Is this horse too young for me- any thoughts

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I have been looking for a horse for a while now, as a nervous rider and i need to get my confidence back. However I have found a lovely mare, but she is only 5. She is 15.1hh and an Irish Cob, she has a lovely temperament, but is she too young for me for a first horse, or should i be looking for something older. Any thoughts on past experiences.
 

JessandCharlie

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I'd say, if you're nervous, go for something older. She may well be quiet and lovely now, and might well stay that way, but young horses tend to be pretty easy going and sweet until they get fitter and stronger and then they can begin to try it on a bit. It's not worth her knocking your confidence by just being a baby IMO. Good luck either way, would love to see some pictures when you've decided :D

J&C
 

team barney

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Age is immaterial if the horse is perfect. Some of the most sensible horses I have known have been mere youngsters, some of the most idiotic have been veterans.

You can't guarantee a good nature/sensible ride whatever the age but if she seems perfect as a 5 year old she is no more risk that a 12 year old in my experience.
 

blitznbobs

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I'd go for something older. The vast majority of young horses hit a problem at some point and if you are nervous and back of this little issue becomes a big issue and you become more nervous.., it's a downward spiral. Lots of people will say that age doesn't matter but a young horse by definition has limited experience-as do u as a first time owner and this is very rarely a recipe for success.., sure it works sometimes but more often than not it ends on tears or injury...
 

Hovis_and_SidsMum

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I am a nervous rider and was extremly novicey when i bought Hovis (MY first horse really - hubby and i had shared Sid leading to me having a confidence melt down)
I had tried so many older horses (as advised to do) that scared me to death so against all advice i bought a 4 year old who i trusted.
We have had some rocky moments but flying across the stubble tonight (something i wouldn't have dreamed of 2 years ago) on my big beast of a horse i can honestly say hand on heart he was the most perfect horse i could have ever bought.

(but don't tell him that!!)
 

ladyt25

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Nothing wrong with a young horse - if you feel it's right for you then I'd say go for it. I would ensure you have experienced people on hand to help IF any problems arise but there's no reason why they should. Got my horse when he was 4, ok so I was fairly confident I guess but he's never really tried anything on as such and has always been a horse who's wanted to please. There's no guarantee an older horse will be any more sensible!
 

missyme10

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I've a 5 year old Irish cob that is on one hand gentle and very sweet, but if he's pushed out of his comfort zone, he spits his dummy right out. Thats not good for a novice or nervous rider. I was both when buying him at just turned 4 (was told he was rising 6), so it initially panicked me, but 1 year later I've got to grips with him but he still has his moments and they are definitely age related, and many a time I was ready to throw the towel in because I couldn't deal with his age related tantrums and nonsense.

So no, I'd say buy something older.
 
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sykokat

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hello :)
you say you are a nervous rider. Are you a competent rider? There is nothing wrong with a young horse as long as it has the right temperament and outlook on life. If you are a competent rider who is nervous then have help from an instructor. Can you try the horse out a few times and see how it behaves in different scenarios? See how she reacts to things in general
 

georgiaziggy

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I know alot of 5 year olds that are safer than ones that are much older. My 5 year is alot better behaved than my 10 year old! Went out for a hack yesterday and me on my 10 year old was hanging on to my bronking pony in canter, when my friend on my 5 year old was calmly cantering behind! Have you thought about asking for a trial for a month so you can see how you get on with the horse?
 

soulfull

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while there are plenty of success stories out there, it does still go wrong more times than it goes right. Many horses are great at 5 but age 6 is often a very different story. Made doubly worse if you are too nervous and then again if you are inexperienced
 
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wow, many thanks for the wonderful advice, yes, i am able to go a few times to try her out. My daughter has a 10 year old who is a real fruitnut at times and i have a riding instructor as my next door neighbour, so advice is at hand.
 

georgiaziggy

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have you acctually been to view her yet? maybe go and do that first and then you will have a better idea of what you are looking for if its not her :)
 

Annagain

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Do you plan on jumping? A nervous rider and inexperienced horse over jumps wouldn't normally be a recipe for success but if you plan on hacking and a bit of schooling it wouldn't be do bad. Good luck whatever you decide!
 
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my first ever horse was a 5 year old, and i have never looked back!
everyone told me i would regret it, my friend brought a 9 year old roughly at the same time and she has had problem after problem.
ive learnt with my horse!
 

JFTDWS

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My first horse was a five year old - he's never been anything but a nice horse, but when he was younger he would challenge me - just naughty really - but there is no question in my mind whether he was right for me and there never has been. If she's right, you'll know. There are no guarentees in owning horses - you could buy a professionally schooled 15 year old schoolmaster and have problems, you could buy a five year old and everything go smoothly. Equally, it may not. Ultimately, having a good support network in place (instructor, good, helpful yard etc) are more important (maybe? at least equally so).
 

