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eventmom
May. 14, 2007, 06:05 PM
This is kinda a spin on the horse price thread in h/j. Got me to thinking, if you could afford it, and you had a horse crazy kid who could ride, would you, or do you think it is a good idea to buy a high dollar horse for your kid? Or would you keep with the cheaper "diamond in the rough" kinda horse. I have my own ideas, but was wondering what everyone else thought.

pegasusmom
May. 14, 2007, 06:13 PM
Too many variables on this one to make a generalization. We've done both at different times.

It all depends on the kid, where the kid is at with his or her riding skills, what the emotional development of the kid is, how rough the diamond is, is the high dollar horse a schoolmaster, who the kid is training with and is the trainer able to support the diamond in the rough - you can go on and on with the list.

eventmom
May. 14, 2007, 06:40 PM
Fair enough, but I guess I must admit, I have always been of the mind set that you don't learn as much riding a "made" horse. Plus, the more money you spend, the more it looses that "fun" factor that is so important to developing a childs horse skills. It is true, we do have excellent instruction on our not so excellent ponies, but I was just thinking, that even if I could afford it, I don't think I would want to spend alot of money on a horse and miss out on all these wonderful training skills we are learning.
People around us a making different decisions and I was thinking....am I missing something here?

pegasusmom
May. 14, 2007, 06:49 PM
I wouldn't say that you can't learn as much on a made horse - the one made horse my son ever had came along at a time when he really needed a huge confidence boost and what he learned from her has been as valuable as the lessons he is learning now with his big green baby diamond.

I'd like to think that it's the parent's job to keep everything in perspective and keep re-directing the child's focus onto what ever the long term goal for eventing is. . . personal growth, creating and enhancing a partnership, etc. - but we all know that that's a perfect world where all is fair and I can eat anything and still wear a size 3.

Jazzy Lady
May. 14, 2007, 07:05 PM
Expensive in the event world does not mean "made". It can mean a variety of things. In an upper level prospect or competitor it means talent, not necessarily rideability. Even the most expensive horses can have a lot to teach to a rider that is capable of learning and riding the horse.

A safe amateur horse in the event world is worth it's weight in gold. Personally for a yr or kid I'd be looking at a horse that is talented, capable, will help out a rider if they get in a sticky situation, but won't make up for a rider that doesn't ride. AKA, rider comes into something that horse is unsure of and has no leg. Horse stops. Rider learns valuable lesson which would otherwise not be learned if horse had jumped anyway.

When shopping for the next horse anyway it really depends if you are looking for THAT horse to take the rider all the way, or if a horse that is capable of say to training or prelim safely is what is being looked at right now.

I just get annoyed when people think because someone paid a good price on an event horse that it is push button and easy...

Ibex
May. 14, 2007, 07:07 PM
I ride a "made" horse, and she's the hardest horse I've ever ridden as she demands I do everything correctly... :lol:

Spark
May. 14, 2007, 07:40 PM
I would buy an expensive horse for a kid who was a good rider, responsible, and willing to work hard and not expect everything ELSE to be handed to them any day. I don't see why not, as long as you don't spoil them with too much else, ie custom tack/supplies/clothing everything, free ride for board at 1k+ a month, all the lessons/clinics/events they can stomach.

But I have nothing against giving a kid a chance on an awesome horse.

Eventingjunkie
May. 14, 2007, 07:49 PM
I have always been of the mind set that you don't learn as much riding a "made" horse...
People around us a making different decisions and I was thinking....am I missing something here?

You are not the first to make such a comment, however, it is my daughter's dressage instructor's pet peeve to hear. She believes that only people who haven't ridden a "made" horse would make such a statement, and the best way to learn to ride correctly is on a well trained and well behaved horse.

Both her dressage and eventing instructors talk about how they have to retrain people to ride when they finally get a decent horse, because bad habits have come from defensive riding.

Also, why wouldn't you put what is most precious in this world to you on the best and safest mount you could find and afford? Not that the most expensive horses are the best.

On a personal note, my daughter has always ridden "naughty", but talented horses. When her horse is good, they can't be beat. But when he throws his tantrums, I sometimes question if I am a "good" mother for putting her at such a risk. Everyone around thinks we paid three to five times what we did for our horse and how if their kid had it, they would be winning. They have no idea how much effort it is to ride the horse. I would consider him "made", but not an easy ride. She learns to be a correct rider, or will not get the correct performance. She is the one who makes the horse looks like it is "made". If a horse looks good, give credit to its rider. A great horse will only stay a great horse with good riding.

We should all make responsible decisions when buying our children's horse. It is not the price we pay but the quality and kindness of the horse that should matter.

Lisa Cook
May. 14, 2007, 08:22 PM
the best way to learn to ride correctly is on a well trained and well behaved horse.

Bingo! This captures my thoughts exactly. I like your instructor. :)

eventmom
May. 14, 2007, 08:24 PM
Thanks guys, great answers. The problem for me is that I came to horses as an adult. So, while I consider myself to have lots of common sense, I don't have much in the way of horse knowledge, especially as it relates to my kids as they are moving forward.
Pegasusmom, I agree with you about a parents job of directing and goal setting. I imagine that if I had grown up riding this would come easier. As it is, I have had to surround myself (and my kids) with excellence. But sometimes, people make choices that you wouldn't make, and I needed to sort through the information.
EventingJunkie. I suppose if what you are paying for is "safety" than money makes sense on some level. But that is not what I am seeing. Anyway, I have kinda taken the attitude that I wanted my kid to learn how to stay on while still low to the ground on a pony!

Picasso
May. 14, 2007, 08:28 PM
I am shopping now for my daughter who is ready to move up to a different caliber horse. My trainer wants something that has gone well at training and schooling prelim. He feels that a horse like this can bring her along through the ranks correctly. In his words, you learn a little from your instructors, but your horses, they are are the ones that really teach you. You need one to show you the ropes, then you are ready to show one of them the ropes. Pretty sound advice.

That being said, everyone has their budget and you get the nicest horse you are able to afford. I've noted (luckily) most people at Horse Trials don't give a rats rear what you paid for your horse, something I was asked quite frequently when I showed on the hunter circuit (about 100 years ago!).

As a side note, I am coming off of buying a pony for my younger daughter who is a natural, she needed something with some talent. When you are looking for that in a medium package, CHA-CHING. Anyone who needs some really great convincing words for their spouses, I have them at the ready from this experience!

**it is NOT my intention to look for horses for sale with this. Thank you for respecting that as I intend to follow the rules!**

Eventingjunkie
May. 14, 2007, 08:33 PM
Anyone who needs some really great convincing words for their spouses, I have them at the ready from this experience!

Please, share! :winkgrin:

Grasshopper
May. 14, 2007, 08:33 PM
Not that I'm at the kid stage yet, but reflecting on my own experience, I wouldn't say either one is "better"--you learn different, maybe equally valuable things from each. The following are generalizations, but pretty close to my experience.

From a greenie, you learn stickability, how to train a horse from and to a certain point, and how to adapt to what can seem like a different horse every ride.

From a more "made" horse, you learn what "correct" feels like, you learn how to ride with more finesse and less defensively, how to deal with more subtle evasions, and you can focus on yourself as a rider more.

Now, if you're working with solid trainers and get lucky with soundness, etc. hopefully you can learn how to make a greenie into a "made" horse, but it still helps to have a reference point for what is "correct."

My background is that I rode my first year in hunters on a made, older pony who was a stopper but otherwise easy, and I could hop on him bareback and canter around the pastures in the summer. Then I outgrew him and went on to greenies for years. When I went to college, I did IHSA, so rode a bunch of different horses, but most of them were either rather green or more in the realm of lesson horses. Through all of this, I had mostly decent trainers, but not great. After college I got a mare who had gone Training and done well, and I've had her for over six years now. I've learned a heck of a lot from her, but until relatively recently, I didn't necessarily know how to improve her. Finally found a great trainer and, especially in the dressage, I feel like I'm finally figuring out how to be an effective rider with some finesse.

This mare is not an easy ride, but she (a) is honest over fences, (b) had some good training at some point, and (c) has a great work ethic.

A lot also depends on what kind of training/coaching you as a rider are getting, but I think I would have been a better rider sooner if I'd had the chance to ride more good "made" horses.

On the other hand, having ridden the greenies means I can stick through my mare's occasional tantrums, and I appreciate her more when she's good!! ;)

eventmom
May. 14, 2007, 08:46 PM
Picasso, the thing is, trainers ALWAYS want you to buy more horse.
1. because it makes them look good to have their students looking better.
2. because they are in the business so often either selling or connected to someone selling horses!
3. It's easier and funner to work with the better horses. (and if their lucky, they might get to ride it!)
I'm sorry, but these trainers aren't going to be the ones buying the horse.
Grasshopper, thank you. I know there is a lot to learn on every horse. And money is not necessarily going to be the solution.
I guess the point is this, that you should buy the best horse you can to meet your kids need at the time, but the best horse does not always have to be the most expensive horse.
I just think I am seeing people try to buy their kids way to the top. Scarey

Picasso
May. 14, 2007, 09:07 PM
Picasso, the thing is, trainers ALWAYS want you to buy more horse.
1. because it makes them look good to have their students looking better.
2. because they are in the business so often either selling or connected to someone selling horses!
3. It's easier and funner to work with the better horses. (and if their lucky, they might get to ride it!)

I have no doubt many trainers operate this way. I am very lucky to have a trainer that is both very well connected and very down to earth. He has called me nuts on more than one occasion when I have brought him prospects that he has said are way more than what we need right now. He also has a horse that I can't afford to pet, and I don't think he is looking for easier, heck, he is teaching me :D ! He is a family friend, too, so I am sure that helps in my case.

Picasso
May. 14, 2007, 09:17 PM
1. This child is a prodigy. It is our jobs as parents to provide her with the tools that match her ability. (this one worked the best. I didn't even laugh)

2. She got her first two ponies because her sister outgrew them. Doesn't she deserve to have her very own pony at least ONCE?

3. If we do this right, it will pay for College through scholarships. ( :lol:)

4. Its tough, I know, but its a harsh world out there. You are judged by the breeches you wear, the tack you own and the pony you ride. Don't you want your daughter to have everything that we can control going for her? (that was a flashback to my hunter days).

and the classic:

5. You get what you pay for. If you want something cheap, that's fine, but she isn't going to be able to compete the way she should. (guilt, guilt)

deltawave
May. 14, 2007, 09:39 PM
Lord, my "made" horse has taught me more than any human instructor ever could have. Made doesn't necessarily mean "easy"...she's a danged difficult ride on the flat (for me, anyhow!) and definitely has her quirks, demands, and preferences. :lol:

I think every kid deserves a saintly horse that is forgiving, fun, and can show them how to have a good time. I'd much rather start a kid off with one of those and have them move along to a tougher, greener, or more challenging horse later.

betsyk
May. 14, 2007, 10:23 PM
Different kids have different ideas of what's fun. Of the kids I've been around in the past few years, one got a drop-dead gorgeous TB who melted down at events. She got eliminated over and over and finally got a greener horse with no baggage and is finally successful. She wanted something she could event, not something who could be great at home and a fruitloop away, so the new horse is finally fun for her. Kid #2 had a made pony, mom couldn't afford a made horse, but they bought temperament over training and he is EVERYTHING she could ask for. She has had to learn to work much harder with him than she did with her pony and she has grown up tremendously. Kid #3 is not a natural athlete, determined in her own way but has a lot of fear issues. Her best friend eats nails for breakfast. Kid #3 is going to stick with the older, experienced, sweet caretaker mare this summer while Best Friend rides the spitfire pony, and they'll both have a ball with the horse that's right for them. A year ago, the nail-eating Best Friend was more of a nail-biting best friend, and the spitfire pony would have terrified her. A year on the caretaker mare has changed her whole outlook.

So I guess instead of focusing on how much to spend, I encourage the parents to think about what their kid really needs for the next couple years and then figure out how to get it. And I always make it really clear that the "how much money" and "how much time" questions are a FAMILY decision, because it's the whole family that's affected by the money and time sink of horses! And it's got to be FUN. Nobody should have to drag their kid to the barn, to ride the $1,000 horse or the $10,000 horse.

eventmom
May. 14, 2007, 10:44 PM
I am feeling a bit like I mislead you guys with my question. My daughters do have ponies. Didn't pay much for either. One is a nutcase that was passed from the older to the younger. Very kind, very athletic and very fun pony. You just gotta manage his strange fear issues. My kids jump on him bareback all the time. He has taught them so much. He is pretty tough and can put up with all they stuff young hands can dish out.
The next pony we got was $700 at the auction. This pony was a move up for my older daughter. She is taking him beginner novice this year/ He is a good jumper. Very green when we got him a year and a half ago. But she is learning so much on him with regular instruction
We just bought older daughter her first horse at the auction this spring. Got a good price on the mare but have not been able to do much with her as we are sorting her out. She is VERY kind and we think very athletic. We are told she was schooling 4 feet and not blinking. The problem is that she was a bit over faced so we will have to spend the summer correcting the bad training.
My daughter is 10 and an excellent rider for her age. We are looking forward to this new project this summer. She will have to move up this fall as her legs are moving down!
The thing is, I am starting to get people noticing my daughters skills and everyone wants to sell you a horse. Also, people around us are spending more than I would want to pay for a horse.
I think if we were to put that much money in, it would change our view of things. " Oh, don't go on that trail ride, she might get hurt". Or even "gotta work on this or that today kid, we have a lot of money in that horse" I don't know, seems like a lot of pressure for a kid.
Also, while I am not a fearful person, I am very concerned about over facing her. She is having so much fun on her pony, I don't want her to loose that with a horse. So, it was very important to me that her first horse be first and foremost kind and sane.
I am watching her peers buy horses (none of her horsey peers are her age) and I just keep thinking I would not make the decisions that they are making.
Buying young warmbloods that are supposed to be safe and quit. One friend can't ride the horse they bought now because he is turning into a jerk. (appears to have been wrong started).
I sure want to support my childs love of the sport. She does work very hard and is quite talented. I worry about making a mistake or not seeing something. Opportunites come and go. I feel so nieve. I go with my gut and then turn around and see people spending so much money on horses I would never put my kid on. Or maybe I just don't trust horses as much as I should?

PiedPiper
May. 15, 2007, 06:48 AM
I now have one "green one" and one "made" one and I can't believe what I must have done to be so lucky to rec'd the later one.

He has some maintenance issues and is not easy AT ALL but I at least know that if I push the right buttons I will get the right response. My analogy is I am a toddler with a toy and I am poking and prodding and when I get a response that looks good I try and back track and figure out what I did! :lol:

The green one is teaching me a lot on finessing rides but the made one is actually teaching me how to event and how to train the green one.

If you can you will only made your daughter's riding career/journey faster if you get a schoolmaster. A schoolmaster and a packer are two totally different things and I would go with the first. She will learn more and be a better rider due to it.

:D

pegasusmom
May. 15, 2007, 07:29 AM
I feel so nieve. I go with my gut and then turn around and see people spending so much money on horses I would never put my kid on. Or maybe I just don't trust horses as much as I should?

Eventmom - what you are churning through is what we all go through each and everytime our kids switch/outgrow horses. You want your kids to learn, you want them to grow as horsemen (women) you want them to be safe, have fun and you want them to be successful, or at the very least you don't want them to be disappointed.

We've been there - with the wonder pony who placed 15 out of 17 times, the OTTB who was consistently dead last after dressage, The Mare ( former 3*) who convinced the kid he didn't have to throw up before he went into the dressage ring, and now with the very talented big baby diamond. Each time he switched rides, we have had to work through things - training issues, expectation issues, goal issues, the why are you doing this sport issue.

In some respects this last switch was the hardest. When my son lost the ride on The Mare we looked around and found a very talented young horse with Olympic connections both in his pedigree and rider/owner. We didn't consciously go out and think - gosh we have to spend $X to get Andrew a good horse - this horse happened to present itself, Andrew really liked him, and they appeared to be a good match. The first few months were not pretty and it took a very traumatic trainer change, hard work and time. A year later they have cemented their relationship - they are truly becoming a team, and as an offshoot have enjoyed tremendous success. I think he has grown as a person the very most with this particular horse.

I think the very best thing you can do for your daughters is listen and talk with them - keep the lines of communication open. It sounds like you have provided your daughters with the tools to grow and learn. Dont worry about what the Jones are doing - Andrew's trainer told him point blank and very bluntly one day after a "learning experience" at a schooling event - this sport is not about instant gratification and if you think it is you need to find another sport. AND guess what. You will make mistakes. As long as you continue to communicate with your girls it will all sort itself out.

BTW he does trail ride the big baby diamond - all the time! Even 4* horses go for hacks in the woods!

deltawave
May. 15, 2007, 07:34 AM
If your kids have a true love of the sport, nothing you do is going to change that. :) Many of us have a true love of the sport and never owned a horse until we were adults--we rode what we were lucky enough to beg, borrow or scrounge for and were perfectly pleased with that. I'm not scolding you, EM, just a friendly reminder that passion needs very little nurturing. It sounds like you have your head on straight and your goals for your kids are admirable and smart. As others have said, you can learn from ANY horse. :yes:

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 08:06 AM
You guys are the bomb! I guess sometimes we just need to hear it.
I am very good at second guessing myself. But only for a few minutes! Then I move on and don't look back. Don't feel like I have any mistakes so far. It is just hard to see her friends having problems. Just this sunday they were out schooling and a kid got hurt really bad. The horse she was on reared and fell on her. did her leg in. A couple of broken bones later, she will be fine. But man, you still gotta work out what you would do differently. At least I do. No one wants that for the kids. Luckily my daughter didn't see the accident, but she was there and I have to help her slot it too, without pointing too many fingers.

Lisa Cook
May. 15, 2007, 08:14 AM
And the incident you mention above is why I so wholehearted agree with eventingjunkie's trainer. I agree SO much, I'll even quote it again ;) :


the best way to learn to ride correctly is on a well trained and well behaved horse.

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 08:24 AM
Yes, but isn't there something to be said for riding something with a little bit of a kick while your still young and still bounce. Otherwise, how would you be able to handle anything when your older? Seems to me, you gotta be balanced. And I get that by listening to my kid, and not blowing her head up so big that she thinks she can handle more than she can. On the other hand, her pony is no easy ride. Certainly has his moments. But she is totally confident in her ride on him, and that translates to him and he knows who is in charge. She would be board to death by a horse with no spunk.

kcooper
May. 15, 2007, 08:26 AM
I don't have kids, but I have watched hundreds at different barns over the years. What seems to work best for most kids and teenagers is a well trained, i.e. "made" horse. Kids and even mature teens who get green horses often end up really frustrated. It takes a long time to train most horses. I have also seen a lot of talented kids get scared and develop defensive riding habits that are really tough to break later because of riding green and unreliable horses. Better to take on these project horses once your own skills, judgement and confidence are well developed and when you have the ability to reflect and wait for long term success. Remember, a year at age 40 feels like 5 years to a 14 year old!

Lisa Cook
May. 15, 2007, 08:47 AM
eventmom, you seem to think that well-trained and well-behaved is boring and uneducational for your kids. Trust me, it is not!

Your view of "riding something with a kick while they are young and still bounce" is a little unsettling. You seem to think that falling off (based on the "bounce" word) is normal and expected - and it is not.

I'm probably going to jinx everything now, but my 10 year old son has not come off his pony ONCE in the past 2 years that we've owned her. She's a solid BN pony (qualified for the 2007 AECs with me) who has schooled novice and training with me. She takes my son around his 2 foot courses and gives him confidence. Everyone comments on how brave he is. Well, he's brave because of his pony. TRUST ME - she is not boring. In fact, he has his struggles with her. But everytime I send him off in the woods on an xc course, I know that pony is bringing him home. And that is priceless. :)

magnolia73
May. 15, 2007, 08:48 AM
First horse? I think you want a safe and reliable jumper. Safe and reliable. No need for fancy or dressage winner. But I really disagree with getting some stopper or hot horse for a first horse- it just presents a host of problems. My first real horse ($2500) was an asshat. He had a rodeo buck and used it. He would basically melt down at shows. Jumping was interesting to say the least. He was gorgeous, talented (could do a lead change every other stride on a diagonal when he wasn't rodeoing). Made me a very tense rider. My second horse ($2500) was steady eddie snuggle bug who never set a hoof wrong. He wasn't fancy, but he took care of me. That is what a kid needs to learn on. He was priced cheap because he topped out at 3', had a short step and no lead change. But that boy never bucked, stopped without good cause, reared, spooked or bolted. My third horse ($3500) would stop given a bad ride, was sort of fancy, but would buck, spook and play on certain days - I think she would have been an OK first horse as well. The upside- there is always a resale market for the nice guys. We had no trouble finding homes for 2&3 at prices above what we paid. #1 ended up being donated......

