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Foxhunter 07-20-2012 05:49 PM

How much experience?
 
I would find it very interesting to know how many hours of actual riding people have before they get a horse.

If you have been riding for say, five years, was that an hour a week or more?

How many different horses had you ridden before you got your own?

During that time how much was spent on actually handling the horse, learning stable management?

Who taught you feed requirements?

How experienced were you, truthfully, before you bought your own horse?

How much instruction did you take after purchasing your own horse?

Jore 07-20-2012 06:09 PM

Seeing as how my dad is finally on board with getting me a horse. (hopefully late August/early September), I figure I can answer. :)

If you have been riding for say, five years, was that an hour a week or more?
I've been riding for seven years, since I was nine. I started leasing at around the four year mark. Up until then, it was one hour a week.. but after that, it was more like three or four per week. Recently, it's five or six.

How many different horses had you ridden before you got your own?
Lily, Mariah, Maggie, Whisper, Molly, Major.. and maybe some others.. so six or so?

During that time how much was spent on actually handling the horse, learning stable management?
Likely about 80%.. at least.

Who taught you feed requirements?
My instructor during one of our barn lessons that we have when the weather is too unco-operative.

How experienced were you, truthfully, before you bought your own horse?
I'd like to think I'm relatively experienced in handling, and the care of horses.. and seeing as how I'm boarding, my trainer will be there to help if I need it.

How much instruction did you take after purchasing your own horse?
Seven years of it.

Arizahn 07-20-2012 06:38 PM

I rode twice a week, every week, from the age of ten to twelve. I rode whatever they gave me, from Shetlands to OTTT, from green carthorses to ex-eventers with string halt. I also helped out mucking out, cleaning tack, grooming horses, and leading ponies in the beginner classes. I went to two proper pony camps, where stable management and turnout/feeding was the main focus, along with mounted games.

After those two camps, my parents bought a pony for my mother and myself to share. We kept him at a very nice yard, with experienced friends on hand. Sadly, less than a year later, my father became unwell and had to retire from his job. Money was tight, so when my mother lost interest, my father wasn't willing to pay for the pony anymore. We sold him. He was a schoolmaster, and went to another girl my own age. I never did forgive my parents. They said I could have kept him if I had gotten into show jumping and won some prizes.

I went back to riding lessons, once a week now, and I had to make my own way there and back. For three years I went it alone. Then my mother got the bug again, and we started making weekly trips to go trekking (trail riding) together. That was fun. The cobs were wonderful animals. But two years later, my mother quit again. I couldn't get to the trekking centre on foot or by public transport. I went back to lessons, this time with my cousin.

When I was twenty, I took a summer job in Sweden, working with disabled teens. Part of the job entailed caring for several Icelandic horses and exercising them. When the riding instructor saw that I knew my stuff, she invited me to travel with her to Norway to try out a new horse. We left at six in the morning and drove for nine hours to get there.

The horse in question had been a broodmare for most of her nine years. She was a purebred Haflinger, and she was beautiful. The seller had bathed her the day before, and the flies were driving her crazy! We tried to bridle her and she went nuts! Eventually, after much soothing and copious amounts of bite cream, she let us tack her up.

I got on that seemingly crazy little mare and I walked her down to the field. I asked her for trot and she did, then I asked her to be kind and not kill me and canter...well, she gave me a perfect canter and couldn't have been better! So we bought her, and brought her back to Sweden that day. She hated travelling. I spent that evening and the next day settling her in - brushing her, picking her feet. Then for the next week I rode her to get her schooled under saddle for the kids.

When I got home that autumn, I took a break from horses entirely as I was out of work and had no money to spare on riding. Then I met my husband, and he was allergic to horses, so I never thought of getting back into riding. Besides, my parents told my husband before we got married not to ever let me start all that nonsense again.

Well, fast-forward to 2010. My mother died very suddenly in her sleep. And I suffered a miscarriage. Suddenly life seemed too short and unfair. So I told my husband he would just have to cope: I was taking up riding again! I went back to lessons. My husband was as supportive as he could be, but his allergies were too bad for him to do more than drop me at the stables and pick me up - I can't drive due to my epilepsy.

