temperament or experience?

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temperament or experience?

This is a discussion on temperament or experience? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        08-24-2014, 02:03 PM
    Super Moderator
    temperament or experience?


    I have a friend who is looking for a new riding horse. She wants a horse to do trails on , primarily, and she needs a steady horse, though she is a good rider and does not need a plug, she is not a youngster, and she does not want to try and "break" a horse. She just wants to enjoy riding and work on some skills to improve her feel and connection with the horse, and go out in the woods with her buddies.

    So, looking near here there aren't as many good options. One that I saw recently was a nice horse, seemed to have a good mind. Very calm , seemed confident, and was balanced and free in his movements as observed at all gaits in an arena . But, had very little trail experience. That which he had, he'd done well at.
    For this reason, she is hesitant. She wants to look on, but I feel that she would be passing up a rare good horse if she does not act on him. (good horses go fast around here, since there are not so many well trained western horses.)

    So, my question is, which is more important : temperament or experience, in a case like this.

    I tend to say temperament, since it's very hard to change. But, for a woman who is not young anymore, not a trainer and already has had two years of working with a hrose with bad behavior (due to pain), she just wants a bit of a push button horse, it seems.
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        08-24-2014, 02:16 PM
    Temperament would be a good choice.
    With a little rider trust established could make up for lots of experience.
    Corporal likes this.
        08-24-2014, 02:17 PM
    Super Moderator
    Experience is always good but temperament matters more to me. It was why I took the risk when I bought Flo - nothing ever scared that horse!!
    Corporal likes this.
        08-24-2014, 02:26 PM
    I'd take him if I were her, he will warm up to trails and get more experience.

    Also did you get to take him near anything that would be scary. (When I met my mare I rode her down a small alley with dogs, goats, other horses, across four lanes of traffic, past some very inexperienced riders attempting a game of polo, a young stud colt and the arena was next to a baseball field and a park on New Years Day... I never actually took her out on a trail but I'm darn sure nothing on a trail would flap her)
        08-24-2014, 03:30 PM
    Temperament is more important.
    Corporal likes this.
        08-24-2014, 03:49 PM
    You can change experience, not personality.

    I'd go with him because of temperament. If she went trail riding with friends and takes things slowly, he'll become an old pro.
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    Corporal, bsms, Woodhaven and 1 others like this.
        08-24-2014, 04:36 PM
    Green Broke
    I'd pick temperament over experience just about everytime. The only reason temperament wouldn't be important to me is if I was a serious professional competitor with years of my own experience such that I could mold a tempermental but experienced horse to my own high standards and win as a result. Otherwise, since I am not such a person, a good temperament is a major building block in the foundation of a trustworthy trail horse; I'll probably save myself a ton of work getting said horse ready for the trail and be on the trail that much sooner.
    Corporal likes this.
        08-24-2014, 05:53 PM
    With good temperament, gaining experience is relatively easy.
    smrobs, HagonNag, Corporal and 3 others like this.
        08-24-2014, 06:14 PM
    I would definitely go with temperament. The first horse I ever owned definitely did not have a lot of experience. He was greener than grass as a riding horse and he was an off-track Standardbred. The fact that he had an amazing personality was what made me fall in love with him. He took everything in stride, including an inexperienced horse owner riding him! He shied a couple of times but he never once bucked, reared, or bolted in any situation. He was a gem, rest his soul.
    Corporal likes this.
        08-24-2014, 07:21 PM
    Temperament is the basic bedrock. With good temperament and decent handling, all things become possible. I went with experience once and overlooked temperament. It almost killed me. I go for temperament now. Always.
    Corporal and Change like this.

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