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Not sure if this is the right place for this thread, but... what advice would you give to someone who is getting their first horse?
 

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My advice would be to get a knowledgable safe instructor that will work closely by you and help you find the right horse that suits you (your riding level, etc).

You will need to read a lot of books/research on the internet as well :)
 

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Don't get a Thoroughbred. There are good ones but there are few and far inbetween. If you are not experienced you cannot pick one. Many of them don't show their true colours until they are out of the arena or in a new situation - something you cannot try out before you buy.

Don't call the vet for every little thing. It will cost you a fortune - be logical. Would you go to the doctor if you had a cut on your leg? Horses are very strong and hardy.

Don't listen to what everyone says - pick what you think is good - think about things before you do them. Don't use anything but a snaffle bit on your first horse - at least not until you learn more. If the horse you are buying cannot be ridden in a snaffle then don't get them - you need a safe horse for your first horse.

You can learn a lot from books - people seem to forget them in the age of the internet and DVD but a lot of what I learnt I learnt from books.

Don't repeatedly hit a horse with a whip. It is one of the final stages of the forward aid - it is only meant to be used once (if at all). There is nothing more crude and disgusting than being at pony club or a little gymkhana and seeing young riders repeatedly whip their horses to canter, or even just to stop eating grass. Train your horses for god sake. If a child cannot ride, and does not seem to be interested in learning they should not have a horse.

Pick out your horses feet every week. Most horses don't need to be shod - don't be snob and do it because you think its 'cool'. Be genuine and have a reason to do what you do. Brush boots have the tags facing back and the bulgy bit down the bottom (wore them upside down and back to front for a few weeks when I got my first horse).

Parelli, Monty Roberts, Clinton Anderson etc. is not the be all and end all. They are training tools - select what works for your horse and understand what works for you and your horse isn't going to work for everyone.

Don't just use gadgets because you can - look at things from the horses view. Would like to have your head tied down and your mouth clamped shut?

When you put on/take of rugs the leg strap is the first thing you do up and the last thing you undo. I go: legstrap, front, surcingle, neck rug (if applicable) and undo starting with the neck rug. This is mainly when unrugging in paddocks but it is a good habit to get into horse. If a horse bolts and the leg straps are still done up it will just slide of his back legs. If just the front is done up it could slide and he could break his shoulder.

Always tie to twine unless you have proper tying facilities and know what you are doing. I never tie solidly or in a float with a rope halter - although I use them in everyday situations. They don't break.

If you have a gelding be aware you have to clean his private parts. (A lot people don't know that - I love mares :))

Always shut gates.

Thats all I can think of right now. Sorry if it was a bit long, these are things I wished I knew when I got my first horse.
 

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why would you tell her not to get a thoroughbred? She has the ability to make good judgments and you are being steriotypical. Every Thoroughbred I have ever met and/or riden has been just like any other horse. All horses have their moments its not just Thoroughbreds. All horses have the ability to change once you have had them for a bit and introduce them to new situations. I am not trying to be rude I am just saying you can't place Thoroughbreds into their own catagory as to being unpredictable. The horse is generally an unpredictable animal enough said.

Anyways if you can, when you find that horse you think is right for you ask the owner if you can take him home for a trial period. You may need some time to really conclude that he is perfect for your ability.

And unlike what was said before, you really should pick out your horses feet everyday. You need to make sure they don't have any infections like thrush or any abseses. This should be a very important part of your routine when you groom your horse.

Geldings really good for first time owners. Stallions are a definate no no and mares can be rather moody when in heat. It's all a matter of personal opinion if you want a gelding or a mare but a stallion is never appropriate for a first time owner.


Hope this helps and good luck with finding your perfect pony.
 

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Wintec:

I have no idea what Moondance's skill is. But I have never met a Thoroughbred that I would reccomend for a standard first horse for an inexperienced rider.

I don't know what kind of horses there are where you are from (I am guessing you are American - sorry if I am wrong) but in Australia in my experience the majority of horses are OTTBs. I have seen so many without the correct training for a beginner, regardless of their age, nor the correct temperament and not really that correct for the purpose of an allrounder first horse.

If I was buying a first horse for someone I would go a steady 15hh QH over an excitable 16hh + TB. I'm not saying that there aren't good TBs, or that they cannot be trained or anything like that. I am just saying for someone new to horses it can be hard to pick a good Thoroughbred. I have seen so many who are perfectly fine in an arena, or on trails even, but you get to an open field or XC course, or even Pony Club and they lose it. I'm not talking about just a few, I am talking about a lot.

At the same time, I never see QH, WB or even Arabs become as uncontrollable in new situations as TBs. I am not saying it doesn't happen. Just in my experience you are much more likely to pick up an unreliable TB than any other breed, to the extent that I would not recommend them for people new to owning horses.

