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LittleZeasel 11-15-2012 10:26 PM

The Adventure Begins..
Hello there :c)

I've been out here on the forums for a while now - lurking for the most part, sometimes adding a few morsels, but overall just enjoying the community quietly.

This month however, my life is taking a turn that warrants a) the start of my own thread and b) the telling of my adventure to come :)
Starting January 2013, I will be purchasing my first own horse :D

I am 30+ and have ridden since I was 11 years old. Due to life circumstances regular lessons happened when we could afford them with looooong breaks inbetween. For the past five years now, roughly, I have taken regular riding lessons with intense schooling over the last 3 years since moving to the USA.

Now, I consider myself solid Intermediate in a dressage saddle and probably, on a horse that knows First Level Dressage stuff, could ride that without too much trouble.
I have done a teeny tiny bit of jumping, but it's always a case of "scared, eyes closed, over, done with, relief" :P ... I'm more of a dressage rider than anything else.
I have never ridden a show. No schooling show, no nothing, but I am eager to finally get into competing and am looking forward to find a partner to do it with.

So :),, etc. are going to be my future haunts :)

Any advice on how to best go about finding your first horse is always very, very, very welcome.
Any good luck wishes as well :)

I'll keep writing about my learning experiences, my search, my adventure here as it progresses - kind of like a "Freakshow" to which y'all are invited ;) ...
Wheeee.. I'm excited :D

BBBCrone 11-15-2012 10:35 PM

YAY! Congratulations!! My pearl of wisdom for the evening is take it slow. It's hard because you want one SO bad but look at many and get a good feel of what YOU really want in a horse. Go from there. There's a bunch out there to pick from.

Good luck and best wishes!

PS: Don't forget to have a pre-purchase exam done on one you think you want to buy. It will save you a LOT of heartache.

Cacowgirl 11-16-2012 10:33 AM

I have found some lovely horses on DreamHorse. Give trail-riding a try before you jump into showing-you might like it.

Welcome to the forumthere's a lot of knowledge here if you want to tap into it.

SlideStop 11-16-2012 10:44 AM

My advice,
1- DON'T fall for the first thing in front of you no matter how pretty, unless its pretty darn close to perfect. Give others a shot too.
2- don't take the sellers word for anything. I drove 4 hours to see a bomb proof, reining, trail horse that ANYONE can ride. I got there and she was lame, herd bound, couldn't stop and barely spun.
3- if its to good to be true... It probably is.
4- multiple visits and tell them you want to do everything yourself. Catch, tack, mount, ride, cool off, etc.
5- Get a prepurchase exam done! Spend the extra money, I could save you thousands in the end!!
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FeatheredFeet 11-16-2012 02:18 PM

What fun! I am envious.

Before you even start looking, write out a list of important questions you will ask of every seller before actually going to see the horse. All should be answered happily by the seller.

If the horse is registered, demand to see proof in paperwork and make sure the papers are up to date. Do not take someone's word for it that the horse, 'can be registered'.

Research thoroughly, breeds which appeal to you and then look for sale horses in that breed.

Don't overlook older horses.

Do take someone with you who is knowledgeable about conformation. They might spot things which you miss.

Don't buy because a horse is a pretty colour.

Do lift all four feet and inspect hoofs.

Ask to see the horse tied.

Ask to see the owner, load the horse, into a trailer.

Ask the owner to ride the horse before you do.

Ask to see bills or other paperwork, for when the horse was last wormed or had feet done and teeth floated.

If the horse is gelded, have a good look underneath, to make sure he really is. You'd be surprised how many have purchased a gelding, only to discover after getting him home, he is still whole!

And always, a PPE.

Lots more I'm sure, but this is what immediately comes to mind.


LittleZeasel 11-16-2012 10:44 PM

Thank you all for your wonderful advice - most of which I have already been following. The search continues. In the meantime I do not wish to stop riding and am continuing to take lessons.

In order for me to ride different horses, and get more experience, I try to ride at least 4 - 6x / week. My original trainer doesn't have the space / time / horses (and is also too far away) to do lessons that often, so I'm in the process of also in addition trying out other 'riding schools' in the area.

