Best option for first horse?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by RaineSong, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. RaineSong

    RaineSong Registered

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    Hello, I'm new here, but I'm in need of advice.
    I originally started riding when I was about ten, then quit so I could go on to gymnastics instead. Almost a year ago, I came back to riding again. The barn I ride at let's everyone learn at their own pace, and I take lessons weekly, along with going any day of the week I want to ride and work on my riding. I also became a wrangler there, and I quickly learned the basics of riding and can take care of horses (as that is part of my job) and also know property management from my instructor. The horses I ride are all trail horses, therefore they all have a few quirks and are very testy. Over the time, I developed an intense interest in training horses from start to finish. I worked with a few of the horses at the barn (a lot tend to be hard mouthed and I have been working with some to get them to be more responsive). The one I am currently ridding has discovered that if she can buck people off, they'll come off. She's bucked me off twice, and I am currently in the process of taking her back to basics and fixing the problem (mostly ground work, gaining respect, etc.) I have already gone through the possibilities of her being in pain, but after examining, that got ruled out, and based off her expressions, she just doesn't want to be told what to do. I have been wanting to buy my own horse, as I get put on different horses a lot, and would like my own horse to just settle with and train. I have done a ton of research, and still am, on training horses, start to finish. Overall, I feel very confident in my knowledge, and I know care for, how to ride, ground work, how to tell if a horse is in pain, expressions, etc. I've learned to read horses, and I know how to control them. I have (obviously) had a few scary situations, but once they happened, I quickly figured out how to fix them. I feel very comfortable on a horse, and on the ground with a horse.
    As for buying a horse, I feel ready. But the only problem is, I want a somewhat green horse. Bad first horse, I know, however one thing I have discovered with people around here, is that their horses tend to have little quirks and all from being ridden by so many people. Many horses who are being sold are either foals, or older horses who have been used for trail rides. Now, I have nothing against older horses. I know first hand that they can have a ton of spunk for their age- that's not the problem for me. What I'm running into is my passion for training horses. One thing I want is a bond that both a trainer and horse get when they are being trained. I know you are still training a horse to an extent if you just simply ride them (respect), but as I said, I'd love to train horses start to finish. There's no one around here that can give lessons for training horses- the best advice I got was to read, re-read, research, etc. (thats what one of the trainers at my barn did). I have been doing that. With that in mind, I know a lot of people will tell you getting a young horse right away is a terrible idea. An older horse is more suitable. However, I'm not necessarily looking for a horse I can just jump on to a ride into the sunset. I genuinely want a horse I can work with, start to finish. I'm willing to put in time, effort, whatever to train a horse. It's really my passion.
    That being said, I did find a three-year-old filly for sale. A horse I would have to do start to finish with. Obviously, I'd go check her out and get a vet to examine her thoroughly before I even considered buying her, but I want to know if that's even a good idea right now? Regardless of my passions, should I get an older horse first with no ifs, ands, or buts?
     
  2. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    The "bond" thing is a myth. Of course on the ground some horses develop a special like and appreciation towards their human, but riding is a matter of technique and "fit" of personalities. If good training or riding was based on a "bond", no professional trainer could train the horses for clients.

    So, coming from a trail riding background, you have to decide for a discipline, and then you need a trainer who teaches you to train a horse. Training horses is a logical step by step process, most "self taught" people don't get very far.

    I would not necessarily suggest to buy an older horse, but one that has correct basics in the dicsipline you choose. Because as someone with no sound basics yourself, you need a horse that can give you the "feel" of how it should be when correctly ridden. Only if you know how it should feel you can later start to train a horse to become like this, with the help of your knowledge of the step by step process that your teacher will give you.

    To become a trainer you need a trainer.

    Oh, and riding a variety of different horses is very good, just you should regularly ride the horse for a few weeks or months. If you are really interested in learning how to train, an internship with a good trainer could help you a lot.
     
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  3. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Age isn't an entire factor, I've had three year olds that were calm as could be, but it is a very good rule of thumb. I don't know what your budget is, but you would be well served by choosing an older, solid trained horse. Post prospects here for conformation checks if you want, it's not just about looks, you want one with as few faults as possible to prevent injury and lameness..those will kill your budget, those vet bills total up.

    Also, greenies shouldn't try to train at all. They 99.999 times wind up creating or cementing in problems that cost a fortune to fix. Trainers train, not the other way around.
     
  4. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Here's the thing. You're at the point where you have just enough knowledge to feel confidence that you shouldn't feel.

