Youngster vs Experienced

nofie

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What are your opinions? Get a youngster and bond with it then train it up, or get an experienced horse to train you up??

Have been riding for 14 years and have had various horses and ponies on loan, but never had the time or money for my own. The time may well be dawning when I can finally consider this.
 

dwi

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Get an experienced horse. D is my first horse and I was amazed how different it is to having one on share or loan. She was 9 when I bought her and we've both grown so much in the four years I've had her. She's gone from being a very average little happy hacker to a stunning RC horse and allrounder but the basics had been done and I could move her forwards as and when we were both ready. If I'd had a youngster I think it would have been too much.
 

Kat

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Depends how young you are talking and what level your riding is at. Can you ask and instructor or really experienced friend what they think as we don't know your level.
 

charlimouse

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Completly depends on how experianced you are, your budget, and where you want to be with your riding in 2 years time.
 

nofie

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Well I wouldn't say I'm the best rider in the world by any means but have had experience with training young ponies, although they had been backed. I'm confident in handling and groundwork. If I were to go for a youngster I would seek help and guidance and leadership from more experienced friends but I was just wondering what people's opinions were in general- have they had similar experiences?
 

nofie

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dwi, D looks lovely! Looks like you have done so well with her!
 

zoeshiloh

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Get an experienced horse, definately. When I looked to buy my first horse, I thought I would get a youngster and 'learn together'. At the time I thought I was a good rider - been riding 14 years, rode all the nutters at the riding school, rode my friends horses, shared a horse etc. Anyway, I ended up with what I thought was actually an experienced 6yo - turned out to be a just backed 4yo (shows how niave we were to believe everything we were told!). I still have my boy, 12 years later, but I look at him and think how good he could have been had I known what I was doing to start with. Ben was definately too much horse for me when I got him, and I have the metal plates in my shoulder and back to prove it!

Start with an experienced horse, see how you cope, and you can always invest in a youngster at a later date.
 

chestnut cob

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Experienced! When you say you haven't had the time for your own, does this mean you haven't had a horse on full loan, just a share? If that's the case then I wouldn't think a baby horse is a good idea. Seen it go wrong too many times. Baby horses need someone to be in charge and show them the right way to do things.
 

scrumpygus

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If i can be brutally honest i dont know what level of rider you are but soooo many people come unstuck buying youngsters and thinking they are experienced enough to deal with them. In truth if you are backing a youngster they are likely to bronc and have tantrems in the early stages and you really have to think to yourself can you really deal with all those babyish things that are going to happen - they are likely to over-react at almost everything when you start riding them and you will need the patience of a saint and some real real bravery to be able to give your youngster enough confidence to say 'go on mate its ok' if your likely to panic or lose your confidence through a broncing /spooking session just dont do it you will ruin horseys confidence forever and its very hard for someone else to then undo.
If its your first own horse go for something with some experience and go have some fun!
 

nofie

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Before university I had ponies on full loan, then moved onto a share as I was back and forth a lot. I had a gap away from horses during my final year, so admittedly became rusty. I have been loaning an experienced pony for the last year, though he was low maintenance and a very easy doer. Now I have a stable career and am settled, I am thinking about the possibility of a horse/pony in the near future (perhaps summer or even wait until next year). I have been considering options and I think the advice on here is great, I agree. I realise that youngster would be a very big committment because you are responsible for their education, and I would feel awful if I managed to trash that. Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and opinions.
 

