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Hey!
I'm just wondering how old your horse was when you bought him or her and what your experience was like! Like, why did you choose this horse? What was on your list of necessities before purchasing your new pal? :) How was your initial relationship when first meeting them vs. now? :)
 

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My list of necessities has always been the same... Honest horse, nice personality, me not afraid of the animal...no vices known.
I've had "several" horses...our family has....these are a few, all very different, all unique.

7 year old 17+ hand OTTB.This was Jessee.
I chose him because he was not "my" kind of horse, but the kind of horse others want to ride and show...a easy flip.
We worked OK, he was a horse but full of holes in his training. He could jump the moon but was terrified of cross-rails..
My intention was 30 days training and sell him ended up being 6 months of training and my friend having to get in on it cause he was more than I could do alone...then we sold him, took out expenses and split the profit since she did as much if not more work for me than I.... we both made a very nice bit of pocketchange!

10 year old approx, 14.3 hand grade, was copper penny gorgeous and so trustworthy. Chance...
Bought him for my son but he was reactive and needed more riding than I/we could do having several others at the same time.
Horse knew so much, more than I did doing "cow" events. He was being wasted sitting in our yard and the animal needed a job. For personality, he would never of left, ever!! But he was miserable sitting doing so little so I advertised him and had lots of lookers who wanted, but only 1 who wanted to give him a real home where he would be ridden often and truly cared about..
His new owner loved him and he her...he chose her when he followed her every-step loose in the pasture and came to gaze after her when she was leaving... she was undecided at that time. She left and came back and the horse stood calling to her when she was seen. Made up my mind for me....8 years later she still has him, still rides and loves him.

30 something 16 hand OTTB,
My problem child... He was rescued, rehabbed and adopted, then he was being throw away again when I got him from someone who couldn't ride but it was the horses fault he wouldn't do anything for them....
Horse had/has more energy than most 1/2 his age. Incredible trail horse or take to the show and clean up in any class you put him in...work ethic incredible at a show he went off of any ring steward calling directions. Point him at the jump and leave him alone...flat classes he did all the work himself, leave him alone. Trained to death... I don't ride dressage but told he is trained higher than 2nd level easily and probably a few levels higher...he is here for a trail horse mostly, we only showed him 2x.... He is now fully retired although he goes with us riding, he not carry a person anymore. He has earned his R&R and will be with us till he passes...

Our paint is the best find ever. Now 14 he stands 16 hands of mack truck built to sit on.
He has shown English, western and then trails... He is personality & character together and so photogenic he preens for pictures! Jumps, does anything you ask of him in any class, he tries hard... unflappable he is a perfect babysitter for anyone. I've been offered a fortune for him, no sale. I could not replace this horse for anything, broke the mold when he was born kind of animal. I just have to look at him and he knows he did wrong, point my finger and can send him, softly tell him to come here and he does...if you ever thought horses not understand English you would be wrong...this one does.

My bay was 15.2+ and about 15 years old when I got him. Jerry... We were inseparable except when he got loose he was the dickens to catch cause he knew he would catch my temper when my hands got him... I was a kid and not always the "sweet" temper I am today. He taught me so much...a wonder we not both be dead some of the things we did together. Had him till stupidly I sold him, and when I went to buy him back could not afford him... Saw him a few times later in his life, once he was a miserable crank, nasty animal hating roundy-round lesson work...last time I saw him he had a new family, back to riding trails and taking care of a young rider and was back to being the horse I knew... for that I'm happy. Today, he is gone a long time from old age...

My mare..."Lady" was 15 hands of Mack truck built cuteness. Little bay with gorgeous face, small ears and expressive eyes. My first registered horse to own, she was foundation stock {didn't know what that was at the time}. She had 2 babies on the ground both who became excellent riding horses and much like their mom smart. She was easy to ride, non-spook and point her where, she went. Had points in AQHA in many divisions, but she was just my horse. We clicked but it was her who taught me mares are different....we learned cause she taught me to ask not force, work together not be told, we became a good partnership and I truly missed her when I had to sell her...

