Considering first time buying, have some questions of you have time to answer! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
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Considering first time buying, have some questions of you have time to answer!

Hello everyone!

I have a few questions that I'd love to get your opinions on. I'm a very green but avid learner taking lessons currently at the stables where there is a horse I've been considering for purchase for four years now. He is now six years old, broke to ride and just being started on small jumps by the BO/breeder/trainer haha.

1. Is six typically too young for a green rider? I know it is horse specific, I'm not rushing into anything, I've seen him ridden before, he's around a 2 on the scale of "high strung", he is very calm and docile (as is typical in the curly breed) and I'm taking things slow. I realize learning in riding is never done but I'm trying to work my way up to a proficient level as to start riding him under trainer supervision. He's 16.2hh true stick method. Also after getting a few more lessons under my belt I was going to ask the BO about possible leasing options to make sure I'm up to the commitment but also hopefully so she doesn't sell him right away. I do love this horse lol. Thoughts?

2. I also always see the "no matter how prepared you are you'll always need more money" warning. How much is typical for general "preparedness"? Should I have a set amount set away for emergencies? I've seen people say around 500 minimum. I currently have 20k saved, the horse is 6500 (haven't asked if it's firm or negotiable) and I know tack will cost another thousand or so, depending on if I can find proper fitting gear second or if I have to go new (I've already started buying nonspecific items, even if it's not until down the road, a grooming kit doesn't hurt to buy now heh). Found a close stable for 200/month board includes feed. 40/farrier. Then of course routine vet checks and vaccinations, emergency funds. Financially speaking, do you think I'm set enough to take on a horse? Maybe tmi but I make between 1500-2500 dollars a pay cheque. I just want to be as prepared as possible.

Thank you everyone in advance! If you need to know anything else, let me know :)

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post #2 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 03:38 AM
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I'll just mention one thing, $200 for board sounds too low to me,
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post #3 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 05:06 AM
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Board prices range from $150 a month to $2,500 a month, so no one can judge whether your prices are right. As far as cost for the horse, that's just subjective. If you feel he's worth that much, he his.

I can tell you what I've spent on my horse in the last 6 months to give you an idea of what I have to budget for. Of course, depending on your region, these prices could be higher or lower.

1. Vet bills: pre-purchase exam $150 (1 time). Teeth floating: $100 (every 6-12 months). Worming $20 (few times a year). She hasn't had any health issues, but that's where the real money comes in. I would put away about $1500 for random health issues, but this could be way under budget for some horses and/or regions.

2. Farrier: my horse is barefoot, but she had to be trimmed often because we work on soft ground. Here it's very hard to find a barefoot trimmer, so I pay about $85 per trim, once per month or so, to a person who travels a long distance to get to me. That's more than most people pay.

3. Tack: I've probably spent $3,000 on tack, but that's mostly because I love to shop for that stuff. I have a few saddles, lots of bridles, different bits, and so on. You could probably spend $1,000 and have everything you need, especially if you buy second hand.

4. Treats, etc.: I buy treats and shampoos and fly sprays and so on every month. I'd guess I spend about $50 a month on that stuff. You don't have to buy any of this if you don't want to. I enjoy it.

With regard to whether a 6 year old is too young, I have watched these boards for a while and also seen things happening at the barn where I am. The general consensus is that 6 is too young. Generally speaking, you're better off with an older horse who is more experienced and more patient and more calm when a beginner is on his back.

I bought a 12 year old and am very happy with her. She's very calm by nature, but at this point she's been ridden on trails, at a school, been through Parelli training ... she's seen and done a lot, so not a lot freaks her out, even me bouncing around on her back off balance (poor girl). I almost bought a 5 year old, though, and the only thing that kept me from doing that was we discovered navicular problems during a vet check. He was wonderful. Calm, respectful, well trained. So even though I'm telling you to buy an older horse, I was ready to not do that myself. :) Sometimes a certain horse just grabs you and it seems very right. If this horse had been without the navicular, he would be in my barn right now.

Regardless of what horse you choose, I recommend you have an experienced rider on him/her at least every couple weeks to put the horse through its paces. A horse will quickly lose it's tuning with a beginner on it all the time. The better rider will keep the horse doing well with proper cues and so on.