So I'd spend on temperment over talent. I'd spend $5000 on the rideable Novice vs $5000 on the very green horse with Advnaced potential.

west5
May. 15, 2007, 08:52 AM
Yes, but isn't there something to be said for riding something with a little bit of a kick while your still young and still bounce. Otherwise, how would you be able to handle anything when your older? Seems to me, you gotta be balanced. And I get that by listening to my kid, and not blowing her head up so big that she thinks she can handle more than she can. On the other hand, her pony is no easy ride. Certainly has his moments. But she is totally confident in her ride on him, and that translates to him and he knows who is in charge. She would be board to death by a horse with no spunk.

I ride a 19 year old mare who has competed Prelim & the level 6/7 jumpers in her youth. She is a saint when the chips are down:ie - will shift upon landing when she jumps me out of the tack to "catch" me BUT she is anything but an "easy" ride!

On the flat if I am unbalanced she will do tempi changes. If I ask to go "right" or "left" over the top of a jump it takes all of my ability to stick with her as she has been trained to execute canter piroettes (sp) for the jump offs. She can land and pivot and I do not find that as easy as she does. If I don't use my leg properly she will run out on skinnys (stadium or x-country).

You can put a younger child on her in the arena and she will babysit them but she has tons of spunk left. Some days almost too much and I like a fast horse to gallop around the fields and through the woods.

If you can "retire" a horse on your property this is the type of horse I would highly recommend for your daughter. Safe, sane, but a real challenge and they are usually not wanted by the general public which translates to less expensive to buy.

edited to add: she is still sound to compete novice & training and jumpers up to 3' 6"

asterix
May. 15, 2007, 08:54 AM
I really don't think you can boil it down to "better this than that" -- horses AND kids are SO individual.
As others have said, there are made horses that are plenty difficult, there are made horses with tons of "kick," and there are greenbeans that are mellow and straightforward.

There are really only two criteria that matter: are your daughters safe, and are they happy?

If "happy" evolves to mean a project horse, whose big achievement this month is getting its feet wet, get one with a good brain and enjoy.
If "happy" means finishing on your dressage score, being competitive, and moving up (slowly and appropriately), perhaps a more "made" horse is the way to go.

Every horse I've evented has taught me something, and it was very, very different...
The "made" old campaigner (at novice, let's not get grandiose :D ) taught me the basics of riding xc but was too nervous or too stiff to be comfortable over bigger fences...and we were often dead last after dressage. Very frustrating.

The bold irish foxhunter taught me to love speed and power, and let me gallop blithely at anything I pointed him at. Made me work my butt off in dressage.

When I bought my current competition horse, a WB with a dressage background, a part of me ached for the Irish horse (now on permanent semi-sound status). I MISSED the horse that would barrel over the ditch and into the water without batting an eye. But I was finally good enough to get (with a lot of work) the benefit of this horse's dressage training, and finally experienced enough (thanks to the other horses) to step up and learn to RIDE a horse to a xc fence.
There has been NO bigger feeling of accomplishment in my many, many years of riding than the feeling I had the other weekend -- coming back to a Training water complex that sent me tumbling last year...and having a foot perfect ride through. Knowing what to do and how to do it, and having the horse respond more confidently than he's ever been coming to water. That rocked.

I bet all of us have a similar litany of what our horses taught us. Don't worry about the money, OR the objectives, of the other people you see. Go with your instincts, let your daughters learn and love their horses, and pick new ones when you need to that will keep them learning and loving.

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 08:58 AM
Don't be hard on me here. I am not the one with the kid that got hurt. And I would never have put my kid on the horse those people did. My daughter has come off about twice in the last two years and both times were funny, stupid things she did in our ring. Nothing like on course or out in the field. I am not advocating unsafe behavior here at all. I am just thinking, that if you never have to discuss things with your horse, then you never learn how to have a discussion. She learned this when she was seven. Yes she fell off a lot then, but she learned how to stay on too. This too is a way to develop confidence in a kid. If my daughter is anything, it is a confident rider.

exvet
May. 15, 2007, 09:07 AM
Well I couldn't afford anything more than what we ended up with; but, I do think that I can see both sides of the issue and have recently "lived" the issue. My daughter learned how to ride on a couple of very safe talented semi-retired schoolmasters. They were horses I took up the levels that were aged but still competitive at the lower levels. My daughter doesn't have any interest in jumping so both were used for lower level dressage and were saints in terms of reliability and safety. Neither were easy in that she had to learn how to ride properly to get "what mom gets out of 'em." Unfortunately I lost one to founder last year and the other is now 22 and his age is catching up with him too. My daughter was ready to move on this past year but I in no way could afford to purchase or find her a ride similar to what her friends have (big fancy warmbloods in full-time training with BNT). It was a long search and I was actually having to suit several needs but I found a safe, sensible animal that is green regarding dressage but not lacking talent. I find my daughter is often frustrated because now she really does have to apply what she's learned and can no longer just sit up there and "think it" and it will happen. I am spending a lot of time training the beast (and a cute beast it is) and am very happy with her progress. The sad fact of the matter is that my daughter now realizes what she took for granted. She wanted one of those fancier horses with flash and flair that her friends had and thought the schoolies were old, crippled and not all that (despite the fact that she would win or at least score very well in the majority of her classes). It's bittersweet to see her drag the 22 year old out to work on lateral work and/or her position 'cause she knows the issues with the greenie meanie aren't all the beast's fault. We're working towards FEI pony classes and though I'm sure there will be many hard learned lessons and I in no way can afford the caliber of horse or the campaigning it takes to compete in YR, she'll still have the opportunity to learn, compete and eventually enjoy the journey - on a safe, but not yet made little beast. If I had the money would I buy her something more? Yeah I'm human and a proud Mom so I probably would but the simple matter is that like me at her age, it isn't in the cards and the horses we compete are what we make with a lot of blood, sweat, tears, a few setbacks and some sweet victories along the way. Personally, looking back, I wouldn't change it. I'm thankful I can train because I have had to do it sooooo many times from scratch. That is what I want for my daughter - though I don't want her hurt - which is why we too focus on temperament and rideability. The rest I can put on the horse until she is able to do it all on her own.

Lisa Cook
May. 15, 2007, 09:12 AM
I am just thinking, that if you never have to discuss things with your horse, then you never learn how to have a discussion.And this is where I think your biggest misperception is. Made & well-behaved does NOT mean a dead-quiet, emotionless robot of a horse who a kid can pose on and be taken around no matter how poorly they ride. Far from it, actually.

Honestly - you seem to want validation here for selecting green auction projects for your young kids. And you say your kids are happy, brave, confident riders. That is great that it worked out for them. If everything is working out for your kids, then that is all the validation you should need.

melodiousaphony
May. 15, 2007, 09:24 AM
Fair enough, but I guess I must admit, I have always been of the mind set that you don't learn as much riding a "made" horse.

Depending on what you mean by "made," I have both been of that mindset and have since changed my mind. If you mean "made" as a damn good looking packer who doesn't give two shakes whether or not you can ride well but will do his/her job, I don't think that sort of horse is necessarily a great mount in the long term. If you mean "made" as in has experience, has talent, generally knows his/her job but is only going to perform said job if asked by a rider that is, though not necessarily experience, able to ask correctly and make good decisions, yes that kind of horse is a good horse to learn on. They're especially good to learn on if they have confidence to go on the occasions the rider is a bit nervous, but demand a hell of a lot from the rider the whole rest of the time. (Ex. horse will jump jump if stuck in front of him reasonably, even if the rider backs off a bit, but rider is SOL if she thinks horse won't take that opportunity to take a long spot and get a little WAHOOO on the back side).

My mare was pretty far from a "made" horse when I got her (and still pretty far now). We had a lot of good times, I learned a lot from her, and I wouldn't give up the experience for anything. That said, she also taught me a lot of bad habits with regards to defensive riding and did quite a number on my confidence. So I learned to stick pretty well, but I didn't quite learn to trust nor did I have an opportunity to REALLY refine my skills because she was the sort of horse that even jumping without stirrups wasn't really an option on (save the debate on jumping without stirrups and it's benefits/lack there of, please). My mare is semi-retiring due to a back problem that is going to take too long to fully recover from to expect her to event anytime soon, so I got...

My "new" gelding is "semi-made" as in has done some training level events and did well in doing so. He has confidence over fences and good basic flatwork. He still retains some bad OTTB habits like getting a touch stuck behind the leg, etc., but I'm working on them. He may have gone training, he may have gotten a 28 on a dressage test, but it sure as hell wasn't with me! He is _not_ easy to ride _well_ on unless you ride well. He is demanding, I have to constantly give him things to think about or he curls up and/or finds things to spook at, but he is also rewarding to ride. I'm learning to trust again over fences.

So would I pay a lot of money for a pony for a child? I don't know that I would say a good horse costs a lot of money, but I would generally aim for a pony with some _good_ experience if my child did not have a lot. If my child were very experience and I did buy him/her a diamond in the rough sort of pony, I would consider a part lease or lessons on a "made" pony in an attempt to squelch any bad habits that may rear their ugly heads.

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 09:29 AM
Lisa, Do I detect a note of anger here? I was not trying to upset anybody. I was just being honest. I am in a strange spot I think. I do not have a history with horses. I do have kids who ride and are moving along. I do have a budget. I don't like throwing money around. I do want the best for my kids. And I am seeing a lot of mistakes happen around me right now. Very unsettleing.
Don't think I was looking for validation. Just an open discussion and getting your thoughts on my choices. And getting ideas on choices I might need to make later. I like to proceed in life confident and I must say that based on the above paragraph, I don't have a lot of that just at the moment.

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 09:37 AM
I think what I am learning here (and certainly did not know) is as melo just put, there is a big difference between a total packer (something we have not ever been interested in for various reasons) and a horse with experience that knows its job and can teach a kid a lot in a safe manner, but still requires something from the kid to get the most out of it. I think your right, I was confusing the two. Thanks guys.

Jleegriffith
May. 15, 2007, 09:37 AM
Not that I'm at the kid stage yet, but reflecting on my own experience, I wouldn't say either one is "better"--you learn different, maybe equally valuable things from each. The following are generalizations, but pretty close to my experience.

From a greenie, you learn stickability, how to train a horse from and to a certain point, and how to adapt to what can seem like a different horse every ride.

From a more "made" horse, you learn what "correct" feels like, you learn how to ride with more finesse and less defensively, how to deal with more subtle evasions, and you can focus on yourself as a rider more.

Now, if you're working with solid trainers and get lucky with soundness, etc. hopefully you can learn how to make a greenie into a "made" horse, but it still helps to have a reference point for what is "correct."


Well I am still pretty young (25 yrs) so not far removed from the days of being a kid. I grew up in a horsey family. My stepfather trained tb racehorses and my mom was a trainer/instructor. I grew up going through pony club. I will have to say I started out on ponies who were safe but complicated. I moved to train my own pony who was a western appalosa who could jump the moon when he wasn't bucking:lol: I believe I was 10yrs old at this point and I could ride well but I got frustrated really easily. He would be really good or really bad. I did learn to ride him and had a lot of fun but he was a brat and did not promote confidence. Then we got a lovely well trained appendix qh that had done it all. Man he was fun. I learned how to just have fun and really sit up and ride. He was a strong horse but I learned how to ride him. I was lucky enough to be in a great PC with the best instructors.

After him I got a ottb' who was 15 h. One day he took off on me and scared me really bad. I did not jump for a while after that.

Then my mom bought a lovely horse out of a field. He was morgan cross who had done some mid level dressage. I spent a few years riding recognized dressage up to third level at the age of 11-12yrs old. He had his quirks but talk about learning the flatwork. I actually enjoyed it...yes I was strange.

Age 13 I got my second ottb for $400. He was a 4 yr ex-steeplechaser who preferred running backwards to going foward. He sure did have a lot of talent but let's just say people thought my parent's were evil. I fell off twice a week in the beginning. My parent's did not want me to have the horse but I begged/pleaded and was a good worker and student so I got to keep him. I learned more from this horse than any other horse. Stickability, patience, humility, when to discipline and when to sit still, and I basically trained my first horse with the help of many great instructors and help from my mom. I believe I was a C-1 in PC when I got him and I did my B rating with him. My $400 ottb went on to do 3rd level dressage, training level eventing, 3'6 jumpers and about anything I asked him to but we had ups and downs. When he was on nobody could beat us but sometimes we off and it was ugly.

I can't say that was the right experience for me looking back on it. I am sure I would be a better rider today if I had went with the made horse option. I still have the above horse who is now 20yrs old and just so trained my hubby can ride him. I have went on now to train about 40 more ottb's and specialize in bringing along green horses.

I don't think I really have had a made horse since I was 13 yrs old but if I could afford one I think I would buy it to learn on and sharpen my skills. Sure I can ride anything but looking good is hard to do on the greenies.

If I had kids I would let them choose what they wanted to do. Each of us is an individual and there is no right option for everyone. Looking back I wish I would have had more fun instead of worrying about whether or not my horse would behave but I learned so many skills that allowed me to be the rider I am today I don't know if I would take it back. A lot of the kids who had the made horses never have learned how to train a horse or deal with greenie issues. Do I have a leg up or do they because they have been able to ride at the higher levels? Don't know but I am happy with my choice:)

Lisa Cook
May. 15, 2007, 09:40 AM
Anger? Good heavens, no!

It's just that virtually every single response to your topic has been the theme that people (especially kids) learning to ride should *ideally* be on a good-tempered horse with some experience.

And yet for every one of those posts, you keep coming back with the position that your kids wouldn't learn anything on such boring animals and that your kids are doing just fine on the inexpensive project horses you have bought for them.

You seem to be wanting something more than the responses you have been recieving, was my point.

GotSpots
May. 15, 2007, 09:41 AM
It's what I love about this sport: you don't ride the pedigree. I've certainly had my share of green-and-fancy, green-and-oh-dear-God, and green-and-lame. I've also been privileged enough to ride some really nice older horses who have been there/done that, both with alot of ribbons in their record, and without. You learn something from every horse - your kids will too.

For a kid's horse though (and even for most adults), I'd say, buy the brain. Buy the horse that wants to jump the jumps and that is, at heart, a good egg. You can fix the dressage, particularly at the lower levels. You can deal with a little maintenance issue. You can adjust the speed and/or pick up the rails. You cannot - I think - fix one who does not like this job, and does not want to do it, no matter how talented they are. And you can't fix one who has no scope to get themselves out of trouble when the kid misses (and the kid will miss, occasionally, because we all do). Once you've got those things covered, I think the rest is gravy, though I do think the super-spooky horse is not alot of fun for your average kid/ammy. In my experience, much as I absolutely ADORE our super-fancy youngster, the most fun I've had on a horse in the past five years was on the Sainted Pony: a 14 year old, been there/done that OTTB that a friend was kind enough to share the ride on. Will never be God's gift to dressage, but he was the epitome of the "good egg", he was cute, steady, would win the dressage if I rode properly (and would lose it in dramatic fashion if I didn't), understood that his business was to look for numbers and flags, and LOVED his job. Can't think of an XC run I didn't come off grinning. Doesn't really get better than that.

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 10:04 AM
Lisa, my response has been to simply come back with my experience. My (or my kids) experience so far has only been on green horses, and it has so far been positive. That is my experience. It is all I have ever worked with in horses. I make no claims to knowing anything else. This is not my position in the sense that I am advocating it. It is only my position in that it is all I know. I am very interested in the other side of the fence and wondering if it is possible without spending an arm and a leg. Also, I am truley asking.... is it necessary. Am I not supporting my daughter if I don't buy THE horse.
The girl that got hurt was on a high dollar horse.
What I am learning here .... and I am in learning mode.... is that what I need to spend my money on is not pedegree or raw talent. What I need to look for is temperment. And from what little experience I have, I don't think that has to cost a ton of money. Am I right?

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
May. 15, 2007, 10:15 AM
Correct. "Good eggs" come in all price ranges and body types.

What level are your daughters riding now and what are their goals?

Lisa Cook
May. 15, 2007, 10:16 AM
What I am learning here .... and I am in learning mode.... is that what I need to spend my money on is not pedegree or raw talent. What I need to look for is temperment. And from what little experience I have, I don't think that has to cost a ton of money. Am I right?

Yes, you have it exactly right - temperament is key. And enough athletic ability to bail your kids out when they make a mistake to a jump, as someone had noted.

As for the cost - it all depends on the definition of a "ton of money". If you are used to paying $1,000 or less for your horses, you will be surprised at how much more you will have to pay for temperament + experience.

In this area, to find a horse to bring your kid up to BN and maybe novice and do so safely and with confidence, you'd be looking at prices starting at $5,000 - and you'd have to look hard for awhile at that price and probably settle on something older, maybe with some maintainance issues.

Jleegriffith
May. 15, 2007, 10:17 AM
Eventmom- Sure you can find a horse that can move up the levels and be safe without spending a lot of $$ but you have to get lucky. I do resale on the side and buy cheap horses to make up for show careers or rehab some with issues to try to make them better.

It's a game of luck. In the past year I have had 4 ottb's. Two of them are just so safe and reliable they could have done BN with two months of training. These were horses that went out on x-country and just jumped anything you pointed them at just because. Both horses my hubby could take out trail riding and were safe enough for a beginner. I bought one for $1500 b/c he had bad feet that needed rehabbed and the other horse is one I am bringing along for Canter Midatlantic. I would trust both of these horses with kids and my horse was sold to a kid who just adores him.

I have another one that is an excellent event horse and he too loves his job but is a big strong horse who could scare a kid. He is coming along nicely but dressage has been the key to his progress. Most kids aren't capable of putting in the flatwork and that is why the rest can fail.

The 4th horse is the fanciest of them all. Sure he's quiet to ride and a nice mover but he really isn't fond of jumping. He will never make an event horse. If you bought him as a green prospect because he too was quiet I think he would be a failure to someone who wanted a brave event horse.

My personal horse is a Conn/tb that was bought for $1000 b/c someone who was my age thought they knew how to train and deemed him crazy. We now event novice level and I adore him.

I only buy cheap horses and if I put enough time into them I am sure the nicer ones could go up the levels but I normally sell them once they start showing so I don't have the chance to prove it.

Finding the right horse doesn't necessarily have to cost a lot of $$ but sometimes you find the horse with the right temperament but they don't have the talent. Or they have the talent but not the right temperament. What people are trying to say is that horses that tend to be made have the experience under them to prove that they have both the talent and temperament and that kids would be safer on these types of horses.

asterix
May. 15, 2007, 10:18 AM
Yes, yes, yes!! What GS said! Buy the brain!

Seriously, no one thinks it is bad that your kids have done well on green horses. I doubt anyone here thinks it is a good thing to spend $$$ on a "fancy" horse that freaks out and breaks a kid's leg.

I think what we are saying, if I can summarize, is that it is not a bad thing to get a horse that knows its job (I don't mean is ready to go Intermediate, I mean knows its job at the level your daughter is riding at, or a bit more) -- these horses can teach you a ton and are no more likely to be easy to ride or "boring" than a green horse.

But as you have seen, a green horse can be a great partner too.

I think it is more expensive to buy a horse that is sane, reasonably sound, and can be a good partner at, say, Training, can move up to Prelim...than the same horse before it has ever been to a horse trial. Of course it is.

but I do NOT think there is an equation linking how much you spend, and how right the horse is for your kid.

Don't buy a nut. Don't underestimate the been there/done that horse.

That's all!

