Need some advice on buying my first horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 05-25-2013, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
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Arrow Need some advice on buying my first horse

I have wanted a horse for a very long time and while I am not a stranger to riding, training, or taking care of a horse I am new to shopping for one. I currently work at a show barn working the horses and cleaning stalls and I think it is finally time to get my own. I will be boarding my horse at my friends (and next door neighbor) and she trail rides only.

I have started shopping around and I am on a small budget (600 or less) and my boss (the show barn owner) is trying to help me shop forgetting the fact that I cannot afford a dead broke, child proof, flashy young $12,000 arabian like ALL the horses he has.
I DO NOT WANT TO SHOW HIGH LEVEL!! I can't seem to get this through his mind that I do not need a perfect show horse.

I am down to 3-4 horses. One is a rescue morgan/tb cross that is slightly skinny and I worry about sway back or other problems due to his lack of proper feed in his first 2 years of life. He is currently at a fosters who says the vet cleared him perfectly sound, but naturally I worry about this. He is super cute solid black 2 1/2 year old.
The other horses are also through a off track TB rescue in my area and almost all in my price range are horses with old bows or chips. I also worry about temperment with these horses and cribbing issues. However, I have heard of getting a great horse through these programs.
I do intend to jump/trail ride/dressage all for fun just to have a good horse friend to spend some time with. I intend to use a nice hard bareback saddle on my horse as I don't like big western saddles and English tack will only be occasionally.

Any advice or opinions?
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post #2 of 31 Old 05-25-2013, 08:03 PM
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Well, first off congrats! Owning a horse will be an awesome and great learning experience for you! One of the main questions you have to ask yourself is how much time are you willing/ wanting to put into the horse to begin with? Because on a budget, you won't be getting a ready-to-go show horse, and that's ok. It's nice being able to train a horse yourself as it gives both of you a chance to get to know one another. Rescue horses are a great route, but due to their pasts sometimes they can be a bit of a handful, have certain fears, quirks or medical issues. If you could work out getting your own vet out to assess the Morgan cross and they agree on soundness, putting weight on him shouldn't be an issue and could be a good way to go.
Having worked with quite a few off the track TBs, they can have a lot of issues with lameness as well as behaviorally, because all they know is "go", so with both groundwork and under saddle training you have to be extremely diligent on giving solid, straightforward "woah" cues, and I have known many to try and plow through the halter/ bit. That being said, if you take the extra time needed to work through the quirks they can be great dressage/jumpers. Other breeds worth looking into are arab crosses or appendix QHs.

Good luck hunting!!
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post #3 of 31 Old 05-25-2013, 08:34 PM
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One thing to consider is that a horse is a very long term commitment- even the 'wrong' horse can be difficult to get rid of quickly, so keep putting money into your 'horse fund' and let it grow a bit if that's what it takes to find the RIGHT horse for what you actually want, not just the one you can afford right now. Don't rush it. Depending on where you are, you might be better off waiting until you can pay a little more- around here you can get a nice healthy horse who knows all the basics reasonably well for about $1000, which is a much better bet for working out well than one that isn't properly trained or comes with prior injuries.

Make sure you're ready for extra expenses too- any tack you have now may or may not fit a new horse, and I found that while my horse was a planned amount, I wound up spending another $600 in just the first month just getting other supplies and such that I needed and hadn't planned on. And that is without needing extra feed, vet or farrier issues for a horse who might be on the rough side and need some extra care to get back up to decent health. Make sure you've got plenty sitting in your vet fund- horses are injuries and illness looking for a place to happen and they have a way of getting hurt at the worst possible time.
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post #4 of 31 Old 05-25-2013, 10:04 PM
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The first Forum after Horse Forum Rules and Announcements is New to Horses.
The first thread is Thinking About Getting Your First Horse. (I think that is what it is called.)
Excellent advice!!!!!

Happy shopping! : )
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post #5 of 31 Old 05-25-2013, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
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Thanks Guys

Thanks for the advice.

I am also leaning towards the morgan cross as he has a great personality and seems to be pretty eager to learn. My husband just got promoted and I have been able to stay at home with our daughter. Therefore, I will have PLENTY of time to train him over the next 2 years until I graduate from college and become a nurse. But by then he will be trained and more fun than work I hope. I was planning on getting my vet out before any purchase on any horse, only to save my own end.

I do see your point on saving more and putting away money for a horse, but frankly where I live there are hardly any horses and the only thing around (about an hour and a half away) is a race track. My friend has three awesome horses all of which she got for free from the track, however, I do intend to jump a little and many of those free racehorses are pretty injured.
Before my search I did take into account Vet examine, checks, and care expenses, tack, boarding (3 months in advanced paid), farrier, and all other things I was thinking of getting done and or bought and with all of that I based my "horse allowance" on that factor. I have more than enough money and support for the horse and his/her long life and I don't worry about all extra expenses. I think the thing is I truly want to train my own horse and I KNOW I can get a great horse for under 1k. Like I said before I know its nice to be able to buy a perfectly sound, well mannered horse, but for me that might take some of the fun out of it. I look forward to training my horse and in turn giving him respect so he will respect me and we can build on that.

But I appreciate all the advice. I take it to heart!

Last edited by Undante; 05-25-2013 at 10:32 PM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 05-25-2013, 10:56 PM
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I don't see how getting a well trained horse would take the fun out of it. I am always thrilled if I buy a horse that is well trained and mannerly.

Actually, after owning horses for about 19 years I am just now working with my first young horse, and honestly I think having to train all the time takes the fun out of it. But I know everyone is different and has different ideas of horse fun.

I guess what I am saying is don't be afraid to get a nice trained horse if you can. Then they are ready to enjoy right away.
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post #7 of 31 Old 05-26-2013, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Location: New York
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I also agree with you. If I could afford a horse I could jump on and ride today I would. But around where I live something like that is either 17 years and older or far too expensive. Not that I don't want a older horse, but my husband is bigger (200lbs) and I fear for their poor backs and legs. It is also reassuring to know you have a horse that will more than likely have much better manners and be safer than a young green broke gelding. However, like I said before, I have plenty of time and patience to train a horse properly. And for me lunging and teaching a horse is sometimes just as fun or even more so funner than going for a ride. But I do understand that for my first horse I understand why people advise me to buy a trained horse already.
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post #8 of 31 Old 05-26-2013, 07:44 AM
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If this is your horse, what does your husband's size have to do with it? Is he going to be riding also?When you aren't riding? I hope you aren't planning on riding double? Is he experienced w/horses?Are you in the US? Or another country? If you told us your location, we might be able to find more horses for you to consider.There are many horses available by word-of-mouth, that are not listed anywhere.
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post #9 of 31 Old 05-26-2013, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Location: New York
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We will not be riding together. He would like to take him/her on a trail ride occasionally and I would be on one of my friends horses. I am in the US in Western New York. If you know of any horses around here let me know, but I seriously doubt you can find anything in my price range. I am willing to pay up to 1k, but most of those horses are 20 years and older. Not something I am interested in as I plan on giving my future horse to my daughter in about 10 years when it is settled and fully trained. My daughter is 10 months old now so it would be perfect.
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post #10 of 31 Old 05-26-2013, 09:34 AM
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Good luck! :)
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buying , gelding , new horse , thoroughbred , training

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