help choosing a horse
I am looking to get my daugheter aged 11 her first horse, she has never ridden before. Any suggestions on what to look for, what size, age, breed, gender. Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks
Instead of buying her a horse, you might want to consider getting her lessons first. Then, once she has some experience, leasing a horse instead of buying outright.
That way, should she decide she doesn't want to bother with horses anymore, you won't have to find a buyer for a now unwanted animal. Many youngsters, tweens, and young teens think they want a horse until the hormones kick in and they discover the opposite sex, make-up, parties, clothes, etc.
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I agree with Speed Racer. I started taking lessons when I was 6, and was not allowed to lease until I was about 14. Full leased an amazing OTTB until I went to college and just bought my first boy at 22.
When/If you do go ahead and get her a horse, please be realistic about her capabilities AT THE PRESENT MOMENT and not "what she might want to ride someday". My boy I have now was bought as a first horse for a 7 year old girl and it caused both him and her a lot of pain and unnecessary stress. He had no business being a first horse for a small child.
Another benefit of starting lessons is when you do start to look for a horse your trainer can more than likely help you find a horse suitable for your daughter :)
Also keep in mind that sometimes the horse is wonderful, but there just isn't a good rider/horse relationship combination. Drifter is great with me and most others on him but I have a select few friends who he hates. He turns into an other worldly being from hell if they try to mount him.
Whatever route you decide to go, good luck!
the above post is exactly my sentiments.
I was the opposite of the above. My dad bought me my first horse when I was your daughter's age. I'd had very little experience beforehand, though I had ridden family horses from time to time. (I DO suggest lessons even if you buy her the horse, if only to begin building her confidence)
My dad knew a lady down the road who we'd met a few times before, and he asked if she would help us find a horse suitable for me. She went with us to all the horses we looked at and rode them first, and finally we found one we all thought would be good for us.
Unfortunately, he did have shipping cough, but after his quarantine period and treatment by the vet, he became my best friend. I rode him everywhere.
My suggestion would be to first be sure of your finances. Set a budget (a realistic one) for a first time horse. Don't scimp on the money for a good beginner horse. They are priceless. It would be in your best interest to ask an experienced rider for their help. And GET A VET CHECK BEFORE BUYING!!
You don't want to get sucked into a longterm loss of money as far as health goes. Also, be sure the seller has ALL the right paperwork for the horse you decide on, and even requesting a trial period where you come and ride the horse for a week wouldn't be a bad idea.
As far as a good breed, I like Quarter Horses for their all around disposition and ability. Most people would suggest a gelding, as they tend to be most laid back, but I have never had problems with a well picked mare. I would not suggest buying anything under the age of 6 and anything as old as 18. As far as size goes, that really depends on what your daughter is comfortable with. I prefer a horse in the 14.2-15 hand range.
Also, be aware that taking your daughter horse shopping will be DANGEROUS. haha. So take caution that the pretty ponies will be alluring, but don't buy on looks alone! Look for the right temperament, a seasoned horse that has experience with kids (lesson horses are awesome for this), and a horse that is willing and curious, yet not easily shaken.
Being picky will save you both a lot of headaches and a lot of heart break in the long run.
Feel free to ask any questions! 14 years in, and I still ask questions. You can never be too prepared or know too much when it comes to horses.
Thank you to everyone who replied, she will be taking lessons, fortunatly for us their is a ranch down the road from us that does lessons:) We are def. going to be purchasing one though because the lady that gives lessons suggets that the child ride w their own horse that way they can become used to each other. Also we have 4 other children behind our oldest, so the horse will be well loved and taken care of for many years. We urrently only have ponies but at 11 our oldest is now too big for most of them. That is why we need a bigger horse. :)
Sounds like a good plan then, Jessie. I was just a little concerned because you said she doesn't know how to ride.
Far too many people go off half cocked and buy their kid a horse, and nobody has a clue. Situations like that are just disasters waiting to happen.
Glad you have knowledgeable people around you, and someone to help you pick out the right horse for your daughter.
she has been on a all pony, just never a big horse. I guess that i should have more specific LOL. Going from a small pony to a full sized horse is going to be quite different for her though!!
my first horse was a gelding POA. POAs are about 13 hands or taller. they act like a qh size of a pony, endurance of a arabian and color of a appolosa. all of which are in a POA. best breed to get a first time rider. but needs lesson before u get one. :)
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