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Discussion Starter #1
Hullo people! I’m looking for a cheap horse... less than 1500 bucks. Is it possible to get a good young horse for that price? I’m fine with green horses. I know that I can’t get a well trained reining horse for that much but something started with the basics would be good. I am allowed to buy a horse with my own money but I don’t have a job so only get paid for housework.
Can I buy a horse started well in the basics for a cheap price it should I wait to try get a job (not for a few years) and spend more? Any recommendations? I dknt know if this is the right time for me to be looking for another horse. In a few years I’ll be moving 5 hours away for uni but I can bring my horses with me. I’m looking for a horse because I’m not advancing on my horses because the are getting old and have quite a few holes in their training. I would like to do reining, western dressage, reined cow horse and maybe a bit of English dressage. Should I put my riding on hold and wait till I finish uni (4-6 years) or go for it? I know a few riders who quite riding to do uni and never got back into it but they didn’t live in a farm and I do.
Any advice or opinions are greatly appreciated.
 

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I don't mean for this to sound offensive, but there are a lot of things "wrong" with this post - or rather, your wanting of a new, young, green horse.

I’m looking for a cheap horse... less than 1500 bucks. Is it possible to get a good young horse for that price?
Yes. You may have to look around and/or travel, but there are MANY good, young horses out there for less than $1,500.

I’m fine with green horses. I know that I can’t get a well trained reining horse for that much but something started with the basics would be good.
I’m looking for a horse because I’m not advancing on my horses because the are getting old and have quite a few holes in their training.
What kind of "holes" do they have? "Holes" are usually somewhere in the foundation (where the young, green horse will be). I have read most (all?) of your other posts about the problems that you are having with your horse(s). It does not sound like you have enough experience to get a green horse right now. I would understand if it was just about your horses getting old, wanting to "retire them", and getting a new project, but if they still have holes in their training, what makes you think that you can take on a young, green horse? When I think of "I want a new horse because I can't advance", I think along the lines of "my horse has arthritis and can't jump x high at y competitions", not "this horse lacks training and I don't know what to do."

While a lot of people do agree that it is easier to teach a horse than it is to re-teach a horse (one that has learned "bad" lessons), you are still teaching relatively the same actions (i.e. leading, tying, "sour" (barn/buddy/herd/ et cetera), turning, stopping, et cetera). The approach may be different (between teaching or re-teaching), but, again, you will still need to teach the same lesson(s).

I am allowed to buy a horse with my own money but I don’t have a job so only get paid for housework. Can I buy a horse started well in the basics for a cheap price it should I wait to try get a job (not for a few years) and spend more? In a few years I’ll be moving 5 hours away for uni but I can bring my horses with me. I would like to do reining, western dressage, reined cow horse and maybe a bit of English dressage. Should I put my riding on hold and wait till I finish uni (4-6 years) or go for it? I know a few riders who quite riding to do uni and never got back into it but they didn’t live in a farm and I do.
Horses can be really expensive. It is not just the initial <$1,500 cost; it is also the feed, water, buckets, maybe boarding, veterinarian bills (routine and emergency), farrier bills (routine and emergency), tack, et cetera. That is a lot of expensive for someone in uni without a job.

Horses also take up a lot of time, especially young, green horses. They usually do best with daily or every-other-day handling. It is hard to train and progress a young, green horse being a weekend rider.... Nevermind the actual care time.... If you add in trying o find a job to support yourself (or selves), I think that you would be overwhelmed. I know I would be!

I think that you should focus on uni and maybe try to get a starter job or something. You'd be surprised how fast 4-6 years can go. When you start making money, budget and save. You don't have to save every penny, though. You can have some fun too. If you can afford it, you could put a little money into lessons. That way, you improve you skills/experience and get to ride (a variety of horses). If you are lucky, you might be able to ride some highly-trained horses of the disciplines you want to try (reining/western dressage/cow/dressage). It will help give you the idea of what you are in for - the "correct" type of horse (the horse best suited mentally and physically), the maneuvers, the cues, et cetera - with the help of an experienced trainer.

