Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I think you can find the right horse at a range of ages, although the I would say over six for a first horse. The thing is though is the right first horse will cost a lot more under 10 than over.
My advice is to get a horse doing what you want to do. You want a horse that on the trial you can get on and try pole bending, barrel racing etc. You want to be able to easily walk, trot, canter etc with it on the trial day, if there is a problem then that should count very heavily against the horse. You want your first horse to be pretty much perfect When trying it, because it's not going to get any better when you go home. Don't get a horse for its potential or for a challenge for you. Ownership has enough challenges without you looking for them. That horse with potential and challenges will come later in your life.
Finally, have the money to spend. Don't be looking for a bargain for your first horse.
Books and stuff are great but I found them more useful once I had a horse rather than before because otherwise I just couldn't apply anything.