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PilatesGal 09-24-2012 11:42 AM

3 Year old Canadian for Green-ish rider?
Okay, people - I need help. I have done trail rides most of my life. I started taking "real" lessons in January when my daughter got her reining horse (I couldn't ride him - he was too finely tuned!) and have done pretty well. I can now do all the gaits without a death-grip on the pommel, and am working on collection. So that's my "green-ish" description. I decided that I want my own horse, since I am twiddling my thumbs at the stables for up to 20 hours each week while my daughter trains and rides.

I love the drafts, but wanted something a tiny bit quicker and softer, so settled on the Canadian breed. I found a horse that I loved, but he got sold before I had a chance to grab him. The same breeder (up in Rocky Mountain House) has a 3-year old gelding that is the same breedline of a 6-yr old mare I know who is fabulous. This gelding is definitely green - but seems to have a steady temperment and a really sweet heart. He's not spooky at all (from what I can tell) and very willing to learn. It took him about 10 minutes to get used to me (and the western saddle) and then we were trotting *fairly* well.

Here's the problem - there's another person wanting him so I have to give an answer by the end of the week. My trainer is the in the midst of moving and cannot do the 2-hour drive to go assess him (she's seen video I took and says he's green but she could take him for a couple of months). Do I jump, or is a 3-year old Canadian still too much for a rider like me? I am used to a completely finished horse, but am willing to put in the work. Just not sure what to do - I don't want to lose this guy but also don't want to bite off more than I can chew. There don't seem to be many Canadian geldings:shock: to choose from so I am cautious of losing out.


Shropshirerosie 09-24-2012 12:19 PM

Oh Pilatesgal, I have a feeling I may have pipped you to the post on the gelding you wanted...:oops: was it Riley? If so... Sorry!

I answer to your question - a three year old would normally not be a good idea for a beginner-ish rider. So my questions to you are how much help will you have? Are you planning on keeping him at home or at a barn? If at a barn, are there people there who will help you learn with him, and are you prepared to put in the money to pay the instructors who will help you?

If you're going to be at a barn, if there is help there, if you are prepared to pay for it (if if if!), and if the breeder in question is still happy to sell him to you knowing your abilities - then go for it but with your eyes wide open. :-)

PilatesGal 09-24-2012 01:19 PM

Ha! Yes, indeed, it WAS Riley. I also had my eye on U-Kon and you snagged him as well. Fink! :-) I'm looking at Westin now. Did you see him?

I board at Kenhold in Cochrane, and there is great support there. As well, my trainer said she'd be willing to take him for a couple of months and get him up to the point where I could work with him - she knows my abilities. It means I wouldn't actually have him to myself until the new year, but that seems like a small price to pay. She did the same for Westin's sibling Salsa a few years ago and she turned out great.

I had set a minimum age of 6 ... just not sure what to do. Do you have any suggestions on where else I could look? I'm not overly eager to have to make such a snap decision but I really liked Westin.

Shropshirerosie 09-24-2012 09:31 PM

I'll pm you

PilatesGal 09-25-2012 01:30 PM

Hi Shropshirerosie ... I've tried to reply to your pm but apparently I can't until I've posted a bit more. Shoot!

PilatesGal 09-25-2012 01:30 PM

And I'm going to post once more in hopes that this allows me to send a pm ... sorry for the repetition :-)

PilatesGal 09-26-2012 01:20 PM

Well, to anyone following this thread, I finally listened to the myriad of voices ALL telling me the horse was too green for me. Sigh.

Guess I'll keep looking ...

DrumRunner 09-26-2012 01:29 PM

Don't get discouraged! I looked for a year before I found my main mare, I didn't want to just settle for a horse I thought I could work with because I really liked the horse, or more so the idea of the horse.. When I went to ride Nikki I just knew she was my horse. We got along so well and she was exactly what I wanted..I'm very glad I waited until I had the right horse for me.

Bluebird 10-31-2012 04:12 AM

I also am a green rider. Learned how to ride at the age of 48...bought my first horse as a 4yr old at the age of 49 and here I am 50 with a match made in heaven. 'Patrick' is a Clydesdale and he is absolutely wonderful. I am a little concerned (in a nice way) that you say you want something 'quicker'. You have got it totally wrong about draft horses. They are not slow at all. You need to understand their gait. They have long powerful moves which makes it appear that things are happening in 'slow motion'. Believe me, they aren't. In a flat out gallop across a field with two thoroughbred race horses, my Clydedales outpaced them and 'won' by a heck of a distance. My Clydesdale also took me for a bit of a run and boy did he move! I will post a link at the end of this for you to have a look at some ridden Clydes...LOL. Don't discount them. On the ground, my Clydes are the gentlest, easy to train horses I have ever had the pleasure to be around. They are easy to look after too, just big! Good luck with your search. Enjoy the Vid! If you do go ahead with a draft horse, get yourself some brown jodphurs or brown jeans...LOL

Tracer 10-31-2012 04:44 AM

PilatesGirl, I would have said that it may have been worth the try. If your trainer was going to work him for you, it could have turned out well and, if not, you could have sold him on as a going horse. Otherwise, I would definitely have recommended no. Green horse and green rider is a disaster waiting to happen. I myself am not a green rider, but even I experienced disaster with a green horse (4 y/o TB mare). But I have also ridden a 4 y/o Arab cross and a 4 y/o Clydesdale without a single problem.

I can vouch for what Bluebird said - Clydesdales make amazing riding horses. Their trot can be a little heavy, but their canter I have found to be heavenly. They're like big puppy dogs, and the only problem I've ever witnessed with them is that some of them don't know their strength and you need to keep them in check. I'd recommend looking into getting a Clydesdale cross, to be honest. They're quite often crossed with Thoroughbreds and the result is often beautiful. They have the Thoroughbred 'oomph', but it's dulled down by the cool attitude of the draft.

I wish you luck in your horse hunt.

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