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Discussion Starter #1
My sister has just met this little foal at the barn I am stabled at. Now that she has met it, she really really really wants to buy it... :???:

We don't know the background of the foal, or the sire. We know the mother fairly well, and she is quite nice.

I would like to know your opinions on this...because I'm scared of what she is going to get herself into. She is prepared to buy this foal (we estimate she is probably around 6 months maybe) and train it from the ground upwards, even though she doesn't have alot of experience with horses.

She is also into this natural horsemanship and T-Touch, and join up for getting horse's trust, and wants to do it with this foal.

Just if you are concerned about me posting about my sister, she is aware that I am asking for opinions and she is okay with that, so don't fret about that. :wink:

What would you suggest to do? Do you think she should buy it, or look around for another horse? Do you think she is rushing into this blindly? Any suggestions or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.

By the way, here are some pictures of her. :smile:
 

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She is prepared to buy this foal (we estimate she is probably around 6 months maybe) and train it from the ground upwards, even though she doesn't have alot of experience with horses.
The highlighted in red part really concerns me. I am on my second baby bringing myself and LOVE it. But at the same time I spent a HUGE part of my youth(something like 10+ years) working under my trainer and was exposed to babies from newborns on up. She worked very closely showing me. Now it's kind of second nature. Babies are so unpredictable and if you don't know how to react and communicate what you want to them in that split second you can create a bad and even dangerous situation.

I would say flat out no. But if she does she should work very closely with a good trainer.
 

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Well, this is JMO but if she doesn't have a lot of experience with horses then it may be best to look for an older , been there, done that ,type horse that can be a teacher for her.
It is hard to think with your head and not your heart when you see a certain horse that you think is beautiful or a foal that is just adorable but what is more important is to think of how much care and training is involved with a foal or any young horse.I believe the handler/trainer will be the most important teacher in the young horses life (besides his Momma) and it is hard to be a good teacher if the handler themselves in inexperienced.
That being said, I bought a weaning appaloosa when I was in my earlier twenties and taught him all his ground manners , to lunge and even put the first couple rides on him. He was so calm that nothing phased him and he took it all in stride but I worked with him everyday and exposed him to a lot. I did have help too at that time my aunt who was my mentor and she taught me a lot about training horses and young horses in general.
Does your sister have a trainer that she can work closely with to help achieve all the things that a young horse needs to know? If so , I wouldnt say that it is not a bad idea but def. one to consider and to not to be rushed into.
If she just wants to ride , I would consider a horse that is already trained and calm .....it really takes a lot to raise a foal !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's the main reason I'm worried, is the fact she doesn't have much experience with horses. I also don't have anywhere close to the right amount of experience to raise a foal, so I can't help her.

She could get hold of a trainer to help her, but the thing is that she doesn't have a secure job and is still studying now. So she's going to have alot of expenses, like buying the foal, then keeping and feeding it, etc.

She isn't completely into riding right now, and she understands she won't be able to ride the horse for at least 4 years. She says she wants to form a partnership with the horse, so that when it does get old enough to be ridden it will trust her completely. She also isn't planning on doing any competitive riding at the moment.
 

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Would you want your fears to hold back your own sister from doing something she loves? The foal looks adorable and since your sister has some ideas of what type of training she is into, I would think the best thing would be for her to try it. If at some point she decides she is in over her head, she can make a different choice.
 

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Raising a foal is nothing like it is in the video games. A foal an immature, stupid child that has no clue what his boundries are or what it means to respect humans. This is an undertaking that should never be "experimented" with by a beginner with little horse experience. Most beginners have little self control and awareness, slow reactivity, no feel or tact, and little knowledge on how to train horses. All of these things take years of experience and hard work to even get a semblence of the mastery required to raise a foal.A foal is going to test everything, because he has, again, no boundries or respect. As far as he's concerned, a clueless handler is just another filly to chase and play-fight with, or a treat dispenser that he can push around.
Not even with a trainer would this situation work out. It isn't fair at all to the trainer; it's an insult and a drag for them, actually. Go and talk to any smart trainer and see for yourself.
It also isn't fair to the foal. As much as your sister would like to believe otherwise, she will just be causing the foal loads of confusion, and only hinder him from building the solid foundation that every horse deserves. He could become dangerous, maybe fearful, defiant, or all of the above. He has twenty-five years ahead of him, and he shouldn't have to spend any of it being re-trained because somebody thought of him as a plaything that "If it doesn't work out, you can just sell him."
It doesn't work like that. He could end up in the killpen. Do you want to be responsible for that?