Again, I don't mean to sound rude, but I just don't think now is the right time. I do not think that you have the experience to handle a young, green horse yet, especially without really available help (from a trainer or an experienced horse-person). Green on green = black and blue (bruises). Even if you do get a good horse, you could still have problems with grades or financially. And trust me. Now is not really the time to have financial problems if you can help it, especially being a young person just starting out.

That's just my $0.02; my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I asked for opinions and I got it. Thanks for having your say. I’ve broken in 5-6 horses and they all went well but I’m having a lot of trouble Re training my older horses. My current horse was ridden for 3 years and then spelled for 8-9 and was sold as a lead line horse so I could teach my mum. My mum got sick and can’t ride so he became my horse. He’s now 20, give or take a few years, and his joints are starting to click. My other horse Daisy, an accidental purchase, is 15-20 years old and was previously neglected or even abused. I haven’t clicked with her so haven’t gone far with her. I was thinking of retraining her for dressage but I’m not sure that I want to now, she will probably just be a trail horse for my dad or brother at some stage. My pony Red is a great little guy and his training is going well but he’s 13 hh and a bit too small for me so eventually I’ll re home him or teach him to drive. The last few years have been hell for me and I’ve used horses as an escape but now I’m just not feeling it and I guess sliding back into a depression. I understand about the cost. My dad is ok with paying for feed, dentistry, farriery and the vet as long as I pay the upfront costs. At the moment I’ve got lots of extra time as I don’t have friends, but that will change with uni (not the friends... the time 😂)
I’d love to take regular lessons but I live far from my coach and the next closest coach is booked out completely.
With my struggle with my horses is it a good idea to sell one of them and then get another or still probably not the right time.
thanks heaps for your input and the tile you spent on that post. Have a great day/night!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When I think of "I want a new horse because I can't advance", I think along the lines of "my horse has arthritis and can't jump x high at y competitions", not "this horse lacks training and I don't know what to do."
Jake still has issues with his tripping (it’s much better than it used to be) so I can’t push him too hard, too fast or ride on uneven ground. Daisy has “mechanical” laminitis and the farrier doesn’t want me to push her too hard until she makes a full recovery and I’m not sure how long that will be. After playing with the other horses she sometimes goes lame for a few days. I’d like to retire Jake soon and just let him live out his days as a paddock horse
 

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My current horse was ridden for 3 years and then spelled for 8-9 and was sold as a lead line horse so I could teach my mum.
What's "spelled"?

My other horse Daisy, an accidental purchase, is 15-20 years old and was previously neglected or even abused. I haven’t clicked with her so haven’t gone far with her. I was thinking of retraining her for dressage but I’m not sure that I want to now, she will probably just be a trail horse for my dad or brother at some stage.
How did that "accidental" purchase happen?

What do you mean by "clicked?"

Most would agree that you are not going to "click" with every horse you get. It usually takes time to figure out a horse (although, sometimes some people seem to experience "love at first sight"). Unless you trial/loan/lease, you probably won't be able to "click" just from a few test visits/rides. Say that you did get another horse. What would happen if you just don't "click?" Then, you are "stuck" - either with a horse you don't feel "clicked" to or trying to sell a young, green horse.

I don't know about you, but don't really "click" with many horses.... But that does not mean that you can't have a good relationship with a good horse. If you are willing to put the time in, you could have a very nice experience - probably not a "heart-horse" experience though. You will pay in time either looking for a horse to "click" with and training it or simply training a good horse that you did not "click" with. Of course, you want to have fun with the horse, so if you are not having fun, then the answer is kind of obvious.

The last few years have been hell for me and I’ve used horses as an escape but now I’m just not feeling it and I guess sliding back into a depression.
It really do be like that sometimes....