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 10:30 AM
Thanks guys. You are all so helpful. And I don't think I am the only one out in cyberspace with these questions!
Anyway, to answer your question Jeannette, my daughters are 8 and 10
My eight year old is riding our very kind, very fun, but nutty pony. He won't jump away from home so to get them out we do h/j schooling shows.
My 10 year old is just completed her first recognized beginner novice course on her pony. She did very well! The look on her face after coming off her cross country run was priceless! "mom, can I do that again!!!)
Goals, hmmm hard to say right now. They both LOVE to ride every day and are very invested. You sure don't want to squelch that! But I don't push them to make any decisions either. At point eventing is the end all to beat all! I would like to see them try everything at some point before they settle. I guess that is why we are so into eventing. It is 3 things in one!
As previously stated, we did buy my 10 year olds move up horse this spring. (with lots of help!) This horse is so kind and seems quite sane. We are really comfortable putting our daughter on her. But I definitly plan on taking it very slowly and getting to know her this summer. I also believe she has lots of talent. She sure has the conformation. How far she can take my daughter remains to be seen.

Lisa Cook
May. 15, 2007, 10:39 AM
As previously stated, we did buy my 10 year olds move up horse this spring. (with lots of help!) This horse is so kind and seems quite sane. We are really comfortable putting our daughter on her.

But...but....this is the mare who was bought at auction who was previously overfaced with her jumping and who has to have bad training undone before your daughter can take her out and compete her, per your post on the first page. That is asking a lot of a 10 year old kid. Just sayin'.

But your child sounds like a great rider, so I hope everything works out well for you, and that this mare turns out to be a great move up horse for your daugher. :)

Eventingjunkie
May. 15, 2007, 11:08 AM
Don't be hard on me here. I am not the one with the kid that got hurt. And I would never have put my kid on the horse those people did.


We should all try not to judge other people's decisions, we all make mistakes. Sometimes you can look forever for the "right" horse, finally find it and buy it, then bring it home, and it is not the horse you thought it was or would be. This has nothing to do with the price you paid for a horse. At what point do you decide to rectify your mistake...after all, maybe the kid just needs a little more time or training to get the most out of the horse. After the rider is injured, it is easy to say the parent's made the wrong choice. But, yes, we can try to learn from other's mistakes.

LisaB
May. 15, 2007, 11:09 AM
What GS said, at any age.
What I've seen over the years (playing armchair HorseMom) is that it totally depends on the kid. And being realistic about the kid.
I was going to say, well, get the schoolmaster for each level the kid is going to do. But then I think of my instructor and some of the other pros that took on basket cases and turned them around as teenagers. The I look at other kids who SAY they want to be a pro but can't walk the walk and wind up getting frustrated, scared, sullen, etc.
I would say if your kid wants to be a pro, they are going to have to learn to be horsemen 1st, riders 2nd. Competitors come dead last. They have to know horses inside and out. Then they have to know how to ride a multitude of horses. I've seen one person in particular that is a pro but always rode made horses. Sure, they did really well but can't teach worth a lick because they haven't dealt with the monsters I've bought. They also can't train because they've never had to deal with a greenie.
Take clinics and take notes, stay there all day, ask questions, ride other horses (even if not your discipline), spend summers being a ws. Take the time NOW to soak everything in.
And for God's sake, don't think you know everything (this includes the parents too)

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 11:31 AM
Your absolutly right lisab. The one thing we have going for us is that we have EXCELLENT instruction. We sure don't know yet what the future holds for this horse and my daughter. But for sure if she turns out to be in any way too much horse, we will sell her fast! And no matter what the out come, we will learn and grow. The only thing is, I just don't want to set my kids up for failure, and if I sense that happening, we will definitly consider all that I have learned from you guys!

InVA
May. 15, 2007, 11:36 AM
I ride a "made" horse, and she's the hardest horse I've ever ridden as she demands I do everything correctly... :lol:

Excellent point! I know of several of these types of horses... they've gone and done it all.. but it doesn't mean they are EASY! (often quite the opposite!)

mythical84
May. 15, 2007, 11:49 AM
I was lucky enough to learn to event on a MADE horse. I wish everyone could do their first event on this horse. I think I was the 4th rider he took to their first event, and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction. When I got nervous he just went on with his job. He could get speedy while jumping, so I rode him XC in a kimberwicke, and had a ball. We all joked that he knew the BN courses at Waredaca by heart. If/when I have kids, I will strive to find a horse just like him.

Right now I have a green student with a green pony and while all is usually hunky-dory at home, the pony understandably feeds off of her rider at shows. The rider gets nervous and the pony gets nervous. While I think my student is learning a lot by riding this pony, I still wish they had something a little more experienced for her. Something that says "no biggie" when the student gets nervous and continues on because it knows what it's job is.

Lisa Cook
May. 15, 2007, 11:58 AM
Mythical - my first few events were also on a totally been-there-done-that former 3-day horse. Similar to yours, the horse I was on also could be quite strong xc :lol: and also went in a kimberwicke. What an awesome introduction to eventing, though. :) Like you, I wish everyone could start off eventing on such stellar old schoolmasters.

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 12:00 PM
EventingJunkie. Your right about being judgemental. On the other hand I have a responsibility to my kids to assess what I see. Not to judge the other parents motives about their choices. I imagine (and hope) that they went with the best information that they had. But, I do get to figure out what went wrong and learn from their mistakes.

Mary in Area 1
May. 15, 2007, 01:47 PM
While it is certainly expensive to buy "perfect" event horses, it is not THAT expensive to buy good horses. What I did with my girls is that each time they moved up, I would concentrate on another aspect of eventing for the horse or pony to teach.

In other words, pony #1 was fun, safe and could trail ride. Pony #2 was a safe jumper, in or out of the ring, dressage was non-existant. Pony#3 was a little dressage machine, but hung her legs a bit and helicoptered over the jumps (but was basically safe). Horse #1 knew how to event and do all three phases safely, but might not pin, etc.

As they grew up, it was apparent that each new horse had a job to do, and we looked for a horse to teach that skill. By the time I knew they were really serious riders, mucked their stalls every morning before school and cleaned their tack without being told to, THEN we spent more money for a competitive horse.

That said, temperment and safety are still ALWAYS #1.

Good luck!

mythical84
May. 15, 2007, 01:56 PM
Mythical - my first few events were also on a totally been-there-done-that former 3-day horse. Similar to yours, the horse I was on also could be quite strong xc :lol: and also went in a kimberwicke. What an awesome introduction to eventing, though. :) Like you, I wish everyone could start off eventing on such stellar old schoolmasters.

I think that the highest my horse had competed was T, with maybe 1 or 2 Ps. He went on to teach 2 more riders after me. :) It just goes to show that you don't necessarily need a former 3-day horse (which I'm sure has to cost a lot of $$) to show you the ropes.

My point is that I think it's key to ride a horse that KNOWS it's job while you're LEARNING your job. I realize that not everyone has packers available to them, but wouldn't it be nice?? :)

EvntDad
May. 15, 2007, 02:03 PM
I agree with the others that say a "made" or upper-level horse is not necessarily easy to ride. Two years ago, our then 13-year-old daughter was completing novice and about to move up to training when her leased horse was reclaimed by its owner. We asked our relatively new trainer to find her a horse for training/prelim. Spent a weekend trying out horses, mainly two ex-upper level horses that were previously ridden by BNRs. One horse was way too much horse, but the other seemed perfect. The mare had competed at 3-star and won at 2-star, but was then 15 yr old and deemed not a solid 3-star horse so was being sold. Our daughter tried her out in flat, stadium, and xc and she rode like a dream. Daughter and trainer loved her, and trainer felt our daughter would thrive on her. She was about 2x what we had planned to spend (gulp!), so we did a lot of thinking for a couple of days before swallowing hard and writing the check. Bottom line was that our daughter is seriously committed to eventing and we wanted her on a been-there-done-that horse for prelim (I'm somewhat used to those xc jumps now, but wasn't then and they looked scary). Our trainer understood our hesitation, but said this horse would be our daughter's Harvard education for eventing. At that point, we thought all would be good. Wrong! Turns out this horse was not easy to ride (especially at competitions - very strong and hyper) and our daughter still had some flaws left over from her previous riding experience that did not work well with the new horse. I liken it to being able to fly a 2-seated cessna airplane and then sitting down in the cockpit of a commercial jet. There are way more knobs and levers, and the ride won't be good until the rider knows 1) what all the knobs/levers do, and 2) how to work them all in unison with just the right amount of pressure. Daughter was frustrated, and also felt pressure knowing she had this great horse and was not doing well. Daughter struggled on new horse for next 6 months, until horse had a mild ligament injury and was off for 6 months. While very stressful for all (including the horse), it was probably the best thing to happen as it allowed daughter to ride other horses and fix her flaws, plus the rehab allowed her and horse to bond. Things are great now - daughter loves horse and they are competing at prelim and doing well, and are qualified for a 1-star this summer. Rides are now safe and controlled which makes dad very happy. The horse has turned out to be a great education, but was a rough road to get here.

IFG
May. 15, 2007, 02:27 PM
Although making your own horse is great fun, and it is what I do now, I think that kids have the most fun on a schoolmaster.

I cannot afford a schoolmaster for my kids (twins who share), so we lease.

The horse that they lease now has won the dressage, but he won't with them until they ride REALLY well. However, he is a saint jumping. Could not ask for a better guy. I couldn't afford to buy him, but I sure am glad to lease him.

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 15, 2007, 03:09 PM
EventingJunkie. Your right about being judgemental. On the other hand I have a responsibility to my kids to assess what I see. Not to judge the other parents motives about their choices. I imagine (and hope) that they went with the best information that they had. But, I do get to figure out what went wrong and learn from their mistakes.


And horses have a mind of their own....no matter how perfect or wonderful...crap happens and kids (or adults) can get hurt (or worse). It is a risky sport. And while I think that it can teach kids a ton....don't forget the risk.

I grew up riding green and unmade horses. That was all I could afford and my parents knew nothing (including about the risks I was taking). I would get on any horse that any one offered. BUT I was the type of fearless kid who if I fell off (and could) I would get right back on. Not all kids are like that but that doesn't mean they do not enjoy riding and will not make good riders. I spent YEARS unlearning bad habits learned by surviving on crazy or green horses. As an adult now, I still buy the green beans (because I like them) but I buy young horses with both talent, a good brain, and mostly good temperment....(mine are not the most forgiving of rides however and would not be suitable for inexperienced riders).

In the ideal world, what I would buy for my kid (assuming that I ever connect up with a nice single straight guy as a husband) would completely depend on the temperment of my kid but I would not want them to learn the way that I did. I would want safe and fun. I would also want to get them on as many different type of horses as I could. Let them ride more then one horse all the time (which the way I collect horses will not be a hard thing). But in the end, since it is so dangerous....I would spend what it took to find the right horse for the job, not green but one who already understands their job and eventing with a forgiving temperment (although they can make the kid work for it a bit)...and around here, once they have proven that they have a good forgiving temperment, they are not cheap unless you are very lucky. They can learn about green horses either at the same time as they have a schoolmaster....or after they understand and have experience at the levels.

enjoytheride
May. 15, 2007, 05:09 PM
I think one of the best ways for someone to start is on a made horse. Instead of a child worrying about the horse: rearing, stopping, bolting, running away, jumping unsafely, bucking, etc all they have to worry about is themself.

There is nothing better then learning to jump on a nice quiet ex hunter who rates himself and does his own closing circle.

A green horse or a horse with issues and a green rider does nothing but create rider problems, like confidence or riding position. Do they learn to stick? Well yeah, otherwise they fall and get hurt. Do they learn to school the horse? Well yeah, otherwise they fall and get hurt.

It creates people that stick, but it also creates people with finesse problems that have to be worked out by even more lessons.

If you get the jumping, the release, the aids, etc, down BEFORE moving on to the horse with "issues" that is just more in your bag of tricks. Because you have the ability to drive a balky horse toward a fence AND release the horse over the fence properly to avoid creating more problems.

PiedPiper
May. 15, 2007, 05:24 PM
eventmom

I believe that you are in the NOVA area and with a trainer I know. You guys are more than welcome to come out and see they guy I have now and have your daughter hop on for a lesson. Can see what you think of a horse that "knows more" and whether or not it is an easy ride. Might help put things in perspective for you.

I agree there are things to learn with a green horse but am definitely learning there is a whole new world when it is done with an experienced horse. :D

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 05:33 PM
Pied Piper,
thanks for your offer. Maybe (if Dr.D likes the idea) we can take you up on that some day!

Trixie
May. 15, 2007, 05:34 PM
This is not an issue of how much you spend or, what others spend their money on, as the case may be.
I feel like you’ve argued with everyone who has made a perfectly valid point that for most young riders, a horse with some real schooling under their belt is a better choice than a green bean, no matter how “safe” you feel putting your children on them (and again - it has NOTHING to do with what expensive nutbags other people are putting their children on – that’s their problem, NOT yours – though yes, you can learn from it).
While there ARE some green beans with good brains suitable to young riders, many need to be brought along by someone with experience – not someone still making green mistakes themselves. *MOST* 8-10 year old children have no business having “discussions.” But then again, I don’t know your children, and I don’t know how long they’ve been riding or how well they ride. Some kids are perfectly capable of offering up a smack down. Others are nowhere near ready to try. This is for their trainer to determine.

That said – it’s a VERY valid point – if you don’t learn to do things correctly FIRST you’ll never be able to fall back on that foundation.

I also don’t think made horses are boring.
Personally, as someone who rides greenies a lot of the time, I relish any chance I get to be on something push button so I can hone my own skills (for instance, when I was riding greenies and catch rides as a teenager, I was given occasional lessons on something Made-with-a-capitol-M so that I could brush up on my skills without focusing on what my horse was doing wrong).

There’s something else we’ve always been fond of saying – just because its push button doesn’t mean you don’t have to push the buttons. There’s also a very big difference between being on something that understands its job and is kind-hearted and something boring.

I think the best thing that you can do for your children is to give them a good foundation on something safe and fun. A rider should learn how to ride a greenie when the rider is READY to ride a greenie and trainer/supervisor agrees. Not just because they’re young enough to “still bounce” –it’s not fair to potentially overface a rider on the hope that they WILL in fact bounce. But again, this is something you can and should discuss with your trainer/someone experienced who knows the ability of your daughter.



Also, FWIW – I ride my show horses on trails all the time regardless of how much money I put into them. Horses are horses no matter what.

PiedPiper
May. 15, 2007, 05:57 PM
You are understanding the difference between made and packer right?

And that there is nothing wrong for people to spend X amount regardless if that is more or less.

It is more common in the Hunter world and definitely serves a purpose. The same goes with trainers. Are you going to pay to be taught be by someone htat just started riding but seems like they have the making to be a fabulous rider/instructor or, if given the oppurtunity, you go to Jimmy Wofford? :cool: And ask many on the board, Jimmy ain't easy. :lol:

KBG Eventer
May. 15, 2007, 06:21 PM
Picasso, the thing is, trainers ALWAYS want you to buy more horse.
1. because it makes them look good to have their students looking better.
2. because they are in the business so often either selling or connected to someone selling horses!
3. It's easier and funner to work with the better horses. (and if their lucky, they might get to ride it!)
I'm sorry, but these trainers aren't going to be the ones buying the horse.
Grasshopper, thank you. I know there is a lot to learn on every horse. And money is not necessarily going to be the solution.
I guess the point is this, that you should buy the best horse you can to meet your kids need at the time, but the best horse does not always have to be the most expensive horse.
I just think I am seeing people try to buy their kids way to the top. Scarey


I have only read the thread to this point, but I have to disagree strongly. Obviously, I am not in my trainers head, but I *know* my trainer wants us to have good horses to be safe!!! Not many trainers want their student to be scared or in danger on their horse. For the people who are on a budget in my "group", they have gotten well started, younger horses. Not always the best route to go, but it is going just fine for them. Believe me, the horses are great and fancy, but they *are* learning how to ride!

My first pony was fairly green, and I am glad I had him, but at the same time...not. I think I might have had a lot more confidence having at least ridden a older, saintly horse because I am not the bravest person in the first place. My next pony was awesome, but if you were timid out in the open then he would dump you right off. A braver or older rider wouldn't/didn't have problems, but I fell off of him *A LOT* with my short little legs. I am very glad I ended up "conquering him."

Then, my next and one of my current horses is 16 year old Tyler. Tyler is a saint. He is a wonderful soul who gives his rider an abundance of confidence. He jumps everything with a cute hunter look (did a lot of that too with his old owner) unless it involves ditches-that takes some assertiveness! His dressage is awesome, his personality is awesome, and he takes care of you. I am spoiled with this awesome horse. He has given me soooo much confidence, and he has given me a lot of success. I am so lucky to have him. Admittingly, once in awhile I would take him for granted thinking I was a great rider, but be brought back down to Earth by riding one of my friends younger/greener/more challenging horses.

My newest horse is very nice as well. He was brought along from the beginning by a teenage rider, and she very much put a good start on him! He has done 1st Level dressage, C2 Pony Club, and Novice eventing. He is the step up from Tyler because I have to be on board to do things. He is the horse who if I am just sitting there (which admittingly did happen with Tyler sometimes-I admit it okay?!) then he is going to be like "No thanks, where are you?" When I do things right; I get a good result...sometimes Tyler was a bit restricted in responding to my good changes-if that makes sense. Tyler was used to some mistakes because he has young riders on him a lot.

Upper level horses I would venture to say are mostly NOT easy to ride. I mean...they are used to having an awesome ride; it makes sense. They can be very strong, and you have to ask right to get what you want. Now, upper level horses that have been retired from doing that awhile can be fantastic to learn on, but I certainly wouldn't want to ride one that just had a BNT riding him. There are exceptions but...
I see gutsy little riders do fab on those guys, but they aren't for me.

KBG Eventer
May. 15, 2007, 06:34 PM
And I just wanted to add that the success that has come with Tyler was definitely along the lines of..."That was SO much fun! I want to do it again...oh wow, I am in 1st too!" Tyler taught me that I *can* do it I guess...to balance out all those Es from falling off my previous pony.

I just wanted to add though, that your kids sound like they are having fun, and that is what it is about! I can be scaredy cat so Tyler was my perfect idea of fun, and now I am a little braver to try out the bit more challenging horse.

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 06:40 PM
piedpiper..yep I think I am getting it....alas, all the things I don't know because I don't ride. (except our very old, very bombproof paint that I love dearly!)
Trixie, I never felt like I was arguing at all! Just asking and learning and giving input. I must admit however that I am not shy!
KGB, your absolutely right I should not paint such a broad brush over trainers. In fact we are using Dr. D for coaching and she is fabulous! She has no interest in over-horsing my kid at all! In fact, to be honest, she was in on getting us our newest horse. Thing is, she does not do this full time. It is not her only living. I get the impression that she mostly does it for the love of the sport and to pass on what she has in herself....which is a lot!
So, while I don't mean to offend, and Dr. D surely knows that I was not speaking of her, I do get very leery when people tell me their trainer is helping them buy, or encouraging them in any way to buy a big deal horse.
All to often there is a Conflict of interest

KBG Eventer
May. 15, 2007, 06:49 PM
piedpiper..yep I think I am getting it....alas, all the things I don't know because I don't ride. (except our very old, very bombproof paint that I love dearly!)
Trixie, I never felt like I was arguing at all! Just asking and learning and giving input. I must admit however that I am not shy!
KGB, your absolutely right I should not paint such a broad brush over trainers. In fact we are using Dr. D for coaching and she is fabulous! She has no interest in over-horsing my kid at all! In fact, to be honest, she was in on getting us our newest horse. Thing is, she does not do this full time. It is not her only living. I get the impression that she mostly does it for the love of the sport and to pass on what she has in herself....which is a lot!
So, while I don't mean to offend, and Dr. D surely knows that I was not speaking of her, I do get very leery when people tell me their trainer is helping them buy, or encouraging them in any way to buy a big deal horse.
All to often there is a Conflict of interest

Well, I do understand, and when I thought about it...I do see that happening. One of my friends does hunters, and it is so obvious what the trainer is doing!

Also, my trainer didn't help me buy any of our horses by one chance or another! Not the best thing I know...

