Buying a horse that's right for you. - Page 9 - The Horse Forum
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post #81 of 219 Old 02-21-2012, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Melbourne Australia
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I should show that to some people in Australia...moms shop for ponies the same way they do for groceries...Very good thread :)
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post #82 of 219 Old 02-21-2012, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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Expect to spend big$ with good trainers to find a ready-to-ride reliable horse. Finding a well trained, well behaved and sweet natured horse quickly is beginner's luck and just as common as happily marrying your high school sweetheart.
ONLY with experience can you gauge the progress of your younger horse. If you are too soft, your horse learns to be aggressive. If you are too aggressive your horse learns to fear.
You ruin it, and the horse keeps changing hands and getting worse.
I constantly assess my training sessions. I am bold when I need to be, and soothing when I need to be. Often I have to switch back and forth quickly to praise my younger horses right after they've been disciplined for a wrong behavior. This gives my horse a REASON to please me.
Save us a lot of trouble by not matching green + green.
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post #83 of 219 Old 02-21-2012, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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I definitely, definitely learned this hard lesson. I totally figured that, just because I had been riding lessons horses for years meant that I could handle anything. I was so, so, so wrong. I bought my horse because he was nice to look at, and he was cheap, which I thought was a miracle but it was really a bad experience in disguise.

If this experience taught me anything, its that I know squat about horses compared to what I "thought I knew". I wont hesitate to state that I screwed up big time getting this horse and thinking we could work through it together. In the end, my own naive stupidity wasted a lot of money and let a lot of people down. But, you live and learn, and now I know. I wish people were more honest when selling thier horses, instead of sugar coating their true personalities with things like "I just don't have time.." or "I have too many.." or "hes dead broke but needs a confident rider with lots of experience" what? Whats his issue then? What is it about him that you dont like enough to sell?

When I listed my horse for sale, I stated plainly that hes too much for a beginner rider, and he bucks. Thats his vice. He makes me nervous. Thats why I'm selling him. I was completely honest and I wish other people would be too. I actually got a tonne of replies, even with the blatant honesty. And most of those replies came from qualified people who had experience re-training buckers, save for one little girl who messaged me saying he was really pretty and reminded her of her old horse, but I turned her away, just because I couldn't live with myself if he hurt a child. Having that on your shoulders just isnt worth a quick sale, at least not to me. So yea. Yes, I screwed up, by being naive, but the seller should have been a little more honest with me in the first place. -.-

Last edited by OctoberArabian; 02-21-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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post #84 of 219 Old 02-21-2012, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,109
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GOOD FOR YOU turning away the girl. You saved her from probably harm. I've gotten heat bc I sold a TB to the meat market after he pulled out his back on ice several years ago. I got him (free) when he was 8yo, and for the 8 years I had him he never completely turned himself around. DH and I were bucked off several times OR sat down on. When he slipped on the ice my Vet suggested a chiropractor. I put him in the trailer and sold him for MEAT. I KNEW that the next owner would be fooled as I was and would THINK he was a good mount, until he pulled his bag of tricks out. I figured that his age would attract a teenager looking for the first horse. He had abilities and could jump--I only took him over 4'5". but he could do more. You just pushed the wrong button for an explosion, and I didn't want to hear about a child being hurt. I didn't cause the problem, but I DID end it.
As we debate about the TV trainers here, please remember that THEY are training horses that turn out right. I would be happy to own a horse started and finished by Clinton Anderson, or Ken McNabb or Chris Cox or Craig Cameron any day of the week.
OA, hug yourself and move on. You've harmed no one.
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post #85 of 219 Old 03-22-2012, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Scotland
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I do agree with you, that a first horse on your own should be experienced and forgiving. However, I think the big distinction is ON YOUR OWN... with the help of an experienced trainer, sometimes green or problem horses can make great first horses for riders who have done a LOT of riding on experienced horses and are brave enough to stick it out.

I got my first horse when I was 15, and it was like a baptism of fire. I had been riding for seven years, and riding a variety of horses, not all of whom were schoolmasters by a long shot, and had done a lot of riding of other peoples horses. I had experience with coping with problems like bucking, rearing and bolting, but not with training and managing a horse with these problems. The only reason I got the horse I did - who was not only very spooky, but was a bolter and, when his rider went off balance, would buck until they fell - was because we had a real click, and my trainer, who I knew very well and knew me very well, said she would help me retrain him.

She oversaw all the work I did essentially re-breaking this horse - whilst it was me who spent seven weeks lunging him, doing ground-work and slowly backing him, she would come and watch, or ask me about each session, and was my helper on the ground. Without her, I would never have turned what was essentially a dangerous horse into the most placid dressage horse ever. And boy, did it do wonders for my riding. I never used to be as good as I am now at sticking on, and despite having broken in and started 6 youngsters and 7 'problem' horses (although none quite so bad as him, if maybe just because I've gotten better at it) I've only come off once since I've him. Hitting the ground a lot (and mostly in a nice rubber arena) was actually very good for me, but then again, I'm one of those determined sods to who every fall is a dare to get back on, and I knew that I had the professional backup there behind me.