That was some of mine/ours, but not all...the list would be to long of all the ones we took in, gave time, love and groceries to to move them onto better.
All our horses, it has never been about the money we could of made, but the home and love they would find at the next stop on their journey...
馃惔...
 

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My first horse was 3 when I bought him. He was a broke to ride QH. He reared a lot and needed a ton of work. He was red and shiny and looked like a show horse to me. Best $500 dollars I ever spent. He was 36 when I said goodbye.

My first TWH was somewhere around 18 I think when I bought him. He wasn't very trusting of men but he seemed to trust me and eventually my husband was able to ge this to trust him. He always did as he was told and never argued. I paid off a guys hay bill for him so around $200. He was in his late 30's when he died.

My QH hunt pony was 3. He was a good boy. Lost him to cancer at 17. My mom actually bought him for herself but he was way too much horse for her so I ended up with him.

My first QH mare was 14. She's evil and kind and hateful and loving and stubborn and willing. She's in the pasture at 26 now. She's also my moms horse according to the papers. My mom did ride her for a few years but now she just helps out at the barn. (She lives next door)

My QH gelding is the first mares son. I've had him since birth. He's 16 now. I wanted something I could show and my first horse was getting ready for retirement. The mare had excellent bloodlines and beautiful conformation so I bred her.

My next TWH was around 5 when we got her. She was scrawny and timid but has turned out to be a wonderful horse. She's 16 now. She was a sight unseen deal. We traded a crazy pony for her. Best deal ever.

My latest QH gelding was 6 months old. I'm loving him more and more each day. He has a good attitude and is coming along slowly because I'm moving slowly but he's my boy. I wasn't even looking for a horse when I got him. I mean, I was but wasn't. My gelding had been diagnosed with Navicular and I was struggling with the right treatment for him. He just wasn't going to be sound for show. Backyard riding and trails were pretty much it. I found a picture of him in an ad and fell in love. That weekend I drove 4 hours with no actual intention of buying him. I went home and I cried. I mean, CRIED. I sat in my first horses stall and it hit me. He was almost 30 years old by then. I was going to lose him soon. I don't know why, but I hadn't realized how old he was. This horse had been with me through every boyfriend, through every breakup, through high school, through college, marriage, baby, building a house, every memory... he was there. I broke. I guess I thought I would be replacing him if I bought this horse but something just kept telling me to get him. So I did. And I'm glad I did. And goodbye ended up being 6 years down the road, when I was ready. Not before.
 

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I'll just do my current horses, even though I have had the pleasure of taking care of some amazing horses in my life.

Joey--14.3 hand bay roan grade gelding. Age unknown but guessing 4-5 years. When I went to Joey's previous owner's house, I had zero intentions on purchasing him. I actually went to look at a little Welsh type pony mare with my mother, who was interested in the pony. The owner had a large piece of land where the horses (about 7-10) were turned out 24/7 on a hill with a creek running through the bottom portion of it.

When I arrived, the owner said she would just hop on her 4-wheeler and go catch the little pony mare. Well, 10 minutes later of the horses running down the hill and back up again, with the little pony mare leading the way, the owner said, maybe you could ride the 4-wheeler to her. So, on we climbed and had quite the scary ride to see this pony up on a large hill. The pony mare was a little brat. There was no catching her, she tasted freedom and wasn't giving it up. She stayed in the forest with her pals.

The whole time we were trying to get a closer glimpse of this pony, this ugly, skinny little gelding would slowly approach us. He was calm and quiet, had no problems leaving the herd to seek out the humans. He just generally had a curious and friendly demeanor. The owner explained that she had taken this gelding in on trade, that he was underweight, green broke, he had been through at least two homes before, both barrel racing/gamers and discarded as too slow--if we were interested in him, she'd take $500 for him. Since the little pony mare wasn't cooperating, my mother and I decided to head on home. But we both thought the little friendly gelding was cute, and we felt a little sorry for him.

On our way home my mother and I just couldn't stop thinking or talking about the little gelding. Call it a connection or whatever but we decided to purchase, to at least give him the much needed groceries he was lacking. So he came to the farm skinny, dirty and depressed. Very polite and mannerly, quiet and focused. Not much energy to the point I wondered if he could physically canter.

