Best first horse?

SuziMare

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Hello there! I am looking for suggestions of decent first horses. What sort of temperaments are certain breeds known to have, what they typically were used for and those sort of things. I know each horse varies but I’m looking at the larger picture.

I used to ride as a child and had a cob for my first horse, however, I have not ridden since i was 25 due to an accident. So I feel inexperienced in directing my daughter so suggestions would be greatly received!

My daughter is 14 and we have finally decided to buy her her first horse. She has been riding since she was very little as my sister was good enough to give her lessons. Since then she has been loaning an Arab X for 2 years, so is aware of responsibilities and all that. We are looking to buy our own now, but ideally something known for being gentle and easy. She wishes to go into eventing so possibly something this way inclined.

Any suggestions would be greatly received. Thank you!
 

milliepops

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surprised at this question given your response to Jessica on the other thread about suitable first horses for novice riders and owners.

Personally when looking for a first horse that is easy to do but has the ability to go eventing, I would not look for breeds but assess each individual horse against your criteria. You're basically looking for what everyone wants so expect to need a decent budget.
 

SuziMare

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surprised at this question given your response to Jessica on the other thread about suitable first horses for novice riders and owners.

Personally when looking for a first horse that is easy to do but has the ability to go eventing, I would not look for breeds but assess each individual horse against your criteria. You're basically looking for what everyone wants so expect to need a decent budget.
May I ask surprised how so? That young girl seemed to have the knowledge my Iz doesn’t. My Iz definitely is a novice rider, having only learnt how to jump in the past 2 years. I know horses are different, hence why I mentioned it in my main post. I am looking for typical breeds, I’m sure you know what this means. For example, cobs are heavyweights that were used on the farm. This sort of thing.

I have experience with riders who are looking for independence having spent their years hands on in the dressage school my family run in the South of France, this is why I helped Jessica the way I did. This is not my main career choice, hence me seeking advice. My Iz is almost the opposite to that girl and we are looking for a confidence giver. I was hoping this site would provide some helpful suggestions
 

windand rain

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A british M&M pony but make sure it is the right temperament most are great a few a bit strong so I would suggest a highland, fell, dales, connemara, Welsh c or d. It does depend on what you ultimately want to do all the above will so showing, jumping, dressage, eventing at a reasonable level with proper training, will also be great family pets and friends for life. Most are easy keepers healthy and friendly. If you just want a pony or horse then look around for the right temperament and dont go too tall the taller the horse the greater the strain on the legs
 

milliepops

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right-o.
Well, I don't think there are typical breeds like you suggest. For example, plenty of people on that thread explained that there are some ex racers that are easy, and some that are very complex horses with multiple problems. so it's clearly not possible to generalise just with that one example of a type or breed of horse.

I have a native pony, she would be thoroughly unsuitable for a novice rider but there are others that would fit the dope-on-a-rope description. A dope on a rope wouldn't be much good for eventing though ;) You need to look at each horse as an individual.
 

Red-1

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Hello there! I am looking for suggestions of decent first horses. What sort of temperaments are certain breeds known to have, what they typically were used for and those sort of things. I know each horse varies but I’m looking at the larger picture.

I used to ride as a child and had a cob for my first horse, however, I have not ridden since i was 25 due to an accident. So I feel inexperienced in directing my daughter so suggestions would be greatly received!

My daughter is 14 and we have finally decided to buy her her first horse. She has been riding since she was very little as my sister was good enough to give her lessons. Since then she has been loaning an Arab X for 2 years, so is aware of responsibilities and all that. We are looking to buy our own now, but ideally something known for being gentle and easy. She wishes to go into eventing so possibly something this way inclined.

Any suggestions would be greatly received. Thank you!
surprised at this question given your response to Jessica on the other thread about suitable first horses for novice riders and owners.

Personally when looking for a first horse that is easy to do but has the ability to go eventing, I would not look for breeds but assess each individual horse against your criteria. You're basically looking for what everyone wants so expect to need a decent budget.
It looks to me as if Suzi is, in fact, Jessica. Same writing style.

I would say go for a horse who is already established in what you wish to do, breed is of less importance then temperament and experience. Every horse is an individual, for example I once knew (and rode) a grand prix SJer who would look after anyone, or have known a cob who I would not sit on myself, let alone expect a less experienced person to ride.