    I don't mean that as an insult. It's just that when you begin to ride and learn, you learn a ton very fast and it gives you confidence that you know more than you actually do. You've been riding for a year. Yeah, I know, you rode as a kid but that really doesn't count because you were just absorbing stuff about riding and nothing about actually training.

    A year is nothing in horse handling or training, even if you're doing it all day, every day, for that entire time. Which you admittedly are not.

    The biggest risk in getting a green horse is not that you'll get hurt (though that is a big risk), it's not that you'll fail (though that is a big risk) - the biggest risk is that the horse will be so messed up, you will have ruined its chances for a normal life. And that happens. And it's no joke and it's no easy fix. It often means death to a horse.

    You feel ready but you're not. You just aren't. What's the rush? If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right, especially when working with living creatures.

    And forget the "bond" thing. Some few horses will end up seeing you as the center of their universe. I have one of those but it's not necessarily a good thing. A one-person horse has a harder time in life because if anything happened to me, her future pool of owners would be smaller because she's fussy. Which is why I try to get other people to handle and ride her as much as I can. I don't WANT a one-person horse. It's a liability for HER and I never tried to make her that way.

    Most horses are like my other horse, who knows who I am, nickers when I arrive, and behaves the same way for anyone else as he does for me. I'm the most familiar face to him but as long as he's fed, cared for, etc., he's not particular. That's your average horse. And that's a good thing.

    Keep riding. Keep working. Keep learning. Keep reading. Keep asking questions. Don't rush. Never rush with horses, in any capacity, including getting one. Horses don't see time as we do. Horses don't care about meeting certain goals within certain times. Do it right so you get it right. A horse is not an experiment.
     
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  5. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Oh, just checked your profile. You're 17. You have an incredible amount of time to put into learning about horses. Do not rush. It does no one any favors, least of all the horse.

    For context, I'm 57. I've ridden since I was 8 years old. I've owned many horses. I've fixed some problem horses and I've finished some green horses. But I do not, and probably never will, consider myself a trainer. That's because the more I've learned over the years, the more I've discovered I have to learn.
     
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  6. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    love this, so true.
     
  7. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

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    The bond you're talking about is the relationship between human and horse. It takes cultivating and work whether it's a green horse or not. And honestly, the best thing you can do for yourself in getting your first horse is getting a horse who was trained "right" and knows what they're doing so that you can continue to learn with him or her. That horse will teach you more than you could ever learn by yourself. My first horse was a retired dressage mare who was so talented. I didn't know a **** thing and I learned sooooo much by letting her teach me.
     
  8. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Ah youth.

    RaineSong, post: 8234604, member: 89003Hello, I'm new here, but I'm in need of advice.
    I originally started riding when I was about ten,

    When you were ten, did you ride for a year, a few monhs? Did you get lessons? What type of lessons?

    then quit so I could go on to gymnastics instead. Almost a year ago, I came back to riding again. The barn I ride at let's everyone learn at their own pace, and I take lessons weekly, along with going any day of the week I want to ride and work on my riding.

    So you've been riding now for six months? Nine months? On average, how many times a week do you ride? One lesson a week and then how many free rides?

    I also became a wrangler there,

    What does a wrangler do there? Lead the trail ride? Ride along with the trail to keep an eye out for stragglers or problems? Bring in the horses from pasture and tack them up? Other things?

    and I quickly learned the basics of riding and can take care of horses (as that is part of my job)

    What have you done in your lessons? Have you cantered without stirrups? Jumped? Galloped?

    and also know property management from my instructor.

    What do you mean by 'property management?'

    The horses I ride are all trail horses, therefore they all have a few quirks and are very testy.

    Can you give some examples of what you mean by 'testy?'

    Over the time, I developed an intense interest in training horses from start to finish. I worked with a few of the horses at the barn (a lot tend to be hard mouthed and I have been working with some to get them to be more responsive).

    How do you make a hard-mouthed horse more responsive?

    The one I am currently ridding has discovered that if she can buck people off, they'll come off. She's bucked me off twice, and I am currently in the process of taking her back to basics and fixing the problem (mostly ground work, gaining respect, etc.)

    What kind of ground work do you do? How do you get a horse's respect?

    Does this mean that after the horse bucked you off twice, you stopped riding her? Did she buck you off twice in a row, or in separate rides?

    How would you react to a horse that was bucking?


    I have already gone through the possibilities of her being in pain, but after examining, that got ruled out, and based off her expressions, she just doesn't want to be told what to do.

    Does the horse buck with other riders?

    I have been wanting to buy my own horse, as I get put on different horses a lot, and would like my own horse to just settle with and train.

    Read on...

