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

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    09-14-2007, 01:53 PM

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?
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    09-14-2007, 03:50 PM
Well said. .
    09-14-2007, 06:38 PM
Yup, agreed. 6 years ago I was that newbie. Lucky me married into it though. 8)
    09-14-2007, 09:34 PM
I agree completely, I just wish that people who sell horses would be a little more honest with their buyers. I have sold a few horses in the past and tried to be completely honest with everyone. If I felt they weren't a good fit with the horse I wouldn't sell to them. I feel all the ones I have sold have gone to good homes. That's one of my pet peeves, breeders selling horses just for the $$
    09-14-2007, 10:41 PM
Right!! Right on...breeders will sell just for profit.......i will not sell a horse to any one who doesn't know a thing about them, horses are big strong creatures and can be like a loaded gun, sorry if I seem to tough on people but i'm a former animal control officer and saw it happen way to much, I under stand why norcal (another post about aco's) get's so fustraded, i've been after our local sheriff's dept (which my husband works for) to keep an eye on my sister in law's's why........the horse in my pic off to the side I found and rescued even before I moved to kansas (he stayed in a rented fielded and I flew back and forth to see him while my then fiancee took care of him) his family (never owning horses before) went and bought there own horse and threw them in the field that I rented and left them there for my husband to take care of, we lost the lease on the field and I put my foot down and told his sister and his father that there horses were not comming to our farm, the sister lives on 2 acres bought a pony and stuck it in her front yard then turned around and built 2 36x 36 pens and stuck 1 horse in and 2 in the other this was about 2 years ago, the grass around there pens have long been eaten up and there to afraid to let there horse out to graze...i refuse to go there and see there poor horses...i know at feeding time my brother in law will take a buggy whip to the welsh stud they have to keep him from attacking my brother in law...this I have told the sheriff, his responce!!!! As long as they got food and water!!! SCARRY!!!, my brother in law's response???? All stallions are like this, there eveil little critted who will bite and kill you.........uummmm ok star was once a stallion I can walk in to our paddock and kick the ball around with him, he doesn't try to run me down, infact if I give up on playing ball before he wants me to he'll walk off mopping, yes I admit that i've been hard on newbies on her but...for a good reason, i'm not saying there all like my other half of the family but just go and get to knowlage of horses before you buy one ....PLEASE
    09-15-2007, 02:19 AM
I'll just say that we were newbies when we bought our first horse for our daughter five years ago. One of the things that turned us off then and still turns us off now is people who were born into horses and treat the rest of us like we don't have the right to own them.

I guess that's because you've dealt with enough people who have turned horse ownership into a nightmare, but I'm willing to bet that plenty of the people who make horses lives unbearable are NOT newbies!!

I understand your concern about someone getting hurt. If someone is in danger, then by all means, step in. But all I can say is be careful with your know-it-all attitudes. We all have to start somewhere, and some of us enjoy finding our own way sometimes. Yes, we make mistakes, but if our hearts are in the right places and we aren't complete imbeciles, I think we'll be okay. And so will our horses. We've had countless people (horse professionals) tell us what a good job we do with our horses. And we've had them tell us many times "whatever you're doing, don't change." They commend us on our horses' good manners and good health. I'm talking about farriers, trainers, vets, etc. These are people who know what they are talking about. So I guess we managed to learn a thing or two about horses, even though we weren't raised with them.

I will credit lots of people and books with that knowledge as well as gut instinct and trial and error. I ask everyone I respect who knows horses their advice when I have a problem or a concern. But whenever we've been around people who have insisted we do things their way, we've been totally turned off by that attitude. It's funny too. You will hear one horse person tell you adamantly to do something one way, and another tell you the polar opposite just as adamantly. We take the advice we get and blend it with what we feel works for us and our horses.

We now own six horses and we do just fine with them, thank you.
    09-15-2007, 02:38 AM
I've always delt with the bad side of thing's I guess that's why I left being a a.c.o. Found my 9th dog dead wraped in a blanket in a month and quit. I've rallied for a few new horse owners who just needed a little help and left thing's slide ( they could call or email at any time if needed) but others they just could not get it but the ones that got it, now are much more happier with there new found mounts, i've also met people who have had horses for years who shouldn't have own a pet hamster let along a horse, That was a fun one she hadn't mucked out her horses stall in months and it was grosse, we ended up taking the horses untill it was clean
    09-15-2007, 08:28 AM
Originally Posted by Xanadu
I'll just say that we were newbies when we bought our first horse for our daughter five years ago. One of the things that turned us off then and still turns us off now is people who were born into horses and treat the rest of us like we don't have the right to own them.

I'm sorry you have had to deal with the snobbery side of horses. I have only met a few like this. Fortunately when I took up horses again after a 25 year absence I met people who where more than wiling to share their knowledge and love of horses. As excepting and nonjudgemental as a horse is you would think the people who love them would be the same way. As I stated in a previous post, my pet peeve is sellers who will drug a horse or misrepresent it in some other way. Then some poor newbie buys it takes it home doesn't have the ability to network with anyone to help them and ends up getting out of horses for good. Any good horse person knows, there is no one who knows it all, it is a constant learning experience. Someone once said when you stop learning you die.
    09-15-2007, 05:04 PM
Vidaloco you took the words right out of my mouth, there is a difrence also on what a newbie is on here.

1) a new member with a horse wlling to sharing info or ask.


2) a new member who's never owned a horse and bought it on a whim who is seeking information
    09-15-2007, 05:37 PM
Nurse_in_boots, you've won my respect for you!
When someone is already involved, why not dive in and help instead of criticizing them for doing it the wrong way?
Very true!!!! Explain things instead of just plain criticize the others.

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