Ranyhyn

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I'd never get a youngster again, cannot be arsed with the faffing around, I love my 13YO schoolmaster with all my heart, he's so simple and uncomplicated and easy
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nofie

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sandg1 very wise words. I often forget how brave I was back in the pony days, nothing worried me and my confidence was sky high. But now I'm older and don't have bones made from elastic I am much more self-aware which inevitably has a knock on effect with confidence!
 

nofie

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I like the idea of starting off with a happy hacker and seeing what we could do together (like dwi)
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scrumpygus

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nofie i think that is the best idea 100% - for the amount of money and time you will put in get your fun out of it - and definately look at suitable breeds aswell if you want a happy hacker depending on size you might want a nice i.d x or a cob - some of the more 'flashy' warmblood types can be a handful to just be happy hackers and need working constantly. Do you plan on competing at all?
 

nofie

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Yes I was thinking those sort of breeds, an easy doer! flashy types are lovely, but I do have a soft spot for the 'scruffs'. One of my previous loans was a medium weight 14.3hh cob, and he was ideal. He was slightly on the dramatic side in terms of spookiness, but generally you could count on him. He also loved a bit of jumping, especially cross country which I also love so I was thinking something like that perhaps. I haven't competed for years and it would be great to get back into it!
 

nofie

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My main reason for pondering the youngster idea was because my friend has a cob foal which he will want to sell in a few month's time. It's not something I would really have considered otherwise, but perhaps I can just help out with its training rather than commit to being the owner!
 

Foxford

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I have always had youngsters, even for my first pony and then my first horse. I backed my current horse last year with the help of my very experienced instructor, but crucially, as you and others have pointed out, I picked a nice steady horse with a lovely temperament. You have to commit a lot more time to youngsters, as they benefit greatly from little and often. However the rewards are huge, and I am looking forward to the next 20-odd years with my horse! If I had my time again, I think I'd be tempted by a schoolmaster type, although I suppose I "learnt" to ride on those sorts of horses.

Good luck with your search for a horse.
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badgerdog

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I got a 7 month old foal 3 years ago. She had a lovely temperament, we bonded and I did loads of groundwork. I backed her in the spring and then found that I really couldn't cope with her babyish ways. She was fairly straightforward to back, but over a 4 month period she put in around 4 big broncs which isn't a lot but I hurt myself quite badly on two occasions and it put me off wanting to continue with her. I lost my confidence and felt that I was getting too old to be getting thrown off! I have now sold her onto a lovely home to a woman who has vast amounts of experience with youngsters.
I have ridden and owned horses for decades and consider myself to be an experienced, confident rider. This was the first youngster I had but I wouldn't get another one.

I've recently bought a lovely all rounder who I can just get on and go - not that I've ridden him yet due to this damned weather!

As with many things, it comes down to the individual. I wouldn't do it again but I don't regret the time I had with her, I loved doing all the groundwork and the feeling I got when I first got on her. I miss the strong relationship I had with her but I don't regret selling her as I feel I have done the right thing for both of us.
 

nofie

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sunnymane, that's what I would be worried about. Groundwork is so rewarding, it must feel almost devastating if the riding part doesn't go as planned. It sounds like you definately did the right thing though. Think I will settled for the older ones for now. I suppose people become horse trainers for a reason, becuase they are good at it and teach the youngsters how to be a well mannered allrounder for the rest of us!
 

Theresa_F

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I have had both. Stinky was my first youngster who I bought as a yearling and he has been super - but then I bought a gypsy cob which are known for their calm temperaments.

We have had a few moments, he has bucked me off once in the early days but that was it.

However, he does take a fair bit of time, you can't ride for years and as I had lessons all the way every few weeks from 18 months, it would have been cheaper to have gone out and bought something that I could have got on and competed.

I have a lot of experience and obtained more help as I was not experienced with such a young horse.

Would I do it again - maybe if I could find something as good and gentle as Stinky as the rewards have been so good - sitting on your youngster knowing you are the first to do so is the best ever experience in riding I have had.

You need to be honest with time, money and ability and face that you may need a lot of help and have to wait many years to see the results. Stinky is now rising 6 and we are just starting to have huge fun doing a bit of everything.
 

soph21

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Its totally up to you
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It depends if you want to wait a few years to ride or get on and go? I personally like buying them as 2 yr old or 3 yr olds ready to start so then I know they aren't messed up. as 4/5 yr olds I wouldn't buy one. I would buy an 8/10 yr old whos been there done it
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Never in between
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