.6.. I plan to trail ride ALOT and do bareback a lot and jump(:
        01-24-2010, 06:03 PM
    Sam, stay away from the TBs. After all, you've only ridden in lessons from 2nd thru 5th grade and tbs can be spirited when they want to be. Try a different rescue, a warmblood or a warmblood mix. ;) and I thought you said you've never galloped though....? *confused* lol
        01-24-2010, 06:11 PM
    Green Broke
    The horse you have pictured could have many health problems from lack of diet and worming. Lack of nutrients while growing and worms make them more prone to colic. If you have the funds and realize it may not live up to your expectations in the health dept than it would be honorable thing to do escpecailly if you can keep them at home and watch them. If I was boarding I would think twice about it as it would be harder to also get another horse if needed.
        01-24-2010, 06:21 PM
    Typo. I've jumped 2 foot 6 but I havnt galloped purposly. I had 4ish years of lessons
        01-24-2010, 06:27 PM
    Yea.. I've moved on to some other horses..okay well my computers ******ed and wont let mye copy paste the picture.. oh well he's a dark bay QH I think 14.2 hands. Idk I just feel bad for rescue horses
        01-24-2010, 07:02 PM
    Bring a respectable trainer. If you've been working with the same trainer for awhile, maybe ask him/her if he/she can come. Some trainers charge and some don't. But definitely, definitely have a trainer see any horse you're thinking of buying.

    And a vet check would be good if you can afford it. Any horse can have a health issue that isn't obvious. An experienced trainer should be able to spot some things, but not everything. At the very least, I can't stress enough, bring a trainer.

    Be careful about underweight horses because sometimes they are calm and relaxed when they are underweight and then wind up being maniacs once you get weight on them. My horse was underweight and wormy and he was like a statue, but when he started to get healthy his energy level definitely raised considerably. Thankfully I do have the experience for the energy that he has, and he didn't end up in the hands of someone much less experienced like the seller intended.
    I can't think of any way to be able to tell for sure if this will happen, so it's mostly something to be aware of. If the horse is severely underweight and still has a bit of spunk, you may want to move on. I tend to think that his spirits should somewhat reflect his physical condition, as sad at that is.

    It may be best to avoid "hotter" breeds like TBs and lean more towards something like a QH like you last mentioned, or a Warmblood cross like the above poster mentioned. There are some great, very calm TBs out there but not many, and for the reason listed above, it may be safer to steer away from breeds more likely to burst out once you get them healthy.

    With all of that said, good luck! Congratulations on your future new horse! It really is great that you're going to rescue. =)
        01-24-2010, 07:06 PM
    I can understand why you want a rescue horse, my horse had been starved for 8 years before I got her and I only had to pay 100 for her, she's the best thing ever, however I its a lot different having lessons and owning a horse so its best to go with the safer option of buying a reliable first horse
        01-24-2010, 07:21 PM
    Rescue horses are not always abused (An actual abused horse is a whole different story; they are emotionally fragile, skeptical, and often very explosive). A rescue can also be a neglected horse, a horse that has been surrendered by it's previous owners (for financial reasons, etcetera), or other situations where it's previous living conditions did not fit it's needs. You can actually find well-schooled rescues.
    If you want to bring along a green (or green rescue) horse, do so under the guidence of a coach. Buy a prospect in good condition that is suitable for you and approved by said coach.
    Just because you've ridden all the gaits and jumped high, doesn't mean you can train horses. Especially not an abused rescue. Young/green horses in general require endless patience, and knowledge.

    Let me speak from personal experiences:
    I spent my first four years in Pony Club; my trainers credited me for being "one of the best" and "effective". You know what I found out after I quit and started on real riding?
    I couldn't handle anything besides bomb-proof lesson horses.
    Freddy is the first horse that has really tested my effectiveness, my patience, and me in general. He's big, flighty, and he plays mind-games you. He's always ready to put up a fight or play if you let your guard down or aggravate him.
    I knew nothing useful for training horses:
    The first time I got on a green horse, it really showed just how much I would've needed to know if I had continued with him. Sure, I could trot Czar around sort-of balanced for the whole ride. But, I had no clue what to do next with him. What about everything else? And Czar was a calm horse.
    All of this was undertaken with experienced coaches.
    The biggest reminders of my family's mistakes and inexperience are sitting out in the field. Unrideable, unsellable, and eating holes in our wallets and hearts.
    Another example is a girl at my barn. She has gained all of her experience on one horse. A well-schooled and seasoned jumper with an honest attitude. She competed up to 3'9" with that horse, did second level dressage as well. She sold him last year, and bought a well started three year-old warmblood prospect from a good home. Since then, she has been in hospital after being kicked in the face, the horse is an absolute wreck with lameness issues, and both horse and rider's confidence is shattered. She's just starting to realize it now, but the damage has already been done to the horse, and I don't think he'll ever be the same.

    Do yourself and horses (because it's not just you that will suffer if you screw-up, it's the horse as well) a favour. Either buy or lease a school-master, go to a barn that will offer lessons and lesson horses, or even ask a trainer if they would allow and guide you through working with a green horse.
    So, the bottom line is this: If you really think you are ready to take on a horse, if you are ready to take care of it, ready to pay for the vet bills, the boarding and trainer fees, feeding fees, insurance, equipment, and everything else, then do so.
    I'm not trying to sound intimidating or insulting, but a horse is not the same as a goldfish or a rodent. They require a huge amount of care and money. Think of it as having a human baby to take care of. They don't live for only a few years, and they aren't easy to sell or give away if no longer wanted.

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