Young horse and novice rider

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I'm a novice rider and want to loan/help out for a horse to look after like my own. I want to know thoughts on a 5 year old cross connemara Irish draft mare, bitless. She's not had much training but is rider by young rider on hacks, arena and beach. Loads well. Comes straight to you from field. Only met her a couple of times and is laid back and owner said she's never had any problems. I love helping out mucking out etc but want to have a little ride when I go in walk and trott only in arena and maybe occasional hack. I work for RDA and help out at another yard too so experienced around horses. My problem is I'm a bit nervous of getting on a younger horse as heard so much about young horses and the Kevin stage. I'm 50 and need bombproof, as possible and worry about being thrown off. My instructor says green on green a no no. But she seems so sweet. I am desperate to look after a horse as my own and struggling to find anyone who wants help. Owner is gutted as I'm such a hard worker too. Am I being silly passing up on this horse and should I stick out for older cob type? I live Mcr/Preston
 

Pearlsasinger

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It is very difficult to say without knowing the horse and you. If you trust the horse's owner to not put you or the horse in danger and to be around when you ride at first, you could take her word for her horse's temperament and try it. Just make sure that you don't take ridiculous risks and wear as much safety gear as possible. Certainly do your first riding in the arena with a soft surface.
 
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Thanks for reply. The owner and her granddaughter and says she's the sweetest horse she's had. She's not had training or lessons and just don't want to do more harm than good if she doesn't know what I'm asking of her. Just have it in my head she'll throw me off minute I get on cos of the 'Kevin' comments and don't touch and stick with older!
 

Pearlsasinger

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Thanks for reply. The owner and her granddaughter and says she's the sweetest horse she's had. She's not had training or lessons and just don't want to do more harm than good if she doesn't know what I'm asking of her. Just have it in my head she'll throw me off minute I get on cos of the 'Kevin' comments and don't touch and stick with older!

If the owner is encouraging you and you have *never* seen the horse do anything unsafe with a rider and you have a riding hat and a back protector, along with the right boots and gloves, I don't see why you shouldn't sit on the horse and ask the owner to lead you round the arena. See how you feel and take it from there.
Of course, this advice does depend on what you mean by 'novice'. If you feel that you would be unbalanced in w,t, and canter, perhaps you need more lessons on experienced horses first.
 

PictusSweetDreams

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My Connie as a 5 year old was a complete saint. So it is possible, but it’s hard to say without knowing you and said horse as PAS says. In my experience of riding, I know instantly when I’m on a horse whether it is “safe” or not. I don’t know if any other riders do, but I get vibe so to speak, so maybe it’s worth having a ride to see the feel you get.
 
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If the owner is encouraging you and you have *never* seen the horse do anything unsafe with a rider and you have a riding hat and a back protector, along with the right boots and gloves, I don't see why you shouldn't sit on the horse and ask the owner to lead you round the arena. See how you feel and take it from there.
Of course, this advice does depend on what you mean by 'novice'. If you feel that you would be unbalanced in w,t, and canter, perhaps you need more lessons on experienced horses first.
Thanks for the advice. I have all the safety gear. I'm comfortable in walk trot, just getting used to canter n small jumps in lessons. My fear is getting thrown off as im in my 50's. Horse comes straight to you from field n drops head to put head collar on. She's just not had much training or lunged. Think just been ridden occasionally by young girl and been out on couple of hacks. She's bitless which I don't know what that would be like for novice. It's just people have said steer clear as mare, young n bitless. Think maybe I'm being bit silly.
 

Skib

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I was a new rider in my 60s when I met the Connie mare who was the love of my life. She was 6. I was too ignorant to know that this was young. I always wore a bp. But being realistic I know no one who has learned to ride without falling off at some point, even with the most careful of teachers. And even riding only in the school.

Although I did short canters in the school (enough to pass a WTC test) it was this mare who taught me the happiness of long carefree canters out in the open. She cantered with her head right down and was a zippy little thing. She would go halt to canter for me. She would do anything I asked or that the staff challenged me to ask for. But she also ran away with me a lot. I would know how to bend her and control it now, but in those days I did not.

It was my understanding that Connies are bred to twist and turn at speed, to complete a jumping course against the clock.

Personally I dislike riding bitless. The link of the reins between hands and mouth is a priceless source of communication with the horse one is riding. My only bitless hack did not meet my safety standards for a RS and I never returned. So yes, I would be another who said steer clear. Get your canter established and learn conventional control at a good riding school and then use your own newly gained knowledge to judge whether this is the right horse for you.
 

Equi

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I’m a nervous rider. I took a 5yo irishdraft onto the beach for the first time after a very long break from riding cause she was just so darn sweet. I’ve yet to meet another horse who was as quiet as she was at only 5yo.
 

ycbm

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The only thing that worries me about the situation you are describing is how afraid you are of falling off. If you ride, you're going to fall off one day, it's a given.

50 years ago when I learnt, the saying was "you're not a rider until you've fallen off seven times".

If you've never fallen off, I think you probably need to get the first one out of the way and realise that most falls are nothing to be concerned about. I would also advise you to invest in an air jacket, it does help you stop worrying about falls.

It's very unlikely that a 5 year old going quietly for her owner is going to start chucking you off.
 

coblets

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If the owner thinks you’re suitable, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t try her out. You may find you feel a lot more comfortable once you’re on her.

However, if I were you, I would want to be more comfortable in canter. What would happen if you took her out on a hack on a windier morning and she popped into canter instead of trot? From the sounds of it, that alone would unbalance you, in return making you more likely to fall etc.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I agree with Gloi. I know very little about bitless so would be a bit wary of that, myself. However, the problem is that an unbalanced rider can upset a young, inexperienced horse. If you like the horse and want to continue with the stable-management/handling side of her care, I can see no reason to discontinue your RS lessons, while doing a little walk and trot in the arena/other safe space. I wouldn't advise you take her anywhere that you can't control the environment until you have better balance when riding.
 
