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My daughter (12) has been riding since she was 5. We are thinking about getting a horse. We have been looking at cheap options ($100-500) and most of them are green. She has been jumping since she was 7 and has fallen very few times even on difficult horses. She has ridden a green horse once before and it had no bit and was very spooky. (This isn’t something she brings up saying that she could handle one after one ride) I think she is ready but I’m not an equestrian. I figured is I came here I could get some advice. What do you think, should I get her a green horse? She could probably handle it with a trainer, but I am a little worried for her.
 

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This would be a no brainer for me; my daughter's safety would be my ONLY concern. So, I would pay much more to get a well trained horse. But I am a worry wort by nature. I guess it also depends on the trainer, and the temperament of the horse. Some green horses are dangeroous, others are just ignorant but are naturally kind and careful. my choice? get a horse with more training.
 

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Don’t get a green horse. Get a nice safe horse for her. My grandma bought a green pony for me to ride when I was like 6 after having to put my first pony down. It was a nightmare granted your daughter has more experience but green horses are a lot of work just get something that is broke and safe it’ll cost more but will be worth it
 

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Just because she has riding experience doesn't mean she can train a green horse. Even with the help of a trainer you may be biting off more than she can chew.

What are her interests? If they are in competition then you need to find something that has the training she needs to compete on her level and slowly bring the horse along to the next under her instructor or trainer. If she is more interested in the training part then something under where she is at that she can bring up to her level - again under a professional. Either way green is not what you want.
 

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I would up your budget by atleast $1-2k and find her something that she will actually enjoy. My parents got me green and difficult horses when i was young and looking back I wish I had something to teach ME more. The bad habits would be far less and easier to fix then they ended up being.
 

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I think she is ready but I’m not an equestrian. I figured is I came here I could get some advice. What do you think, should I get her a green horse? She could probably handle it with a trainer, but I am a little worried for her.
No you are not an Equestrian, therefore you don’t have the equestrian education to be the wings under her young boots, when she needs help and no one with experience is around to help when she needs that help.

unless you want to risk seeing your daughter in the E-R —— Absolutely not - no green horses for a 12 year old with minimum experience. I say minimum because she has only ridden lesson horses at training barns and never had the day-to-day experience of handling one at home.

Have her current or last trainer help find a suitable/compatible riding horse and stop looking at cheap. Cheap horses are for experienced adults, capable of starting them or rehabbing them, whichever the case may be.
 

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Maybe it would be different for your daughter, but my experience with buying a green pony was that I spent more to get him trained than I had paid for him in the first place. So it's not like it's really cost effective.

I would personally be extremely leery of a horse someone was selling in that price range, especially the lower end. Who sells a horse for $100? My guess is you'd be buying someone else's problems.

It seems like your gut is telling you not to do this. I'd listen.
 

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Your daughter is at an age where she will make the most treasured riding memories of her life. Make sure they're all good ones!! Get more money together and get her a well trained, safe, experienced horse.

The first horse I bought when I was the same age as your daughter was way too much for me, before I could handle it. I'm almost 40 now and I STILL have trauma-related fear in my riding from him. My second horse was a SAINT, bombproof, very seasoned, broke broke broke broke broke, and if she had been my first horse, I would have had a much better time!!!
 

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A quiet, trained, sound horse is what you want, period. And guess what? So does almost everyone else, so be prepared to spend between $2500 and $5000. That is what a basic good horse costs. Believe me, the asking price is the smallest part of the cost of a horse. Do not look to save money at the front end, it very rarely works that way.
 

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I wouldn't. She's ridden one green horse once. That's not enough experience in my opinion. This is completely different from a lesson pony, even difficult ones. Her safety is obviously the first priority, and this is an unnecessary risk. I don't think she'd enjoy a green horse either. Riding a horse you don't feel safe on really takes the fun out of riding. It's a huge responsibility and I don't think she needs that kind of burden for a first horse.
It'd be a disservice to the horse too.. It's easy to "ruin" a green horse. Cheap prices are tempting but you may end up spending as much on a trainer as you would if you bought a seasoned horse. I say leave the green horses to the experienced.
You mentioned she jumps, if she wants to do any competing that takes green horses out of the picture. I say get a safe and experienced horse that she can advance and have fun with. :)
 

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I would look for something between the ages of 8 and 12. A been there done that kind of horse. If you can find one that's been shown 4-h then I would go for it. With your price range I would be looking for a grade horse (something that is not registered).

I don't know where your location is so I don't know what horses cost where you are at. In my area I would tell you to raise your price to a minimal of $800 and probably closer to $2500. This will buy you a solid horse but not necessarily a flashy one but one that is safe. You also need to worry about soundness.

My suggestion is don't rush into it. Take your time and ask around. If you are in a lesson program, which it sounds like you are - you can mention you are looking for an AFFORDABLE horse to the trainer and other owners. Word of mouth will sometimes get you a great deal.