Fast forward to now, he is the most active horse you could imagine. His favorite past time is cantering around his pasture. He is very against staying outside during the slightest bit of off weather, and thinks that hand grazing is by far the best way to spend time with your human. He is an absolute handful to handle, and most times going to and from his paddock he is whipping his head or trying to do a little half rear as he's just so excited to be around his people. He is definitely an easy keeper, and got a little portly on me this year. My plans for him or to try a little bit of eventing, and maybe see if I can get him Sport Pony registered, either with Weser Ems or American Sport Pony. With that said, his biggest and most important role is playing "uncle" to his little "nephew"--who is my next horse:

Bug--16 hand black Friesian stallion. 3 years old. Bug is my dream horse. I have been saving and studying for years to finally get my Friesian. I knew that I wanted KFPS/FHANA registered and I wanted a bit more of an old style Friesian--bigger, chunkier, drafty-er. My favorite stallion is Hessel 480, so if I could find offspring by him, even better. I had looked at and made several inquiries on some very nice Friesians (about 3-4). But something always stopped me from pursuing the purchase.

I had found via a FB group a little colt for sale not too far from me (7 hours). I contacted the person and scheduled a meet and greet. I arrived at the little farm where this colt was on the hottest day of the year-- 90 degrees with humidity through the roof! This little colt wanted NOTHING to do with me. Pretty much acted like a feral little Mustang foal. The dam was sweet, and didn't mind a total stranger trying to touch her child. She was too busy eating. But the colt, he wouldn't let me even get near him. Most Friesians love a good scratch, even as babies, so I tried to sneak a little butt scratch by sidling up to his mom whilst he was drinking his milk, nope, not happening.

Even though he was quite antisocial, I could tell he had the conformation I wanted and his mom's temperament was quite nice. So, I placed a deposit on him and drove home. I was quite nervous, this was the most I had ever spent on a horse in my whole life, and buying a foal is a gamble. In October he was weaned and ready to come home. The owner had done a great job with him, she had halter trained him, and desensitized him to the trailer. He got on the trailer like a pro.

He wasn't necessarily the picture of health I would have liked to have seen. His coat was rough and he was a bit ribby. So, I was worried the stress of travel would be extra hard on him. He did travel really well though and when he arrived at the farm, he was placed in a stall right next to Joey. Joey didn't fail in his role of calm and steady babysitter. Bug had settled in very nicely.

Now at 3 years old he is ready to start his formal training. He is very smart, inquisitive (to the point of annoyance) and charms most people he meets. He is very jealous and tries to stomp the chickens if they enter his paddock. He is a bit dramatic and will "spook" at things just to act up and be showy as he loves being the center of attention. He loves food and definitely shows signs of being "hangry" at times. His training will focus on balance and obedience as he is very uncoordinated and is still growing--health and fitness are very important for Friesians and building a good foundation is key to lifelong soundness.

These two horses have brought me a lot of joy and reignited the flame of passion for horses that had long been dormant in my soul. So for that I'm grateful.
 

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I've had several horses in my life, but I'll talk about the main ones.

1st horse ever was a 4yo green broke appy. My only necessity was that it had a head, four legs, and a tail. In every way possible, he was not the right choice for me, a beginner with less than a year of lessons under my belt. But he became an amazing riding partner and friend. We learned so much together as we pursued dressage and eventing with great success.

I made the decision to sell the horse above (he went to a fantastic home) when I met horse #2, a 16.2 AQHA gelding. He was 6 years old when I got him. My necessities then were a horse that could compete in open and AQHA hunter and western classes. He fit the bill, though he was a bit of a rascal at times and not the easiest horse to ride. We also had great success including earning our AQHA ROM, several circuit championships (open and AQHA), and being finalists at the AQHA Congress in Equitation. I kept him for the rest of his life and he is buried on my old farm.

