Purchasing First Horse - Young or Old?
 
 

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Purchasing First Horse - Young or Old?

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        06-21-2014, 02:07 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Question Purchasing First Horse - Young or Old?

    Hello, a little background about me :
    I'm in a family of 5 including 2 teenagers, myself (in college), mom, and stepdad. Teenagers and stepdad are fairly tall (~5 1/2' teens, 7' stepdad) and stepdad is fairly heavy due to such (300-350?), teens are about 130-150, I'm 110 and 5 1/2', mom is about 5' and 150 or so. We're looking to get our first horse, the only real person with any knowledge about horses is me but I don't know all that much (I can properly saddle, use tack, lead, etc but haven't actually ridden over 50 hours). We already have 9 goats, young and old male and female, all disbudded with the exception of one that wasn't done right, the whether but he's very gentle. We have 10 acres, about 1/3 of that is fenced off from the goats, and another unfenced 10 acres we don't really do much with. Plenty of forage, a single large barn with 3 stalls (one milking, one for goats, and one unused).

    We're planning on getting our first horse but we've received mixed ideas.
    First idea is as follows :
    1. Get young horse, they're not too hard to train, that ways they'll get used to goats.
    2. Get old horse that is used to goats and already trained.
    3. Seperate both.

    So far everyone has been hooked on the first option. They have the idea we need a 2 year old colt that is atleast 15 hands tall and I'm pretty much going to do all the work. I've had experience AROUND training sessions but never actually trained one. I'm fairly patient, but honestly I'd rather be out riding with an already trained horse. For some reason everyone thinks that we only need one family horse for all 5 of us to ride even though we're all VERY different.

    Personally I think the better option is to slowly adjust an already trained horse to the goats, get a youngun, and use the older one as a standard for the young one to grow up next to, but chances are we're just going to get one horse because no one listens to me and I'm not the one paying.

    We would prefer a horse for trail riding which is why mustangs have been called into question. Obviously there are plenty of other good breeds but mustangs are being considered (they already turned down a 14.2H 4y colt that I believe was greenbroke for $400, but it was in CO...). They think the taller the better but I know a stockier horse will be able to do better with a stockier person. I personally want an endurance horse, but I wouldn't know if it would be able to be a good fit for our entire family.

    So the question is, which is the best route to take in our situation and what horse should we be looking for? There are horse auctions near us every month, as well as people near and far selling them all the time. I'd prefer not to get too old a horse just because of health issues they may have.
         
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        06-21-2014, 02:12 AM
      #2
    Green Broke
    Get an older broke horse... No questions asked, younger does not mean easier to train by any means!! Nor does it mean less health issues. I would not recommend anything under 6 for you guys.

    My trainer has 3 mare in the same age range and all are completely different ranging from extremely easy going to higher then a kite. Find something seasoned to help teach you guys.
         
        06-21-2014, 02:16 AM
      #3
    Showing
    Number 2 is the best option. By far.

    I'm guessing you haven't heard the expression "green plus green equals black and blue"?

    Young untrained horses are not for the inexperienced. There are too many things that can go wrong and too many training issues that can arise from someone who doesn't know what they're doing training an unbroke horse.

    For a first horse, an older (10 years or older), broke, been-there-done-that horse is recommended because the horse already knows what it is doing, so it can help teach the rider. They are also less likely to spook and be nervous in new situations (not all the time, but usually).

    Mustangs are a different breed all together. I would not recommend them for a beginner, to be honest. That is if they are from the range. Captive bred mustangs are a bit more like domestic horses, but I still wouldn't recommend them for a beginner.

    Think of it this way. You're trying to teach someone English who has never heard English before. It helps if you know the language you are teaching first, plus a little bit of the language they speak, in order to teach most effectively. Now, the horse is like the person learning English and you are the one teaching it. If you don't first know what you are doing, it's extremely difficult to communicate effectively and have both of you not frustrated and angry.

    Also, keep in mind that at two-years-old, a horse still has quite a bit of growing to do (depending on the breed). My gelding was 15hh as a two-year-old. He's now pushing 17hh as a 5yo and, because he's a draft cross, will continue to grow until he's about 7-8 years old. So, your 15hh two-year-old can very quickly become a very intimidating 16+hh and, if not handled correctly, can definitely use that fact to its advantage.
         
        06-21-2014, 02:21 AM
      #4
    Foal
    Is there a good way to tell if a horse will be alright with goats? That's our main concern, we're worried that the horse may kill a goat or something. Most people selling them don't know.
         
        06-21-2014, 02:32 AM
      #5
    Showing
    Most horses I've met don't care one way or the other about goats. My (usually fearless) gelding is terrified of them, but he won't attack them. He loves our BO's pot belly pig (most horses don't like pigs), but he's terrified of goats.

    Remember that horses are prey animals, so their first instinct is to flee rather than fight. The only time they fight is if they 1) have no other choice or 2) are faced with a predator. And, believe it or not, horses can tell the difference between another prey animal (a goat) and a predator just by scent.

