Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Central California
I can relate to you in many respects. I've gone back and forth on this as well after having owned a 3 year old off-track TB, taking a few years off, and indulging myself in countless horse books and training videos since. I decided maybe a foal wasn't my best option, but a young horse under the age of 4 who has at least been trailered, haltered, and leads. Those things make a huge difference for the beginning trainer. And I would say under 4, because the older the habit, the harder to break if there are any vices (and there usually are). A question... have you ever been on a fairly green/tempermental horse? I think it's very important to have experienced their power on their not-so-good days before taking on a project horse. It can be very intimidating and if you're not careful, it can shatter your confidence. I would have to suggest maybe a 1-2 year old. That way, you will have plenty of time to bond on the ground and not feel rushed since a horse shouldn't be under saddle for a bit longer, anyway. They don't have much 'unknown' history prior to you, and habits are more easily broken.
All-in-all, if you were to ask me if a green trainer should take on a project horse, I would have to say that when it comes down to it, it depends on each individual person. Some people are naturally tuned in with animals. We can almost play the part when we're around them, predict what their next moves will be, read their body language, know what they're thinking, have an understanding, and be seen as a trusted 'pack'/'herd' leader. If this is you, then go for it. However, many people out there don't quite have that and it can often be a matter of their nerves getting the best of their instincts.
If you get a young horse, are you planning to keep her on your property? I would also suggest maybe getting him/her a friend. A minihorse or a goat make great companions. Horses can get antsy and neurotic when alone. Getting a companion can reduce the chances of bad behavior. If not keeping the horse on your property, I would definitely sway from getting a foal since the time with it will be depleted.
Wow. That was long. Sorry =}
Last edited by BackInTheSaddleAgain; 05-18-2009 at 08:32 AM.