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-   -   What to look for in a new trail horse? (

Sheepdog 03-24-2012 01:17 PM

What to look for in a new trail horse?
Hi guys, I'm just looking for some opinions\advice. I am a 30year old women who live on a farm in South Africa. I am 1,7 m tall and weigh a little over 100kgs. I currently have an elderly SA Boerperd type old style farm horse dark bay gelding that is my riding horse. Old Hans is 20 and slowly starting to show his age. So in the not too distant future I'm looking to replace him as my trail partner. Hans is 15hh and I wouldn't consider anything under that height. Now my heart is leaning towards a Draft (clydesdale if I can, Percheron will also be fine), partly because of being a big girl. But a draft would mean a whole new set of hard to come bye, expensive tack, whereas a slightly smaller horse would not neccesarily mean a change in tack. Hans is big built, e.g wears a full Quarter horse bridle, Large halter.
So the other breeds I'm looking at is: Appaloosa (have a small Appy sport mare and she's a pet, if I can get a gelding in my size with tucky's attitude I'll buy him tomorrow)
Saddler - Very common in my area. Had a mare, rode her a few times and it was something else altogether. She was unfortunately old, skinny and pregnant. She also died little more than a year after we got her.
Arab,- If I can get one in my size. Lots of endurance riders in my vicinity.
SA Boerperd, QH.
My main criteria would be 15hh +, pref 16hh +. Good feet, must go barefoot, farriers are nonexistent where I live. Sane attitude to life.
I ride alone, so that is very important.
What am I missing in my criteria, what other breeds should I look for?

Ladytrails 03-24-2012 03:11 PM

I think you've got good criteria! I would add that I need my trail horse to be confident, able to take care of herself (e.g. not put herself in danger, think her way out of situations); side pass and back up (safely); exposed to outdoor work besides just a safe arena; not barn sour or buddy sour, and have energy enough to want to enjoy the trail.

Good luck! You'll have fun looking!

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