Am I crazy for wanting a weanling? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 11-26-2016, 04:27 PM
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No. Plain and simple.

1. You don't say whether or not you have an ample piece of your own acreage so a young horse can be handled every day, for starters.

1.2. I don't care how "great" a boarding barn is, a young unbroke horse is not home in your own yard it is three strikes, right off the bat. Too many people that done know anything will handling, or fussing, or playing with, or feeding treats to the cute little young horse and it will become sour without you knowing why.

1.3. Your explanation of "ten years" was not at all clear since your original post refers to raising/training a weanling.

2. Add that to the previous posters' comments and it's a perfect storm toward ruining a good horse.


That said, I have noticed people who think in a similar vein as yours, and write out all the detail as to why they should get a horse, buy one anyway.

They are simply looking for outside approval and when they don't get it will still buy their dream and we all hope it doesn't turn into a nightmare for the horse, which generally the horse ends up getting sold soon after its well-soured.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #12 of 22 Old 11-26-2016, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Alright. I'm not looking for outside approval, I'm looking for advice. If I needed approval, I wouldn't be asking experienced horse owners. I gave details to give you a better picture of my situation, and I don't appreciate the assumption that I'm going to disregard everyone and buy a horse just because I asked a question. I especially would never, ever sell a horse- but I already addressed that. It was definitely not my intention to come off that way, but I am used to other forums that aren't as blunt. I'm sorry if my original post wasn't clear enough.

Thank you for the info regarding keeping youngsters at a stable. I'd like to raise a young horse at some point, but probably won't until I have more experience and my own land. That being said, I want a horse with personality, as it will be much more than just an riding object, which is what most of you are assuming I'm after. I'm actually undergoing some ethical dilemmas myself about the use of bits, shoes, etc. To be completely honest, I'm not sure I'll do much riding at all other than trails.
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post #13 of 22 Old 11-26-2016, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Parcel View Post
Oh, no, that's not what I meant at all! I just meant that if I were to get a horse in their late teens or so, I'd be able to care for it the duration of its life, even after retirement. Same goes for any age- I just used ten as a baseline. I would never give up a horse, or any animal for that matter.
Ok... it's just odd that you use 10 years as a baseline when you're talking about getting a weanling, but maybe I'm reading too much into that. I don't mean to be personal or critical, but I assume when you say you can care for a horse forever, you're saying you have a permanent job, an acreage with a barn and enough pasture for at least two horses (since they don't do well alone) and enough time and money on your hands for daily care plus vet bills, etc.

You may feel we are being blunt, but it's hard to keep reading these posts by people who want to get a baby and raise it when it's clear that it's not a good idea.

I do think you can probably manage a somewhat green broke horse (I would go for a 5-6 year old) as long as it has a good, quiet temperament, and could work with a trainer to further its training. But be prepared to have that horse for 20 some to 30 years! I know a horse that is 38 and still being ridden! There are lots of people riding bitless these days. It's not that hard to transition a horse to bitless as long as they have had excellent training and you're an excellent rider. That's really not an issue.

Also, I totally get what you mean by not wanting a horse primarily for riding, but a) trail riding is very much riding! It requires different skills than arena riding, but skills just the same. For one thing, you do NOT want an unreliable horse when you're miles away from home on a trail somewhere. Things can go badly very quickly. Trail horses must be completely unflappable (or as close to that as possible), must be exposed to a lot of different terrains, situations, etc. You may not care if your horse has dressage moves, but you WILL care if it won't cross water, spooks at a bird or is petrified of cars/ATVs/bicycles, name it. b) Ground manners are just as important as manners under saddle and do require proper training.

Finally, I think there is probably a HUGE difference between raising a mini foal and raising a full-size foal. But I'll let those who have had both fill you in on those differences.
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post #14 of 22 Old 11-26-2016, 07:35 PM
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A lot of mini horses have a temperament somewhere between a dog and a horse. They are less spooky, more interested in things that people are doing (some big horses are like this too, but it is very common with minis), and less likely to get into trouble. For instance, I've never seen a mini horse pull back.
Even so, I've seen some people that ended up with very spoiled and poorly behaved minis. But the tiniest amount of correction can turn a mini right around. If you get a mini that rears or kicks, you are so much taller than they are. You can easily correct them and get them straightened out.

