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Calling all horse people!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Im getting a horse! Im so excited! Its been a long time since I have owned a horse, my last one Joey was a thourghbred ex racer I rescued and nursed back to health. I really have missed riding and owning a horse and now the time has come for me to get one! yay!

Its been a while though and Im writing a list of everything I need to get for my new horse, can you guys help me out? I feel like im missing something. I got the basics, as in saddle,bridle,halter,brushes,hoof pick,treats,blanket,fly mask. I know im forgeting stuff.

Im looking at a bunch of horses starting today and through the weekend, I want to look at a lot of horses so I know ill find the right one for me. But I have never bought a horse before. Is it like when you go rescue a dog and you see a certain dog and you just know thats the one?
Im going to ride any horse I am interested in and have a vet exam before any purchase ( my friends dad is a horse vet!)

Any pointers for buying a horse? Things to look for?
And as for personality, could I tell from just one or two visits about a certain horses personality, are there things to look for in that area?

Im really just looking for a pleasure horse I can take on Trails and teach my friend to ride on. Eventually Id like to get back into jumping, but more for fun then anything else.

I would appreciate any advice you guys can give on picking out a new horse and choosing from a couple I might like.

I looked at a 10 year old thourghbred ex jumper the other day and will be riding him in a lesson tomorow, but I want to look at other breeds as well.
Im just concerned about the size of other breeds, Ive always like large horses. Im about 5'4, what size horse would fit me well? The horse tomorow is 17hh, which i like, but I want to look at smaller ones too but not too small. Would a 15hh horse be to small or a good fit?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 9
I'm about 5'4 and Monty is about 15.2hh, and I think we are the perfect match! I've heard that thouroughbreds and warmbloods can be really fizzy and high, but it just depends on how they've been raised. My adviced to you on what to look out for would just be that it seems happy and healthy, and obviously cute! If I were you I'd go for something that isn't fazed by anything, it's such a pain when you have to be constantly thinking that the horse may bolt off with you at any second! (no offence Mont!) And don't forget to try it out first - they can be so different in the stable than in a field or manege (lol I know that only too well!) And as forn items...(most of these you have already)

Sweat scraper
Fly spray
A stable
A field/grazing
numnah or saddle cloth

Good luck! Post some pixx soon!
post #3 of 9
I've never owned a horse, but I've always wanted too! So, I can't really help you. I just wanted to say CONGRATS!!! Don't forget pics!!
post #4 of 9
15 hand horse wouldn't be small for you at all. To me they are big! My little mare is only 14.1 and I love her! I bought her when I was 16 and had never road a horse other then at camps and trail rides. I liked her height because her size wasn't intimidating. You would fit my 14.1 mare just fine.

As for things to look for.....

***Make sure you really look at the legs, are they straight, bowed, calcium build up, etc
***Are the hooves sound, growing out well, is there a thick growth line (could be a sign of founder)
***Is the horse kept on grass, if it's kept in a mud lot that could be a sign the horse has been foundered
***Does it have injuries, feel under the throught and make sure it doesn't have strangles, that can be deadly (I had someone try to sell me a horse will strangles and pass it off as an injury)
***Do any of the legs or hooves feel hot
***Are the whites of the eyes showing (could be drugged, or absolutely terrified)
***Does it seem tired (could be drugged)
***Is it in good shape, a weak underfed horse may seem like the perfect horse until it gets it's strength back
***Have someone trot the horse on a loose lead and watch the horse for any pain or discomfort. If the horse bobs it's head with one of the feet you have a problem. Head bobbing is a sign of lameness.
***Does it stand still when being saddled, a horse that jumps or seems scared of the saddle probably isn't as broke as they say it is.
***A foundered horse is rideable, but can have health problems or lameness now and again because of foundering. A foundered horse cannot have free access to grass.

