Buying a trained horse V investing money in training, and why buying can go wrong!
I had the immense pleasure of riding a fully trained reining horse last weekend. She packed my scared out of shape fat butt around a pattern, Oh yes did I mention I have never actually done this before. Oh and there is the small point that I haven't loped in FOREVER, but on this mare I walked a circle, trotted a couple and then we were off, big fast, small slow, sliding stop (very tiny, but we did it) and some spins. Then the owner rode her through a pattern bridle-less, first time they had tried it, and she was a little star.
I have come away with all sorts of thoughts in my mind.
1) Just how easy would it be to buy a 'push button' mare like that, who so generously did everything I asked her, once she figured out what I wanted, only to have her turn sour. I could quite see how people could think she would stay like it, without realizing that you need lessons if you don't know what you are doing.
2) How easy would it be to buy her (given deep pockets) she is show ready for this year, and yes I could see how she could win, which would be nice, but how much satisfaction does a person get buying a made horse and showing it?
3) For the money that they are asking for her, I could send one of my current mares off for training, but none of them are reining bred, but can any suitable built horse run the pattern?
4) **** I loved riding that mare and the confidence she gave me, I wish I could get that way on my own horses, who are either green or need re starting.
5) People when you are looking to go horse shopping, get what you need NOW, not what you need in the future.
6) If you once, many many years ago rode an ex reiner in lessons, and one time got to do roll backs on her, and you have been telling people ever since that it was the best thrill you have ever had riding. If you jump on a strange mare and just ride, and still feel great days later, maybe you were born to rein!
Sorry about the thoughts and the rambling, I have a feeling that Sunday MAY have been a life changing moment, I need to work out how to progress from here.
Good luck and hope you have deep pockets..lol
I think I know the feeling a bit. My coach had to have neck surgery and she asked me to ride her dressage gelding to keep him in shape until she got the OK to ride again from her doc. It was a lot of fun to ride around on a horse who already had most of the buttons installed, who travelled in balance so easily and who was so light to the aids. For actually buying a horse like that and going out and showing....yah, that wouldn't be for me. For me, showing is not about ribbons, its about testing myself and my horse. So doing a dressage test on a horse that somebody else got to that point...wouldn't be the same feeling.
If the horse has what YOU need, then why not? The horse can build your confidence up to work your other horses.
And that is how I feel about Big Ben and his dressage, I will have taken him from nothing and I'm pleased to do so.
For a reiner though?
The thing about buying a made horse versus sending one for training is when you vet the made horse, you know it is sound doing the level of work you want. With a young horse and send it for training, IMO with a horse bred well for the work, you have at best a 1 in 3 chance of ending up with a sound horse.
If I had a quarter mil you bet I would buy myself a GP horse and do the WEG next year. But I don't, so I'm forced to sell my confirmed PSG horse and buy a youngster and hope s/he will do the GP in a few years. If I get my asking price, I am thinking about actually buying two and choosing after a year, and selling the other. Hopefully one will work out.
Horses are such a crapshoot. If you have the $$ go for the made horse!
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I never understood why people poo-poo push button horses. Not everyone is cut out for green horses. Buy what makes you happy and what makes you encouraged to ride every day. If riding is a battle every day, or if riding makes you scared every day, then that is not learning, that is being overwhelmed and overhorsed.
On point #1 - I would say that's how you learn. You make mistakes, but a made horse doesn't face the same detrimental repercussions as a green horse would. A made horse knows what he's supposed to be doing, it's your job to learn how to ask for it and be a good rider.
On point #2 - The horse is only 50% of the equation. Made horses still need guidance from a rider. If you cue too slow or too soon, or if you do too many spins, that's on you, not your made horse. Showing can still be plenty difficult for the rider, even on a made horse. You just get more time to concentrate on details of the performance instead of whether or not you're going to get tossed, haha.
Point 3 - any horse can have some foundation in reining, but reining horses are bred to be reining horses for a reason. Just depends on what level you want to be at.
My schoollesson horse is a school master. He has some faults but he obeys verbal cues and rider cues and knows when to stop and give the rider a chance to catch up. He's amazing.
My personal horse started out as a green horse and has been ridden by more advanced riders, been in training, and is now advancing slowly.
I honestly love riding them both, for different reasons. I wouldn't mind having a 'pushbutton' horse because you still have to figure out how to push those buttons. If my leg/seat/hand isn't right, the horse I ride will not do what I ask.
And the same goes for my personal horse. I have to give him more time to understand what I want, but when he does it it's amazing.
So just give me any type of horse and I'm a happy camper :)
If you do send horses off for training, make sure the trainer is reputable..I got the run around with one of my current geldings...now I'm paying someone else to work with him, money I really don't have to spend after he'd been at the other trainers for 6 months. :S
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