The equine love of my life I actually saw born and purchased when he was 5 days old. I heard him take his first breath, raised him, trained him, showed him, and loved him for his entire life. He sustained a bad injury to his right hind when he was a 2-year-old, so his showing was limited, but he and I still managed to earn our AQHA ROM and several open show circuit championships in the hunter under saddle classes and equitation. He was, without a doubt, the kindest, gentlest, most lovely soul. He was 16.3 and massive by the time he grew up, and loved people so much. He tragically broke his leg at age 23 and had to be euthanized. I heard him take his last breath just as I'd heard him take his first when he was born.

My current horse, who is probably going to be my last is another appy (fitting that I started with one and am ending with one). I met him when he was a day old and bought him when he was a year old. He was just thrown out in a back field, not very well cared for, and the owner said he'd take $500 for him. I literally just wanted a horse to help my other two (the two listed above) keep the pastures at my place eaten down. He looked like he could stand some groceries and I had room, so I took him home. When his "big brothers" passed away, I decided to sell my farm and keep him boarded somewhere. He's now 14 years old and though we did show at a few big open shows quite successfully, I've kind of lost interest in showing and he doesn't exactly love it himself. We board at a small, private, low-key dressage barn where we occasionally enter the schooling shows, but mostly just hack around in the fields and down the paths on the farm enjoying ourselves. He's a wonderful boy, and I hope he is with me for many more years to come.
 

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My horse was 23 and a half when I bought her. She's now 25 and still going just as strong as she was seven years ago. I say "bought" but she was $1. Now, there are some special circumstances with this purchase:
-I had been riding her for over five years at that point so I was very aware of her particular needs (of which there are, so far, fortunately very few for an old horse)
-She was/is sound with minor maintenance
-I know that taking on a horse this age means I'm almost certainly her last home
-I was in many ways almost functionally her owner by that point anyhow, as she came from my trainer who had been loaning her to me for a long time. The sale was to make it official (and to make her my full responsibility, which was fair enough!!)

Some advantages to an old horse -- if it's the right old horse, of course:
-Often a lower price point
-Have been there, done that, seen many things, and are usually good sports about things
-If they're still sound when they're older, they're likely to stay sound a good while longer, because anything seriously wrong would have already shown up
-As morbid as this sounds, if anything major goes wrong, you can euthanize without a ton of guilt and what-ifs. You know that something is going to be "it" for them in the near-ish future. Whereas a catastrophic injury or massive colic in, say, a ten year old would cause many more dilemmas

Some disadvantages:
-May need regular medical maintenance (mine needs daily previcox, and this year needed prednisolone for spring allergies)
-Might not stay sound for a whole lot longer (though this can be true of a horse of any age)
-Resale may not be possible -- or could be very irresponsible, even if it is possible
-Faced with what to do once the horse is unrideable. Retire? Euthanize? Guilt over choices?

Lots to think about, but an older schoolie who would benefit from a single rider home can be a great choice for the right rider!!!

As for me personally, ownership of her has allowed me to go deeper with my emotional attachment to her. I was always staying a bit removed when I knew she could be moved or sold at any time. She and I now have a very relaxed, intuitive relationship. I also like that I can decide to let her do "bad" things (like scratch her face on me, heh) or hand-feed her a billion treats without worrying that I'm "ruining" someone else's horse. I have also enjoyed learning everything I could about the right feed, supplements, etc. to keep her at her best. I've upgraded her tack, too, to suit us both, instead of borrowing what's available. It's EXPENSIVE compared to just part boarding!!! But the additional control and the deeper relationship are really nice to have.
 

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I'm enjoying reading these stories. I'll add my own.