We found Tyler with a friend of my trainers-she puts a TON of effort into finding horses for certain people. She researches them to death, sees the horses herself multiple times, and has them put into a million different situations. She is also a huge believer in NOT buying over the top or spending a lot of money for no reason. We found Sonny right in front of our face. We know his old owners, and my dressage trainer has known him for several years. My dad joked about buying him, and it just happened that he was.

PiedPiper
May. 15, 2007, 07:23 PM
But what you might be assuming with those causes is that they have different goals than you and your daughter(s). I know of one family that just their teenager a "made" horse who is teaching her the ropes. Probably spent more money than I have for a horse but at their income bracket it was fine, their daughter has done all levels of work and they do alot of the grunt work when needed, and she is learning far better with the guy than the two ponies that had bought over the years.

They are great people, absolutely wonderful kids, who are on the right track to possibly being a somebody in this sport. I am beyond thrilled for them especially since I am the person that introduced them to this evil sport and gave them their first lessons. :cool:

eventmom
May. 15, 2007, 07:34 PM
Very nice PiedPiper. Of course that is a wonderful story. I have no problem with a decision made when all eyes are wide open. I am glad they can afford what their daughter needed. Seems though that all too often, eyes are not wide open. People are blindly trusting trainers (especially people like myself, uneducated with regards to horses, and wanting the best for their kids) and the trainers are dipping in on both sides. That to me seems like an accident waiting to happen.

Picasso
May. 15, 2007, 08:23 PM
I am so concerned that people feel their "trainers" are out to somehow screw them. I'd be looking for another trainer! I think about all the time my trainer spends with my girls outside their "lessons", he truly cares about teaching them. Today, for example, he has a horse who is having ulcer issues and not eating well. He called my oldest daughter in to "help" with the horse's medicine. I was grooming my horse in the next stall over (he was eating dinner, so not in cross ties) listening in. The whole time she was in there he was going over how and why horses get ulcers, the signs, the treatment, why he was doing this the way he was, just in a total conversation mode rather than a lecture mode. I knew what he was doing, she did not. But she sure walked out of that stall with a lot more knowledge than she walked in with! Right after that, he grabs my 8 year old and asks her what the attire is for the clinic this weekend. She rattles off in her pretend annoyed voice "breeches, boots or paddocks and 1/2 chaps, collared shirt, belt and hard hat." Trainer replies "good. And what do we do with our shirt?" she replies "we tuck it in." Great, trainer says. And what belts don't we wear? and she replies "Blingy belts because (que haughty accent) one does not bling in dre-SSAGE (pronounced properly)". It was hysterical, but it just shows how much they have picked up from him and not just riding related. He is worth his weight in gold to me. My daughters have nice horses, we have sacrificed to make it so and will again for my daughter's next horse. However, I ride a little paint gelding I have had for 11 years, and he takes my lessons just as seriously on him as he does those riding fancier (and better suited for eventing!) horses. He treats my little guy just as well as his gazillion dollar horse. I have the utmost in faith that his interest is a suitable move up mount for my daughter to continue her very solid riding education, not to make a buck or have the chance to ride (another) horse.

Dr. Doolittle
May. 15, 2007, 08:57 PM
Just for the record, I want to weigh in as being SOOOO *NOT* one of those trainers! Argh! :rolleyes: (In fact, the thought of such things goes *very* much against my "basic philosophy" ;))

(But I think eventmom mentioned this, and also--her daughter has more than one trainer...I like to think that I always keep ALL my students' best interests at heart--first and foremost--and try to be the type of trainer that Picasso described...of course it's easier for me, since I don't do this full-time, and therefore don't depend on ALL income derived from every aspect of "training" to simply "keep body and soul together"...)

Milocalwinnings
May. 15, 2007, 09:58 PM
I have not read the whole thread but this is MY opinion.

I am 16 years old and have been riding since I was 11 (western for 2 years, english for a year, then took a little break and started seriously riding again last year). I had begged my parents for a horse and I always got the same answer- NO! My parents finally agreed (when I was 14) to let me work at a horse barn in exchange for a lease. I was thrilled, willing to work as long as I needed to get the lease. They saw that I knew that hard work was needed to get things I wanted. 6 months later my parents decided that if *I* could pay for board, the horse, tack- everything besides vet and farrier (and keep in mind I was 14), that I could have a horse. Great- I worked 5 days a week for board, found a horse that I liked (although it was an implusive buy, very bad decision on my part) and bought him. I was supposed to pay $2000 for him- put a $400 downpayment and then did payments of $100-$200 afterthat. When he was put in work he had so many issues that needed to be resolved that the lady told me to stop paying after I had paid $1200 off on him. He had a major attitude- we did not click or get along well (and still do not have a great relationship as of right now)... but when you're 15 and have to pay for everything, you have to take what you can get. I tried selling him but felt bad and kept him. I did not want to work at the barn I was boarding him at any longer because I felt I was getting taken advantage of so I got a job and moved my horse. I worked at a barn on the weekends to bring a paycheck home. Currently jobless , I have to pay for his board ($200 a month) and half of my lessons. Things do not come to me for free. My parents do not pay for board, or tack, or lessons. I could have an easy ride for me- be going to tons of shows, bringing in ribbons and advancing up the levels of eventing or dressage if my parents bought me a horse like that. However- I believe that any horse that is very well trained can win by itself, and can make most riders look good- and therefore the rider really does not need to learn how to properly ride the horse and is just taken care of. I however, have a horse that does need a lot of work. He rushes jumps, tries to get away with a lot of stuff that he shouldn't. He needs work but that will make me a better rider and I don't think I could have that experience if my parents went to my trainer and told me to find them a $100k horse who is trained in whatever.

My point of that LONG post was:

I don't think parents should be buying their kids horses that cost that much. That's JMO. I think instead, kids should learn to either A) take what they can get or B)pay their own way. IMO it's one thing to pay for your kids lessons, but I think teens (more so than "kids") should at least learn the value of money and that they actually have to work for something they want instead of learning that it will just come at the snap of a finger...and I also think that kids tend to be a lot more respectful and greatful if they have to work for their horse, instead of having their parents pay for someone to take care of, exercise and find a horse that will win because the horse is trained well... not necesserially becaue the kid is a good rider... but then again, maybe my perspective would be different if my parents did pay for my horse. If kids learn that everything is going to be handed to them, that everything is going to be nice and fancy, or just as they wanted it or an easy ride, what are they going to expect when they are older?

If someone wants something bad enough, they'll figure out how to get it.

poltroon
May. 15, 2007, 10:18 PM
Well, I'm seeking validation! We're picking up my daughter's first pony on Saturday and I'm shaking in my boots! :D :D

Each horse is a teacher... whether good or bad. When a rider starts out, a steady temperament is key. I think when a rider gets to a certain skill level, then a made horse is really valuable. You cannot learn to put a horse on the bit if the horse never rewards the rider and the horse cannot learn if the rider can't be patient enough to ride the horse correctly until he gets what is being asked. There are things that a made horse teaches.

Trained and experience is worth paying for. Athletic potential is not so important until a rider is hitting at least the teens. I would really hesitate to buy a young warmblood for a young rider, because I've just seen that young warmbloods go through a testing stage at 5-6-7 and often go from "puppy dog" temperaments to being out of control.

A big budget also puts a lot of pressure on a kid - if they don't do well on the expensive horse, that's going to feel pretty horrible. Some kids are ready for that and some aren't. And of course the family finances factor in... for one family the $10k pony might cause more stress than the $100k pony of another. I remember a heartfelt discussion after I had left for college with a younger rider who got the hunter of her dreams... and felt totally ostracized. When she won, her 'friends' were snarky and it was all the horse being great and expensive. When she lost, well, the horse was great, so it must've been her fault. Ironically, she was losing confidence at every show. They did turn it around so she came to enjoy her new horse, but her heartbreak still haunts me 20 years later.

I think a useful measure is to compare your kid horse buying budget to the cost of an ER visit. The docs down there are very nice, but I'd sure rather spend it on a pony.

Trixie
May. 15, 2007, 10:23 PM
I don't think parents should be buying their kids horses that cost that much. That's JMO.


Not to pick on you, but who are you to delegate how people spend their money? Or otherwise, how much of their money they should be spending?

I really hope this thread doesn't turn into the umpteen-millionth thread about how spoiled rich kids don't learn how to ride their way out of a paper bag/don't ever take care of their horses. It's really tiresome. Besides, who ever said anything about how the parents/trainers/grooms were doing everything for them?
Frankly, if I had children, I'd make them earn their horses by taking care of them and becoming good horsemen (ie, no pony if you don't take care of it) - however, I would not for one second have a problem with spending the money on a safe horse for my child.

A good made horse has their place. A greenbean also does. But the OP's kids are quite young, and most kids of that age do not need a high dollar/uber fancy horse, they do need a horse that is safe, sane, and knows their job. It's common sense, particularly in a sport where the jumps don't break. While I'm all for figuring it out by the seat of your pants - and that's great, if you do and you do it well and safely - but to be quite frank, we've ALL seen riders go around the course looking like an accident waiting to happen. And that's SCARY. And it really has nothing to do with what you spend - I've seen cheap horses that are safe and expensive ones that aren't.

But please, don't for one second assume that all kids on a nice pony had it "handed" to them or that they aren't doing their part. Sticking an 8 year old on "whatever is handed to them" really isn't a great plan. People get hurt that way.

To the OP - not all trainers are evil and trying to take you for a ride - I'm sad to hear that you feel that way, because this area has some EXCELLENT professionals that can do great things for a young rider, given the chance.
Honestly, I'd rather have newcomers to the sport worship a good trainer and spend a little more than accidentally overface themselves. Ask around and hopefully you can find someone reputable that you trust and who can work with you. Be clear about what you want from the trainer (ie, a horse that's safe and in _____ budget) and many will work with you on that. A good trainer will know the best horse for you may not be the most expensive horse, and will be fine with that. Just be prepared to listen to their reasoning, and go from there. You can always bounce any questions off the board as well as the trainer, which will help prevent vultures.

Beam Me Up
May. 15, 2007, 11:04 PM
IME this usually is debated in reverse order--parents establish how much they have to spend, then try to figure out what the optimum training/sanity/talent/soundness mixture is in their price range.

It's tough, because there tend to be some inverse relationships in there (assuming the same price), and it's hard to figure out what will work best for each kid. Great training and great talent are only useful if the horse is sound and sane enough to ride, etc.

For a kid, the major disadvantage with green is that training a horse takes time (the less experienced you are, the more time it takes) and means more of those years are spent in the ring than out gaining (rider) experience. Then again, a kind willing greenie is better than the raving mad experienced horse.

When I was a kid I think we made the mistake of going so cheap we could not find much suitable. In the mid 90s our budget was painfully low (like 1K - 2K, different iterations, 2 kids, several horses). None of our horses really were suitable for kids learning to event, and I think that showed in my sister's and my progress. I had a lunatic, several not really sound, my sister had way too green.

In my teens I bought an incredibly talented ex-steeplechaser with prelim experience for almost nothing because he was so reckless and unrideable. Been ridden by a few pros, 1 event each, eventually dumped. We went very very quickly around a lot of Jr and YR divisions, and I lived to tell, but that wasn't guaranteed.

Everyone would tell my parents that they should pay more, isn't your kids' safety and education worth more? My parents truly didn't have more money to pay (and I don't blame them at all--they were not horsey, not rich, and didn't see this whole sport coming). And I felt like I didn't have the time to both train a baby and achieve my goals in the limited time before I finished HS.

So I don't know.
Here is the one important thing I did learn as a kid--it takes many horses to mature as a rider. The horse you need at 10, 13, 16, 19 . . . may be a different horse. So as a parent, you probably have to accept that there will be some turnover. Otherwise you will be compromising even more.

Dr. Doolittle
May. 15, 2007, 11:17 PM
Some very good points, BeamMeUp--and some great "real life experience" anecdotes to add further insight to the discussion...:)

KBG Eventer
May. 15, 2007, 11:27 PM
Besides, who ever said anything about how the parents/trainers/grooms were doing everything for them?
.

I am not trying to argue with the OP or anyone else, but I did want to back this statement up. I feel silly chiming into this thread as a 14 year old, but I did want to say that I can think of a few riders with wonderful (and fancy, previously upper level) horses that do a lot of the work themselves. I see these riders *always* tacking up their sometimes two horses, cleaning tack, taking care of and walking their horses, stripping stalls, and grooming for other people or helping friends out at the same event. I don't know about what kind of financial situation they (nor do I think it is my business anyways, :)), but I do see them doing a lot of the work. I also know for a fact that they attend regular schools at the same time.

poltroon
May. 15, 2007, 11:54 PM
I really hope this thread doesn't turn into the umpteen-millionth thread about how spoiled rich kids don't learn how to ride their way out of a paper bag/don't ever take care of their horses. It's really tiresome.

I just thought I'd add: I'm a pretty good rider, but I have no doubt that Brianne Goutal can outride me any day, even though her horses likely cost more than my house. :D :D :D

poltroon
May. 16, 2007, 12:01 AM
Here is the one important thing I did learn as a kid--it takes many horses to mature as a rider. The horse you need at 10, 13, 16, 19 . . . may be a different horse. So as a parent, you probably have to accept that there will be some turnover. Otherwise you will be compromising even more.

I think this is really important. Too many riders want to buy too much horse. If you're showing 1st level you won't really be able to benefit from the typical FEI horse - you need to learn the middle levels first. If you're going around at Beginner Novice, a Prelim horse will want to go fast - if the rider isn't ready to step up to that level, both horse and rider will get scared and frustrated. A little kid will have to be more aggressive with her body to ride a large pony - and may learn habits that will be too rough when she's bigger.

PiedPiper
May. 16, 2007, 06:32 AM
I agree with this as well. I think people try and buy one horse who will make the whole journey which almost never happens. Too difficult for both horse and rider.

Who is anyone else to dictate what someone spends on a horse or anything else? So think 5K is too much, others 10K, 20K, 50K, etc it is all relative.

The issue, and underlying problem, is not what is spent on the horse per say, but the moral and ethical foundation that is laid down in the child's rearing. It is the daily rearing of said child that either shows this to be a great oppurtunity or an example of spoiling. It is determined on whether it is appreciated or expected.

So, for me, the question comes down to the personal make up of your child(ren) and the job you have done as a parent. Will your child appreciate or expect?

And have you been burn badly by a trainer screwing you? It does happen, but it really isn't as common as protrayed on COTH I don't think. I don't think I know anyone who has been taken advantage of by a trainer in that regard and do feel that MOST trainers I have meet, big and little names, do really care about their students and their well being and success.

And my way of thinking is you can only be taken advantage of is you allow it. If you do your homework, get other opinions, etc then the chance of any type of abuse is lessened.

PiedPiper
May. 16, 2007, 06:34 AM
Oh and I want to add that a good schoolmaster isn't always expensive. I stumbled on this horse and he was only 1500. I really lucked out and I think the previous owners thought he had more physically issues than he does. But with proper shoeing, a full round of work by Dr. Hilgartner, etc and he is sound sound sound and almost every trainer that sees him falls in love. :D

IFG
May. 16, 2007, 07:15 AM
The sequence of ponies/horses needed as kids develop is one of the reasons that a lease often makes sense. My kids are on lease #3. The first was a terrific pony, who was as good as they rode, very safe. The second was steady, but would take advantage of them over fences if they let their guard down. Again, if they rode well, they did well, if they didn't, he saw no reason to jump. The third is Mr. Confidence Builder at Novice.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 07:43 AM
The thing that makes me laugh is that you guys always say it is so important for that first pony to be safe and sane. Ours was anything but! He was handed to us and we did not know enough to be worried about him. Very nice guy, no doubt, but issues! Abuse case that was scared of his own shadow and I am not exagerating! If you think my 10 year old didn't have to work hard just to make him ridaable, you are wrong! The blood, sweat and tears she put in, wow! People around us who do know horses could never believe that she kept getting on that pony. We got kicked out of pony club because of an "unsuitable mount". They yelled at us that he must have been gelded late! It was all she had and she loved him. One thing about him is if you didn't do it right, he wouldn't do it. But, if you were balanced, oh my goodness, he was a fun ride. The smoothest gaits, never trips, LOVES cross country. So, she knew this and had to make it happen. If formed who she is as a rider now. I am not saying it is the right way to go. I am just saying it is what happened to us. Mostly out of ignorance. But, I would not change it for the world. She has an amazing work ethic when she gets on a horse now. Way beyond her years as far as I can tell. That pony is now riden by my eight year old and he is a gem! He will still spook a little, but we all get a laugh. He is such a great guy now. A testimony to my older daughters work ethic.
So, "work" can come in many packages. And I know it takes a lot of different kinds of horse experiences to make a true horseman in the end.
Here's the thing. This is the experience we come from. It is all we know. I know there are other things that come into the mix as they get older. I know she needs different kinds of experiences. I was looking to you guys to see what everyone else is going through. I don't want to assume that because it worked for us yesterday, it is the right thing tomorrow.
I guess my point is, when you LOVE horses, you work with what you have and you make it work. But at some point as a parent, I want to reward that work. I have no idea what the future holds and I am in no way saying that everyone should do what we did. It just happened, and it worked at the time.
Her next pony is the complete opposite. Not spooky, but quite sensitive and green. She has been riding him for a year and a half and with much help has taken him a long way. She is getting too big for him now.
I look at the future as a blank slate. I have no experience to draw from. As previously stated, I have had a few earth shaking experiences lately with people making choices I don't think I would make. I say to myself "is this normal?" "Is this what the future holds?". Just quesitions. Not answers.
We all come from our cumulative experience. It is what we know. And if it worked for us, and if we are lacking in common sense, we tend to think that is THE way to go. People take lots of different paths. Lots of things go into making a horse and rider click. This I have read loud and clear through you guys!
Now, I just gotta figure out what is going to work for us next! Scarey!

magnolia73
May. 16, 2007, 08:19 AM
Well. Good luck to you. I hope that your kids don't get hurt or pick up defensive riding habits. My first stupid horse damn near put me in the hospital on 3 occasions and gave me a nasty concussion. He did not teach me ANYTHING beyond you don't want a horse with a random rodeo buck.

I LOVE horses and I know which ones to not ride. Part of being a good horsewoman is knowing what you can handle, not just getting on anything so you can act superior to the person on the made horse. Damn straight I want to be on the nicest horse someone has- I enjoy riding, not managing a horse's problems.

Now, my trainer- she rides whatever and gets paid and does it well. Who knows- maybe your kids will end up like her. Or maybe your kids will get hurt and quit. But just buying them stupid horses and being proud of it is dumb on your part. There is a range between dead easy and crazy. Leave crazies for paid professionals.

Row Wisco, Row!
May. 16, 2007, 08:46 AM
We got kicked out of pony club because of an "unsuitable mount". They yelled at us that he must have been gelded late!

This is not something I'd be screaming from the top of a mountain in the context of the rest of your posts....:eek:

To me this is a pretty serious sign. While the upper levels of pony club are contentious for innumerable reasons, it is widely accepted that the lower levels of are wonderful for promoting safety, horsemanship and a solid foundation.

I've NEVER seen a pony club kick out a member for an unsuitable mount. Request that it not return to club sanctioned activities? YES. Kicked out? NO. Most pony clubs are chock-full of people willing to help kids find suitable mounts through borrowing, leasing, or other ties through the grapevine. If you really got kicked out of PC for SOLELY that reason, you have some contacts to make and letter writing to do, but I'm guessing there's more to the story....

What pony club DOES NOT tolerate is refusal to improve blatant ignorance and refusal to adhere to basic standards of safety. Your posts concern me. Yes, things may be going better than they used to, but we tend to be blind to the shortcomings and transgressions of our loved ones. Your daughter may be shaving years off the lives of everyone in her proximity and you just don't see it.

Riding has a lot of risks, and when it's your kids up there I hope you'd be doing everything in your power to eliminate as much of the uncertainty as possible. That means having a suitable mount. A few short years on a reliable horse will do wonders. She will be ready to take on "project" horses much more safely, effectively and confidently much sooner, perhaps as soon as 13 or 14. And then you can pass the horse down to another kid and continue the education for someone else...

