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xxEmilyxx 10-30-2010 12:01 PM

What level of experience should you have...
So my birthday was September 8th, and my parents got me a horse. Not...physically, but they said I can get a horse. I found one I really like, and I really want to buy him, but I wanted to know how much experience you guys think someone should have before buying a horse.

I'm 13. I admit, I'm not the most fantastic rider. I'm about intermediate you could say. To sum it up: I can walk, trot, canter, and gallop. I do get a little afraid at the gallop sometimes due to an accident that happened a few months ago when I attened a horse camp and they put me on a green pony...she took off and there was no stopping her...

Anyway, I can tack up, groom, medicate, lead, muck stalls, feed, etc. I made another thread about my riding, the other problem I have is just that I get nevous when people are watching me, and that supposedley the horse knows when your nervous. But I think after getting to know my horse, we'd be okay. I'm just a little insecure sometimes. Also, finances are pretty much set, we know where we're gonna board and the vet and everything. I understand all of the expenses :) Feel free to ask questions...I just wanted to hear some opinions before jumping in and buying a horse.

equiniphile 10-30-2010 12:16 PM

What do you want to do with your riding? Pleasure, reining, trail riding, hunter jumpers, eventing, dressage, flat classes? Before you buy you need to understand the basics behind this all and what makes for a good horse for your discipline. For example, you're not going to want a leggy 17hh Thoroughbred for reining, or a Paso Fino for dressage. Size is also a consideration. You need a horse that you will not be afraid of because of its size, nor one that's too small to properly carry your weight in a balanced, collected manner.

Ground manners are also essential. You don't want a horse that strikes, flattens his ears, or bites at you when you go to pick up his hoof (been there, done that, needless to say we don't own him anymore). Does he walk quietly on lead and not rush or push you over? Does he respect you and not walk on top of you or take advantage of a loose rein?

Conformation is important as well, ESPECIALLY in the feet. Do NOT get a horse with bad feet unless you're willing to pay the extra farrier bills and wait out the long weeks....or months....that he's unable to be ridden because of sore or bruised feet. Large, sturdy feet are essential for a good, sound horse. The feet should not look too small for his body. Pastern angle is also important. The pastern should be at a 45degree angle from the ground, not more or less. Here's a good article on pastern angles as they contribute to soundness:
How to Identify Horse Pastern Problems
Always get a vet check before you buy; it is incredibly crucial. If you can, take a trainer with you before you try him out, make sure he's not drugged, and ride him several times on several occasions before you buy.

Sit down with someone knowledgeable of horses who boards and price out everything for a year. If it's not included in board, figure in farrier, shots, wormers, vaccines, tack, your apparel for showing and schooling, saddle soaps, brushes, hoof picks, grain, hay, shavings, lessons, etc. Most times much of this is included in board, but make sure you know what you're paying for and like the instructors and owners of the barn.

Good luck! Message me if you have any questions :)

xxEmilyxx 10-30-2010 12:25 PM

Thank you, he's a 16 hh thoroughbred. We were probably just going to do english pleasure, maybe a few shows once in a while. Jumping, XC. I made about him with conformation pictures. He is pretty well built, though he did pull a shoe a while back and was lame for a while...he's fine now. He's a four year old gelding. I know he's young but I've went and looked at him & ridden him a couple times. He's very mellow and really friendly. He just seems like my perfect horse. I just don't want to get him and have some kind of disaster.

equiniphile 10-30-2010 12:50 PM

Has he raced? How long have you been riding?

Saskia 10-30-2010 01:40 PM

If you don't have an instructor already, you should look at getting one. Not only can they help you with riding and training whatever horse you choose, they might be able to help you select an appropriate horse.

I'd be reluctant to get a TB for a first horse. While there are some good ones, on average they seem to be highly strung and sensitive - not the ideal first horse.

Also, I think a 4 year old is too young for a first horse. Any 4 year old. That is just my opinion.

I'd seriously reconsider looking for a different horse if I were you. I don't know you or the horse, but from my perspective with the limited information provided I do not think this horse is suitable for you.

xxEmilyxx 10-30-2010 01:58 PM

never been raced. I've been riding for 3 1/2 years or so. And I have an instructor.

tinyliny 10-30-2010 02:00 PM

I agree with Saskia. A four year old thbd is not a good choice for a first horse. You want a horse that can help you, not one that requires a lot of help from you. Thbds are wonderful horses but my feeling is that at your age, you would be better mounted on a smaller horse. There is a lot to be said for a horse that you can muscle down if you have to. (obviously , if the horse really wants to run off with you, even a small horse can do it, but a big horse can do it easier), AND, if you fall, it's less distance to the ground.
Thbds can be hard keepers and can often have greater shoeing needs.
All generalizations, but they don't come out of nowhere, there's a basis for these.
I would suggest you look around a little more. Don't take the first horse that takes your heart away.
You are a lucky girl. I would have given my right eye for a horse at 13.

xxEmilyxx 10-30-2010 02:13 PM

I know I should really get an easier horse...I just want one thats young enough that if I have to sell it I can...and one thats not gonna be limited to certain disciplines...and thoroughbreds have always been my favorite breed. I was looking at arabians, but there aren't many for sale around here. Does anyone have other ideas?

xxEmilyxx 10-30-2010 02:44 PM

I found two horses on Horsetopia that I thought might be better choices. On this first one, they listed his breed as buckskin, they say he's grade but do you think he's mostly quarter horse?

Buckskin Horse For Sale, Florida, Plant City

Quarter Horse For Sale, Florida, LAKE HELEN

Saskia 10-30-2010 02:51 PM

Personally, I don't think an untrained 4yo TB will be easy to sell. I don't know what its like in US, but here in Australia an untrained TB is worth nothing...(of course there are exceptions but far and few between). Honestly, at your level of experience I don't think you would successfully be able to train the TB - you'd be more likely to do harm than good. I know that sounds harsh and its not personal, but I have seen it happen. I've seen people get unsuitable young horses, a year on the only way they can get it under control is with a tight martingale, gag bits, spurs, whips. They force the horse into a "frame" and just end up with a sore, and somewhat ruined, horse.

You have a MUCH better chance of re-selling another breed. Arab's aren't really suitable for what you want, but Anglo Arabs, a large range of warmbloods and a variety of TB crosses will fulfil your needs.

If you get an 8 year old horse now with some training under its belt you're not going to lose much value in a year or two. You'll have so much more fun on a horse that you can do things with - you shouldn't even jump the TB for another year, then you still have to do all the training, and you want to have a secure, balanced position before teaching your horse.

A trained horse isn't really an "easy" horse, especially for a first horse. Horses will still cause you problems, test you and need to learn new things.

The most happy and successful young riders (in my experience) are those who have suitable, trained horses. If you want to do SJ get a showjumper - something that knows how to do it.

Horses always seem "mellow" in their familiar surroundings, but they can change drastically when in new locations, or with a new rider.

I do think that getting a horse like this could turn into a disaster, it could cost you a lot more in the long run than just getting a good horse for you in the first place.

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