Think about it this way. My trainer, who has more than thirty years of horse experience, still has some difficulty training foals. She says, "There is rarely a day when we don't have an issue, big or small, that needs to resolved. Things don't usually go as planned; I go to the barn with the intentions of starting with trotting while leading, but I might end up taking ten steps backwards and working on leading with respectful space at the walk again. Luckily, we're getting less and less big issues, because she's starting to realize work ethic and reward."
Every word of that is true. A small issue could mean that he doesn't understand what is being asked of him, and a big issue could be that he is terrified of something and is willing to plow through you to get away from it. One day he could be totally fine with the halter and being led around, but the next day he may feel like playing instead of working (once again, no boundries) and throw a fit of bucks and rears (usually directed at the handler). My trainer works mostly with the hot warmblood foals, but every foal is still capable of hurting someone even with experienced handling. With inexperienced handling, who knows what it will turn into. Your sister's chances of getting hurt, killed, or ruining another living being's life could be greatly reduced if bought something that she is capable of working with.

My suggestion? Find a schoolmaster (not a push-button) horse for lease or sale. That will teach her to ride. Two years of good training on different horses, and maybe then she can buy her first green five year-old to raise under the supervision of a trainer.
I'd rather even see her with a green five year-old right now than with a foal, if I had to choose.

The bottom line is that a foal is not something a beginner should screw around with, ever. It's a fool who thinks that they can.

Plus, if she busy with school right now, how is she ever going to devote the time to training a horse? How is she going to afford the vet bill if the foal gets injured? What about gelding him? Where will she keep him?


P.S. This isn't just "my" opinion. This is the opinion of every wise and respectable trainer that I've ever met. And no, I'm not snarking. I'm giving you the truth, the whole truth. and nothing but the truth. I've seen my fair share of people almost get killed because they were in way over their head. I've been in that situation. I don't want to see anymore horses or people suffer because of this kind of thing.
 

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A foal an immature, stupid child that has no clue what his boundries are or what it means to respect humans.
Some horses are still that way till after they grow up! XD My second horse was. I learned SOOOO much with him and refined my skill on the ground using NH. Whether you're for it, or against it - it doesn't matter. It's all in what works for the horse, and I've used traditional methods as well. Whatever gets the job done!

But of course she's in 'love' with this horse. I was in 'love' with the yellow filly, till we got her home and we found out how her momma acted - and she's the same way. A little bit of a loose screw. I enjoy the challenge, she's making me up my game, but she's definitely not a keeper.

Right now, what I think your sister sees is a cute little baby. Face it, all babies are cute and they instantly win us over. What's the first word a baby animal hears? "Awwwww!"

That cute little baby is going to grow up QUICKLY. My colts eat more than my grown horse eats, but they need it. So it's pricey to bring them up properly.

I'd say wait. Buy her another horse who's already grown and has patience and some brains. I love love love the youngsters, and she may too eventually and make that a specialty, but right now she just needs to get some more know-how and coordination and most of all, experience.

Buy her a foal in about 5 or 6 years, when she's not in school and she has access to lots of trainers.
 

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The thing is that ultimately it is not up to the original poster... it is up to the sister. We all have our opinions but only the sister will make the choice. I still say let the sister do it because what if she discovers she has a natural talent for it??? I am willing to bet if it is not for her, she would get out of it very quickly.
 

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I understand where everyone else is coming from, and I might get bashed for saying this, but I'm awful glad there wasn't internet when I got my first filly at the ripe old age of 15. I'd never had my own horse before. I lived and breathed the idea of a horse before getting one, and owning one didn't disappoint me and this filly was a doozie. She was range bred from MT. We lived in ND at the time and my folks drove over to MT and brought her back home as a yearling in the back of their pickup. She wasn't even able to be handled. To catch her, we'd have to corner her and halter her. I can't count how many times she got out of her run (We were military and she was boarded) and we'd get a call from the police because she was running around on the flight line. I spent hours and hours just going out there and "being" with her. I used that time to read anything I could get my hands on regarding horse training. I talked to everyone at the barn to see what else I could learn. By the time she was 2, I was able to get on and ride her in nothing but a halter and lead rope. She never offered to buck...ever. She was the most amazing horse. I think I learned more than she did the 4 years I owned her. (my parents sold her when I decided to join the military out of highschool) I wouldn't trade those years for anything.

I think for some girls this is a once in a life time chance that can only happen the first time once. I've ridden and trained other horses since then (that was 23 yrs ago) and I'll never forget my first horse. I think every girl that loves horses, the deep down, core of their being love horses, should have this opportunity.