I applaud you for seeking help, but some of the key points don't seem to be getting through. This BB is a great place to start, but you should really seek the help of a seasoned, competent professional.

Everythingbutwings
May. 16, 2007, 08:48 AM
Hateful, evil wretched wench that she was. Of course, a kid (who survives) will either make what they can of the pony - or swear off horses for life.

It just isn't hard to find a sane, schooled horse/pony for your kids to learn on. They have a much better chance of learning how to ride properly, of enjoying riding for itself and continuing on, should that be their desire, than a youngster that is thrown up on a problem horse.

I can't count the number of people I've seen over the years who bought their first horse, had a bad experience, and never went back to riding. They've missed out on a wonderful lifetime of companionship and exhiliration.

You want to reward your child, do it in a way that doesn't set them up for problems.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 08:51 AM
Golly Magnolia, I said I did it out of complete ignorance. What more do you want! We are lucky that it worked. And I believe it is a testimony to the fact that sometimes it does work for some people. But I said, if i knew then what I know now I probably never would have chosen it! However, I would not trade the experience on the backside for anything! Isn't that how life works? You get the most out of what is the hardest or you quit.
Does it make me "proud" of my choice? Heavens know. I really didn't choose it!
Can't take credit for that one.
Does it make me proud of my daughter....absolutely. She works hard and has a lot to show for it.
Do I think she can handle anything? Of course not. She is 10. It is my job to help her develop a handle on herself so she doesn't get hurt. Of course! Believe me when I say the ugliest thing is to see kids over horsed because mommy and daddy have given princess a big head!

Trixie
May. 16, 2007, 08:58 AM
You've gotten lucky. Very, very lucky that your kids did not get hurt. Hopefully, you will be that lucky in the future - but I wouldn't bet on it.


People around us who do know horses could never believe that she kept getting on that pony.

There is a REASON for that. And there is a REASON that people keep telling you that it's best for the first few animals a child learns on should be safe and sane - is it always the case? No. Is there a reason we keep suggesting that - absolutely! Beginner riders need to LEARN GOOD HABITS and apply them to problem horses when they're ready - not learn bad habits and have to break them later.

Honestly, reading your last post was just troubling. You, as the parent, should make sure your children have a foundation before blithely allowing them to continue getting on something that you admit is not sane and that everyone around you is telling you it's dangerous. Do you not like your children?

I agree with Row - I've never heard of Pony Club kicking someone out due to an "unsuitable mount" - and the fact that you seem to be PROUD of that is REALLY troubling.

To quote you in another thread:
"how many will land on their head before they quit playing games with 1000 pound animals"

You need to seek help from a competant professional.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 09:18 AM
You know Trixie, I almost didn't not bother to defend myself. I don't need your "approval". But for the sake of the thread.... Yes there were those around us who were surprised that my daughter was so determined. But we have since that time surrounded ourselves with very qualified people who felt differently. It is true that pony club did what they did. But I would argue that that pony club had a lot of issues under the hood.
So, I don't know what to say but I can tell you we are all doing just fine!
Might I also add here that there is a BIG difference (from what I have seen) between a spooky (but very kind) pony, and a spooky horse!
Maybe I am getting soft in my old age, but there are not too many horses I would put my daughter on yet. These are some of the choices I am seeing made around me that are what make me uncomfortable and why I started this thread. Kids are getting hurt.
There are reasons why my daughter has not gotten hurt. I may be a fool, but i am no idiot.
It seems to me that people are reading what they want to hear and not hearing everything. I can't help that. I really was just looking for peoples insights.

Eventingjunkie
May. 16, 2007, 09:29 AM
[QUOTE=eventmom;2436157] Might I also add here that there is a BIG difference (from what I have seen) between a spooky (but very kind) pony, and a spooky horse! Maybe I am getting soft in my old age, but there are not too many horses I would put my daughter on yet. These are some of the choices I am seeing made around me that are what make me uncomfortable and why I started this thread. Kids are getting hurt.
QUOTE]

My child rode a pony until she was too tall. Ponies may be closer to the ground, but are no safer, and across the board certainly not kinder, than horses.

Everythingbutwings
May. 16, 2007, 09:30 AM
Went to a local show, pulled the rig up in trailer parking and began to unpack when I heard lots of shouting coming from the ring.

Kid on pony that had been excused from it's prior round, now in the ring for the next class. Pony stops, kid recovers, pony acts up, refuses again, kid comes off, bridle pulls off. Pony now bolts, leather dragging between it's legs.

Pony gallops out of the ring, into the schooling ring and makes a couple of circuits while kids and their mounts dodge out of the way and attempt to keep calm.

Pony crashes onto the schooling ring fence, straddling it, and breaking the rails. Struggles loose, bolts towards the trailer parking. Swerves past the longing area, avoids people trying to slow it down and gallops through the trailer parking, wreaking havoc.

Not stopping, pony careens back towards the main ring, headed straight for the ingate, where it finally is stopped, then proceeds to kick a bystander in the chest with both hind feet.

Not saying your daughter could have been on that rank pony or that your daughter would have come off or might not have been able to control it but I'm betting dollars to donuts that the parents of that kid are thanking their lucky stars no one was badly injured and are more than likely shopping for a sane, schooled and reliable pony right about now.

You asked for insight, you're going to get it. You might not like it but you are getting your insight.

LisaB
May. 16, 2007, 09:41 AM
Eventmom,
Yep, welcome to horseland where, as someone has in their byline, 2 people, 3 opinions.
The thing that's bothering me is that you're in Area 2 and can't find a good pony club? And then you've found an excellent trainer. There are lots of schmooozers out there. Especially in Area 2 that have no business teaching. But boy, they have the parents totally smoked.
It sound like you have excellent children that we would all love to see become future eventing stars.

west5
May. 16, 2007, 09:47 AM
I think what happened with your daughter and her first pony is a common experience.

I started as an adult on a wacky "hony" that no one else at the barn would ride. He and I really "clicked" and even the trainer remarked in the very beginning that the horse was on his best behavior for me. He was a little bit of a fruit loop/spooky but a fabulous x-country ride at the lower levels. He was a prince on the ground and very athletic and balanced. I also took some pride in riding the difficult one. (He used to buck everyone off but me -- trainer, once a year, included)

NOW that I know more I think that some of the situations I was put in were not great and probably not that safe. At that point in time I didn't know any better. Now I know more. I am making different choices.

I absolutely think that that first horse taught me to be tough, brave and stick BUT I won't ever put myself in that position again. I am currently horse shopping for a Training level - TD3; safe and sane are at the top of my list. I CAN handle a more forward type horse than the average older ammy because of that first horse I learned on. Speed doesn't freak me out. I don't start grabbing the horses face or try to micromanage on the way to a jump. So the learning experiences were positive, and I wouldn't change them, but I have refined and changed my expectations, too.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 09:55 AM
thank you west. I really think what we went through happens a lot. I could have written your post.

Trixie
May. 16, 2007, 09:58 AM
Might I also add here that there is a BIG difference (from what I have seen) between a spooky (but very kind) pony, and a spooky horse!

And that would be what, exactly? Not as far between the pony and the ground? Can't pitch you into a log quite as hard? I spent a good ten years as a pony jock - believe you me, there are many ponies that are FAR more vicious and more cunning than a lot of horses. It's silly to think that one can't get just as hurt riding a pony, or that because they're smaller, they're nicer.

I don't understand why, in one post, the people who called your pony dangerous are "People around us who do know horses" and in the next post "we have since that time surrounded ourselves with very qualified people who felt differently" to suit whatever point you're trying to peddle - but it's not changing the fact that you continued to put your child on a dangerous pony against all supposedly qualified advice.
But you're right - you don't need to justify it to ME.


It seems to me that people are reading what they want to hear and not hearing everything

Like I said - I feel like you're unwilling to hear the useful points made to you about WHY most of us feel that it's best for a rider to start on something sane rather than something so spooky and green. Does it happen? Obviously! Is it a good idea? Not necessarily, no.

Again - I think it's excellent that your children haven't gotten hurt yet and that they've progressed. But I fail to see why you're so willing to overface them against the advice of people who know better, and then brag about the fact that they didn't die and have even improved, and ranting that trainers are trying to screw you. It's that cavalier attitude that gets people hurt. And again, it doesn't have a thing to do about what you spend on the horse.

magnolia73
May. 16, 2007, 09:58 AM
That's great. But please, don't sit there and complain about how much other people spend on horses. If someone wants to buy Muffy $100,000 worth of horse, so be it. If you don't do that, I won't complain about people buying dangerous horses.

FWIW- big difference between dangerous and challenging ride. Dangerous=random bucking for no reason, rearing, bolting, dirty stoppers, hangs leg while jumping. NEVER appropriate for a kid. Or an amateur. Will do more harm than good.

Challenging ride- lazy, stops if you lean, can get quick, requires finesse - works fine with lessons- and if pretty challenging some rides on an easier horse keeps habits from forming.

LisaB
May. 16, 2007, 10:10 AM
Hey!
Shouldn't these kids be out riding their ponies trying to catch chickens? Isn't that what eventmom is doing? I mean come on, these are kids. The pony sounds kinda nasty but crap, the ones I rode around ... and the scars to prove it.
I think the best thing I ever did was go out, grab a pony in a halter, hop on and go for a 2 hour trail ride in my shorts. We used to pretend we were Roy Rogers and actually stand up on a pony, jump to the other pony. Attempted it at a canter and had a looong walk home.
And now as an adult, I'm amazed that I've stuck onto some of the acrobatics that horses have done. ooops, now that I say that, I'm going to have a fall (with Fair Hill on Sat)
And when I see a kid that's scared, it means they really aren't into riding and need a break.

deltawave
May. 16, 2007, 10:16 AM
It is funny (and human nature, I think) to think about what WE did and then take a completely different view of what we want our KIDS to do. :lol:

I grew up riding fat, roached-mane ponies bareback with a halter and lead shank, too. Fond memories, I certainly learned to "stick", and we had an absolute blast. No helmets, no boots, no safety-mindedness in the least. Never got hurt, ever.

But would I let my kid do that? No freaking WAY. I got away with it. Chances are he would, too. But it's not worth it to me to just hope for the best. He can ride any time he wants to, but we wear helmets, always, and I would never let him just go off forever like we did.

magnolia73
May. 16, 2007, 10:19 AM
I see a kid that's scared, it means they really aren't into riding and need a break

? You should have seen me at age 11 after being dumped hard a bunch of times. I was scared and just wanted to ride something that did not try and kill me. Gee. I mean, not every rider is going to be Denny Emerson. Some of us will be hothouse flowers. I mean, I did have a fun pony that I did dumb stuff on, but after a few times of having no recollection of falling... I dunno, the hard horse just did not seem worth the effort.

Eventmom, just be careful with your kids and keep in touch with what they want. Once I lost the crazy horse and got my sweet Buzzy, I was a happy camper and riding was fun again.

Trixie
May. 16, 2007, 10:21 AM
I think the best thing I ever did was go out, grab a pony in a halter, hop on and go for a 2 hour trail ride in my shorts. We used to pretend we were Roy Rogers and actually stand up on a pony, jump to the other pony. Attempted it at a canter and had a looong walk home.

I'm all about playing with your horses and having fun.
I just think it's usually best not to tempt fate by starting out with something that I KNOW is not sane, and then complaining about/putting down how everyone else does things.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 10:26 AM
So, here are all the moms around me telling me stories like you guys just posted. Going on trail rides and coming back on foot. Helmets? what are those? etc....
I never had those experiences! But my kids are (well, not all of them!). Sorry, I just figured (and so did those moms) that we were blissfully ignorant! You gotta know that my daughters always did and still do put a smile on their face from WONDERFUL childhood memories, while they had put so much fear in their own kids, they were afraid to ride.
Does that mean I need help? I guess to each his own. But I have no intentions of raising fearful children.
Don't worry guys, my daughters have a very healthy sense of self preservation.

deltawave
May. 16, 2007, 10:33 AM
Don't worry guys, my daughters have a very healthy sense of self preservation.

Which is worth precisely NOTHING if they have an accident that couldn't be prevented. :no: No, you don't want fearful kids, but you do want to stack the odds in favor of safety, yes?

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 10:34 AM
I have never present spooky pony as anything but VERY kind. He was a case, yes, but we quickly learned how to manage his issues. My kids coach regularly looks at the things my kids are doing, bareback no hands over jumps (with a helmet!!!), grabbing them with halters in the pasture and riding around the property, etc. and she is sad because she did all those things and can't allow her students to do them on her horses because of insurance. She always tells me, kids don't learn to ride like that unless they have their own pony at home.

west5
May. 16, 2007, 10:34 AM
I'm all about playing with your horses and having fun.
I just think it's usually best not to tempt fate by starting out with something that I KNOW is not sane, and then complaining about/putting down how everyone else does things.


I think what happens is you can start off knowing nothing and get lucky. You ride a "yucky" horse, learn a lot in the process and for whatever reason don't get hurt.

So now you "know" something and one of the things you learn is that a "safer/saner" horse is a good thing. It is very confusing to figure out how to find said horse and how much to pay for it. As we've all discussed you can pay a little or a lot and still end up in a bad situation.

I am lucky and have fabulous trainers who are not pushing me to buy any of the current horses that are for sale in the barn. I ride all these horses regularly and know them. The horse who is the best match for me has "water issues" - :( -- he is really a jumper but we tried him out x-country and was fabulous except for the water.

We have an idea of what we want, a good budget and even with professional help it is not easy. Not to mention there are no guarantees! No matter how much or how little you spend, it still might be money thrown out the window!!

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 10:38 AM
Your right Deltawave. Accidents do happen. It is something we all have to live with in this sport. But we sure can increase our odds by having good judgement and knowing what we can and can not handle. I have learned that a health sense of self preservation is a good thing. While my daughters are not fearful, they are also not fearless.

Trixie
May. 16, 2007, 10:38 AM
No matter how much or how little you spend, it still might be money thrown out the window!!

The everlasting conundrum of the horse world :)

Dr. Doolittle
May. 16, 2007, 10:48 AM
I just want to weigh in here briefly, since I've been one of eventmom's daughter's trainers since last fall: The older of the two (whom I teach) has *excellent* basics, is very balanced and correct in her position, is confident and happy and brave, has a good seat, good hands (none of which I can take credit for, but someone started her right! :D), and only a few "bad habits"--the major one of which is "standing up in her stirrups" a bit too much over jumps (but this is improving ;)), a defensive thing learned from the last pony (the one in question, who was spooky and would quit when intimidated by a jump); I have NEVER taught her on this pony, nor have I even seen her ride him--her younger sister rides him now, and I've seen the younger sister canter him around, jump small fences, take him over X-country logs--all of which he does calmly and with NO "untoward behavior"...I only know of his past misbehavior through stories from eventmom--whos kids *always* ride with helmet, BTW--I often did NOT when I was their age, back in the day--much like the recent other posters :p)

The pony I train her on has a few resistances (he likes to take the bit and "run past" jumps sometimes), but she has trail ridden him (including on long, group Clifton HS trail rides), showed him successfully in local hunter and jumper shows, taken him cross-country schooling, and now taken him to some HTs--once in awhile he gets a little strong (and runs out), but all in all, he is a good boy, a competent and athletic jumper, and they have a *great* partnership. During our lessons, we work on "rideability", her position, correct application of halt-halts, control, "forward and back adjustability", accuracy, and balance--both on the flat and O/F (and we *always* have fun in lessons and during schooling, and it's *always* safe...I have never seen this pair look UNsafe!)

The only problem is that this pony is in the process of being outgrown (too bad, since she's made so much progress on him, and is now getting to "the fun stuff"--HTs! ;))

I don't know whether this clarifies anything, but I also wanted to add that the other trainer who trains this girl seems to be on the same page (as I am) about safety and correct, methodical work; this pony has made a lot of progress over the past year--in every area--all without "dumping or scaring the kid", but simply being "a bit of a challenge to ride", at times--which has not intimidated her, but has simply resulted in her "upping her game" to be a stronger and more "thinking" rider. (Which is a good thing :))

The other trainer is more of one to "find" new and fancier horses for kids, whereas I'm more of the "if it aint broke, don't fix it" school of thought...

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 16, 2007, 03:02 PM
Pony's are as dangerous as horses.....ask me how I know....the young child killed in VA when her pony spooked (out of character), she got tangled in her break-away safety stirrups and dragged, killing her.

This was a good pony and a child from a horse savy family. It was freak bad luck.....eventmom....you have been very lucky.

I rode what I could as a kid. My parents bought me my first hony (I was tall as a kid) without advice from my once a week trainer....critria...I wanted a black horse. I was not handed anyting...that was the ONLY horse ever bought for me and I worked as much as was legal (and under the table) to help support her (and rode any and all other horses I could all the time).

She bucked me off almost every day for almost a year....I got back on every day until I learned how to ride (I was slow ok...). BUT this was not a DANGEROUS or unsuitable mount. She was actually a well trained and well mannered QH/Arab that knew if she could put you on the ground, she would but would do so in a manner that you would not get hurt (unseat you with any move but the just step out from under you....I only had the wind knocked out of me once). Once you had decent balance and rode correctly, she was a push button made horse...and perfect. Was this a good first mount? NO....not for a majority of children. My parents were very very lucky that she actually was safe and that I had a huge love of horses and determination, no fear (and probably very little sense). She was NOT green and did not have any issues other then being smarter then me. While she was a good first horse for ME and perhaps other kids like me....she would NOT have been a good first horse for other kids. I also was NOT a beginner when I got her even though she was my first horse.

You need to know your child but also protect your child. Riding green dangerous horses is VERY risky even for an experienced rider. It sounds like you child may not need a packer but she probably does need to sit on a horse that can teach her something more then just surviving and being lucky.....and you get that from sane horses who already understand their jobs and do not have significant issues (other then perhaps the issues of not listening to a rider who doesn't ask correctly).

wannabegifted
May. 16, 2007, 03:15 PM
well, I had average horses, and unbroke horses, and finally got a "made" prelim horse who was also a 4th level horse. I am a firm believer that you cannot ask an inexperenced rider to teach an inexperienced horse if they do not know what they are looking for.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 04:00 PM
I gotta say here, I also don't think this pony was an unsuitable mount. Pony club did say that but there was a ton of politics involved. Truth was, my kid was the youngest and best rider that they had, but she was not taking lessons from the "right" instructor. They were looking for every opportunity to A. sell us a pony, and B. Get us with "the" instructor. Neither of which we were interested in.
Our pony was spooky, no doubt. But by the time we joined pony club, my daughter absolutly knew how to handle him. The only time she ever got dumped in pony club was when they demanded she do things that she knew he could not handle. It was disgusting. By the time they decided he was unsuitable, we had already figured out that so were they. My daughter told me she wanted out because it was not good for her pony!
Also, I keep saying this but I am not sure you hear it. That pony was and is VERY kind. He has done some amazing things to take care of my kids. We once had a bad horse boarding with us for a short time. He figured this out real fast and defended my kids from this horse regularly. Example... My youngest was at that time 4. The horses were running in from the back pasture for food and my daughter was walking along. He ran up and stood in front of my daughter until that horse passed knowing that the bad horse was careless with regards to the kids. I watched this happen. And many times since than he has proven himself to be a very thoughtful guy. The kinda pony you want your kids on! Doees he spook, well yes. He came from abuse and people were bad to him. But he trusts our family and absolutly respects our authority with him. We have had him for five years. My girls ride him daily and fuss on him as they should. He gives the best hugs of any pony I know and he has the ability to create a sense of utter endearment and devotion in his little followers, not to mention, he can teach a kid to ride!
You know, there are a lot of dynamics that go into these things. I give one side looking for advice and insight and get slammed. Maybe I should take the time to explain all the sides. I am not trying to mislead, I am trying to give the relevant information. Then you guys think I am lying.
We rode him because he is what we had. Not the easiest pony to ride, but clearly he has proven himself to be an excellent first pony for my two girls who both now love the sport.
I have seen ponies that are not so kind. I want nothing to do with them. If they don't care, why would I ask my children to invest? Big difference.
I said all of this because I was just trying to paint a simple backdrop for where we are now.
For those of you who have been supportive and understanding, thank you
For those of you who keep looking for opportunities to yell at me while taking what I say out of context, too bad. What will happen is that others will be afraid to come forward with honest questions to get the help they need. And the forumn will go by the wayside. Or become about what colors are best for cross country. Not a bad thing, but isn't there room for everyone.

