Opinions on "novice ride" please..

Joined
1 October 2021
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12
Hi there

I'm searching for my new family friend and I went to see a lovely little cob at a sales livery yard. It was his second day there and I was his first viewing. He has been advertised as a novice ride which is why I went to view. The yard owner advised she believed he was a novice ride as they had tried him that morning in the morning

I took him out for a hack accompanied by a stable hand on a bigger calm horse. He seemed to be very "joggy" and it was making me nervous which in turn was probably making him nervous. We then went over an open field and he was really bouncy, nostrils flared, very looks but not spooky as such. I was told this was his first time on this hack. He also did 4 poos. I managed to maintain a joggy walk throughout the hack and a trot on the roads. When we got back he was sweaty even though we had only been out for about 20-30 mins. He was fine when I did a bit of work in the school.

So my question is, should I put down the joggy behaviour to nervousness on his first hack in a new environment after leaving a family home. Or would u think that if he really was a novice ride he would have maintained a calm demeanour in this new environment.

The reason I'm unsure is because I would like to think he will calm down when he gets to his new home, but being a novice I need your opinions please. I actually really liked him on the ground and am thinking to see him for a second viewing
 

ycbm

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39,722
I would not expect a dealer selling to a novice to work the horse before the client got there, the whole point is that the horse meant be quiet without a lot of work.

If the horse is being sold by an agent who doesn't own it then you have no protection from the Sale of Goods Act and he would be difficult to return if he's too much for you. I think if you like the horse you should ask to talk to the owner, and try to do that by some form of written message so you will be able to prove what was said.
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paddi22

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100% walk away for the points above. we rehome novice horses, and they only get called that if you know you can put anyone on them and the horse won't react to their nerves or change

For comparison, here's a video of the first hack of a horse we rehomed who was classed as a novice ride. She's unsure, she's showing tension by mouthing the bit, she's looking around her - but her base demeanour is just to stay calm and not be reactive to things. A novice ride always makes you feel safe.

 
Joined
1 October 2021
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Thank you so much. It's a shame because he was lovely. Im really struggling to find anything at the moment. I also don't have horsey friends to ask so really appreciate your comments without judgment
 

ownedbyaconnie

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Thank you so much. It's a shame because he was lovely. Im really struggling to find anything at the moment. I also don't have horsey friends to ask so really appreciate your comments without judgment
Do you have an instructor who can go with you? You’ll likely have to pay for their time/mileage but it would be invaluable to have a second set of experienced eyes.
 
Joined
1 October 2021
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Not that I have that sort of relationship with... Although the yard owner and her daughter at the yard I will be moving to (if I ever find anything) have been really helpful so maybe I could ask them. I'm not clueless just rusty if that makes sense! I haven't purchased a horse for over 20 years and when I purchased that one I was 15 and would get on anything 🤣
 

Birker2020

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18 January 2021
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1,903
Hi there

I'm searching for my new family friend and I went to see a lovely little cob at a sales livery yard. It was his second day there and I was his first viewing. He has been advertised as a novice ride which is why I went to view. The yard owner advised she believed he was a novice ride as they had tried him that morning in the morning

I took him out for a hack accompanied by a stable hand on a bigger calm horse. He seemed to be very "joggy" and it was making me nervous which in turn was probably making him nervous. We then went over an open field and he was really bouncy, nostrils flared, very looks but not spooky as such. I was told this was his first time on this hack. He also did 4 poos. I managed to maintain a joggy walk throughout the hack and a trot on the roads. When we got back he was sweaty even though we had only been out for about 20-30 mins. He was fine when I did a bit of work in the school.

So my question is, should I put down the joggy behaviour to nervousness on his first hack in a new environment after leaving a family home. Or would u think that if he really was a novice ride he would have maintained a calm demeanour in this new environment.

The reason I'm unsure is because I would like to think he will calm down when he gets to his new home, but being a novice I need your opinions please. I actually really liked him on the ground and am thinking to see him for a second viewing
The reason why he did four poos was because he was anxious, anxious horses poo more frequently. If you felt he was calm enough in the school then he may well be suitable for you and the excitement of being in an open field might have been too much too soon as he'd literally only been at his new home 48 hours. Horses need time to adjust and it was a bit unfair of the dealer to put you in such a situation so soon.

Go and have a second viewing. Take someone knowledgeable with you and visit him again. See what they think and whether they think he is suitable when you ride him. If you really like him when you rode him in the school it seems a shame to leave it just because it was his first time out in strange surroundings.

He's probably settled down a bit by now and you may find he is a different ride entirely.
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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39,722
Thank you so much. It's a shame because he was lovely. Im really struggling to find anything at the moment. I also don't have horsey friends to ask so really appreciate your comments without judgment
I wouldn't write him off but I would insist nobody rides him before you on a second visit (though you'll never be able to prove it) and take an expert set of eyes with you.