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I was a new rider in my 60s when I met the Connie mare who was the love of my life. She was 6. I was too ignorant to know that this was young. I always wore a bp. But being realistic I know no one who has learned to ride without falling off at some point, even with the most careful of teachers. And even riding only in the school.

Although I did short canters in the school (enough to pass a WTC test) it was this mare who taught me the happiness of long carefree canters out in the open. She cantered with her head right down and was a zippy little thing. She would go halt to canter for me. She would do anything I asked or that the staff challenged me to ask for. But she also ran away with me a lot. I would know how to bend her and control it now, but in those days I did not.

It was my understanding that Connies are bred to twist and turn at speed, to complete a jumping course against the clock.

Personally I dislike riding bitless. The link of the reins between hands and mouth is a priceless source of communication with the horse one is riding. My only bitless hack did not meet my safety standards for a RS and I never returned. So yes, I would be another who said steer clear. Get your canter established and learn conventional control at a good riding school and then use your own newly gained knowledge to judge whether this is the right horse for you.
Thanks for the reply. Appreciate the advice and will hold out for an older more experienced horse n just look after whilst learning more myself. I'm just desperate to be around horses at the min but nobody seems to even want any help. It's getting so frustrating when I'm such a hard worker too. I've put adverts everywhere but to no avail yet! I'm in mcr and Preston area if anyone reads this.
 
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I agree with Gloi. I know very little about bitless so would be a bit wary of that, myself. However, the problem is that an unbalanced rider can upset a young, inexperienced horse. If you like the horse and want to continue with the stable-management/handling side of her care, I can see no reason to discontinue your RS lessons, while doing a little walk and trot in the arena/other safe space. I wouldn't advise you take her anywhere that you can't control the environment until you have better balance when riding.
I'd be happy to just walk and trot in the enclosure but wanted to know would the horse be happy with that or would it want to canter off or throw me off if It senses I'm a novice. I have walked around on foot around arena and she's fine. Not a nasty bone in her, its just me being wary of things changing overnight with the teenage stage n she's only 5
 

Pearlsasinger

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I'd be happy to just walk and trot in the enclosure but wanted to know would the horse be happy with that or would it want to canter off or throw me off if It senses I'm a novice. I have walked around on foot around arena and she's fine. Not a nasty bone in her, its just me being wary of things changing overnight with the teenage stage n she's only 5

As I have never met the horse, I can't say but you should ask the owner and the teenage rider. I doubt it really but would avoid hacking for now until you are more skilled at stopping on.
 

Skib

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I'd be happy to just walk and trot in the enclosure but wanted to know would the horse be happy with that or would it want to canter off or throw me off if It senses I'm a novice.
It might be a good idea for you to read a bit about horses?
Horses are prey animals and need to be ready to run. But they live in herds and the herd as a whole needs to minimise energy output and maximise food intake. If you sit on the horse, it is very likely just to stand there and do nothing at all until it is asked to move.

If a horse bucks or runs when a rider sits on it, it usually means that the horse is in pain or uncomfortable.
Horses do not care nor even know whether you are a novice. They will move fast only if they are frightened or excited. Or have been trained to move fast when asked, for instance in horse racing and eventing.
 

Pearlsasinger

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It might be a good idea for you to read a bit about horses?
Horses are prey animals and need to be ready to run. But they live in herds and the herd as a whole needs to minimise energy output and maximise food intake. If you sit on the horse, it is very likely just to stand there and do nothing at all until it is asked to move.

If a horse bucks or runs when a rider sits on it, it usually means that the horse is in pain or uncomfortable.
Horses do not care nor even know whether you are a novice. They will move fast only if they are frightened or excited. Or have been trained to move fast when asked, for instance in horse racing and eventing.

Actually the horse will be extremely aware that you are a novice but it won't mean that she wants to ditch you, many horses want to keep their riders on top and actively try to do so. As skib says in the main they don't want to expend any more energy than necessary. I am sorry but if you really can't face the thought of falling off riding isn't for you. You might find that you can improve your balance and core muscles by having lessons on a mechanical horse, which might improve your confidence.
 

Illusion100

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Every now and then you find a diamond in the rough. If this horse makes you feel good being around it, then why not ride it and see how you go?

Horses don't need to buck/rear/bolt etc for you to fall off. Sometimes they slip, stumble or fall themselves, just accidents that results in a rider fall. So wear a BP, good hat and yep, even an air jacket if you'd like.

I'm not sure I agree with horses knowing if you are a novice rider, per say.

A young horse being ridden for the 1st time has no idea of it's rider is experienced or not, as the horse has nothing to compare to. An experienced horse who has had multiple riders would.

Horses respond well to calm confidence, if you feel you can provide that, for this particular horse, then go for it!
 

Pearlsasinger

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Every now and then you find a diamond in the rough. If this horse makes you feel good being around it, then why not ride it and see how you go?

Horses don't need to buck/rear/bolt etc for you to fall off. Sometimes they slip, stumble or fall themselves, just accidents that results in a rider fall. So wear a BP, good hat and yep, even an air jacket if you'd like.

I'm not sure I agree with horses knowing if you are a novice rider, per say.

A young horse being ridden for the 1st time has no idea of it's rider is experienced or not, as the horse has nothing to compare to. An experienced horse who has had multiple riders would.

Horses respond well to calm confidence, if you feel you can provide that, for this particular horse, then go for it!

This horse will not be being ridden for the 1st time by OP.
 
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