Whisper
May. 16, 2007, 04:10 PM
It really depends on the kid and the horse's personality, experience level, and so on. Price often depends on things like breed/pedigree that don't really change an individual's performance.

I think it's best for people to wait to get a really green horse until they have enough expertise to be capable of training it. There are lots of horses that are new to a particular discipline, or have pretty much just gone around on trails or in the arena, will do basic transitions and steering, so are "green," but still safe and sane. Horses in both categories (and anywhere in between) can be "easy" or "hard," just in different ways.

I've been fortunate to ride some *very* fancy and well-trained horses, as well as "green-but-steady-eddies," and all of them have valuable things to teach me. Once I'm ready to buy, I'll probably look toward the cheaper end of the spectrum, since I can't afford most of the fancy ones. I know that I tend to do best with ones who are both responsive and sensible.

LookinSouth
May. 16, 2007, 04:30 PM
I think what I am learning here (and certainly did not know) is as melo just put, there is a big difference between a total packer (something we have not ever been interested in for various reasons) and a horse with experience that knows its job and can teach a kid a lot in a safe manner, but still requires something from the kid to get the most out of it. I think your right, I was confusing the two. Thanks guys.

Yes I think the main problem here is many people seem to be confusing "Made" with "Packer". There is a difference. I have had the great fortune of owning both. My older TB is a total packer. You can put a poser, passenger, dead beginner on the horse and he will do his job 100% as a "packer" should. He is now retired and was my first horse. Total confidence builder.

A "made" horse is quite different. A true made horse is highly trained and will except nothing but the utmost CORRECT riding. A truly made horse is ANYTHING but an easy ride. My other horse that I currently ride is a "made"dressage horse (3rd level). If someone gets on his back (even a very experienced rider) that knows nothing about dressage it is very evident. He requires finesse, correct application of the aids at all times and total control of your body while riding. He is very safe and sane but demands perfection 100% of the time. He has taught me how to really ride. If I ride well he performs like a million bucks, if not, well he lets me know it.
Although I enjoy riding easier horses sometimes I appreciate how much I learn from riding this horse. I have ridden greenies and trust me, most of them are easier. They don't know a mistake from correctness. A made horse does!!!!
.

cinder88
May. 16, 2007, 04:41 PM
I gotta say here, I also don't think this pony was an unsuitable mount. Pony club did say that but there was a ton of politics involved. Truth was, my kid was the youngest and best rider that they had, but she was not taking lessons from the "right" instructor. They were looking for every opportunity to A. sell us a pony, and B. Get us with "the" instructor. .

Of course. Politics. It couldn't have been that they were actually CONCERNED???


For those of you who have been supportive and understanding, thank you
For those of you who keep looking for opportunities to yell at me while taking what I say out of context, too bad. What will happen is that others will be afraid to come forward with honest questions to get the help they need. And the forumn will go by the wayside. Or become about what colors are best for cross country. Not a bad thing, but isn't there room for everyone

If I said what I thought about this, I'd get banned, so I will leave it to your imagination.

Now, to the original question which I believe was....Buy a 10 year old a made/broke horse or a green horse....

I suppose it depends how much you like your kid.

It seems you've been really lucky so far. If you buy a green horse, against the advice of MANY experienced horsepeple here, let's hope your luck holds.

Cinder

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 16, 2007, 05:01 PM
eventmom....I'm NOT saying the pony you have now is bad....just that you and your family were and are VERY lucky. Abused and green horses DO need chances and can be wonderful horses BUT they should not be re-habbed or trained by inexperienced riders/families. You were lucky....by your what your posts have described, you have been able to give a home to a wonderful pony BUT there is absolutely no doubt that your child could have been seriously hurt re-habbing this pony. No matter how sweet....trust takes time to establish in horses/ponies that were abused and sometimes, no matter their intentions, instincts take over and if you do not have the skills already in hand...the rider may not be able to handle the situation. This can happen even if the rider is experienced and not a child.

I think the point some of us are saying is while your pony may be nice now...you got very lucky. That is not what parents who have ANY horse sense start out looking for as their children's mount until perhaps that child is more of a teen and has very established skills....and even then, I'm not sure, knowing what I know about the risks....that I would want my child working with such horses/pony unless in a structure with lots of supervison by some one experienced in dealing with horses with issues. So I would not for example, get my kid an unbroke Dakota horse off the range unless they were working with an experienced trainer who has trained such horses since those are issues that I'm not experienced with. OR if my teenager, after having much experience on schooled horses wanted to learn about breaking a sports bred 2-3 year old or re-schooling an OTTB, I would be able to help them since that is MY area of experience (although how much a mother can help a teenager is always questionable).....but it wasn't something I would even consider until they are what most would consider advanced riders (like a level B or higher pony club member).

You want the advice of people with horse experience...and this is what we are telling you.

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 16, 2007, 05:13 PM
One last thing and I'm done......as an experienced horse person (riding almost 30 years)....I think ALL beginners should start on PACKERS. Totally kid safe and big confidence builders.....after they have solid basics and confidence....then they can master the MADE but not Packer (my first horse after riding for several years). Kids need to have fun and will do stupid things when you are not looking....it is how we learn and as people who grew up riding horses, we know that kids are going to do stupid and dangerous things since it takes many years to develop good horse sense....so I want to make sure regardless of what they are sitting on, my kid's horse has more brains then my kid and his own self preservation as well. And only after they have skills should they be asked to deal with the green horses (and then it should be the nice sane green beans).

This is the ideal....can and is it done in other ways...of course but it is what I would do.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 05:59 PM
bornfree. I absolutly agree with you. I have from the beginning just labeled it what it was. I know that now and I would not recommend it. We did a lot out of ignorance. Fine. But I also want to point out that we sought out excellent help. And for whatever reason, it worked for us! Period. I am not a bad person, or an idiot, or needing help. I just had a situation and made it work for my family.
I am sorry if this offends people. I never once said I did the right thing or that I was looking to repeat it.
My original question was just about what to do next. Truely I am learning. I have learned a lot here. Very interesting things to think about.
I have a couple of young kids that ride.
I have no experience with moving into the next level.
We are under excellent instruction but I wanted to open up to the ideas of others.

deltawave
May. 16, 2007, 06:07 PM
My youngest was at that time 4. The horses were running in from the back pasture for food and my daughter was walking along. He ran up and stood in front of my daughter until that horse passed knowing that the bad horse was careless with regards to the kids.

Why was a 4 year old kid out in a field with loose horses?

I get the sense that you're a thoughtful, safety-minded person from your posts. But on the other hand, this is something I would just never, ever do. Call me a safety weenie... :)

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 06:25 PM
we live with our horses. Memory tells me that we were walking with some friends back to see them. She was not by herself. We were all there. The pony just took it upon himself to go shield her. We have always had very nice horses and no problems. This one horse was not nice so we got rid of it immediatly. With our very nice horses, I have no problems with my kids out in the field. This is where we live! And my kids are no longer 4. Of course when she was four she did not wander around by herself. You guys just read what you want and jump.

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 16, 2007, 06:25 PM
I have no experience with moving into the next level.
We are under excellent instruction but I wanted to open up to the ideas of others.


The next step is get your kid an experienced horse...who has experience at a level or two above her current riding level. It may not need to be have the ability to move past its current level and a 10 year old doesn't need fancy. They still need safe and fun...something that they can focus on their own skills and not worry about having to teach a horse something it doesn't know or understand. Also, consider that she may find boys in a couple of years and give up on horses (no matter how good or horse crazy she is now). An older teenage girl (like 17) who has shown that even with school and boys she is still focused and determined to ride competitively....if I can afford fancy, that is when I would go for fancy and help them with YRs and other goals....but at age 10, no way.....she can learn a ton still from just safe and experienced....and I would pay what I needed to for that.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 06:27 PM
bornfree....got it loud and clear!

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 06:31 PM
I have six kids. Not four. My oldest being 20. None of my kids are into the opposite sex. Not on the radar as I have homeschooled all along. Don't think (hopefully!) boys will be a problem.
Don't even bother to slam me for homeschooling guys. It is not on the agenda and it works for my family.

Beam Me Up
May. 16, 2007, 06:36 PM
It is funny (and human nature, I think) to think about what WE did and then take a completely different view of what we want our KIDS to do. :lol:


So true. We all have some crazy riding stories of yore, and they are funny now because all of us on this board survived, stayed with riding/eventing, etc. The yahoo kids that were injured or got scared and quit are probably not posting on COTH today.

Same applies outside of riding. Everyone has wild high school stories, which are funny for us now because we survived. Those who went to jail, drove into trees, ODed, whatever, not so funny.


Eventmom: clearly most of us on this thread of have made some questionable judgment calls on horseback or in horse selection due to ignorance (or lack of funds, or whatever). And survived long enough to re-evaluate and change our approach where necessary. As I mentioned in my post earlier, my poor judgment in horse selection continued way past age 10 (more like 18), so as far as I'm concerned your daughters have plenty of time to decide what their goals are and accomplish them.

If I had to do it over (and maybe richer), I would focus more on learning riding/eventing skills and less on difficult horse skills. Those skills are more transferable. Learning how to handle a very difficult horse is helpful on that horse, but may teach you things you'll have to unlearn on another horse, which is harder in your formative stages.

In my up-to-age-18 career I struggled mightily on several difficult horses, one particularly dangerous, and made it by the skin of teeth around a number of prelims (and didn't make it around some others). If I had it to over, and probably had a bit more $, I would have loved to have traded all of the suffering of having a reckless horse, the endless trot pole and grid lessons, and had something where I could refine MY skills, shoot for young riders, something like that. Because when I "grew up" and started my adult riding career, I had created a very defensive style, which still haunts me today.

But we all have to work within our means.

What does your daughter want? Are her goals more related to competition (levels she wants to achieve) or is she more interested in learning to work with greenies?

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 06:46 PM
She is very competetive by nature. We are home alone and ride alone so she has nothing to measure her skills against. I think that is where the competetive part comes in. This summer her sister only does flat classes at local hunter shoes, so she is doing the young student equitation classes. Having a ball figuring out how to look like a hunter so she can win the series. She was grand champ last week but did get third in one class due to the fact that her sitting trot is very dressage like. So, back to the trainer to pick up a hunter sitting trot. Great fun!
Anyway, eventing is her true love right now. I know this could change but we are having so much fun!
I hope that as she matures, she takes up an interest in a lot of the different diciplines. Good horsemanship.
Might I add that she has also discovered judged trail rides. Very fun! If you have never done one, you should try it!
Our farrier wants to take her on a hunt! She is very excited about it but we have not been able to make it happen as of yet.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 06:48 PM
I should add that with our current pony, she has discovered a love for the process of teaching and learning new skills to her pony. However, I think she just loves all things horsey and would be quite happy on something with a little more skill already under its belt!

clpony
May. 16, 2007, 06:49 PM
I so hope to not open a can of worms here, sorry if I do.
Eventmom, the most valuable horses in my estimation are horses with talent and good temperaments. TO have a nice, safe mount for your child to ride could perhaps reduce, i stress reduce, the risk of injury and IMHO that's priceless.

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 06:51 PM
clpony, got it. thanks. Just because for whatever reason, it didn't happen in the past. It does not mean I can't change my ways!

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 16, 2007, 07:05 PM
Don't think (hopefully!) boys will be a problem.



Keep your fingers crossed on that one;) I still found boys but horses and my other sports gave my parents ultimate control over me....(all they had to do was threaten that I couldn't go ride and I would shape right up!).

Picasso
May. 16, 2007, 08:20 PM
Its not my place and if you have taken anything I have said that way, I want you to know it wasn't intentional. If you would indulge me for a minute, though, I'd like to point something out to you. You noted that you were ignorant of all things horses yet ended up owning them via an auction. You've attempted to explain your rationale for putting your children on less than ideal horses in various manners, but the usual gist was you don't learn unless you have a challenge facing you. As I read your posts, I thought gee, I wonder if eventmom would be comfortable on a green, spooky little horse so she too could "learn". Then I read further and you said (I'm not going to quote here, but I think I'll get close) Oh I don't ride unless its my VERY OLD (safe) paint. This is what I like to refer to as an AHA! moment. You, as a beginner, don't want to get on Sweet Spooksatshadows, you want to ride Old Reliable. There is a reason for this! Its that feeling of security that is missing in this puzzle. When you are secure in your mount, you concentrate on the correct aids, position, hands, etc. instead of thinking "is my leg right? oh no he is running out again forget my leg, let me just hang on and not eat arena footing!" Not always conducive to riding well versus staying on really well.

You don't need me to say what you are doing is OK or not OK. You've lived along time without my approval! For what its worth, though, consider the reasons you don't want to be on Blazing Saddle and allow yourself a moment to ponder that your children may just be better off with something made. Your daughter sounds very talented (I have one of those, too, she is 8), think about how well this girl could do if she was concentrating on her riding rather than dealing with a green pony.

Janet
May. 16, 2007, 08:33 PM
Fair enough, but I guess I must admit, I have always been of the mind set that you don't learn as much riding a "made" horse. Plus, the more money you spend, the more it looses that "fun" factor that is so important to developing a childs horse skills. It is true, we do have excellent instruction on our not so excellent ponies, but I was just thinking, that even if I could afford it, I don't think I would want to spend alot of money on a horse and miss out on all these wonderful training skills we are learning.
People around us a making different decisions and I was thinking....am I missing something here?Yes. you are missing a LOT.

First off, a "made" horse doesn't need to be expensive. "Well trained" doesn't have to be expensive.

Second, a "made" horse can teach you SO MUCH. When you "do it right" the horse "does it right". When you "do it wrong", the horse says "I don't think so". CONSISTENT feedback.

With a less well trained horse, SOMETIMES when you "do it right" the horse "Does it right", but SOMETIMES the horse "does it wrong". And similarly, when you "do it wrong" sometimes the less well trained, but obliging horse will "do it roght" andyway, and you never get the fedback that you were doing it wrong.

It is MUCH more dificult to learn when you get INCONSISTENT FEEDBACK.

Once you have been trained by a "made" horse- THEN, when you get on an untrained horse, YOU know what it is supposed to feel like.

So then YOU can provide the CONSISTENT FEEDBACK to the horse you are training.

My first horse that was all mine (after the pony my sister and I shared to prove we wouldn't lose interest) was Golden Rocket, a very well trained former school horse (from Sunnyfield Farm which was, in those days, one of the leading dressage farms). He cost $300 which, even in 1966, was not particularly expensive. He, as much as any of my instuctors, gave me "my basics".

And I had LOTS of fun on him too, from costume classes to moonlight rides to jumping "sidesasddle" to pulling an old sulky, to leading the march from the village green to the high school on the very first "Earth Day".

Janet
May. 16, 2007, 08:41 PM
Picasso, the thing is, trainers ALWAYS want you to buy more horse.
1. because it makes them look good to have their students looking better.
2. because they are in the business so often either selling or connected to someone selling horses!
3. It's easier and funner to work with the better horses. (and if their lucky, they might get to ride it!)
I'm sorry, but these trainers aren't going to be the ones buying the horse.

Not any of the trainers I have worked with. If anything, the contrary.

Janet
May. 16, 2007, 08:51 PM
Yes, but isn't there something to be said for riding something with a little bit of a kick while your still young and still bounce. Otherwise, how would you be able to handle anything when your older? Seems to me, you gotta be balanced. And I get that by listening to my kid, and not blowing her head up so big that she thinks she can handle more than she can. On the other hand, her pony is no easy ride. Certainly has his moments. But she is totally confident in her ride on him, and that translates to him and he knows who is in charge. She would be board to death by a horse with no spunk.
Who ever said that a "made horse" has no "kick" and no "spunk"?

enjoytheride
May. 16, 2007, 08:51 PM
I believe there was a hunter rider that came into this forum and got ripped to shreds for no reason other than to be mean when she asked some questions. When you ask your own questions be mindful or how you answer others.

Janet
May. 16, 2007, 09:04 PM
So I don't know.
Here is the one important thing I did learn as a kid--it takes many horses to mature as a rider. The horse you need at 10, 13, 16, 19 . . . may be a different horse. So as a parent, you probably have to accept that there will be some turnover. Otherwise you will be compromising even more.Not always.

Rocket took me from D1 (at age 12) to my B (at age 17).

Janet
May. 16, 2007, 09:10 PM
Might I also add here that there is a BIG difference (from what I have seen) between a spooky (but very kind) pony, and a spooky horse!

1 - The pony is closer to the ground
2- In GENERAL, it is going to be harder to train the pony out of being spooky. More ponies than horses seem to have a "nasty" streak. MOST spooky ponies are NOT "kind".

Whisper
May. 16, 2007, 09:16 PM
Who ever said that a "made horse" has no "kick" and no "spunk"?
:yes: Absolutely! For that matter, even normally *very* quiet/bombproof horses can have their moments when the wind kicks up a bit or something. I can usually sit out little crowhops, shies, scooting off, or even a horse getting a little light in front (not a full-blown rear). However, if a horse is obviously jumping out of its skin (with too much energy, or getting nervous, I need to make a judgement call about how to handle it.

I ride a little QH gelding who will stay on a perfect circle at the trot or canter with the reins knotted up on his neck while I practice my sitting/posting/2-point and arm circles and stuff. He is normally *very* sensible, but got freaked out by the tractor starting and a dog galloping around him. He didn't really *do*anything, just got really twitchy and snorty and nervous. I decided to get off, and walk him to the arena while he settled down. A few months ago, with a different horse, he didn't settle even after longeing. So, I decided to ride a different horse instead. Maybe that makes me a bit of a chicken. Since they aren't my horses, I felt it was best, from a liability standpoint as well as my safety. Both kids and adults can be too brave when we shouldn't be, I think - even if we don't get hurt, we're learning bad habits.

Anyway, eventmom, I'm sure Dr. Doolittle can give you good feedback on potential horses, after you do the initial screening. I'm sure you'll find a horse that is a great fit for her as an individual, and hope they'll have many happy and safe years together.:D

eventmom
May. 16, 2007, 10:12 PM
Picasso, you make it sound like I was forcing my kid to get on this pony. On the contrary, she begged me!
Janet and Whisper, if there is one thing I will take away from this thread, it is that a made horse is not necesarily an easy ride. Got it.
Sorry I missed it in the last few years, but I really did not know that.
I am trying to learn and this is a mistake I don't think I will make in the future.
I do have one more question in this regard, (I suspect it is a rather intelligent one) but alas, I am somewhat tired of defending myself. So, I guess I will just ask Dr. D her thoughts and not get them from the whole group.
Thank you for your offerings. I hope I am not the only one to have learned something.

Dr. Doolittle
May. 16, 2007, 11:58 PM
Okay, I'm ready to hit the hay (PAST ready, actually :p), but just wanted to make one more point before "retiring from this thread" for the night (luckily I've been gone most of today, so have only been able to check it sporadically...)

For the record (and keep in mind, if you read my earlier post, that I have NO experience with the previous pony--the spooky, difficult one--other than to see it ridden by eventmom's younger daughter, and said pony now appears to be pretty mellow, since I have seen *NO* misbehavior of any kind from him!)

eventmom's older daughter (the 10 year old), is now riding a pony who was green when they got it, but not "green as grass"--this pony still has some "minor evasions", but none that I would consider at all dangerous from the standpoint of being a suitable mount for a child--if you don't include his "hissy fits" at the FPP ditch :p

eventmom is thinking of the future, since her daughter is growing rapidly, and the pony in question is 13.2. He is not an "easy" pony, but is not "evil", and has been coming along quite nicely; they have taken their time with him (and with the child), and have gotten regular, consistent instruction the entire time--as well as provided the pony with gradual and appropriate mileage at local competitions (as well as other venues), and have not overfaced either pony or child. The pair is doing well, and *always* get compliments (from strangers and railbirds) at all of their competitions (as well as from judges. :))

(I can take no credit for most of this, I've just been "honing their skills" for the past 6-8 months or so--they also have another trainer, who gets on the pony and "tweaks" him, which I'm sure is helpful.)

