Advice on Buying my First (real) Horse
I’m looking for some advice. For the past year and a half, I’ve been involved with and taking care if a variety of old, sick, and too-green horses. Through this, I’ve learned a lot, but havent gotten hardly any riding time in.
So now I’m looking for a “real” horse. Meaning, an easy, calm, broke, healthy horse I can use to work on my skills both on the ground and in the saddle. (Even as I continue to care for other peoples’ old, sick, green horses!)
Anyway, I’m looking at one guy, “Louie,” who is a real sweetie. He lives at the same ranch as the other horses I care for. He’s 4.5 hands, 11 years old, mellow, no health issues... Easy, easy.
That said, I rode him 2 days ago for his “try out,” and can barely walk! I am So Out Of Shape for riding. Which is funny because I actually teach yoga. So I’m in great shape otherwise.
But bottom line—my skills are definitely at “beginner” level. Like...I know the basics of how to ride and longe, as well as some general horsemanship, but...I’m a newbie.
Now, here is my issue: people SAY I should look at more than one option. And I know that makes sense. But the only other real option I have is a trail horse named Harry who is also aged 11-15, also small, and also broke.
His owner (ranch manager) is really busy and hasn’t been super motivated to get me in to see him. To be honest, I’m starting to feel a little guilty at the notion of making her take the time to show me Harry. Especially as I’ve been taking Louie out to groom and do mild groundwork.
The thing is—I’m not a very good rider. So what, exactly, am I going to see that’s so different between these two horses? And since I dont have access to HArry’s pasture, I’m not going to be able to put in the time with Harry (pre-buying) that I am with Louie.
It’s like deciding to buy a hand-me-down car you’ve driven for a few weeks already, versus buying a used car you only test drove once....if you’re a driver who’s only just recently passed her driver’s test! HAHA.
I’ve spent enough time around horses to know when a horse is too temperamental for me. Or too green. Or too big and athletic.
Louie is a really comfortable height. I can get on without a block. If I fell, it woudlnt be far. And while he’s a bit lazy (because he knows he can take advantage of me as a newbie,) I do not get any sense he’d buck me off or run off with me. The worst he’d do would be to say, “Meh. I’d rather eat grass.”
I guess my question is—do I take the time and bother to see the other horse? (Inconveniencing someone who I get the feeling doesnt want to be inconvenienced?) Or do I stick with the obvious solution?
(It doesnt hurt that Louie comes with tack, as well as 50% ownership of a tack shed. And doesnt need to be moved. All small, but also not-so-small issues.)
What do you guys think?
As horse owners yourself, would you be annoyed if someone came out to see a horse you are selling “just as a comparison”, already sort of having made up their mind to buy a different horse?
Thanks in advance.
(BTW, this is Louie. He’s a good, handsome boy.)