I need a new horse, but is he right for me?
I found an ad at my local tack shop about a Thoroughbred cross gelding that was looking for a new home. I run a summer camp for girls and I also offer boarding year-round. I need a new camp horse, but I'm still wary.
I went to see this horse on Tuesday. Lincoln is sound and vaccinated, and all vet/farrier bills have been taken care of. He is five years old and is green in Western riding, which is what my campers learn. He is also a bit high strung and temperamental, but he has nice ground manners and is very sweet. He has potential and is offered at an affordable rate, but there is no way he'll be ready for a rider by the end of July, when all of the campers arrive.
Lincoln has been broken into an English saddle and has been jumping for the past six months. He'll need at least a year being schooled under a western saddle. I'm not sure I can spend so much time working with a horse that won't be ready for riders by this summer, but I've tried finding other horses within a 200-mile radius, and I'm hopeless.
Any advice or ideas?
Where are you located? I might no someone around that area with a reasonable priced western horse.
Moving on, I wouldn't just buy the horse because you're at your wits end. If you need a sound horse now buying him isn't going to give you that, it's going to give you a big headache. If you can't spend the time with him, then I'd keep looking if I were you - it's better then buying him, then realizing you wasted money on a horse you cannot do what you want with. You still have a bit of time before the end of July, if I were you I'd wait but that is just me.
It would be unfair to the horse, and yourself if you purchased him and never did anything with him or you did things with him but in spastic routines and limited time. If you want him that bad there is always trainers, but they are expensive and I'm not positive they'd guarantee him to be sound in western by the end of July. I know that my time frames when I'm training is 60 days, and even then I would just toss a kid onto the back of a horse just out of training.
Just my opinion :) I'm sure others will feel differently, but good luck on your situation!
Do you have an older, more seasoned camper who would be more suited to Lincoln's training needs? Or perhaps an assistant counselor? It sounds like he may be a bit much for "green riders" to handle, but, as you said, he has potential. I don't know what your logistical system is or how many campers you have, but maybe you could school him with your campers and their mounts, and let this year be an orientation for him into life as a camp horse. If you need a completely reliable, bombproof, kid safe, out the door camp horse, I would say keep looking. I don't know how active your horses need to be, but in my area there are a lot of older (20+) horses available, the tough thing is to find a well broke horse without one hoof in the grave and the other three on banana peels. Good luck in your search and with the campers!
Thanks for the advice.
Lincoln's owner emailed me a while ago and offered to give him to me on a "trial basis". I would pay half of what they are asking for right now, and he will stay with me for one month. If I like what I see and feel that I can train him myself, then I will pay the other half. If not, I get a partial refund.
I think I'll go with this, because he really is a beautiful horse and I simply love his personality!
Thanks again everyone (-:
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