The "made packer" (or "experienced, BTDT you-must-push-the-correct-buttons-for-me-to work pony") on which she should or could have started her riding career is water under the bridge, at this point...She simply didn't have that (nor did I, nor did a lot of people--we wish, but hindsight is 20/20! ;)

As far as the future is concerned, I think you have given eventmom a lot of food for thought. There are a lot of valid points, here--and I agree with most of the posters (though since I know the family and the child in question, I naturally have a slightly different perspective, since I have seen her and the pony in action...this young girl is an *unusually* good rider in many ways--sort of a "natural" (and this is not just my opinion, Britta Johnston agrees ;))...her "difficult pony" history notwithstanding. Who knows whether she would have been a better rider--or *not* as good--with different formative experiences, or different ponies to learn on??)

Okay, I must go to bed now...I think eventmom gets what everyone is saying, and appreciates the input and wisdom on the board. ;)

poltroon
May. 17, 2007, 01:51 AM
eventmom is thinking of the future, since her daughter is growing rapidly, and the pony in question is 13.2.

While shopping for my daughter's pony, I had an epiphany.

I can still ride a pony in the 13.2 range. I'm 5'6" and I'm nearly 40. In fact, I would feel comfortable showing ponies in the 14 hand range with no hesitation. I don't look too big.

10 is still pretty young. Unless she's huge, she probably can ride this pony for some time. Of course, if she's outgrowing it skillwise too, that's also something to consider. I think in America, though, we get freakishly overconcerned with getting kids onto bigger animals. (In California, we have practically no pony tradition, with plenty of little kids who started out on 15 handers. I have a picture of Candice Schlom King riding a 16.1 horse - my schoolmaster a few years later - when she was 10, a little peanut jumping around in the USET classes.)

Obviously, you guys know the kid, and you'll come up with a plan that works for her.

Picasso
May. 17, 2007, 06:44 AM
:) I get begged a lot too. That's why we are the parents, we are supposed to be the voice of reason and sanity; we sometimes have to say no when it makes us darn unpopular. As your trainer points out, water under the bridge now, but you are on the verge of another horse purchase, I hope you consider what has been said.

PiedPiper
May. 17, 2007, 07:08 AM
I have had friends grow up in and/or I have worked with Loudoun Hunt, Dominion Valley, Difficult Run, etc and theyare all excellent and well run. The only person I ever heard about being "excused" from certain lessons/meetings was when she showed up with horses that were lame or too disruptive to the rest of the group.

I think Pony Club is hands down the best avenue for any child to grow up learning proper horsemanship. Even with the downside to it, the cost of learning those skills in a different avenue would be unbelievably costly.

eventmom- You asked the questions so stop defending and just listen. Take what you want from it but let go of the ego and the arguments and just hear what is being said. You don't have to follow an iota of it but since you asked for other's responses don't get defensive when it is being offered. Either you take the good with the bad or you keep your questions in the private realm and only run them through personal friends and your trainer(s). Things might not be as bad as being perceived here but we can only comment on what you have written down and how you have narrated your stories. If things are being misunderstood then you only have yourself to blame.

Plus, knowing Dr. D, I would also be cognizant of the ripple effect you might be having on her. She is an amazing trainer and seeing a comment on here from you talking about not trusting trainers doesn't put her in a fair light. I am sure you didn't mean to but the association is there. I know that Dr. D (and she shouldn't have to come on here to defend herself and her teachings) would NEVER push someone to buy anything that wasn't in their best interest and definitely doesn't teach for the money. Shoot there is no way with the free hours of time and advice I know I have rec'd and know that I am not unique in that. :D

It takes alot to have a trainwreck on the eventing board. I can only think of a handful of them in the 5ish years I have been on COTH. You have been involved in two in the recent past. I would really think about that.

I am not trying to insult or attack, and sure from what Dr. D has said you guys are really a great family with amazing kids, but to give you more advice to what has been posted and to try and steer this in a good direction.

The horse world, especially the evening world, is very small and doesn't suffer fools.

magnolia73
May. 17, 2007, 08:39 AM
I had a lesson last night- my trainer has two great school horses. One is a packer over fences, the other is a dressage schoolmaster. These horses allow a rider to feel what it should feel like, and how you should ride a horse correctly. They give you a benchmark. Riding Greta and you feel what it is like to have a horse carry you to a jump with a nice steady pace and jump from a correct, safe distance. On her, you know she does her job, so you can focus on whatever you need to work on- heels down, crest release - so all of your skills with position become automatic so you need not worry when you get on a greenie about where your heels are when they take off running to a jump. If you never experience good, how can you recreate it on a not so good horse? A horse that jumps nicely and safely feels like Greta. Anything else needs work from the rider.

Her other horse Copper is a very correct dressage ride. Ridden correctly- leg to hand, he lightens and carries himself in a proper frame. I remember the first time I asked correctly for extended trot- I got it- and I know now that when I ask Greta to extend that she doesn't feel correct. I know that when she is heavy that she should be light and is not correct- because I felt correct on Copper. So I know she is incorrect and am ready to try to make it correct and I know- my body knows - when it is correct because I know the feel.

Someone learning needs the baseline of correct for both their horses way of going and their position. If you never feel that, how can you create it? Access to a horse like those two is very valuable and not a rich kids cop out. You learn much more from Copper and Greta if you are learning to ride then you will from some horse with issues. Yeah- the issue horse will teach you how to deal with a bad habit- but not how to be correct.

KBG Eventer
May. 17, 2007, 12:40 PM
I had a lesson last night- my trainer has two great school horses. One is a packer over fences, the other is a dressage schoolmaster. These horses allow a rider to feel what it should feel like, and how you should ride a horse correctly. They give you a benchmark. Riding Greta and you feel what it is like to have a horse carry you to a jump with a nice steady pace and jump from a correct, safe distance. On her, you know she does her job, so you can focus on whatever you need to work on- heels down, crest release - so all of your skills with position become automatic so you need not worry when you get on a greenie about where your heels are when they take off running to a jump. If you never experience good, how can you recreate it on a not so good horse? A horse that jumps nicely and safely feels like Greta. Anything else needs work from the rider.

Her other horse Copper is a very correct dressage ride. Ridden correctly- leg to hand, he lightens and carries himself in a proper frame. I remember the first time I asked correctly for extended trot- I got it- and I know now that when I ask Greta to extend that she doesn't feel correct. I know that when she is heavy that she should be light and is not correct- because I felt correct on Copper. So I know she is incorrect and am ready to try to make it correct and I know- my body knows - when it is correct because I know the feel.

Someone learning needs the baseline of correct for both their horses way of going and their position. If you never feel that, how can you create it? Access to a horse like those two is very valuable and not a rich kids cop out. You learn much more from Copper and Greta if you are learning to ride then you will from some horse with issues. Yeah- the issue horse will teach you how to deal with a bad habit- but not how to be correct.

This is very true. However, if you do end up with a green pony like I did, you can at least make sure you fairly consistently ride someone's experienced horse so you can get that feel. My trainer had/has me hop on a bunch of different horses including her old Grand Prix horse to get the "feel."

This isn't an option for a lot of people, but we also put him in training for awhile. She would ride him so I could really watch she was doing, and then I would get on.

gr8fulrider
May. 17, 2007, 12:55 PM
1) If the child does not have an independent seat: you need a generous horse who knows his job. You know-- the ones who basically scoot to get back under the kid when she gets popped out of the tack. Ones that need more encouraging forward than half-halting. Bombproof. Then the child works to get an independent seat and learns to jump around a course of fences and get through a small competition confidently. A horse that has gone novice or even BN or hunter shows is fine for this. A child without an independent seat will not learn more on a green horse. They will just mess up/confuse/sour all but the saintliest green horses, and possibly hurt themselves. You can't control a horse's body if you can't control your own.

This kind of horse can often be leased or 1/2 leased-- which is nice because a talented kid could outgrow it. If you buy one: a novice packer who is pretty, youngish and scopy and could go training/do hunters could go up to around $10k or more. A nice scruffy well-meaning grade horse more suited to beginner novice but sound with plenty of miles left could be $3k-$7k. An older horse of modest looks/breeding but who is appropriately saintly but toward the end of its career would cost less. I find that the Pony Club newsletters are full of ads for these kinds of horses. Took a friend to see one like that and he was perfect. We considered him and he sold the next week while we tried to make up our minds. :(

2) If the child has an independent seat but no competition experience and moderately confident: A horse well-started on the flat and who has cantered around stadium and x-c courses is a good idea. This horse can be and maybe should be a little scopier in case said child wants to move up the levels. There is such a huge price range depending upon the breeding, whether the seller is a BNT or an average person, whether the horse has competed at all, etc.

3) If the child is talented and has a competition record on school horses or leased horses: A very promising greenie can be a good idea if the child understands that this means going back to square one and involves a lot of responsibilty, gets regular instruction, and the child/parents don't aspire to making the Young Riders team in the near future. The child also needs to understand that nicely-started horses can get more difficult to ride after a honeymoon period, and that sweet three-year-olds can be obnoxious at 4 and 5 before settling back down. A nice greenie varies in price based on the factors listed above, but is most likely cheaper, all other things being equal, than one with a proven competition record.

blackwly
May. 18, 2007, 11:37 AM
to hear about all the different ways you can ride growing up, and the impact that has on you. I grew up in a horsey family, with a mom who was dead-set against "packers." She, herself, grew up riding her grandfather's steeplechasers. So, while we could have afforded more, I spent most of my childhood riding super-greenies...with mixed results. By the time I was 13, I had developed a degree of "stickability" that was pretty impressive, after years of bolters, buckers, rearers, etc. That year, at pony club rally, my mom was watching x-country when my greenie started bucking and spinning in circles before each jump until I could point her in the right direction and leap over it kicking and screaming, when 2 mothers sitting next to her said, "Oh my God, that poor child, who would put her on a horse like that?" That was the final straw, I think.

The greenie went lame, and we went looking for something with a little mileage. We ended up buying a 8 yo TB for $10K- the most I have ever spent on a horse before or since. He was a hybrid- very comfortable and rideable at novice (which was where I was at the time) but also fairly young and athletic. I was brave and willing to ride anything, and he was game and knew his job- the perfect combination. We were going prelim in a year, and wound up doing 5 3-days, the NAYRC, and advanced by the time I was 18. He wasn't quite talented enough to win against the BNR at intermediate/advanced, but we could always jump clean and end up in the top 5, which was pretty good for a 15'3 hand novice kid's horse.

The thing is, the right horse has to come along at the right time. So much of my foundation came from riding the nutcases...I know I would not be the rider I am without that experience (and in fact, I always choose to start with greenies and bring them along myself now, even though I could afford not to.) That being said, when I have kids eventually I can't see putting them in some of those situations, from a safety and confidence perspective. I think the most important thing for young kids to learn is horsemanship, and that they need to develop skills for riding different types of horses, either in lessons, leases, or in casual swaps with friends. If they're up for it as teenagers, I think the challenge of a green horse can be a great learning experience- as long as it is a horse that picks up it's knees and has some decent education on the flat so it is reasonably ridable. And my final point is: those hybrid horses are out there- you don't have to choose between a 17 yo semi-sound packer and a 4 yo OTTB. The perfect kid's event horse, in my eyes, is something that is in the prime of life, has a brain, but has the jump to move up the levels with correct training.

NRB
May. 18, 2007, 08:21 PM
To answer the orginal question; you pay what you can afford and what is appropriate. I grew up in a family of riders, my mother, father, both grandmothers, aunts and cousins and one of my brothers all rode. As a small child I rode a handfull safe but mischevious ponies, one of which came from the local pawn shop. I expect they all cost under 200 each and none came to us with any sort of training. I even have a photo of me bareback, bareheaded, barefooted, jumping said pawn shop pony (actually 14.3hh) and the photo was taken by my mother. I grew up catching those ponies in my grandmothers field and rideing around bareback. Fell numerous times, never got hurt.

ANYWAYS...when I was 13yo I got a packer, ie a $500 dollar appy who vetted with ringbone and navicular but who'd been compeating sound at training level. My mother said that she bought him b/c she knew that he'd take care of me. New he did grab the bit and take off everytime on XC but all I had to do was point him at a fence and he'd jump it. He was a packer in that he'd been around training level courses and had no problems, would come onto the bit easily, and would change his leads when and where ever you asked him, he was not push button and had one a hell of a sense of humour. And he'd jump 4 feet no problem.

Now I'm 38 and been through a few horses by now. recently I had a chance to ride my mothers new horse, an FEI level dressage schoolmaster. What a hoot!!! I couldn't get that horse to CANTER! let alone do a half decent 20 meter circle at the trot! And here I was doing half pass on my own beastie! But the Schoolmaster had too many buttons to push. I had the Schoolie for 2 months and BOY did I learn a ton from him! So now I know what people mean by buy the schoolmaster, learn from him, then move onto the greener horse.

The 2 schoolmasters mentioned above were perfect b/c they are educated, safe and sane. But required the correct ride. And Cheap(er) b/c they were off color breeds. Not big fancy Wb's.

There is nothing wrong with learning to ride on a horse that knows its job but still requires you to ask correctly. But starting out on those mischevious half broke ponies was fun also! I think there is a time and a place for everything.

So EM I grew up like your older daughter and I came from a horsey family.

Dr. Doolittle
May. 18, 2007, 11:43 PM
Great post, NRB! :)

rainechyldes
May. 19, 2007, 01:05 PM
Personally I dont really care who spends what on a horse for their kids.
I consider safety for young riders well over ribbons.


My youngest son is 7, this is his first year riding in pony club, and I put him on my geriartic been there done there schoolmaster that I rode as a teen. Do I care that the horse is a packer? At this stage of the game, I'm happy he is. My son is small for his age, the horse is 16,2 and they do well together.
In a year or two, sure, I'll consider(maybe) moving him to a horse with a bit more pizazz, for now, I prefer the safe, sane and boring, with the beaming happy kid scene.

I think putting children on green horses to prove an economic point its one of the stupider things I see. DO I think it makes you a bad parent , no, but I think it makes you a careless one. If that sounds harsh, so be it. I do not pay huge coin for my horses at all. However I also never put my kids no matter how experienced they are on young difficult horses just so I can brag. I have never believed that green horses make learning to ride easier. That is ridiculous. JMO of course, what would I know, I have only been riding for 30 some years of course.

And as for cost -- cost of horse=safety of my child=priceless.

Since we all know even the most sensible of horses can have a silly day, I'd prefer to lessen any chance of incidents, my kids don't ride the greenies- I do that.

Jazzy Lady
May. 19, 2007, 02:18 PM
my first horse was bought as a pleasure horse when I was 14. He was 4. I wanted to play and maybe do a schooling show every once in a while. Circumstances happened that moved my horse and I to an event barn and I was HOOKED! My horse was not. He was terrific in dressage and taught me lots. He jumped beautifully at home but was spooky and he tossed me at shows more often than not. I spent at LEAST 4 years getting eliminated at entry and pre-training (bn and n). We finished maybe 4 times. We won once because the stadium at entry was TINY and only rails. I learned a lot, but I tumbled a lot and had NO confidence. This horse was WAY too fast for me and would spin and be out from under me in a blink of an eye. Would I ever buy a horse like this again? NO! Did I learn from him? To a point yes, but not as much as horse #2.

Horse #2 was a pre-training packer with prelim ability. Great dressage, totally quiet. VERY safe and athletic to boot. I fell off of her maybe a handful of times but she was the perfect pre-training horse. She was very ditchy unfortunately and that prevented us from doing well at training level. She taught me a ton. I could work on me and work on her aswell. She didn't have a tonne of buttons, but she had the essential ones to give me confidence. She is the type of horse I would buy for a kid.

My next horse is THE horse. He had done a few prelims when I bought him, he was a pro's horse but a good ammy ride. He's so talented and has taught me SOOOO much. He saves my butt, but makes me ride right at the same time. If I don't ride something he's a bit backed off of, you betcha he'll stop, but if the ride is there he'll go. He has attitude, one hell of a buck, oozes talent and ability and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. He's a "made" horse that is NOT an easy ride. :)

Point of this long winded story. I wish horse #2 was my first horse. I've done the greenie thing and I think I would have had more success with the greenie after having #2 to learn from and work on ME without having to worry about what the horse was doing as much. I learned so much with #2 that made me go "DUH" when thinking about what I could have done differently with #1 that probably would have left me in the tack a bit more ;)

exvet
May. 19, 2007, 02:39 PM
Since we all know even the most sensible of horses can have a silly day, I'd prefer to lessen any chance of incidents, my kids don't ride the greenies- I do that.

In essence I agree completely with your post. I am not an event rider but a mother who rides (all dressage now). Much to my chagrin my daughter isn't interested in eventing either but my son, however, looks to be taking a real interest in it all of a sudden. I am fortunate enough that our steady eddies were dirt cheap (older packers of mine that I had competed) & still competitive enough & fancy enough for my children to break into the recognized show scene, yet as safe as one can reasonably expect - one was free (warmblood), one was less than $1000 (off breed) and the other I paid a bit more for (off breed) but still relatively cheap as most standards go. I can't afford a made horse unless I make it; but there are only so many hours in a day especially since I have a full-time job and others to ride as well. We're a few years and miles down the road and my oldest I think is ready for one that is not a "made" horse. However, I think "green" is a very broad term. The greenie meanie she now has was broke to drive and driven in competition but driving wasn't the critter's forte. She's been under saddle a couple of months now and though bending is still a concept we're striving for she's sane, sensible and unflappable - dozed between her classes at the last schooling show. It took me months of searching, trying and rejecting several, and resisting the urge to get something real fancy that I knew I could ride; yet, I still ended up with green and something within my price range. In this situation, green does not equate to any more dangerous than our retired 22 year old who has shown all over the world. I do think my daughter will become an even better rider once her "greenie" is a little further along; of course, I am riding the mare as well. I see it as no different than buying a quiet, sane animal and putting it with a "pro" to ready for the shows and giving lessons on while it's in training. I too wouldn't put my kid on anything she/he couldn't handle. I know my kids & their abilities and have been training horses for a long time. I certainly don't/haven't put my kids on a green horse to prove an economic point; but, I do have budget constraints and kids who want to compete so there is a bit more compromising than one would ideally strive for if the pockets were bottomless. My kids did gain their confidence on packers and every once in a while I see them get challenged but not in an unsafe way. I don't consider myself foolish, throwing caution to the wind, or taking my kids' safety for granted - just realistic, experienced with riding and training, and gradually letting my kids grow their own skill sets - but always under my supervision - that too imo is priceless.

