NEW RIDER - OWN HORSE

Red-1

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Recently bought into cob culture.
A share might work, for instance, I have an aged cob as a companion horse. He is perfectly able to be ridden, sometimes a friend will ride him to accompany the new baby on the road, but most of the time he just hangs round. He is wasted really, but as he is so easy and seems happy, he just hangs.

If someone advertised for a share or something, and offered reasonable money, I might consider it. It would have to be reasonable money, as I really don't need the hassle of arranging times etc and having someone come here. If a well worded advert were there though, offering help, support such as taking photos or grooming at a show, with decent money too, in return to be able to share my piece of paradise, I would possibly consider it. It would have to feel like we were friends though, rather than a simple monetary transaction.

TBH, I think the person would get a good deal.

I have known some arrangements like this. I had an inexperienced sharer for 6 months, the horse got a good deal, we made friends too, and my expenses were partly covered. A friend had one the same, the rider had an ace time and each got support and friendship.

It is like trying to find a schoolmaster horse. The good ones are just as easy to have round the place so don't often come to market.
 
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sbloom

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Having a horse as part of your self care, healthy mental health stuff, is brilliant, but it would be a really good idea to have some other pillars, as things can go seriously wrong with horses. You'll have to take a lot of rough with the smooth, so I'd maybe make sure I'd investigated any other help that I might need now, and to have in place going forwards. You have the resources to do that.

A few years ago I went to watch a clinic to work horses in hand. The lady running the clinic, not the trainer, sat and chatted with me. She explained how in trying to learn to REALLY work with her mare from the ground, and improve her physically and mentally, she just kept butting heads with her, metaphorically speaking. She realised the only way she'd make progress was to get help herself, and she went into therapy. 6 months later she started to make progress and could actually help her mare develop.

Horses are therapy, but we also owe it to them to come to them as our best selves, they deserve it. Therapy horses have experienced people looking after them 90% of the time, and only deal with those of us struggling for a small % of their time with humans.

Horses are wonderful, but set yourself up to succeed.

(I'm probably laying it on a bit heavy but as a saddle fitter I'm often a confidente of my customers, and horse owning ain't easy and we do ask a lot of them)
 

Winters100

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yeah I was originally in an adult group but two aren’t well at the moment and the other two don’t come every week so they moved the two girls that come now and then (they can do more than me) to Sunday and I’m in a class on a Friday but if the class I’m in is for children, I’ll be cancelling. It’s too embarrassing.
Don't cancel, unless as Smolmaus says you can change to private lesson or another group! You love doing this, so you can't be put off by having a few kids around.

The thing about horses is that we are all just somewhere on a line. Compared to a beginner I might seem like a very good rider, but compared to a pro I would seem very poor. Likewise the pro that I train with is amazing compared to me, but compare him to a really top level pro and he would seem not so good. There is no reason at all to feel any embarrassment because there are people around who can do more, there will always be people around who are better than you and others who are not so good. I am sure that if a day 1 beginner joined your class you would not look down on them, but would encourage them and wish them well.

Likewise you have nothing to feel embarrassed about in asking if you can help out to gain experience of horse care. In feeling this way you are forgetting that 1. most owners love talking about their horses, and 2. most of us would be bowled over by the idea of having an extra pair of hands to help carry water, poo pick and groom, and in doing this you would learn a lot about horse ownership. Plus you don't have to ask in a pushy way. If talking to an owner you could just say that you would love to get experience in caring for horses, and if they ever hear of anyone who would welcome some help could they let you know. Then it is up to them if they say, as I would, "Yes, ME". Or just put a card up or a notice on FB. You don't have to ask for riding, as some would think that cheeky, but just say that you would like to get experience of horse care, can help with jobs, and don't mind getting your hands dirty. Then if people answer it is up to them.

Also remember that lots of people have multiple horses, and don't always have time to ride them all. You would need to keep up your lessons to improve your skills, but if you were at our stable and were being helpful to me then for sure I would offer from time to time to let you hack with me on my schoolmistress. I have to be honest and say that where you are currently I would probably only want you to walk, and with my supervision, but over time you will improve and be able to do more.

It sounds to me as if you are still feeling a bit low, and afraid of being rejected, or feeling silly. Ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen? I join a lesson and can't keep up with the teenagers? Well then next week I will be better, but if I don't go I will be standing still. You do not need the approval of these children to keep going. Likewise if you start helping someone out and you or they are not happy then you will just cancel the arrangement, but you will have lost nothing. On the other hand you may find that you love it, get to spend time doing what you enjoy, and learn a lot which will be useful later on.

It is by trying, sometimes failing, but picking ourselves up and trying again, that we get what we want out of life. I say put a smile on your face and go to the lesson. If someone is better than you just think that if you keep going then soon you will be where they are.
 

ester

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As someone with issues its 50:50 whether having a horse helps depending on how ok they are at any particular point in time.

I was wondering whether you might be able to find somewhere that runs the BHS challenge awards? https://pathways.bhs.org.uk/challenge-awards for learning purposes.
Or these guys offer them remotely https://www.equinedistancelearning.com/courses

I would definitely make enquiries with local riding clubs, - these can vary massively from a smaller group doing group hacking/low level lessons and social stuff to others which take the training side more seriously. They all will jump at the chance of having anyone willing to help out on occasion. It will also make you some good contacts for now and the future.

Re. sharing it's possible but you would need to be very specific/truthful with your experience. Might suit if you could find someone with 2 horses so you could ride out with them for a while (I have a very novice person on mine for a bit who went out with my mum on hers, I wouldn't have let her out on him on her own).