I didn't have any qualifications for my first mare, I just wanted her specifically. I was smitten from the first time I saw her. I met her when she was about 8. She was a beautiful buckskin paint with a bald face. For years I had been the go-to person that my riding instructor would put on horses with questionable rideability because I could usually ride them. This mare was one no one wanted to ride. Her registered name was Causing Trouble, and she lived up to the reputation. She was a very good barrel racer before getting attacked by dogs and my trainer rehabbed her. When she was well enough to do barrels again she only wanted to run them once and then her job was over and she would refuse to do anything else. So naturally this became the horse that I would ride and retrain to actually be a ridable horse. When I first rode her she was very anxious and sensitive, but as I worked with her she began to relax some. I learned to trust her and she was actually the first horse I cantered bareback on. About the time I was preparing to go to college, she was trained well enough that other people could ride her, and she sold. So I thought I would never see her again. Five years later, I was looking for a job. The job market was not great and I was discouraged and needed motivation to put my resume in one more place, so I thought that I'd look on Craigslist at horses because "if I got a job I could get a horse" I thought. Well, she showed up on CL, bald face and all, and I messaged the seller asking if it was CT. It was, so I asked if I could meet her. The lady was skeptical on whether this horse would remember me. She had purchased her from someone at work as a trail horse, but was too nervous to take her out on the trail or even canter her because CT is the typical very forward barrel horse. I meet her and she definitely remembered me. I was able to canter her around the pasture bareback. So the lady worked with me for a time and I ended up with a horse and a new job on the same day. When I got her back she definitely had some behavioral issues to work out but luckily I was at the same barn with the same trainer who gave me a lot of advice. And I figured out she was a lot less anxious if I rode her in an Australian saddle because then she knew we weren't barrel racing. She was about 14.5 years old when I got her and I have had her for 9 years. I don't ride her much anymore, but if I ever do she can pretty much read my mind. She's also always been phenomenal at keeping me from falling off if I got unbalanced. We had a fun time galloping around different pastures when she was younger, and as she got older and I went to grad school she became my "therapist" during emotionally hard times. She is pretty much retired and I will have her until she dies. I've never really been into competitions, so a hot barrel racer was probably not what I needed, but I still love her and she is my heart horse.

My second horse, Max, I literally just got less than a month ago. He's 4. I had been casually looking for a horse when someone at my barn informed me they were selling him. He had just been hanging out in the pasture being a brat for the past two years. There were rumors were that he was ridden on trails a little when he was 2 before this lady owned him, but they were a little suspect and we all knew he didn't have much, if any riding on him. Everyone could tell he needed a job, but his owner couldn't give him one because of some health issues she was facing. I didn't buy him immediately, but rather said I'd work with him to see if our personalities worked together, and if I thought I could train him or if he needed professional help. I had some experience working with very green horses before, so I wasn't going in completely blind. We connected right away, and his prior owner could tell we worked well together. I wanted a fearless trail horse with a good sense of humor and one I could make into a "husband safe horse" someday. With the very little training he has on him he already fits a lot of the bill. He's a hard worker and you can tell he enjoys working. He's become a lot less of a brat now that he has consistent work. He also has a big personality that everyone at the barn loves. His former owner still has one horse at the barn so we go trail riding together when we can. If I would have chosen my next horse logically I probably would have gotten one who was a little older with a little more experience on them, but this one is working out really well. The nice thing about babies is that they don't have the trauma behaviors that a lot of older horses have learned over time. The problem with babies is that it is like you are literally teaching them a whole new language and you have to be very patient with them. I wouldn't recommend a completely green baby for a first horse unless you are an experienced rider who has worked with young horses before. But OTOH, it's exciting to think I may have this horse until I'm in my 50's and all his experience will be with me and the people I allow on him.

As the poster above said, what I like about owning is that you decide what behaviors are allowable, and you have a lot more control over food, riding schedule ect. It is fun to buy tack for them. I also agree that owning lets you have a greater emotionally attachment. When I realized I really liked Max I was slightly paranoid he would be sold out from under me until the paperwork was signed. I'm still adjusting to him being mine and I don't think I fully believe it yet, but I'm really enjoying it too.
 

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I鈥檒l do the horses we currently have from oldest to youngest-

Bones: Bones was two when I bought him. He supposedly had 30 days of riding, but that clearly was not the case. He was bred really well and had a way of looking into a person which he still has.

He ended up having some issues I didn鈥檛 see in the short amount of time I tried him out. He is a self mutilator, and it was recommended I put him down. He has been a really good horse though. I rode him a couple years, and an injury took him out for a time, so I needed a replacement for that time frame (enter Cash). Bones is now my oldest daughter鈥檚 horse. He鈥檚 super athletic, talented, and kind hearted, but he has an actual neurological disorder which we work around.