I would not exclude older horses. IMO it is no waste of time/money to have a horse that you will eventually grow out of goal wise. In fact, I would say that, for a first horse, if you go on to want to do more/bigger things then the horse has done his job. Like pony club type ponies, they can be seen year in/year out at the same shows with a procession of grateful jockeys, each one moving on to a more sparky pony in time.

At the lower levels of eventing many types will succeed to bring a rider on to compete at this level. It is unlikely that the same horse would take a new owner up the levels, but there is always the odd exception. A lot will depend on your budget, a horse who is already successful at lower level eventing and an easy going temperament is at a premium as many people want such a horse, They are a bit cheaper once they get into their teens though.

As to breeds, your original question, something with plenty of bone will tend to be more easy going than a skinny legged beast, but that is not a given. As I said at first, the individual's temperament and upringing/training has more bearing. That is not about being in a pro yard, as many pros will actually bring a horse up to be sharper as this is what they need for higher competition. A horse doing exactly what you wish to do is best, as in an amateur doing the level you aspire to do in the first year or so.
 

SuziMare

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A british M&M pony but make sure it is the right temperament most are great a few a bit strong so I would suggest a highland, fell, dales, connemaraWelsh c or d. It does depend on what you ultimately want to do all the above will so showing, jumping, dressage, eventing at a reasonable level with proper training, will also be great family pets and friends for life. Most are easy keepers healthy and friendly. If you just want a pony or horse then look around for the right temperament and dont go too tall the taller the horse the greater the straing on the legs
It looks to me as if Suzi is, in fact, Jessica. Same writing style.

I would say go for a horse who is already established in what you wish to do, breed is of less importance then temperament and experience. Every horse is an individual, for example I once knew (and rode) a grand prix SJer who would look after anyone, or have known a cob who I would not sit on myself, let alone expect a less experienced person to ride.

I would not exclude older horses. IMO it is no waste of time/money to have a horse that you will eventually grow out of goal wise. In fact, I would say that, for a first horse, if you go on to want to do more/bigger things then the horse has done his job. Like pony club type ponies, they can be seen year in/year out at the same shows with a procession of grateful jockeys, each one moving on to a more sparky pony in time.

At the lower levels of eventing many types will succeed to bring a rider on to compete at this level. It is unlikely that the same horse would take a new owner up the levels, but there is always the odd exception. A lot will depend on your budget, a horse who is already successful at lower level eventing and an easy going temperament is at a premium as many people want such a horse, They are a bit cheaper once they get into their teens though.

As to breeds, your original question, something with plenty of bone will tend to be more easy going than a skinny legged beast, but that is not a given. As I said at first, the individual's temperament and upringing/training has more bearing. That is not about being in a pro yard, as many pros will actually bring a horse up to be sharper as this is what they need for higher competition. A horse doing exactly what you wish to do is best, as in an amateur doing the level you aspire to do in the first year or so.
I am looking for my daughter. I do not know or am jessica. I am searching for some friendly advice for my daughter. Writing styles are common. Jessica is not I.

That said, thank you for your advice. I will discuss it with my daughter
 

SuziMare

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This little altercation above is concerning me. I was told this website is kind and helpful. I am a middle aged woman living in the South of France who is looking for advice from back home that is not totally dressage obliterated as my family give me! I am not this girl you mention.
 

Ambers Echo

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IMO it is no waste of time/money to have a horse that you will eventually grow out of goal wise. In fact, I would say that, for a first horse, if you go on to want to do more/bigger things then the horse has done his job. Like pony club type ponies, they can be seen year in/year out at the same shows with a procession of grateful jockeys.
This. I got into eventing via a Fell pony mare who was lovely but would never be able to go further than 80 and could not make the time even at 80! But she was bold, willing and easy to ride so we jumped double clear regularly (if slowly) at unaffiliated events. Then I got Amber who I could never have coped with without a couple of years on Cally first. My girls have also made that same transition from confidence givers to more competitive ponies.

I know all breeds are different but I would consider an ISH.
 

SuziMare

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This. I got into eventing via a Fell pony mare who was lovely but would never be able to go further than 80 and could not make the time even at 80! But she was bold, willing and easy to ride so we jumped double clear regularly (if slowly) at unaffiliated events. Then I got Amber who I could never have coped with without a couple of years on Cally first. My girls have also made that same transition from confidence givers to more competitive ponies.

I know all breeds are different but I would consider an ISH.
Ah thank you! My concern with ISHs would just be that some are too advanced for Iz. I will definitely look into this, as it’s sounds like quite a good option. What are your thoughts on an older ISH?
 

