Would it be better to get a... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-11-2016, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question Would it be better to get a...

Hey everybody, in a few months I will be getting a horse and I have been debating a couple of options. Ok before I start I need to share my background.. I have had horses and been around them all of my life (so I'm not new, but this is the best category for the topic), but I got serious about riding around 4-5 years ago. The horse that I will soon buy is going to be my first horse, as in I am going to work for it, take care of it, and buy it myself( I am 16). I have a very high standard for an experienced rider (it is one of my BIGGEST pet-peeves when people claim to be experienced and really are not at all), and I would not consider myself to be, because I know I am not capable of completely breaking and training a horse, however I am intermediate.
Anyway, my dilemma is that when I get a horse I am thinking about two options...
1) I buy a cheaper, under $2000, young, unbroken horse with good lineage and very flashy, and then send it to a trainer.
or
2) I buy an older and seasoned horse that is already finished for up to $4000.

I am wanting a horse to go out on trails with, do barrels, and just have fun, love, and grow with. Right now I'm leaning towards buying a younger horse and here's why.
- I will have it for longer
- Cheaper
- Have a better bond with him/her
- Can be trained to do reining maneuvers, barrels, and many other things whereas an older horse would be harder to teach(?correct me if I'm wrong)
-Higher resell value

But I also see the pros in buying a seasoned horse.

I would love to hear any opinions or feedback you all have on which direction I should go. Also, how much would it be to have a horse trained well, as in trained all the basics and then spinning, sidepassing , rollbacks, trails, basically reining. Thank you!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-12-2016, 12:11 AM
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In your shoes I would buy a horse that at least had a good riding foundation on it.

You'll be able to get the full enjoyment of horse ownership now.

You'll know what you have vs an untrained youngster that you never know how they'll turn out.

A horse that is already trained is still more than capable of learning new disciplines.

Younger vs older does not necessarily mean worth more. In fact a well seasoned been there, done that horse, especially one that is suitable for beginners, is the easiest kind of horse to sell.

Since you're an intermediate rider maybe look for a broke horse in the younger range, say a 5-8 year old. Depending on the horse you still might need to invest a little in training so be aware of that when are considering what to spend.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-12-2016, 12:11 AM
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From what you said you wanted, I do NOT recommend getting an unbroken horse. Not because I don't think you can't handle it, but simply because it's going to be a long time before you can just hop on and ride and compete. Plus, you'll be going to college in a few years anyway so you may find yourself not having as much time and money to spend on that horse. Also, trainers are $$. It will not be cheaper to go that route, especially for a sixteen year old. It's going to cost you wayy more in the long run.

You don't have to get a "old" horse though. And you most certainly CAN teach a finished horse barrels and reining maneuvers. In fact, when they're broke is typically when you SHOULD be teaching that. I will tell you that a young, unbroke horse is a looong way off from barrels.

I typically always recommend getting a finished horse as a first horse, regardless of skill level and then one with less experience as a second. Let me tell you, regardless of skill level, you are going to want to have a horse to hop on and ride as a first horse. Get a horse you can have fun with first and then the unbroke horse next when you have the time and money. Just trust me on this. With not ever having a horse before, you will wish you could have one you could just hop on and ride when all your friends are out having fun and you can't because your horse isn't plain broke enough yet.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-12-2016, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! That helps.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-12-2016, 12:36 AM
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Who would be financing this? The training and lessons l mean. It gets expensive to have a horse in full training for the length of time it requires to get them solid and ready for an amature. I'm going through this right now with my horse, and I started him and many other horses before. I could buy a nice car for the cost I've put into him over the last year and he still needs more time.

If you can finance the necessary training, you could look into a younger horse(~6) who has had solid time put into them and has a good brain. Get them in with a good trainer, take lessons yourself regularly, and it can work.

If you can't pay for the needed training, you're better off getting an older horse who knows their job. Some of the most fun I've had on a horse was with the experienced 17+ schoolmasters. Having only owned young/green horses, I'll tell you, it's nice to be able to just get on a horse and ride and not worry about green stuff. My 5yr old is just now at that point(because he's a wonder horse), my 6yr old is a long way off.

A completely unstarted horse would not be a good idea.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-12-2016, 02:27 AM
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I don't have a whole lot to input into this discussion as I've only ever owned greenies - not something I'd recommend. I found that I end up spending a lot more time training and a lot less time having fun with greenies! It pays off eventually, when the horse gets super broke...but it's intense for a year or two.

