New Horse Owner Advice - Where To Start

Joined
10 November 2021
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7
Hi everyone,

I'd be interested to hear you thoughts...

I have my heart set on buying a horse in the next year. I've thought long and hard about this, worked out my finances and the time commitment and so I do believe I can do it properly and give my horse the time and commitment it needs (so it's not a rash decision!)

I grew up riding and looking after horses as I was fortunate to have my own pony and my mum had her own horse - but then had a long stint away from it when I went to Uni, lived in the city etc.

I've been back riding for about 10 years, mainly schooling and hacking (which is all I really want to do, I'm not into competitions, XC etc). but where I ride weekly isn't really convenient to have my horse on livery.

I'm starting to look at more local liveries and think a full or part livery with a knowledgeable yard owner would be best until I gain more experience in horse care (it's been years since I did all of that). But, I feel very scared about buying the 'wrong' horse for me, the process, buying something that is sound etc. I don't want to over horse myself - I'd much rather buy something that is at my level and that I can enjoy (and it can enjoy its life with me as its owner!), rather than taking on something that is way beyond my ability!

I'm wondering if there are people out there that helps new owners like myself to find the 'right' horse for them, help them choose the right livery situation etc.? I would also want to keep having lessons so I can keep improving and building a partnership with my new horse. I'm in the Milton Keynes / Northants area in case anyone knows of anyone.

Thank you!!
 

Petmurf

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17 June 2020
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108
Could you ask your instructor to view horses with you? That’s what I did last year. It works well as your instructor can use their head whereas you might go with your heart
 
Joined
10 November 2021
Messages
7
Could you ask your instructor to view horses with you? That’s what I did last year. It works well as your instructor can use their head whereas you might go with your heart
Yes I could do - although they will want me to keep my horse at their yard and it's just not practical :-(

Did you manage to find your horse last year and how's it going? :)
 

Petmurf

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Joined
17 June 2020
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108
Well you don’t have to keep the horse at their yard and they don’t have to know that yet also it may take you a while to find a horse so you could be looking for another yard in the meantime but you might end up keeping the horse at the current yard for a little while then move.

it’s going really well with my Boy, we moved away from my Instructors yard as he kept escaping and we‘re on another yard which whilst not perfect I’m staying until at least Spring when the old yards arena will be built and ready. It’s been really hard work, frustrating at times as I bought a young horse that had been driven and owned by Travellers so I didn’t know his background, he’s a cob with his own mind but we’ve gone through all 4 seasons now and we know each other well and he’s the love of my life 🥰. Way more expensive than I ever realised despite planning for costs etc but hey who needs new clothes and holidays 🤣 I wouldn’t change it for the world.
 
Joined
10 November 2021
Messages
7
Well you don’t have to keep the horse at their yard and they don’t have to know that yet also it may take you a while to find a horse so you could be looking for another yard in the meantime but you might end up keeping the horse at the current yard for a little while then move.

it’s going really well with my Boy, we moved away from my Instructors yard as he kept escaping and we‘re on another yard which whilst not perfect I’m staying until at least Spring when the old yards arena will be built and ready. It’s been really hard work, frustrating at times as I bought a young horse that had been driven and owned by Travellers so I didn’t know his background, he’s a cob with his own mind but we’ve gone through all 4 seasons now and we know each other well and he’s the love of my life 🥰. Way more expensive than I ever realised despite planning for costs etc but hey who needs new clothes and holidays 🤣 I wouldn’t change it for the world.
That is a very good point! Might be a good idea to keep him or her there while I get used to being a new horse owner and find my feet.

It sounds like it's going really well with your lovely cob (despite the escaping, frustrations and hidden costs!!) 🤣

Thanks for your suggestions.
 

windand rain

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25 November 2012
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8,117
A good instructor will try hard to match your skills to your horse but you must ride it at a trial as instructors can sit on a horse and think it is great as it matches their skill. It is not intentional but it is a human failing. I am shallow I like a pretty face so would be immediately turned off by anything that wasn't if you get my drift a big ugly horse with a heart of gold might be exactly what a client needed
 
Joined
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Messages
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A good instructor will try hard to match your skills to your horse but you must ride it at a trial as instructors can sit on a horse and think it is great as it matches their skill. It is not intentional but it is a human failing. I am shallow I like a pretty face so would be immediately turned off by anything that wasn't if you get my drift a big ugly horse with a heart of gold might be exactly what a client needed
That's a good point - I have in my mind exactly what I would love, but, I know I need to be more interested in his (thinking a gelding) temperament, soundness in traffic, open spaces, hacking alone etc. than his looks! 🤣

I'm a bit limited for good riding schools where I live, which is why I have to travel so far to get to my riding stables...and they're good there but I do know they have helped other people like me to buy horses and it's not always been a bed of roses for the owners!! o_O
 

windand rain

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Personally I would only own mares but each to their own. Mares are loyal easy self suficient in many ways. Will work with you so are easier to deal with and in 50 years or more of horse ownership I have never owned a mare I would happily shoot Geldings o the otherhand I find frustrating and in some cases just thick
 
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Please don't discount mares at this very early stage. As an owner of both mares and geldings, it really is the wrong way to choose a horse or cut out a huge chunk of potential horses from even being considered.
...and this is why I need someone to assist me with choosing the right horse! :)

I'd still consider mares, of course, especially if she was right in every other way.
 

Flame_

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1) Make a list of every box it has to tick and stick to it, eg Good feet, easy to catch, etc.

2) Then make a list of all the things you would like but if it comes to it you might live with, eg No older than 10 - see great horse that's 13, maybe think about it, etc.

3) When you see an advert for the most beautiful 2 year old palomino warmblood who's owners claim will take whoever buys it to the Olympics in a couple of years, priced at £1000, go back to point 1, do not pick up the phone!

Should add, IIWY I'd choose a horse yourself, find what you like then get a vet to check it's healthy and sound.
 
Joined
10 November 2021
Messages
7
1) Make a list of every box it has to tick and stick to it, eg Good feet, easy to catch, etc.

2) Then make a list of all the things you would like but if it comes to it you might live with, eg No older than 10 - see great horse that's 13, maybe think about it, etc.

3) When you see an advert for the most beautiful 2 year old palomino warmblood who's owners claim will take whoever buys it to the Olympics in a couple of years, priced at £1000, go back to point 1, do not pick up the phone!

Should add, IIWY I'd choose a horse yourself, find what you like then get a vet to check it's healthy and sound.
Thank you - some really helpful advice here :)

Definitely not looking for a palomino unicorn!!!

I'll go and write that list of boxes it needs to tick....
 

Carrottom

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8 February 2018
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1,538
Another place to go for advice is the livery yard where you want to keep your horse. If you want to continue lessons I assume you'll be at a yard that can provide them, maybe ask the yard manager to help in your search.
 
Joined
10 November 2021
Messages
7
Another place to go for advice is the livery yard where you want to keep your horse. If you want to continue lessons I assume you'll be at a yard that can provide them, maybe ask the yard manager to help in your search.
That's a good idea. The yard I'm going to look at soon has an instructor onsite, school etc., so they may be a good place to start. Thank you! :)
 
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