Hi, I've been riding and working with horses for 5-6 years and I've been obsessed with horses since I could talk. However, I seem to be missing education in a couple of areas
We bought the property across the street (4 acre woods, 2 acres longish strip of grazeable land, and an old barn)....I know some people who show their horses and keep them in good condition, they're stabled almost all day, and only have a small paddock (maybe 30-50 feet long) where they can hop around for rolling/stretching out their legs. The horses spend about 5hr there a day....but they ride the horse for about 2-ish hours. Is this okay? I don't want to jump into a huge paragraph here, but you can ask me for more details about this. I was taught that each horse should need 7 acres of grazing/running areas with a run-in shelter. I'd be keeping my horse on 2 acres of grass with free choice of going into its stall, free choice of hay, grain daily if needed. I'd ride it as much as it needs which is to be determined. Is this okay? Ask for more details if you need. Also I wouldn't be showing. I just want a hack horse that can take a couple of jumps.
1.) I adore the look of a horse without a noseband, and I know the need for a noseband ranges hugely on whatever animal it's used on, but let's say my horse doesn't evade the bit, and is on a regular eggbutt snaffle. Would he need a noseband?
2.) I love the look of a nylon bridle. I have no problem buying a leather bridle, but I tend to be very messy and clumsy and one way or another my bridles/halters/etc end up muddy and gross. Other than the obvious resistance to emergency breakage that a leather headpiece would have, are there other disadvantages? Does it rub on the horse's face badly? Do they wear away and do vermin have a tendency to destroy them?
3.) I can't stand thick reins. They make me clumsy and I'm less sensitive to the horse's mouth when I use one. I have a light hand and I'm good at feeling out the bit with a thin, more delicate rein. What are the thinnest reins I can buy? Can I get some really thin, supple leather? What material would I have to get for that?
4.) I'm confused about hay. My horse would overgraze the land he'd be in rather quickly, but I'd be okay feeding plenty of hay/grain/whatever other supplement he needs. However, is it okay to buy a round bale and take out only what the horse needs and store it in a hay loft until it slowly runs out? Can I just take out a regular small bale size for the horse daily and feed him that or will the round bale rot and get moldy/dusty quickly? If I kept the bale relatively dry and left it in the field, how long would it take a roughly 1200lb horse and a few pygmy goats to finish off the hay if they had that almost exclusively? Would it rot or get soggy very quickly (even with minimal rain)?
5.) A lot of the work I'd be doing with my horse would be hacking through the woods, long walks down the dirt road we live on (it's primarily dirt and some ancient tar that's left, some fine gravel over the top), and maybe I could get permission from my neighbor to have a long canter in her field a couple of times a month (she uses her field for haying every August), if I don't destroy the ground? If I'm doing so much roadwork would I need some kind of shoe studs or leather pads? I also plan on some home-made pole bending, some super beginner barrels, beginner trick training, and some mind-challenging games/playtime.
6.) How the heck do you measure for an English saddle? I'm relatively light. I'm 5'10" and 127lb, I measured my thigh and it is 20" but I'm not really sure what size seat I would need. I used to ride in a 16" saddle and have a 17.5" saddle that's quite comfy but it's not guaranteed to fit my new horse so I'm of course open to testing many other sizes of saddles just to get it to fit my horse. I'm still confused though.
That's all I can think of for now. You don't have to answer thoroughly if you want, maybe just a couple of links? If you read this far already I'm congratulating you for getting through the wall of text
Feel free to think I'm a dummy for not knowing this, but they're genuine questions I'm hoping to clear up!!
ANY help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!