You know, getting a new horse is stressful for everyone, no matter the horse (how well trained or age) or the experience of the (new) owner (from extremely experienced to novice). Horses can be a good distraction, but they can also just add to the stress. That's not fair to anyone (horse or human). That is more of a situational/personality thing, so I can't really give advice about that....

Jake still has issues with his tripping (it’s much better than it used to be) so I can’t push him too hard, too fast or ride on uneven ground.
Tripping is usually due to poor feet (bad trim (too long toes, bad break over, et cetera) or too long between trims) or rider's error, but causes can also include: conformation, joint problems (such as bad arthritis), horse not paying attention, horse being "lazy", horse misjudging, or neurological problems.

Most horses are generally sure-footed so frequent tripping is concerning....

Daisy has “mechanical” laminitis and the farrier doesn’t want me to push her too hard until she makes a full recovery and I’m not sure how long that will be. After playing with the other horses she sometimes goes lame for a few days.
"Mechanical laminitis" is usually caused by outside forces, such as bad trimming. Do you have some pictures of her hooves? Some farriers do not know how to properly correct/address the laminitis.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Spelled here means not worked.

Daisy was an accidental purchase as we were looking at an online auction and with 30s left I convinced dad to get a beautiful paint mare from a reliable seller we had seen before. In dads rush he clicked place bid on Daisy. The farrier believes her laminitis is from her diet and not having her feet trimmed. Her feet were horrible when we picked her up. Her white line was full of blood and she was constantly shifting her weight.

With Jake and my other previous horses we trialed them for a month before buying but that wasn’t possible with Daisy.

Jakes feet have been good and the farrier thinks his tripping is caused by a mix of conformation and laziness, my coach agrees with him. Jake isn’t on any supplements for his joints.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Whoops I pressed post too soon

Daisy has lucerne chaff, calcium, dolomite, oil and grain free pellets that are low sugar by EasiSport, it says it’s safe for laminitis. That’s what I feed all three of my horses. I’ve only had Daisy for 3 months and I have no clue what she ate before I got her. She was obese when I picked her up
 

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Jakes feet have been good and the farrier thinks his tripping is caused by a mix of conformation and laziness, my coach agrees with him. Jake isn’t on any supplements for his joints.
Has he been scoped for arthritis or other joint problems?

I think that joint supps. can be a little iffy since some of them are not really well studied. Some people like joint injections, but that is not possible for all people/horses.

Another cause of tripping can include "something" being out. A veterinarian may be able to help. Some people swear by a good chiropractor. It is the horse that tells you what does and does not work though, not your "beliefs."

What is the clicking of his joints? Is he in pain or any discomfort? Does he have any problems moving around? Any stiffness?

If he were mine, I would spend my money on him trying to make him as comfortable as possible while in retirement than get a new horse.
 

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Daisy has lucerne chaff, calcium, dolomite, oil and grain free pellets that are low sugar by EasiSport, it says it’s safe for laminitis. That’s what I feed all three of my horses. I’ve only had Daisy for 3 months and I have no clue what she ate before I got her. She was obese when I picked her up
Some horses have a bad reaction to lucerne, a.k.a. alfalfa. For diet-related laminitis or EMS problems, alfalfa is usually not recommended.

Why calcium dolomite? If you need a calcium supp., it is best to go with ground limestone or calcium carbonate as calcium dolomite is considered to have a low bio-availability/absorbency.

Why the oil? What kind of oil? You need to be careful with oils, especially laminitis and fat horses. Oils are fatty and tend to be fattening since they are so calorie-dense. That is why oil is sometimes recommended for weight gain.
Horses are meant to have more omega-3s (O3) than omega-6s (O6). However, most oils tend to have more O6 han O3. O6 has been studied to have some pro-inflammatory properties. O3, on the other hand, has some anti-inflamitory properties. Don't avoid O6 like the plague, but don't have O6 above O3.

Is she still fat?