Lucy: Lucy we got at an auction as a two year old. A kid had started her, and no one seemed super interested in her at the sale. We ended up spending 3,300 on her, which was very cheap at that particular sale, and she was a last minute decision for us. She has been amazing, and was a good gamble. She has been my husband鈥檚 dream horse and we got a filly out of her this year.

Cash- Cash was a two year old mustang started in prison. I needed a horse going to finish my work when Bones tore his stifle. I needed something that week and I needed it started. The prison just happened to be having a sale, so we made the drive.

He was my choice from the videos. He was massive in person. At two he was already 15.3 and 1200#s. Today he is 16.3 and likely around 1500#s, maybe more. He鈥檚 a beast. He had some issues from being started in prison, but eventually we sorted them out and he is a really reliable horse for me at work. Currently he is the main horse on the place, because my husband鈥檚 mare is out, and everyone uses him for branding too.

Zeus- he was a weanling my daughter, 10 at the time, bought with her own money from the sale of a pony she started. We wanted her next project to be a fjord, and we found one randomly on Craigslist. Zeus has been such a wonderful animal for her. They can do anything from pulling a cart, branding calves, to running gymkhana events. There isn鈥檛 a job she can鈥檛 get done on that little now 5-year-old horse. He is safe for anyone to step on and do whatever they want.

Queen- Queen was a weanling pulled off our range. When the BLM gathered, it was a thing I hadn鈥檛 seen happen. I wanted a horse off of the land that was such a part of me. I knew she would understand the country better than I did from growing up on it.

Picking her was an adventure. It was with binoculars and trying to catch the occasional sight of her. She stood out from the crowd. She was colored differently and more athletic.

That athleticism and temperament is sometimes the bane of my existence. I adore that filly though, and she鈥檚 learning quickly. She had to step up early this year and go to work, because we were a horse short with Lucy bred. She did it with class and a joy of seeing new things and learning the job.
 

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My current horses... draft mixes 21 yrs now, got them from a rescue grp at age 4-6 months. Quarter horse w Impressive lines was a feed lease for trail riding at age 16 now he is 21 and was signed over to me. A solid Paint age 18 as a trail horse now he is 23 or 24, Quarter horse stock bred age 16 he lived here as a baby , belonged to a relative, he was sold and was up for sale and charro was looking to buy him , so I bought him instead he is 18 now. Another quarter mare was 12 when we got her for trails she is 16 . Grade paint mare age 12ish.. for trails from an auction , she is 13ish now, but needs a trainer. Another big draft mix mare she was born here age 18 now. Shew as supposed to be trained for trails.. but we had issues with the trainer and never found another one. So she and the other draftys are pets. She gets ridden once in a great while. Mainly cost me . lol.. Love my pets.
 

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Fun thread--good idea!

My first horse was given to me for free and had some health issues. But I was thrilled because I wanted an arabian and here he was--a pure polish arab gelding. I think he was around 12 years old at the time. He seemed to know pretty quick that I was his new person. I had very little experience but he took care of me, was very affectionate and we formed a deep bond. In time he couldn't be ridden anymore so he became a companion horse for my sister's old mare and also for little kids. They loved him as much as I did and he was such a good boy--they could climb all around under him and between his legs and he wouldn't move a muscle. Had severe colic a couple times and had to put him down at age 28.

My second horse is a peruvian paso. I saw peruvians at a show and fell in love with the breed. When I couldn't ride my arab anymore I started to seriously think about buying one. Then another show came around in my area so I went and that's where I met him. He belonged to the only junior rider at the show so he won all the prizes even though he was not the best behaved! Turns out he was not finished with his training in bit and so that's why he acted up. Anyway, after the show I went to look at the horses and he was for sale. The owners offered to let me ride him so I did--just bareback with a halter and lead ropes--I was hooked!! He was five years old back then and now is 29. We also have a close relationship but different than the arab. My pp is independent but very kind, sweet and gentle. He's just been the best riding horse too--never does anything bad and is so perfect for me. Love him sooo much!

