Think I've found the one - opinions pls

GreatDane

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Hi, still a bit of a newbie but have found everyones post really interesting - great bedtime reading (how sad!)

Anyway I wondered if some of you would let me have your thoughts on the following, before I go ahead and take the plunge:

Think I have just seen my first horse, he is a 4 yr Appaloose gelding - I know he is still young, but soooo laid back, and def a novice ride as I am still not great and he was not at all spooky or flighty - although very nosey. Really sweet guy who seems to like being with us humans - was good on the ground not at all barge. Infact loooovely.

So my one doubt is his age - I'm kind of thinking that we can learn more together.. I will continue to have lessons on him and intend to hack out to build confidence and miles then start some schooling again for the benefit of us both.

Am I being naive or could this work out ....?

PS he would not be on his own as we are about to loan a pony for my daughter.

Thanks your thoughts would be greatfully received.
 

at work

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Thoughts?
At 4 he's like a 10yo boy on his best behaviour - at 5 he's like a 14 yo kevin, learing to be independant.
 

lochpearl

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Nice to hear you have been out trying them!! 4 is very young but then you can get good ones and if you are going to keep up with lessons you should be fine. Is there any chance for you to have a trial it's just that I have ridden many youngsters at dealers or private yards and they have been completely calm, not spooky and very sensible but then you take them out of that place into a new environment and they can then change, which then is a problem if they are that young. How big is he?
 

hellspells

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It could work. But it is something I would never consider personnaly. Purely because I think that a first horse should be able to teach you. As he is so young and knows very little he has to take direction from you. Reading between the lines (and I may be wrong) you say he won't be on his own but with your daughtes loan pony - will you be keeping them at home? I only ask because sometimes with a first horse its nice to have the back up of a yard (NOT long term, but for a short while) people to bounce ideas off and people that when you are having a cr*p day (and it happens to us all) can give you some pointers.
Having said that if you have a fantastic support network it can work.
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quirky

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As long as you don't expect a completely smooth ride and go in with your eyes open he could be the one.
IMHO, there are 4 year olds and 4 year olds, they don't all fit the stereotypical youngster mould.
 

Baileyhoss

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Noooooo, don't do it. It very very very rarely works out for a novice getting a youngster. I had 15 years exp riding and working at a yard and had help bring on other people's young horses, but still needed a lot of help with my own 4yo and he was a lovely character with no vices, just a baby. learning together does not work. One of you needs to be the teacher.

Please think about this very carefully. Can you put your finger on the reason you like this particular horse. Do not buy him because he is spotty and you like the look of him, or because he is cheap or becuase his current owner doesn't look after him or becuase he'll go for meat if you don't. Is he exactly 100% what you know in your head that you require? There are a lot of nice horses out there who know their job and will look after you and your daughter well.
 

jen1

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Oh just about to say what the next post has beaten me to! No doubt you will get advice from many much more experienced people than me on this forum but here's my experience!

Got my horse as a 4 YO although maybe 3 1/2(!) he was a real dream at that age great in every way, turned 5 and he became a bolshy G*T to put it mildly! He is/was a first horse but I had shared a PBA with my sister when I was a teenager and had since had a few shares in not very easy horses so thought I was pretty experienced! Err let's put it this way I learned the hard way, hard being the ground! and we are talking about a cob here!

I don't want to put you off but don't underestimate youngsters they do change, but if you have an experienced person/instructor to help you out and you are willing to put in the large amount of time and money to bring on a youngster properly then go for it. Good luck!
 

stencilface

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Wouldn't go for a four year old if you are not confident yourself. Mine was bought as a four year old, and is so laid back he is horizontal. But, now he is fit and doing work he is certainly no plod - can have his moments, and would not put a novice on him now that he is 8 - unless they were on a lead from the ground.

buy something that can help you, rather than learning together, which in the rare cases can work (Jinny and Shantih anyone?!) but most of the time ends up in lots of the posts in here that you will no doubt have seen along the lines of. ' I have a young/green horse that I am too scared to hack/jump/groom (delete as appropriate). Where people are too scared to ride their horse and afraid of the perceived 'failure' if they sell it.

I would not describe any 4/5/6 year old as a novice ride - they still have so much to learn and be exposed to at that age.
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GreatDane

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I will mention a trial as he's only about 5 miles away from me, so that might be possible. He is currently 15.2 and am guessing he may put on a little more. I am 5'7 and 10 stone with long legs so he felt a good match.