I notice after I have my expert on my mare's back, my mare works better with me in the lessons after. She becomes the teacher, once she remembers what it is she's supposed to be doing. Sometimes my cues are totally off and my balance is crap and she gets confused. The better rider reminds her that the old/good cues are still the ones she should be paying attention to and she calms right down into teaching mode with me.

With an older horse, you get a lot more of the horse teaching you, which is really handy. If you have one that's too young, it's both of you learning at the same time which can be frustrating and then the bad behavior comes out.

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post #4 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
Board prices range from $150 a month to $2,500 a month, so no one can judge whether your prices are right. As far as cost for the horse, that's just subjective. If you feel he's worth that much, he his.

I can tell you what I've spent on my horse in the last 6 months to give you an idea of what I have to budget for. Of course, depending on your region, these prices could be higher or lower.

1. Vet bills: pre-purchase exam $150 (1 time). Teeth floating: $100 (every 6-12 months). Worming $20 (few times a year). She hasn't had any health issues, but that's where the real money comes in. I would put away about $1500 for random health issues, but this could be way under budget for some horses and/or regions.

2. Farrier: my horse is barefoot, but she had to be trimmed often because we work on soft ground. Here it's very hard to find a barefoot trimmer, so I pay about $85 per trim, once per month or so, to a person who travels a long distance to get to me. That's more than most people pay.

3. Tack: I've probably spent $3,000 on tack, but that's mostly because I love to shop for that stuff. I have a few saddles, lots of bridles, different bits, and so on. You could probably spend $1,000 and have everything you need, especially if you buy second hand.

4. Treats, etc.: I buy treats and shampoos and fly sprays and so on every month. I'd guess I spend about $50 a month on that stuff. You don't have to buy any of this if you don't want to. I enjoy it.

With regard to whether a 6 year old is too young, I have watched these boards for a while and also seen things happening at the barn where I am. The general consensus is that 6 is too young. Generally speaking, you're better off with an older horse who is more experienced and more patient and more calm when a beginner is on his back.

I bought a 12 year old and am very happy with her. She's very calm by nature, but at this point she's been ridden on trails, at a school, been through Parelli training ... she's seen and done a lot, so not a lot freaks her out, even me bouncing around on her back off balance (poor girl). I almost bought a 5 year old, though, and the only thing that kept me from doing that was we discovered navicular problems during a vet check. He was wonderful. Calm, respectful, well trained. So even though I'm telling you to buy an older horse, I was ready to not do that myself. :) Sometimes a certain horse just grabs you and it seems very right. If this horse had been without the navicular, he would be in my barn right now.

Regardless of what horse you choose, I recommend you have an experienced rider on him/her at least every couple weeks to put the horse through its paces. A horse will quickly lose it's tuning with a beginner on it all the time. The better rider will keep the horse doing well with proper cues and so on.

I notice after I have my expert on my mare's back, my mare works better with me in the lessons after. She becomes the teacher, once she remembers what it is she's supposed to be doing. Sometimes my cues are totally off and my balance is crap and she gets confused. The better rider reminds her that the old/good cues are still the ones she should be paying attention to and she calms right down into teaching mode with me.

With an older horse, you get a lot more of the horse teaching you, which is really handy. If you have one that's too young, it's both of you learning at the same time which can be frustrating and then the bad behavior comes out.
The pricing list was extremely helpful thank you! A lot of it is a lot more reasonably priced than I was anticipating to be honest lol. Board around here is usually between 150-300 depending. I like this particular barn because it includes feeding and watering, the gelding wouldn't be lonely has there are other horses on the property and he has 80 acres of trails to ride, that's crazy impressive only 20 minutes from my downtown city residence heh. "My" gelding isn't shod either but the BO has a barefoot farrier that comes out regularly and is 40/horse, which I found very reasonable.

Honestly I would prefer a much older horse. 13-15 WOULD be ideal... But 1. You can't help who you love hehe he's not the most beautiful horse but I LOVE his disposition and personality. But MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY 2. I am limited in my options. I have severe allergies and this horse is the only curly for sale in my area that's reasonably priced for his training. Plus the fact that I've known him for 4 years, seen him ridden multiple times, seen him tied and groomed in different situations (out in a busy paddock, in a barn during a thunderstorm) and he was the calmest horse there. I have been able to test on him in person and know I don't react to him.

For broader information, there is a second curly breeder in my province. They have WAY less experience breeding and they are (imo) far too overpriced. Here's a break down between the two stables:
My stable: 2008 born calm, broke to ride bakshir curly gelding, starting over jumps - 6500
The other breeder: 2012 born bakshir curly gelding, halter broken - 6500.

