Is a young horse too risky for first purchase?
We are new to horses and have always been told to purchase a 10 year or older horse. We have recently purchased a trained 7 year old and have had no problems with her and she has been a great horse. We are now looking to purchase our second horse and have found a really sweet, trained 4 year old. She almost seems better behaved than our 7 year old. Do you think we are making a mistake by buying a horse this young or does it really depend on the horse?
Thank you in advance!
Depends on who you ask. My first horse was a weanling, probably not the best idea, but we've done alright. I guess the factors are 1) the horse as an individual and 2) whether or not you can tell if you're not doing something right before you let it fester and 3) your ability to ask for help if 2 happens
The thing is this.
You are new to horses, which means many of the problems you may run into with a 4 year old you will not have the experience to either recognize before they happen, be able to fix once they start happening, and can end up not just getting yourself hurt, but the horse too.
A young horse is much more likely to have issues of trying things, than an older and well trained horse, due simply to that horse's years under saddle.
That said, I've known young horses that never offered a moment's trouble BUT I grew up around horses, and have worked with them most of my life, and that makes the difference.
Much depends on the horse, but much depends on how you handle horses. I probably would advise against it, unless you had the money to hire trainer to work with you.
You'll enjoy an older horse more. I ride a 5yr old and every now and again he can be a lil ummm, temperamental.
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I agree with Palomine. The problem with young horses being paired with inexperienced riders is that young horses simply don't have the experience. With them, there will be a lot of situations come up where the horse has never done anything like it before and they may react badly.
The reason that older horses are better is because horses that are trained and over the age of 10 have generally been a lot of places and seen a lot of things...so, they are more accepting of new things that happen without a big to-do.
Of course, it all depends on the individual horse and their temperament, but horses that are not ruined by bad handling/training generally get better and more trustworthy with age.
Though different horses have different temperaments, there is a good reason people say "green on green = black and blue"
There are people who buck the statistic...I hope to myself...but the problem comes when people are not good at gauging the limits of themselves and their animal. The difficulty in finding that statistically improbable perfect situation is why it is BEST and most recommended to get a well broke animal if you are new to horses.
Be careful about young horses who actually seem bombproof....drugging happens A LOT in the horse world...I learned a trick from someone(dunno if it's true or not) but from what was explained to me- if you flick a lighter in the horses face(obviously not too close) and they react they are likely not drugged. If the horse does not react much, they most likely are under the influence of a drug.
My spouse ended up getting thrown and broke his wrist so badly it needed to be plated. Not to trash up the OP's thread, but I hope relaying the tale could spare someone else the experience we had :-(
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