New Horse Owner - Classes? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-23-2020, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2020
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Hey! I've ridden horses a few times in my life and would love to own one someday. I know there is a lot to know in order to care for one properly. I've tried to search for courses, but they are all online. I would prefer to have an in person class to be best prepared. I live in Montana. Any suggestions for one on one training or group classes in or around Montana?
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-23-2020, 08:56 PM
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Montana is a broad description. Are there lesson barns near you? If so taking lessons is always a good option. If you tell them you are interested in the care of the horses they may help out with that too.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-23-2020, 09:17 PM
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Are you young enough to be in 4-H? Besides lessons if there's someone you know who has horses maybe they'd be willing to mentor you.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-24-2020, 08:40 AM
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Welcome to the Forum.

"Care" of a horse can mean many different things to many people.
From riding care, to barn care, to feeding care, to exercise care...
The list is pretty extensive.
You though make it sound like internet courses are not where you want to be, so thinking hands-on tutelage in things like riding is more where you want to be...
As others offered, if school age look into 4H, after-school clubs and constructive activities school related through FFA, 4H and your local Ag departments.
If in college, there are riding clubs official and just groups of individuals all who do horse as a common like together. Look for that.

For feeding knowledge gained, most feed stores if affiliated with large companies do seminar group setting of the how-to-do with of course emphasis on the products offered by who is giving the seminar.
Continuing adult education courses can offer programs on horse health, care and some do riding principle for beginners based at a lesson barn.
Girl Scouts have a badge you can learn a lot from by doing and being taught by "leaders".
Vet & farriers can offer a wealth of information and knowledge, resources of where to get more in-depth help in your area to learn.
Reading, reading books and articles from respected professionals can offer a lot of insight...applying book to real life experience though...you need a barn and horse only you know where they are in proximity to where you live.
Keep looking and don't get discouraged seeking information.
Go to local feed stores and read the community bulletin boards, talk to store employees..they know all the dirt on the local where to find this or that...
Go to a local tack shop and talk to the store employees...ask them if they know and can offer suggestions where to find...
Again, a wealth of information can come from many which is concentrated for your area and easy to get to in the local store.
Now you have joined here...ask questions, read old threads on subjects of interest to you.
Basic information is basic information to be built on, a strong foundation comes from using many resources to give you a better understanding of your topic.
No one here gets down on someone for asking questions they not know answers to...
So many here are knowledgeable and offer to help so you/me/we understand better and are better stewards caring for our horses.
No question is ever dumb, the dumb question is the one left unasked and answer unknown about... Remember that.


And finally, if you get a rude/nasty response to a question you ask...there is a small triangle left side bottom of the post you click to report it.
Leave a few words of what is wrong and the moderators team will take a look and do what is needed as they help govern the rules of posting on this forum all must abide by.
Again, WELCOME...
...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-24-2020, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
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I like the idea of finding a riding stable and telling them that you are especially interested in learning about horse care.

You might also try horse rescue operations and therapeutic riding centers. They seem to always be looking for volunteers, and I bet they'd be willing to take just about anyone, at least for the lower-level chores like mucking stalls and paddocks. From what I've heard, these places are usually willing to let you advance to more horse-related tasks once they think you're capable.

Once you get to know people in the local horse community, and they get to know you, you can let it be known that you're looking to take classes on horse health care. I took one of those last year and it was really helpful. It was recommended to me by my barn owner. However, it wouldn't have been as useful to me if I hadn't had a couple of years' experience just doing basic work with horses first.

So I'd find somewhere you can get really basic experience, then after a year or two start looking for classes.

I also want to say you are doing this absolutely in the right way -- learn to take care of a horse before you actually get one! I didn't, and although it eventually worked out for me, I spent that first year of horse ownership working my butt off trying to learn things that I should have already known, in order to take care of my guys.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-24-2020, 03:05 PM
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sunset, TX
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The best book on the subject is "Care & Management of Horses: A Practical Guide for the Horse Owner" by Heather Smith Thomas

https://www.amazon.com/Care-Manageme.../dp/1581501137

She has several other great books, I always recommend the one on confirmation to people who are shopping for horses or just want to know more about what makes a nice horse a nice horse.

"The Horse Conformation Handbook""
https://www.amazon.com/Horse-Conform.../dp/1580175589


As for lessons, riding lessons at a good barn in your area is a practical way to get that and a good idea if you are rusty or could brush up on your riding. The instructor should show you everything about getting a horse ready to ride as well as putting them away correctly. Believe it or not, some barns don't have their students do that.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-25-2020, 12:07 PM
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Wouldn't it be wonderful if one could go to Amazon and order a copy of "Horses For Dummies" and, wahlah! we'd be an expert? (I made that title up by the way.) Reading, watching videos, asking questions here on this forum, which is an excellent place for info, all helps to educate you. But there is no substitute for getting up close and personal with the living creature. Learning to safely move around a horse, how to properly slip on a halter and lead a horse, basic grooming , cleaning out hooves...these sound so simple but it takes an amount of time for theses chores to become automatic. And every horse is different so you need to be aware that some tasks need to be adjusted for each animal. It's all a process. Even after decades with horses we never learn it all. And every horse will show you what you don't know.

If you can, getting a job at a stable, rescue organization, or local horse ranch would be great. You start at the bottom but you learn. I applaud you for wanting to educate yourself prior to getting your own horse. Saves yourself and your future horse a lot of grief.

Welcome to the board!

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-25-2020, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustbunny View Post
Wouldn't it be wonderful if one could go to Amazon and order a copy of "Horses For Dummies" and, wahlah! we'd be an expert? (I made that title up by the way.)
You say that... but it's an actual book that I personally own. One of many basic books I got when I first got my horses. The title is pretty accurate.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-26-2020, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
You say that... but it's an actual book that I personally own. One of many basic books I got when I first got my horses. The title is pretty accurate.
LOL You're not kidding? How about "Posting On Horse Forums For Dummies?"
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If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-26-2020, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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I would recommend signing up for lessons at a local riding stable.

If you are on FB, there are likely riding clubs and activity groups for your area as well that you could request to join.

Volunteering at local events could be a great way to learn, as well as allow you to meet many different people. I guess it depends on where your interest lay. Meeting a couple people who could mentor you would be ideal...

For myself, I started taking riding lessons to first learn how to ride (I am STILL taking riding lessons, b/c you never stop learning). I also got involved with the local endurance/CTR crowed - attended their clinics and volunteer at rides. There is a wealth of information out there and most people are more than happy to pass on their knowledge.

Books and online videos are a great resource, but nothing can compete with hands on experience.

I know in my area, there are some in-person classes that one can take to learn basics of trimming as well as first aid courses. A local college also has courses in livestock management, so perhaps there is something like that close to you as well??

Best of luck!!
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