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In Virginia ~ thinking about my first horse

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    01-03-2012, 10:42 AM
Originally Posted by franknbeans    
You do realize that horses are herd animals and are generally not happy alone, right? Something else to consider, as you answer the above questions. In your area, western is a bit more acceptable than in NOVA, where I am.......if that is what you want to do.
And how many times do people have issues with a horse being herd bound? If you just have 1 they tend to really like you and depend on you more and are not wanting to get back to their buddy or their buddy is not running the fence line crying for you.
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    01-03-2012, 10:58 AM
Originally Posted by churumbeque    
And how many times do people have issues with a horse being herd bound? If you just have 1 they tend to really like you and depend on you more and are not wanting to get back to their buddy or their buddy is not running the fence line crying for you.
OK-and how about the ones who escape to go find friends? If you look hard enough there is an issue with everything.

I spent a couple of days with numerous friends helping a very upset little girl find her "pweshus poneh" who had been brought home the day before to live alone. Pony decided to go look for friends. Thankfully it all ended well, she borrowed a mini and they are living happily ever after. I became more aware than ever that they need companionship. Some can live alone, some cannot. I have one of each. Just something to be aware of.
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    01-03-2012, 11:07 AM

Back to our previous convo about pricing, if what the OP wants/or ends up with is a QH or QH type grade western pleasure horse, I think you can find a nice one in the $1500 - $2000.00 range. My neighbor and riding buddy bought a rock solid, beginner safe, wonderful 12 yo trail partner that *anyone* can ride and have a good time on for $2000.

However, in my area, and I think the OP's area, a working gaited horse goes for a little more. I am stepping out of my area of expertise here, so a gaited horse person please correct me if I get it wrong. You can find lots of gaited trail horses, but a lot of them won't hold their gait or require an experienced rider to set them up so they'll gait. (If you look on this forum or others forums, a lot of the posts amount to "How do I get my horse in gait/keep him from breaking gait.") A decent gaited trail horse that is consistent and will hold gait even under a novice rider is the gold standard, and that horse will command a $3500 - 4500.00 price tag, even in this market.

Agree with you that most horses are happier with company, and that while I have known horses that did fine alone, most do better with pasture mates.
    01-03-2012, 11:17 AM
I am unaware of what price range the OP should be looking at, but maura has made some brilliant points!

Also, the lessons your husband has purchased for you- if you like them, I would keep them up for a short while, befriend your trainer and if the person is knowledgeable enough, take them with you when viewing horses.

You may be lucky, but try not to buy the first thing you see, you have nothing to compare it too, and with so many out there.

Also, take the horse at face value. At the end of the day an owner is trying to sell a horse, and as far as he's concerned its the next world champion- so long as he can sell it to you.

You may want to post on here for any you find and bounce ideas off people and see what they think, too.

You also have things like feed, possible rugs, shoeing/trimming, injections, insurance if you choose to do so etc to think about on a monthly basis too.

Have you thought about leasing a horse first, to make sure you're ready for the commitment, save up those pennies, and then look? I know a lot of people who buy horse's then find it hard to commit through a variety of different things, age, time, children, work etc. Might be something to think about.

All the best!!
    01-03-2012, 11:51 AM
Super Moderator
One thought on the single horse issue. As Frank said, if you were to purchase just one you do run the risk of them trying escape to find friends quite often. My neighbor had just one and never had issues with him escaping until I moved in and then he was out all the time because he knew there were horses nearby. I ended up keeping one of mine at her place so that he would stop his escape attempts. (and then he became herd bound so I had to ride with her if she wanted to enjoy herself)

With just 2 you do run the risk of the horse getting herd bound but you can work that and truthfully, if you are trail riding then husband should plan on going with you anyway. No need to be out on the trails alone right?
    01-03-2012, 11:53 AM
Or just have a
    01-03-2012, 11:55 AM
Originally Posted by franknbeans    
Or just have a

Baha, true... at least you know when some illness is doing the rounds! Or buy an alpaca from Kayty and save them from Billy...?
    01-03-2012, 11:57 AM
2 horses are better than 1, since very few of them will be happy alone. I have 3, so whichever one I take out, there are always 2 at home together.

Sometimes I take both riding horses but that's not very often, and my older, retired gent doesn't get upset if he's alone for a couple of hours, especially since my neighbor has 5 horses and he can see them. I'd be hard pressed to leave him by himself if there weren't other horses within sight, though.

Welcome to SW Virginia. Beautiful, isn't it? And there are tons of horses and horse people in the area, so you shouldn't ever have to ride out alone.
    01-03-2012, 12:04 PM
Other than the goat suggestion, helpful comments from all. I am aware that this may well be an expensive proposition, which is another reason I'm taking my time, taking lessons, thinking and reading the forum.
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    01-03-2012, 02:43 PM
I am very excited to hear your doing lessons and leading up to possibly buying. :) I like what everyone has said so far and all I have to add is remember to smile and have fun. The whole point of lessons and researching is to enjoy the animal and a nice ride. :)

And definetly use us to bounce out ideas like duffy said. We are a very honest bunch and as you see will speak our opinions so feel free to ask as many questions as you like :)

Have fun

buy, farm, horse, ideas, virginia

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