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Discussion Starter #1
I've been on the hunt for a horse, and today went and looked at a couple while I was in the big city (I am a small town girl, so when I go to the bigggg city it's a big event. lol)
The second horse, the lady owns a boarding stable, and gives lessons. The mare I was looking at...I later found out she'd had for only three weeks..hm...wonder whyyy...
Anyways, immeaditly got a weird vibe from this lady. I asked her what the horse's name was, she just stared at me and said, "i sent you a scan of her papers didnt I?" I thought yeah, but the horses name was like 20 characters long, that's not exactly a call name. Then she put a martengale on the horse, and rode her for like a second and then told me I could ride. As soon as I got on, she yelled, "FEET DOWN LIKE THIS" and came over and repositioned my feet. Telling me my legs were too close to the horse and the "Gas pedal" and my heels needed to be down like this (I can understand taht, but it literally was making my feet, hurrrrttt). Then she told me I didnt have hold of the reins tight enough, and then finally, "Well I thought you;'d ridden more." I just lookeda t her.
Later when we went to turn the horse back in her stall, she told me, "NEVER leave a halter on a horse. They can hang themselves. Ive seen horses hang a back leg through a halter." I've never heard of that, and honestly, houw do you halter break a baby if you can't leave a halter on it? We left a halter on my show steer for MONTHS to gentle him slow, and aside from making it filthy, he never minded or decapitated himself with it!
Now I come home and feel like an idiot. Was everything she said TRUE or did she just want to make me feel like even more of a noob than I already am? :oops:
Also she yelled to me, "The kiss sound is a CANTER CUE! DON'T DO THAT! THE HORSE WILL TAKE OFF INTO A CANTER!" I'd never heard that before. Is that true? I'd always thought that depended on training, and that noise was more of a "accelerate" hint to the horse than a direct cue to run.:-|
 

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I can't address your riding position.

I do believe that it is dangerous to leave a halter on a horse. Not only can they get that back foot hung up while they are scratching their faces, but they can also get it hung up on other things and seriously hurt themselves trying to get free. Some people do leave their halters on all the time, I just see no need for the added risk. If I had to leave one on, I'd make sure it was a breakaway.

I can't speak for how everyone trains their horses to the kiss cue. For my own horse, when he is walking and I want him to do a running walk, I first use leg cues and then if he chooses to ignore me, I will kiss to him. If he ignores the kiss he gets spanked with the rein. What I am trying to say in my very long-winded way (sorry), to my horse, the kiss does not mean take off into a canter. It means I was not happy with how he responded to what I asked and that he better get to where I want him to be immediately. I will also use the kiss when asking for the canter..but only when my first cues have failed to get the proper response.

I'm not sure how much experience with horses you have. If you don't have very much, then I would highly recommend taking riding lessons for a while. They are a lot of fun and very educational.

You made the statement that you are a noob. That tells me that you do not need to go horse shopping alone. Is there someone more experienced that can go with you and help you find a horse that is suited to your needs? Many horse dealers (not all, but many) can be very crafty selling horses. You would be amazed at how quickly you can go from feeling as though you love your new horse and that he is perfect for you, to being face down in the dirt wondering how it all went so wrong.
 

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Totally agree with Sandy. If you are going to leave a halter on, it should be a breakaway.

You absolutely should take someone more experienced with you. For many reasons, it is a huge help, another set of eyes and brain cells is always a good thing.

Sounds to me like you would benefit from more lessons.....just to gain more experience all the way around.

I have leanred since I started riding Western after years of English, that many western riders, at least in my area, train their horses that a cluck is for trot, kiss for canter. So, perhaps that is what this lady is talking about. Regardless, you were not there for a lesson, but to try a horse. Unless you were doing something that could endanger yourself or the horse, or you asked, she should have kept her mouth shut. after all, she is not going home with you, and you should be able to ride the horse by yourself, or it is not the one for you!
JMHO.
 

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okay so that person that you went to see the horse, STUPID. obviously, she has no good nolidge. if i were you i would have jumped off the horse after her making your feet hurt, i would have simply gave her the reins of her horse and walked away. she is stupid and no horse that you migh buy is worth her confusing you and making you feel dumb.
 

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She was putting your heels down? That is correct. Heels are your shock absorbers so they should be at an angle, which DOES hurt when you first start to do it--it will eventually become muscle memory. Also, a lot of people train their horses so cluck=trot and kiss=canter. And no, IMO, a halter shouldn't be left on an unsupervised horse. Was this lady rude? Yes. But wrong? No.
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Is it possible that you overstated your riding experience when you set up the appointment to look at the horse? You seem to have been surprised by some things that are fairly common in the horse world.