My third horse is a kentucky mountain who was 17 years old when I bought him. This time I wanted an older horse for trail riding who had been there and done that already. My peruvian is still fine for riding but at his age I don't know for how long. I had also been interested in rocky mtn horses in the past so come to find out kentucky mtn is basically the same thing, just raised in a different area. My kmh has mostly rockies in his pedigree with lots of lines to Old Tobe himself. He's very friendly with everyone--so you feel like his friend even though you just met! He gaits like a dream--so smooth and automatic. Just a fun horse to be around and I'm super happy to have him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much, everyone!!!! It was so fun to read all your stories; so different and yet always turn out great! :D I love to see people bond with their horses, past and present. And I'm so happy to see everyone has had such fun writing their stories and reading other people's! Thanks guys! :D
 

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My 1st horse (Arab Gelding - RIP) was given to me when he was 4. He died at 24 (or 26???).

My next horse (1/2 Arab mare - RIP) was given to me when she was 1. She died at 17.

I bought my 3rd horse (QH mare), she was 2.

My 4th horse (QH mare) I bought when she was 1.

My 5th horse (QH filly), I bought when she was 3 months ... she's still on her Mom; coming home in July (Yahoo!!!).
 

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All my horses have been from 13 months to 6 yo. I have always liked riding young horses. I can overlook their lack of knowledge and shape them the way I want. My favorite was my first horse a 2 yo paint Toby and runner up is my current girl Kiowa that I got as a 13 month old and has just turned 5 a month or so ago. Ki looks to be the ultimate winner as my favorite.
 

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I've now sold all the horses that I've bred so have different answers than I used to give. Skippy was a long weaner, Cloney was a few hours old ( I didn't take possession until he was weaned), Patti was maybe 2-3 months old (same thing, didn't take possession until weaned), Goldie was a long yearling, Snowy was a long yearling, and Boo was 11 years old. I prefer to buy youngsters and raise them myself, it keeps me from having to deal with other people's lack of training or bad habits. Boo was the exception that proves the rule, she has been an exceptional horse and I don't regret buying her at all. I do regret having sold her once and won't do it again. I tend to keep the really good ones forever, so Skippy's now 12, Cloney is 15, Patti is 16, Goldie is 11, Snowy is 4 and Boo is the Grande Dame at 19. My goodness, time does fly. They all still seem so young!
 

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I have had quite a few in the past but I will just mention the ones I have now....

Gunner: we brought him home on his 16th birthday. We went to buy a saddle and ended up with a great referral for an amazing horse. The person we were buying the saddle from was Gunners original owner. He is a retired world champ in halter & western pleasure. He belongs to my other half. He is AQHA & APHA registered, 15.3hh

Zip: We had planned to go to a specialty sale, when the lady who referred us to Gunner called & told us about a horse that she also knew personally, so we went to look at him the day before the sale. I fell in love with the horse but we weren't able to spend too much time with him because the weather was horrible. The next day we went to the sale and all I could think about was this horse. I loved the horse from the moment I laid eyes on him. The man that owned him was quite the jerk & very heavy handed with Zip. Zip was living on concrete & mud. So we went back the day after the sale & brought him home. Its taken him time to understand that we aren't going to hurt him. He is the most loving & amazing horse. His first night in a stall with fresh hay, a nice layer of clean shavings & fresh water must've been like heaven to him. He just celebrated his 16th birthday. APHA 16hh

Aiylah: 13 year old Appaloosa mare, 15hh, was given to my by a friend of mine. We have not yet brought her home.
 

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Of the ones I have now...Freckles was 5 with a 2 month old colt at her side. She is now 27 and Thunder is 22. Both APHA

Majik was a yearling when I won him in a raffle and is now 22. AMHA

Cutter was a 2 year old and is now 14, I think I said 13 in another post not too long ago but time gets away from me. He's a grade quarter horse.

The other 4 were born here. 3 APHA and 1 AMHA. 2 are 18 years old, 1 is 16 and 1 is 15.