Atigirl
May. 20, 2007, 09:43 AM
My first horse in 1983 cost $750.00 and I actually paid for him myself. He might not have been super-trained, but he was safe! When I was learning to jump and go cross country he was always in control of himself no matter how or what I was doing. I think that safety is more important then talent and the ability to win at competitions. If a safe horse for a child cost thousands, then I would buy it. But I wouldn't buy a highly trained horse if it was going to be too much for my child to handle. I also wouldn't buy a cheap, naughty pony either. I think that when parents buy horses for their children they have to think of the reason why. Are they looking for their kid to win and clean up at events or are they looking for a horse the the child can learn and become a better rider on?

chism
May. 20, 2007, 05:44 PM
To me...the non negotiable criteria are safe, sane & forgiving, never more horse than the rider/horse combination can handle, a little green is ok if the horse has a good mind, but no complete greenies for a youngster. Green over fences is ok if they're willing, and solid on the flat. You CAN spend a lot, or not, but you can't compromise on those things. What you spend depends on your financial picture, goals, and personal notions of what constitutes "the right horse" and right level of experience.
I have three daughters that ride, 11, 12 & 17. I've never bought the younger two anything green, though I have bought them relatively inexpensive. previously western broke, teenage ponies that had potential to do more. They are both on their second ponies, having outgrown their original w/t ponies. They go out on the trails with their ponies, compete with them in shows, they're not fancy or expensive, but completely sensible & trustworthy.
I bought my oldest her first horse when she was 13, a rescue OTTB, and she'll be competing novice this year on her second right off the track OTTB. She is experienced and capable enough to ride him well, has quality instruction to help her along and accepts the slower curve that it requires to bring a greenie along. Of course I would have loved to buy her a made horse, but it was not in the financial picture. At no time has she ever been over mounted but at times it has been frustrating for them both. I'm sure that had I bought a made horse she would be competing at a higher level, but she'll tell you that she wouldn't have it any other way, she loves her horse and they've forged quite a partnership.
Another thing to consider is the child's temperament and riding skills. There's no way my 12 yr old daughter will ever have a green horse, she's a much more conservative rider and needs the security of a horse that knows his job and will just get out there and do it. Her pony can be bratty some times, bucks on occasion but is slow and steady 99% of the time which is exactly what she needs. His cost....0...(free lease). The 11 yr old has a speedy little POA that would terrify her older sister but suits her to a "tee", he flunked out of being a WP horse, his cost $1800. Good ponies are out there for little $$, you just have to look (A LOT!). They just moved up to Elementary, had their first Elem event today. Decent dressage, double clear, no drama. Life is good. ;)

ps. We're PC'ers. I can't say enough about the organization! It turns out quality horsepeople. I highly recommend it.

horseguy
May. 21, 2007, 09:05 AM
Yes, but isn't there something to be said for riding something with a little bit of a kick while your still young and still bounce. Otherwise, how would you be able to handle anything when your older? Seems to me, you gotta be balanced. And I get that by listening to my kid, and not blowing her head up so big that she thinks she can handle more than she can. On the other hand, her pony is no easy ride. Certainly has his moments. But she is totally confident in her ride on him, and that translates to him and he knows who is in charge. She would be board to death by a horse with no spunk.
This raises what I think is the greater issue, that of what is a meaningful productive childhood?

There are a few kids that really know that they want to be a rider when they are young. These may reach great heights, and perhaps these kids might benefit from a little better horse, and then a better one, and so on. But honestly, the vast majority of kid riders are living out a fantasy. In ten years they are just as likely to be trying out for the college golf team as the equestrian team. Spending large amounts of money for these kid’s horses usually teaches them only that they are overly entitled.

So, if a kid is not really (and I mean really) an Olympic hopeful, the question is what can a parent provide in the way of a horse that will serve the child in the long run? The best horse for this vast majority of kids is one that teaches them life lessons. Everyone has their own ideas of what is a good life lesson, so I will list a few that have been good for my kids and students.

(1) Overcoming Adversity – a horse that is imperfect teaches a child to cope with shortcomings in themselves and others. If a horse can do well from time to time with some shortcomings, all the better. This can teach that ingenuity and persistence can overcome greater financial resources, not a bad thing to know in this world.

(2) Compromise – If a child has a push button horse they tend to become passengers and never learn to compromise with their horse. The horse “with a little bit of a kick” teaches a kid to pay attention and respect the horse’s power. With that they must focus and be aware of the trade offs. However, if a child is truly over horsed, they can learn that they always fail which is, of course, not good.

(3) Refinement and Precision - A less finished horse teaches a kid that they can refine their horse and make it more precise. They become trainers and when they get even a modest success they know that they earned it themselves. The long hours of persistence and learning for both horse and rider provides them with the powerful life lessons about teaching and learning.

(4) Handsome Is As Handsome Does – Expensive flashy horses are nice, but there is something about doing well on a plain horse that places the focus on effectiveness over superficial attention, not a bad lesson for a kid in today’s world.

(5) You Can’t Buy Character – Essentially purchasing ribbons with an expensive horse may make a kid feel good on a given day, but they tend to want that same feeling the next day, and every day there after, and they expect someone to buy it for them. The plain, unfinished horse with a flaw or two creates an expectation in the child to work with the horse and improve it instead of an expectation that someone else will hand them the means to achieve success.

eventmom
May. 21, 2007, 09:34 AM
Wow horseguy, once again you nailed it! I actually kinda worked through it in my head this weekend. We had a big one, horse trails, judged trail ride. My kid did great on her not so easy pony. He was having a bad day and she excelled.
I realized there are two ways to look at this sport. We could buy a fancy horse and chase ribbons and do the whole expensive route. Something I am not interested in just because of who we are as a family. For whatever reason, I was mixing this with the sport we love. I knew this existed but didn't recognize or see it coming when it hit me in the head so early in her riding career.
Or there is the make the best of your backyard pet route. This is something we, as a family have enjoyed and this is the sport we want to participate in. In my view, this is the route that builds charactor and all the things you said. This is the route that teaches a ten year old life lessons.
The pony she rode this weekend is the pony she made. She knows him. She loves him. And because of this she is as safe as could be hoped for when a small child is on a big beast!
She may not win a ton of ribbons, but she gets to compete against herself. Something I as her mom find very appealing.
If some day she decides to participate in that other sport, she will have to earn it herself because I am not paying for it!
Does this make me a bad, unsupportive, careless mother? I don't think so.
Sorry guys if I mislead you with my original question. Truth is, I was in the process and things can be messy. Sometimes even the question can be wrong. I now realize I was trying to work through the two paths. I did however learn a lot about what to look for.
When we buy, we will buy temperment first, athletic ability next, and I'm sorry, but skills simply must be down there on the list. And, for whatever reason, this does not seem to be a problem for my kid. She loves it that she is making her pony!

Lisa Cook
May. 21, 2007, 09:47 AM
She knows him. She loves him. And because of this she is as safe as could be hoped for when a small child is on a big beast!

Knowing and loving a pony does NOT = safe on a pony.

horseguy
May. 21, 2007, 10:12 AM
Knowing and loving a pony does NOT = safe on a pony.

Based on the very old and very true adage...

"Knowlege is power."

I think that knowing a horse or pony well is a very large part of safety.

What is the underlying purpose of eventing or any sport for that matter? And what is a proper mount? In a dynamic world view, safe has a subjective component that includes a determination of the relationship. On this level, empowering a child with knowledge of a flawed or unfinished pony creates a kind of safety that addresses why we teach children to ride in the first place, so they can grow (as opposed to the ever popular fill them with a glut of self esteem approach).

A child’s first mount ought to be objectively safe, but as they grow as riders and as little people, they do better with some imperfections and yes, some manageable risk in a mount. eventermom pointed out the two paths, the ribbon quest path, and the character development path. The former requires deep pockets and the latter, I believe, requires deep understanding of what really empowers a growing child, including managing risk.

eventmom
May. 21, 2007, 10:35 AM
horseguy, once again, your it! I wasn't going to even bother to respond to Lisa cook. She seems to think that I am dangerous. But giving a kid a false sense of security by putting them on a horse that "knows it's job" when they don't even have an independant seat, is not!

Lisa Cook
May. 21, 2007, 10:40 AM
horseguy, once again, your it! I wasn't going to even bother to respond to Lisa cook. She seems to think that I am dangerous. But giving a kid a false sense of security by putting them on a horse that "knows it's job" when they don't even have an independant seat, is not!

I do think that when you state that your daughter is as safe as possible because she knows and loves her pony, it indicates a very naive and Disney approach to animals on your part.

And there are others on this board whose opinion I value and trust more than Horseguys. But the 2 of you were in sync when it came to bashing hunter riders in an earlier trainwreck, so it is not surprising to me that you think he's all that and a bag of chips.

horseguy
May. 21, 2007, 11:11 AM
I do think that when you state that your daughter is as safe as possible because she knows and loves her pony, it indicates a very naive and Disney approach to animals on your part.

And there are others on this board whose opinion I value and trust more than Horseguys. But the 2 of you were in sync when it came to bashing hunter riders in an earlier trainwreck, so it is not surprising to me that you think he's all that and a bag of chips.

"Disney approach" is exactly the kind of insulting phraseology that makes this board so distastefully childish at times. The author is insulting a mother’s parenting ability and judgment knowing little or nothing of the person or family. "whose opinion I value and trust more than Horseguys" is the kind of general personal attack that is so common here when someone posts something in opposition to the very entitled norm.

Responsible adults and mature children discuss points and evaluate, rather than condemn and attack with disparaging remarks, innuendo and character assignation.

As always, I post in the hope that some here will “get it”, and the more traditional values of horsemanship will continue. :)

Trixie
May. 21, 2007, 12:07 PM
Here we go again.

I think Pied Piper had it right on. The horse world is very small and one does need to be cognizant of that when they’re speaking in public forum.

Secondly, as you stated before, you were ignorant. And that you had no idea that “made” doesn’t mean “dead” or “easy.” And it seemed like in one of your recent posts that you were starting to figure out what everyone keeps saying. There is a REASON for the “norm.” The reason is that it’s worked for most folks for a long, long time.
And temperament first. I was going to write something about how your new approach was making much more sense…


She seems to think that I am dangerous. But giving a kid a false sense of security by putting them on a horse that "knows it's job" when they don't even have an independant seat, is not!

And then, there’s THIS. And the constant implications that it's all political.

As it’s been stated MULTIPLE times, the idea behind giving them a horse that knows its job is to give them a chance to develop their skills (including a good seat) BEFORE they get on the greenies, so that they don’t get hurt, or learn bad habits, or teach the horse bad habits. You don’t put a green rider on a green horse with the intention of building their confidence together – as Lisa said, that is a Disney approach to horses, and she’s absolutely right. It’s more likely to wind up green + green = black and blue, hurt child, confused horse, bad for everyone. It’s important to have those basics FIRST. Then you can move onto something more complicated. It’s not a “false sense of security” – it’s about gaining security at your level before you move on.

As you’re figuring out, it’s got little to do with money unless you’re looking to actively campaign to win. However, I WOULD be consulting your professional trainer in regards to matching your children with their next horse – they’ll be able to give you an accurate assessment of what your child needs, within your budget.


On this level, empowering a child with knowledge of a flawed or unfinished pony creates a kind of safety that addresses why we teach children to ride in the first place,

Ummm, no. You are not “empowering” a child with the knowledge of a flawed pony. While it DOES depend on the child and horse in question, that could just as easily make things WORSE by SCARING the child.

I think horseguy pretty much got what was coming to him on the other thread. I’m trying to figure out if the two of you are actively TRYING to make things more contentious, and why. This thread just boggles my mind.

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 21, 2007, 12:07 PM
I don't think a SINGLE poster on this thread said buy a made or packer horse so you kid can chase ribbons. Most of us did not have the childhood experience of horses handed too us. Since I can not speak for others...and I don't think I can say it any more clear....the experience I had as a child was not what I would do to my children. I was LUCKY and my parents were lucky. You can still teach horsemanship....true and great horsemanship...without buying fancy horses/ponies....BUT safety is most important for a child. ESPECIALLY one under the age of 16. Teaching life lessons is great...I learned some hard ones at that age...including that if I wanted to ride, I had to work for it. But you do not want to teach your child about life lessons in a wheel chair or worse. You do what you can to avoid this things by mitigating the risk.

I dissagree some of what Horseguys post was about. Yes you can learn on horses with imperfections....but you also learn on horse that inspire confidence. The BEST riders are riders who can ride them all. Also, there are inperfections I will live with...but dangerous for my child ones that I would not. I don't ride the dangerous ones any more myself because through years of riding with TOP horsemen....they have taught me that the MOST important trait of any horse (competition or backyard) is a good mind...the rest is icing on the cake.

You asked the opinion of and got the opinion of many people who are good HORSE people who have been riding and training for over 30 years and all have said the same things.....and no where did anyone say you need to spend a ton of money to have your child chase ribbons....but all of have said you do what it takes to put your child on safe and sane and preferably with some education.....especially for a child who is only 10....and has a parent who can not help them (I don't count buying a greener (but safe/sane) horse when the parent is a good rider who can help train the green horse).


Edited to add: It is almost easier for families with a horsey background....they know what is safe/sane and what isn't and can usually find the safe cheap ponies for their kids. Kids are going to do crazy and stupid things on their ponies...and their ponies are likely going to take advantage of them....safe and sane is NOT the same thing as perfect, made or boring. I rode many unsafe horses as a child and grew up fine....I also played in traffic...doesn't mean I would want my kid to do the same thing with the knowledge I now have. Learn how to fall off and get back on and tough it out...yes that is an important lesson...but one that can still be learned on a safe/sane horse.

magnolia73
May. 21, 2007, 12:32 PM
So....all people who ride well trained and well behaved horses do not have independent seats? The only way you can get an independent seat, good hands and effective aids is by riding a challenging horse.

When you are LEARNING the basics, learning how you should sit and how to ask the horse to perform..... it is very helpful to have a horse that actually responds. How can you POSSIBLY learn to be quiet and relaxed in front of a fence on a horse that rounds the corner and bolts to the jump only to stop at the last minute? Yes, you can indeed learn to stick on and develop some coping skills to take the bolt down to a tense hand gallop. And then you transfer your tension when faced with a jump to the next horse.

A good instructor can teach a person to be a good rider on a nice horse. I ride a VERY nice horse and could care less about ribbons. And I learn plenty in my lessons that goes beyond "posing" and that is very applicable to other horses. Growing up I rode with kids who had very nice horses- and they frequently "graduated" to a greenie and were able to apply all their skills - learned from riding the packer- to their green horse. And some of those fancy rides were tough rides.

Eventmom- I have no idea what kind of ponies you buy your kids. I don't know if they are just typical horses or horses with a screw loose. NO horse is perfect. That's a myth. All horses present some form of challenge for a rider. Greta- featured above- will get strong to a jump if you hang in her face and will stop if you lean....plus....flatting her is challenging. But its a really stupid idea to buy kids or adult ammies horses that are nuts or wholly untrained with the thought that they will "learn more".

PiedPiper
May. 21, 2007, 01:28 PM
Here we go again.

I think Pied Piper had it right on. The horse world is very small and one does need to be cognizant of that when they’re speaking in public forum.

Secondly, as you stated before, you were ignorant. And that you had no idea that “made” doesn’t mean “dead” or “easy.” And it seemed like in one of your recent posts that you were starting to figure out what everyone keeps saying. There is a REASON for the “norm.” The reason is that it’s worked for most folks for a long, long time.
And temperament first. I was going to write something about how your new approach was making much more sense…



And then, there’s THIS. And the constant implications that it's all political.

As it’s been stated MULTIPLE times, the idea behind giving them a horse that knows its job is to give them a chance to develop their skills (including a good seat) BEFORE they get on the greenies, so that they don’t get hurt, or learn bad habits, or teach the horse bad habits. You don’t put a green rider on a green horse with the intention of building their confidence together – as Lisa said, that is a Disney approach to horses, and she’s absolutely right. It’s more likely to wind up green + green = black and blue, hurt child, confused horse, bad for everyone. It’s important to have those basics FIRST. Then you can move onto something more complicated. It’s not a “false sense of security” – it’s about gaining security at your level before you move on.

As you’re figuring out, it’s got little to do with money unless you’re looking to actively campaign to win. However, I WOULD be consulting your professional trainer in regards to matching your children with their next horse – they’ll be able to give you an accurate assessment of what your child needs, within your budget.



Ummm, no. You are not “empowering” a child with the knowledge of a flawed pony. While it DOES depend on the child and horse in question, that could just as easily make things WORSE by SCARING the child.

I think horseguy pretty much got what was coming to him on the other thread. I’m trying to figure out if the two of you are actively TRYING to make things more contentious, and why. This thread just boggles my mind.

Can't argue a bit with Trixie. I can tell you having a hard flawed horse as an ADULT is daunting and demoralizing enough. I couldn't imagine having him when I was even 10 years younger let alone a kid.

My next question, why even post on here when you know your 100% right and you know the best? Did you want everyone to give you guys kudos for a job "well done"?

And I have to say God love Dr. D. :lol:

PiedPiper
May. 21, 2007, 01:29 PM
"Disney approach" is exactly the kind of insulting phraseology that makes this board so distastefully childish at times. The author is insulting a mother’s parenting ability and judgment knowing little or nothing of the person or family. "whose opinion I value and trust more than Horseguys" is the kind of general personal attack that is so common here when someone posts something in opposition to the very entitled norm.

Responsible adults and mature children discuss points and evaluate, rather than condemn and attack with disparaging remarks, innuendo and character assignation.

As always, I post in the hope that some here will “get it”, and the more traditional values of horsemanship will continue. :)


Um, then why come back? Seriously, it is that awful then why waste another minute of your day here?

Ghazzu
May. 21, 2007, 02:19 PM
Knowing and loving a pony does NOT = safe on a pony.

As I recall my first 4H project a loaned to me large pony mare, whom I adored, and who had the habit of rearing and going over when asked to leave the barn without another horse, I have to agree with this.

LisaB
May. 21, 2007, 02:50 PM
This is what horseguy is talking about
http://www.stampexstampex.com/funny/funny-animals/horse/funny-horse06.htm

And it's not even a hunter princess!

LisaB
May. 21, 2007, 02:52 PM
And this is us lately
http://www.stampexstampex.com/funny/funny-animals/horse/funny-horse21.htm

eventmom
May. 21, 2007, 02:57 PM
LisaB. I shared that picture of my daughter with you privately, you were not supposed to show it to the world! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Picasso
May. 21, 2007, 08:02 PM
I know I am not the only one with a talented kid, but I feel like Eventmom and I are in a similar situation, taking 2 opposite approaches. My 15 year old (almost 16 and don't you dare forget it!) has to really try and work in her riding. She is good, but its because of her effort. She is on a very nice TB we bought to help show her the ropes. He recently proved the point made earlier that even the most sane have a silly day now and again, but that was a different thread. She is ready to move up, and we will buy her a nice training level packer once we find him. This means she will move up through the levels safely (as is possible) and appropriately. Just as she has to ride her current horse correctly, I have no doubt the next one will be the same. That is the point, right? To ride correctly? Though we have won our fair share of ribbons, that is not the focus on our shows. We keep all the dressage tests and compare to see what we have improved on from the last show and what we need to continue to work on. Where eventmom's 10 year old is a natural, so is my 8 year old.

My 8 year old sticks out because of her special talent. We are doing every thing we can to foster this because its what she wants to do and so long as it is something she wants, we will make it happen. Because she is talented, she needed a talented pony. The first one was pokey and allowed her to get the basics without fear. The second was more zippy, but still very honest to the jump and a cute little girl on the flat. Her now pony is made, but not an easy ride. This doesn't equal rodeos at the OK corral, though. It means if you don't ask right, she's not doing it right, so there! Especially on the flat. If my daughter isn't mindful of her position, the pony is charging around the ring like a freight train. The minute my daughters asks correctly, the movement comes from behind, the pony gets light and its just gorgeous. Over fences, the pony will jump her little heart out and doesn't know what "no" means, so my daughter has to be cognizant of that. If my daughters approach isn't so hot, the pony is taking her anyway, it just won't be as pretty. The pony saves her, but also rewards for a job well done. I love this pony. If I could clone her and make her bigger I'd be rich!

I take issue with the "overly entitled" comment made by horseguy. I don't know what you mean by "fancy" or expensive, but if my horses fall into that category, I sort of want to say "don't hate me because I am beautiful" here. I've worked hard to be able to buy these types of horses for my girls and the paraphernalia that goes with this sport! There are plenty out there with bigger budgets than mine, and I raise my glass to them (in the hopes maybe I can ride one of THEIR horses :lol:)!

horseguy
May. 22, 2007, 07:43 AM
I take issue with the "overly entitled" comment made by horseguy. I don't know what you mean by "fancy" or expensive, but if my horses fall into that category, I sort of want to say "don't hate me because I am beautiful" here. I've worked hard to be able to buy these types of horses for my girls and the paraphernalia that goes with this sport! There are plenty out there with bigger budgets than mine, and I raise my glass to them (in the hopes maybe I can ride one of THEIR horses :lol:)!

I am always fascinated by who specifically is offended by something I might post. Since I do not single out individuals, but rather general “types” and the broader degradation of equestrian sport, it strikes me that any feelings of offense must be self determined. Therefore, Picasso, I am left wondering why you did not pick up on this,


This (meaning less expensive horses) can teach that ingenuity and persistence can overcome greater financial resources, not a bad thing to know in this world.

It would seem that this quote of mine would better describe the lessons that you are offering your children.