Somehow, the riding centre wasn't what I'd longed for. The horses were tired, the stalls dirty, and we were going in circles. I stopped going to lessons, started looking for a quiet cob and livery (board). I found a lovely yard (barn) and rented a stable there. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding new thinking on feed and care. I even braved the Internet and joined forums! And eventually I found a sweet little cob.

But alas, the horse of my dreams turned out to have a dodgy seller attached, and so I never got my quiet cob. Instead, I tried a green, ill-mannered Arab mare, being sold for meat money, by someone I've since learnt is a dealer. My OH couldn't help but fall for her too, and his allergies weren't as bad around her. We bought her the very next day.

I've had some rough moments and several bad falls off that mare. She's even trampled me. I nearly sold her a while back, but persevered. And we are finally getting somewhere. After nine months of work, I can honestly say that I may not have the horse I wanted, but I do have the one I need. I will have her until she passes, as I feel I owe her that.

Cheers Gru, I love you:wink:

Copperhead 07-20-2012 08:54 PM

I would find it very interesting to know how many hours of actual riding people have before they get a horse.

If you have been riding for say, five years, was that an hour a week or more?
I had been riding for 4 years before I got my first horse. One lesson every two weeks.

How many different horses had you ridden before you got your own?
Just a handful of lesson horses.

During that time how much was spent on actually handling the horse, learning stable management?
Catching and grooming were part of the lessons. Cleaning stalls and handling were something we did to shoot the breeze.

Who taught you feed requirements?
I did, after I got my first horse.

How experienced were you, truthfully, before you bought your own horse?
I don't feel as if I was experienced enough. My first horse taught me a lot, much of which could have been avoided if I had more knowledge under my belt.

How much instruction did you take after purchasing your own horse?
About 4 years, one lesson every other weekend.

MHFoundation Quarters 07-20-2012 09:08 PM

Interesting thread idea, Foxhunter!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Foxhunter (Post 1607749)
I would find it very interesting to know how many hours of actual riding people have before they get a horse.

If you have been riding for say, five years, was that an hour a week or more?
Well, I grew up on a horse. Family has raised QHs for over 50 years. Lots & lots of hours. Right now I am in the saddle for an average of 4 hours daily.

How many different horses had you ridden before you got your own?
Honestly don't know. A dozen or more. You could probably triple that if you count the times we'd climb on the yearlings in the pasture when they had their heads in the hay feeders :lol:

During that time how much was spent on actually handling the horse, learning stable management?
A lot. It was a big part of life. Have to say that it also taught me some things about how not to manage a farm.

Who taught you feed requirements? Well, most of what I learned early on was things that have long since been improved on as far as hard feeds & supplements go. Did always have good pasture management practices & hay quality. Grandpa had us sniffing the hay bales as soon as we were big enough to walk out there. Started learning nutrition studying for hippology contests from about age 10 on. Now from vets, researching myself & my farrier/feed dealer/stallion station owner.

How experienced were you, truthfully, before you bought your own horse?
The first one I paid for myself? Very experienced. I didn't buy my own until I was an adult and had been riding for almost 20 years at that point. But there have always been the 'family' horses on the farm that I had free rein with. Still have a few of the oldies that were here when I was a kid.

How much instruction did you take after purchasing your own horse?
Had an instructor/trainer/judge for a mom. Growing up every ride was a lesson. I still have her and another trainer friend come over and pick on me every once in awhile to keep me fresh.


poppy1356 07-20-2012 09:28 PM

Well I had one lesson a week at one hour a lesson for 10 years. Then put in 4 shows a year for 8 years. Took a few years off before I bought my first horse.

Only rode about a handful of different horses. Didn't learn squat about barn management or taking care of a horse.

Didn't know anything about feed before purchasing.

I was pretty experienced with riding but the actual ownership part was all new.

Hopefully taking lessons soon on my horse. I've only had her for 7 months now.

