A year & half later! Ready to buy? Advice on learning how to school? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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A year & half later! Ready to buy? Advice on learning how to school?

Hiya everyone! I posted back a year and a half ago about my first experiences with horses as an adult and got some fantastic feedback. In this time I have been volunteering and riding every week, trying my best to soak up as much information as I can. My partner can already ride, though he too has never owned, and we are finally looking to settle down in the countryside. We already have our eyes on a few properties and will be ensuring the land is properly checked to make sure it's appropriate for horses. We own over 50 rehabilitated animals (exotics & bird of prey included) currently and are in a good position as ever to commit to finalising our dream to own a pair of horses + maybe a few field companions that can't be ridden for XYZ reasons. I AM BEYOND EXCITED TO GET STARTED! BUT...

... I am not fully confident yet :< I am not going to lie, the people I work with at the stables aren't that approachable and I still have not yet got any friends than own horses either. What to do now? Should we go ahead and buy, finding someone local that might be willing to help us out? What course or WHERE can I learn about how to school/train horses so I might have more than the ability to muck out, clean tack, basic health checks and riding? Where to learn about proper nutrition? I work full time but am willing to do as much as I can to be prepared.


Many thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 06:39 PM
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Hmm... First of all, I am slightly jealous of you getting to handle animals like birds of prey. That must be super cool!

Secondly, if your current mentor/trainer/instructor is not helping prepare you for horse ownership, look somewhere else, get a new one. Your instructor should be prepared to help you every step of the way and alert you to problems with any prospective horse, etc. You should be learning how to manage a horse before jumping into having the full responsibility of caring for one.

I think leasing a horse or two first would be a great idea, instead of having the responsibility of ownership right off the bat. And definitely find an instructor or mentor who will help you and prepare you for ownership, and make you feel welcome at their barn!

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 06:57 PM
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If I were you I would find a horse rescue organization and go volunteer.

If my experience is any indication, you will not find a group of more helpful and encouraging people from which to learn. I started volunteering at Save the Horses Save the Horses last April. I can't tell you how much I have learned. The best thing that has come from it is learning the confidence necessary to care for big, cantankerous, somewhat unpredictable horses.

I learned the value of this experience when I took my girls for their riding lessons. They took lessons from a natural horsemanship trainer and I could not believe how easy it was to handle her horses.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carp614 View Post
If I were you I would find a horse rescue organization and go volunteer.

If my experience is any indication, you will not find a group of more helpful and encouraging people from which to learn. I started volunteering at Save the Horses Save the Horses last April. I can't tell you how much I have learned. The best thing that has come from it is learning the confidence necessary to care for big, cantankerous, somewhat unpredictable horses.

I learned the value of this experience when I took my girls for their riding lessons. They took lessons from a natural horsemanship trainer and I could not believe how easy it was to handle her horses.
Is that US? :< I have looked at an hour and a half radius of travel for places to volunteer. I live in London, uk. There is WAITING LIST for volunteers. I couldn't believe it. And quite a few wanted CV's and interviews (not like when I was a kid). The few normal stables I've volunteered at have a "we can replace you easily" attitude which is why I feel they haven't invested as much into the learning of their volunteers :/ It's why I was hoping for a course. When I ride I have a few different instructors but to be fair I have never directly asked them to teach me anything other than riding - I didn't really know it was an option. But I will offer to pay for a session but ask for a more educative approach than a ride. Thanks for the suggestions!
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalraii View Post
Is that US? :< I have looked at an hour and a half radius of travel for places to volunteer. I live in London, uk. There is WAITING LIST for volunteers. I couldn't believe it. And quite a few wanted CV's and interviews (not like when I was a kid). The few normal stables I've volunteered at have a "we can replace you easily" attitude which is why I feel they haven't invested as much into the learning of their volunteers :/ It's why I was hoping for a course. When I ride I have a few different instructors but to be fair I have never directly asked them to teach me anything other than riding - I didn't really know it was an option. But I will offer to pay for a session but ask for a more educative approach than a ride. Thanks for the suggestions!
Yes, I live in the U.S.

Wow. That really stinks. How nice for them that they have so many volunteers that they can turn people away. I recently posted something about how horse people can sometimes be kind of...well...jerks. Sounds like you've seen your share of that. Some of us colonials dislike that kind of garbage, but it's everywhere.

There was one other thought i'd like to share: I think owning horses is a bit like having kids. You read the books and watch all the videos, trying to learn how to be a good parent...But you're never really ready.