I think it helps teach commitment, work ethic, sacrifice, love, and compromise just to name a few things.

Anyways...just my .02 worth.
 

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I will probably get bashed for this but..my opinion is that she should go for it. If she knows she can do it, then she can. Sometimes it doesnt matter how much experience you have, it matters how you handle it. For example, if a person starts there own business right out of high school, they are taking a risk because they dont have any experience. But that doesent mean that they wont succeed. I mean, what would the world be like today if some people didn't go out on a limb every once in awhile? If it dosent work out she can sell the foal or donate it to a lesson stable. But why not take a chance and live a little? It might turn out to be something great.
 

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I will probably get bashed for this but..my opinion is that she should go for it. If she knows she can do it, then she can. Sometimes it doesnt matter how much experience you have, it matters how you handle it. For example, if a person starts there own business right out of high school, they are taking a risk because they dont have any experience. But that doesent mean that they wont succeed. I mean, what would the world be like today if some people didn't go out on a limb every once in awhile? If it dosent work out she can sell the foal or donate it to a lesson stable. But why not take a chance and live a little? It might turn out to be something great.
I'm guessing your young. its not fair to the foal for her to just bye it, see if she likes t, and if she doesn't, just sell it. Its like buying a car, and if it doesn't drive right, sell it, except more so, because a foal is a living breathing animal.
On another note, to the OP, did she have any interest in horses or foals before she saw that one? if not, I'm just betting its a "omg its suuuuuch a kwoot baybe!" stage. They are cute, but they grow up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
On another note, to the OP, did she have any interest in horses or foals before she saw that one? if not, I'm just betting its a "omg its suuuuuch a kwoot baybe!" stage. They are cute, but they grow up.
She has been riding for about 8 years now, but for the past 4 years she hasn't really been riding at all because of her studying. So she does really love horses, and she has had this idea in her head for a while about getting a foal and training it with natural methods.

I can understand both sides of the argument really well. The fact that there is alot of responsibility involved, etc, she understands. In 2007 she went to Beulieu College to take this horse course, so she has alot of knowledge on horses, more than me. So she understands the work involved in working with horses.

The only thing is that she battles with the physical work with the horses. She is abit nervous around horses, especially when she rides, her tension is transferred to the horse. So that is one problem... :???:

Otherwise, in a way, maybe if she gets a horse, it will teach her more responsibility and give her something else to work for. What do you think? If she could get hold of an experienced trainer to help her through the training of the foal, will it help her in that way?

I'm not sure what to do. I don't wan't do dishearten her, but then I don't want her to make a mistake either... She has pretty much made up her mind about this foal now, but she still has to find out from the owner whether it is available to buy.

Now here is the final question: Should she buy this little foal? Or should she find another older horse? What would you suggest?
 

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If she is nervous, go for something older. I know if it was me, i would get that filly though, and if that is what she wants then she should for it. IF she has the resources. Does she have access to a trainer, or a helper if neccessary? If so, then go for the filly. It will be a dream come true. Without proper help, and with nervousness, then older will prbably be better.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
She could try and get hold of a trainer...but then money is an issue again, since she only has a part time job and still busy studying. My dad will NOT support her with this. He is very against going out and buying horses.... :sad:
 

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I bought 2 unhandled yearlings having very limited experience with horses. They were in bad situation, so... It just happened. From my own experience I would say it's NOT a good idea to do. Now I don't regret what I did, but it's lots of work, you have to spend time with the baby EVERY day (no excuses that you are too tired after 8-9 hours day plus 2 hours commute one way), frustration, learning and MONEY on training. Plus you can't even ride for long time waiting for baby to grow up. There is A LOT to take into account if you are getting a youngster. I wish I'd know all I know now 4 years back. :)
 

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A young foal will not teach a person responsibility. Its like a child I am sure your sister is not ready for a child a horse should be looked at the same way. If she REALLY wants to be with horses she can get a school master or if she doesnt want to ride how about a older retired horse? This is a huge decision and you dont if you dont want to go threw a heartbreak(your sister gets hurts or busy...) down the road that I would steer away.
 

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She needs an older horse if she can't find a trainer. I've spent my whole life wanting a horse, but I wouldn't take a foal if it was given to me because I wouldn't want to be the reason for a bad start to that foal's training. Don't get me wrong, I'd be very tempted, but I'm in the same boat...no money for a trainer, and haven't had the experience of training one from the beginning...and I just ultimately would find something older to work with.
 
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