Is it possible? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-27-2019, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New York
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It's possible but not very ideal. You should at least have some riding, imo and maybe some basic horse care--hands on experience. And before you buy, I would brush up on these skills. You can always ask for help if you want to board at a stables, but knowing and preforming the basics would be ideal. You also should know the cost of taking care of may regret it.

cantering on, into the familiar and unknown
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-27-2019, 10:55 PM
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Pennsylvania
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I'd go by the saying "the more you know, the more you realize you don't know," or really vice versa, "the less you know, the less you realize you don't know." Essentially, you won't really start understanding what horses are like until you start. The more you know about horses, the more overwhelmed you may get with all the information. The books that might teach you how to tell a quarter horse from a thoroughbred or the average lifespan or the names of pieces of tack don't really teach you anything useful, because what you really need to know is how to communicate with a horse both on the ground and under saddle. If you don't know how to do that, you're toast, even if you can stick with mucking stalls and hauling water buckets and you know how expensive everything will be. Also, I hope you realize the importance of keeping horses as groups of two at the bare minimum. And as a veterinary assistant, I assure you that horses can get themselves hurt both internally and externally in ways you've never even imagined, and it can amount to thousands in just one vet visit.

That's not at all to discourage you from getting into horses; I think it's a great idea if you start in the right place and put in the effort. Just realize that what the books and internet tell you isn't even the tip of the iceberg. Right now you're looking at the iceberg and going "I can see part of the tip, and now I just need to see the rest of the tip" without even realizing there's 1000% more submerged underwater. Stick with lessons or a lease for at least a year, and then see if the excitement is still there. Good luck!
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-27-2019, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Yes it is possible. I did it. I don't exactly recommend it, but I did it. It will cost you a fair bit. And a lot of would-be riders quit within a year.

My wife really wanted horses. So we got some. 10 years later, our horses are healthy, reasonably content - and she rides maybe 6 times a year. Tops. I'm the one who rides regularly. If you get a horse without previous riding experience, odds are at least 50:50 you will discover you aren't that interested. After all, I feed my horses 3 times a day, scoop poop twice a day, pay the farrier every 6 weeks...and I would describe my horses as very low maintenance!
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-28-2019, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
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I also agree with no on this one. I'm not saying it's not possible, but I don't think it's the smartest idea either. While yes, it can workout, no doubt, in my opinion I think you should take some more lessons or try leasing first.

You need more hands-on experiences, riding different horses, etc. A book or a video can teach you some things, but not everything. I also don't think you're too old, that is ridiculous people would even turn you away for your age - that's a place you don't want to ride at anyway. You want to feel welcomed at the barn. Age doesn't matter. Never too old.

You may have to drive a bit far, but I think if you got the experience hands-on, it'd be better than just buying a horse to have one for convenience...a LOT goes into owning a horse. It's pretty expensive...they say buying the horse is the cheapest part - it sure is!

I have leased for years before I got my own. I loved leasing when I did it. Gave me a lot of good experience. Now that I have my own, even now I am STILL learning! Just keep trying different places & maybe post on FB in some local groups?

So, that being said - call around, try to get some lessons, even try leasing a 'beginner' horse if you can - the more experience, the better!
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-29-2019, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Is it possible: Yes

Is It recommended: Absolutely Not

Horses are very different from cats, dogs, etc and require specific care + Handling. When I had my first horse, I had ridden several years prior and had the guidance of a well known horse trainer. Even then, I made MANY mistakes, as anyone does when first owning a horse. I've learned a ton more since then and I agree with the above poster in that "the more you know, the more you realize you don't know". I admit that my perspective on how experienced a person should be before owning a horse has vastly changed over the years. The more experience the better! I think you should be fairly competent in handling, caring, riding and be able to see and deal with various health issues: colic, lameness, & wound care being the most common.

I'm also very surprised a riding school turned you down because of your age. I used to teach at a riding school where some were starting in their 40s! I'm glad you did find one though and I hope It works out. However, don't let the long drive scare you off as It can be fairly normal to drive farther for good instruction within some areas. I've driven as far as an hour away to get lessons from a higher level instructor (we have no access to one closer by) and I commute 30minutes away to where I board my horses at.

I do think It's great that your reading lots!! It will certainly help you piece concepts together easier and then reinforce them in your lessons and handling horses. I agree that leasing a horse first would be best before owning. It will give you a taste of the responsibilities involving horse ownership without the full financial burden or care. I would start with an on-site partial lease, where you can learn from the owner and then move up to a larger lease. When you are ready to finally buy, I'd have your instructor help you pick a horse suitable and with good conformation, then board for a little while so that you can learn from the barn owners and other boarders. This way, you can also make good connections :)
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-29-2019, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Also, just a quick summary of the expenses and maintenance involved in owning to give you an idea. This is in Canada.