I have a lot of people to thank for letting me ride their horses over the years and imparted their knowledge and I try to pay that down a bit now and so will others.

I wouldn't suggest you buy now but I don't think its an unreasonable aim :)
 

Kaye2021

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It just feels like a world/community that I’ll never be good enough for because I haven’t been riding since I was 4, or didn’t grow up on a farm, don’t have my own horse etc. I do t think I’ll ever fit in anyway.
 

Gloi

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It just feels like a world/community that I’ll never be good enough for because I haven’t been riding since I was 4, or didn’t grow up on a farm, don’t have my own horse etc. I do t think I’ll ever fit in anyway.
Don't think like that. There are lots of people that only learnt as adults. If there are local places that have shows on , they are always looking for help with stewarding ,where you make sure the next person is ready to go in the ring, and writing for the judge in dressage which you could learn to do at local shows. The more people you talk to and get to know the more you will learn and you could find people who would let you do things with their horses
 

Muddy unicorn

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That’s simply not true - yes there are plenty of people who’ve virtually lived on horseback since they were tiny but equally there are plenty of people (lots of them on this forum) who didn’t start riding until they were much older than you are.
You’ve had lots of good advice about getting more experience which will make life much easier when you ARE ready to get your own horse. If you want to do it, you’ll find a way.
 

ester

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It just feels like a world/community that I’ll never be good enough for because I haven’t been riding since I was 4, or didn’t grow up on a farm, don’t have my own horse etc. I do t think I’ll ever fit in anyway.
Not at all! I really can't see how you are getting that impression from these responses TBH. The horse I currently share has another sharer who didn't start until she was in her 30s, she only mentioned it when she was showing me around because as a result she tends to do things the BHS way rather than the picked up as she went along way, which is a good thing!
 

Kaye2021

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I didn’t say I got that impression from these responses. I don’t think that but there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of options in my areas it’s a very intimidating hobby.
 

Gloi

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I didn’t say I got that impression from these responses. I don’t think that but there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of options in my areas it’s a very intimidating hobby.
It's not that there aren't options, it's just that you haven't got to know them yet. The more time you spend around horses the more options will arise .
 

smolmaus

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Not at all! I really can't see how you are getting that impression from these responses TBH. The horse I currently share has another sharer who didn't start until she was in her 30s, she only mentioned it when she was showing me around because as a result she tends to do things the BHS way rather than the picked up as she went along way, which is a good thing!
Absolutely. My very good friend only came into horses in her early 30's, maybe 3 years ago and she is the first person I go to for advice now because she has worked so hard to stuff her brain full of quality research and information. No "oh well I've just always done it this way". A really solid work ethic can take you anywhere no matter when you start.
 

stangs

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I second the idea of getting involved with a riding club. Have a look at the British riding clubs website, find a club near you, keep an eye out on FB page, and offer to help if they ever need volunteers for a show. You don’t need to know much to help, they’ll be very grateful to have a volunteer (so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed either), and it’ll help you network within the local horsey community.

For people from a non-horsey background (speaking from experience!), it can be tricky to find opportunities. But that’s less because the horsey community shuns others (although can be the case - I’ve met some very b*tchy rural folk through the Pony Club), and more because a lot of opportunities are found through word of mouth. Like with most things in life, a social network is exceptionally helpful.

ETA: but worth noting that, if you’re in a non-horsey area, you may have to be willing to travel longer distances to find opportunities. I’ve done 1h30 commute one way for a share horse before.
 
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it’s not just that, I have had a terrible 3 years. Just the worst luck ever ty wouldn’t believe. I’m a single mum and this is all I have right now. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s the only thing keeping me going and keeping my sanity for the sake of my daughter. The only reason I didn’t do this sooner is because I had absolutely no confidence. But I do now and I have the funds. It’s not as if I’ve had one lesson and suddenly decided I want to do this that and the other. I’m not looking to get a horse and start competing. I just wanted to hack and care for one. I love animals.
Whereabouts are you located? Could you find a local rescue or even just an individual that has a retired horse that would like some extra attention? This could be a good way for you to learn more about general horse care, yard duties and the hidden costs and responsibilities that come with horse ownership.
 

Kaye2021

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Whereabouts are you located? Could you find a local rescue or even just an individual that has a retired horse that would like some extra attention? This could be a good way for you to learn more about general horse care, yard duties and the hidden costs and responsibilities that come with horse ownership.
I live in in Dumfries and Galloway x
 

Kaye2021

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Ok I went on to the BHS website like you guys suggested and my nearest clubs are 30 mins away in Cumbria so I am going to message them. What do I say? Also I was going to post this in my local equestrian Facebook group:


Hello,

I am a new rider and have some extra time on my hands I would love to own my own horse one day and would love to learn everything there is to know. If anyone needs help with mucking out or anything, please let know ☺️.

Does that sound ok? I’m so nervous lol.
 

Muddy unicorn

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Ok I went on to the BHS website like you guys suggested and my nearest clubs are 30 mins away in Cumbria so I am going to message them. What do I say? Also I was going to post this in my local equestrian Facebook group:


Hello,

I am a new rider and have some extra time on my hands I would love to own my own horse one day and would love to learn everything there is to know. If anyone needs help with mucking out or anything, please let know ☺️.

Does that sound ok? I’m so nervous lol.
That sounds perfect! Good luck :)

and just tell the riding club that you’re a new rider who’s keen to learn and you’d be very happy to volunteer
 
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