Im new and have a question...
 
 

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Im new and have a question...

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

    View Poll Results: Is keeping a horse on the propertty a good idea?
    No, dont try it. 2 28.57%
    Yes, try it out! 5 71.43%
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        12-20-2006, 12:29 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Im new and have a question...

    Introduction first.

    My name is Jordan, I live in Illinois.I ride hunter/jumper, and mainly focus on hunter and equitation. I have been riding for 6 years now. I jump 2'6" in lessons, but have gone up to 3' before. I love horses to death.

    Question:

    Ok so there is this pony im interested in. 13hh, medium pony hunter. Keep in mind that im 14, but only 4'11" and when im done growing, I should be 5'4" and my sister is only 8 years old and a little over 4 feet tall. If I board, I wouldnt be able to see the horse every day.

    I have around half an acre. Behind my house, there is an open field with about 3 acres that is only used when people play fetch with their dogs or when I jump my dog (she does agility). I was wondering if 1/2 an acre would be enough for a little pony. Considering that it WOULD have shelter, I could exercise it in the field every day, I could do rotations by splitting the land in half, give the horse enough fiber, and take care of the horse.

    Thanks!
         
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        12-20-2006, 01:36 PM
      #2
    Weanling
    My alarm went off before I even read details about the piece of property.

    Have you ever owned a horse before? I think I saw in another post that you are 14, and have 6 years horse experience.. could you handle keeping your first horse all by yourself?

    When I started, I was absorbing help from my mentor all the time. Just being around other horses, horse people and what not is very comforting. And if your horse gets an odd bump or wound, all you have to do is lead it over to the person you trust the most and ask what you should do for it. My mentor was almost like my guardian angel. When I was 12-14 she was constantly (in a passive way) monitoring me, and everyone else on the ranch, and would offer help when she saw us struggle.

    Not to mention.. would the horse be staying there alone? Its really not a wise idea, in my opinion, to keep a horse completely alone, isolated from other horses.. and instead have the company of dogs(? Did you say you kept your dogs there? Or just played with them there?) And im not to sure about someone who hasnt owned or cared for 1 horse before... caring for 2, on such a small piece of land... ya know?

    You have to think, whats best for your pony-to-be? Staying at a boarding facility, where experienced horse people will be around daily to check in on it, and care for it.. and you come out whenever you can.. or keep it on a piece of property and at the age of 14, take another life into your hands. When I was 18, I started keeping my horses on my own property.. and I blamed myself for EVERY cut and wound.

    Furthermore, make sure you'll be in horses for the long haul. I got criticized SO MUCH for riding horses instead of going to the mall and "trolling for boys" and it was hard for me to stay interested.. I was constantly the outcast at school because of my horses. Some girls can't take it, and end up forgetting about their horses. Its very sad.. I've seen it happen so many times. Out of the eight 10 year old girls I rode with, none of them besides me made it past 13 years old. They all quit because they discovered boys. And it took them a year to remember they had a little horse rotting away in a 12 x 24 waiting vigilantly for mommy to come back and take care of them =/

    Sorry to gush, im just sharing my personal experience that I've had with children your age, and especially your age and riding discipline. I've had very, VERY bad experience with them. Im not at all saying you are like that, its just been my experience. Im also trying to write from the perspective of the woman selling the horse. If I was selling a horse to ya, i'd have the same apprehensions and concerns =)

    The biggest thing I have to warn about, is you should thoroughly know -horses- not -riding- when you decide to take care of a horse by yourself. There is SO much to learn, and a lot of people seem to focus too much on the saddle, and not the animal beneath it. The fact that the first thing you mentioned was how high you can jump a horse kind of set me off in the wrong direction. I read the post, and said "Ok, you can jump a horse, that's cool.. but can you take care of one?" Exercise isn't everything! Its not all about riding ya know! Its about checking the field for glass, checking the shelter for any bolts or nails that the horse can get injured on.. its about finding the perfect blend of food that makes your horse gain and maintain weight.. not just what food is the cheapest. And I personally wouldn't keep a gelding or mare on a piece of land alone, with the closest animals to them being predators (dogs and what not) If it all works out, maybe find her a goat to keep her company?

    Anyways, I hope this helps hun, this is just my input, im not downin' on you at all! I think your a great gal! I really hope you don't think im trying to come down on you hard.. again, this is all just my opinion =) Im just letting you know what my experience has been, and what my honest opinion is =)
         
        12-20-2006, 09:49 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    There is riding,

    And then there is horse and farm management.

