View Full Version : Question to first-time horse owners
29th Apr 2003, 08:32 PM
How long did you wait till you owned your first horse? Was your first year hard work?:) Do you do your own training or have your horse trained? I'm curious as to what it's like. I'd really love to own my own horse (I wouldn't have to worry about what horse to ride or who I'm sharing a horse with or walking away after a lesson with my saddle in hand:( while the other rider saddles up with the horse I feel bonded to) but right now isn't the time at all.
29th Apr 2003, 08:38 PM
It took me four years of moaning to get a pony and he only came along when my aunt died and left us inheritance.
The first year was hell as I was just a bit inexperienced and bought an inexperienced pony.
He has been trained now by me and my sister and went for a lazy pony who wouldn't trot to a pony who doesn't know how to walk. Like why walk if you can get there faster galloping.
It took 4 years of hard work but we are finally getting the good results. We came 3rd tonight in an open. We had three faults but it was better than 13 last week or elimination the first time we attempted it.
29th Apr 2003, 08:51 PM
I started taking lessons in Nov. of 1999, and bought my first horse last October. I'm still a *real* novice, though, because lessons have mostly been a month or so here and there with looong breaks in between because of school.
Last October wasn't a really great time for me to buy a horse, either, due to student poverty, and the fact that I live out of town all week long. But I'd met my horse the previous summer, when he was a boarder at my lesson barn. We just clicked - I'd go see him every time I was at the barn, and I told everybody that if I could have a horse, it'd be him!:) Then in October, my instructor told me his owner was selling - so I borrowed money from everyone I could think of and bought him!:D
Quanah was already trained, and I hope he's stayed that way. He was only three and a half when I bought him, so I decided I'd give him the winter off to catch up on being a kid (he'd actually been used as a lesson horse at another barn from the time he was two, until his previous owner bought him). We'll see soon how much he remembers! Unless he's really beyond my capabilities, though, I doubt I'll send him to a trainer. I don't really know any around here whose methods I don't find a bit harsh.:( Besides, I really had fun teaching him ground manners over the winter - I just hope I'm not too much of a klutz to do the same under saddle!
Since Quanah's on full livery, um, I mean board:D , he's not been a lot of work for me. This time of year he only comes in out of the pasture to eat, and my barn owner's the sort you can trust to keep an eye on the horses and let you know if anything's wrong. Only trouble he's been so far was when he got ringworm, which involved daily iodine shampoos and topical medicines. I couldn't ask my barn owner to do all that for me, so I was a little busy keeping up with that! Lucky it happened while I was home for Christmas!
I know what you mean about wanting one all your own to bond with. I always wound up falling in love with my lesson horses!:D
29th Apr 2003, 09:34 PM
I started having lessons in April 2001. I started a horsecare course in the Autumn of that year, and began sharing a horse at the riding school the following February. Last June circumstances conspired to make buying our own family horse a good option so that was that. A bit quick really but it has worked out very well.
Rio isn't highly schooled but does the basics very well, we might be able to teach her a few new things, (and she us!) but there's no hurry, and we can learn together.
We've nearly completed the first year. It was a little stressful at times early on but not for long, mostly I found that things were easier than I expected rather than the other way round. Rio is an ideal horse for a novice owner though, solid, reliable and easy to look after, so that has helped a lot.
29th Apr 2003, 09:39 PM
I'm (hopefully) about to buy my first horse!!! I'm 34 nearly, and have wanted one since I can remember, so its a real lifetime ambition (albeit broken up by blokes and beer in between). Fortunately my partner is really into riding too, so its a bit of a shared project for us. I'm under no illusions as to how tough its going to be, and, although I've had horses/ponies on loan and been around horses since I was I a baby, I am sure the learning curve will be enormous!
We plan to enlist the help of our instructor who teaches freelance, and probably rope in all the people at the yard too.
We have waited for the right time, where we can give a horse both the emotional and financial commitment, we have done our sums, read every book going, and asked hundreds of questions, so we really feel the time is right......
Hopefully I will be a "mum" in a couple of weeks!!!