Horse foals grow up to be full size horses. Errors with them such as allowing little nips, rearing or kicking can mean you eventually have a 16 hand horse that is out of control and extremely dangerous. So that's the difference between raising a horse foal versus a mini foal. There is a much smaller margin for error with a big horse.

Perhaps the advice you are looking for is about whether you feel a horse will be more bonded to you if you are the one raising the horse. Horses bond to people who spend time with them and give them care and attention with clear boundaries. Some horses show this bond more outwardly and some are more reserved about it. This is the same regardless of whether you buy a weanling or a 16 year old horse. If a horse has had poor treatment, they may be less trusting and willing to bond with a human (or other horses). But on the other hand, some horses bond more strongly if you are the first person they've met who treated them with kindness. That can sometimes be the strongest bond of all.

Regarding bits and shoes, etc. It can seem like an ethical dilemma, and what I will say is that taking a stance such as "always" or "never" can sometimes also be unethical for the horse. An ideal such as "no bits" or "no shoes" can be good, but then you may meet a horse that has nerve damage to the face and a bit is less bothersome, or a horse that had such poor hoof care throughout life that shoes are the only thing that will make the horse comfortable. I believe it's best to treat each horse as an individual.

I've run into this a lot, with people thinking horses should never wear a blanket, but their horse is old, thin and doesn't grow a coat so he suffers. Or people thinking horses should never eat grain, but their horse is an athlete and doesn't get enough calories from hay and beet pulp alone. You just can't make ideals reach out and cover all horses under one utopian umbrella.
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post #15 of 22 Old 11-28-2016, 03:26 PM
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It does sound like you are starting out with a lot of romantic ideas. Not just the original question, but that you have the whole thing laid out in advance. To me this is the basic trouble with romantic ideas -- they are rigid, set in stone. Then when reality collides with the fantasy -- which it absolutely will -- the dreamer is stuck, because they can't admit that the fantasy isn't working out like the movie in their head. So a solvable problem becomes a fatal spiral. Horses, being expensive and dangerous as well as so common a fantasy subject, are very often victims of this type of thinking.

Example: "I will never sell a horse". Well, why the heck not? It's done all day every day all over the world. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with responsibly moving a horse on to a better situation so that you have room/money/energy for a more suitable animal.

Seriously, buy a horse you get along with and is at your level. If that horse ever becomes too easy for you, it'll be simple to sell to someone who needs an easy horse.

Short horse lover
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post #16 of 22 Old 11-28-2016, 04:42 PM
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Definitely buy a horse that suits your level you are at now. Training and riding broke horses is a whole other ball game from training a horse that literally knows nothing.

As the owner of a somewhat-still-green horse, I will say that my horse is challenging my skills as a handler. I have lots of great help and will not be riding or driving him until his ground manners are 100% - and he is actually broke to ride and (we think) broke to drive! But, his ground manners suck, and that is what we are working on right now.

If you think you'd like to raise a horse from a weanling eventually, start by learning all you can about ground training. In the beginning though, it's important to work with a horse that is broke - it's teaching YOU what the correct response looks and feels like.

