First Horse at age 51 - very excited, but a little nervous? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-16-2015, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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First Horse at age 51 - very excited, but a little nervous?

I just bought my first horse at the age of 51 and am very excited. He is an 8 yr. old quarter horse gelding and I will ride him western. I am still learning western as I rode English for a few years when I was young and about 7 years ago started riding again. I have never owned by own horse - I always rode someone else's horse or a school horse. I am boarding him at a stable near my house and take lessons once a week.

He is trained and easy going, but I am a little nervous now that he's at the stable and mine. He is trained to neck rein and I am used to an English bridle using two hands. I feel like I am confusing him. I am a little overwhelmed at all the training methods and different advice that I get. I have had him less than week so I know that things will take time, but wondering - has anyone else felt this way? I found this forum and am welcoming any and all "new horse owner" advice.
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-16-2015, 11:49 PM
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Just relax and enjoy having your own horse. I find if I try to over think things I make them worse.

Welcome to the forum.
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-16-2015, 11:52 PM
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I think a first horse for anybody at any age is a bit of a learning experience! I was 100% sure I was ready for a horse when I bought my mare last July and I still went through a month or so of, "what have I done?!" Eventually things settle down and owning a horse will be another thing that is a normal part of your life. For me, it's the best part of my life.

As for the western VS english... I rode english exclusively until I moved provinces, where there was suddenly no english saddle in sight. It took me a few months to adjust, especially to the differences in the saddle. (Life Tip: Don't lean too far forwards when you're getting out of a western saddle...) Eventually you'll be comfortable with riding western if you keep at it and have someone showing you the ropes. Have you considered trying your horse english and seeing how he does?

My advice to a new horse owner is not to get discouraged at first, because I think it does take time to adjust to. Give yourself and the horse time to feel each other out and see how you fit and work together. Spend time with your horse aside from riding, just brushing and walking and enjoying the company. Having knowledgeable horsey people around is a huge bonus! (There's a lot of people on here that fit that bill and are quick to lend an ear.) With that in mind... Always take what you hear with a grain of salt. There are 900 ways to do one thing with a horse and sometimes you need to adjust your approach depending on the horse.

I guess those are my thoughts... Oh, but look out... everyone is going to be begging for pictures now that you've mentioned a new horse.... including me...
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-17-2015, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearsj View Post
I am a little overwhelmed at all the training methods and different advice that I get. I have had him less than week so I know that things will take time, but wondering - has anyone else felt this way?
Hi & welcome!

Get used to all the conflicting advice - what's the saying... ask 10 different horse people a question & get at least 15 conflicting answers

Whether we've been into horses for ever or we're new 'learners', I think the vast majority(all??) of us have been/are there at some point. While you might be a 'nervous novice' to horse ownership, a lot of your other 'life skills' will help your horsemanship too. There are a number of people on this forum who have come to horses later in life. Hondo (Harold) is one that has 'appeared on the scene' lately & makes some enlightening comments & observations, & don't know about others, but has been an inspiration in his endeavor to learn & do the best with his horse. He might turn up for a chat here.

Just rest assured that if you do the best you can with the knowledge you have, and stay open minded, strive to keep learning, you'll very likely do very well, and do well by your horse. Enjoy!
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-17-2015, 01:13 AM
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Hey, I have a book recommendation for you: Horseback Riding in Purple.

Also, come over to my horse's FB page. I don't know if I can link it here because it's a FB page, but on FB it's called Life With Oden. I'm an older rider too, though not a beginner. But I understand that everything is different. I find a lot of joy in doing quiet, small things.

In your favor: You have a gentle horse, you have a trainer, and (I assume) a knowledgeable barn manager to guide you. Just go slow. Enjoy everything. Don't try to keep up with the teenagers and 20 year olds. :)
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-17-2015, 07:57 AM
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If the horse is trained properly it will not matter much f you ride western or English. A properly trained neck reining horse actually signals more off your seat position and leg pressure than rein/bit signal. You will just be riding with much less contact on the bit than you learned in English, You will need to give up the third stirrup.

Enjoy you new horse.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-17-2015, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearsj View Post

I feel like I am confusing him. I am a little overwhelmed at all the training methods and different advice that I get. I have had him less than week so I know that things will take time, but wondering - has anyone else felt this way? I found this forum and am welcoming any and all "new horse owner" advice.

Your first horse!! wooohooooooo! congrats and welcome to the rewarding, wonderful world of horse ownership.
I got my first horse at age 57 and didnt have the background that you have, so if i've made it, you certainly will do fine..lol..
Taking lessons is greatly in your favor, also having a trainer as a resourse not only for riding/training, but I'm sure he/she will be glad to offer you help with general horse care, if needed. You can also network locally to meet new 'horsey' friends to expand your safety network of knowledge and help.
As to feeling like you are confusing him,,,he & you can learn together, and horses are very forgiving. sounds like you've got a good boy.

Have fun!
Fay

Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-17-2015, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for all the encouragement and advice. Here is a picture of Shiloh. He is black with three white socks and a white blaze.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-17-2015, 10:52 AM
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Congrats on your 1st horse. Welcome to the forum. Shilo is a beautiful horse. Good luck and have fun with him.

I'm a beginner, have 3 horses that I keep at home and still take lessons. This summer I will be down to 2 for awhile because I plan to sell my draft. I'll be getting another 1 but much smaller, no more than 16h.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-17-2015, 11:00 AM
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Congratulations! He's lovely!

As far as your insecurities--don't worry! It's normal.

To ease them a bit, take things slow. It's alright to go out to the barn and not ride, but just hang out with him.
Also, maybe consider purchasing another lesson each week, or maybe some training rides for your guy to keep him sharp. Just a thought

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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