And then there's my current horse, who I love to death, but came to me barely broke...and it's turned out that he has a genetic disease that essentially renders him a high-maintenance pasture pet/liberty horse. I hope to attempt to restart him in a few months/a year...but who knows. I had high hopes for him since he has great conformation, appears super sound physically, a wonderful personality, and just had "a few" mental quirks that I figured he'd get over with training.
He's slowlyyyy coming around and becoming pretty safe on the ground, but I have no idea when/if his body and mind will ever be able to hold up undersaddle.

He's wonderful to be around and I love him to bits, he's in his forever home, but he's not turning out to be what I thought he'd be when I got him as a prospect...


Anyway, I mostly have an opinion about this statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegades View Post
- Have a better bond with him/her
I don't think this is really true. I strongly feel that you can have just as strong of a bond with a "pre-trained" horse as one you train yourself.
Two of the horses I've had the strongest bonds with were ones that were completely trained. They were both the type that needed a buddy, I became their buddy, and voila, super deep bond.

Out of all the horses in my life ever, I probably have the strongest bond with my current gelding...but that has nothing to do with his training. Like I mentioned, he has a genetic disease that causes him a great deal of muscular pain if it isn't handled correctly - he strongly associates me with relief of that pain and, therefore, has bonded very deeply with me.
He's quite green, knows the very basic basics - I didn't break him out or anything so a lot of what he knows didn't come from me, but he is very deeply bonded with me.

Anyway, all I'm saying is that all horses want confident, fair, leaders who take their opinions into consideration.
If you are that kind of person with your horse, any horse, trained or not, is eventually going to want to bond with you.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-12-2016, 10:27 AM
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Get a trained horse. You'll spend the difference in training fees anyway, and there are a lot of downsides to a greenie, few upsides for someone in your position.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-13-2016, 11:55 PM
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Get a seasoned horse, 100%.

Getting a greenie is not at all "cheaper" for someone in your position. Training gets pricey. How long do you plan to send said greenie to a trainer?
You will not necessarily have a younger horse for longer, not at all. I have a mare of unknown age, probably mid-late 20s. I have had her for 13 years and she is just as spunky and capable as the day I got her. My other mare is now 10, large moose of a mare, and lazy. My plans are to breed her in the next couple-few years and then semi-retire her from the show ring and give her light work from there on out.

Bottom line, no two horses are the same. You can most certainly teach a seasoned horse new things. You are not limited to whatever the horse has been trained in. Horse may excell in one area over another, but that does not mean you cannot take lessons in something else as well (ie: reining). Seasoned horses do not need to be elderly and falling apart, lol. My 10 y.o mare is much more seasoned than my older mare, by a long shot.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-20-2016, 03:22 PM
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I agree with the others, definitely get a seasoned horse.

As great as the idea of growing up with a young horse sounds, it's actually very tedious. There's a lot of "hurry up and wait" involved. You'll have to wait for the trainer to put miles on it before you can even get on for the first time, then wait until it's steady enough for trail rides, then wait for it to be prepared for barrels/patterns... it's a recipe for bitterness and zero fun. Plus it will actually be more expensive over the long run, and it's a myth that older horses are harder to teach or that it's easier to bond with a younger horse.

You also have to consider that at a young age your skills and goals as a rider are constantly growing and changing. Chances are that whatever horse you buy now, you'll eventually outgrow (skill-wise or via a change of discipline). It's always better to buy what you need right now (a seasoned trail horse with some gaming experience that you feel safe riding alone or with friends) rather than dumping money into something that might be ready for you eventually. There's always the option to upgrade later.

There's this old saying that the age of horse a rider buys should equal 20 minus the years of experience the rider has (as a rule of thumb). So 20 - 5 years of experience = a 15 year old horse. It doesn't have to be exactly that old (a horse that's around 8, for example, might have better resale value in a couple of years than a horse that's 15/16), but you need something that's past all of the sillies that young horses have.

Aim for a horse that you can learn from and that you feel safe on! Trust me, you'll have a lot more fun with something reliable.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-23-2016, 05:52 PM
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Another vote for a seasoned horse. You are young, enjoy the horse now. If you wait, you may be off to college or other things, who knows.
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