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Looking For First Horse - Advice?

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    09-20-2010, 04:39 PM
  #1
Foal
Smile Looking For First Horse - Advice?

Okay, I haven't posted an introduction because it pretty much would be exactly like what I'm going to write here (haha).

So first off, I started taking lessons in kindergarten but had to stop several years later because of money issues. I continued to ride, although not as often as I would've liked.

This past summer I worked on farms which included a lot of horsey duties. There were three horses, but two of them I wasn't allowed to ride because the owners only want riders more experienced than them to ride their horses (which I understand!). So I got to ride a former school-horse that they hadn't ridden in 6 months because of her tendency to bolt - she enjoys driving much more.

So that's more or less my horse history in a nutshell. I'm currently attending the D'AL School of Equine Massage in Ontario. I just moved here from Quebec.

On Sunday I'm going to look at a 10 year old Standardbred mare (pacer). She's a former racehorse, and was rescued from the meat auction. Her current owner says that she can w/t/c but will start pacing. However, it's easy to get her back into a trot (supposedly). Her right, hind fetlock is permanently "swollen" but it apparently doesn't pose any problem and she hasn't taken a lame step in her time with this owner (again, this is just what the owner says). A vet will be checking her out when I'm there.

This horse is purely for pleasure purposes. I have no intention to show, or even really jump. A horse would also be beneficial as far as school goes.

Unfortunately, I don't know an experienced horse person who would do the 2hr drive with me to check her out, especially since she's just for trail riding. I understand this can be risky... However, I plan to film her when the owner rides her and when I ride her (I have family members going with me but they aren't horse people). That way I can get opinions from more experienced riders instead of just going on what I saw - which would be risky...

Any opinions/advice? Thank you!
     
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    09-20-2010, 04:52 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrancingPegasusOfDoom    
On Sunday I'm going to look at a 10 year old Standardbred mare (pacer). She's a former racehorse, and was rescued from the meat auction. Her current owner says that she can w/t/c but will start pacing. However, it's easy to get her back into a trot (supposedly). Her right, hind fetlock is permanently "swollen" but it apparently doesn't pose any problem and she hasn't taken a lame step in her time with this owner (again, this is just what the owner says). A vet will be checking her out when I'm there.


Any opinions/advice? Thank you!
A big huge NO NO NO to this horse!!! Don't do it! Here's why:
1.) Soundness - don't even bother with a horse that has an existing soundness issue and don't listen to what the seller tells you about the horse as they have a vested interest in selling it.
2.) Stick away from ex racehorses for a first horse, whilst they make great horses eventually, there is usually considerable training that goes into them before they understand the ins and outs of their new life away from the track.
3.) I would also stick away from rescues for a first horse. The often come with a host of behavioural/health complications that require experience and may not make for a trouble free enjoyable horse ownership.

If I were you, I would look for something that is around 8-12 years old, good conformation, sound of mind and body with a sweet willing temperament. I wouldn't worry too much about specific breeds, in fact some of the crosses that are available make excellent all round type horses such as the Quarab, Anglo-Arab or some of the heavy horse crosses.

Also, take your time looking for the right horse and try not to fall in love with the first one you see, it is hard I know but you have to look around and see a few to get an idea of what might be best suited to your needs.

Good luck!
     
    09-20-2010, 05:03 PM
  #3
Foal




Quickly posting these pictures before class starts.
     
    09-20-2010, 05:08 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Welcome, and I love your username and avatar.
     
    09-20-2010, 05:11 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Oh yeah, and welcome!

Sorry I got so worried about a first time horse buyer ending up with a three legged ex racehorse that I forgot to say anything else!!
     
    09-21-2010, 10:19 AM
  #6
Yearling
I agree with Sarah. Especially if it's going to be a pleasure/trail horse find something in the 8-15 range that is a been there done that. Not that you probably couldn't handle anything more, but that if you just want to pleasure ride take on a horse that is just that...a pleasure. An ex-racehorse is generally not well suited to a "pleasure" lifestyle as they enjoy the excitement and drama of competition even though they can be retrained for pleasure riding most of the time they don't enjoy it as much. Also, a horse that still "paces" means that is has holes in it's retraining and/or has some physical issues. And riding a pacer is not a pleasure for anyone, trust us on this!
     

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