How to pick out a good horse
Published 12-01-2009 7:12 PM
Many people have been asking me to give some tips about horse and owner suitability.
First and foremost, green horse and green rider do not make a good pair. If you are an inexperienced rider/horseman, you should not purchase a green or young horse. By green horse I mean a horse that has not had a lot of training. And by young horse I mean anything between a foal to a 6 year old horse.
- Before you purchase a horse, consider the purpose and how you will be using that horse so you can find the breed that is most suitable for your needs. Different breeds have different personalities and purposes. Research to find what would be the best horse for you.
- Find a reputable trainer/instructor in your area and ask him/her about different breeds and their purpose.
- Consider also taking horseback riding lessons before you purchase a horse.
- Be around horses as often as you can so you can learn their behavior, horse handling, how to behave around horses, etc.
- When you are ready to purchase a horse, ask the trainer to help you find a horse that suits your horsemanship skills level.
Do not buy a horse sight unseen. Before you buy a horse you and your trainer should ride him. Also, many people will let you take the horse home for 30 days before you make your decision. This is very important, especially because you will be spending a certain amount of money, thus you will want a horse that suits your needs. If the owner does not let you take the horse to "test ride", go find another horse. There are literally thousands of good horses available, and only shady owners would not allow you to bring the horse home before you make up your mind.
Make sure to not pair a young horse with a child. This can be dangerous. Even if you are an adult, if you are inexperienced, it is recommended that you purchase an older horse that has been around the block a time or two and is what we call "bombproof". This type of horses are very accepting of beginners' mistakes and lack of skills. This is the best type of horse to teach you horsemanship skills.
Always have a good relationship with a trainer/instructor/horseman to help you manage your horse. You will learn horsemanship skills until you are ready for a more challenging horse. The learning curve may take years, but don't be disappointed, it's like this for everybody!
In concluding, if you are an inexperienced rider, DO NOT purchase a young or green horse. I cannot stress this enough! Green horse and green rider do not go well together!