Like I said we had no horse knowledge at first. I did get books and magazines, watched YouTube, and watched shows on RFDTV. I did ask a trainer for help only twice that I can remembe
I do agree that for the general public, you can't learn what you need to know by reading books and watching videos. BUT, it is possible for some. I have been told that I'm a natural with horses, so maybe that's why it worked for me. I won't say I know it all because I don't think anyone could. There's always more to learn.
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This is somewhat my story as well...though I'm not as advanced as Usandpets!!!!
I come from an hoarding family, so I know the ugly face of hoarding. Like Usandpets, I have a few dogs and eight cats...and after less than two years of horses, I have five.
There is a fine line though, that I won't cross. I know when I'm at MAX CAPACITY.
Even if I saw a cat or a horse dying in front of me, I could not take it in right now, even if I had to sit on my hands. =( Hoarding, even if done under good intentions, does no one any good, least of all the animals! Trust me...I've seen it.
As for horses, I paid only 400 for my baby girl, a weanling filly. I knew next to nothing about horses, though I'd had plenty of other animals, enough to know that once I got the gist of the body language, I'd be ok for the rest of the ride. I took her to an awesome boarding facility with a BO who was willing to HELP ME LEARN. Then I set about reading everything I could, from books to the forums...I settled on this forum mostly, because of the extremely unpleasant reaction I got from the first. I took that unhandled weanling, and I think I did well enough...she is currently getting some training at the CA boarding facility, and I am told that she is a very sweet horse.
My second horse(s) were a rescue through another board member. They came from a facility overrun with Shetlands, just thrown all together...I got a feral mare and her colt. Now, less than a year later, that mare may not be the easiest to handle (she trusts mostly me, she'll play her "I'm scared!" game to any who will accept it...), but she actually looks for me, will poke her head out of the fence at me, I can touch her without her bolting, she stands for the farrier for at least the front feet, her teeth have been floated...this from the gibbering mess that slammed herself into the stall walls/waterer and would shake if you touched her.
I've taken on two others, one that I can actually ride (I'm still learning that too!!!), and one I may sell on after he grows to a normal size from the serious stunting he got at his breeder's "facility".
Anyway, I guess what I'm saying, and I guess what UsandPets was saying, is that not all of the noobie rescues goes badly, and I think most of it is attitude and a willingness to learn. I wish that the other forum members had been more accepting of me and how I was going about things in such a backwards way...but after reading a few threads, I kind of get why they were in arms LOL. Even still, the exclusionary attitude that some horse-people have is NOT helping any new people delve into horse ownership.
Also, just saying, DON'T UNDERESTIMATE the power of READING BOOKS and watching those videos for a person with some small amount of common sense and animal handling experience! As long as that person also has a real life resource to clear up any points of confusion, books and videos CAN indeed help someone learn how to *care* for horses.