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Hello there!!!!
I am a very new horse owner of a 13 yr old Gypsy Vanner and a 1 yr old Appaloosa filly.
I am trying to train the App by myself via YouTube and seems to be going well!
I am checking to see if anyone knows of any US sites to get horse freebie stuff, that is truly free or samples, that the shipping is included?
Also, can anyone give advice on how to start showing a horse or western barrel racing and jumping for my teenage son, around the Terre Haute, IN area. We don’t have money for horse backing riding lessons, therefore trying to do this all by myself, or cost for showing, so If anyone knows of grants or scholarships we could get to offset any of the costs of showing I would be extremely grateful for the info. Trying to get my son focused on positive things in our lives. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for any and all help provided!!!!! ❤🐴
 

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If you are new to horses, you need mentors and teachers. You just do. It is far too complicated and difficult and dangerous to try to do everything yourself from videos.

If you don't have money for riding lessons, how will you have money for vet bills? Feed? Stabling? Trailering? I don't know how to make this any more emphatic without shouting, but horses are a very expensive sport even if everything goes well, and believe me, it will not always.

At this very moment in time, I have three riding buddies, one whose horse is recovering from Lyme Disease, one whose horse is recovering from a bad abcess in his hoof wall, and one whose horse is recovering from laminitis. All required pretty extensive veterinary expenses. None of which are in slightest uncommon.

Showing, barrel racing, and jumping? You need a lot of money for all of those things. If your son has an interest in horses I suggest 4-H or Pony Club. They are organizations for young people to learn about horses. 4-H is not specifically about horses but in a horsey area there may be a 'horse project' division of your local club.

The best source of inexpensive tack is to buy used. There is a huge market in used tack of every description. You need to find local stables, local riding clubs, local tack stores, which have fundraiser sales of donated used tack, or your local FB MarketPlace or Craigslist. TackTack is an online source of used tack.
 

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Hello from a fellow Hoosier @Sheila Marlar Mellinger and welcome to the forum. @Avna 's suggestion of getting your son involved in 4-H is a good one. I think most counties here in Indiana have a horse and pony program. Not only will it be educational for him and free or low cost shows but it will hook you up with a support system that can give you hands on help once you get to know the parents and leaders. I don't know anyone in your specific area so sorry I can't help there. In my area a lot of the youngsters are also involved in Jr. Rodeo so that is something else you might want to look into.
 

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Beyond the very basics of leading, loading on a trailer , tying, picking up feet - basic handling there isn't much more for the baby. That is what she is. A baby. No backing, riding or real work. Not until she is much older. Jumping not until a 5 year old. Showing in hand for her could be something to work on.

How much training did the vanner come with? Does he do all of the things your son would like to try?

Some schools will have 4H and if not talk to the Agriculture Extension agency. They should know of local clubs that are not part of the schools. Pony Club, Jr. Rodeo. Other areas may have other groups. You don't mention an age or grade level but your district may have an ag program in the high schools that would have peers that have experience.
 

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Another recommendation for 4-H/FFA and scouting Facebook Marketplace for used tack. Check your local sale barns for horse sale dates and times. It seems to be customary to start them off with a tack sale and you can often get some good deals on the assorted things you need. I've heard of some of the manufacturers like Classic Equine and similar having great deals on 2nd quality equipment. These will have some kind of defect like printing or color but are perfectly functional.

Some great horseman are basically self taught and picked up what they know along the way. Being brand new to horses and having big goals I'd recommend spending the money to soak up as much quality information as you can. Two budget friendly options are Giddyupflix.com which is sort of like the old Netflix (you add DVDs to a queue and they mail them to you) or Clinton Anderson's No Worries Club which has a massive library of videos. I don't recommend Youtube much because the videos tend to be very basic level coverage of the topic and are intended as a commercial mostly.

Good luck!
 

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There are several threads that cover trainers and programs. Warwick Schiller has a good one as well. Best though is hands on.
 

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I don't think there's any freebies out there for horse stuff, occasionally you may find someone giving away some tack but it is probably not anything that can safely be used without repair/work unless it is something from a friend. Occasionally some of the feed companies will have coupons on their websites, buy one get one free type of deals.... Try Purina, Nutrena, Standlee, etc's websites and sign up for their mailing lists and you may get coupons sent to you. Some of the companies have programs through different feed stores where if you buy so many bags you get 1 free (like buy 10, get the 11th free).

Used is probably your best bet but make sure you can tell what is safe from what isn't (learn about broken/twisted saddle trees, rotting leather, loose chicago screws).
 

