Heart or head - which horse to choose?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Heart or head - which horse to choose??

Hi!
Long-time rider, but never owned - and am hopefully about to change that!

I've wanted a horse for literally decades and have finally gotten to a stage where I can fit one into my lifestyle (!!!).

I have a dilemma choosing between two horses: one is a very sensible, smart choice. The other is risky, but there's something so special about her. Here are the options:

Nadahl (5 years old, bay gelding)
Friesian x Stock horse
Broken in, beautiful nature, very honest and tries hard.
Hardy, great doer.

Rhapsody (18 months, black filly)
Friesian x Andalusian
Not broken, incredibly sweet girl, curious nature.

Nadahl is the logical choice: older, broken in, has foundations, can literally get on and have a great time.

But I cannot stop thinking about Rhapsody. She's absolutely stunning and has a real presence about her. I keep going over ways I can make it work with her.

Any advice? They're both bought up at the same place and all siblings/parents/relatives have wonderful natures (that's Friesians for ya!). Is it a completely horrendous choice to go with Rhapsody or oculd I make it work?

Help!!!!

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post #2 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cay23 View Post
Hi!
Long-time rider, but never owned - and am hopefully about to change that!

I've wanted a horse for literally decades………………………..

Is it a completely horrendous choice to go with Rhapsody or oculd I make it work?
This is one of those "Depends" situations. Depends on your actual skill level as a rider. Depends on your actual age. Depends on what you want to do and how soon you want to do it. Depends on your budget. (Do you have $1000/mo, or more, to put the filly in full training or do you have the skills to start her and train her up yourself? Depends on whether you're going to have to board or if you're able to keep the horse at home, or one of each. Depends on how good your physical condition is, can you take falls off a BIG green horse without breaking something, or worse?


Is it a horrible decision to go with the filly? Not necessarily but there are several things to consider before you do. And just because she's sweet & curious and all that now, does not mean she won't turn into a flaming witch when she reaches adulthood and starts to cycle on a regular basis. Is that something you want to/can deal with? And then again, she could be a total angel, no way to tell until it happens. With the gelding you never have to worry about hormones, he's trained and he's old enough to ride right now.

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post #3 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
This is one of those "Depends" situations. Depends on your actual skill level as a rider. Depends on your actual age. Depends on what you want to do and how soon you want to do it. Depends on your budget. (Do you have $1000/mo, or more, to put the filly in full training or do you have the skills to start her and train her up yourself? Depends on whether you're going to have to board or if you're able to keep the horse at home, or one of each. Depends on how good your physical condition is, can you take falls off a BIG green horse without breaking something, or worse?
......................................

.
Without knowing your particulars, I would advise going with your head. The gelding is well started, and is young enough to go in any direction you want to take him.


There are first time owners who have gotten the well broke, been there, done that horse, and been bored silly with the routine of it. They are far outnumbered by first time owners who fell for a "sweet" horse with no training, or some problems, and been deeply out of their element.


If you go with the 5year old, and find he is not exciting enough for you, it should be fairly easy to resell him, possibly at a small profit. There is never a shortage of young, untrained horses should you decide to go that route later.


I've never understood that "sweet" description. I suppose it means something to the ladies, but it is a mystery to me.


Hope that helps some.
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post #4 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 08:58 AM
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Lots of "depends". The filly is a risk that may be worth it if you got

- the resources (know-how and/or $$$) to train her well, and
- a solid backup mount to have riding fun with in the meanwhile, so you won't be tempted to rush her.
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post #5 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 09:00 AM
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The 5yr old, out of those two.

What is your skill level and what are your goals?

You might find one or both are not conformationally suited for what you want to do.
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post #6 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 09:10 AM
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I would personally, go with door #1.

I had the same choice with my first horse (first choice was a 6-year old well-trained mare, second choice was a 4-year old, GORGEOUS lightly-restarted OTTB gelding with lots of personality) and chose the horse that needed serious training. Within 6-month, that horse was a monster... I was way out of my league with training him.

Sold him on, to someone with much more training experience and he ended up being a very successful eventer down south.