Now, I agree that the lady seemed abrupt and rude in your description, but she may have been annoyed because she felt you were wasting her time and that you weren't a serious buyer.

I second the suggestion to take someone with you when you go to look at horses. If you're not already taking lessons, now would be a good time. Get an instructor to give you an honest assessment of your riding ability and some advice about what type of horse you need.
 

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The halter thing...until I got on this forum, we have always left halters on our horses, and we still do for the most part. We have never ever had a halter-related injury. I'm probably going to get chewed out for this -.- but I see no huge problem with leaving the halter on. Everyone can do what they want, and some choose to take the halter off, some choose to leave it on.

Generally, cluck means trot, and canter means kiss, but you are right, it all depends on how the horse was trained (evidently, the horse you rode was trained so kiss=canter).

I'm gonna throw a suggestion out there: you might want to consider getting an old, schoolmaster type of horse for your first. No offense intended, but if you are still a "noob" and have a lot to learn, generally speaking an old, well-trained horse could teach you better than a young one.
 

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I would suggest you lease a horse or taking some lessons before you buy. I know owning your own horse is exciting but there is a time for it. Everyone has different opinions in the horse world. I don't leave halters on my horses because I don't want them to get hung up in something and I hate searching pastures for lost halters.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
1.) I would love to have someone more experienced along with me, but in the realm that I don't know anyone who's such, and am rather broke and cant afford to pay someone to come with me, its not an option.
2.) I'm not complete noob. At all. We've had...let me count..10 horses since I was little. Some I rode, some were lawn ordaments. Some were too much, some were dead heads, some were little angels. But I haven't ridden consistently in well over a year. And even then, it wasnt TOO consistent. It's been like..THREE since I was riding several times a week. And I WAS smaller then. Im taller now, and things that once seemd to work as a midget now feel awkward that Im bigger too.
3.) I took lessons. From a cowboy friend-of-a-friend. Granted, that was back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth (okay, okay, not that long ago) He never said anythinga bout heels. Keeping your lower leg away from the horse, yes, and keep your feet so you could lean back, but nothing specific about techniquw. More about just getting on, going, building miles, and reading the individual horse's body language and quirks to learn from.
4.) I've been in horse project in 4-H for a couple years, and was never corrected at a riding practice about my feet or cues. I never was told anything different.
5.) I NEVER represented myself as an experienced rider when I was talking to her on the phone about the horse. In fact, I asked if the horse would be suitable for someone who is definitely NOT an experienced rider, and she was all "yes yes yes definitely"
I was glad the lady gave me the tips she did :lol: But kind of curious..she's only had that mare 3 weeks, and only ridden her once a week..So how does she know what commands she has/hasnt been trained to? And THANK YOU, FOR THE AWESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOME ADVICE ON THIS FORUM: I've learned more from the people here's tips and advice then most of the books I read! You guys are AWESOME! hehe
 

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Since you said you didn't know about your heels....they should most certainly be down. As I said, they are your shock absorbers, all of your weight should be in your heels. If your heels are up, not only are you more likely to grip with your knees which completely throws off you seat, but you are also more likely to have a foot caught in the stirrup and be dragged in the event that you fall. Your seat will be much more secure if your heels are down. Just keep practicing and eventually it will become natural and it won't be painful. :lol: :wink:
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This lady sounds like a jerk. You were not there to get a lesson from her and if she wanted her horse put away a certain fashion, she should have done it herself. Now, you could have asked more questions but it sounds like she had you so uptight( because of her constant barking and nagging) that why would you risk asking a question and having her put you down???

Her information sounds correct but the way in which it was delivered was not helpful and may have hindered you from asking important questions about the horse..... sorry. Not all horse people are as rude as this lady sounded to be.
 

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Sorry I didn't know you had owned horses before. I know how it is to learn something different than you had previously been taught. I hope you find a horse that does well for you. : )
 

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Poultry Girl,
As you have discovered going to look at a horse with a view to buy can be a fraught experience. You must prepare yourself before you go.

May I suggest that before you go visiting again you make up for yourself a little questionaire. The first visit must be seen as an information gathering session.
You need to discover as much as you can about the horse before you committ to buy it. The only way to keep the meeting on track is to have that list either in your hand or at least in your mind when you are there. You don't have to like the seller but you do have to get the truth out of he/she and that is not always easy. It is rarely what the seller tells you that matters - it is what they don't say about the horse that often is important. Make the seller talk
and then look for any inconsistencies in what they have said.

Always take someone along with you - it would be nice if they knew something about horses but if you only have friends who play ball games, then take them along with you for company and to ensure that you are not put down by the seller - as you were on this occasion. Always remember it is the horse that you might take home not the seller.