If I think of anything else I'll post more. I go to a lot of horse auctions and help friends find horses. Be sure you ride the horse before you purchase it. Some horses are great for the owner because they know how to ride and have already built a relationship and the horse understands who's boss. I've come accrossed a few horses I could jump on and ride just fine, but someone who was nervous or not experience could NOT ride. The horse was just plain awful for them.
post #5 of 9
Oh, and finding a horse.

Around here you look in the farm ads. A lot of farm stores also have flyers up about horses for sale. I would not advise getting a horse from an auction or horse trader unless you have a VERY horse savy person with you that is willing to get on the horse. A horse trader is someone with way too many horses to ride and know. 20+ horses for sale.

There are also some decent sites that have horses for sale. Off the top of my head:
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
thank you so much for all the info!!! That was very helpfull!

I found this one horse I really like. He is a TB about 16hh. These people had him for ten years and sold him to some women about a year ago. this women used the previous owners as a reference for a barn and a month ago got a call from the barn that the women just left her 5 horses and never came back. Because they loved this horse they went and got him and are trying to find him a good home.

He was very nice and I watched her tack him up and he was great, just stood there eating hay. I then had her ride him first so I could watch him move, then I got on him and he was great!

He seemed a little stiff in his back leg but the girl told me he hasn't been riden and he has been in his stall. They live far away and have other horses in another location, thats why they need to find him a home. Ill definitly have him vetted before getting him if i do. She also told me I could try him out for a month, she would trailer him to my barn, and if I like him I can keep him and if not she will pick him up. I thought that was cool, cause it would give me time to ride him and see how he is.

So hopefully the vet says all is good, he really is a sweet horse and he was very smooth and calm.
post #7 of 9
When I buy a horse I look at the horse multiple times.

I want to see the horse during feeding time in his stall and outside in the pasture. I want to make sure I am getting a horse that is not food aggressive. I have had them swing and kick at me or attempt to bite as I am coming in or out of the stall. That is a big no for me.

If I am planning to pasture the horse with my other horses I want to see it around other horses. I don't want one that is aggressive and I have to keep seperate, unless I am purchasing a stud. Then I keep them pastured alone.

I want to be able to go to the barn and look at the horse without calling. I want to know the horse is not drugged to keep it calm while potential buyers look at it. I also don't want the potential sellers to have a chance to take it out and tire it out before I get there. I want to see what the horse is like fresh out of the barn. I have seen many barns that give horses a calming agent and work the horse to tire it out so that when someone comes to look at it and ride it is nice and calm and rides nice. The buyers are shocked when they get the horse home and find out it is nervous and hyper. Or their child gets on the horse to ride it and the horse throws the child. I am so against this practice.

I want to see the horse travel all 3 gates on the ground with no rider. I want to make sure there is no stiffness, swelling or gate trouble.

I want to see the horse cross tie. I want to know the horse will stand there calmly while being handled. Brushed, saddled, feet worked on. I will actually travel around the horse running my hands all over and lifting all of it's feet to make sure I do not have to work with it when I get home. If I am buying a horse that is for show. I want it to be able to be clipped with clippers without too much trouble as well unless I am buying a baby or a green horse.

I want to saddle and bridle the horse myself. I want to make sure that there are no tricks that I need to know before purchasing the horse. If I am buying it I need to be able to handle it myself.

Be aware of the type of bit they use on the horse. If they are using a harsh bit then you have an idea of whether the horse is easily controlled while riding. Also try to stay with the type of bit the owner used. I look at the corners of the mouth alot of times. If they have raw spots that tells me that they use a heavier hand to keep control. A nice soft mouth means the horse is "usually" well trained and does not need alot of bit to control.

I look at the gums. Nice and pink with no white dots. If the horse has white on it's gums can mean anemia or parasites. Also look at the base of the tail. Does the tail lay flat or is there curling of the small hairs at the base? If there is curling this can signify parasites. Nothing that a good worming can't correct.