    I have done a ton of research,

    I'm guessing you probably didn't do any (scientific) research but that you mean reading and watching videos. Whose videos? Have you gone to any riding clinics? Who taught the clinics?

    and still am, on training horses, start to finish.

    What would be the 'finish' part of training? What does a finished horse do?

    Overall, I feel very confident in my knowledge,

    You haven't been riding long enough to feel 'very confident' in your knowledge. There is much more to learn.

    and I know care for,

    What would you put under the heading of 'care for' horses?

    how to ride, ground work, how to tell if a horse is in pain, expressions, etc. I've learned to read horses, and I know how to control them.

    What does 'control' a horse mean?

    I have (obviously) had a few scary situations,

    Can you give an example of a scary situation and how you fixed the situation?

    but once they happened, I quickly figured out how to fix them. I feel very comfortable on a horse, and on the ground with a horse.
    As for buying a horse, I feel ready. But the only problem is, I want a somewhat green horse.

    That is the wrong choice. At this point, you have less than a year of experience. It's too soon to buy your own horse, and a green horse is the wrong choice.

    their horses tend to have little quirks and all from being ridden by so many people.

    Quirks don't all come from lots of riders. Many horses ridden by one person have 'quirks.'

    Many horses who are being sold are either foals, or older horses who have been used for trail rides. Now, I have nothing against older horses. I know first hand that they can have a ton of spunk for their age- that's not the problem for me.

    Foals and trail horses aren't the only horses being sold.

    What I'm running into is my passion for training horses.

    You're not ready to train a green horse. You don't have enough experience yet.

    One thing I want is a bond that both a trainer and horse get when they are being trained.

    There is no such thing as a 'bond.' Horses don't cooperate with their rider because of a 'bond.' They cooperate because they are trained to cooperate. It's all about the amount of skill, knowledge and experience the trainer has.

    I know you are still training a horse to an extent if you just simply ride them (respect),

    That's often said, but it's not entirely true. Just repeating what someone else already taught the horse isn't training the horse to do anything new. And bad riding can 'detrain' the horse, for sure(which is what the saying actually means). A person can take training and ruin it, for sure.

    but as I said, I'd love to train horses start to finish.

    How many horses have you trained from start to finish? How long does it take?

    There's no one around here that can give lessons for training horses-

    I am very sure there are trainers near you who give people lessons in training horses. Such trainers are everywhere.

    the best advice I got was to read, re-read, research, etc. (thats what one of the trainers at my barn did).

    I don't think that's the best advice you'll get. The best advice you'll get is to learn mainly from lessons, and supplement that with books and videos that are more directly related to how your trainer trains, and watch other methods secondarily. And to buy a trained horse after you've had lessons for at least a couple years, year round.

    I have been doing that. With that in mind, I know a lot of people will tell you getting a young horse right away is a terrible idea. An older horse is more suitable. However, I'm not necessarily looking for a horse I can just jump on to a ride into the sunset. I genuinely want a horse I can work with, start to finish. I'm willing to put in time, effort, whatever to train a horse. It's really my passion.
    That being said, I did find a three-year-old filly for sale. A horse I would have to do start to finish with. Obviously, I'd go check her out and get a vet to examine her thoroughly before I even considered buying her, but I want to know if that's even a good idea right now? Regardless of my passions, should I get an older horse first with no ifs, ands, or buts?

    You do not have enough experience or lessons to buy an untrained horse. An older horse, already trained, is a better choice, and that would be after a couple years of lessons.

    Okay...now...you don't agree, I'm sure. That's fine. But that's my advice.
     
  9. zomer

    zomer Senior Member

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    I'll pitch in because you and I have a similar background. I worked at a training barn and eagerly became my trainers servant. I rode all of the school horses, rank buggers that they were. I was a passable rider and had a good way with horses - I adored and respected them and that alone goes a long ways - but I didn't want to own a horse. Mainly I didn't feel right asking the parents to pay for it - in IL in the 90's board was still $450/month - rent on an apartment! So I continued to ride anyones' horse who would let me along with the schooling ones. I got my first horse at 30 and wow -eye opener. Owning your own is different and you lose a lot of your 'wrangler' skills because you just have one relationship to work on. I'm in my 40's now and love having my own horses (three now) but I credit any skill and understanding I have from having to ride a bunch of different horses in my youth.
    So that's my advice, don't even get a horse. It will slow your learning curve dramatically. Ride them all, enjoy them all, and when you are out of college you will have tons of practical experience under your belt. If you want to train your own youngster then, I think you would be in a prime position to do so. :)
     
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