Is it this feed?
If so:
How much, by weight, do you feed?
It does not look too, too bad, but be careful of soybeans. Like lucerne, some horses do not do well with it. Also, it has 320 mg of added iron. Unless prescribed by a veterinarian/horse nutritionist, 99% of horses do not need added iron. Too much iron interferes with absorption with other minerals, especially zinc and copper. 320 mg of iron is 80% of the 400 mg NRC requirement for a 1,100 lb (500 kg) horse. I don't know about Australia, but most forage in the US has wayyy more than enough iron in the forage - like having "only" 2-3x more is considered "decent." A lot of US forage has 4x-9x the amount of iron needed.

Many feeds say that they are "safe" for laminitis but they are actually not. Of course, every horse is different and responds to different feeds differently... @walkinthewalk has bad experiences with her IR horse with Purina's "safe" feed.
 

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You really just sound like you need some help from an experienced horse person. I don't think a greener horse is going to solve your problems. For some people switching horses helps sometimes, for others it just turns into a cycle of horse swapping.

Also there are just ups and downs sometimes. I randomly had a bad month with my gelding and he's back to being chill again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Has he been scoped for arthritis or other joint problems?
No he hasn’t.
What is the clicking of his joints? Is he in pain or any discomfort? Does he have any problems moving around? Any stiffness?
his back right fetlock clicks the most but only while warming up, his back left rarely clicks. He doesn’t seem to be in pain, I can stretch him without resistance. He can be a bit stiff when not ridden for a long time like more than a month.

yes that is the feed I use. Thanks for all that information. I just give them canola oil, my coach told me to do it and he’s been doing horse stuff for 70 years so I did. It was mainly for Jakes coat but because the horses are always swapping feed I put the same thing in all of them.
I used to give them Purastock Lympia pellets but my dad chooses the horses feed and the EasiSport was cheaper. What should I be giving my horses? Our horses used to have oaten chaff because it was cheaper but we ended up getting lucerne for our cattle and just using that for the horses.
thanks again for all your time:)
 

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I know this is sort of a change of topic, but I also want to weigh in on the feed. I would stop the canola oil now. Unless you have a horse who desperately needs to gain weight, which it doesn't sound like is the case. Canola oil is high in Omega 6s and low in Omega 3s, meaning it can contribute to inflammation. Inflammation can contribute to arthritis. It's just not healthy.

I have respect for old horse people, but the way people feed horses has changed, now that we have more information about what is really healthy for them. I would take feeding recommendations from that guy with, well, a large grain of salt.
 

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Sorry for derailing this thread.

No he hasn’t.
his back right fetlock clicks the most but only while warming up, his back left rarely clicks. He doesn’t seem to be in pain, I can stretch him without resistance. He can be a bit stiff when not ridden for a long time like more than a month.
I would still scope for arthritis. Horses are stoic, so even though he may not "seem" in pain, he main still be experiencing discomfort.
What is his turnout like?

I just give them canola oil, my coach told me to do it and he’s been doing horse stuff for 70 years so I did. It was mainly for Jakes coat but because the horses are always swapping feed I put the same thing in all of them.
As @ACinATX said, things, nutritional wise, are changing and have changed. So unless there is concrete evidence, "doing it because it has been done that way for years and years" is not really a good enough reason.

A good coat comes from good, balanced nutrition, not just fat. Although fat can help, a lot horses do not need added fat in their diets. A lot horses do well with 2-5% fat in their total diet. Fat is kind of just good if you want to calorie-load or if you have a pssm horse. Of course, if your horse is showing outward signs of too little fat (the is a thing...), then you can supp., but I would go with an O3-based fat like flax or chia. These are more expensive though.... If you know the O3 : O6 in your horse's forage, you may be able to balance out the oils. For example, if your forage has a 7:1 ratio, adding some O6 to make it a 5:1 is not that big of a deal...

Why are they swapping feeds?

