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SableRose 01-22-2008 11:23 AM

Which horse should I choose?
I've got 5 years experience, mostly in English but I don't post the trot because I was initially trained Western. I'm looking for a good trail horse to take out 3-4x per week for a 3-hour trail to relax.

This will be the first horse that I'll actually OWN; I've leased before.

The final candidates (the horses whose personalities suit mine and have been successfully vet-checked) are:

1. 19yo Hanoverian mare from a rescue organization. She's taken a liking to me but is very buddy sour and will not pick up her hooves nicely. She kicks and paces on the crossties; she also bites when her girth strap is tightened...but she's very good after she's been lunged and once she's under saddle. She's not spooky.

2. 6yo TB stallion. He's very very affectionate and not spooky or studly. Stands well on cross-ties, sweet mannered. However he's a very hard keeper - doesn't keep weight on well AT ALL.

3. 18yo appendix QH gelding. He's VERY well-mannered and calm but does have very minor arthritis in his shoulder; he's FANTASTIC on trails. Excellent health.

Which do you think I should choose???


DGW1949 01-22-2008 01:43 PM

When dealing with horses, sometimes it's hard to think with your head and not your heart.

Just going from your list.....

19 YO aint old. But it's getting there.
Besides that, I don't do horses that bite or kick. And at the age that one is, it aint likely that she'll ever stop.
Even though she has taken a liking to you, ya also gotta consider how she may react to other people....and other horses. If she tries to bite you, she'll surely try to bite someone else.

Sometimes them mild-manners disapere(sp?) perty-quick when a stud horse is subjected to riding with a group.....or when introduced to a new herd. Or if there's any doubt within the herd as to who is in charge. Or if there is a willing mare within smelling-distance.
I'd want to try this one out a bit more before deciding but from what you've said....I'd leave him on the list for now.

As far as being a hard keeper.... Most TB's are. I've had them before and the best horse I ever owned was a TB ex-racer. I peresently own a TB/QH cross that is a real sweetheart. It does take more effort but might be worth it to you.

3.....Maybe again.
He's about the same age as #1 and does have a touch of arthritis but.... arthritis can be treated so's that it won't get worse.
There's alot to be said for a mild mannered horse that likes people and rides well. Not knowing your personal needs or abilities, this one may be your best bet.

There's other things to consider too.

All horses have a weight (and work) limit. I'm a big guy and need a big horse. But I don't work mine hard.
My grandkids visit here a lot. They enjoy caring-for and riding, so any horse I own, has to be a "people horse".
Owning a horse is a big responsability. Some horses require more time, money and work than other horses. I aint saying that you aint up to the task, I'm just saying that one needs to realisticly look at these things before making the commitment of owning one horse over another.

Them's just my opinions. They aint intended to offend.
Hope they help.


SableRose 01-22-2008 02:18 PM

Thanks a bunch!!!! :o)

Yeah, I'm mostly asking for advice because it's sooooooo difficult not to think with my heart. :o( It's also my first time buying so I'm kinda nervous.

I'm a small girl - 5'1 and about 110 pounds - and I'll not really be working the horse hard; just walking and trotting for about 12 hours/week.

The smallest horse on the list - the TB - stands 15.4hh and weighs around 1100 lbs.

Jacki 01-23-2008 07:19 AM

If I'm not to late... I would say keep looking! You can get loads of good trail horses! Especially if you don't care about sex (and to a degree, age) The older gelding's arthritis is a big deal. I have worked with my far share of older horses people end up paying a fortune in really expensive feeds to keep them healthy & someone like me to ride them because they have to have constant LIGHT work and you still get problems. It might be mild now but they get worst and worst. Also when your out trailing with an arthritic horse as they get worse they get really "trippy". All you need is a run of cold weather and your in trouble. Did the vet check include bloods? He could have been on pain killers/steroids?
If it was me, I would KEEP LOOKING! But if you think you have to pick one of these, I would probably buy the stallion and give him the snip. Don't try and keep him arr intact it's way more trouble than you want.

quixotesoxs 01-23-2008 08:13 AM

i agree with jacki, you can get a good trail horse for an affordable price because the market is so low. and remember, even if the horse is cheap, it costs just as much to take care of a bad horse as it does a good. a stallion is a huge NONO unless you were going to show and breed him. the hanovarion sounds plain nasty!!! the 18 yr old would be great, but how long is he going to hold up?

SableRose 01-24-2008 03:32 PM

Thanks guys :o) I've now officially ruled out the Hanoverian.

I won't be making my decision until 1 February at the EARLIEST, so you're definitely not too late. :o)

derbyhillsranch 01-30-2008 11:27 PM

keep lookn, you can find a bit younger one thats healthier than all of em and not a stud. Unless your a breeder with lots of stud experience, never get a stud.

catatapult 02-04-2008 08:03 PM

Personally i would go right out and say no to the 18yr old because as most people have already said they can go bad fast when they get older. I would think about the situation where your at like would you be boarding your horse at someones barn or at your own. If the stallion is large then i would rule out stallion unless you have him gelded. Because then if an accident did happen then it could put the mare in danger of not being big enough to carry. Other than that I personally have nothing against stallions and i'v met some that are wonderful and as reliable as any gelding. It all depends on the situation. I hope i haven't offended any one and that iv'e helped with some insight I also agree that you should keep looking the right one will come. Good Luck! :D i hope im not too late.

Grendel 02-04-2008 09:45 PM

I would go with the 18 y/o gelding :)

JustDressageIt 02-04-2008 11:41 PM

Just a few things:
- if something happens to your finances, do you have a backup plan? With any of these horses you're going to have a bit of trouble finding a new home from them..perhaps not so much with the stud, but especially with the older horses that have vices or health problems.
- Can you deal with a stallion? They can't usually be kept with other horses, certainly not with horses that aren't yours as it's a liability to the other horses. Stallions need extra care and a really sturdy fence that WILL stop him if he smells a mare in heat.
- Has the stallion bred mares before? If he hasn't, then it's marginally better, and you could geld him and he'd probably make a nice gelding.
- With the stallion, do you have the resources to make him a good stallion, so he doesn't end up being another "backyard stallion" that really shouldn't be kept a stallion?
- With the older horses, do you have the resources to keep them healthy if they take a turn for the worst, health-wise?

These are all questions I would sit down and think about before making the decision.
If you go with the mare, good on you - I have a soft spot for rescues, however this mare sounds like she's going to need a "forever home" because she doesn't sound like an easy seller.
The stallion would have sounded like the best prospect, if he was a gelding. If you don't have a breeding program that you'd be adding him to, as well as the resources to market him and improve the TB breed, then you shouldn't buy him. Gelding is an option, however some studs don't lose their studly mind afterwards. Remember: even the sweetest stallions can turn nasty if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I would not recommend the gelding. If he's arthritic now, it's pretty much just a matter of time until he can't be ridden much at all. Again, he'd need a forever home as he doesn't sound like he'd be easy to sell in a pinch.

Take your time finding your perfect horse. I know it's very exciting being able to get a horse... don't jump into buying a horse just for the sake of buying a horse. I think you could find something younger than the older horses and safer than the stud if you look a little harder.
What's your area (state/province.. not your exact location - I'm not a stalker!) and approximate budget? I'm sure I could do a little searching for ya on the internet :)

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