I am very lucky to have a very good vet and barn manager that are willing to answer any of my questions. Without them I would be clueless. I was definately not prepared but I was willing to learn and asked a ton of questions and I wasn't afraid to say I didn't know something. If I were to do it all over again the only change I would make would be to get the vet involved sooner in her feed plan.
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Skyseternalangel 07-20-2012 09:46 PM

If you have been riding for say, five years, was that an hour a week or more?
From age 8 to age 11, it was an hour a week on Saturdays. Then we moved to the states when I was 12 and another hour or two per week (multiple sessions) I think it was every 3 days. I learned about bareback riding (apparently I was good that I didn't fall, but somehow got worse lol) and barrel racing there.. then when I was 15, my mom pulled me out of riding. Then I did little rented trail rides every so often with my friends and began riding and lessons when I was 16 going on 17. I schooled greenies, rode many types of horses from a petite Arabian to a tall TWH to an appy (my favourite but she was a grr,) Haflinger crosses, Haflingers, more rented rides. From 17 to age 19, I was at the therapeutic riding center and would school up to 2 hours per day per 3 days a week, sometimes four. When I got Sky, the horses I rode went exponentially down. I didn't school as many but did take up lessons so I rode an hour or 3 a week. Then From the time I moved Sky in April to around September 2011, I rode him every.single.day. and took 2 lessons per week as well. Then I didn't get out to the barn much, twice a week at first until I met up with a rider and she offered to take me to the barn. She was lovely and we became friends quickly so then I got to go 3 times a week, sometimes 4 if my mom was up to driving me (that's a whole diff. story... about my license haha) until I left in Feb 2012. Haven't ridden since aside from one time for an hour up in Rotorua, NZ on a little hilly trail ride :)

How many different horses had you ridden before you got your own?
Let's see..
In England: Snoopy, Trigger, un-named pony, little shetland, Bramble
In Barrels: Judd the mule, another mule, Flash (my barrel horse,) Shorty (little short mustang type,) Shadow (love of my life at the time.. was lame and blind in one eye,) another horse I cannot name, and another one I cannot name..
Rentals: Blue (the jackrabbit who sadly got bit by a snake and died.. so sad,) Clark (got him a lot...), un-named horse, Sonny, ex -jumping horse that I cannot name for the life of me)
On vacation: Mule that I cantered with (as in tell him to run and hang on for life ahaha)
At work: Destiny, Sister, Kara, Candy Sue, Pippy, Frodo,

Then I was given the chance to ride Sky (well it was more like forced to.. infront of a bunch of people. It was very on-the-spot but we did well together and I began to school him (more like just keep up with him, not really asking him to do much) and then lease him and then he was given to me.

So... *counts* 24 horses??


During that time how much was spent on actually handling the horse, learning stable management?
Hmm in England, I was a little one but I did help brush sometimes and tack up. I remember being allowed to do that since I was very smart. I'd help everyone out but for the most part the hired help did it.
At the western barn, I caught them, tacked up, and groomed every day but other than that knew little to nothing.
On vacation, nah they did it all.
Rental rides, same deal.
At work I learned stable management (I'd look after the barn when she left or wasn't feeling well) and handling minis to foals to problem horses to taller horses.

Who taught you feed requirements?
Ha that's a funny one. I worked at the therapeutic riding center and she taught me about how she fed, but not WHY she fed that way. I honestly learned a little from the ex-BO at the barn Sky's at now, and the forum.. and my own research. Which if you think about it, is scary... but I triple quadruple checked, even with FeedXL and the blood panel is the proof! He's 100% healthy, never looked better.. feet are wonderful. Skin vibrant and eyes bright.

How experienced were you, truthfully, before you bought your own horse?
Sky was given to me by someone very experienced but honest to apples, he was a mess, he was explosive, he had SO MANY ISSUES but I was the only one that he would be fine around.
Honestly I was not very experienced. I mean I had ridden greenies and handled other problem horses but my riding was very poor. I hadn't fallen off before I came to work at the therapeutic riding center, actually, but I had no balance bareback, I developed all these poor habits... etc. I had confidence but no sense of form because I had never been taught properly. When I began to ride on my own with two lessons a month, those instructors taught me EVERYTHING I know now, along with just schooling Sky myself.


