I am in the market for a horse. I will wait as long as I need to get the right one for me. Can you please help me? I am age 47 and have some experience just trail riding. I would like to go to local shows, mostly western pleasure. Kelly
I would recommend that you start going to the shows where you would like to eventually show and watch the people there. Look for a person who is coaching that you think you would like to be coached by. You can watch them at shows in the warm up pen without even telling them that you are ‘interviewing’ them. Then when you find someone you like, talk with them and the people riding with them. That would be the person to tak some lessons from. If you still like them and trust them then they can help you search for the perfect horse.
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I know someone who was looking for a horse and she went to see a very nice one. she rode the horse and loved it. But she just could not feel that she should buy it. She ask me why she just could not get over the feeling she should not buy that horse. She told the owners daughter she just did not feel right about takeing the horse from her elderly mother. then a week later she recieved a phone call that the horse had coliced and died. listen to your heart too as well as your trainer.
I agree with Stacy, find a trainer that earns your trust and then trust them to find you a horse that is right for you. She didn’t want just a trail horse, she wanted to enter WP shows and a good trainer can fit your ability to a trained horse and you will be so much more successful. Good luck and have fun!
Will the horse be at your property? What facilities do you have? Choose a horse that not only meets your needs for companionship and riding skills but prefers and thrives in the set up you have. Some need restriction from pasture. Some need pasture. Some need shoes.
IF the horse won’t be at your home: then EASY. Lease a few different horses over the next year until you know for sure. Because when you find the perfect one you won’t mind a bit slogging up the icy hill on his 32nd birthday to switch blankets and hang out in the barn until the wind dies down.
If cost is not a major concern: Pay a trainer you like to find you a horse and expect to pay from $2500 for a bomb proof trail horse of 10-15 years of age or over $7000 for a horse you may compete with.
If you have ever considered breeding then work with a breeder you trust now to find a perfect match. Expect to have some sticker shock but if you truly want that option there is no room for saving money now or later.
The biggest thing to keep in mind when looking for the right horse is not just to choose the colour, because we all know that when it comes to our baby’s it’s all to easy to wanna coordinate them and dress them in style when out on a ride. Look for something that has been there done that and is the same everytime they are taken out. Make sure you can test drive the horse and take notice it the owner has ridden it prior to you getting there, Pop out a few times to see the potentail horse just to make sure that that first day you saw it. It wasn’t drugged, Then have it Vet checked sometime people are not honest but a reputable breeder or person will tell you everything and will not have any problem with you taking your time in making up your mind.
God bless and happy ponie shopping, I know it’s one of my most favorite things to do.
Good luck horse hunting, I thought Stacy’ advice is great!
Here is a list of questions I ask before ever going to look at a horse that is offered for sale. It helps me eliminates prospects if the answers aren’t what I’m looking for…..
Reason for selling?
How long have you owned him?
Length of professional training?
Respond to seat and leg cues?
Does he take the correct lead when asked?
How is his stop?
Loose or tight rein on the horse?
How much trail experience / where?
Any current OR past soundness issues?
Back or chiropractor treatments
Any vet issues?
Shots up to date?
Regular teeth floating?
Does he shy at anything? / If so, How does he react when scared
Pasture manners around other horses
Does he rush or refuse anything
Do water crossings?
Does he get upset when other horses are ahead of him
Stand tied w/o pulling
Can you ride him away from his stable mates w/o a fuss?
Any trailer loading issues?
What type of trailer is he hauled in
Patient while in trailer
Easy Keeper? / Current diet
Does he need shoes? / Ever had any corrective shoeing?
Stand still while mounting?
Any saddle fitting issues?
Is he happy to work or does he get sour at all?
Do you need spurs?
How’s the trot / the lope and/or the gait
My suggestion would be to contact a nearby horse rescue. Is there one near you? The people that run most reputable rescues are very well versed in the needs of the horse and the rider. There are so many fine horses at rescues and they can be adopted for a very reasonable fee. I would also suggest volunteering some of your time at a rescue. I did not get my horses until I was 47, almost 48. I have 3 that were lesson horses and the girl I got them from was losing her home and land, so I actually paid for one horse and took 2 others in so he would have friends. Just so happened one was pregnant and so I got a qh/belgian cross for free. He is now 4 yrs. old. His mom is 23 this year and still rideable and safe for anyone to ride. My horse, Kid, is 21 now, a former halter show horse. He is the best! I could have showed on him, but we only do trail riding as it is all I really have time for. One of my mares was a rescue, she was nearly starved to death. She is also a former jumping/dressage show horse. She is 19 now, but she doesn’t know it, still acts like she is 8! Just my thoughts. Best wishes on your search and please do consider a horse that really needs a good home.
not always do people who run horse rescues know anything about horses. I know some who really love horses and feed them well and call the vet often but have no clue about how to work with them or deal with problem behaviors. too bad too.
The best teacher of the horse, is the horse. If I were her, I would get a horse from a summer camp or something and get a free lease on it for the winter. She could learn a lot from a horse that can handle different situations and different people. By the end of the winter, she would probably have a much better idea of exactly what she wants in a horse. I don’t know this lady or her situation, but that is what I would do.