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This is a discussion on Dilemma. within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    10-13-2010, 11:33 PM
Question Dilemma.

So next year I'm getting a horse of my own. I've struggled over which horse I like at my barn that I could lease for a while, and this summer I spent 4 weeks at my BO's other barn down in Virginia. If I wanted, one of the horses there could come up here if I would lease them.
Soo I really couldn't find a horse I liked here, and was going to try ones at another barn until this summer, when I started riding Clementine. She is really hard to ride but, I can handle her, and she's perfect when I focus. I've already been given the OK to take her home next year and planned to show her all of this summer.
The problem is. . I don't know if she's TOO hard. While I can handle her, I techinically haven't seen her at her "worst" yet. I'm worried I'll take her home & she'll be a totally different horse. The other time she ever 'did' anything was when she bucked me off in the field because a gelding ran up behind her & scared her, and of course, she's a mare. But that was the one and only time I took her in the field and now I'm scared to take her in there. . And I don't know if the situation is too sketchy to commit to her. I've been told she really likes me, but I don't know how she'd respond to a new place, and being worked more? Help!
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    10-13-2010, 11:48 PM
Well, this is just my personal opinion but this may help you out.

Obviously, you want your first horse to to be a wonderful experience. And when I think about what I want when I get my first horse, difficult and challenging don't come to mind.

Horse ownership is a 24/7 job. It isn't like taking riding lessons or coming out to the barn a couple times a week to help with chores. You have to care for your horse, no matter what. To me, regardless of somebodys experience or knowledge with horses, it is a stressful and somewhat daunting task to bring home that first horse. While a more opinionated horse could be in my skill range, I would look for something that I KNOW is within my horsemanship skills. If it means I lease/buy an older trail horse versus a young ranch horse in training, then I will take her. Once I get into the lifestyle of horse ownership (about a year or 2), I may trade out or take on a second horse.

On the other hand, if you REALLY love this mare and you know you can handle her, take her. A horse that you don't click with isn't a horse worth spending your money on. Horse ownership is about the joy of horses, not the frustration of disagreeable mounts.

Hope this helps and good luck with your first horse!
    10-13-2010, 11:58 PM
Thanks so much for the advice! =] I do really love her, and when I lived on the farm in VA, it was almost like I owned her. I would wake up in the morning, bed stalls & bring her in, feed her, eat breakfast & ride her, have lunch & groom her and feed her again, & take her out, every day, so I think I could handle it. But I feel like if she was "the one", I wouldn't be so worried about her. :\
    10-14-2010, 12:06 AM
Originally Posted by IheartPheobe    
But I feel like if she was "the one", I wouldn't be so worried about her. :\
As you have said before, you love this mare, and it sounds like she is within your horsemanship skills range. If you are worried about being too challenged by her training/temperment level, maybe you should take some lessons using her as your mount for a while after you bring her home. Nothing fancy, once a week for 2 or 3 months should do it. It may help you with you worries and build on your relationship together. As phsychologists say, "you can always improve upon a relationship".
    10-16-2010, 12:29 AM
I do take lessons on her all the time. I think that would help a lot. Thanks :)
    10-16-2010, 01:10 AM
If you can deal with her for the most part, and your heart is with her, then consider that your skills will grow along with her. It's kind of like parenting; When a mom first has a baby she thinks "How will I ever know what to do when this baby becomes a teen and really challenges me?" But the mother's skill grows right along with the developing child (horse) so that she has what it takes, when the time comes.

Were you riding in a field with a loose gelding in it? Or was he also mounted? I don't ride in the beautiful field our horses are kept in one, because the herd could come running up toward us at any time and I am not sure what Mac would do, and two, that's Mac's "home" and rest place and it feels odd to work him there. I dunno, maybe I am just a wimp.
    10-21-2010, 10:13 PM
Thanks for the tips. :) and the gelding was mounted.

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