ColandMe

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As someone else said, if the horse is right for you, age isn't an issue. I had my confidence well and truly knocked and then knocked again so was looking for an older, steady horse. I now have a 4 year old little gem, I've had him nearly a year now and he's absolutely brilliant. He's quiet, personable, cracking personality and just beautiful. Everything I was looking for, and if I hadn't gone to see him i would've passed him up due to his age. We've worked together and we're both coming on, I'm so proud of him. If this horse is what you're looking for when you try it, don't let age put you off.
 

nicolenlolly

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I will not even pretend to know ad much as some people on here but my experience so far is that I desperately wanted to get back in the saddle after 12 years away. Hubby convinced me to jump on his ISH oldish horse that went mental and nearly killed me. Still wanted to ride though so he bought me a rising 5 yr old cob (we were told he was older). This boy is a little sod for hubby and bronks in canter but for me he is a darling. He spooks occasionally but only jumps a little and looks, I spent ages on the ground with him before I got on just building his trust cos he was terrified after moving home, not lunging just grooming, sitting in the field, talking to him and its almost as though he just looks out for me. Some might think I'm mad but he is awesome, took a while but our confidence is growing together. Good luck xx
 

Smallhorses

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Age doesn't necessarily dictate the horse's temperament. I had a 21 year old TB and she was mental. I also had a 4 year old who was allot calmer than my mare but spooked allot. I now have a 13 year old and he has his moments! I'd say the younger they are the less exposure they've had typically so they are more inclined to mess about but that's on average, not always. If you are nervous you might want something that's had a bit more exposure to things. Good luck!
 

Naryafluffy

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If you're a competent rider and you have advice on hand no reason why not too buy it, personally mines is 23 and I wouldn't trust her as far as I could spit as it still believes it's 3 years old and has just been backed.
Inexperience should come into it more than age, your not backing her or trying to teach her to walk/trot/canter, maybe by the time you do start teaching her things you will have a bond and nerves will have abated.
The only thing I would say would be see if you can get a trial as some horses can e very different once you get them home.
 

henryhorn

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Yes.
Two young or one young/nervous never ever works.
Young horses take their confidence from their rider, and you too need to take yours from your horse.
For this nice horse's sake, look for something older....
 

Kittyk

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while there are plenty of success stories out there, it does still go wrong more times than it goes right. Many horses are great at 5 but age 6 is often a very different story. Made doubly worse if you are too nervous and then again if you are inexperienced
Completely agree with the above! I am a nervous rider and we bought a 4 year old who at the time was very quiet....however when we hit 5/6 ish we hit 'teenager'. And I consequently lost my confidence with him, however he did grow out of it relatively quickly (it didn't seem quickly at the time!) and was the most bombproof horse you could wish for. Unfortunately we lost him to colic last year.

So I really would echo the above, most of the youngsters I know have gone through a naughty stage in varying degrees.
 

Booboos

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A nervous or naughty horse may not grow out of its temperament with age, so in that respect age does not matter, but a yound horse will always be immature and need the support of a more experienced rider. The mare may have a nice, settled temperament now and grow into a wonderful horse, but only if her rider gets her there.

While there are some success stories with young horses and inexperienced riders, do a search on this forum and you will find hundreds of calls for help with misbehaving youngsters. A young horse will almost inevitably go through testing periods and the rider has to be able to deal with them otherwise they develop into problems.

Another question to ask yourself is do you want a young horse? With the right older horse you could be out there doing what you want pretty much immediately, whether this is hacking, fun rides, a bit of jumping, etc. With a youngster you would have to teach the horse, so you would need to take your time with everything. A youngster may not have encountered a lot of things you come across on hacks, or travelled for a show, or seen scary fillers, etc - the list is endless. Ideally for a youngster you need a secure place to ride like an arena and regular (at least monthly if not weekly) access to lessons.
 

cc14

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Im a nervous rider, I needed my convidence back, and I just bought a 6y/o :) He is far more sensible that some of the oldest and most experienced horses on the yard...the 12y/o had to be sedated to have his teeth done the other day whilst mine didnt even lift a hoof! If the horse is right, age is irrelevant IMO
 

LaurenBay

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I have been ridding for 10 years. I used to be able to ride anything. Until I had a bolting accident and was drug! I lost my confidence and started sharing. Then when I felt ready I got my own, I started looking. I actually did a thread on here similar to yours. But I choose to get a youngster anyway as she just felt right to me. I had tried older Horses when I was looking, but I didn't feel safe. Then she came along! I thought she was rising 7, but in fact she was rising 6! But so far I've had no problems with her. She is a little spooky though but I can handle that. I will be having lessons with her soon though :) Shes actually more sensible then most of the Horses at my yard! in fact she is being used to nanny my friends 3 YO!.

So I would say, go and try the Horse. If he/she feels right then go for it :)
 

ischa

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I have a 8 yr Irish cob
She is the most sweetest , laid back , horse you could ride
She is a novice to exprienced ride
If you fill she's right then got back a couple of times
Take a experience friend with you
Just to see how you ride on her etc
 
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