Dead Broke Horse
Can a 3 year old gelding be a good first horse? I have read where there is no such thing as a 3 year old dead broke horse. But I have seen him in person and rode him, my kids have rode him and he seems great. We have been told that it has to do with his pedigree is why he is so laid back. We got to meet another horse today from the same pedigree and he was just as laid back.
I would say there is no such thing as a dead broke/bomb proof horse:-). Yes some come close,but they are living creatures with there own mind & can't know their reaction to everything.I would not recommend a 3 yr old for a beginner:-(. Sure I have known many quiet young horse, yes the breeding & handling/training they have as youngsters have alot to do with it:D. Fact is at 3 they are still babies & learning,more unpredictable:wink: so unless you have the knowledge to continue bringing this horse along I vote NO.
A 3 year old is probably not the best choice for a first horse, depending on your skill level. While he may have the best, most laid back temperamant in the world, what he doesn't have is experience, and green on green so often equals black and blue, it is an oft said thing, because it is true.
Buying a three year old horse for yourself and children is like employing a ten year old child to do business accounts because they are good at math.
A three year old can have the right temperament but they still have a lot to,learn and as you sound very novice and you want it for children, I would advise against.
Like GH and Foxhunter said, there's more to finding the right horse than just finding the right temperament. There is a good reason why horses who are 10+ are normally sought for beginner riders/owners. Generally, by that age, they have been exposed to enough that there isn't going to be many surprises and they have learned how to handle their fear in a controllable manner. That means that, even if they are confronted by some new scary situation, they are more likely to keep a cool head about it and listen to the rider instead of allowing their own fight/flight reflex to take over.
A 3 year old doesn't have the time under saddle to have a proper fear response that is conditioned enough to be consistent...and he simply couldn't have been exposed to all the things that a new owner's horse needs to be exposed to.
That being said, if you've got a good trainer close at hand that can help you take this boy farther in his training and experience level, then he might make a good horse. Regardless, though, I wouldn't put my kids on him until he was much older and I knew exactly how he reacted to all sorts of things.
It's tricky to say, just like everyone has previously said, its not just about their temperament, but also his experience and yours (and your kids) level of riding and experience. I'd say strongly keep that in mind, because if you did buy him you'd probably still have to do a LOT of training yet.
I got my first horse when I was 11 and she was 4 years old, and people thought I was CRAZY to have bought her cause she did not exactly have the most calm temperament when riding (she liked to charge around the arena, never bucked or reared or anything though). But now, 9 years later I still have her and she is just the perfect horse for me and completely different from what she used to be, and I love her to death. Of course, that was with lots of work and training and getting used to each other.
So while he may seem great right now just remember there will probably be bumps ahead but with a good trainer and lotsa practice he might be really good for you. Just make sure you're totally sure about him before you do make a decision, and don't be afraid to look at more horses before you make up your mind!
If we buy him the seller will be boarding him for us and will be there to work with us. She has a 6 yr old girl and 14 yr old boy and she said she will never have anything that she couldn't trust her kids to get on and ride. This horse has one speed and that is SLOW. I have not seen this horse do anything out of the way, my son lead this horse around for close to am hour Saturday after riding him around in the pin. This horse should be at the mall for kids to put quarters in and ride. We are new to this though and I was told not to buy a horse that wasn't at least 12 yrs old but I have also been told that sometimes there was exceptional horses out there but few and far between. We are not planning on any of us just getting on him and riding off into the sunset, we will all graduate from the pin to the pasture and so on.
Also keep in mind that her kids, apparently having grown up around horses, are probably much more experienced than yours. I was operating heavy equipment before my 12'th birthday because it was what I was exposed to and I grew up with it around, but would I take either of my kids now and plunk them in the same situation and expect them to be safe? Heck no.
Let me put it this way -
My lease horse is 'dead broke'. He's also around 20 years old, and SLOW.
Until something unexpected jumps up and threatens to eat him. This is a horse who has been there and done that and is classified as a beginners horse, but even he spooks. He doesn't bolt, but he's also learnt to deal with his fear. He will spin and shy before stopping and thinking it over.
A 3 year old of the otherwise same description hasn't learned that. A flock of birds taking off, he could rear. A rabbit jumping out from no where, he could bolt. No matter how quiet he is, he doesn't have life experience under his belt. Like FoxHunter said, it's like expecting a kid to do an adults job.
Not that he couldn't be good. There are those out there, but is it worth the risk?
I bought a lovely quiet 4 year old as my first horse. Moved beautifully, very slow. A dream come true, and the owner insisted she was bombproof. The day after I bought her, she bolted and landed me in hospital before rearing and getting me off again a fortnight later. Just food for thought.
In keeping with what others are saying:
My life-long philosophy has always been, "if it has a heart and pumps blood, it's unpredictable".
Animals do not possess the logic to always get themselves out of a scary situation. Especially horses, who are fear & flee animals by nature.
I am sorry but, the top-of-the-class budding genious 5th grader is nowhere near ready to drive anything but his bicycle or conduct any business except to say yes ma'am and thank you when he's checking his candy bar out at the cash register.
Too high of "robotic" expectations of the best three year old horse is asking for problems if nobody in your family has in-depth horse experience.
You're asking to not only chance ruining what sounds to be a great horse but worse, get somebody hurt really bad in that one giant spook, none of you saw coming.
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