How much instruction did you take after purchasing your own horse?
Well I didn't buy Sky like I said.. he was literally given to me as a mess. I took 1 riding lesson a week from his prev. owner and then moved onto another lady for 1 lesson a week but then when Sky became mine and I was going to move him, I took 2 lessons every week from Feb 2011-September 2011. Then when we moved to the East coast I had a lesson once a week for 30 mins or at times 1 hour from October 2011 to Feb 2012 before I left for NZ.

~~~
So all in all looking back at my history it definitely does seem like I've got quite a bit of experience but I feel like I missed out on a lot. But it's funny counting 24 horses I've ridden. I remember one day being so mad that a girl got "my Snoopy" and I was stuck with her sassy shetland where my feet literally dragged on the ground so we didn't do anything more than walk all lesson :/ I was very angry.

My riding was good in that I stayed on the horse and could make them do things.. but I had zero seat, didn't use any hand, just kind of pulled them around, and had no leg power, lol. I didn't fall off until I got to my work where my positionw as critiqued and those greenies really taught me about the fact I had seat bones and needed to work on balance.

But in summer of '10 till Feb 2012, I schooled Sky sometimes 4 days a week for an hour, depending. So that's where I gained a lot of my riding muscle memory and techniques. From April 2011 onward, I taught myself how to handle Sky better and manage his food intake better.. from then on I just zoomed ahead with research and understanding and learned on-the-go.

From October till Feb I was going out to Sky at least 2-4 times a week, for over 5 hours. I'd ride for sometimes half an hour, an hour, sometimes even up to 2-3 hours depending on what we were doing.

It's fun looking back :)

stormylass 07-20-2012 09:52 PM

foxhunter I am giving you a standing ovation!!! I call it" i woke up one day and said... i want a horse" Now im not saying that newbies, cant buy horses, but you should have enough sense to LISTEN to people who try to help you, that obviously have waaay more experience. And God would someone tell these people they do not need a 2 yo greenbroke anything"so they can learn together" for their first horse!!! I know someone out there is saying they had a 2 yo that ws perfect and never did anything wrong well count your lucky stars cuz that is RARE!!!! why why why dont people understand that 9 out of 10 times the reason the horse is cheap is cuz he know nothing!! and the reason the horse cost so much is becouse he knows his job better than you do!!! I rode english for my whole life till about 10 years ago, I move to texas and well not much english, so i got into team penning and sorting(when in rome) I fell in love with it!! I got a horse from a friend and that horse has taught me EVERYTHING I know we win i get the money he gets..treats. I knw i knew nothing so i got a horse that knows what he doin, and I have had nothing but fun,cuz i'm not worrying about the little things that end up being BIG things. well thats Just my experience.

Corazon Lock 07-20-2012 11:11 PM

If you have been riding for say, five years, was that an hour a week or more?
I had ridden for five years, one hour a week. The lesson barn I rode at only taught the mere basics. I was timid and didn't improve much (although I thought I was the world's best rider ever until I started lessons elsewhere!). Then, I took about three years off of riding. And then I get myself a horse. :)

How many different horses had you ridden before you got your own?
Oh, gahh, let me think. Well, the lesson horses Abby, Lady, Flirt, Murray, Yankee, George, and Maverick...two horses at camp...Zeb at an impromptu lesson elsewhere...and I think that's it. So about ten maybe.

During that time how much was spent on actually handling the horse, learning stable management? Umm...yeah, not much. The lesson barn was just riding. I learned all of my stable management stuff through horse books.

Who taught you feed requirements?
No one. I learned from books.

How experienced were you, truthfully, before you bought your own horse?
I was a rank beginner. Honestly. I could stay on, but I couldn't handle my horse, who tended to be pushy and strong-willed. I learned a lot very quickly after owning him, though. He's taught me a lot.

How much instruction did you take after purchasing your own horse?
I started taking lessons again about a year after I got Rusty in hunter/jumper, once a week for an hour. We're still taking lessons, and Rusty and I are going to our first show on Sunday :)))))

Country Boy 07-21-2012 12:20 AM

When I was about 5 my horse Bullet was born. I had shown great intrest and rode every horse on my familie's ranch. About 7 or so horses not counting a lesson Pony of my sisters who's now in Horsey Heaven. I always asked for a horse of my own soy dad helped me take Care of Bullet. He showed me how to feed and care for bullet over the years. I've been riding for about 9 years seriously. I've barrel raced for about 5 of the 9 total ridden. I was born into a horse family so some of these questions don't apply to me. This is basically how in short I got my horse.


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