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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > First horse - ideal age? advice and stories appreciated :-)

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cwrmori

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 151

cwrmori says:

First horse - ideal age? advice and stories appreciated :-)

 As some of you are probably already aware from my previous posts, I am making plans for buying my first horse next year, a PRE (andalusian) gelding - possibly even a part bred - shall see nearer the time. 

The yard owner at the full livery yard where I'm working evenings and weekends around my full time job (busy life!) is helping me in locating breeders and has been speaking to a fairly local breeder of spanish horses that she knows and we may be going to have a chat with her later this month, see what will be available for next summer etc. I was wondering if people had any advice on an ideal age for your first horse, I would like a slightly younger horse ideally (backed, had schooling and a few years of experience) and am trying to get a few figures in my head so I can control my heart when I go to see the breeder and will stop myself getting swept up with stunning horses that I can't say no to! =D 

What would people advise as a good age range (how old was your first horse? was it a good/bad experience that the age of the horse effected?)

I was considering anywhere around 5 - 7 years old as a rough plan at the moment and would be very interested in other opinions / experiences that could help me plan ahead on what to limit myself to roughly. The owner at the yard I'm working at (already lined up as home for my horse to be! talk about planning in advance...) has been saying to me that she would be very confident in my handling of a younger horse when I was discussing ages with her - but I know I would like to go with a horse that has had some experience as it will be my first. Have heard a lot of unhappy stories about people who buy too young, even when they have lots of experience...    

 

I would really appreciate any advice and/or first horse stories, I am amazed at the number of people I've talked to at the yard about when they bought their first horse who have said to me that it "just kind of happened" no real planning - just saw horse and bought it. Is it unusual to be planning years in advance? (e.g. investigating/visiting livery yards, making contacts, speaking to breeders etc)

I always thought buying your first horse would be a bit like preparing for a baby ;-) move to a bigger house, find the right school, paint the bedroom, buy some toys... lol (yes I am nuts, I have already bought grooming kit, first aid kit (purple spray!) and I'm not even buying this year!)   

Look forward to hearing from you all. xx

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Kestrel1

Joined:

Jul 09

Posts: 10

Kestrel1 says:

Go For It

Hi
I purchased my first horse last week so I know how you feel. You want to be responsible and not make a mistake but if you listen to all the busy bodies instead of following your heart you will find it very hard to make a decision. I tried asking for advice and more often than not people would jump in with horror stories, filling you full of dread about picking the "wrong one". In my opinion whenever you buy a horse, young or old, warm blood or cold blood you are taking a chance. You can protect yourself by taking along someone who is more experienced than you for advice, buy from a reputable dealer and ask the vet about the horses suitability for a beginner. But in the end it comes down to how you feel about the horse. Does it appeal to you? Do you feel good when you handle it and ride it? Does it object to anything or seem nervous and you? What is the horses experience and so on. I chose a five year old Irish sports horse which many people would say is far too much for a first horse but having spent the last week with her every day she is sweet, gentle, she does not run off me or react when I make a mistake and is just lovely to work with. If I'd followed the advice from other people I probably would have ended up with a 12 year old cob which was not what I wanted. It helped that the dealer had a range of horses for me to look at and she felt that Zoe (my horse) was absolutely suitable for me. I have her on full livery at the moment so I have lots of support. I plan to take this down to half livery when I move her closer to home. So my advice to you is go with an open mind, don't stereo type and follow your gut, if it feels right then go for it!
 

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cwrmori

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 151

cwrmori says:

Re: First horse - ideal age? advice and stories appreciated :-)

Very wise words there Kestrel1, Zoe sounds lovely :-) You have hit the nail on the head about how I am feeling about my first horse - trying so hard to do everything right and make the right choice etc - I hope I have your success. 

Those pics look stunning greylady! I am extremely jealous of you ;-) Thankyou so much, it's nice to know somebody who's already been out there and has had good experiences - I will investigate them on your recommendation :-) Am a little concerned about going out there on my own and getting conned etc - so your advice is very much appreciated! Much more valuable than any information I find online etc :-) 

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mardy

Joined:

Aug 08

Posts: 197

mardy says:

Re: First horse - ideal age? advice and stories appreciated :-)

Some excellent advice coming through here and I love the fact that everyone is so encouraging! Firstly,well done for your forward planning.Anyway, I spent months searching the net, local papers etc, rang about several and further q's revealed them to be unsuitable.I then went and saw ned.And took him home a week later. He was the first and only horse I went to see.He had been out of work, not seen a farrier in months, but we looked at each other and smiled. I have had him 13months now and we have gone from strength to strength and our bond now is stronger than it has ever been.So what I wanted to say is simple, even in looking to buy your first very own-expect the unexpected! These animals have a funny way of making us feel regardless of what we thought we might expect!Lastly,best of luck with your search.

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andalusianmad

Joined:

Apr 10

Posts: 8

Re: First horse - ideal age? advice and stories appreciated :-)

I think the best thing to do is go somewhere in the UK that has a selection of PRE horses at different ages and levels of training and try them all to decide what would be best for you. I know a few breeders/sellers in the UK if thats any help?

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sasha99

Joined:

Dec 09

Posts: 329

sasha99 says:

Re: First horse - ideal age? advice and stories appreciated :-)

my first ownership of a horse was a 4/5yr old 15h welsch cob, she was an angel, really mature, easy in every way! dont rule out age i really wouldnt, just like you can get mature teenagers or childish teenagers etc!!!

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Happyglowie

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 198

Happyglowie says:

Re: First horse - ideal age? advice and stories appreciated :-)

My first horse was a coloured mare who I had on loan when I was 13, I had worked in a riding school since I was 7 every weekend and thought I was VERY experienced lol I saw this pony, which I had heard of through my friends YO and just said yes straight away, no riding her or anything. Along came a pretty 13.2hh mare, called Minni Ha Ha. I was told she was 12 but the vet said after a year or so when doing her teeth that she was probably nearer 20.

I have never had such a crash course in learning about owning a pony as I did in the first few months of having her! She had been turned out for 6 months after previously being used for hunting, I decided after riding her once at the yard (yes, stupid me) that I would take her to the Badminton Sponsored ride, where she bucked, reared, I fell off and she bolted. After a month of loaning her, she pulled my thumb off when i was tying her up (they managed to re-attach it so thats fine) but in the 3 1/2 years I had her, I wouldn't change anything for the world, she opened up my eyes to the world of having a horse and I am so grateful for that. Luckily I had plenty of experienced people around me to point me in the right direction! I would say that whilst I had a great time, I think it was because she was that little bit older and didnt need to learn herself so much, it was me that needed to learn how to handle, ride something else other than a riding school pony and develop myself. I think it's down to how confident you feel and whether you are looking to learn from a horse, or want a horse you can learn together with. As long as you have a good network of support around you, then most importantly will be the horse you feel you have that bond and trust with and vice versa.

Sorry - just realised how long I went on then, when I could've answered in one short sentence!!

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