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Eeeek have i bitten off more then i can chew?

11 replies

mad4 · 19/07/2012 19:00

Bit of background, I have owned horses since i was a child, competed, have degree level horsey education and am a competant rider (but i am aware of my limits). Had to sell my dressage horse when DS was born as just no time and no support network :(

so 5 years down the line i have the time (and finances) for another horse. I LOVE youngsters, ride out 4 yr olds for people, brought my previous horse up from just backed to novice elementary dressage etc, so i went out looking at youngsters thinkng i would buy something green to bring on.

I went to view a 3/4 shire, 15.3hh mare who was unbroken and barely handled and fell in love. she allowed me to touch her all over, led politetly and picked up her feet politely so i decided to go for it and bought her. i was thinking i would do all the groundwork myself and maybe send her to a professional yard for the actual backing part.

She gets delivered on monday, and while im really excited about starting the relationship, im having a wobble, everyone who asks what ive bought does a Shock face when i say she is not broken. she was so quiet and gentle when i viewed her i was convinced it would be fine, but other peoples reaction added to the fact that ive never owned a horse "this" green before is making me wonder.

please tell me your success stories of experienced amateurs dealing with youngsters to make me feel better....please!

OP posts:
Amieesmum · 19/07/2012 19:38

Bought DP fresh off the mountains in Sept last year, real wild child never handled. Have had horses all my life, one unbroken which i had some one help me with. Felt wayyyy out of my depth to begin with for this one.
Pony is now going well in hand and on the ground, and has been sat on. Was a big leap from youngster to "wild" and it's taken a very long time, but we're getting there. Take your time & don't rush her. Get the handling part right before you start any ground work at all, and then make sure she's got that keyed in before you progress any further.
I will say however if you don't feel confident doing the ground work yourself, or don't know what you're doing.... don't bother. Just send it away and get it done properly, because you'll end up with something completly spoiled, it takes a hell of a lot more time to un-learn, than it does to learn it correctly.

Byecklove · 19/07/2012 19:39

I don't know, a lovely, gentle, unbroken horse sounds great to me! I've never owned one though - I used to have an ex-racehorse though. He was bombproof (ironically) but a bit of a loon. I think as long as you have the trust (and love!), the rest can come. As long as she's backed sympathetically, which it sounds like she will be, it sounds like she'll be a keeper. They were all unbroken at one point! Good luck and congrats, I hope to be in the same situation one day!

AlpinePony · 19/07/2012 19:59

You sound (to me) as though you have more than enough experience and know-how - all you need is a good kick up the bum and a reminder than you can do it! :)

Best of luck!

Mirage2012Olympics · 19/07/2012 20:32

You could do worse things.Like buy an old 'been there done that' pony when you haven't been near a horse for 34 years.Grin At least she won't have a lifetimes worth of 'interesting' tricks up her sleeve.

She sounds lovely- the people going Shock are projecting their own fears onto you.

SaggyGoldOlympicSponsor2012 · 19/07/2012 21:22

She sounds gorgeous. Envy young doesn't have to mean mental! Our homebred youngster is so quiet that I was worried that when we gelded him he might never move again!
I'm sure that you will be fine. If she is going away to be backed then you will be where you started before.
Good luck.

mad4 · 19/07/2012 21:34

thanks all -Alpine you are exactly right Smile

my oldest horsey friend (who sadly lives many hundreds of miles away) has just emailed me to give said kick up the bum and i am feeling more positive.

although i have made a concious decision that i will not struggle, if we come up against an issue we cant solve quickly (or cant move towards solving anyway) then off to a professional she will go.

thanks again all Smile

OP posts:
Butkin · 20/07/2012 09:52

You'll be fine! Remember that all horses/ponies start life unbroken so somebody has to do the early work and it may as well be you.

We've broken in a Welsh A and a Connemara (admittedly got some help with the latter) and you are at least guaranteed that they don't have any bad habits (on the riding side at least). You do get a bond with them and I'm sure that with patience and common sense you'll have a good time together.

Don't be afraid to ask for help though and I would suggest having somebody with you the first time you get on just to hold her etc.

Booboostoo · 20/07/2012 11:46

Temperament is the most important thing. You have experience with youngsters and if you got the right vibe from her I am sure you will both be fine.

Might be a good idea to keep her at a yard with suitable facilities (e.g. safe arena for backing) and get some professional help with the backing. How a horse is started makes all the difference for their future attitude to life.

marge2 · 20/07/2012 15:58

I bought my girl aged 3, 16.1, not backed yet, but well handled, from a very experienced friend who was an II (BHS Stage 4 o whatever you call it) . She had a fab gentle and mild mannered nature. Friend helped me back her, which we did in ten days from first bit in mouth to first short hack in company. She learned very quickly. No tantrums at all. All calm and happy.

I moved yards very shortly afterwards as it was a riding school and I couldn;t get free 'school time' after work as it was always being used for lessons and so not suitable for working in with a youngster.

Never looked back! Lovely horse. She was a 3 YO Chestnut mare who thought she was a 20 year old ex police horse gelding.

Had her 17 years now. GrinGrin

What everyone else said - get some pro help at the start.

N0tinmylife · 22/07/2012 11:22

Hi, sounds like you are in a very similar situation to me, I gave up my last horse 4 years ago after having DS due to lack of time and money. I finally got myself another horse about 2 months ago now.

The one thing that has surprised me is how much my riding has deteriorated in the last few years, mainly because the muscles I used to have, just aren't there any more! I was looking at horses with all sorts of issues, thinking I would still be able to ride how I did before. I have ridden in the intervening time, but not as much as you do when its your own horse. I don't know if that is likely to be an issue for you? If so it may be worth having some lessons on another horse before getting on your youngster? I have been extremely lucky, and the horse I ended up with is very forgiving, and I can feel my seat coming back, and a partnership starting to form.

Your new one sounds lovely though, and all, the knowledge you had, will still be there. If you are anything like me you will wonder how you lasted so long without a horse! Grin

mad4 · 31/07/2012 23:09

Well, just a little update

we are now two weeks from her arriving and its going really well Grin
spent the first week just getting to know her, settling into the yard and reminding her of her leading and picking up feet manners.
we have now just started lunging and so far (after two sessions) its going ok, she happliy wears her cavasson, roller and boots and will go to the left very nicely, more work on the right needed as yet.

overall im happy with our start, she is the mare i thought she was and i think we are going to be ok Smile

sadly i may still have to send her to a pro for the backing as im lacking a horsey friend to help for that bit..unless any of you guys are from cornwall.....

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