    Horse and farm management doesn't have anything to do with how high of a jump you can jump.

    Skippy pretty much said it all. It is hard work, not what you'd expect when you're watching in the distance while sitting in a saddle.
         
        12-20-2006, 11:05 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Horse and farm management doesn't have anything to do with how high of a jump you can jump.
    Amen to that =) That sums my post up pretty well lol!

    Something I wanted to add to my main post, is that when your horse is at a boarding facility, you can afford to take a few days off for yourself.

    -Example: You get the flu.

    If the pony was at a facility: You could stay home and recuperate, knowing that someone else is taking wonderful care of your horse.

    If the pony was on your property: You could go two ways.. push your responsibility to care for your horse on someone else, who may or may not do it correctly, or someone who may not notice that the horse is sick, etc. I am SUPER skiddish about someone else caring for my horses.. Or, you can go the way I always had to. Suck it up, and go out and feed/ride. There were days I was literally throwing up at the barn I was -so- sick.. but I KNEW I could not afford to not be out there. My horses will -NEVER- miss a meal. They are counting on me, and shouldnt be punished because im ill

    -Example: Your friends invite you to the mall after school.

    If the pony was at a facility: Go to the mall and spend away!

    If the pony was at your house: Tell your friends you can't go, or will have to meet up with them later. Go out, feed the pony, thoroughly groom it, ride it, muck the stall, fill the water buckets, make sure everything is ok. Go inside, Shower, Re-dress, then go to the mall.

    Also, if you keep the pony in a field, have you thought about how you are going to get rid of the manure? Its something a rider doesnt usually think about. What about a wash rack? Those usually require level ground with rubber mats, or a cement slab.What tools you will need around a barn? It'll take a pretty good investment of time and money before the horse even gets there =)

    How much money can you put into the property? Are the water mains already there and intact? How about Electricity? And as you mentioned, how much will your shelter cost? If you live in a place with intense winters.. anything with Snow, I would really recommend an actual stall that can be free of Snow and give the horse somewhere good to sleep.

    Looooooooads of girls don't like horses after they turn 13 because they become too much work =)

    If ya need anything at all, or have any questions, please feel free to ask! I really hope I didnt come off as condescending, im just lending my opinion and concerns, since I think that's whatcha asked for ^^ An honest opinion ^^

    *hugs*
         
        12-21-2006, 07:15 AM
      #5
    Weanling
    I have read that you should have at least 1 acre per horse. If you are only going to be getting this one pony, and no companion for it, your pony will probably get very lonely and upset. If you get it a companion 1/2 an acre is not going to be large enough for both of them.

    There are upsides and downsides to having a pony at home or at a stable. I suggest, if you get stuck on your decision, to make a Pros (good things) and Cons (bad things) list about both having a pony at home and at the stables, being entirely honest with yourself. Here is an example of what mine would look like:

    Stable:
    Pros:
    * know that horse is
    Getting looked after properly
    * if I am busy and can't tend to
    Horse, will be looked after at
    Stables

    Cons:
    *not being able to visit horse
    As much
    *is stable too far away from home

    Home:
    Pros:
    * able to see horse all the
    Time
    * can ride whenever I want

    Cons:
    * Not enough grass to keep horse
    Happy all the time, even on 20 acres
    * Nobody to look after horse when I
    Am away from home eg camps, sleepover


    If you make one list like that ^^^^^^ except about you listing all the good and bad things about the stable and at home, it might help make up your mnd, BUT you have to be ENITRELY honest. :
         
        12-21-2006, 02:22 PM
      #6
    Foal
    What I'm thinking has pretty much been said. Just to ad to it, in the excitement of buying a horse, a lot of people don't always swallow the responsibilities it entails. Some do, and it works fine for them for a while... then life kicks back in. Then the horse is stuck in a small pen for days with no care. What I'm saying, is if you MUST have the horse there, do it months after you've bought it. Send the horse to a stable, volunteer to muck out stalls and feed horses, and get a taste of whether you really want to do it every day, rain or shine.

    If you were to ask me for a flat answer, due to the circumstances, I'd just say board the pony, for your own sake as well as the horse's. As the others have said riding and caring for horses are two very different things.
         

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