Ambers Echo

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I am no expert but years ago I had an ISH by a stallion called Rebelara who was known for producing calm, level headed offspring. I had her from 3 and she was a doddle to back. I never knew her to buck or spook. Ever! She was just sane and sensible. I sold her on and stayed in touch with the new owners and she always took everything in her stride. She would have been fine for a novice - not at 3 obviously - but certainly at 6+

I personally think if a horse is nutty at 5 they are nutty at 25 and vice versa. I go on temperament more than age unless they are so young they still need to be proactively educated rather than just prevented from learning unwanted new behaviours!
 

milliepops

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This little altercation above is concerning me. I was told this website is kind and helpful. I am a middle aged woman living in the South of France who is looking for advice from back home that is not totally dressage obliterated as my family give me! I am not this girl you mention.
if that's the case don't worry any more about it. It's not uncommon for a young new poster to ask a question, not like the answers given and then rejoin under a new alias pretending to be someone else who typically supports their position. It's irritating to members who spend time and effort trying to help them, hence the suspicion when the pattern is seen ;) people are generous with their advice and support here, but sometimes that generosity gets taken advantage of.

Ah thank you! My concern with ISHs would just be that some are too advanced for Iz. I will definitely look into this, as it’s sounds like quite a good option. What are your thoughts on an older ISH?
the benefit of something older and experienced is you should be able to see a track record, i.e. evidence that the horse can do the job you want it for. If you come across an ISH with a good record of taking novice riders on then that would be a good bet.
 

SuziMare

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I am no expert but years ago I had an ISH by a stallion called Rebelara who was known for producing calm, level headed offspring. I had her from 3 and she was a doddle to back. I never knew her to buck or spook. Ever! She was just sane and sensible. I sold her on and stayed in touch with the new owners and she always took everything in her stride. She would have been fine for a novice - not at 3 obviously - but certainly at 6+

I personally think if a horse is nutty at 5 they are nutty at 25 and vice versa. I go on temperament more than age unless they are so young they still need to be proactively educated rather than just prevented from learning unwanted new behaviours!
I do agree with that point! That is very true, I will definitely remember this, thank you.
 

SuziMare

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if that's the case don't worry any more about it. It's not uncommon for a young new poster to ask a question, not like the answers given and then rejoin under a new alias pretending to be someone else who typically supports their position. It's irritating to members who spend time and effort trying to help them, hence the suspicion when the pattern is seen ;) people are generous with their advice and support here, but sometimes that generosity gets taken advantage of.



the benefit of something older and experienced is you should be able to see a track record, i.e. evidence that the horse can do the job you want it for. If you come across an ISH with a good record of taking novice riders on then that would be a good bet.
Sorry, it just seemed a bit odd to have had that accusation on my immediate joining. I didn’t support the girl necessarily, after all, you can’t stop those who are set in their ideas! If it’s common, then I shall think no more about it! Thank you!

Thank you for the advice, a couple above have mentioned ISHs as a good bet, so there seems to be a general consensus. I’ll have to talk more to my daughter but I think looking at ISHs might be a good place to start
 

SuziMare

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Again I am a bit unsure of where to write this but I shall attach it to this thread.

I have just had a quick look at some ISHs for sale with the intention to have a look at a few. I have found some from a dealer in Ireland, I was just wondering if there were experiences or thoughts people had on dealers? Or from the customs experience due to it being from Ireland? (I imagine it would be harder as I’m currently in France)
 

JFTDWS

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Is English your first language, OP?

Perhaps some of the France-based posters on here will be able to advise on the practicalities of importing horses...
 

SuziMare

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Is English your first language, OP?

Perhaps some of the France-based posters on here will be able to advise on the practicalities of importing horses...
I am an expat in France. I was born in the U.K. and moved when I was 26. My family moved out when I was 18, and I followed later with my job. If you know of any of the French to direct me, it would be very beneficial!
 

ihatework

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Forget dealers in Ireland (or UK for that matter).

What you want is something that is out and about doing 70-90cm pony club stuff (well) with a rider of similar ability to your daughter.

Breed is almost irrelevant.

My suggestion is to scour the PC website adverts, and ideally if you still have UK connections to ask them to keep an eye out at pony club
 

SuziMare

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Has the loan Arab X suited your daughter well? If it has, maybe look for something similar?
The Arab X was ideally named Tonnerre, meaning Thunder. He was rather full on and, i'm not quite sure how to describe it, maybe touchy? How the day went was down to him, and at the begining when my daughter was learning about control, he took a great deal of advantage. He naturally has his credits and has taught her an awful lot about riding and ownership, however, we would not have done that without Tonnerre's owner present. She is an expert, if you will, in Arabs and knew how to turn Tonnerre into magic. I don't feel knowledgeable enough to be able to help my daughter look after an Arab, so it may be best to steer clear.

