I am in the long yet fun process of horse shopping, and am wondering for your guy's opinions on whether or not this horse seems right for me. I haven't asked my trainer about it yet, I just found this horse this morning. Heres a little about about my riding background:
This past season I have been showing in Short Stirrup on the NIHJA circuit. (northern illinois hunter jumper association, "c" show). Next year I will be showing in the Beginner Children's. I was share-boarding a horse at the beginning of the season, but then the owner decided to change stables and take the horse with her. My trainer wants us to buy a horse names JR. I love riding him, but he can only jump up to 2"6" due to a past injury. So I would only be able to ride him for at the most 2 years.
I haven't tried this horse yet, we were just wondering if she was even worth going to try out and if you think she would do well in the hunter ring. Here she is;
First I think your trainer should have a long discussion with your parents regarding a suitable mount. Rarely will a horse have the capability to take a young rider from SHort Stirrup on up to 3'+. Yes, there ARE some out there, but what I look for, when I ahve a student such as yourself, is a NICE 2'6" horse that can get you mileage for a couple years. At that point a horse like that is ALWAYS an easy sell and you can move up if your capabilities and interest continue to progress.
In terms of the horse in the ad, it is a very cute mare to look at, pretty gorgeous in her conformation photos. From the riding standpoint, she seems a bit fussy with her tail, pulls down a good bit throughout the ride and is rather quick to the fences and needs a rider able to rate her. Most SS riders are not at the level to ride a horse such as this one, at least not my SS riders. I personally look for a horse that needs a bit of leg rather than one like this mare that is fairly forward. Don't get me wrong, she is a decent sort of horse, not the fanciest jumper or mover, but nothing terrible or dangerous. I just suspect she will be a bit much for you at this time. Of course, Icould be wrong and that is where your trainer comes into the picture. She knows your capabilities and the type of hrose you have been used to riding and can better direct you to the right kind of horses to be looking at.
We would need to know more about you and your abilities before I could say anything about wether this horse is suitable or not for you. But here are my observations.
I don't think she has automatic lead changes, she appears to need support to get them and she missed one in one of the videos.
Mare is small and gray (risk of melanoma)
Tight martingale (does she throw her head?)
Can she make it down the lines at 15.2h
Can she get herself around a course of jumps or are you going to have to find 8 spots?
This rider is pretty quiet, are you this quiet? If you are not can this mare handle that?
I don't like the swishy tail......maybe she is in pain, too sensitive to the aids etc etc.
How much scope does this mare have? Will she max out at 2'6" as well? Many horses do.
You need to set your priorities first and your goals for you and a horse. Realize that the horse you need today to jump around a course on, is not going to be the same horse that you ride in the childrens hunters or junior hunters on, you just are not at that stage in your riding yet.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." Mark Twain
Honestly, the mare looks like should be quite a handful. Im not going to rewrite everything everyone else has said, but everyone sums it up.
Being small you could easily fit a large pony. They are a great size and most can take you through at least 3'. My large pony has taken me from short stirrup up to the 3'6". And since there still a pony they teach you all those little pony tricks that make riding horses so much easier.
Finding a good large pony could take you all the way to your adult years dependent on how much showing you do. Im going to be doing my first year of adults next year on my large pony if he doesnt sell by then.
Can she get herself around a course of jumps or are you going to have to find 8 spots?
Looks like you might need to find 8 spots with that one. And I'd be afraid she could not get down the lines easily.
The large pony suggestion is a good one and I personally think ponies are the way to go with a new young rider. If you get a large you can ride it until you are 18 if you so desire. You can do SS, Childrens Pony Hunters, and then Pony Hunters - which will move you from 2 feet to 3 feet over the course of doing those divisions - heck you can even throw in some jumper classes on a large pony. Ponies teach you things no horse could ever teach you and they are a lot of fun as well. You don't need a lifetime horse - you need a horse/pony that will teach you how to ride before you move to a more advanced horse.
I third the pony idea. I'm 5'6 and I still show a large(my legs are a tiny bit too long but I only show her in baby greens and in B rated and below so I can get away with it). As someone else said, that mare is very pretty but it looks like she needs a quiet rider that can tell her what to do; from the ad, she doesn't look like a packer...If I were you, I'd find a large pony that can show you around some low(3ft and under) hunter courses, maybe with a wider barrel if you know you're going to grow a lot, and by the time you outgrow her, you'll probably be ready to move up anyways. Good luck!
Keep I'm mind, you've been showing ss and schooling 2' at home, and that's a far cry from saying you need a 3' horse. Don't get ahead of yourself, there's a LOT of riding and learning that goes on between where you are and 2'6", much less 3'! You'd be much better off finding a nice horse or pony (great suggestion!) that will keep you safe now, and give you the opportunity to develop the skills you would need to move up.
I personally don't think that it's realistic to want more then 2 years out of any pony. A, you will grow. B, you will get a lot better.
The best way to get better at the level you are is to ride a pony that knows his job well. There's short stirrup ponys, pre-childrens ponys and Childrens ponys they all require a different ride and are all mostly comfortable doing their job at their height.
If you have a chance to get a nice pony for the pres right now you should take it. A good pony in this division will most likely not loose a lot of value over the next 2 years. You will learn a ton and probably get some good ribbons.
The alternative if you want a pony for 3+ years is to perhaps get a pony that is slightly too big for you, who is still a little green and perhaps designed more for the childrens with a bigger stride etc. Or a pony that is already showing well in the childrens but might not have the patience for pre and might be too old to get a good resell out of.
