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Any horse people here?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Anybody into horses and know their stuff? I'm trying to learn more. Specifically, I need to learn what type of horse would be good for me to buy for my family.
    My wife and kids are into horses and I'm getting pulled in a little bit more all the time. My wife is trying to convince me to get a horse of my own. I'm considering it. But if I do, I really want it to be a horse that the whole family can ride. My wife is probably intermediate level, and I have a 12 year old step son, a 9 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. The older 2 have been taking riding lessons from a dressage trainer, but are not very advanced yet. I have never ridden, but might give it a try with the right horse.
    Right now my wife has a couple of thoroughbreds, and that's great, but they are not the family horses that I want them to be. Both of them are horses that she acquired to save them from auction. She's got a 12 year old mare that we will be selling soon. She is a healthy and nice horse, but she requires a lot more work with the trainer and a she needs a more advanced rider - she's an ex racer and likes to run. My wife's other horse is 19 years old. He is in great shape and he's very gentle and nice - the wife and kids all ride him and he's great, even the 6 year old is fine on him, he just plods around the arena like a kind old man. Unfortunately, while he's still very healthy right now, we can't expect too many more years from him. I really think we need to get a nice horse that the family can enjoy for years to come.
    So I need to learn what type of horse might be suitable for my family. I've always found 1/4 horses to be fine animals. (I have spent a lot of time around a lot of horses - ever sense I was a kid, I've just never ridden) I mentioned this to my wife, saying that I thought 1/4's might be a good choice for our family and also that I'd like to get a young horse when we do get the next one. She mentioned this to a family friend / neighbor and he said that he's got just the horse for me. She's a 1/4 filly and he needs to sell her by the end of summer. I know that she has never been mistreated. This guy has had her sense birth - she was foaled from his mare. This guy has a gelding that I've been around quite a bit that is brother to the filly and he is a fine and gentle animal and another brother belongs to a local Sheriff's deputy who rides him in the sheriff's posse, which I take as a good sign for how this man's horses turn out.
    This guy is offering me this filly at a very good price and telling me that if I don't have the money he'll negotiate on price and probably take payments. I think he agrees with my wife - that being as I do spend a good deal of time cleaning the stalls and feeding the horses and generally doing the work, that I should actually get some enjoyment from it all by having a horse that I can call mine and ride. I'm really considering getting this horse, but it's important to me that I make a well informed decision. I'm sorry that this post got so long, but I wanted to give as much information as I could. Anybody have any feedback as to whether or not a 1/4 filly would be a good horse for my family? Any other suggestions on what type of horse might be good for us? Thanks for reading, all feedback is appreciated.
  2. vbass


    May 7, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Wouldn't it be cool if there really WERE horse people? Man, I bet you could run SO fast.

    Not to mention the other 'advantages'... :ninja:
  3. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    Naughty vbass!

    Well... as a kid my Mom and I had two "Appullusas" (no way did I spell that right). Nice horses but began to get "Barn Sour".

    I couldn't recommend any breed specifically, but I can tell you all horses bite! HARD!

    Good luck Matt!

    BTW- western all the way! english is for the girls
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    "Any horse people here?"

    Nope, dont know if anyone's a centaur here... :ninja:

    :rolleyes: :smug:
  5. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I'm sure you can find some of these in your area.
  6. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Okay, maybe it was a bad thread title - but that can't be edited (unless by a mod)
    So I'll just clarify - I was hoping to hear from people who know a lot about horses, not people who are half human / half horse. ;)

    Heh - even the girls in my family ride western more than english. Yes, I agree - western all the way.

    & WildeStarr - your horses sound very nice. Unfortunately, expensive is not one of the qualities I'm looking for in a horse ;)
  7. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Yes, I'm quite sure that I could. My mother in law has Llamas, maybe alpacas too (I don't really know the difference) ...she sheers 'em and spins yarn and knits stuff, but alas - I'm pretty sure that they are not horses... :eyebrow:
  8. Want to know what is bad, I saw
    and thought :eek:

    By the way, I too was hoping this would be a thread about centuars :(
  9. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    :scowl: okay, I'm not quite sure what a centuar is - but I'm pretty sure that they are not real...
  10. half man half horse
    (bottom is the horse half)
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Matt, you cant beat a good Quarterhorse. I myself am looking for a Quarterhorse for pleasure riding. I've been told that Geldings are better tempered than Fillys are, but at this point I'm not getting picky. Ideally I'd like to find a 10-12 year old former lesson horse, something totally bombproof that me and my six year old can ride safely. I just sold my two year old paint, so now the hunt begins.

    I would avoid a Thouroghbred if possible, especially with young children that want to ride. Most Thouroughbred's I've come across were some sort of former racehorse, and they generally dont seem to be well mannered, they can be rather jumpy and may spook easily, and you certainly dont want a child on that kind of horse. I would also avoid an Arabian or any horse that has Arabian in it.

    I wouldnt worry so much about age as I would the horses general health (read: how the horse has been taken care of......shots up to date, well fed, wormer, regular farrier visits, teeth floated,etc.....). We have two older horses at the barn, one is a 22 year old Morgan, and the other a 23 year old Quarterhorse. Both get ridden weekly, and are in great health. When you find a likely candidate, get a vet to come out and give the horse a good lookover. spend the $ so you dont wind up with an unhealthy horse.