I can try and send you the web link if you want to see !!

My daughters loan pony is from our instructor so the support would be there - even if it costs me !

I was thinking by the time he turns in to Kevin I would have a bit more experience under my belt !

Thanks - keep it coming
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Michelle73

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QR:

I bought a horse the other week and the best bit of advice my OH gave me was think with your head not your heart. If I'd thought with my heart I'd have ended up with a 17hh Hanoverian Ex Eventer gelding 13 yrs old with a thickened tendon. Instead I thought with my head and ended up with a very clean limbed 9 year old mare and we fit together like glue! When I rode the 17hh I could see he was giving me what I asked for but I didn't feel confident to jump him even the 2nd time I rode him, however, the mare, I jumped her the day I tried her and knew that if she made me that confident we would go far together.

Take your time making your decision, if there are any if's or but's don't do it. Makes sure you've discussed all the options with your instructor as well.

Having said all of that - this is the first ready made horse I've ever had!!! I've always had youngsters to break and bring on since I started riding when I was two years old on a 3year old Shetland Stallion called Albert!!! (According to my mother as I can't actually remember that far back!!!) My worst horse was my Welsh D Stallion, had him from 2 years to 11 years and it wasn't until he was 9 years old that he became a dobbin to ride!!!

Good luck, do whats right for you.
 

lachlanandmarcus

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I would only do it if he was going to be on a yard with an experienced RI and both you and RI were committed to whatever time and money getting through the Kevins might take.

I go a 6 yo and still had the Kevins, but the experience meant that 6 years later I could buy an unbroken youngster and with RI help back and bring her on.

I wouldnt have bought anything any younger.

If it feels right, do it but if keeping at home I would be more hesitant as it can be very isolating......but good luck if you do go ahead!
 

happy_talk

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but he could turn into kevin at any moment... more experience to me means years of experience with well behaved and well mannered horses. The experience would also allow you to spot when kevin starts to emerge, rather than you realising when you already have full blown tantrum kevin!

Also, not meaning to sound harsh, but falling in love with a youngster can also lead to trouble in that you think they can do no wrong and trouble starts to escalate for no need.
 

Syrah

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My thoughts, it can work but only very rarely.

I had a 4 year old, she was soooo laid back she was virtually horizontal. However, as I brought her into work and her fitness increased, she did have her Kevin moments. The moments were rare and she was only trying it on to see what she could get away with.

Even though I do have experience, I made sure I had people around me with oodles of experience. Anything I had to learn, I didn't do it on her, she had enough to learn herself with the basics.
 

Baileysno1

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Ryu was 4 when I got him, the 21/2 years I had him was such a roller coaster we both came out of it well and I produced a good all round horse with a good basic education, it was however HARD work, very draining allot more giving than taking and allot of rough with very little smooth, don't get me wrong theres no regrets but life with Leonard (12 been there done it) is so straightforward and I'm relishing every day of it.

I had a great instructor very knowlegable friends and a good yard and I only just made it through alive! Unless you can be thourghly commited and are a very consitant person in your training and handling my advice would be to keep looking.
 

GreatDane

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Ok, ok .... thanks everyone - I can see where your all coming from and shouldn't ask for advice if I'm not prepared to take it .....

He is lovely though - I obviously had some reservations about his age in my head and I guess they have now been confirmed.

Thank you all for been so honest and straight forward - I guess it's going to have to be back to the drawing board..... anyone got anything that would be suitable for me - HELP xx
 

express_75

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Hi
Im a novice rider & im struggling with my 5yr old Welsh cob mare. It's heartbreaking. If i could turn the clock back i would & get an older Section D who could teach me.

Im at a great yard who do help but it's still SO hard.

She's laid back to hack but in the school, it's a nightmare. Every single time.

I have to either sell her or invest a year of hard work & pay experienced riders to school her for me properly.

