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Tracer 09-17-2012 04:13 AM

Buying a Brumby - Smart?
This is going to need a bit of a lead up, so bear with me.

I'm the sort of person who most definitely belongs in the plus-size forum, and I'm true enough to myself to admit that I fall into the intermediate rider category only when I'm on a horse I know and trust. The rest of the time I'm a confident beginner - I can walk and trot fine, but canter puts a bit on my nerves when it's with a new horse whose gait I'm not used to. I can stay on a horse that shies, and have successfully sat a rear and pigroot about as many times as I've fallen off because of them.

Now that that's out of the way, am I a fool for wanting to buy an unbroken brumby? It's always been my dream to have a brumby, ever since I was a little girl, and to break it in myself is a more recent dream. I've 'sacked out' a horse before, worked on desensitizing and done mouthing, but I've never actually broken one to saddle, and I wouldn't hesitate to find someone to do that for me.

Even so, brumbies are rare to find over 15HH, and I'm a big girl. Surely it would be cruel for the poor thing to go from wild to having someone like me on it with a good lot of time in between. Not only that, but would I even be a good enough rider to educate it under saddle? I've only recently learned leg aids (I'm basically a self-taught rider), and I'm worried that I would cause more damage than good.

I want honesty here guys. Should I give up on this as a dream for the near future? There's a beautiful brumby filly that I have my eye on who was leading beautifully after her first training session and is expected to mature to at least 15HH.

thesilverspear 09-17-2012 04:19 AM

Novice rider (in the grand scheme of things, you sound like you are, even though you've sat through spooking and so on) + unbroken feral horse = bad idea.

There's always someone with some story that's an exception, but generally, you need years of horse experience before taking on an unbroken youngster, and even more so when the unbroken youngster is a feral horse off the range.

christopher 09-17-2012 04:29 AM

if you get this horse, chances are very high that it won't go as you probably expect it to go. massive risk of you getting hurt.

do yourself and whatever horse you eventually get a favor by becoming a far better rider and horseperson first.

also i don't think there is much sense in getting a brumby specifically.

Saskia 09-17-2012 04:45 AM

Don't think its a great idea.

Young horses are difficult, unbroken horses are difficult and wild horses are difficult. You combine those three and you get a young, wild, unbroken Brumby.

A 15hh horse might be okay if they've got a suitable build, but many of the Brumbies I have seen haven't been that solid. I don't know how much you weigh, but the rule is generally 20% with tack, and Brumbies aren't that heavy. Its not just saddle you have to break it to, but leading, picking up their feet, going in shelters, tying up, rugging, other animals, buckets, jackets, flappy things, cars etc - things that a domestically raised horse would have been exposed to since they were born, and taught when they were young and relatively easy. But you're going to have a 3 year old who knows nothing and is big and strong.

Many experienced people wouldn't want to do that. Much less intermediate people. And if it doesn't work out and you are in way over your head its going to be near impossible to sell her on.

I'm not saying give up on your dream, but maybe work towards it more. Go to clinics, work with breakers, get a young a horse if you want to - but one that has been handled so you don't have to teach it everything!

Tracer 09-17-2012 05:01 AM

This filly was actually bred domestically and is being worked with on the basics such as leading etc, which is why I thought of it as a possibility.

Thanks guys, this is what I needed. I've always had a soft spot for brumbies and one day the ultimate dream is to buy a group from the sales and do what I can with them. But you're all right, I need to work up to that.

Elana 09-17-2012 07:24 AM

Here is the honesty.. and I am going to be very blunt.

A Brumby probably goes 900 pounds fully mature and 15HH (and maybe less). You do not want to put more than 150 pounds on that horse WITH the saddle. No idea your size and do not want to know (you know) but ask yourself if YOU can fit that parameter and then keep it like that.

Second.. you are taking on a horse that leads and sounds very young. You are not comfortable cantering a horse that is trained that you do not know well. RED flag. You are a "self taught rider." RED flag.

Build up your riding ability (take lessons from someone GOOD). Get involved (if you can) with a stable and do "catch riding." This is where people need their horse ridden from time to time because they are not around. This will give you experience on a variety of horses and a variety of levels of training.

When you have done all that, revisit the Brumby idea (different horse than this one now.. but there will be another).

GOOD LUCK!!! If you REALLY want this you will take the 2-3 years of intense work to earn it!

Tracer 09-17-2012 07:35 AM

The weight issue is a big one for me, and I've always been careful with which horses I ride. I was extremely reluctant to ride horses shorter than 16HH for many years, until my riding teacher (only one I've ever had for 6 months of a horse course) insisted that I ride her 15HH clydesdale cross mare. I was amazed the horse didn't collapse underneath me to be honest, but she carried me without batting an eye. If I was to buy a brumby, I would make sure that it was solidly built and if it showed any signs of discomfort, that'd be the end of it. But I do understand where you're coming from, definitely.

If only it was that easy Elana. There are no stables within 2 hours of where I live, which is precisely why I'm self taught. If I could have lessons, I would have been taking them for years.

I can't even ride any horses around here because of my size, or at least I presume that's why. It's really horrible, so my plan is to buy myself a suitable horse to build confidence and work on all my techniques and, with any luck, by the time that happens there'll be a facility near me somewhere that I can take at least a few lessons.

Tracer 09-17-2012 08:29 AM

This is a little unrelated, but would you all also recommend staying away from retraining a Standardbred? Even green broken they are said to be suitable for beginner riders due to their generally placid nature.

rookie 09-17-2012 08:57 AM

Standardbreds are wonderful horses. Who have often been worked with since a very young age. Which means they have a better idea about people skills then the average just broke brumby. That said I would not discourage you from getting a standardbred but I think there is a right way to do it. I think you would have to be selective about what horse you choose. There are some standardbreds that are more mellow and novice friendly then others. You want one of the mushy sweet ones. Ex. you want a horse like my mothers horse, who is very soft, a little lazy but would be mortally offended if anything happened to her rider. As a result, this mare is not going to rear or buck its just not what she considers appropriate. Once you have the horse I would suggest sending it to a trainer to break to saddle. This would be expensive but the combination of a rider who is just learning leg cues and a horse who does not know legs cues could bring disaster. Send the horse for initial training that way the horse has an idea about what is expected.

I think a better idea still would be to look at a local standardbred pleasure horse organization. They may have horses that are trained to saddle and looking for new homes. That would be the best combination. Really your ideal horse is going to be one that is laid back and capable of teaching you the right things or allowing you to learn the right things.

Tracer 09-17-2012 09:19 AM

I've never heard a bad word about Standardbreds, which is why I'm leaning towards one as my next horse. I was on the verge of buying one just yesterday but decided not to as she was pigeon toed.

Ultimately I would buy one already broken so I could know what it was like, even if it was only green.. However, the temptation is there to go to a local sale where standardbreds are regularly sold to doggers for around $200. If I was to do it, I would definitely do a search into their brand first for the age etc and would spend as much time around the horse as possible. If I could find a reliable trainer in my area, I would definitely look into getting it professionally saddle broken. Otherwise though, I have a friend who has begun breaking in young quarter horses and is doing a wonderful job on them.

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