    I ride English, fwiw.
  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Matt- I re read your original post, and I'm wondering how young is the young horse is that youre considering? How much training has she received? Saddlebroke? The reason I ask is young horses tend to be a handful, and not really suitable for younger (or beginning) riders. I had my two year old paint from birth (she was foaled from my Wife's horse) and while it was all nice and cute, I'm not cut out (or have the time and knowledge) to break and train a young horse. I'm a fairly new rider, and new rider + young horse is not a good combination.

    Yuo can send a horse off for training (or have the trainer show up to your barn) but unless you have the time, money and know how to keep up on the training, you'd be better off with an older horse.
  13. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Hi Mike. Thanks for the good info and opinions. I agree that the Thoroughbreds are not usually the best family horses, we have two TBs (my wife's horses) and one is great and one is not. (the old guy is super nice, the 12 year old mare is just plain nuts… yes, she raced)
    I'm really thinking that quarters would make good family horses for my family and it sounds like you agree. I think that I do want my horse to be a Quarter when I get one.
    The Quarter Filly that I've been considering is very tempting because I know that she'll be a good horse someday (she's got good blood) and I can get her at a very good price. I'm not sure how old she is, but I know that she's still a filly - so she's less than 4. I know that she'll need a lot of training, but I'm not clear on exactly how much. I don't think she's had much training, I believe that she is saddle broke, but maybe not yet.
    I know it's a big responsibility, but it might be a good time for me to take on such a responsibility. Right now we are living at a great place for horses. We are renting on property and there is a huge riding arena that we have full access to as well as a full sized race track and miles and miles of trails. A couple of people board there and we have become friends with most of them.
    There is a trainer who is out daily and she has become a good family friend. My kids have been helping her with stalls in exchange for lessons and the oldest kids and my wife have been helping her by lunging the horses and riding all of the horses that she doesn't have time to ride / riding the easy ones while she works with the more difficult ones. My point in mentioning this is to point out that I do have access to a lot of good resources in regards to training and can probably get the trainers services for a steal. I'm also pretty motivated to do as much as I can myself.
    But - I'm still not clear on how much training it will take to get a horse to where I want it. (how long) I'm also not sure if the trainer we are friends with is the right trainer for me as I just want a pleasure horse and would likely ride Western, but she teaches dressage which seems to be a variation of English for show and involves a lot of goofy form (for both the rider and the horse) I'm sure that I should really just talk to this trainer friend of ours to answer my questions - is the training she provides what my horse would need for what I'd want her to be, and how long will I need the trainers services, and how much of this can I do on my own? I just think her opinions will be somewhat biased, so if you have opinions on any of that I'd love to hear them. Thanks.
    BTW - English is really only girly if you are wearing the little knickers. ;)
  14. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Hey Mike (or anybody really). I have one more question. I've mentioned that my wife has a 19 year old TB that is very nice and gentle. Now, she has only had this guy about 6 months and he was somewhat mistreated by his last owner - not abused but under fed. He came to us with ribs showing. Now, wifey has been working with the trainer friend on diet and exercise and the horse has put on probably close to 200 lbs of muscle and is looking a lot better. So the wife and kids have begun riding him and he does great, doesn’t act like anything hurts, all is good. He is still just slightly under the weight we'd like him to be, and because he's maybe just the slightest bit underweight (IMO - it's arguable at this point) and because he is 19 yrs, I have refrained from riding because I'm afraid I'll hurt him. I weigh about 205. My wife weighs about 140 and the horse does fine. Do you think I would hurt him, or would it be okay for me to give it a try. My wife thinks that it would be okay, but I really don't want to hurt the old guy...
  15. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Matt, find out exactly how much training the filly has/hasn't gotten at this point. If she's 4, I would hope that she's saddlebroke by now. Remember though, she's still young and young horses can be unpredictable (read: full of piss and vinegar). My Wifes mare is six, and she recently went off for more training and a general attitude adjustment (read: she's full of piss and vinegar). I myself wouldn't get a young horse again, but if you have the time, the desire and a capable trainer, then give it a shot.

    Dressage is an advanced form of English. My Wife and I are pleasure riders, and Wifey has been riding for 20+ years. Recently she took some lessons from a Dressage trainer, and she (my Wife) was so flustered that she swore she'd never do that again. If you/your kids want to ride in horse shows or play Polo with Prince Charles, then by all means learn Dressage. However if you only want to pleasure ride, imo Dressage isnt for you. Basic English (I think it's called Huntseat) or Western is adequate. In fact, if you can try riding both styles I'd encourage it, then pick the style that you're most comfortable with. If your trainer is pushing the Dressage route, I'd maybe find another trainer for a second opinion. One thing I've found with trainers/riding instructors is they all have different opinions. Pick the one that makes you the most comfortable.

    205 isnt too heavy, imo. Try a short ride at first, and see how the horse reacts.
  16. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I wish I could claim this...
  17. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Mike N. nailed the answer down. A quarter horse is the best bet for a mild mannered, overall kind of horse. I grew up across the street from a farm. Did my fair share of riding. That is all they had but a couple Arabians. I remember seeing my friends 5 year old sister riding by herself.

    Get one that is older maybe even one that is from a reputable riding stable or trail stable. I recall riding one of the older ones and he would be sleeping while I was on for a ride. Every once in a while he would stop and sniff the air and remember I was on his back.

    I have heard geldings are the prefered. Nothing like a fixed male.
  18. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    As far as his age he may have plenty left in him.

    I heard once that a horses age is 3 years for one human age year.

    So your horse isnt even retirement age.