beginner's questions about horse ownership

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beginner's questions about horse ownership

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    06-16-2009, 09:41 PM
beginner's questions about horse ownership

Hi! I'm a new member. I'm 26 and just recently started taking riding lessons again - after a break or easily around 15 years. So I'm pretty much starting over as an adult beginner. Anyway, I'm very excited to start again, and I hope to buy a horse of my own within the next couple of years. In fact, it's very tempting to think about owning my own horse pretty soon, and that's where I'm looking for some advice from more experienced riders and horse owners. How much experience would you suggest before buying a horse? I enjoy riding on my school horse, but I somehow imagine if I had my own horse to take lessons and ride in between lessons, it could speed up my progress as well as my bonding with the horse.
More particularly, I'm tempted to buy a young horse, maybe even a green broke horse and train it. I'm quite interested in horse training, and I should be able to set aside time for some intensive training at least 3-4 days a week. I imagine that if I bought a young horse, we could bond better, become a better team and be used to each other quirks, besides I'd love the experience of training my own horse. But the big question is, is this even doable for a beginning rider? Of course I would take lessons on the side, and probably also get some professional advise on the training. But I'm still suspecting that it may not be a wise decision. So I'm curious for any suggestions, opinions, and experiences. Thanks!
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    06-16-2009, 10:00 PM
Green Broke
Hello saraltx and welcome to the forum. Glad you've rejoined the horse world, it's a different view as an adult isn't it!

I will only advise you based on my experience. I purchased my first horses 9 years ago. I rode my mare, T, for several years at the farm she was at while taking lessons and getting my horse fix. She was 11 when I purchased her and believe me, she taught me a lot and we grew together. She has come to trust me so much and gives me her all every time. So I believe that an experienced horse can and will be that special horse for you if you're a good match. Take your time when selecting.

Walka, my gelding, came with her. He was 2 years old and I trained him myself with some guidance from a very good trainer when I needed her. I do not recommend a green horse owner to train their own horse only because there is so very much to it if you want to do it correctly and safely. Is my bond stronger with Walka because I trained him, no. T is the horse of my heart and I trust that horse with my life, and have had to on a few occasions. Walka and I are still working on that type of bond. Because I have seen him at his terrible 2's and 3's, I still see that naughty boy instead of the mature and trustworthy horse he is now. But that's another issue completely.

Get a well trained, reliable horse that you will grow and learn with and enjoy for several years. You are young and there is plenty of time to train a young horse, now is the time to grow and gain confidence, and a seasoned horse will do that for you.

That's just my opinion, good luck.
    06-16-2009, 10:12 PM
Thanks, Walkamile. Yes, that's pretty much what my instructor suggested as well when I mentioned wanting to buy a young horse. I'm still very curious about some more opinions here, but I do suspect that you're right. It's just so very tempting to me to get a young horse, and I guess in a way I'm looking for advice like your's to keep me from making a mistake.

Also, if I decide to get an older, well-trained horse, would you suggest to get some experience first (and how much, if a standard answer on this can be given at all), or to get a horse as a beginner and ride it during and in between lessons, to sort of grow together? I'm afraid to somehow mess up a good horse as long as I'm not confident in my riding, but on the other hand having my own horse would give me more practice. On the other hand, if I only ride my own horse, I may be sort of unprepared for riding a different horse with a different temperament and personality at some point.
    06-16-2009, 10:20 PM
Walkamile hit the nail on the head.

Green on green = black and blue. I really don't think beginners should buy an un-broke horse, or even green broke horse, if they do not know how to handle the situations that may arise from they're mishaps. especially if they are still learning to handle a well trained horse.

I have a mare that I have owned for 2 years now, and we are as close as anything. I also have a 2 year old mare, who is very very quiet, but do I trust her as much as my older mare? No, not yet.

In my opinion, lease, take more lessons, and work around the barn to learn about everything about horses, not just from a riding aspect. There is much much more to riding, grooming, and working around the barn.
    06-16-2009, 10:37 PM
If I were you I would buy anything other than a really safe and well trained horse, so you can gain confidence while learning. If you have the money now, and you know that you are going to stick with horses I don't see anything wrong with buying a horse now, as long as it's the right one! I think it will help you learn.

I think you should consider an older (15+ yo) well trained horse that will help you gain confidence. A lady at my barn got her first horse when she was 40. He was 27. She still has him four years later, and she has learned SO much from him. He's still going strong and is really happy and healthy.

Good luck and welcome back to the horse world! Keep us updated!
    06-17-2009, 12:25 AM
Since you're new to lessons you're still in the warm and fuzzy stage. I'd wait for a few years until you know you'll want a forever horse. Also, I think it's important to board for a year or so until you are better, and safer, with horses.

When it comes time to purchase a horse, I'd recommend letting your trainer find the horse for you. Your trainer will better recognize your needs. It's awfully easy to be blinded by pretty horsey lust.
    06-17-2009, 12:51 AM
Originally Posted by saraltx    
Also, if I decide to get an older, well-trained horse, would you suggest to get some experience first (and how much, if a standard answer on this can be given at all), or to get a horse as a beginner and ride it during and in between lessons, to sort of grow together? I'm afraid to somehow mess up a good horse as long as I'm not confident in my riding, but on the other hand having my own horse would give me more practice. On the other hand, if I only ride my own horse, I may be sort of unprepared for riding a different horse with a different temperament and personality at some point.
The mare I currently have is an 18 year old QH, I bought her from a friend who was helping me look for a confidence builder. A gelding I used to own was extremely herd bound and buddy sour and when I tried to test the waters to work with him on it, he did a 180 and bolted back to the barn and I went flying, this horse also reared on me, he didn't full out rear, but when a horse's feet leave the ground simultaneously, it's a rear and I didn't want to mess around with it.

The mare I have now is teaching me to trust again. There was a time a couple of years ago that trotting sent the fear of God into me, now with her help it is no longer an issue. Cantering was the exact same way. I am now proud to say that I have cantered a few times now and am *hopefully* going to *maybe* enter my first local show in September. Aside from riding my horse, I am also using the barns lessons horses as well so I have a feel for different types of horses. This has helped me to understand my mare all around and to get a feel that every horse is different. What about leasing a lesson horse where ever it is that you are taking lessons if they have one? Or what about share boarding a horse at the barn where you are if you are boarding? Just a suggestion. But get your confidence level up before doing any of this.
    06-17-2009, 10:11 AM
Thanks, everyone made some really good and helpful points. I think I'll continue just taking lessons for at least a few more months, and maybe help out at the stable a bit if I can to build up my skills, knowledge, and confidence. Then, if I get my own horse, I think I'll take everyone's advice and start out with an older, well-trained one. Once I have more experience, I can always get a younger one at a later time.
Joshie, it's true that I'm pretty excited about starting to ride again, but I've been around horses before as a kid, and I've always wanted my own horse. It's a dream I've never lost over the years, so I'm pretty sure it's not just some passing fancy.
    06-17-2009, 12:36 PM
Green horses are tempting but I would advise against it. My instructor put me on a horse that didnt fit me and it totally killed my confidence. You need to be realistic, green horses take time and you have to teach them before they can teach you. Less expirienced riders will be much happier on a sensible mount that knows what they are doing and does not act up very often. These do not always have to be deadbroke or older horses.

Good luck with your search
    06-17-2009, 02:56 PM
I'm glad you made the decision to lean towards getting an older, more experienced horse for your first time owning. The great part about an older horse is that they'll have the experience to teach you and let you gain confidence, but you can also practice training. There's no reason why you can't practice training your experienced horse some new tricks =) Good luck in your search!

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