Picked up my first horse ever! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Picked up my first horse ever!

Hello! I posted in the intro thread to say hi to everyone, but I wanted to post the story of me picking up my first horse, and I'd love any tips or words of wisdom for a new horse owner!

I am getting back into riding after a long time away (learning English when I was younger) and now I am taking lessons in Western from a good friend of mine who is an instructor.
I rode her horses but she and I started to look into getting a smaller horse for me. I wanted a haflinger! I love small and drafty horses.
We landed on a 9 year old haflinger mare that was in my price range- so we decided to go and meet her!
We brought the trailer with us as it was a long trip.
A rainbow led us to the little homestead where "Kate" lived. She had the same name as me!
The owner greeted us and led me to Kate. It was love at first sight for me! My dream horse, a stocky little golden steed. She was pretty much my height, as in, we are close to eye level with each other.
Tacked her up and hopped on her- she had on a very serious bit and I had to squeeze her hard any time I wanted her to move. No squeezing, no moving. I wasn't uncomfortable with that as I have a good trainer. She was not spooky, just giving me some sass.
We decided to take her home.

The owner came up to me and gave me a letter from her 13 year old daughter ('Kate's rider) who couldn't be there. It made me start to cry and she started to tear up too. We hugged, and when we looked up, the rainbow was still above us.
We said our goodbye's and headed off.

When we got back to the farm where I ride, my trainer and I took her into the arena for just a short time. We had no bridle that fit her so I just used the halter and reins. She walked for me perfectly! She's very sensetive, she seems to do what you tell her without much urging needed. So I'm not sure what bit might be good to try with her? I'm new to expirimenting with bits. She honestly did well turning and stopping with just the halter but I do want to be safe as I would say I am an advanced beginner (used to be intermediate). Any tips on bits are appreciated!

To me she is the perfect match- not too easy but I am totally comfortable on her. Her small size makes me feel a bit more at ease handling her on the ground and in the saddle. I'm a small person!

I hope we become "best friends" as the daughter's letter said. I'm looking forward to us being partners in the days ahead.

To avoid confusion, I renamed her "Juno".
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spielish is offline  
post #2 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Central Western NSW, Australia
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Oooh I'd love to have a Haflinger! She's so pretty <3

As for bits, I'd start at the bottom - a simple snaffle bit. If she responds to it but is a little hard in the mouth, training can fix that. If she doesn't like it, you could try a double-jointed snaffle. Do you know the type of bit that she was ridden in when you tried her? You said it was a serious bit, but if she was 'comfortable' in it, you may be able to find a kinder but similar bit to try.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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It was a curbed cowboy bit.
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 09:39 AM
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Loved your story. Made me a little choked up to hear about the letter from her prior girl. She sounds like a dream to be able to ride her in a halter on the day she arrived at her new place. Keep us up to date and welcome to the forum! Congratulations on Juno!
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 05:36 PM
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She's beautiful! I think it's meant to be given that you had same name! I love the name Juno as well. Enjoy!
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 05:41 PM
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Location: Central Texas
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Welcome and congratulations on your new mare!

When I bought my little golden steed she was also in a severe, stupid Tom Thumb bit. I put her in a smooth, simple D-ring snaffle and have never had reason to regret it. She has gotten very soft with schooling.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 06:06 PM
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Yes, I would love a haflinger. She is beautiful.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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We made new holes in the bridle today- got to the farm, and once again it is too small! So I rode her again with just the halter. We are only walking and only working in the arena until we have a bit and bridle for her, which should be later this week.

She is testing me a little but aside from trying to eat everything at any given time, she is a great listener and knows everything she is supposed to do. I think I got my money's worth on this girl- she and I both need some time and sweat to reach our full pontential, but she's very well trained and smart! I hardly have to use the reins on her at all.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-15-2015, 07:11 AM
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If you hardly have to use the reins, I would definitely start with a simple snaffle. You never know, she may even be the type of horse that will go nicely in a bitless bridle.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-15-2015, 09:19 AM
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Congrats! How awesome!
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