    There is a member on here named Wallaby who just adopted a 12yo gelding (I think he's 12). As far as I know, he's never seen goats before. He's been fine with them so far. This is her thread chronicling her work with her former horse, Lacey (who recently passed away), and her new horse, Fabio. Lacey, Fabio and Me: The Neverending Story The part about her new horse is towards the last few pages.
         
        06-21-2014, 02:36 AM
      #6
    Weanling
    Under 50 hours of riding is a horrible combination with a young horse...I can't stress this enough. Please don't do it to yourself or the poor horse.

    No disrespect to you but at this point you don't know enough to know how much you don't know.

    I have over 5,000 hours riding ~ showing English ~ hunter over fences, minor eventing, trail riding, showing AQHA in WP, HUS, Trail, Western Horsemanship, Showmanship etc., hauling horses around, working at barns in my younger years etc. and I wouldn't want a 2 year old colt if you paid me. That's because I understand what I'd be getting into.

    I have also been around horses, and worked around horses enough to know how to do things to prevent accidents and spot health troubles. I see so many people (even seasoned) ones doing stupid things that are a proven recipe for disaster for them or the horse that it sometimes makes my head spin.

    Just because someone knows how to ride, even fabulously, doesn't mean they know how to train a horse, and a horse trained by someone with no knowledge is usually a ruined horse who can easily become a worthless nightmare.

    Beginners just don't know enough to know what they don't know, only time around horses and learning everything you can will do that (this reminds me of looking at an iceberg, you see the iceberg above the water but don't realize that 95% of it is below the surface).

    Whoever told you that training a horse is easy has no idea what they're talking about. If they did, and truly knew what they were doing, they wouldn't suggest it to someone who is new to horses.

    I pray you do the right thing!
         
        06-21-2014, 02:39 AM
      #7
    Green Broke
    There isn't a hard and fast way to tell if it will be okay with goats, other than buying with that is already with them. Most people owning horses won't know.

    However, that should be far from the most important factor when buying a horse. A horse suitable for beginners, and being kept alone, and being physically suitable for you all to ride can be tricky to find. These should be the most important things to find. You should be looking for training and experience. Do not get a young horse, that would be a bad idea.
    DraftyAiresMum and zett like this.
         
        06-21-2014, 02:43 AM
      #8
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EponaLynn    
    Under 50 hours of riding is a horrible combination with a young horse...I can't stress this enough. Please don't do it to yourself or the poor horse.

    No disrespect to you but at this point you don't know enough to know how much you don't know.

    I have over 5,000 hours riding ~ showing English ~ hunter over fences, minor eventing, trail riding, showing AQHA in WP, HUS, Trail, Western Horsemanship, Showmanship etc., hauling horses around, working at barns in my younger years etc. and I wouldn't want a 2 year old colt if you paid me. That's because I understand what I'd be getting into.

    I have also been around horses, and worked around horses enough to know how to do things to prevent accidents and spot health troubles. I see so many people (even seasoned) ones doing stupid things that are a proven recipe for disaster for them or the horse that it sometimes makes my head spin.

    Just because someone knows how to ride, even fabulously, doesn't mean they know how to train a horse, and a horse trained by someone with no knowledge is usually a ruined horse who can easily become a worthless nightmare.

    Beginners just don't enough to know what they don't know, only time will do that.

    Whoever told you that training a horse is easy has no idea what they're talking about. If they did and truly knew what they were doing, they wouldn't suggest it to someone who is new.

    I pray you do the right thing!
    Honestly that was pretty much what I've been thinking... A few people have told me this as well, so I wasn't sure when some one said it was the best way to keep a horse with goats. The initial plan was to get an older horse, but I started feeling pressured after my mom heard about the young horse thing and started saying that was the way to go.

    I completely agree with you on the part where I don't know how much I don't know, I've been to some seminars but usually I'm in the blind and don't know much of what they're talking about. We're hoping to do some mucking work in exchange for horse back riding lessons, I know some english riding but I'm still fairly fresh on western.

    Do you think it will still be alright to get a well broke horse even though we're fairly new to this, and if not how much training do you think I should go through before purchasing one?
    Palomine and zett like this.
         
        06-21-2014, 02:43 AM
      #9
    Showing
    Just because a horse is younger doesn't automatically mean it will get along with the goats, even if it's raised with them. My gelding lived his first two years directly across the road from a property that had goats. He was STILL terrified of even walking past the house with the goats if the goats were out. He's great with dogs, pigs, other horses, little kids, ponies, cats...everything except goats.
         
        06-21-2014, 02:49 AM
      #10
    Weanling
    Oh my... I'm sorry but just reading what you wrote clearly shows how inexperienced you are, and I hope that someone will make a safe, sound and sane decision here or else I see this turning out very badly. The fact that you think that training a horse would be easy is shocking.

    You need a safe, older, been there done that horse. Whether it gets along with goats is not really part of the equation here...it's all about your safety.
         

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