Is he close to an HHOer who would help? I would if he's in my area.
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MuddyMonster

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22 September 2015
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2,508
For a truly novice ride, I'd walk away.

However, if you're a competent but rusty rider who'll be having lessons to help cement a relationship & who generally felt safe on him - I think he could have potential. If a bit of jogging & bouncing 48 hours after arriving in a new place with a new rider on his first hack - to me, he sounds like he'd have the potential to be pretty safe and solid given time providing you didn't feel unsafe on him. Of course, if you felt nervous of his behaviour that's something else and I'd walk away to look for something quieter.

It was completely unprofessional of the dealer though to put a client on a horse that had been there two days with no idea how he hacked out IMHO. If I proceeded, I'd definitely be getting a thorough vetting.
 

criso

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London but horse is in Herts
Unless the dealer knew the horse before, I don't think it's been there long enough to assess its suitability for a novice. Apart from giving it a bit more time, one key thing is how does a horse react with a rider who is nervous, unbalanced or not very clear with the aids. At least I would expect a horse be tolerant of this and not get upset or anxious. It might just be a bit unsettled or not used to hacking out and would soon but I'm not sure the dealer could say with confidence it would be a novice ride.

When I bought my last horse, not current one, I bought him from someone who while not primarily a dealer did buy horses to sell on or compete. I had called about another horse who had been sold but he was bringing a couple over from France, one of which sounded suitable. He didn't let me or anyone else) try the horses for the first couple of weeks while he assessed and let them settle in. So he had plenty of time to assess and establish he wasn't great to hack out alone but otherwise perfect. Not sure I would have got just a detailed assessment after a couple of days off the ferry.
 

MissTyc

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When I used to help clients buy horses, my one rule for novice riders was they had to instantly feed safe. Any doubt at all, and we walked away. That's not to say someone else wouldn't have felt safe or that the horse might not have been perfect "in the end", but when a novice feels totally safe they progress very very quickly. Equally, confidence is easily damaged by a horse that doesn't give a sense of safety.
 

18hhOlls&Me

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4 May 2020
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London/Kent
Hi there

I'm searching for my new family friend and I went to see a lovely little cob at a sales livery yard. It was his second day there and I was his first viewing. He has been advertised as a novice ride which is why I went to view. The yard owner advised she believed he was a novice ride as they had tried him that morning in the morning

I took him out for a hack accompanied by a stable hand on a bigger calm horse. He seemed to be very "joggy" and it was making me nervous which in turn was probably making him nervous. We then went over an open field and he was really bouncy, nostrils flared, very looks but not spooky as such. I was told this was his first time on this hack. He also did 4 poos. I managed to maintain a joggy walk throughout the hack and a trot on the roads. When we got back he was sweaty even though we had only been out for about 20-30 mins. He was fine when I did a bit of work in the school.

So my question is, should I put down the joggy behaviour to nervousness on his first hack in a new environment after leaving a family home. Or would u think that if he really was a novice ride he would have maintained a calm demeanour in this new environment.

The reason I'm unsure is because I would like to think he will calm down when he gets to his new home, but being a novice I need your opinions please. I actually really liked him on the ground and am thinking to see him for a second viewing
How much experience do you have to be able to compare this cob to other horses and ponies? It is a huge responsibility to pick a horse for another person and could end in disaster. I would suggest to her she comes with you, and you take her instructor to come with you both, as I used to do before I gained more experience.

Many horses, ponies and cobs will snort and get a little excited in open space, but you need to be a confident, calm and balanced rider with a seat that is largely controlled by your core to ensure the horse does not bolt. However in a new environment for the first time snorting and looking about is not necessarily a deal breaker, but make sure that this is not typical behaviour when given the appropriate aids and you ask for him to listen to you and keep at the rhythm that YOU set. Also in open spaces do not always think 'woohoo, lets gallop' and let him have his head if you do this every time the horse will form a habit of thinking 'this is where I get to gallop'. Vary it with walk, trot, etc to make sure he is listening to your aids.

My first suggestion is immediately see this cob ridden by someone more experienced. 99% sure if it is a nice well schooled cob you will see a nice forward moving walk transitioning up to trot. I would imagine that this cob recognised that you are a little green and you weren't getting her to engage and work so instead of an active walk or trot he just trotted, confused by your aids. This will account for the sweat as well, and also the fact that jogging is very hard to sit or rise too adding to the cobs discomfort although he may be very unfit which can be fixed.. Yes most certainly if you were nervous on any pony, horse or cob they are not listening to your aids or are rushing home for their tea. You should be able to control this with half half halts and an active walk forward.

The first thing that concerns me is this use of the term joggy walk. If you are asking your mount to trot it should be an engaged trot. If the horse is 'jogging' (which is NOT a gait in the UK), halt your mount, and then ask for the aids to walk on into the bit. When you have impulsion in the walk (try counting 1,2,3,4) in your even to ensure even rythym,then ask for trot. The rote is in two time so count 2, 4 , 2 , 4 etc. Other reasons for this jogging could be bad saddle fitting, and other clinical issues.