Good luck if you decide to take the plunge - just try to be as aware as you can of what you are getting yourself into!
29th Apr 2003, 11:51 PM
I am not a mother but my first year horse ownership experience has been a lot like what you would expect first year parenthood to be:
Paranoid: you are worried that every ouchie, unevenness, stumble, etc. could indicate the end of your horsey dream. Luckily this eases up as the first year comes to an end and your horse is still alive and sound...
Extatic: you realize that -lucky you- you got the best horse of them all. Your horse is more beautiful, smarter, more loving, etc. than anybody else's child. Of course you have enough tact not to mention that to fellow boarders. Everything he does just indicates his outreagously high IQ: Look he lets me hold his carrot so he can take little bites!
Guilty: If you bought the right kind of horse for a first time owner he will be gentle and somewhat experienced, which means you end up feeling like you need to apologize for your inexperience.
If you really plunged in and bought a less experienced horse you will probably wonder if you are giving him a good enough start.
It's not a lot of work as long as you get full livery (board)!
I started taking lessons in January of 2001, but had a few months break. I got my own horse in May of 2002, but I keep him at my lesson barn.
I have wanted a horse since I was 10 so it took me 20 years...
30th Apr 2003, 12:09 AM
I'm aloud to get a horse whenever i want... but this is my first year. I don't think i'm ready yet. i'm a good riding but i'll just stick to school horses for now... i think i will know when i'm ready. or when i fall in love.
30th Apr 2003, 01:50 AM
I had to waight about 9yrs just to get a horse. I am on my second year which is easier then my first , a whole lot easier . The first year was bad and lots of learning. I had the bit wrong , which made my horse rear and buck. I didnt know how to tie the saddle which slipped out from under me . Now i look back at the things and say to myself how stupid was I . Now he is a really good horse to ride . He is an easy catcher and tack up. I had a bitting issue that i had to fix. Now im a pro at saddling and all the gaits . I impress my mom all the time from what i did last year. It just takes practice and i never gave up.
30th Apr 2003, 07:06 AM
I've had Bebe for just over two years now but she is my first horse.
I started riding 16 years ago (eek!) but as a kid I mostly just hacked about and didn't have any formal lessons for a long time, probably not until I was 16. This was mostly because my family couldn't afford for me to have regular lessons so I begged and borrowed rides on other people's horses and then had proper lessons for birthdays and Christmas. Once I reached about age 12 I got a work for rides deal on a 36 year old palomino pony who was very naughty, but he taught me loads. After that I started wanting to know more about horse care in general so got weekend jobs at local stables, helped out in the school holidays, etc. Got roped into backing a 4 year old which was fun, although I think they picked me just because I was small and light at the time. It did give me the confidence to back a 3yr old gypsy cob colt, he was a real sweetie.
I started having regular lessons when I was 16, only once a week. Then when I was 19 I started exercising a part arab mare 3 times per week in the spring and summer, treated her as she was my own so that was great. I also did a distance learning horse care course, the riding school I was at helped me out tons with this as they let me practise things on their horses under supervision.
After exercising Jade for about 2 years her owner found out that Bebe was going up for loan and arranged for me to have her. It was pretty scary as at the time Bebe was coming off a years field rest where she'd been pretty much unhandled. It also wasn't known if she would stay riding sound, was 100kgs underweight and had rainscald on top of that when I got her so I was taking on a fair challenge! It did scare me a bit but I had a lot of support from Jades owner for the first 6 months.
Anyway, most people on here will know the outcome - 2 years later Bebe is sound, fit and doing incredibly well. We've had our setbacks - lameness, cuts, bumps, saddle fitting problems, etc. Nothing that really made me wonder what the heck I was doing though.
We've come a long way in the last 2 years and still have plenty of goals to reach. This year I want to do a bit of in-hand showing, probably just best condition or turn out to start with, just to get my feet wet. I also want to get to at least one pleasure ride this year though this is a bit trickier as transport could be a problem.
I do think every horse owner should know the basics at least and should have a decent knowledge of feeding, grooming, first aid (including bandaging), etc. And everyone needs regular lessons to keep on track, even if they're just hacking.
