Tips for a new horse owner new to horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-19-2015, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question Tips for a new horse owner new to horses?

Hi,
I'm new to the forum and enjoying reading all the posts. So impressed by all of the knowledgeable horse people here!
After a really tough life event, I finally decided with my husband to pursue a lifelong desire to own horses. I am taking lessons five times a week and still new to it, but the perfect, sweetest horse became available at one of the places where I train. I bought him because you can't ask for a better beginner horse.
Right now I ride him for two lessons a week, and he is boarded at an amazing place with indoor arena, nice stalls, and a beautiful outdoor pasture where he is put outside daily with his horse friends.
He has the sweetest disposition and I pay for extra supplements for joints (he is fifteen) and anything he needs, but I'm not sure what else I should do, given that his physical needs are taken care of. He is ridden by great trainers during the week, and I come by to give him carrots and take him out to the pasture for grass at extra times.
But what else?
Am I missing things I should be doing as a horse owner? He's fed, happy, and only ridden by people who are expert riders when I am not riding him.
I admit I'm not a very cuddly owner. I want him to respect me, so I want to become a rider/horseperson he can respect. Right now, I'm just a noob, so I don't ride him outside of lessons. He is a dream to ride but I am not a dream rider!
Should I be trying to see him/ride him more? The barn lets me ride as much as I want, but I want to be better before that. Am I being too careful?
Edited to add: My other three lessons a week are with another trainer and on her horses, which have very different dispositions.
Sorry for the long post! Thanks for any help or advice. Sure love being around horses. They are teaching me a lot!
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-19-2015, 10:29 PM
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If all of his needs are met and he's respecting you when your working with him there's not much else you need to do. Sounds like your taking good care of him. Just enjoy your time with him and keep on learning!
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-19-2015, 11:15 PM
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Why aren't you spending more time with him? I'd be at the barn every day if I had a new horse. I understand if you're not comfortable riding without a trainer watching but if that's not the case...go spend some time in the saddle, and enjoy your new partner.
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-19-2015, 11:17 PM
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I think you are doing everything right. The only thing I would do is tack him up once every couple of weeks and ride him at a walk for 15 or 20 minutes when there are people around. This isn't for him but for you, to build your independence and confidence. He sounds like a great horse and a 15 minute walk will not set his training back.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-20-2015, 12:22 AM
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I agree that it might be good to spend some more quality time with him. Doing some basic groundwork can be incredibly useful for starting to fine tune your communication with one another and brushing up on handy ground skills. Things like basic longeing, walk/trot/halt in hand, yielding hindquarters, etc. These things were the foundations for the very strong relationships that I have with our horses.

Also, get to know your vet and your farrier. Make sure you're all on the same page about what specific needs your horse might have. How often does he need his teeth done? How about vaccines? Tips for sheath cleaning? Does he grow more toe than heel? Are his walls thick or thin? Do his soles and frogs look good? I find that it is incredibly beneficial to become as intimately familiar as possible with all of the ins and outs of your horse's health.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-20-2015, 01:50 AM
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Talk to your trainer, do they think you're OK to ride outside of lessons? Talk to them about showing you some groundwork and things you can practice between lessons.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-20-2015, 03:15 AM
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It sounds like you're doing everything right.

My only suggestion would be to find a job (or jobs) you two can do together. I really feel that doing a 'job' instead of just riding around the arena makes for a better partnership and a happier horse (and rider). It will give you something more fun to do than just going around in circles (not saying that's all YOU do, I don't know), so that both you and the horse stay interested.
Maybe you want to learn to rope? Or work a cow? Turn barrels or jump stuff? Or use him to drag things around, like tires or logs? Climb up and down mountains/hills?Have him be a pack horse? Teach him to pull a cart? etc
You don't have to pick just one thing, I try to do all kinds of different things with my horses. It keeps things interesting and gives me goals to work on, without just going in the arena and 'picking' on them, for no real reason (in their mind anyway).
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-20-2015, 06:03 AM
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Get you hands on him. Meaning, groom him, but feel his whole body, familiarize yourself with his body so you know if/when anything is wrong.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-20-2015, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thank you for all of the amazing tips! I went over and saw him today to give carrots and the trainer agreed that I should be riding him more, but it was all of you who gave me the idea to talk to him about it. Now I will enjoy him more. In addition, the farrier and vet just came last week, but next time I will see if I can be more involved. I'll also practice tacking him (did it today) and spend time exploring. He's just such a sweet horse.

Thanks again for the help. As far as working on a 'job' together, he was a show horse for a lot of years and maybe we'll start working on some of that again, since he still has the skills and was a regional champion. But I'm far from being that kind of rider yet. Hopefully someday!
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-21-2015, 08:08 PM
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First - congrats on the horse Bluediamond! Sounds like you really lucked out.

I just bought a horse (my first in 30-some years so might as well be my first ever!) so I understand some of your hesitation in not wanting to do things wrong. However, I would encourage you, like the others, to go spend time with him. Go groom him, walk him, do groundwork, do things like measure his girth to see how much he weighs and monitor any changes, look him over well many times a week. Sometimes even the best barn owners don't have the time to look over every inch of every horse. Best to know him well so you notice changes right away.

The horse we bought is for my 10 year old daughter to ride. She does two lessons a week and rides him between lessons as well. She likes riding him by herself because it's more relaxing (she doesn't have to worry about her coach yelling at her) and she can do what she wants, although those rides are usually pretty short. Last night, we went to the barn just to groom him and a bit of groundwork. If you do a google search you will find lots of groundwork exercises that help teach a horse to respect you as his leader). Even if you don't want to be all cuddly with him (we ARE, btw, but that's us and luckily, our horse is a snuggler :), the more time you spend with him, the more the two of you get to know and trust each other. I can't tell you how happy it made me the first time he nickered from his paddock when he spotted us in the distance. This time together allows my daughter to feel more confident and gives him the idea that we are his people now.

Last edited by Acadianartist; 10-21-2015 at 08:15 PM.
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