Back to the wold of horses!(7 Posts)
So we are almost at an offer accepted stage for my first home and it's a smallholding! I've been living abroad and working in big cities in Asia for the last 10 years and we are finally home and settling down. We have found a total countryside place 15mins from family, 25 mins from city centre and with 3-4 acres of grazing, gorgeous outbuildings including 2 loose boxes and a beautiful period house needing plenty of work but my city boy hubby has agreed to the country move and even loves this house. I have always wanted to do some sort of agri business so will start small but the horses thing fills me with nerves and excitement. I have never owned a horse other than a half a pony I bought when 15, broke in with my friend and sold on for 300% (he was a fab pony once we gave the poor malnourished chap some food and taught him to ride) but I have barely touched a horse let alone ridden in 10 years! I loved carriage driving too so was half thinking of getting something to drive and ride, driving being something I could do from day one. But maybe a loan horse for a year to get a feel for it again and see how horses fit in with my life now makes sense? Anyone have an opinion on how long it would take me to be technically a decent rider again? I don't want to ruin a young horse or worse, get a bad fright or hurt myself. But I've always wanted to bring on a horse myself.
Ps. We are not in England, it sounded above like we are about to buy a million pound home but that's not the case by a long shot. It's Belfast.
I'd be tempted to have a few lessons before you think about getting something on loan. I went straight into loaning after a four year break, and it was a mistake if I'm honest. I was amazed how bad my riding had got. My brain still knew how to do it but my body had forgotten. The house sounds very exciting though, I'm jealous!
You need to be sensible. Going from not having ridden in years to having a horse at home is a massive step. If this post was in AIBU I would say that thinking of getting a young horse in these circumstances is insanity.
Now is a crappy time to be buying a horse with the cold weather coming in. Go to a riding school and have regular lessons over the winter. When you feel confident riding in the arena, jumping (if you are interested in that) and hacking alone and in company, ask your RS instructor to find you a sensible, older, first horse schoolmaster. Even then you may need to keep the horse at livery to make sure you have the stable management skills to cope.
Keep in mind that it is unlikely that you will able to keep one horse at home alone. Most horses need company so you may need one other horse/pony companion (and in some cases two others to prevent pair bonding).
Two is better and even more than riding lessons you need stable management lessons OR to befriend someone near by who can advise you need paddock management. I went from not having ridden for 25 years to three ponies at home and the worst struggles and problems have been with the management of the paddocks and the feed and care of three ponies, all different
And I agree with getting the easiest horse you can at first, bombproof schoolmaster type, lives out, good doer, no quirks
Thanks for the advice. I've a lot of support for stable and paddock mgmt from close friends who have stayed in horse ownership while i was abroad these years and although I only once bought my own horse as a teen, I always took sole charge of an ex racehorse on loan each summer and kept it at my old neighbours house and land so have decent stable and land experience (ie it wasn't a livery yard so I was on my own with the horse and stable care). I think I'll get lessons through the winter and then look for a loan horse in the spring/summer. With a view to buy my much dreamed about Friesan maybe 5 yrs down the line. How the heck does everyone fit having babies in? I have a 9mth old and want a few more so should probably wait on buying my own long term horse till I'm not likely to need time off riding for pregnancy.
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