Also when riding a strange horse which is for sale, try to be present when the horse is brought in for grooming and tacking up. Let the seller tack the horse horse up but watch the process carefully. Then when the horse is ready to ride go up to it, give it a stroke and talk to it. However be careful - you do need to know if the horse is safe to ride before you get on it. Always make them demonstrate the horse first preferably in some form of arena on flat ground.

What is very important is the feeling that comes up from your gut when you first sit down on the saddle. Don't ever ignore it.

I have never bought a horse on a first visit. Give yourself some thinking time. If the seller tries to put pressure on, then walk away.

Be lucky, buying a horse is rarely better than a 50/50 experience - it is as easy to buy the wrong horse as the right one. What you have to do is to try to bring the odds into your favour.

PS Welcome to the Forum. If you would like members of the Forum to help you, then next time think of giving us a little more information about yourself and what you are seeking to do with the horse.
 

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It does sound like she was correct, but if it went exactly like you say she could have said it much nicer, you weren't there for a lesson. On this kissing it is common to teach cluck for trot and kiss for canter/lope, but there are differences in training and the kiss can just mean speed up.

On the halter I never leave halters on, not only because of the danger, but I also don't like the halter marks left behind. I've known of atleast one foal that broke it's neck because of a halter left on, and I met a horse at the vet one day that had gotten his leg caught in the halter and kicked his eye out. I have left halters on short term for one reason or another, but rarely and for sure don't as a generally rule.
 

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She should have explained, or you should have asked for, the horse's cues. If she hopped off after "two seconds" I would tell her to get back on and show me the horse isn't gonna kill me when I get on. JMHO. I do agree with her about the halter and the heels, but she could have said it a lottt nicer. Getting lessons from a "cowboy friend-of-a-friend" isn't going to teach you everything, so you should be open to advice and constructive criticism.
 

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I agree with what most of the others said. Never ever leave a halter on. Halter breaking a baby doesnt mean leaving the halter on. I have seen horse get seriously hurt because they have been snagged in stalls and in the pasture by halters. :(

As for riding, yes, heels down. It is uncomfortable when you begin riding but after awhile its second nature. When I see someone with their toes down or feet straight, I cringe.

Definitely take someone with you who is knowledgeable in horses before you buy and get stuck with either a horse too advanced for you or a lemon.
 

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I agree with what everyone else has said, especially about getting an older horse for a teacher and I know one guy who's 7 day old foal got his halter caught and broke his neck and another guy who's 3 yr. mare got her foot caught in her halter and was paralyzed and had to be put down. Was she rude or just brusque? But she was right about the heels. If your heels are down and your horse bucks or stumbles your alot less likely to come off. So chalk it down to experience and take her advice, you'll be a better rider for it if nothing else.

P.S. Keep looking
 

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I agree with the halter thing. I don't like to leave any, but if it's absolutely necessary - break away all the way and definitely no halter in stall. Horses are dumb - they always find a way to hurt themselves. :-(

I have a feeling she did right corrections (like heels down etc.). HOWEVER the WAY she did it is absolutely unacceptable. Don't feel dumb! There is nothing wrong if someone doesn't know something. Nothing wrong when someone points out that something is done incorrectly either. But again, you don't do it on potential buyers and you have to do it as a suggestion, not a scream.

Personally, I'd just keep looking for another horse (and another seller!). :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have a feeling she did right corrections (like heels down etc.). HOWEVER the WAY she did it is absolutely unacceptable. Don't feel dumb! There is nothing wrong if someone doesn't know something. Nothing wrong when someone points out that something is done incorrectly either.
I don't mind being corrected, in fact, Im greatful to glean information :lol: But I'm also extremely insecure, and that's like one of my fears--getting yelled at because I dont know what Im doing. haha. I dont mind, but I did immeaditly feel dumb, then start feeling nervous, and then just thinking: why the heck am I here if I'm such an idiot?
I think I found the horse I want--and it's definitely NOT the one that lady was selling. Instead it's a ridiculously mellow 5 year old (I didnt even think this mellow for her age was possible..) who's just a doll.
And I've been involved in 4-H for years, poultry is my thing. I'm a four time grand champion showman, and I hold showmanship clinics and lead a poultry project. I taught showmanship to many, many children this past summer, and sure, you mess up, but you correct them gently, praise them when they get something right, and they become confident and pick things up so fast. I was so proud of all of them at fair, and their hard work. My point: when you're teaching, especially something animal related, dont YELL or put down or try to make someone insecure. It's like hitting the off switch in the brain and shutting them down. It also makes them nervous around the animal which makes it worse. Im glad she corrected me, because I learned more I can apply towards my riding (hehehehe), but I did feel like a dummie. :wink:
And thanks for the advice on the halter. If I get this horse I'm making an offer on (fingers are still crossed), she's definitely getting a leather halter.
 
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