I actually have a friend that has given away a couple very sound, registered, well trained horses because she worries about who will buy them so she looks for teenagers that are serious about riding and ensures the horse is the right fit. That kind of person is hard to find but they are out there.

Another thought is a lease. I personally lease (free) one of my horses out to teenagers. My original girls rode the horses from middle school through college and then faded away so I actually have a girl coming over this weekend that wants to ride but can't afford to. (She has had lessons). If she works out - she'll ride this horse as longs as she wants. You may find something like that....

Anyhow - good luck!

PS - check out your local 4-h. Many times there are people with horses that need to be ridden. Another option....
 

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I bought my 11 year old a horse a little over 5 years ago. He was 15 at the time, which some would consider pretty mature, and we paid 4000$. He's perfect and is still going strong at 21. Seriously, do not get your 12 year old a green horse. Get her a well-broke, been there, done that kind of horse. One with solid training (doesn't have to be show quality, just good and safe), lots of miles, and a track record of keeping his riders safe. One that is healthy so you don't have to pour thousands into just keeping him rideable for your daughter.

I don't mean to be rude, but a 100-500$ horse is NOT that horse. Even for a green horse, that is alarmingly cheap, and you are buying problems. You are setting her up for frustration, disappointment, or worse. Do you realize that keeping a horse will cost a lot more than the price of purchase? Will you board or keep the horse at home? Did you factor in the cost of vet bills (minimally, you need to do vaccines and teeth once a year), shoes or trims every 6-8 weeks, feed, properly fitted tack, and countless other expenses you may not even know exist yet? I keep my horses at home and even if I don't factor in the cost of building my barn and all the fencing I put up, it costs me about 4000$ a year per horse just to feed them and provide basic veterinary care and hoof care. And I live in an area where those things aren't that expensive.

I second the idea of leasing or borrowing a horse.
 

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I have seen so many times, a young rider taking lessons and doing very well and enjoying the riding, they decide it is time to get a horse of their own. BUT owning and riding and being responsible for a horse is VERY different than riding school horses. School horses are ridden and worked regularly and know their job and usually get plenty of exercise so they are not tempted to misbehave and test their riders. That is why they are lesson horses. Very forgiving.
A young rider gets a horse of their own and if the horse is not very well trained problems soon start to show up. little things that the young rider has not had to deal with in the past. Then the little things escalate into bigger problems. The young rider is not experienced enough to deal with this and soon riding this horse is no longer fun and can be frightening if the horse really misbehaves. The young rider becomes discourage and doesn't want to ride this horse and with no exercise the horse gets worse.
I would also recommend trying a lease or part lease along with lessons for a start. That way your daughter can get started on riding her own horse but not be completely responsible.
Owning a horse is a big commitment and takes a lot of time,
Good luck with finding a good horse.
 

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PS I would also like to add that since your daughter is young and doesn't drive yet, will you be able to get her to the stable as often as she would need to be there if she is the only rider?
You would have to be prepared to spend many, many hours at the stable or if not that numerous trips back and forth. It would take a big chunk out of your time. Not trying to be critical here, just practical.
 

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I just bought my first horse. He’s a 20 year old quarter horse sold as dead broke and bombproof. I’ve had him less than a month, but he’s had his moments that make me SO GLAD that people who care about me made sure I got something safe.

Two days ago he spooked and started bucking before I was completely mounted (bareback) so I was gone by the third buck.

He doesn’t know much. Go, go faster, turn, stop. If I ask him to back up or give his nose to pressure, he gets overwhelmed and upset. Baby steps in teaching him. He’s either fine, or spooky and nervous. Depends on the day.

Green...no thanks. I’ll stick with my boy.

He was $1,200 incase you were wondering.

Definitely get her a well trained horse. She will have a lot more fun. She will WANT to go ride, jump, and compete for fun. Not schooling a green horse and dealing with spooks and confusion at the simplest cues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would up your budget by atleast $1-2k and find her something that she will actually enjoy. My parents got me green and difficult horses when i was young and looking back I wish I had something to teach ME more. The bad habits would be far less and easier to fix then they ended up being.
[
No place you'd want to buy from...😨
those places are rescues. Probably should have specified that 😅
 

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those places are rescues. Probably should have specified that 😅
Ah, that's a little better. Most rescues really do want to give their horses good owners, so if you are clear about what you and your daughter want, they might have something for you. And most rescues, if it doesn't work out, will take the horse back.

Cons of rescues: (1) you won't actually own the horse in most cases, and the rescue can take it back if they deem fit, (2) some rescue horses (not all) have deep-rooted behavioral issues. However, a legitimate rescue will try to determine whether this is the case, and will usually disclose it.

Having said all of that, I still question whether a green-broke horse is really what your daughter needs right now. If she doesn't have experience training a horse, you'll have to pay someone to train it up or to train her to train it, and I reiterate my point above about how much that can cost.
 
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