I used to give them Purastock Lympia pellets but my dad chooses the horses feed and the EasiSport was cheaper. What should I be giving my horses? Our horses used to have oaten chaff because it was cheaper but we ended up getting lucerne for our cattle and just using that for the horses.
What is their forage situation like? Horses do best with a forage-based (grass and hay) diet. A very general rule of thumb is 1.5% of current body weight or 2% of ideal body weight, whichever is higher. Of course, exercise, condition, weather, et cetera changes that. You may have to adjust higher or lower based on body score/condition. Some horses can do free-choice forage, but others, especially fat or easy keepers, may need controlled forage (weighing, hay net, muzzles, et cetera).

Like I said, EasiSport is not a bad feed. If your horses are doing well on it, then the results kind of speak for themselves.... What is the "best" is testing the forage and balancing it. You are in Australia (AU), so I don't know the companies. In the US, many people use Equi-Analytical. I don't know if they are international.... To balance it, you could do it yourself, have a nutritionist help you, or sign up for FeedXL. To get the minerals, you could bulk buy and mix it yourself or have someone make you a custom. I HorseTech (HT) does customs, and I think that they are international but don't quote me....
A second option would be to get a condensed vitamin and mineral supp. If HT is international, they are get with no-iron and no-soy supps. Many people like High-Point Grass/Alfalfa (whichever makes up most of your horse's ration; they provide different amounts of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P)). You could also go with Balanced Equine or Missy Bucket (both are AU-based). There are probably more companies, but since I am not in AU, I don't "see" most of them... It looks expensive, but when you figure out cost per day, most cost less than $1.50-$1.00. HT's costs about $0.70 per day. You feed with a carrier. Preferably hay pellets, but if you need something yummier, try to pick something with less than 15-10% sugar and starches. Lower the better. Almost all feeds hay soy, iron, and/or alfalfa, so... not much you can do about that.... But, since you feed a very small amount, it should be okay (especially if your horse is not allergic to soy or alfalfa). Do not feed any grain (oats, corn, barley, et cetera). Your horses do not need it.
 

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You are in Australia (AU), so I don't know the companies. In the US, many people use Equi-Analytical. I don't know if they are international....
I forgot to say that if you do test the forage (usually just the hay), choose a company that does horses. Companies that test for cattle/sheep/whatever animal not a horse, usually show different (unhelpful) results.
 

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Do you have your uni picked out yet? You don't necessarily have to take a break while at school. Many schools have horse programs -- even schools that are not focused on animals or agricultural stuff. My college had a horse team, which I did not participate in because they had to drive an hours to get to the barn, which didn't sound like fun to me. I don't regret not joining that team, but I do somewhat regret going to a school where that was the only horse situation (if that makes sense -- it was the wrong team for me, but a school with a different team might have been very good for me). One of my state's unis has a horse team and they ride horses that are very near campus (it's a lot more rural than the school I went to). You may even be able to bring your horse(s) with you and board them nearby. That way you can work with them on more than just the weekends.

Having time for your schoolwork is important, obviously. But I didn't have any friends in college, and I was pretty miserable. If you're bad at making friends like I am, and especially if you're prone to depression (like I also am) having your coping mechanism near you is extremely important.

tl;dr I can't help with whether you buy a horse now or not, but you don't have to stop riding for 4-6 years while you're at uni, in fact I strongly encourage you not to.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I know this is sort of a change of topic, but I also want to weigh in on the feed. I would stop the canola oil now. Unless you have a horse who desperately needs to gain weight, which it doesn't sound like is the case. Canola oil is high in Omega 6s and low in Omega 3s, meaning it can contribute to inflammation. Inflammation can contribute to arthritis. It's just not healthy.