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As mentioned the yearling is only needing the very basic of handling. Nothing strenuous. Not sure what you’re working on with her now. But she’s your long term project.

As far as teaching yourself how to ride it is how lots of people do it. I’m one of them. I maybe had 15 riding lessons total, and then they didn’t teach me more than tack up and how to ask for a walk. Wasn’t the best instruction when the ‘instructor’ essentially sat on a bale of hay and Jsut said ok walk around. So I’m mostly self taught. Had horses for 17yrs. I’m not a professional By any means. I don’t necessarily know all the proper cues. But I know how to take care of the horses and how to ask for things that I’d like them to do. I prob wouldn’t win any ribbons though. So its def possible to learn on your own. It’s not always the easiest way though lol.

all the different disciplines you mentioned you want your son to participate it, all require a great time commitment and an able horse to do them. As an intro I’m sure he could do it all. But if he’s interested in persuing anything to show level, he’ll prob need to pick one he likes most and devote his practice time to it exclusively.
 

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Hi & welcome Sheila,

Also, can anyone give advice on how to start showing a horse or western barrel racing and jumping for my teenage son,
Barrel racing and jumping is not really appropriate for a Gypsy type horse, and your appy may be a candidate for this, but not for at least 4 years or more, if she's only a yearling.

We don’t have money for horse backing riding lessons, therefore trying to do this all by myself, or cost for showing, so If anyone knows of grants or scholarships
I appreciate personally having little spare funds, and if you own horses, I also think you should be budgetting for their health & welfare over 'for fun' things like lessons, if you have to choose, but if you aren't experienced/knowledgeable, I really think training horses should be not done without at least a few hands-on lessons from a good trainer, as there are so many small things, like your timing, yours & the horse's bodylanguage etc, that really matter.

If your filly is only a yearling, I'd be waiting until she was at least 3yo to start backing her, and wait a fair while longer before doing any 'real'(as in long, moderate) riding, waiting until she were closer to maturity(around 6yo) before doing any 'high impact' stuff like real jumping, barrel racing etc.

I'm not into showing so have no clue about fees etc, but I wouldn't have imagined a hobby such as tha would attract grants or scholarships.
 

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Hello there!!!!
I am a very new horse owner of a 13 yr old Gypsy Vanner and a 1 yr old Appaloosa filly.
I am trying to train the App by myself via YouTube and seems to be going well!
I am checking to see if anyone knows of any US sites to get horse freebie stuff, that is truly free or samples, that the shipping is included?
Also, can anyone give advice on how to start showing a horse or western barrel racing and jumping for my teenage son, around the Terre Haute, IN area. We don’t have money for horse backing riding lessons, therefore trying to do this all by myself, or cost for showing, so If anyone knows of grants or scholarships we could get to offset any of the costs of showing I would be extremely grateful for the info. Trying to get my son focused on positive things in our lives. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for any and all help provided!!!!! ❤🐴
I have to ask how much horse experience do you have or are you truly a newbie?
 

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You can reach out to your local/regional/state/provincial equestrian association to see if there are any grants, but I wouldn't count on it. Our provincial equestrian association offers a 600$ bursary to young riders every year - my daughter got one. However, you must first be a member (there is a cost for that) and they won't give it to someone who has not previously taken lessons. Riders need to have their coach write them a letter of recommendation. The idea is that it is a boost to someone who is already committed to becoming a good rider. It is not meant for riders who have never had a lesson because there is too much risk that they will lose interest. The money helps buy more lessons, but it was a small dent in my daughter's lesson budget to be honest.

Just the entry fees to shows can be steep, but you also need the proper attire and tack which are even more money. You need to trailer to those shows too. We only do a handful of local shows each year (have done one or two regional shows a couple of hours away) and easily spend 1000$ a year on entry fees. So I would scale back expectations significantly for now if your budget is tight. Throwing your son out there with kids who have had years of lessons and top notch horses and tack will not do anything for his self-confidence. That only works out in the movies. Have fun with the horses. Buy him a few lessons for Christmas and birthdays with a good coach (ask around for a good one). He will learn so much in that lesson and be able to apply it at home afterwards.

And as everyone has said, hold off on doing anything with the Appy except ground work. No saddle work for a few years. You can ruin a horse very quickly and it is much, much harder to fix the damage later. This is why horses end up on meat trucks. But you can work on manners and basic horse skills. Find a good training program (you'll have to pay, but it will be well worth it!) and follow it to the letter. Shortcuts don't work with horses. Sending the horse out to someone with experience when the time comes to saddle it is money well spent.

Overall, this is not a cheap hobby. Even just having horses in your backyard gets expensive fast. Ask me how I know.
 
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