These days they are mainly pasture ornaments who occasionally have to put up with me heaving myself on and going for a spin through the pasture. In an earlier time they were trail horses except the minis and Thunder who suffered a tongue injury while in reining training and can't have a bit in his mouth without the risk of him losing his tongue altogether.
 

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I have 6 wild children. 1 appy, 1 paint, 1 thoroughbred, 1 mustang, and 2 foundation quarter horses
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I love this question!! My current herd:

Katie: She was 6 and I actually had to the option to trade for her and I turned it down in favor of a 2 year old. Later that year, the owner made my husband a deal on her and another mare and he took it. I loved her because of how big she was and how quiet minded she was at the gate. She would run to the gate to say hi to whoever I was walking and always give me her nose. Our relationship has changed a ton. After I purchased her, I learned that she didn't like to be caught, she was incredibly head shy, had been ear twitched and poorly treated as a 2 year old in training. She is also HYPP N/H and I had to do some research to make sure I was keeping her as healthy as possible. She and I have done a lot of work and gone to clinics and I restarted her from the ground up with lots of short sessions and quiet time. She is now rock solid and a total dream to ride.

Joey: He is the best $100 I have ever spent. He was 16 and barely halter broke. My step-son attached to him when we would clean his stall over the summer and didn't understand why we couldn't just have him since we were the ones taking care of him. While he was on a trip back east, I spoke to the barn owner and Joey's owner and she happily sold him to me. I wasn't looking for a broke horse for my step-son, I was looking for a good minded, open-hearted therapy animal. He has since been broke to ride and is currently my husband's horse since the kiddo is with his mom most of the time. He has turned out to be an amazing therapeutic animal for my clients and he just turned 21.

Hershey: She was 18 and I was color blind. She is a solid silver dapple/chocolate buckskin, which is my dream horse color, and she is 14.1 so I can get on from the ground. I had her in my training program to be sold for her owner and he saw how I doted on her extra and how well she was responding to the attention. I had my wedding in his barn and he gave her to me as a wedding gift. She just turned 21 and has to be mostly retired because along with her beautiful coloring comes an unfortunate genetic eye degeneration disease. She can be ridding on cloudy days or at dusk, but not on super nice days and not in the indoor with the shadows. She is still a rockstar coach and I love her snuggles and quiet mind.

Roush: He was 8 when I got him last year and I was looking for a horse to join my coaching program that could also be a riding horse to start some long distance rough terrain rides in the mountains. He was part of a herd dispersal from a guy who had 7 horses at the barn and then one day stopped showing up and quit paying his board. He is a big sorrel mustang that was "broke" and is turning into a solid and incredibly big hearted dude. He is big for a mustang and comes from an HMA known to have cavalry draft lines.

Oopsie: She was 16 and also barely halter broke and came from the same herd dispersal as Roush. I really had no intention of actually taking her, but her other options were slim and I didn't need a horse that was able to be ridden for my program. Also, her papers came with her and her registered name is Operation Oops... I work with veterans. I loved her color and her name and I knew I had the time to rehab her. I was told she was lame in all 4 legs and needed to be at a rehab center and was dangerous. Since then, I have had the chiropractor out twice and her teeth done and she has turned into a total sweetheart. She does not play well with others and is food aggressive, but living in her own pen, she can be goofy and still stay safe.

Quinn: I have no idea how old she was when I got her. The vet is guessing she is about 6 or 7 which would make her 4 or 5 when I got her. I bought her from a fellow coach who won her at an auction. She was dangerous and terrified of everything when I got her. I agreed to take her because I wasn't sure if anyone else would be able to or want to handle a completely unbroke crazy mare. I was also VERY color blind with her. She is a gorgeous bay dunn with leg strips and no white except her little stip on her face. I hauled her loose from NE to ID and had no idea what I was getting myself into. She is still a work in progress being head shy and nervous around new people. She does, however, love the shedding tools and bum scratches and gets incredibly jealous when I grab Roush or Oopsie from their stalls beside her.

This is my crazy herd!
 
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