Advice needed - buying a horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Question Advice needed - buying a horse

Hello,
I need a bit of advice regarding the purchase of my first horse. Sorry it might be a bit long!
I am getting conflicting advice from different people!

To give you some background information:
I have started riding 14 months ago (minimum of one hour private lesson every week) top up with hacking (from 1 hour to 3 days riding holidays) and in the last 6 months I have been (part) loaning. My loans were: one very well behaved warmblood X arab and at the moment one very grumpy TB x arab mare. I must admit my current loan is a bit too much for me ( I cope with it but don’t feel she is a good match), she is too bouncy and very very fast (with not always great breaks). I am a “mature” rider, I have the time (no children) and finance available to buy/keep a horse.

The horse: The horse was used at the riding school where I regularly have my lessons. He did not settle well as a school riding horse and started misbehaving (tanking off). They stopped using him for a few months and one of the instructor decided to work with him (one to one basis) and in a few weeks he his almost back to how he was when they first bought him. He is an Irish cob, 15 hands, 8 years old. He his laid back (but responsive), no vice, go to handle,etc..

I rode him once in the manege and I went hacking with him and I was happy on how it went. I have another lesson tonight with him and I will have to make my decision.
All I am looking to do with him is: a bit of schooling, low jumps and a lot of hacking (I would like to train him for pleasure rides and low level of endurance riding..I am not expecting to win..just have some fun !)

Now the conflicting advice comes from the instructor that mainly thought me (so far). She told me that he was uncomfortable to ride (I don’t find that) and requires more schooling and therefore would not be a good first horse. I am not sure I should be too much weight into it, she was the person who suggested my current loan and feel I am not advanced/experienced enough for this mare. I noticed that she has her favorites and dislike some of the horses for no apparent reasons.

What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 08:48 AM
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Generally, I like to take an instructors advice.
HOWEVER, if you are uncomfortable with your current loan, you need to tell her this.
If the cob has a previous history of taking off, and it was not pain related, then there could be a good chance that he may be too much. A couple of rides is nothing compared to full time riding, and he may try to take advantage of your greeness later on, as he did in the riding school, and use it against you.

If your current loan is not suitable, I would suggest you talk to your trainer and explain. There are SO many horses on the UK market at the moment, and with winter approaching prices will drop.

Why do you have to make your decision after two rides? If they are looking to sell the horse, ask for a loan period with a potential to buy. This would be your best bet as a fairly green rider. If you can have him on loan for 2-4 weeks (I'm assuming he is at your yard?) then you will be working him for them, and taking on some financial responsobility.

If you find the horse you currently loan too hot, then I would be hesitant to take on a bolter. Even at my stage in riding, I wouldn't take on a bolter.

I think you need to discuss with your trainer why she thinks the horse you currently have on loan is suitable, and not the cob.
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post #3 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 08:49 AM
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Your first horse should be one that YOU can learn on, not together, and gain confidence on. You don't want a horse that you have to fight with every ride or that is learning also.

There is a flip side too. If your first horse is too dead broke and perfect beginner horse, it might not be challenging enough down the road. You may learn the basics but you won't learn how to handle unexpected things. Sometimes having small challenges can help you learn more and boost your confidence and experience. However, it can do the opposite too. You can get frustrated and go backwards
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 09:19 AM
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As has been said, there are a TON of horses in the UK for sale, and I would step way way back from one that 1) they are pushing you to buy without proper time to consider 2) is deemed suitable for you but NOT for a Riding School 3) is a 15 year old who know full well that when he is fed up he can tank off and ignore his rider.

Owning is a whole different ball game from riding school, and you want a cooperative partner.

Have you been to your local tack shops and feed stores? They all have adverts up with horses for sale. Go and talk to the owners of those places, ask around for a good first horse. Phone up your local hunt secretary and as if any of their members might know where to get a beginners horse. Are you browsing the websites?

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #5 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for your comments.
I did give my notice for the loan as I do not feel she is suitable for me.
And will try to see if it is possible for me to loan the cob.
I think I need to ask my instructor why she thinks that the cob needs more schooling.

They obviously selected him to work in the school and he did what what was expected of him but I think the problem was that he should have been used with the "more advanced" riders and not complete beginners.
thanks again

Last edited by JoanneUK; 11-05-2013 at 09:30 AM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shropshirerosie View Post
Have you been to your local tack shops and feed stores? They all have adverts up with horses for sale. Go and talk to the owners of those places, ask around for a good first horse. Phone up your local hunt secretary and as if any of their members might know where to get a beginners horse. Are you browsing the websites?
Yes I have been looking at what is currently available in the North West area (UK). What I find though is that 90 % of adverts would say "not for novice" and the ones that say they are for beginners are quite older horses. The thing is that I want to do endurance riding (not with the intention of winning anything, just finishing in time) and I don't feel that an older horse would be good for that?

Last edited by JoanneUK; 11-05-2013 at 09:41 AM.
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 09:47 AM
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It depends, but you may want to put up the question in the trail riding area.
The problem with the UK, and Germany, is that as soon as the horse turns 16, its senior, and then 18 its old. If the horse has been well looked after and is in good shape, then you can still get a few more years.

There are plenty of novice rides out there, but a lot of people also don't want their horse to go to a beginner. Not because the horse isn't suitable, all the time, but because they don't want the horse to be pulled in the mouth and have its back bounced on. As someone who has sold horses, I always put that in my adverts. Call me horrid, but I do.

Sometimes you just need to ride different horses to find what is good for you. A cob isn't every cob, and one arab isn't every arab. You just have to try and take each horse as it comes.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoanneUK View Post
The thing is that I want to do endurance riding (not with the intention of winning anything, just finishing in time) and I don't feel that an older horse would be good for that?
If you want to do endurance then a cob isn't going to be the best choice, however young. You need something a bit lighter, built for that particular activity. Arabs and Arab crosses are the most popular and don't let your one experience of this Arab cross put you off. There also some nice light boned Welsh and welsh crosses that would perform well.

My first horse was a 14 year old TB x Irish Draught, he was more TB in appearance than ID. We did low level endurance together and loved it. He had years of experience that I benefitted from and was as safe as houses, whilst still being an athletic and big moving beast.

Don't discount the older horses - they have much to offer for a first time horse owner. On the downside they are harder to insure and they may have 'hidden' health problems caused by and early life of which you know-not. But what horse doesn't have hidden health problems just waiting to pop out at you?!
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Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #9 of 19 Old 11-05-2013, 10:48 PM
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I've seen too many beginners buy horses they can't handle.

Listen to your instructor!

Take that from someone who has had to "fix" green horses who's problems were exacerbated by inexperienced riders.
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post #10 of 19 Old 11-06-2013, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shropshirerosie View Post
If you want to do endurance then a cob isn't going to be the best choice, however young. You need something a bit lighter, built for that particular activity. Arabs and Arab crosses are the most popular and don't let your one experience of this Arab cross put you off. There also some nice light boned Welsh and welsh crosses that would perform well.
Yes I know an arab is ideal but I am not going to be competitive about it. I see a lot of cobs doing low level endurance rides here in the UK.
I did not have any bad experiences with the arab I was (part)loaning, he was very well behaved but I had to stop loaning him because he had health problems.
It's the TB x arab (more TB) that I don't find suitable for me but no "bad" experience with her as such. I have learned a lot with her and it helped me to know what I wan't / don't want in a horse.
I just find cobs (in general) a lot more easier to ride and find them more comfy.
thanks for your advice !
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