-Board per month: $350 minimum care - $1100 + full care

-Farrier - Trims ($30-45 every 6-8 weeks or $100 + for shoes). There are good trims and bad trims out there, so this is one thing I'd learn more about!

-Feed - varies. Some boarding barns provide feed and others do not. As I learn more about nutrition, I tend toward providing my own feed. Some horses will need more and others will need minimum. Nutrition and feeding protocols is another thing that would be good to read up on.

- Vet- varies, but I'd say a minimum of $400 per year for annual vaccinations and teeth. Vet bills can get REALLY expensive though and you may end up with an emergency vet call out of the blue. Always call the vet for lameness, etc. Many horse's are stoic by their instinct and will hide pain for as long as they can until they can't anymore. You should read up on how to spot and handle more common health risks: colic, inflammation/ swelling, lameness, abscess', wound care (puncture, incision, laceration, etc).

-Tack- probably the most expensive upfront payment, but varies. $500+ If your lucky. You can get a saddle second hand and save some $$$. A saddle fitting with a professional is recommended to avoid behavioral issues stemming from the pain of an ill fitting saddle.
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post #17 of 28 Old 05-29-2019, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Gloucester County, Virginia near Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, Chesapeake Bay
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Hi there from Virginia, USA. I don't know where you are, but in American farm and feed stores, we have bulletin boards for ads and notices. I recommend that you post a notice that you want to learn about horses prior to getting one, by helping an owner out in exchange for learning how to care for them. I guarantee you will get results! Put a fringe on the bottom of your paper with your name, phone number, and synopsis (e.g. "working student"). You will meet an assortment of people, good and bad, but they will all have stuff to teach you. They will almost certainly come to depend on you to help them out in emergencies, like going out of town. When you talk to them, be very humble. Never try to trick a horse person into thinking you know more than you do. We will detect the truth within four minutes. Also, you will always learn a better way to do something from every person you meet, even down to how to drag a water hose. You will also learn all the local horse gossip. Some can be very vicious. Be careful! Laura in Virginia Barnrats @ hotmail . com
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-29-2019, 07:50 PM
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Can it be done? Of course, but not every body. I was 30 years old before I got my first horse. Up until that time, my horse experience was limited to 6-8 hours a year on rental horses. I'm 69 now and I'm still riding about 400 miles a year on my Arabians horses. If you don't know, Arabian horses have a reputation for being...well, crazy. Too hot. But I was, and really still am, more athletic than the average person. My reflexes and balance are still pretty good. I may be ten pounds over my ideal weight. No more than that. You have to be honest with yourself.
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-29-2019, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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Originally Posted by charrorider View Post
Can it be done? Of course, but not every body. I was 30 years old before I got my first horse. Up until that time, my horse experience was limited to 6-8 hours a year on rental horses. I'm 69 now and I'm still riding about 400 miles a year on my Arabians horses. If you don't know, Arabian horses have a reputation for being...well, crazy. Too hot. But I was, and really still am, more athletic than the average person. My reflexes and balance are still pretty good. I may be ten pounds over my ideal weight. No more than that. You have to be honest with yourself.

My first and second horses were Arabians. I am (and was when I got them) about 5'6" and 225 lbs. My Arabians were GREAT!
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-30-2019, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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Visitors came over and I never really got to finish my thoughts.

I think finding the right horse is more important than anything else. When my parents bought me my first horse I was a teenage and had a grand total of 0 riding lessons. I had ridden nose-to-tail rental horses quite a bit. But that really doesn't teach you how to control a horse yourself.

Sure, lessons would have been great. The first year I had some struggles. The first time the horse trotted up a hill without me asking, and I didn't expect it, I thought I was being run away with. My Dad still teases me about that. But I had the most wonderful, forgiving, and yes, lazy Arabian gelding you would ever want to meet. He was awesome and had no bad intentions at all. Within about a year I got another horse (another Arabian gelding) so friends could go riding with me. The second horse had a little more energy and attitude but at that point I was experienced enough to handle him and put my beginner friends on my beginner horse.

Anyway, I think lessons are great. But I wouldn't let that hold me back from getting a horse. It worked out great for me. Here I am, over 20 years later, and I am still into horses. I did end up with a foal and raised him up from a baby and he ended up being too much horse for me. And I had a lot of help. But I think a lot of that is that our personalities clashed. Please don't start with a foal!

Get a really nice, honest, beginner safe horse and odds are you'll be fine because if you get the right horse they are not out to take advantage and will help you along and help you learn. There are some horses like that out there. Besides my first Arabian, years later I bought the most awesome, well trained BLM Mustang that was like a parent to me. He totally took care of me! Take some time and find a really honest, safe horse, that's my biggest recommendation. Not every horse is out to take advantage of you. Sure, they might sneak a little grass out on the trail if you let them, but a lot of horses are not out to do much more than that. (And some are.) Find a gentle, beginner safe horse and you will likely do fine.

There's a lot of stupid out there!
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