When I said ensure to pick out the feet before and after every ride, I was presuming that the owner would already know to clean out a horses feet daily. Thats the bare basics of horse ownerships, but I see many people pick out the feet before riding, then ride over stones and neglect to do it after, as they had already done it for the day.

When I got into horses I was about 10 and I wanted a TB because I thought they were so pretty, and fast and whatever. They were my favourite breed. My mother was advised not to get a TB and we got a solid first horse. After a few years in the horse world I guess my opinion changed. TBs can be very good horses given the time and effort, but because they are so available they usually aren't. Many people buy them of the track, train them for a month or so, then sell them on and they get passed onto beginners who aren't ready to look after a horse like that. Other breeds tend to be less available and purpose bred.

Moondance asked for my tips. I gave her tips which I would have been grateful, or would have been grateful, to receive when I first got into horses. She can make whatever informed decision she likes.
 

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Its fine. I was just stating my opinion sorry if you took itthe wrong way..... and for the picking out the feet I was just enhancing on it because it's sooooo important :)
 

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Make sure you have a good farrier and vet that are close enough to come to your house. Before you buy the horse, you'll probably want to get at least a vet check, if not xrays.
 

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As you can see alread, there are a lot of different opinions about a lot of different things, :) horses are a whole world unto themselves!! A lot of good advice has already been given, but I would like to say something that I had to learnt the hard way..

FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS AND FOLLOW YOUR GUT!

When things happen, people will tell you to try this and try that, and it can be very confusing. Just try and follow your instincts to do the best thing by your horse. For my, I have had my first horse for 5 years now, and have bred my own foal and look after and ridden a lot of other peoples horses. On several occasions I felt something may have been wrong although I didnt have the knowledge to know exactly what (saddle fit, colic were the main ones for me) but I let people tell me what to do, I didn't follow my gut and the problems got a lot worse than they should have been. If I'd followed my instincts straight away, things would have been a lot easier. Anyway thats the main one for me !!

Also, observe how your horse behaves in the paddock. I can pick a mile off if something is wrong with my girl because I know her so well now.

Check poo!! I do regular walks around the paddock to make sure things are all functioning as they should.

Don't smooch over your horse too much, thats one mistake I made too. You just love them so much, and just want to cuddle and be cute, but it really doesnt lead to a well behaved horse.

And dont let anyone make you do anything your not comfortable with!! Like galloping or jumping (of course I have no idea to your riding experiance so Im just assuming here! :) )

Anyway, hope this helps you somewhat... enjoy your new horse, and I hope you have many good years a head of you!

X
 

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My first horse is was a TB and we taught each other tons. I wouldn't discount any breed, nor would I commit to a specific one. Find a experienced horse person to help you horse shop, so you don't end up falling in love with something thats not right for you.

For me, when I went to see Hershey I knew immediately that he was my horse. I've only bought one horse so I can't say if that is an experience that other people have, but I really just knew when I first saw him.
 

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sped a lot of time bonding with your horse. lots of time grooming, walking together, even just hangin around while they're eating or wherever they live. not only will they get used to you, but you can learn things about they personality, how they move, things they like/dislike. like someone else said, i know my horse so well, i KNOW when something is wrong, even if i don't know where/how/why (i know one day i had my vet out and i think he thought i was crazy), taaking time to pay attention to the little things, may end up helping with a big thing down the road.

I love my horse SO much, but i spoil him...not as people would think. i never feed him from my hand (he used to bite), he only gets treats or anything from a bucket or the ground. so spoil him/her but do it smart. cause a pushy horsey is no fun.

and tell him/her you love them before you leave :)
 

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Its fine. I was just stating my opinion sorry if you took itthe wrong way..... and for the picking out the feet I was just enhancing on it because it's sooooo important :)

All good :) - sorry if I came of as aggressive, nothing was meant that way. OT - what is "Steeler country"?
 

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All good :) - sorry if I came of as aggressive, nothing was meant that way. OT - what is "Steeler country"?
The football team the Pittsburgh Steelers! I live in southwestern PA in the USA
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow! Thanks so much everyone for your advice! I'll take everything into account, and I'm going to take things really slow.

A bit about myself - I've been riding on and off for six years now, although I'd still consider myself a novice. Been working on developing a solid seat (my legs still swing occasionally) and doing a tiny bit of jumping. Would really like to go into showjumping although I don't think I'll be very competitive about it.

I used to share a TBX mare (had her two days a week for a year) so know the basics of horse care. Heidi taught me heaps but unfortunately she didn't jump. I've since ridden all sorts of horses - lazy ones that plod along, overexcitable ones that would not stop cantering, great big German warmbloods, little Welsh B ponies... I don't know what I'm looking for really - I figure I need something reasonably experienced so I can learn from him/her, but if s/he never puts a foot wrong, i.e. if there's nothing to fix I might get bored!

I have a question: do you all have insurance for your horses? If not how much money do you put aside each month in case of emergency?
 
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