I'm 21 now, and all I can say is that despite it being really hard, and me meeting the ground a lot in the beginning, he really was the right horse for me, and I was broken-hearted to sell him before going to uni. I actually got offered a job with my trainer thanks to her watching my attitude with him, and since then I've spent my holidays breaking and bringing on young and problem horses for her on her yard, and have been given more and more freedom with them as years have gone on - I broke my first horse on my own, with no input until a few days before the owners came to pick her up, this summer, and I was really proud of the lovely, soft little horse I had produced. I'm far from an expert, but I feel that without that difficult beginning, I wouldn't be where I am now - able to deal with the youngsters in an understanding way that does't push them beyond what they're ready for.

I also wouldn't be enjoying the lovely WBxTB I have now - he was another horse I picked up for nothing, because he was 'difficult to handle', but compared to other horses I've worked with he's an absolute gentleman, and by treating him as though he's a quiet, reliable horse, and managing the few situations where he's difficult, he has become the most relaxed, chilled out and forgiving horse to ride, as well as being talented. Whenever I meet people who used to know him, they comment on how relaxed and quiet he is now. And there's no way I'd have been able to cope with what I now consider his very minor issues if I hadn't had to deal with my first horse's extreme ones.

Basically, (and sorry this has turned into an essay) I think difficult horses (and not necessarily as difficult as mine was!) can sometimes be the making of novice/intermediate riders. BUT, it requires someone who knows what they are doing judging that it is possible both physically and mentally for the rider (some riders would lose a lot of confidence hitting the deck so often) and for the horse to get better, and then overseeing everything that the pair do together. And not all trainers are like that, I know - I was very lucky. But it is possible, but VERY hard work and not even nearly all hugs and kisses - so in general, far better to start with a solid schoolmaster!
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post #86 of 219 Old 04-03-2012, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Libby, MT
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When I was first starting out jumping, the owner of the barn had my trainer put me on a barely green-broke horse (without out knowledge, he was new to the barn). The ending result was me on the ground and compressed vertabre that still bother me to this day. HOWEVER, though it turned out she was trying to get my parents to buy this horse (haha moron) because she wanted to get rid of him, I learned my first lesson in "never give up". Once I caught my breath I got back on and rode out my lesson. In pain, but stubborn as all hell. Fast forward about 8 years... We moved to Oregon, and my mom (bless her heart, knows nothing about horses even after all these years) takes up an offer from a family friends friend (see where this is going?). "If you are willing to pay for her training, I will trailer her to the stable and you can HAVE her, free..." without telling me... That ended up being my girl Shauva (aka Drama Queen). a 6yo TB mare who had been started but never finished as a race horse and then turned out to pasture O_o at this point I hadn't been riding regularly for over 2 years. I was lucky enough to have an AMAZING trainer, who made sure to keep me safe in the process of training her. Had I not had her, that horse certainly would have killed me. With that said, I now have the confidence (or stupidity?) to work with all kinds of horses!
Just be careful with what you are doing, always be focused on your horse and your surroundings and PLEASE don't forget to ask for help. I know it takes some pride swallowing, but EVERYONE needs it once in a while! No matter how long they have been riding!

"A horse is eleven-hundred pounds of raw muscle, power, and grace between your legs! It's something you just can't get from a pet hamster!"
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post #87 of 219 Old 04-09-2012, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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What a great thread! Such a common mistake people make. I just purchased my first horse, and when my mom (who is non horsey minded BTW) met her the first thing she said was "She is cute but not as pretty as your old lesson horse..."

Pretty is about more then coat color, pretty to a horse person should be personality, movement and willingness. =)

Only A Fellow Horse Lover Understands The Crazy Addiction...
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post #88 of 219 Old 04-14-2012, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Broken Hill, NSW, Australia
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Very interesting thread. I think, as Minstrel suggests, 'problem horses' can be very good for novice/intermediate riders if you go about working with them the right way, and are patient, and go slow and keep yourself safe. I am learning much more from my gelding than I ever would have if he was perfectly behaved. He was far too much and too green for a nervous beginner, but we had a 'click', and that click has helped us through the bumpy times and now thanks to Friendship Training we are on our way to a nice relationship - haven't had a backward step since I started that with him. I think it comes back to attitude - if you just want to be on and riding then you need a horse that does as you want, but if owning a horse is much more about the relationship, as it is with me, then taking your time and going carefully you can learn a great deal and develop a wonderful partnership. I think I caused many of the problems my horse had - my lack of confidence went through to him - but he is helping me to change. I will be a much better horse person than I would have been without him.
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post #89 of 219 Old 04-22-2012, 12:28 AM
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Regarding the video:

That is one awesome little rider! And a beautiful horse too.
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post #90 of 219 Old 04-27-2012, 03:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New Zealand
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Very sensible advice on this thread. One big turning point for me in the past twelve months is that at 5'1", a pony is just perfect for me. Mycurrent horse is 14.3 hh and that's okay. I'm happier with smaller horses, they are so much easier to get on.

I realized some time ago, that the last time I really was 'one' with my horse was when I had my 'hooney' paint pony when I was a teenager. I could do anything with him. He was my 'wheels'. I realize that age is a huge factor (my age), but nevertheless I reckon I've been mostly over horsed since I gave up my pony.

The thinking way back then was that when you were a teenager/adult you had to go to a hack and of course the showing and jumping competitions kinda dictated that also. Well, I've come full circle and it's nice to have smaller animals I can really wrap my legs around!!
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