It's a little obscene to me.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not going to be a blind green rider and buy him tomorrow just because he's available. Since the lady I would be buying from is also my trainer (and she has refused to sell him in the past because she didn't think the fit was right) I'm confident she won't even humor me if it isn't a good match. She's knows I'm very interested in him but we've never discused it because I know I'm too green to bring it up. I will trust her judgement for when ever it is that I'm "qualified" to ride him for the first time :)
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post #5 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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I love the idea of continuing his education, I really only plan to trail ride, but leasing to a more experienced rider to help exercise him is something I also really want to do so I'm glad you think that would be a positive ecasey ^_^
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post #6 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 10:04 AM
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I think you should spend the rest of the year taking lessons and hang around the stable and your instructor to really learn about horses.
For a child/adolescent growing up with parents who train and use their horses, like on a ranch, a 6yo would not be too young bc that child would have been observing horses from day 1.
You, however, are so new to horses that you are green as spring grass. You don't know what to expect, and you are, IMHO, 90% likely to buy a horse that someone is selling bc they cannot control it. If you don't mind some trips to the ER, go ahead and buy right now.
You NEED a middle aged babysitter, a horse that is very forgiving and will help you learn about horses. The best way, IMO to find one is to talk to trainers and see what show people are selling bc they have outgrown that horse, or the horse is too old for the high energy sport, or too small, or cannot jump high enough, etc. THAT should be your first horse. Otherwise, it is like the old adage, Act in haste, repent in leisure.
I have owned/trained horses for nearly 30 years, and many others here have my experiences and more.
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post #7 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 10:07 AM
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I don't mean to be a downer...

BUT....

Till you actually ride this horse, take some lessons on this horse, have a vet confirm the horse is as represented in age and health {PPE}... assume nothing.

You may get on the horse and hate him. Or he dislike you.

Personality is a plus, but handling, riding and working with the animal on a everyday basis is very different than just looking at and longing for a horse of your own.
He is also conveniently available and you are pining for one to call "yours" now.

Keep going slow and achieving your goals.
Become that better rider. BE more informed and financially ready...keep saving.

It sounds like so much money you have saved.
To purchase is cheap, honestly.
So far if you were to buy this horse and new tack...you just spent $10,000 or close to it.
To keep and maintain is a never-ending drain on your pocket.
It is also a never-ending situation to do right by your horse and go see, spend time with and do the correct care of and for them.
A serious illness or injury could wipe out thousands, no kidding. No one is ever prepared for that...but having a nest-egg and continually not needing to dip into that nest egg, or if you do you faithfully replace those funds...great.
Just also remember that as the years go on, the cost of keeping the horse {board}, health {vet} and all the incidentals going along with having a horse and needing to replace or upgrade items can be costly and those costs do and will increase.
Having a elastic budget and one that can take that constant nit-picking of "needed items" creeping up and not hurting the household budget monies is wonderful. Just don't fall into the thought that inflation not affect horses...they are a luxury, not a necessity... a costly one and hobby to have.

I would be lost without my horse{s} and do without willingly for them.
I do understand the pull of ownership, but do go toward ownership with eyes wide open as you are and remember everything "horse" is $$$$$........

Best of luck in finding "the one" and fulfilling your hearts desire.


jmo...
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post #8 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 10:08 AM
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I take it the allergy thing is too severe for you to consider another breed? I only ask because I am/was allergic to horses. When I started learning to ride (14 years ago ish) I had to take an antihistamine before the lesson, and I never touched my face during or after until I'd changed my clothes and washed my hands. Fast forward to now and I own two horses which I keep at home. I'd almost forgotten the allergy really - but I still wouldn't groom them and then itch my face

Anyway. Yes, I do think that six years old is too young for your first horse. However calm, confident, well trained it is, it is by definition of it's age GREEN. How much of the world has it seen? How many owners? How challenged has it been mentally?

I will share the story of my youngster for you as an example. He was bred by a very responsible and honest breeder with whom I am still in touch. She did 'everything' with him - backed him, round penning, arena, trail riding, trail obstacles, intro to jumping etc etc. he is an angel on the ground, the sweetest personality you could want, clever and willing. I bought him and brought him up to my place.