It's not an impossible dream, but it is a dream that needs a great deal of planning, forethought, and training on your part to make sure that it happens safely, correctly, and in a way that the horse understands.
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post #17 of 22 Old 11-28-2016, 07:41 PM
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I'll give you my experience with buying a weanling to help you make your decision. I really enjoyed watching mine grow up. He did wonderfully with his ground work and accepted tack easily in the beginning. I assumed I could send him to a trainer for 2 months and have him reliable under saddle. Unfortunately, it hasn't turned out that way. Over the past three years, he has had three different trainers work with him, and he is still not trustworthy under saddle. He seems to have developed some pain issues or a sour attitude toward riding and occasionally rears. I spend a lot of my time now trying to figure out what is wrong with him. If I could go back in time, I would have bought an older horse; so I could see how he would handle being ridden. As a contrast, I bought my main riding horse as a 13 year old. He is 21 now and a dream to ride.
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post #18 of 22 Old 11-28-2016, 09:07 PM
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I purchased a 2 week old foal who is now almost 18 months old. I think the most important decision I've made for her so far is to have other horses on the property she can learn from. She has a middle aged mare that is her pasture mate and the yearling looks to the mare for decisions on a minute to minute basis. She is learning to be a horse from the other horses....I think it would most certainly have turned out badly if she was the only one here. She would be unsure and scared much of the time, as horses are definitely herd animals.
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post #19 of 22 Old 11-29-2016, 06:22 AM
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OP, you asked the question "Am I crazy for wanting a weaning?" in the New To Horses section and you received a lot of good advice and warnings. In this forum, you are generally communicating with seasoned, very experienced horse people, not a bunch of teens with little knowledge and a lot of dreams. We will tell any poster a true opinion based on decades of experience. I'm sorry that you seem to have taken offense at the responses you received.

One thing that I've seen happen when a newbie decides to go with a very young, totally untrained baby and especially your first, very own horse is that you will be watching your friends and everyone around you ride off, having fun while you are stuck back at the barn with a horse you won't be able to even get on for 2 or 3 years. For your first horse, believe me, it's not much fun. You say you're not that interested in riding but mention trail riding. You may consider trail riding to be easy and casual but it takes quite a bit of serious work to develop a safe and enjoyable trail horse.

I'm afraid that if you go with this dream for your very own first horse, you will end up disappointed and frustrated. Your first horse should be an enjoyable experience and help you gain confidence and experience. A weanling is adorable but there is simply too much training that has to be done the right way to create a horse you can finally start riding 2 or 3 years down the line. I strongly suggest you get a middle aged horse for your first and then later down the line consider a weanling or yearling.
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post #20 of 22 Old 11-29-2016, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Avna View Post
Example: "I will never sell a horse". Well, why the heck not? It's done all day every day all over the world. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with responsibly moving a horse on to a better situation so that you have room/money/energy for a more suitable animal.
It may not be too difficult to sell a good, reliable, young horse, but selling a horse in its late teens or 20s is entirely different. Selling a spoiled rotten brat of a horse that was ruined by previous owners is going to be an even bigger problem. Unless you can significantly improve a horse (meaning you have the knowledge, skill, resources and time!), you should not plan to buy a horse just to sell it a few years later. A horse is not a car. They pick up bad habits. Become unrideable. Are ruined by well-meaning newbies or are just too old to be of any interest to anyone. So for me, red flags go up when someone says they've got the ability to take care of a horse forever, then refer to "forever" as 10 years or so.

I know a young girl who was gifted a foal a few years ago by her grandfather. She had taken a few years of lessons, but the parents are not really horsey. They figured it would be cheaper to have a horse than continue to pay for lessons. They stuck it in the backyard and watched it grow up. The owner/rider is a 15 year old who has lost track of how many concussions she has had. This horse has stepped on her back, her head, has pushed her down into the water when she thought it would be fun to take it for a swim, and cannot be handled by anyone but her. Her own father is terrified of the horse. She thought it would be fun to teach the horse to rear, now the horse rears at everything. He has terrible ground manners, lives in a tiny field by itself and is always getting out (inadequate fencing, the horse is lonely and does not respect boundaries), can only be ridden by her, but even she is not safe on him. Yet she thinks it's funny when she gets home on the school bus and he is on the road and thinks it's cool that she has this "wild" horse only she can handle. There is no chance of this ending well.

OP I know you would do much better than this girl, it's just that we worry that things will go downhill very fast. I do agree that if you have a solid horse, or even a young horse that can use some refining, and are willing to continue to work with a coach or trainer, you can take the horse further along and hold onto your dream of having a weanling for later down the road.
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