Unrealistic expectations when shopping for a horse?
I am relatively new to this forum but I am not really new to horses. I chose this section of the forum to post this since I have not owned a horse in over five years (not including the one I bought two months ago and am currently in the process of sending back because he was too much horse for me). My question is: is it unrealistic to search for a horse that doesn't buck or rear? I know that horses are a dangerous hobby and I am okay with the risk when an injury or tumble is my own fault (bad riding or doing something silly). However, I am not okay with getting tossed because the horse wants me off. I don't even want that to be an option in the horses mind when I am riding. Is this an unrealistic hope? I am a good rider with a good seat and hands, but I don't have good reflexes and when really bad behavior starts like bucking or rearing, I freeze and don't know what to do. I guess after confusing you all, my questions are these:
1. Is it unrealistic to try to find a horse that doesn't buck or rear?
2. Are there any give aways when shopping that will tell if the horse does these things?
If the horse you tried out bucked once you got him home but not when you tried him out in their tack, I'd suspect tack fit. Any horse can buck if he's in pain.
The answer to your question is yes and no. No it's not too much to expect a horse that doesn't buck or rear. Yes, it is too much if the rider is the one causing it.
Hi and welcome!
I've not done a huge amount of horse shopping in my time but based on my limited knowledge...
1. No - it is certainly not unreasonable to find a horse with no buck or no rear! :-)
2. Giveaways - Only one of the 5 horses I've had in my lifetime ever bucked and he did it once after I had owned him a few years. I believe it was pain related but at the time, didn't consider that (10+ years ago) and he never did it again. So I don't know what specifically to watch out for...but can give you a few tips that worked for me.
a.) Go in with your head and not your heart. Uber hard to do, I know. But really think about the qualities you are looking for and don't compromise. Ever. And don't rush in to anything. Ever. Regardless of how hard a sell the owner might push on you! ;-)
b.) If possible, take a professional or knowledgeable friend with you for an unbiased opinion.
c.) Try the horse out more than once. Don't just go for a single "test drive". I'm not saying you should "spam" the seller with multiple requests to ride but I think that a serious buyer would be allowed to come back and ride more than once.
d.) A warning sign could be that when you arrive to see the horse, it is all tacked up and waiting for you. I always prefered to tack up the horse myself, after handling him/her on the ground, to get a sense of the horses general disposition.
Aaaannnnd, that is about all I can think of. I'm sure more knowledgeable members here will give you all sorts of great advice. Good luck in your search!
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I have had a lot of really great horses pop a little buck if I got in their face too much accidentally, or if a saddle didn't fit properly, so I have never thought a little buck was a deal breaker if it stopped after I pulled their head up and drove forward, and didn't happen too often. There's a difference between a small buck from excitement or discomfort and the kind meant to really throw the rider. I would think you could find a horse that did not buck or rear regularly out of meanness or desire to avoid work.
IMO, you really should learn to sit the a small buck and to pull the horse out of it. Most horses have a little one in them in the right situation. That is not to say you should put up with a rodeo though!
No, it's not unrealistic. My mother's horse is one of those "angels" who will take care of anyone you put on her back. Those types of horses are hard to find and you will often pay a pretty penny for them.
My horse Red never bucks or rears with me .... but if the wrong person rode him, he might. But, he also is a horse for an experienced rider.
But yes, you should be able to find a beginner-safe horse that does not buck or rear. It is not too much to ask.
Any horse will buck or rear given the right set of circumstances. Can you find a well behaved horse with a good mind that doesn't do this unless there is fault with the rider or he is in pain - yes. Take someone more knowledgeable that yourself with you to evaluate the horse and have them watch you handle the horse. I tend to show up a little early for appointments and ask to tack the horse myself. While you are grooming pay attention to the attitude and degree of relaxation and note any grease marks that are a sign he's been given something. If they put it in feed then you won't know. If you find the horse strong willed have whomever you brought with handle him. If they can handle with ease it is likely you and you need to build your confidence and adopt some strong leadership skills.If you like the horse and all went well, if you are serious enough to make an offer go again. If the situation allows for it go unannounced or on short notice, if not definitely arrange for a trial if possible. If they have more than one for sale I usually ask to also see an alternate that I recognize from their ad. It can give you something to compare to if they advertised the horses similarly.GO in with your head and not your heart as another poster said and be prepared to walk away.
It is smart to buy a horse that doesn't buck or rear. Horseman that show professionally will sometimes buy a horse with problems bc they see a diamond in the rough at a great price and they KNOW that they can turn the horse around.
The rest of us have gotten tired of finding 99/100 horses out there for sale bc somebody mis-trained them to be dangerous.
Please read my thread:
I think this will help you. =D
Thank you for all of your advice. I agree that any horse can throw a buck if they are really confused or in pain but I also think that there has to be a difference between one little half-hearted buck to suggest discomfort and the huge get-the-heck-off-me bucks. I am not worried about the little ones. My last mare tried a little one once and I pulled her head up and yelled and she never did it again. But the horse we are currently sending back decided he didn't want to stop when I asked and he did a little buck which was fine until the second huge nose-to-ground-heels-in-the-air buck came and almost unseated me. And the rodeo he performed when my mom asked him to back up was really uncalled for. So clearly this horse is not the one for us. I just hope there's a horse out there for me that will not buck when its confused or mad. Because even though I have been riding on and off my whole life, I obviously still have tons more to learn. Is that what people mean by a "forgiving" horse?
This will sound awful, I know... But probably the best sign you're going to have to identify a "forgiving horse" is by throwing a really, really crappy rider on its back. If that horse can handle someone that pulls its mouth around, and generally treats it like crap, all without reacting in a bad way, then you might have found a tolerant horse. Then all you have to do is be a better rider than that person, and the horse will probably think you're gold.
Horses aren't generally out to get their rider. Maybe you should have someone watch you on the ground and tell you if your actions are making the horse tense or irritated? That way you could identify any signs of pain or distress while you just "do your thing".
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