Newbie question re care and riding of Arabian/ half Arabian
Please forgive my lack of knowledge but I am just starting out in the horse world. I have a 10 year old daughter who has ridden 8-10 times over the last couple of years (mostly trail rides and summer camp). She's been bugging me to take riding lessons.
Now a very dear friend whose daughter is outgrowing her Arabian show horse has offered to let us "borrow" the horse (they have several) for an extended period. I am a horse lover and have always wanted to get back to riding so I am pretty thrilled.
I have so many questions, many regarding the expense of care/feeding/ etc. First, however, I am wondering about the versatility of a show horse. I don't yet know the specifics of this horse except that he/she has been ridden at shows around the country by two young girls over the last few years. They ride in Arabian/ Half Arabian shows and just returned from a national competion in Albuquerque. Will my daughter be wedded to this kind of riding? I am not sure how narrow each horse's "specialty" is?
I would appreciate any thoughts you may have/questions I should ask/ resources/ etc.
Hello and welcome! I am new to this board but have been on a horse for 59 of my 61 years - lol
Yours is a very good question.
Some show horses are extremely adaptable to other venues such as trail riding. Some are not. It is not limited to a specific breed or mix breed.
I once looked at a gorgeous Morgan show mare who was terrified of the rustling of corn stalks as I tried to ride her down the tractor path at her owner's barn.
I once rescued a 5-gaited Saddlebred who was 17H and as big a baby as his 17H stature. He hyperventilated on the trails so I had to find him a "show home".
Then I bought a Morab (Morgan/Arab) who had gone ring sour so the owners wanted to sell her. From the second her front hooves hit the trail she thought she'd gone to heaven. She was a fantastic trail horse with very little coaching from me.
So regarding this Arab's ability to "switch gears", I would ask the current owners to ride her in the alternate environment you plan on using her in to see how she does. And with you watching :D
Also of importance is continuing to use the same bit as long as the horse is happy and performs well with it.
Saddle fit is important too. ESPECIALLY with Arabs as they are short backed and can sometimes have wide withers. My old Arab doesn't, but I have seen some that do.
Regarding feed. If the horse is doing well and is healthy, ask the current owners what and how much grain and hay they are feeding and feed the same.
The difference in amounts will vary according to how much pasture the horse will have once it comes to live with you.
LESS grain is always better unless the horse is going to be heavily worked every day.
I am dead set against sweet feeds of any type. So if this horse is being fed sweet feed, that would be the exception to my previous comment. Find something else :D
I hope this helps you some:)
Welcome to the forum :D I can't think of anything to add to the golden advice you got from walkinthewalk.
Oops welcome to you too walkin :D
To both Gail Croxton and Walkinthewalk WELCOME! WIW that is the best advice I have heard in a while! Good solid advice!
The only thing I can really add is that you really need to be around this horse and make sure he/she is the temperament you are looking for. Arabs have known to be hot. I have a half arab at the present time and he is hot as all get out! That's with months of being sent to a trainer! He was previously thought to be a Paso/QH cross. The vet now is sure he is arab/QH cross. (The previous owner said she couldn't remember if mom was Paso or Arab. (HELLO?? BIG DIFFERENCE!) Anywho, he has a special diet to help him"cool down" from being so hot headed. In saying that, he is my old faithful horse that I adore and will put anyone on WITH EXPERIENCE. He is just FAST!!! He was previously in the "Mexican Rodeo" for 7 years....AKA arena rodeo. He knows all the "dances" and everything. So it was really hard for himto go on the trail at first. He was WIDE EYED and everything was spooky! Lots of love, desensitizing, and training and now he is one hell of a trail horse and would make an even better endurance horse!
So, all in all, it depends on what you want to do with this horse and how hot it is. Some arabs are not hot at all, some are....
Thanks for the helpful information. I really appreciate hearing from folks who are experienced "horse people"!
BTW, any suggestions for resources for a beginner? I should probably start with riding stuff as my daughter will take lessons whether we get this horse or not. I will need to choose an instructor, get gear, etc. Any tips?
Thanks also for the warm welcome!
I think several members answered your first question beautifully, so ill comment on the second question..
As far as im concerned, a beginner rider should have the same equipment as a expirenced rider. Only ofcourse if there are two completly different disiplines... Things like a good fitted saddle, bridle, saddle cloth, sport boots maybe for the horse (depending, although i always like to wear brush boots when im riding), grooming gear... thats just for the horse.
Hope that helped alittle :wink:
I would say, if you are just going to give her lessons, on a school horse, you do not need tack. Usually riding facilities supply tack for the specific horse being ridden. I rode for 11 years without my own tack. Not until I found Willy did I ever have as much stuff as I do now!
Hello again and thank you all for the warm welcome! :D
The purebred 22 year old Arab I now have is about as laid-back as they can get - lol lol
I rescued my full Arab 15 years ago when he was 7. He was a starving horse poster child with an injured vertebra.
Streeter (sired by BackStreet) is affectionately referred to as "The Stoner Horse" by hubby :lol:
Streeter's philsophy has always been: "I don't care if I am three miles behind the rest of you. I will get there when I get there----just have me a cold Coor's Lite waiting" :lol: :lol:
Because of the vertabra injury Streeter quickly became a lesson horse for children under 12. He thrives on babies & toddlers mauling him and has given many children at least one happy horse memory :D
I agree about those "cool down" feeds for hot horses. No sweet feed :lol: :lol: :lol:
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