Should I get a horse? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 37 Old 05-06-2017, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EmberScarlet View Post
IMO, they are about the same amount of work, live as long, but are only half as useful.
Yes, but do you think it would be unwise to get one or two?

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post #32 of 37 Old 05-06-2017, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jillianrose View Post
Yes, but do you think it would be unwise to get one or two?
Sorry to jump in here, but personally I'd say yes. They're tiny horses, sure, but they're still horses even though you can't ride them. You still need the experience to know how to care for them, how to identify illness, what vaccinations and hoof and dental care they need... And even though you can't ride them, you do still need to handle them and train them like horses, or they can end up being pretty dangerous.

Before you think of buying any sort of horse, I'd highly recommend taking lots of lessons or hanging around a barn and just learning through practice. I've seen a lot of people accidentally mistreat or do wrong to their horse, not because they're horrible people, but because they don't really know better and don't have professional or experienced guidance. It's ultimately unfair on the horse.
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post #33 of 37 Old 05-06-2017, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Verdana View Post
Sorry to jump in here, but personally I'd say yes. They're tiny horses, sure, but they're still horses even though you can't ride them. You still need the experience to know how to care for them, how to identify illness, what vaccinations and hoof and dental care they need... And even though you can't ride them, you do still need to handle them and train them like horses, or they can end up being pretty dangerous.

Before you think of buying any sort of horse, I'd highly recommend taking lots of lessons or hanging around a barn and just learning through practice. I've seen a lot of people accidentally mistreat or do wrong to their horse, not because they're horrible people, but because they don't really know better and don't have professional or experienced guidance. It's ultimately unfair on the horse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillianrose View Post
Yes, but do you think it would be unwise to get one or two?
I agree with Verdana. She is basically saying what I was thinking.
If I were in you situation, I know I would wait.
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post #34 of 37 Old 05-07-2017, 12:10 PM
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What about a mini horse?
If you're wanting to ride, and your goal is to ride in the Olympics some day, why would you invest time and money in a horse you can never ride?
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post #35 of 37 Old 05-07-2017, 01:36 PM
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When you start riding, I'd start with taking lessons with the best training program in whatever discipline you want to do.

Horses are EXPENSIVE. Truly the cheapest part of horse ownership is buying the horse. So when people go to buy, I always tell them buy the absolute best horse you can afford to buy because whether a horse is cheap or pricey, it costs roughly the same to look after it. Between farrier, vet, boarding, equipment, chiropractor, massage, acupuncture and lessons. In the horse world most of the time you get what you pay for. Going cheap in terms of equipment or farrier work often leads to more vet bills or problems. So you end up spending more money trying to save money. Same with equipment. I usually say get what you really want, even if it is a little more because if you have it for years get something that you love. Not just well I can buy it now.

And if you're starting out, start out in a lesson program with the best trainer you can find. Do your research. Ask someone who is very experienced in the discipline you want to pursue and find out where to go for lessons.

If you have high goals, don't bother with getting a mini horse. The first goal shouldn't be to horse ownership but getting in a lesson program and riding as many horses as you can. Gain experience. Maybe exchange labor for lessons and start there. You will learn a lot just working at a stable and taking lessons, likely much more than buying a first horse with no lessons. Because even if you buy a horse, you still need to take lessons. I aim to take 3 lessons a week with my personal horse and ride probably 2-5 horses a day because it's more or less my job. My trainers still take lessons as well with decades of experience, one has shown through GP and has brought jumper along to a high level, the other competes I1 and at CDIs (international shows). But they continue to pursue education. Why? Because there is ALWAYS more to learn and room to grow. In horses you absolutely never get to a point where you know everything and have nothing else to learn.

One thing I'll say with riding and in sports in general, talent doesn't matter anywhere near as much as hard work, dedication and choosing who to learn from. I spent years with useless trainers who didn't teach me nearly as much in years as good ones have in months, plus training with bad trainers teaches very bad habits that take a long time to break. A lot of the time instinct and intuitive reasoning are not accurate with horses, sometimes it is but a lot of the time you really need a good coach to point you down the right path. Especially if you dream of competing at such a high level.

Another thing you'll need is a thick skin. To quote Rodney Dangerfield, "it's rough out there!" But if you take it with a grain of salt and accept it with grace and an open mind you will go far!

Last edited by DanteDressageNerd; 05-07-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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post #36 of 37 Old 05-07-2017, 06:04 PM
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Definitely no to a mini,
Since you've expressed you have high goals of competing, I wouldn't buy a horse at all, for probably a long time, as if you're only learning, you'll start on a beginner horse to learn, then something with more training, and so on.
If you want to go high, you will likely outgrow your horse, probably multiple times, with jumping especially, you'll likely learn on horses who cannot go any higher than a certain point, and since you will need to build up your own training, it can be better to work with horses at the level (rather than getting somethings that may be trained to do more than you're capable of yet)
If your true goal is competing, spend all your money on trainers/training/shows (the higher the shows go, the more expensive they'll get also)

Maybe just think about what is most important, and then go with what makes most sense.
I'm personally not a competitor, what important to me is having a bond, trail riding, having fun, really knowing my horse, I also get attached to things so my goal is to eventually buy, (leasing now) which for what I want, I think it makes sense. If I wanted to compete, and improve, and see how far to the top I could get, I'd be leasing horses that suited my level, then if they had their limit but I could go higher, I'd move on and lease something higher.

So just think about your goals, either way you decide, leasing or even a lease to buy is a good option, just so its not all overwhelming at once!
Good luck :)
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post #37 of 37 Old 05-15-2017, 02:58 PM
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Kudos to you on identifying your dreams and willingness to seek advice!

After 10 years of lessons, I bought my horse a few months after I turned 21- when my parents couldn't really tell me no anymore ;) At the time - it sounded like a great idea! But it was rough the entire time. I have to board in my area and even though I was at a self-care place - I was still paying around $400/month to board and feed him, in addition to the farrier and vet bills we routinely incurred. I was working two jobs and going to school full time, and while my horse was being cared for - I barely had any extra time to really spend with him. I rode maybe 1-3 days a week for about 30 minutes, and then I had to quickly get my chores done and get to my next job or school. I do not regret it because I still have my horse, but I do wish I would have waited and saved a little longer.

I strongly suggest getting as many lessons as possible. Volunteer as much as possible. Even if you can't exchange work for riding, I still suggest finding a way to be at the barn as much as you can. Absorb everything. See if there is a local therapeutic/special needs riding stable near you that could use some more volunteer time - this is a great way to give back to people who need it, while also learning about some horse care.

When you start applying to colleges, see if you can find one with a collegiate riding team. You don't even have to have any show experience to ride IHSA! I do NOT recommend an equine major (as those majors 9 times out of 10 will not find you a job or at least one that will support you financially) - but if you can find some extra-curricular equine time I'm all for it.

I do generally think that it is best to have a steady-paying job if you want to have horses later in life - especially with lofty Olympic goals you will need a lot of money initially (and sponsors later) if you want to get started. I don't make a huge amount of money, but I'm also not competing (I could easily drop $1000 on a weekend for a show when I was younger!).

I don't want to discourage you! Just learn, read, volunteer, ride!
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