I personally don't think that this is a good idea. You might get winter shoes this year and your mom hopes they will still fit you next year. She is certyainly not looking to get a third winter out of them, perhaps hand them down to younger siblings, but she will get new ones for you.
Ponies is IMO a 2 year cycle.
Buy him in the fall. Learn how to ride him in the winter, learn how to show over your new height the following season. Rock your division the season after, sell him in the fall to some other kid who needs to learn the ropes, get your Childrens pony then, learn how to ride him over the winter, to show over 3' the next season and kill it the year after that.
You could get a young pony that would grow with you but it doesn't always pan out the right way. Ponys are smart and will take advantage of a young rider, they might learn tricks that is very hard to unteach if the get a chance.
My mentor used to say, you always pay one way or another, money or tears and training rides!
My advice is to get a nice pre pro pony. Learn from it and then get your childrens pony. Best scenario would of course to get your childrens pony a year from now and have two for a year. One to win on and one to learn on. Might give your parents a heartattack and get youi gounded though highschool if you suggest it though! LOL!
If I can give you one piece of advice- DON'T under any circumstance shop for a horse without a trainer. Down the road, a few horses and some more experience under your belt, sure- I don't think everyone needs a trainer to supervise- but I absolutely think you do now.
Second, settle on a trainer before you start shopping. Trainers have different things they like and dislike, and it will overall just be easier on you if you choose a trainer and then look for a horse. If your trainer isn't helping you and your parents have talked to her and told her you are serious about buying a horse- then she isn't meeting you needs and you need to move.
No offense, but if your parents haven't talked to her, she may just assume you talk about wanting a horse but your parents aren't on board.
If you decide you need to change trainers, the new one may even have the perfect 2'6" horse sitting in the barn, or available for lease.
The horse in the video isn't ready for a novice ride, and doesn't seem like a natural hunter to me.
12th floor of the Acme building in a city that knows how to keep it's secrets.
While we would all like to buy a horse we can ride forwever, it realistically doesn't happen that way. The horse you need now will not be the same horse you need in two years. I can understand your parents wanting to only go throught eh buying process once, but the reality you most likely won't get a horse that is suitable for your level now and the rider you will be in two years.
If you are considering switching barns, do not buy a horse before you move. Decide on the trainer, then buy the horse.
You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.
Aww. I hope it turned out well for you in the long run though and your tears and training rides also gave you something.
I always think of the old Fame movie and TV series when I think of this. The teacher in the beginning says something along those lines. You will pay in blood sweat and tears! (?)
I sometimes get a little mad around my barn. Parents buys a childrens pony and expect their kids to go out and win right away. It's not how it works!
Back home we do jumpers only. I got a large that was part of our European team the year before. Did a few shows, was great. Started stopping. Once in each class pretty much. I attacked the jumps with no distance and he called me on it plain and simple. He was too good a sport to let me stop out most of the time but he called me out on my faults once in every class I did.
I was 14 and in a huge war with my mother. She sent me to show with my dad and said if she has a refusal in the first class she can't do the second etc. We will sell the pony before she ruins it!
I stopped once in the first class. Begged and cried to my dad to let me have a second go. Stopped once in the next class. Cried even harder for a chance to prove myself in the third class. Stopped once again.
The pony was advertized in the fall and some people even cama to try him out. Cudos to me I can't recall ever being a bitch about it (pro parents, got to sell it if you can and it wasn't my first time) but showed him at his best. Nobody wanted to step up and pay so I got to keep him and the year after I jumped clean in every 4'0-4'3 class I showed him in, made the team and won the Gold for Sweden in the U16.
I think that maybe I should tell this story to some of the parents at my barn. You can buy a fancy horse but your kid will still have to ride it. It may not work out too well to start but things can and will change to the better. You are not just buying a ribbon machine. You are buying a learning experience. For everything this horse asks your daughter to do she will learn something. When she does it right he will do it right.
The key is finding the pony/horse that will teach you the right things until you yourself can teach a horse to do the right things.
My mentor was right for the biggest part. You will pay!
I'd like to add a part to that though (that she is to experienced/jaded to take into consideration perhaps)
I say you pay one way or another, money, tears and training rides or moxy and determination!
A little bit of moxy paired with low expectations goes a long way sometimes!
You just want to be sure you understand the ride you are in for and make sure you have the stomach for either of the three!
Yup it turned out okay. Luckily I'm an adult so I got myself into the situation (bought a bit too much horse). Realized the situation (after many tears were shed) and did something about it (training rides and well... learning to ride better)!
Just curious, how tall are your parents?
It might be worth the time to go see this horse as long as you and your skills are represented truthfully by a trainer. (The liklihood that your parents can impartially and correctly communicate your skill level is poor.) If all parties willing to give it a try, then it's not a waste of time. You'll probably learn something about where you are with your skills, and that might help you with knowing for yourself what is appropriate the next time. I agree that you need to settle in with a trainer who knows you and what you can do. I also agree on the pony idea. If your parents are petite people then you might pull it off until you are 18.
However, I wouldn't get my hopes up about this gray mare. That 3 rating might be about handling on the ground. She takes a lot of managing when jumping, and based on what you've told us, I would guess she would be too much horse for you right now. But you have a good eye for someone your age! Just remember, "Pretty is as pretty DOES!"