30th Apr 2003, 07:33 AM
I'd been riding and caring for horses for about 8 years before I decided I was going to get my own. I had left college and was working full time so I could afford the financial side of it. Because I work in retail I work shifts, so some days I can be with the horse all morning, and other times, only in the afternoon.
I acquired a 2 year old New Forest pony and I am training her myself. I've taught her to lead, lunge and respond to voice commands, as well as to yield to pressure and to pick up her feet. We still have a lot of work to do as she doesn't like standing still and she sometimes nips but she is becoming much better with consistant and understanding handling.
I got Dolly in the middle of winter, and my stable wasn't ready yet, so it meant traipsing round a field at night to try and check her rugs and feed her, and then she got mud fever and a friend kindly lent me her stable. When my stable was ready though, it was a lot easier as the yard owner would bring her in for me and I could come down whatever time I wanted and she'd be in a nice bright stable ready for me to pick out her feet, groom her, change her rugs, feed her etc.
Right now she's living out again but with the longer evenings and the stable should I need it, things are much easier. Also she knows me now and comes to call, so no more tramping across muddy fields :D
30th Apr 2003, 04:22 PM
I've worked at a prestigous horse farm (show barn, breeding, training, sales, etc.) for one and a half years before buying Bonfire. During that time, I never rode and never did more than a few pony leadline rides!!!! I started riding in June 2002 and bought Bonfire in November 2002. I bought him as a 3yr. old UNBROKE gelding. Talk about total mismatch!
Currently, I've been taking lessons once a week since last June. Bonfire is now greenbroke and loves having me on his back. He was a nightmare prior to this and it wasnt easy. But, never let anyone tell you it cant be done! We're proof!
Green and green dont ALWAYS make black and blue!!!
30th Apr 2003, 04:46 PM
Tootsie - I sort of did the same! I worked at a barn for about six months, but hardly ever rode. Mostly I was there alone with the horses, and I didn't have enough experience to feel I could just saddle up and ride by myself. I didn't care much about not riding, though - I was too enchanted with just getting to be around horses every day!:)
I've been reading about your and Bonfire's progress - congratulations!
30th Apr 2003, 04:55 PM
Thanks Peace - at least with me - it wasnt all about my expereince. I was motivated, did alot of reading and asked alot of questions. I trusted myself and my bond with Bonfire to know that we'd make it through. Our road was shaky and probably will be - but I wouldnt do it different :D
5th May 2003, 11:48 AM
I'm 28 and have been riding now for about 2 and a half years. Last August I bought the first of my two horses, a 9 year old Australian Riding Pony called Milly.
Looking back, she was perhaps not the best horse for me - she'd been in a paddock for 3 years having a foal prior to my buying her - but at the same time, I'm thrilled that I bought her when I did.
It's been VERY hard work with her. I've had more than my fair share of falls, one that was quite serious, BUT (there's always a 'but' isn't there?? :P ) she has also taught me SO MUCH about riding and training horses. Despite her 3 years of paddock-living, she still remembered her early days as a show horse, and once we worked through her initial 'hyper-ness', she turned into the most wonderful horse for me!
In just a few short months she has become my very best friend. She's a dream to school or to take on hacks, and has just taken me to my first ever show. Next month she'll also be coming to Pony Club with me (I'm an instructor at Pony Club).
I guess the ideal first horse would be something that's bombproof etc, but I wouldn't change my Milly for anything!
Alex (sorry this is so long!)
5th May 2003, 12:11 PM
I got my first horse (pony) 2 years after I started riding. I was 8 when I got her and I fell of quite a few times at first. I was lucky though that she had a really quite temperament and had been very well trained so she put up with me not being the best rider.
6th May 2003, 05:07 PM
I bought mine last year having been riding for 20 years. God that makes me feel old but I'm only 31 honest!! I've ridden all sorts before and had 1 on a loan but theres nothing to prepare you for the responsibility of owning your own. I like the analogy of them being like children and its so true. I have 2 kids also and especially the bit about worrying about every little thing in case its a big thing you just havent learnt yet! Its costly, hard work and time consuming even in livery but I wouldnt swap it for the world. Just the freedom of finding yourself with a free hour and being able to hack out is worth all the money.