I must say, I do love your profile picture!
 

SuziMare

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Forget dealers in Ireland (or UK for that matter).

What you want is something that is out and about doing 70-90cm pony club stuff (well) with a rider of similar ability to your daughter.

Breed is almost irrelevant.

My suggestion is to scour the PC website adverts, and ideally if you still have UK connections to ask them to keep an eye out at pony club
Me being me, I completely forgot about the PC websites! Thank you for jogging my memory! I will head to them to have a search. Thank you!
 

onlytheponely

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I have been in France for 11 years, competed and import several horses every year. What do you want to know? Without a Galop level we have no idea what standard your daughter is.
 
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The Arab X was ideally named Tonnerre, meaning Thunder. He was rather full on and, i'm not quite sure how to describe it, maybe touchy? How the day went was down to him, and at the begining when my daughter was learning about control, he took a great deal of advantage. He naturally has his credits and has taught her an awful lot about riding and ownership, however, we would not have done that without Tonnerre's owner present. She is an expert, if you will, in Arabs and knew how to turn Tonnerre into magic. I don't feel knowledgeable enough to be able to help my daughter look after an Arab, so it may be best to steer clear.

I must say, I do love your profile picture!
Thank you. :D

In a way, the experiences you have had with Tonnerre are invaluable when it comes to choosing a new horse for your daughter. You know all the qualities that made them not an ideal match. Eg, he was inconsistent in his behaviour from day to day, therefore you know that you need a horse the has the same calm temperament and behaviour day in, day out. You needed the owner's support with him, so now you need a horse that is easier to deal with so that you (and your daughter) can do most things without support.

Write a list of 'must have', 'would be nice' and 'must not have' and that will help to get things in perspective. Don't get too hung up on breed, look for a horse that fits your criteria.

:D
 

SuziMare

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I have been in France for 11 years, competed and import several horses every year. What do you want to know? Without a Galop level we have no idea what standard your daughter is.
Hello! I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to bypass your message. She is currently working to her 5th Galop
 

onlytheponely

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If she's riding confidently at the 90cm element and doesn't need a horse to actually do the 'thinking' element for her then there should be plenty of horses for sale locally in this bracket. I don't know where you are exactly but I've just checked my local sales pages and there are currently over 50 for sale in the 150cm-168cm height range that would suit a Galop 5 rider and are listed as exactly that. With an equestrian family behind you to help with the search I think you'd be much better off buying locally so that you are covered by the legal side of purchasing in France.
 

windand rain

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I am looking for my daughter. I do not know or am jessica. I am searching for some friendly advice for my daughter. Writing styles are common. Jessica is not I.

That said, thank you for your advice. I will discuss it with my daughter
Dont think I even thought you were anyone but you said you were so my advice still stands a British Mountain and Moorland is still my go too for a great pony that will do anything your daughter wishes too and be a good share if you wish to ride too. A connemara is probaably more sporty than the heavier ones but my first choice would always be a highland
Alaska020.jpg
 

SuziMare

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Dont think I even thought you were anyone but you said you were so my advice still stands a British Mountain and Moorland is still my go too for a great pony that will do anything your daughter wishes too and be a good share if you wish to ride too. A connemara is probaably more sporty than the heavier ones but my first choice would always be a highland
View attachment 32251

Sorry, I got confused with which post I was replying to! I am very grateful for your suggestions and will look locally to me to see if any are over here! Thank you again!
 

SuziMare

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If she's riding confidently at the 90cm element and doesn't need a horse to actually do the 'thinking' element for her then there should be plenty of horses for sale locally in this bracket. I don't know where you are exactly but I've just checked my local sales pages and there are currently over 50 for sale in the 150cm-168cm height range that would suit a Galop 5 rider and are listed as exactly that. With an equestrian family behind you to help with the search I think you'd be much better off buying locally so that you are covered by the legal side of purchasing in France.
Brilliant! Thank you! I think I will definitely search locally! As you say I’m sure there are many that would suit her near us. I imagine it’d be more secure buying from within. Thank you very much. Just out of pure curiosity, where your horses sourced locally?
 
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