In the absence of better options, I would make sure you have a good ferrier and a good veterinarian, and just take the plunge. You'll figure it out as you go. There is plenty of info on the web about the sort of equipment you might need.

Getting more specialized training from a trainer who understands what you are trying to do sounds like a good idea as well.

Good luck!
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 07:54 PM
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@Kalraii

Wow, the horse industry between US and UK sounds like night and day then. We have so many unwanted horses here. I am curious if the legalities of horse slaughter have anything to do with it... sad to think about but that could be a reason for less unwanted horses in the UK. Or I could be totally wrong, I honestly don't really know.
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"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I think its more of a city thing as it definitely gets easier and cheaper the further out we go. I also wonder if because it's London the status aspect of owning a horse gets in the way as well? When we move (I will be moving to his homeland of Switzerland) we will have plenty land and beautiful places to ride. Out there, things might be different in terms of finding fellow horsey friends! I would love the take the plunge @carp614 and I am tempted to aargh! Y'know I might just consider taking some annual leave and seeing if I can arrange a week away somewhere - offer to donate some money to charity directly instead of paying for a course or holiday in return for some detailed hands on.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 08:48 PM
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Your enthousiasm is wonderful, but it might be wiser to wait until you've actually moved to where you will be living with your animals before taking the plunge. I've found that while horses have the same basic needs, things are done very differently from country to country. You have to deal with a different climate, different kinds of grass and hay, different ways of keeping horses, etc. Vet care and hoof care can be a little different (I can't tell you how many times I've posted about an issue in this forum and the wonderfully helpful posters would tell me to buy a specific product, but when I looked, I couldn't get it in Canada).

Continue to work on your riding skills - I assume you are learning to do things like groom. Are there options to take things like first aid seminars? I took an Equine first aid course before I got my horses and learned a lot more than just first aid! The instructor was amazing. Not only did we practice putting bandages on some very patient horses (including an eye bandage), but we also learned a lot about prevention and recognizing an issue before it blows up into a problem.

Bottom line is that while I know it's tempting, it makes a lot more sense to wait until you move, get your feet on the ground there, get to know the local horse scene (find a vet, farrier, scope out the tack and feed stores, etc.) before you get yourself in over your head.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 09:17 PM
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When I was looking to purchase a horse I asked my riding instructor/BO to come with me. She charged a small amount to play "match-maker" but in the end, it worked out perfectly and she found me my current mare (which was actually already being boarded at my barn).

However, when my family and I purchased a farm last year, I asked my instructor if she could also teach me a little bit more about care as opposed to just riding. After my lessons, she had me get some hands on expierience feeding and watering the horses as well as bringing them in and putting their blankets on. Giving meds to the senior horses, wrapping polos. A lot of things I wouldn't even think twice about she would show me just to give me a better understanding.

So, don't be shy to ask your riding instructor to help teach you things other than riding. Perhaps two thirds of the time could be spent riding and the other third spent learning the ins and outs of care.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-18-2017, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Your enthousiasm is wonderful, but it might be wiser to wait until you've actually moved to where you will be living with your animals before taking the plunge. I've found that while horses have the same basic needs, things are done very differently from country to country. You have to deal with a different climate, different kinds of grass and hay, different ways of keeping horses, etc. Vet care and hoof care can be a little different (I can't tell you how many times I've posted about an issue in this forum and the wonderfully helpful posters would tell me to buy a specific product, but when I looked, I couldn't get it in Canada).

Continue to work on your riding skills - I assume you are learning to do things like groom. Are there options to take things like first aid seminars? I took an Equine first aid course before I got my horses and learned a lot more than just first aid! The instructor was amazing. Not only did we practice putting bandages on some very patient horses (including an eye bandage), but we also learned a lot about prevention and recognizing an issue before it blows up into a problem.

Bottom line is that while I know it's tempting, it makes a lot more sense to wait until you move, get your feet on the ground there, get to know the local horse scene (find a vet, farrier, scope out the tack and feed stores, etc.) before you get yourself in over your head.
Oh sorry I didn't make it clear - easily happens online I spose but when I meant plunge I meant when I move - not now. It feels like its coming fast, though and I have the itch something terrible. I really like the suggestion about first aid seminars! And it's the little things that I am seeking to gain knowledge as preventative is always best. I just stress that because it's so hard for me right now to get access to those sorts of information and but I also don't want to be at a complete and utter loss. Thanks for the check :)

@Wild Heart I shall ask this weekend if an instructor is up for a different approach!
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