Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
• Horses: 0
I just read another topic about a newbie to horses who felt that other posters were being negative and critical of thier getting into horses without the proper background and preparation. I can certainly see why they felt this way, and I think this gives newbies a "bad taste in their mouth" and makes them less likely to ask for help if they need it.
Some people get into horses without knowing what they are getting into - it happens (Note: I am not saying that is what happened with the poster on that other thread, just that it was the perception of some posters). As someone with 20 years experience of owning horses, I feel like it is my responsibility to help these newbies, especially those eager and willing to learn, and share some of my knowledge with them. I by no means know everything - and I come to places like this to get advice myself. But I do know alot about horse management and care. I have always taken care of my own horses I do it right. I can share insight with newbies and help them get it right also.
Case in point, a guy showed up at our stable to board a horse he had just bought for his kid on a total whim. He knew NOTHING about horses - not what to feed, what equipment he needed, etc. He had just ridden trail horses at camps before. Well, this guy was WAY in over his head, so many of us at the stable rallied around him and basically taught him everything we know. He discovered that the horse he bought was way too young and hot for them, so he sold her and got a horse that was more their speed. Fast forward 4 years to now. This family has 4 horses, including a young colt, and are doing great. They still do not know everything, but they know the basics and know when to get help. They take very good care of their horses and are having a blast with them. These are GOOD horse owners! If we had not intervened, no telling what would have happened, one of them could have been badly hurt or the mare could have been inadventantly mistreated just because they did not know any better.
I guess this is a little of a pet peeve of mine because MY parents bought my first horse on a whim, and we did not know all that much about horses, but we had great mentors and my Dad was the type to read everything and learn the right way to do things, then become obsessive about doing it right (I weigh my horse's feed in a scale daily. No 2 scoops for my horses, they get a certain number of pounds - this is becuase my dad read to feed by weight not volume and instilled the fear of God in me if I did otherwise). I have never had a horse colic under my care. In 20 years. (knock on wood!)
Sorry so lengthy, but I felt compelled to get this out there. If someone who is thinking of getting into horses asks for your advice, then by all means give them the lecture on being prepared and doing your homework, etc. When someone is already involved, why not dive in and help instead of criticizing them for doing it the wrong way?