When I get my first horse, what should I look for? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Florida
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When I get my first horse, what should I look for?

Hi ya'll! This is my first post, I'm so happy to be a part of the forums!
Anyhow, I'm really looking into getting a horse, what to look for and doing all the research I can. I am doing my own research and of course, am going to be going by the horses temperament and personality itself once I see them, but I just wanted some of ya'll more experienced riders' opinions.

To you guys, which would you suggest for a beginner? This is the first horse I'll be getting and owning myself. Should I look for for a Mare, Stallion or Gelding? I personally am leaning more towards a gelding, within the age range of 6-7 and up. I want a horse that is rather young, but still matured, that still has spunk, but knows how and when to keep a level head. I understand most of that would come from training and handling obviously, but just to explain kind of what I'm looking for.

I wouldn't be using the horse for showing most likely, just as a companion and as a trail rider, and perhaps my own little training practices for fun of jumps or barrels.

Color and breed isn't necessarily important to me, any of those are just an added plus. But to you guys, what would you recommend? What gender? Gelded or nah, not too important? What age range would you suggest?

Solely from you guys's experience Thank you everyone!

~ Krys
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 12:38 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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Mare or gelding. NO stallions. Just depends on which gender you click with (I prefer geldings, my best friend prefers mares).

Good age to look at would be 8-15+.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 12:50 AM
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Welcome to Horseforum.

Do you have riding and horsemanship experience, and do you understand the commitment and costs involved with horse ownership?

That's the most important first steps before considering anything else.

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post #4 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Florida
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DraftyAirsMum, Thank you for the input! That age range was exactly what I was kind of thinking.

PrivatePilot, Certainly! I've worked with horses in stables and ranches for nearly three years and have had on-off riding lessons for nearly two. My family has gone over all the the costs and expenses as well, on top of that, I'm home schooled and finishing my last year of Highschool, so I diffidently have time for commitment!

Thank you both for the welcome!
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 01:08 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
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Hi Krys, welcome to the forum. Once you get all the logistics of where you'll keep a horse, knowing how to care for one, knowing how to ride, and can be a confident leader my first suggestion would be for you to enlist the help of someone who knows horses very well to help you in your search. Mare or gelding either one will work but I've actually known more mares who were beginner friendly than geldings. You'll want to concern yourself with disposition, training level, health and conformation in your search. I'm glad your open to all breeds and colors. Once you find one you and the knowledgeable person helping you both like then enlist the services of a vet and a farrier to make sure it's healthy and sound.

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post #6 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 04:17 AM
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When most people look at buying horses, they overlook a couple very important, basic items that can greatly affect your pocketbook.... look carefully at their diet and their feet. These two items are the biggest variables in the cost of horse ownership. A "low maintenance" horse with a simple diet and good feet will make the difference between keeping your hard earned $$s or constantly giving them to your farrier, vet, and feed store.

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post #7 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Newport, PA
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If you have to ask whether a stallion could be your first horse, you've not learned enough about horses yet. That said, no stallions. Mares or geldings only, and it's possible, though rare, to find a six-year-old with the temperament and experience necessary for a new horse owner and rider. I'd start by looking at ten and up. As far as get up and go, they'll still have plenty of that (witness horses running and winning at barrels and eventing even into their late teens), and they will have the sense not to panic because a butterfly landed on their nose. Even then, not all horses are created equal. Just because it's more likely to find a calm, sensible horse at age 10+, doesn't mean you will. Take a trainer or very experienced rider familiar with your skill set with you when you shop. Don't get a pretty horse just because you THINK you can fix its issues (whatever they are). Find a horse with limited or minor issues...or none.

Not all issues are created equal. And all issues can compound and grow with improper handling. My girl is the sweetest thing going, yet when I first got her, a basic neglect in managing one issue resulted in a fairly dangerous vice--throwing her body into whomever was trying to saddle her. It took a couple of CTJ meetings before she stopped. Even then, I didn't trust her to be saddled by a newbie for a long time. Even now, I'd want to watch and be available to correct her.

The horse you want should have no agenda. No barn sourness, no buddy sourness. Excellent ground and gate manners. You want a horse without a burning desire to gallop away with you and one that goes in exactly the direction you point without an opinion of his or her own. (My girl gets opinions, so I can't put timid beginners on her. She plows right through their soft cues to turn.)

Don't overestimate your knowledge or ability. Trust me. You know 10000 times less than you think you know. Horses will humble you.

I love that you're interested and hope you find the right horse, but what you need more than get up and go is a steady Eddie. Something that will do what you ask without complaint or reluctance. Something that will take care of you and be kind in the face of your mistakes.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SE Oklahoma
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May I suggest a darn good 10-15 yr old gelding from a working ranch. These geldings have had the book thrown at them ... daily fence line riding, sorting, roping ... opening and closing gates from the saddle. Used to dogs, hogs and all wildlife. Have been thru the creeks, rivers, brush ... familiar with 4 wheelers, truck, tractors ... the all around been there done that horse.

Even if you have to drive a 1000 miles or ship him in ... get a good one!!
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Side note ... these good used everyday geldings can be rode and used on the ranch that has them for sale. Pick one and then make an appointment to ride with them for the day.
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-03-2015, 09:49 AM
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Sorry I haven't read the repiles and if it has already been said well it bears repeating. Including a stallion on your list basically says you have no where near the understanding of horses you think you have. No stallions. Don't even look. Find a good working horse. Mare or gelding. Most working animals here are geldings but you'll find a few good sane mares. 8 - 15 is a good range to look in age wise but i wouldn't rule out soemthing older though I would think twice about younger. Personality wise it would really have to stand out and have had many miles put on it.
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