Anyone own a horse?

I realized that I will make a significant jump in the pay scale next year when I complete some coursework–enough of a jump to finance my girlhood dream of owning a horse. I’ve ridden and shown as well as worked at a stable (mucking stalls, tacking up lesson horses, picking hooves, etc.), so I am quite familiar with horses and their care. However, my experience was mostly during my teen years–so I’m a bit rusty.

I was wondering if any of you happen to own horses and are willing to give advice (or heck, share anecdotal stories) about buying a first horse. FWIW, this is what I’ve thought through so far:
[list=1][li]I’m planning on buying in the summer, so I’ll have 2½ months off to work with the animal;[/li][li]I’m thinking of getting a quarter horse (mainly for temperment and versatility);[/li][li]I expect to pay about $1000 for a pleasure horse (not intending to show);[/li][li]I will most likely ride huntseat, as that is what I’m trained in, but will consider western (with lessons);[/li][li]I will be looking for a horse age 10-15 so they’ll be more forgiving of my learning;[/li][li]I have no preference for mare or gelding;[/li][li]I expect to pay about $300 combined per month for boarding, vet, worming, shoeing, etc.[/list=1][/li]Funny, I live in a studio apartment. Some people would rather buy a house or move into a better apartment with the money. Nah. I’ll get a house, eventually. I am saving for one–but I’d rather have the horse first! Ah, priorities…

I used to think the world was against me. Now I know better. Some of the smaller countries are neutral.

Laura’s Stuff and Things

oh I wish I owned one. Horses are such beautiful creatures.

Love Always,
Heather Lee


I own quarterhorses. Love them. Want me to give advice here (may be long) or email you?


Email away, Jazzmine! :smiley:

Oh, good plan to buy a horse!! :slight_smile: I just sold my horse and will be looking for a new one myself in January or February. I am very psyched about this, but horse shopping can be very tiring and very frustrating. I show and train, and have shopped for many a horse, and some of the things you’ll run into will boggle your mind! But, as with everything, its an adventure (as my Dad would say :wink: and well worth it when your new horse finds you. They always find you… :slight_smile:

OK, here’s the best advice I can offer…

  1. If it’s an option, start taking a weekly lesson now so you’ll be in shape when it comes time to start looking and test riding

2)Try to form a relationship with a trainer in your area so he/she can help you find your new guy. They’re very helpful both in assessing suitability and having friends in the buisness who own sale barns etc…

  1. If you want to own him/her by the summer, start looking at least in the spring. I saw 27 horses over the course of 6 months before I bought a horse I had as a junior… I thought I’d find a suitable guy in a week!

4)ALWAYS do a pre-purchase exam!!! Even if you are allowed to have a week long trial period, vet checks are a MUST. One never knows what evils are lurking in the legs of a horse. There are a lot of things going on in there that might not seem obvious now but will show up later. Navicular and arthritis both hide out for ages and when they show up, they’re trouble. Its always best to spend the money on the pre-purchase exam, it saves on vet bills later.

  1. If the vet sees something in the flexion test and suggests x-rays, DO IT. Navicular and pre-arthritic conditions will only show up on an xray. Both can cripple and it is always best to be informed.

  2. Request a blood test. I didn’t once and bought a horse who was tranquilized up to his ears. It was a long term tranq and wore off 2 weeks after I bought him… He reared and dislocated my shoulder the next day… Also, pain killers are often used on sale horses to mask all sorts of things, especially on an older horse.

7)Cold-set splints and bowed tendons are nothing to worry about, my jumper had two bowed tendons that did not affect him in the least. If you see any oddities on the legs, ask the vet to be sure :slight_smile:

  1. I happen to love mares, but I’m in the minority among my horsey friends… A lot of people don’t want to deal with the heat cycles and Regu-Mate to control them can be costly.

  2. Take a look at its feet, bar shoes, lifts and pads are signs of weakness and should be questioned. Having to put bars, lifts and pads on every 5 - 6 weeks gets costly.

  3. If the vet does find something, ask him/her how it will affect what you want to do with your horse. A horse who can not show the jumpers because of something minor can make a fabulous pleasure horse. Every one of them has something, mostly minor things, and most things (like bowed tendons) are perfectly easy to live with and not a problem.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re buying a companion and a friend, so make sure you two click. When you find the one you click with, you’ll know!
My first horse was an Appendix Quarter Horse (thoroughbred cross) and he was a miracle. I never had to call a vet for him and his feet were great. I work with another Appendix QH who is 27 years old and still going strong. One of the best guys around :slight_smile:
That’s the best I can come up with now, and I hope it helps! I hope the vetting stuff doesn’t worry you too much, its all nessisary stuff but worth the trouble. Please feel free to email me with any questions you have, or just to talk horse, I can do it for hours!

~ Christiana~

“No smoking in bars in California… And pretty soon, no drinking and no talking” ~ Eddie Izzard

Wow - I’m with you - I’d rather buy a horse than a house - but buying isn’t the problem - it’s the upkeep that’s expensive. Only item of yours I can address is the mare vs. gelding. My best riding experiences have been with geldings. A mare spooked on me a couple years ago in an indoor arena (for no reason the instructor or I could determine) and tossed me off - cracked an arm bone. Also, other,more experienced riders have told me that mares are tempermental. The calmest and most comfortable horse I’ve ridden - with a wonderful canter - was a quarter horse.

I’ve been hearing that mares are moody lately. Ah, hormones…

I spoke with a friend at work whose hubby trains thoroughbred racehorses (fairly successfully, too–two are going to the Breeder’s Cup this year :slight_smile: ), just to amuse her with my excited plans. She said that heck, if I wanted, they could give me one of their horses (a gelding, of course, as it would have no post-racing career value) when it retires from racing. Now, there are a few problems with this–1) it’d be a relatively young horse; 2) it’d be a thoroughbred, which tend to be a bit more high-strung as a breed; 3) he could be sore (although I know her hubby would have very thorough vet records and visits for my perusal–and I don’t think he’d give me a ruined horse), and 4) it would likely need retraining. Still, it’s a FREE horse!

What do you think?

I used to think the world was against me. Now I know better. Some of the smaller countries are neutral.

Laura’s Stuff and Things

Ask her if you can take a long demo ride and see how he performs for you. Start in the arena; don’t know about your riding experience as far as getting out on the trails with him. Maybe get your friend to go along? Wouldn’t hurt to check him out. See how you two get along - if there’s any “chemistry.” Maybe you’ll fall in love with him and maybe you’ll decide you just don’t like him no matter how he performs.

My advice is no. If you were an experienced rider, with a lot of years under your belt (so to speak) then maybe. But you haven’t ridden in a long time and it would take a lot of know how that you may not have to ensure that you’re not nervous on him and that you could keep him in line.

I have to go with no as well. A lot of times, the TBs off the track need time out in a field to just be a horse and I don’t feel that’s what you’re looking for. They start their race training at 2 and are often burnt out by age 5 or 6. They often need quite a bit of veterinary care, and are VERY high strung. Also, just because a race horse isn’t fast enough to win races, it doesn’t mean that he’s not way too fast for the average hunt seat rider to feel comfortable on.
Most off the track horses aren’t used to being ridden in any manner aside from race mode and do not understand the aids we have come to know and love :wink: It can take years to get them to a point where they’re managable.
I think your original plan of a QH is a great one and I’d like to respectfully suggest you continue to think more along those lines.

~ Christiana~

“No smoking in bars in California… And pretty soon, no drinking and no talking” ~ Eddie Izzard