I have respect for old horse people, but the way people feed horses has changed, now that we have more information about what is really healthy for them. I would take feeding recommendations from that guy with, well, a large grain of salt.
Thank you I’ll take them off that for now and do some more research
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I would still scope for arthritis. Horses are stoic, so even though he may not "seem" in pain, he main still be experiencing discomfort.
What is his turnout like?
When you ask what his turn out is like are you asking what his paddock is like? He cycles through different 7 acre paddocks. Right now he’s in a paddock with lots of ceteria and kikuyu, it has a gentle slope and a few drain ditches. It can get a bit muddy but is usually dry as the bottom of the paddock drains into a river. My horses used to get hay (not sure which one) in the drought but since that is over we have grass coming out our ears. They have lots of different grasses, ceteria, paspalum, kikuyu, oats, and lots of carpet grass. They aren’t normally in the carpet grass paddock as we are trying to replace it with marcu lotus. They also have 90 acres of bush with lots of ferns and shrubs but we are also trying to replace that with rhodes grass. The horses are only kept in if there are fires, they stay out in floods because our bush is sand and raised quite high so it’s dry there.

thanks heaps for all that information, I’ll have to look through all the links and talk to dad about changing their feed.
Thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Do you have your uni picked out yet?
Yes and no. I’m planning on going to Wagga Wagga but it all depends on how I go in these last few years of school.

I dknt know if the have a horse team or not but I’ll look into it. If they do I’ll be over the moon!

My family plans to get a small property, 20 acres with an arena and stables within 2 hours of the uni so I can go stay with my parents.

If I can keep riding I will and I’ll probably ride every now and then to keep my horses sane. Mum wants to keep our horses until they die and by the time I’m in uni Jake and maybe Daisy will be retired so that would mean I stop riding my own horses for that time or buy another.

thanks
 

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I didn’t read all the responses so I’m just going to address your original question. I don’t know what level you want to compete at or how serious you are about competing in those-reining, reined cowhorse but you absolutely will not be able to afford it. An unstarted prospect is maybe high four figures at least. A young, green horse is five figures and a lot of trainers consider that “affordable”. My advice to you is while you’re broke (as a high school and then college student you are broke) get allllll up a trainer’s butt and learn what you can. It’ll teach you SO much and you’ll learn to network and one day, when you have more money, you’ll probably be able to find a good deal from people and you can have a good deal of experience in that discipline to aid you.
My family could never afford a horse and I had to pay for my own lessons as a teenager. I annoyed trainers into taking me in and teaching me and it taught me so much and opened a ton of doors. Plus you’ll be riding so many horses so often you’ll definitely get your fix haha. I just entered my mid twenties and I’ve got a colt I plan on taking to the snaffle bit in 2023. If you put off buying now and learn and network instead, you’ll be able to get way nicer in a couple of years.
also you really don’t want to be learning how to be an adult and dealing with financial hardship and learning to pay bills while simultaneously dealing with the financial burden of horses. I couldn’t have even afforded cheap board for one in college.
 

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I didn’t read all the responses so I’m just going to address your original question. I don’t know what level you want to compete at or how serious you are about competing in those-reining, reined cowhorse but you absolutely will not be able to afford it. An unstarted prospect is maybe high four figures at least. A young, green horse is five figures and a lot of trainers consider that “affordable”. My advice to you is while you’re broke (as a high school and then college student you are broke) get allllll up a trainer’s butt and learn what you can. It’ll teach you SO much and you’ll learn to network and one day, when you have more money, you’ll probably be able to find a good deal from people and you can have a good deal of experience in that discipline to aid you.
My family could never afford a horse and I had to pay for my own lessons as a teenager. I annoyed trainers into taking me in and teaching me and it taught me so much and opened a ton of doors. Plus you’ll be riding so many horses so often you’ll definitely get your fix haha. I just entered my mid twenties and I’ve got a colt I plan on taking to the snaffle bit in 2023. If you put off buying now and learn and network instead, you’ll be able to get way nicer in a couple of years.
also you really don’t want to be learning how to be an adult and dealing with financial hardship and learning to pay bills while simultaneously dealing with the financial burden of horses. I couldn’t have even afforded cheap board for one in college.
thanks for your advice. I think I will put off buying a horse. I might be able to work out a free lease, my last horse Blaze was owned by a friend and he agisted him on my property and in return I got to ride him. Hopefully when j move to there will be more opportunities to learn
 
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