7th May 2003, 12:26 PM
i bought my horse last year at the age of 21.Of course like most people i waited all my life..
I woudlnt really say it was hardwork. The only thing that was hard on the first year of owning my horse was my bank balance. But now that year is gone my bank balance is growing. But im still a student and to pay for my horse i have to muck out the stalls and feed the horses every evening with the yards daughter.
I have trained my horse practically from day one all by myself because a certain somebody wasnt helpful with riding lessons she would just go out riding with me and not say anything so i stop paying for lessons as it wasnt worth it.
The only thing that did bother me was training my horse to tolt...there were certainly times where i thought that she would never tolt...but she proved me wron g:)
7th May 2003, 05:06 PM
I - like many - waited all my life for my first horse. I bought Patricia Lou in December 2001. I was 30. I started taking riding lessons when I was 27. I part-boarded a sweet arab mare at age 29 for about 3 months. After that, I decided it was time for my own. My coach helped me immensly. She is a very knowledgeable horse person. We have had trying times with injury and farrier issues, but Patricia has been wonderful. She is a schooled TB mare who can be quick, but she is very willing and honest. We have really bonded as I see her 5-6 times a week. I have learned so much in a year and a half! My advice - always have someone knowledgeable helping you, and always have money in the bank in case of emergency.
7th May 2003, 06:39 PM
i started riding when i was 8, got my first horse when i was 21! lol ages and ages and oddles of patience!
9th May 2003, 11:08 AM
I got my first pony for Christmas, I'm 44 years old and Arnie is only 2. I've waited half my life for him and I absolutely love him. I didn't intend to buy a 2 yo, went out to get a bombproof gelding around 13.2 - 14hh and came home with a starved 12.3hh abused pony gelding with no front 2 teeth! Arnie is now living in pony paradise and he deserves it:D
9th May 2003, 02:41 PM
I waited 22 years to buy my first horse!
Rode regularly from age 6. The centre at which I trained was also a stud so loads of young horses about, and I started helping out when I was 12 (earliest they would let you). Started riding the greener horses from about the age of 14 and learning to teach when I was 16. Showed their youngstock in-hand from the age of 18 and backed my first baby around that time as well. Continued riding and training their youngsters through University (My friend's 22yo gelding is one of my early efforts) and after I qualified as a pharmacist and started work, I continued to school two of my favourites, taking one up to advanced medium and one to advanced level in dressage.
In 1989 I fell in love with one of the foals, showed her for the owner when she was a 2 and 3 yr old and fell in love even more. Couldn't bear the thought of anyone else ever riding her so I seriously twisted the owner's arm (with the manageress twisting the other arm for me) and persuaded him to sell her to me as an unbroken 15hh, weedy 4yo in the late summer of 1993. She was the easiest horse I've ever started - we hacked out 10 days after I first rode her off the lead (and that was only 7 days after backing her!) We've done a bit of everything and then concentrated on the dressage when she was an 8yo. She has just turned 14 last month - she's now a strapping 16hh with a backside like a bus.
The family has been added to with first our 13.2hh and now the 'baby' (soon to turn 8). Back down to 2 at the moment as the pony was sold last year. Next addition when Peri retires from competition will hopefully be one of her babies (unless I find a rich husband to pay for embryo transfer :D )
10th May 2003, 06:05 AM
I had been riding (once a week lessons) for about 2-2.5 years when the riding school suddenly closed and it 'made' me go out and look for my own horse (late thirties no horsie background)
Managed to go through the buying process on my own and have loved every minute of it. The first month or so was quite nerve wracking, had never even picked up a horse's foot before going on the buying trail (although I had rugged, groomed etc).
When you ask about training - I still take lessons as I feel the need (sometimes frequently then I'll go off and do my own thing for a while ) but I purchased an experienced horse. I couldn't imagine buying a green horse. I have spent lots of time training through groundwork as I find that this helps me bond and understand the horse and has given me immense confidence in those early days when riding was a bit unnerving.
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