What advice do you wish had been given to you as a first time horse owner? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 38 Old 08-03-2014, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
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Go with your gut

As a new owner I find that everyone is an expert. And they all differ in their "expert" advice. I have to keep reminding myself that I am an educated, reasonable human being, even though I am new to the horse ownership world. Some people have a way of making you feel stupid because you don't know everything right off the bat, so surround yourself with knowledgeable people you like-those who think like you - who are actually willing to and wanting to help you succeed. Ask questions. Someone who is truly in your corner will never think your question is silly or not valid. You need to validate yourself and realize that everything new is difficult. As a 5th grade teacher, I say that a lot to my students.
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post #32 of 38 Old 08-03-2014, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Texas
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Do your own research. Every person you meet will have an opinion, you should listen, use your own critical thinking skills and decide for yourself what works best for your situation.

Whenever I have a question/problem I will read books, search the web, and talk to different horse people and gather all their knowledge. I then think about my problem and determine a solution that works best for my horse and my life/budget. By leveraging all that knowledge and making informed decisions, I've been able to steer thru the crazy world of first time horse ownership. :)
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post #33 of 38 Old 08-04-2014, 02:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Virginia
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This is a great thread. As a first time owner (for about 6 months now) I am finding many of these tips very helpful and wish I had read this before!

My advice would be.. Remember that YOU are your horse's advocate. If something feels off or just doesn't look quite right, don't just go with someone else saying they're fine and you're crazy. You probably know your horse best out of anyone.
I was kind of surprised to find how much time you really need to wait to ride in the beginning. I was DYING to ride my new horse, but everyone really said to stick to groundwork and build a relationship. Now, we are dealing with a lot of respect issues and I wish I had spent even MORE time on the ground. It's a lot harder working backwards than doing it right the first time.
If you ever feel in over your head, don't be too proud or embarrassed to ask for help. Sure, you don't want to feel "stupid" or like you can't handle something... But you and your horse can work through something a lot quicker and safer with someone else's help. (The RIGHT "someone"... Don't trust everyone you meet)
Always keep your ears and eyes open. Try to absorb everything around you. You can learn so much just spending a day with your other boarders, watching them work through something, going to a local show, etc.
And lastly... Be confident, believe in yourself. I know for me, there are times when I feel like a complete failure. Just take a step back, breathe, and remind yourself that you can do it. Maybe not alone, but it's not the end of the world.

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." -Winston Churchill
"Strong legs, soft hands, steady mind." (Unknown)
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post #34 of 38 Old 08-04-2014, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 526
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Wow, this huge 'check list' of preparedness is making me feel less prepared as a new owner than ever! On that note, my advice, is to follow your gut and remember "There's no right time to have a kid." (Yes, it pretty much applies to our horses lol.) You can't always do EVERYTHING right but you can always do your best.
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To ride a horse is to ride the sky.
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post #35 of 38 Old 08-04-2014, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Italy
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I disagree with the "not ride immediately" thing.

Do ride immediately, and spend a lot of time doing groundwork. One thing does not exclude the other. Waiting to ride for more than a couple of days (time to adjust to a new place) is nonsense if the horse is sound and doesn't need rehab or special training.

If you buy a horse that was ok to ride when you decide to buy it, then ride it.
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post #36 of 38 Old 08-04-2014, 03:06 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4,949
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Buy everything in duplicates cause you'll need it. I only had one pair of reins initially and then a rat got a hold of them and chewed threw them. I was in a bind and had to borrow Western split reins because nobody else rode English. I spent the whole ride trying not get myself tangled up in those reins.

Have a sense of humor and be flexible. You may set out to do one thing (lunge, trail ride) and find out that someone else is using the lunge ring, that your mare is in season and has to pee every five steps so it would end up being a long trail ride.
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post #37 of 38 Old 08-04-2014, 09:05 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 210
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I went through a few people that have offered or I have sought out to ask for help. I reluctantly found that I was not comfortable with most of them. Their way of working with horses just gave me the feeling that they were not safe. Or as safe as I'd like to be. I wasn't able to take much away from those people except thing that I would like NOT to do. I have finally found someone to help me that I feel like I can trust and that I have no qualms about.

If you're not comfortable with the help you're getting, find someone else.
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post #38 of 38 Old 08-05-2014, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 371
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well since my horse was a gift to me, and i was young at the time. I wish someone had said .. " if your parents are paying all the costs now, save your money"

RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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