Don't do it. There are loads out there. Good luck
 

Kenzo

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I agree with mostly everyone's points about getting a young horse, specially 4, he sounds lovely and yes he may indeed be laid back, mature for his age or indeed fine for a novice etc etc but, this can soon change over the months with a novice rider or someone who is experiencing their first horse, a 4 year has a a lot to learn, there is a huge difference in a 4 year old and say even a 6 year old and so one, perhaps not in all cases but a more sensible thing to do would be to avoid any young horses, and go for a more mature horse, schoolmaster type that has experienced life a little more and is more set in there ways and less likely to change with different riders etc
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Smash

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It could work, but then I could be an Olympic champion in 2012. Personally, for a first horse, I'd want the odds on my side when it came to the possibility of a good match.
 

Toby_Zaphod

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As a 'newbie' the thought of buying a 4 year old & learning together is almost irresistable.............. but honestly it is not a good idea. At 4 & 5 years of age you can buy yourtself a whole lot of trouble & you need to have experience in handling & schooling these young horses. You will be buying the adolesents of the horse world & all the attitude & bad manners that come with it. If you don't have the experience, & it sounds as you don't, then steer clear from them & buy an older horse, ie 7/8 year old who has already had the work done on him. They will be more expensive than the youngster invariably but will be cheaper in the long run.

Don't expect that a weekly lesson with your instructor will sort out everything as it won't. I'm sorry to rain on your parade but you really need to know what you are doing with a youngster....sorry
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charlyan

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In essence it can work and I've seen it work but it does involve a hell of alot of time, dedication, dusting yourself down and getting back on(pardon the pun) and plenty of hours to put into it.

Personally I wouldn't do it but I'm one for the easy life- I don't think I would be disciplined enough to put in the work with a youngster and certainly don't believe myself experienced enough to bring on a youngster and get it right.

I had 15 years away (following nearly ten years riding) from horses when i bought my horse and I was well-advised not to touch anything younger than an eight year old.

If you have a good experienced, support network behind you then go for it but be prepared for lots of graft!
 

Ebenezer_Scrooge

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I'm going to through a spanner into the works now... sorry guys....

I had my first horse in 1996, she died in 2002 [RIP sweetheart] and she taught me so much. I had the next two years of hell with nightmare horses and I lost all my confidence. I sold my 17.2hh at leominster horse sales as I failed to sell him privately. Before the sales I decided to buy another horse but as a project to bring on. My current YO and her husband were great, I found a 4 yo coloured just backed and have never looked back. He is now with me for life even though he was only supposed to be brought on. He is so quiet and a quick learner I have no regrets. What I'm saying [in a very long way-sorry] is that it can work out but all my present horses were quirky and taught me so much so I had some experience behind me.

The right horse will find you.
 

GreatDane

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Don't think I can ignore you all saying its not a good idea. I know I don't have the experience right now to bring him on ....... not even for just a happy, well behaved hacker ????!! see I live in hope someone will say yes!

I guess turning away from this one will let me live to fight another day !

So back to the Ads xx
 

malibu211211

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I would have to agree with the 'don't do it'
My boy was a very green 6yo and even after having a stroppy Irish TB who had been there and done it all it didn't prepare me for what Monty was going to throw at me
blush.gif

One year on we are still battling on and I have so many moments when I think 'I should of bought an older horse, he's too much for me'
For a first horse, get yourself something thats been there and done it all but still make sure you have plenty of help on hand
Good luck
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Flint12

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I bought a 4 year old and i was well not really a novice rider but a novice owner. . .

It has worked brilliantly i wouldnt change a thing about him or the fact i bought him. But i have had ALOT of help,and i mean ALOT i couldnt have done it on my own.There was always someone there when i rode him, and i had very regular lessons and i got him schooled occasionally by the yard owner. It helped that my boy was so laid back and willing to learn, and he was exactly what i wanted.

It can work. . .but every rider and horse are different and i know it doesnt work for everyone, but it has worked for me.
 

Ottinmeg

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i personally wouldnt do it either. I bought a 6 yr old green as grass welsh for my then novice daughters and boy did she teach them how to ride!! it only worked though as when she started playing the kids up i got on and sorted her out. As others have said for a first horse get something thats been there and done it and probably the worst thing you will have to deal with is the odd buck!
what are you looking for horsewise? height/age /what you want to do with it etc etc.
 

GreatDane

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Ottenmeg:

Having been put off the younger option, am realistically looking for around 15hh (I'm 5'7 med weight), straight forward, calm, friendly - would be mainly hacking but as I intend to continue with my lessons for sometime I would also be schooling a few times a week. Think I would prefer a gelding too.

Got any leads ... ?
 
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