Which horse! First reining horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-18-2012, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Which horse! First reining horse

I sort of need to think out loud and I figured a reining forum is a good place to do it

I have ridden for years but not western. I started riding western about a year ago, probably only weekly for the most part as the horses aren't on my property.
Anyway, I am not sure what step to take next as I want to start competing in reining and really get stuck into lessons etc.

Horse #1 is my horse. He is 4 and had training as a 3yo he can spin, roll back, stops but not slides (he was not quite mature enough to start them at 3). He is the right size for me and quiet to handle but as I have not done reining before, I struggle with knowing whether we are doing things right or not. He is quite athetic and goey/forward, very responsive to the leg which I am not used to but getting the hang of it. Option with Horse #1 is to send him back to trainer to get him to a competition level plus lessons for me, this of course will be a few thousand dollars over a few months.. I probably wouldn't get to compete him til end of year/start of next year (our comp season is just starting now). I know plenty of people start off with youngsters in western and train with them and I like the idea of learning together but it is a lot of work and time..

Horse #2 is older (rising 11) gelding but competed successfully in reining for years and has had all the training. He has had at least a year off with only occasional rides. He is lovely and smooth to ride and easier to ride (lazy sometimes) than #1 as he is so well trained. He has some handling issues, though not that bad I suppose and is also a hand bigger (which matters when you are a small lady :P but not a deal breaker). He is a horse that will teach me as a 'schoolmaster' and I can take out to a comp straight away.
He is twice what I paid for horse #1 and obviously much older

I think at the moment I am extra frustrated because I want to be doing it all but I have hardly had time to ride (bad weather) which will only get worse til i have the horses on my own property.
I don't particularly want to sell horse #1 but I can't really justify having 2 good horses to work especially with the price of horse #2.
I am impatient and kinda want everything lol

What would you do? What kind of horse do you think would be best?
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-18-2012, 07:15 AM
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Well, here is my opinion, for what it is worth. I also rode for years, not western and switched about 2 yrs ago. Bought a trail type horse who was , then decided I wanted to do reining. I cannot speak to how it is for everyone is in all areas, only in mine, and good trainers are NOT easy to come by. You have to be very careful, as I am sure you are aware. If you decide to stick with your horse, Yes, it will cost you plenty of $$. Reiners who are truly completive at least around here-really never do anything else. They stay at the trainers. When I sent my guy last fall, I knew I would be busy all winter so the timing was right. He also had the basics, similar to yours. I was told I could not ride him for a minimum of 60 days, which is about standard. It was recommended (and has been a HUGE help) that I take lessons on the trained horses so that I could learn what it feels like and how to ride one correctly. My guy has now been at the trainers about 6 months, I just got to ride him for the first time last week, and it is great....but he would not be ready for any rated competition for at least another year. Retraining takes longer. The plus, to using your guy is, as I see it, that you know him. You know he has not been used too hard at a young age, as many are. You can be fairly confident that he will stay sound for many years because of that. That said, I was also offered to purchase an older show horse to start my show career with My issue are several. I like to do other things. I do not want a horse that I can ONLY do reining on. I also like knowing that my guy was not started hard as a 2 yr old as many reiners are, at least here in the states. I am pretty sure that his hocks will not be spongy in short order.
From my experience here with my own horse, as well as my friends-same basic story, different trainer, to REALLY be competitive in reining you need to be totally dedicated to that. You also need to have pretty deep pockets, so that your horse can stay at the trainers a LONG period of time. People here in the states are generally not competitive unless their horses are. I will just go do fun shows, nothing big and be happy. If I decide to be really competitive, I will have to make the decision to spend minimum of $10K/yr just to keep the horse in training, far from me, so my riding would be minimal. I would rather enjoy my horse, who now has a really good "handle".
Most 11 yr olds will not last much longer if they have been and are going to continue to be campaigned heavily. If you decide to go that route, I would suggest FULL vetting prior to purchase, including extensive x-rays. JMHO.

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post #3 of 4 Old 03-19-2012, 03:42 PM
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If the 11 year old was trained right he should stay sound for years to come...However, if he was started wrong, he could cause a lot of trouble for you for being unsound. I agree with Franknbeans, get a full vet check on him. However, if he turns out sound, I would definitely choose him as your first reiner. It is easier to learn on a "schoolmaster" than a young horse and if you send the young horse to training then you would be spending all that money on that too when that could have gone into a horse you could have been competing on right away.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 AM
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For first time reiners your best bet is to buy a finished reiner. One that markes about a 69-70 is really best for several reasons. One they will not be really really expensive and the other is that they will be at the level a green reiner can ride them. So basically buy a reiner that anouther green reiner has moved up from. These horses usualy sell for a decent price and you know they can pack a green reiner around.

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