I'm in the market for another horse, assuming my current horse is pregnant, because if she is, I've been advised not to ride her during her pregnancy and then to wait until the foal is on solid food before starting her back to work. (She lost an embryo early in her first pregnancy and this is her first time doing it, so several people including the vet said no riding, just walking her in hand around to keep her from getting totally out of shape.) ---PLEASE NO ADVICE ON THIS PART OF MY POST. I'M JUST GIVING YOU SOME BACKGROUND INFO ON WHY I'M IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW HORSE.
So, that being said, my option is to use the BO's horses (I only like 1 of them and actively dislike the other I'm frequently forced to use because he's a dang turtle) or get another horse. There are no lease options available to me there.
This new horse would be mine while my other horse is out of commission for 18 months or so, and then eventually would: (1) become my husband's horse, (2) become my daughter's next horse, or (3) remain as my horse and my husband would inheret the formerly pregnant one.
You'll need more info to give me the advice I seek, so here goes nothin'... Oh, and please keep in mind that I'm NOT asking whether I should ride my pregnant horse or not. I'm going to go ahead and take the advice of my vet and experienced horse owners who know my horse and me. :)
I'm trying to decide between 2 breeds of horse, an Irish Hunter or a Quarter Horse. I know that none of you can decide for me what I should do, but I value the insight I get from this forum, so I'm asking for your advice. Which horse would you get if you were in my position? (I assume you know about these two breeds if you answer, but I don't mind if you do a wikipedia search to learn more about one you don't know that well!)
Basic facts about me, my family, and my future riding plans:
- I'm a heavy-ish rider, about 175 pounds (losing pounds every month, though!) My husband is 6' tall and about 210 pounds. He's an absolute beginner. I ride in 3 gaits and do small jumps (50cm or so) and some basic dressage. I'd put my level at beginner/intermediate after about 2 years of private lessons 3-4 times a week.
- My daughter is 11 but does jumps at competitions up to 75cm this year and will do higher next year if all goes as planned. She has a New Forest pony who is pretty tall for his breed. I'd say he's about 1.51 meters, but I'm not sure what that is in hands. My daughter weighs about 85 pounds.
- I would like to do a jumping competition once to try it, but I'm not sure that's something I want to do more than once. My daughter, however, loves it and will continue to do it in the foreseeable future.
- I love the idea of riding Western and have finally found an instructor who could teach me and train my horse. Right now I ride English and will probably continue to do some of that too. Would I like to try reining or barrel racing? Maybe. I could see myself trying that. But I'm 46, so it's not like I'm going to become a competitor.
- Dressage is fun. I'd like to try more of it.
- I love trail riding. Jumping over logs and streams sounds like a ton of fun, although I haven't done it.
- I really want a horse that is good for all levels of rider. Calm in the head, close to man (that's a French to English translation ... not sure the proper way to say it in English even though I'm American!), but energetic enough to be fun to ride by someone like me or someone more advanced, even. I'm willing to do a bunch of Clinton Anderson type NH training to work on the desensitization and so on, regardless of what breed I get.
So maybe you can already see my conundrum. Which horse would be better for someone with these varied interests? Sometimes I say the Irish Hunter because it's bred to be cold and hot, is great for jumping and dressage, does well with cross country and TREK. But then I say that the Quarter Horse is bred to be a gread all-around horse, and it's fairly 'easy' to find one that's calm and close to man. I do plan to do lots of trail riding and I think the QH would excel at that. But that doesn't mean the IH wouldn't also.
Ack! Your thoughts?