I didn’t have my own horse again for YEARS after that, I was so discouraged. When I finally decided to try again, I did go young again (he was coming on 4)... but got a nice level-headed guy that already had 60 days of professional training and light trail experience. He’s still been a bit of a project...I’ve been getting much more experience with training. But he had a much better start and was much more appropriate for a “first-time” trainer.

Just be careful... personality and presence can quickly escalate to “nightmare” if you are inexperienced with training.


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post #7 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 09:58 AM
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To me, there is no risk involved...

I would not buy a 18 month old unknown for a first horse...
No training, months to go before you will even be presented with that you have "0" known if she can be anything like what you want or desire...
A lot of time and expense you face for a total unknown except she is cute, has a personality and "presence"...
I get what you say...and why.
I also get this is a first time horse and for that unless you are a very advanced rider with years experience behind you...
I fear you will regret this if you go with a youngster so young because of a personality.
That personality thing works for very experienced horse people who if it doesn't work out,...they flip and go on.
Your first horse...absolutely not.
That is not only my head talking that is my heart making that comment.
If this horse is meant to be yours, she will still be available in a years time when she has at the minimum, the basics of training really put on her...or someday in the future you will cross paths at a time when you can afford the extra time and expenses still a young one dictates needs met not often done by first-time owners.
Now, buying now... I would pass on the baby. I would.

If you decide to go with this horse, you look at another year of maturing needing done.
To my understanding, the breeds you mention are often maturing later...that means no saddle work for quite some time.
If you want to invest months of boarding costs, farrier & vet care...then training bills of at least 3 months to have a little better than basics on her...
Go for it...
Me...first horse I want to be riding not petting a nose only and wishing...

I would go with the horse who will teach you, you can learn on, ride and enjoy now so when a opportunity should ever present itself you have some real hands-on knowledge from a privately owned horse as it is vastly different than dealing with school horses in what you must know to advance in horsemanship.
I would go with the 5 year old who is a known "do-gooder" and can teach you as you also learn horse ownership skills.

...
jmo...
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post #8 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 12:24 PM
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I would go with your head on this...

To echo what a lot of people have said, the youngster might be sweet now, but could turn into a problem later, and it depends on your skill level.

My first horse was a been-there-done-that horse who I loved to bits, and it was a wise decision as it taught me a lot.

What was not very smart was the decision by my mother and I to breed that horse.

The result was a beautiful filly, incredibly sweet natured. However.... I did not have the skills necessary to train her. Looking back, I'm surprised I didn't get seriously injured, frankly. The sweetness meant we weren't firm enough with her early on and she has a lot of spirit, so she ended up being almost unmanageable. When she was about 4, we had to have our riding coach work with her extensively to train her out of the many bad habits she had picked up (including rearing).

I still have her, she is almost 11 now, but there was a period of time when I considered selling her even though it would have broken my heart.

It cost a lot of money and tears and near-misses to get her to where she is now. So unless you have the resources to have the youngster professionally trained, I would go with the first option. At least for now, until you have more horse ownership experience under your belt.

Besides, think of all the fun you can have with the gelding now.... You'd have to wait at least another year and a half before you could even start the filly under saddle.

Embrace the gelding, you can do a lot more with him, and you'll grow to adore him.

Good luck!

Let's get this straight: I did not lose my mind. It ran away, screaming.
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post #9 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 01:18 PM
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As a long time rider, even though I don't know the skills and resources you have, you do. If you have the skills, resources, time, and patience to let her mature then the filly may be your horse. A horse that is going to be slow growing will have to be taken slowly. The gelding is at an age where you can start doing all of that now.

Honestly, everyone responding is going by their experience and taking into consideration of who they are and what they would want out of something if it were them. Only you can answer this for you.

They both sound like they would be wonderful horses only one is going to take less time, money and effort than the other because of age. If you are spending any kind of money on the purchase, then don't forget the PPE and that might make the final decision as well.
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post #10 of 34 Old 04-01-2019, 01:35 PM
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Speaking only for myself... heart can follow head pretty quickly.

The first horse sounds absolutely lovely, and I think once he was yours and you were getting to enjoy and bond with him, he'd make your heart go pitter patter as well.

Whereas if you bought the filly, you wouldn't be able to ride her for at least another two years. And you wouldn't really know what you'd be getting. At least with the five year old, you know what he's like to ride, and he sounds like he's great!
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