The disadvantage of taking lessons for a year with one trainer, then going to a different one leaves me always feeling as if I had never sat on a horse before.
Today was one of those days. I seem to have learned the wrong thing for twenty years and suddenly I can't get a horse on the bit anymore, my seat is atrocious and my balance non-existent.
I have two more lessons on that 'new barn' and see if it fruits any progress.

Anyone ever had those moments that even after riding regularly for a long time, you get off a horse and think "Oh Tofurky! I shouldn't even be looking for a horse of my own, let alone RIDE any horse and should take up knitting instead..." or some such?

*le sigh* Also, I feel a bit awkward, because after the lesson, I started watching recorded clinics with Klimke (Dr. & Daughter), Langenhaneberg, Meynert, Rehbein, etc. on Youtube and they reminded me again about the way that I used to get taught in Germany. But now, here in the USA, I'm being taught a lot of completely different stuff (like, in GER, a lot of the aids come out of a lose hip and from the seat - and the hip. Here, I'm mostly taught: Rein and Lower Leg - and the upper leg is only there for stabilizing and the hip .. well.. is a part of the human body. It's kinda ignored. It confuses me. Granted, I have never mastered the art of riding out of my hip (and not sure if I ever will), but completely ignoring it? Is that right, too? I always thought Seat-Aids were essential - more so than leg - but I keep hearing that they aren't... and maybe that's why, why no one I have so far met truly was able to explain to me what and how exactly to do with my pelvic and hip angles in order to turn them into effective aids. I have only ever used trial and error, with that method, which is probably why even after having ridden for 20 years, I still sit on the horse like a sack of wet grain and still got no clue what I am doing... I wonder if I should postpone my search for a horse for a while yet...

BBBCrone 11-17-2012 09:08 AM

Don't worry, you'll get it!

After 25 years or so off of horses, I get on one now and feel like a frump. The knowledge is there, the body is behind somewhere else. But one thing I do know, with enough determination and time, it WILL fall into place. On those days you feel clunky, try and figure out at what point that feeling started. Once you can pinpoint it, it's easier to work on and the next time is better. Starting somewhere new too can make you feel clunky just because you are under such close scrutiny and every trainer has their own idea on how to do things.

If it helps, I always work off of seat, legs, reins and to a *certain* degree, hip. But I'm a western rider with old school schooling so I don't know how much of all that has changed since I took lessons and such.

LittleZeasel 11-17-2012 09:50 AM

Thanks, BBB. Way back when, I also was very much drilled on Seat, weight aids, with lower leg only supporting. But now I'm told that seat and weight don't do nothing and horses are exclusively trained to respond to leg.
Granted I never was a good rider off my weight and seat and after 20 years I still can't ride a correct training level test, so maybe there is merrit to ignoring weight aids and seat and just use legs? The last trainer now told me that that was taught 30 years ago but is in modern times changed to lower legs only. Which means I'd have about 20 years of unlearning mistakes to do :P ...
It's all a bit overwhelming at times and hard to see what exactly to do...
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LittleZeasel 11-17-2012 11:15 PM

Knowing that
- I lack experience as a horse owner
- I lack experience as an appraiser
- I Can't solely go "after looks"
- I can't have a horse before January / February 2013
- my husband's gonna kill me, if I get killed by a horse

It's still (and especially) heart-breaking to see things like that:

Available broker owned horses | Facebook

... (also look at the You Tube Vid)

And that's his teeth. They aren't sure aobut ID. Saying it's either a 5yo OTTB, or a 11yo. According to the teeth though, I'd hazard the older one? (Cause at 5, don't they still have some of the "babyness" of their mouths, plus, not quite so large wolf-teeth?

Available broker owned horses | Facebook

Strawberry4Me 11-17-2012 11:43 PM

at the risk of being steriotypical, don't get a OTTB as your first horse. I know there are probably some that are fantastic, but even the great ones get that hot streak where they start running or spook or whatever, and they just don't stop. Ask your trainer for help finding a horse, she knows what your abilities are.

Also, I ride dressage, and there is NOTHING better then the German way! Are you familiar with Eric Horgan by any chance?

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