All in all I think you and your friend need better advice before buying. And remember to get a 5 stage vetting before paying/signing on the dotted line!!

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

A x
 

PinkvSantasboots

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I think the dealer is a bit irresponsible not to take the horse on a hack first before a client does, you could go back with a more experienced person and ask to take him again, I think most horses being hacked in a strange place for the first time can be on edge novice ride or not.

Only thing is if a dealer thinks that was an acceptable thing to do it would make me question how competent they are.
 

Ample Prosecco

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13 October 2017
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The dealer cannot possibly know what a horse is like after a single day. They can be tired from a journey, overawed, withdrawn. A reputable dealer assesses a horse thoroughy before putting them up for sale - especially for a novice rider. I would not expect a horse suitable for a novice to jog, snort and poo excessively, even on day 1. You want a calm, laid back horse not a stressy, anxious one as it is very, very easy for the wheels to come off rapidly if a horse is looking to a rider for confidence and the rider can't offer that.

The horse might bne fine but the dealer's behaviour isn't and on that basis I'd look elsewhere.
 

SOS

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1 February 2016
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Agree not ideal behaviour from the dealer and doesn’t sound like this horse is for you. Keep searching, your unicorn is out there they just normally appear in the most random ways.

And remember it doesn’t matter if the horse is a novice ride or not, the horse needs to be YOUR ride. You should get on and not want to get off and have a smile on your face. I can’t describe when you find the right horse but when you know, you know!
 

Ample Prosecco

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Also in my experience horses for sale often behave better at first because they have been set up by a good rider. So they expect confident, competent riding and it takes a few rides to start testing boundaries. So as a novice I’d want a horse who was absolutely 100% at a viewing. If there are question marks at a viewing I’d expect them to get worse not better over time with a novice owner.
 

Illtellyoulater

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26 May 2019
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46
How much experience do you have to be able to compare this cob to other horses and ponies? It is a huge responsibility to pick a horse for another person and could end in disaster. I would suggest to her she comes with you, and you take her instructor to come with you both, as I used to do before I gained more experience.

Many horses, ponies and cobs will snort and get a little excited in open space, but you need to be a confident, calm and balanced rider with a seat that is largely controlled by your core to ensure the horse does not bolt. However in a new environment for the first time snorting and looking about is not necessarily a deal breaker, but make sure that this is not typical behaviour when given the appropriate aids and you ask for him to listen to you and keep at the rhythm that YOU set. Also in open spaces do not always think 'woohoo, lets gallop' and let him have his head if you do this every time the horse will form a habit of thinking 'this is where I get to gallop'. Vary it with walk, trot, etc to make sure he is listening to your aids.

My first suggestion is immediately see this cob ridden by someone more experienced. 99% sure if it is a nice well schooled cob you will see a nice forward moving walk transitioning up to trot. I would imagine that this cob recognised that you are a little green and you weren't getting her to engage and work so instead of an active walk or trot he just trotted, confused by your aids. This will account for the sweat as well, and also the fact that jogging is very hard to sit or rise too adding to the cobs discomfort although he may be very unfit which can be fixed.. Yes most certainly if you were nervous on any pony, horse or cob they are not listening to your aids or are rushing home for their tea. You should be able to control this with half half halts and an active walk forward.

The first thing that concerns me is this use of the term joggy walk. If you are asking your mount to trot it should be an engaged trot. If the horse is 'jogging' (which is NOT a gait in the UK), halt your mount, and then ask for the aids to walk on into the bit. When you have impulsion in the walk (try counting 1,2,3,4) in your even to ensure even rythym,then ask for trot. The rote is in two time so count 2, 4 , 2 , 4 etc. Other reasons for this jogging could be bad saddle fitting, and other clinical issues.

All in all I think you and your friend need better advice before buying. And remember to get a 5 stage vetting before paying/signing on the dotted line!!

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

A x
I thought the OP was buying for herself and the cob would be the potential family friend, not buying for a family friend!
 
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If you have question marks now then you'll have even bigger question marks later on.

This horse sounds like it was very stressed being out; the poo'ing is a dead giveaway that there were issues.

Really, if there was a viewing later in the day, the yard should have done more than a cursory check earlier on that morning as to whether this horse WAS indeed a "novice ride" or not. It should have been taken out with others and separated from them to see how it reacted and had other horses cantering around it and passing it, as well as being hacked solo in busy traffic. I rather feel that OP was used as a test-pilot and that could have put them at risk.

There are other horses out there; if there's any doubt at all I would say "keep looking".
 
Joined
1 October 2021
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Thanks everyone. You all reiterated what my gut was telling me about this little cob, bless him. However, you have really opened my eyes to the behaviour of the yard....

I'm glad I asked on here, what a great forum!

Ps if anyone knows of any ACTUAL novice rides in the west mids please let me know
 
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