Short version of long story is that he and I have discovered that she had inadvertently never pushed him out of his comfort zone, and that when he is too scared...and too confused...he will panic and buck his rider off. I have been bucked twice, and my trainer once. I now know him, understand him, and still love him, and I think - I believe - that I will still make a good horse out of him. By which I mean one that has learnt enough about the world not to implode.

But truth is, he was too green for me, and he was not my first horse by any means.

So...if you need to stick with Curlies - are you certain that there are only two breeders in Alberta? My experience with Canadians is that there are plenty more than I first knew about, but they don't have an internet presence.

My friend here has a Curly X: I can ask her if she has more information to help you.
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post #9 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
I think you should spend the rest of the year taking lessons and hang around the stable and your instructor to really learn about horses.
For a child/adolescent growing up with parents who train and use their horses, like on a ranch, a 6yo would not be too young bc that child would have been observing horses from day 1.
You, however, are so new to horses that you are green as spring grass. You don't know what to expect, and you are, IMHO, 90% likely to buy a horse that someone is selling bc they cannot control it. If you don't mind some trips to the ER, go ahead and buy right now.
You NEED a middle aged babysitter, a horse that is very forgiving and will help you learn about horses. The best way, IMO to find one is to talk to trainers and see what show people are selling bc they have outgrown that horse, or the horse is too old for the high energy sport, or too small, or cannot jump high enough, etc. THAT should be your first horse. Otherwise, it is like the old adage, Act in haste, repent in leisure.
I have owned/trained horses for nearly 30 years, and many others here have my experiences and more.
I appreciate your post and the knowledge your experience affords you. I'm envious you've had that opportunity, I'm sure you don't mean to be condescending. I get theres a lot of eager first time, never been on a horse people on here begging for you approval for some green broke thoroughbred and refuse to let your sound advice penetrate their thick skulls. I can't imagine how frustrating it is. That's not the case with me. I would not buy a horse I couldn't control. I am happy to hear your opinions and I try to learn from all of them, I know he's young but he's calm and has a sweet disposition. I will trust my trainer and not move forward with riding him, leasing him or sale until she is confident I am able to handle him under saddle.

Again, it's easy to buy an aged horse when you aren't "special" needs. I can't just buy any retired push button horse. Yes it sucks and yes it limits me substantially, I am only this green because growing up I never thought I'd be able to own a horse. Couldn't take lessons due to my allergies.

I am taking it slow because I know what a big deal this is. It's a huge commitment and I won't be buying him any time soon. I'm going to continue with my lessons but I'm hoping in the next six months (or when ever my trainer feels it's time) I'll be riding him as my lease horse, provided the fit is good.
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post #10 of 40 Old 07-30-2014, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 330
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
I don't mean to be a downer...

BUT....

Till you actually ride this horse, take some lessons on this horse, have a vet confirm the horse is as represented in age and health {PPE}... assume nothing.

You may get on the horse and hate him. Or he dislike you.

Personality is a plus, but handling, riding and working with the animal on a everyday basis is very different than just looking at and longing for a horse of your own.
He is also conveniently available and you are pining for one to call "yours" now.

Keep going slow and achieving your goals.
Become that better rider. BE more informed and financially ready...keep saving.

It sounds like so much money you have saved.
To purchase is cheap, honestly.
So far if you were to buy this horse and new tack...you just spent $10,000 or close to it.
To keep and maintain is a never-ending drain on your pocket.
It is also a never-ending situation to do right by your horse and go see, spend time with and do the correct care of and for them.
A serious illness or injury could wipe out thousands, no kidding. No one is ever prepared for that...but having a nest-egg and continually not needing to dip into that nest egg, or if you do you faithfully replace those funds...great.
Just also remember that as the years go on, the cost of keeping the horse {board}, health {vet} and all the incidentals going along with having a horse and needing to replace or upgrade items can be costly and those costs do and will increase.
Having a elastic budget and one that can take that constant nit-picking of "needed items" creeping up and not hurting the household budget monies is wonderful. Just don't fall into the thought that inflation not affect horses...they are a luxury, not a necessity... a costly one and hobby to have.

I would be lost without my horse{s} and do without willingly for them.
I do understand the pull of ownership, but do go toward ownership with eyes wide open as you are and remember everything "horse" is $$$$$........

Best of luck in finding "the one" and fulfilling your hearts desire.


jmo...
Thank you for your honesty :)

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