I want a nice sleek coat this time of year. Nice line from whithers to tail no big belly. I will usually pull the skin back and look for reaction time. If the skin bounces back quickly the horse is well hydrated. If the skin goes back slowly usually means the horse is dehydrated.

Hooves must be nice and neat. No major cracks. Look to see if there is special shoeing. If there are special shoes on the horse this could signal a problem with the way the horse tracks or a problem with it's hooves. Sometimes it is just a minor thing, sometimes it is a major problem depending on why it is shod that way.

Make sure horse has a current health certificate and coggins. In most places the horse has to have a current coggins to be sold.

If you are not an experienced rider or haven't rode in along time. Look at a older horse. I like to call them bomb proof. If I am buying a horse to trail ride or to have children ride I will test it out really well. I will set up normal everyday things that can spook a horse on a trail ride and ride it past.

I want the horse to be able to pass a mail box, garbage can, water on the ground, a car passing by or starting up with out it being spooked. I want to be able to raise my hands around the horse with out the horse spooking or shying. The worst thing while on a trail or pleasure ride is having a horse spook and throw you while passing everyday objects. Not only is it unsafe for you but the horse as well.

Anyways this is getting long and I apologize. If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.
post #8 of 9
Sounds like you have a good horse there. At least 11 years old, do you know how old he is yet? That could be a reason for his stiffness. My mare Bonnet is 21 years old and gets stiff very seldom, but it still happens. He could also be barefoot and his hooves haven't adjusted yet. I'm a firm believer in barefoot horses. Shoes aren't great for a horse unless they are being trotted on rocks. Once you take shoes off a horse their feet are tender, especially if they've had shoes on a long time. I really noticed with my mare that she would limp after I took her shoes off. Now after two years of being barefoot her hooves are much stronger than they ever were with shoes.

If you get a chance run your hands done is legs to see if they are hot or if there is calcium build up. You should feel knots if there is calcium build up.

Good luck and keep us updated!

I also have to mention that you shouldn't buy a horse because it's old and you expect it to be bomb proof and calm. My 21 year old mare is more hyper and energetic than our other two mares that are half her age. My little sister got an 8 year old horse that was green broke and rode for 30 days when she was 10 years old. That mare was perfect for my little sister! My 21, then 19, year old mare was far too much for her to handle.

I've personally known 3 horses that made it into their 40s, so don't worry about getting an older horse.
post #9 of 9
haha, to be honest I usually like the shorter ones But then again, my needs are different. When I bought Mikki, I wanted a horse that would be a great barrelrace prospect for me, as that is my new addiction-usually the shorter horses tend to get around the barrel faster, as usually they are more agile.

Especially since you are looking for one for beginners too, I would make sure it is bomb-proof, though I have heard Thoroughbreds can be not-so-good for that (not that I would know personally, I mainly work with quarter horses).

A simple test for a bombproof horse would be to carry a plastic bag in your pocket when you go to see them. When you are standing beside them, drop it. Foolproof test for a bombproof trail horse Also, if you are riding it, depending on how comfy you are, carry a noisy jacket, like a raincoat, with you in the saddle. Put it on while walking in a straight line, and see how they do. Also take it off. Another good test for a bombproof horse. Just be careful when doing it! Wear a helmet!

Also, be sure you can catch them when they are in the pasture, lots of horses can be difficult to catch when they have lots of room to run, and you want to be able to get a hold of them no matter where they are.

Hmmm...other than that not much to add right now. I didn't go through much of this with Mikki, as I knew her since babyhood, and was starting training her for a friend even before I bought her. The only thing I didn't actually see done (or do myself) was loading, since every time she was moved I wasn't there(too many commitments, I know ). Thankfully she has been in a trailer lots though, and I'll see her on load on Tuesday, so I'm not too worried

Just curiouse--do you ride english or western? I'm assuming it english, but I could be wrong

Good luck! post often on how the search is doing, and pics when you are seriously considering one!
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