How long should I take lessons before getting a horse?
I'm going to be starting lessons in January or February, and I'm not sure how long I should wait to get my own horse? Should I get one soon so I learn on that horse or wait until I'm a decent rider?
What size of horse should I get? I'm 5'2, 130 pounds. I personally love taller horses. The ones I have looked at are between 16-17 hands and I love them and how I look on them. But would it be harder to handle?
I would ask your riding instructor when they thought you had enough skills to care for & handle a horse. At your size, you can ride whatever size of horse you want.
I only just bought my first horse 3 years after handling different sized, ages, personality wise horses from all different shapes and sizes at my riding club. Owning a horse is a huge commitment, Ive given up most of my social life for it, it costs alot of money, alot of time. My own opinion, take some time to see if you enjoy it enough to stick with it before you look into buying a horse. Its not a sport for everyone and having a nice calm trustworthy horse to learn on to begin with is great. Some people go out and buy a horse to learn on and get over their heads because they are too inexperienced. If you take some lessons, you can work on the ground with horses, spend time and be taught by older horses and experience people. I was put on a 25yr old quarter horse in my lessons and he was so quiet, so calm, he taught me alot and i wouldnt have wanted it anyother way.
Goodluck, its certainly a great sport and I'm sure you will have a great time :)
tall horses look all fine and dandy, Reality is short horses are easier to ride, easier to handle, easier to climb on, and the ground is so much closer when, and I do mean when not if, you eventually hit it.
Do you have an opportunity to lease your lesson horse or another at the barn? The more time you can spend in a saddle and working with a horse, the more information and experience you will have to enable you to make a well informed decision when it comes to purchasing!
However, I would take the advice of the previous poster, and use the advantage of having access to more experienced personnel and ask your trainer to advise you about when you might be ready.
Also, consider what discipline of equine activity you are interested in pursuing. That decision will also guide you in your search for the correct horse. For example; jumping/eventing might require a taller breed, or barrel might require a more compact breed.
Hope you find what you're looking for!
Canadienne...Welcome to the forum! You should make sure that you are comfortable on a wide variety of lesson horses before even thinking about purchasing. Even before purchasing, you might want to consider leasing a horse (similar to a car lease) to make sure that you can carry the cost and time commitment of horse ownership.
The more horses you can ride and learn on now, can make a big difference to your overall riding skills. With multiple horses, you learn to ride each horse as an individual, and understand how to apply different skills to different horses.
I have been taking lessons for 4 (or so) years at my current barn, with lessons before that during high school (2 years?). I am only just to the point where I *think* it is time for my own horse. The difference between even now and last year is being able to be much more of a rider, and less of a passenger.
You may get to that point sooner, or later, but it is something that you should discuss with your coach. But please be willing to take your time, and do not just jump into horse ownership right away. Take the time to learn, and to be educated. Read books. Lots of books. Take everything with a grain of salt, because no two ways are the absolute same. Take in clinics, and watch other people ride and coach. Sometimes another coach will say something different then your own, and thats what will make "skill" click in your head, for you to apply it to yourself. Remember that riding is a lifelong learning process, and there is always something more to learn.
In practice both for riding and handling I feel more confident with my big guys, hence one of the reasons that my Haflingers are all for sale and I'm keeping a 15.2hh a 16.2hh and have just bought a 17 hh.
As Wares says at your height and weight OP, you are lucky that you can choose what what size horse you like, so ride as many different sizes and types that you can before seriously horse shopping, then you have a better chance of buying what you want, rather than what you THINK you want.
If you have to ask, you probably aren't ready to have a horse. I took lessons for almost 5 years before getting my first horse, and I had also leased for about a year and a half before getting him. As others have said, owning a horse is a HUGE commitment, and the decision shouldn't be taken lightly. I'd lease a horse for at least a year or two before thinking of buying your own horse.
As for size, you could get just about anything. It's just your preference and what type of riding you plan on doing... For example, I'm 5'1 and while I have no problem handling horses, I much prefer ponies. And larger does not mean more difficult. I've ridden smalls (12hh or so) who were much more challenging than large TBs.
OP, welcome to the forum. I have to agree with what most others have said that you should discuss most of this with your instructor as they can likely tell you when you are ready for full ownership. Leasing is an excellent option as well. The most important thing you will be able to do when you finally start shopping is to find a horse who's training, temperament, and ability match your own ability and goals. For example, you really wouldn't want to look at a trail horse if you are wanting to show (even lower levels) in dressage, jumping, western pleasure, etc.
As for smaller horses being easier to ride and handle...that all depends on their training. I've known lots of 18hh draft horses that were infinitely easier to handle than most standard sized stock horses or even ponies.
That is exactly why it's so important to look for training and temperament instead of just size or breed.
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