buying my first horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-02-2011, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Smile buying my first horse

i am an older adult beginner, have been taking lessons for the last two summers and my instructor says i am doing well. some people have told me i should start with an older horse, maybe 12-15. i have found a 4 year old that a friend has told me about and she says that this gelding is so gentle and calm and does not spook, she says he is a 4 year old that has the mind of a 10 year old. i guess what i am asking since i am new is would a young horse be good for a beginner.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-02-2011, 01:07 AM
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many aren't good beginner horses at that age..people can say they are really calm and spook free but this horse is only 4 years...I would get atleast an 8 year old..that is still really young.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-02-2011, 01:08 AM
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NOt normally. But if your instructor saw the gelding and you tried him out it might be ok. It is not just the temporament, it's that the 4 year old will lack experience. so, you may have to help him with new and scary things. Are you pretty confident? On the good side, he should come with less "baggage", right?
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-02-2011, 01:36 AM
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because he is only 4 he is still learning. I would go with some thing a bit older just because exsperiance comes with age if you know what I mean.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-02-2011, 03:49 AM
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It would also depend on what experience the 4 year old has, as some 4 year olds have done & been through more then say a 7 or 8 year old horse that gets ridden lightly in the same place or situation.

If the 4 year old is as calm & non spooky as they say & he has experienced different situations, I would take your trainer with you & test him out. Jmo.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-02-2011, 05:10 AM
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Many young horses work very well for beginners depending on what you plan to do with them. For a good dispositioned, young horse, the biggest things they are missing are confidence and experience, and those comes from age and hours under saddle.
If you're going to spend all your time in an arena or riding in a group with experienced horses, you shouldn't have much problem. If you're planning on trail riding alone, plan on lots of time working with the horse to get that confidence and experience.
In any case, take your trainer with you and try riding the horse in all the situations you are expecting to ride (ring/trail/alone/group/etc).

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-02-2011, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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that all makes alot of sense, it is hard to find what you want.when you live so far away from most horses advertised and you cant ride them before they are sold. I just received a call from the guy and he just sold the horse. I will continue to look for an older horse and keep in mind all the advice i have received and thank you
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-03-2011, 12:34 PM
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While a 4 year old might have a great mind, be very calm and quiet, they still have a lot to learn training wise and you would be better off to get something more experienced. 8+ years I would recommend.

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post #9 of 17 Old 01-04-2011, 12:00 AM
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Age doesn't always means anything with horses. My 11 year old mare acts much younger and is quite the handful. Typically younger horses are more energetic and green, but it is possible to find a vey calm well trained 4 year old. I say you should go and look at and ride this horse and consider very carefully if he is truly as calm as they say.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-04-2011, 01:02 AM
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Horses, like people, have distinct personalities. Some people are calmer, more responsible, more intelligent, more active, more friendly etc. Same with horses. Some young people will act calmer than others, sometimes calmer than older people, just as you might have an 18 year old who is more responsible or calmer than a 50 year old.

Saying that lets say a four year old horse is like a 10 year old child. Regardless of how mature they are, they are still a ten year old child. Regardless of the experiences they have had or how smart they are they are still a ten year old child. Would you trust them driving a car? Would you trust a ten year old child to look after a baby? Some people might - but to me they are still a child. They haven't got the same processes as an adult. They can still get afraid easily without guidance, act irrationally, because as a child they are not rational.

This may not make much sense, but its the way I see it. Regardless of how good a young horse is, how calm and gentle and safe, they are still like a child. They can still get afraid, they still don't understand the same way, they don't know how to react the right way no matter what they have learned. For this reason I would not reccommend a young horse to an inexperienced rider or handler - this is because a young horse requires a strong leader who knows what they are teaching. By owning a young horse you are constantly teaching it, and reinforcing the lessons. Not just with riding but with handling, catching etc. If you don't know what to teach it, and if you don't have the confidence or experience to create immediate lessons then a young horse isn't for you.

While having a trainer around can make it better, they are not going to be there to supervise you all the time, and its little things that you don't know that can cause problems later.

There are heaps of "perfect" horses out there, even though it doesn't seem that way now. I'd wait for something a little older, something can hopefully help teach you, that is forgiving and that you can just muck around with without worrying.
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