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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2005
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    28

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    Hi Guys - I know this is long, but I will try to keep it as short as possible.

    My 11 year daughter has a horse and showed hunter last year. She confidently jumps 2 1/2 feet on a good horse and has done 3 feet a couple of times. We discovered (remember I am a novice in the hunter world) that the barn we were at was unprofessional, dishonest and provided substandard lessons. We have moved to a new show barn with a good reputation and Trainer says she needs a new horse. I totally agree. Her's has become unmanageable and dangerous for her (but that's another story). While I wouldn't call her a timid rider I wouldn't use the word confident either. Somewhere in the middle I guess.

    Here are my questions:
    1.Trainer says she needs a real "steady eddy" that knows and does his job so that she can concentrate on her riding rather than worry about being thrown off. I totally agree. Trainer says she needs a 3 foot hunter now and then buy a new one in a couple of years when she is ready for 3 1/2 feet. She says that she couldn't ride a horse capable of doing 3 1/2. Why can't we get a horse with 3 1/2 ability and work up to it? Trainer says she would ruin a horse with that capablity. Do you agree or does she just want to sell us a horse every couple of years? My husband says that he does not want to spend this kind of money on a horse that we have to sell in a couple or 3 years and lose money on it because it has aged.

    2.Trainer will not let us look at horses we have found on the internet that are at other local trainers. Seems she wants to find the horse and in her opinion horses on the internet are there because they can't be sold by the conventional methods. Do you agree? I look at the internet as just another avenue to advertise.

    3.Trainer says we cannot look at recently imported warmbloods (I do not want another TB). She says they are too head strong and my daughter can't ride one. Do you agree?

    My daughter is looking for that "forever horse." Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking for a 5 year. Something between 8-10 would be good in my book with the right work ethic and ability.

    I know these questions are hard to answer without knowing my daughter's abilities, but I would really appreciate general opinions.

    Thanks -



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2005
    Posts
    28

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    Hi Guys - I know this is long, but I will try to keep it as short as possible.

    My 11 year daughter has a horse and showed hunter last year. She confidently jumps 2 1/2 feet on a good horse and has done 3 feet a couple of times. We discovered (remember I am a novice in the hunter world) that the barn we were at was unprofessional, dishonest and provided substandard lessons. We have moved to a new show barn with a good reputation and Trainer says she needs a new horse. I totally agree. Her's has become unmanageable and dangerous for her (but that's another story). While I wouldn't call her a timid rider I wouldn't use the word confident either. Somewhere in the middle I guess.

    Here are my questions:
    1.Trainer says she needs a real "steady eddy" that knows and does his job so that she can concentrate on her riding rather than worry about being thrown off. I totally agree. Trainer says she needs a 3 foot hunter now and then buy a new one in a couple of years when she is ready for 3 1/2 feet. She says that she couldn't ride a horse capable of doing 3 1/2. Why can't we get a horse with 3 1/2 ability and work up to it? Trainer says she would ruin a horse with that capablity. Do you agree or does she just want to sell us a horse every couple of years? My husband says that he does not want to spend this kind of money on a horse that we have to sell in a couple or 3 years and lose money on it because it has aged.

    2.Trainer will not let us look at horses we have found on the internet that are at other local trainers. Seems she wants to find the horse and in her opinion horses on the internet are there because they can't be sold by the conventional methods. Do you agree? I look at the internet as just another avenue to advertise.

    3.Trainer says we cannot look at recently imported warmbloods (I do not want another TB). She says they are too head strong and my daughter can't ride one. Do you agree?

    My daughter is looking for that "forever horse." Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking for a 5 year. Something between 8-10 would be good in my book with the right work ethic and ability.

    I know these questions are hard to answer without knowing my daughter's abilities, but I would really appreciate general opinions.

    Thanks -



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 1999
    Location
    Ireland & sometimes the US ;)
    Posts
    11,074

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Brulak:
    Hi Guys - I know this is long, but I will try to keep it as short as possible. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    hehe - this may not help you at all http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif There are a thousand different opinions on all of this - many of which have been discussed on these boards many times! However, that having been said, I will offer my opinion!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My 11 year daughter has a horse and showed hunter last year. She confidently jumps 2 1/2 feet on a good horse and has done 3 feet a couple of times. We discovered (remember I am a novice in the hunter world) that the barn we were at was unprofessional, dishonest and provided substandard lessons. We have moved to a new show barn with a good reputation and Trainer says she needs a new horse. I totally agree. Her's has become unmanageable and dangerous for her (but that's another story). While I wouldn't call her a timid rider I wouldn't use the word confident either. Somewhere in the middle I guess. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Rather than buying her a new horse immediately, why not send her to one of the good riding camps that can be found all over the country - especially on the East Coast (where I can recommend on, for sure!) The one I am thinking about assigns one horse to a kid to care for as well as ride for the entire time s/he is at camp. Plus, they ride other horses as well. It give the kids a complete hands on chance to grow as riders and horsemen, as well as have a lot of fun!! The also get to compete and PLAY. Probably do things they would never do in a "riding school" environment, like ride bareback, do cross country and dressage as well as show jumping, play polocross and other games, etc.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Here are my questions:
    1.Trainer says she needs a real "steady eddy" that knows and does his job so that she can concentrate on her riding rather than worry about being thrown off. I totally agree. Trainer says she needs a 3 foot hunter now and then buy a new one in a couple of years when she is ready for 3 1/2 feet. She says that she couldn't ride a horse capable of doing 3 1/2. Why can't we get a horse with 3 1/2 ability and work up to it? Trainer says she would ruin a horse with that capablity. Do you agree or does she just want to sell us a horse every couple of years? My husband says that he does not want to spend this kind of money on a horse that we have to sell in a couple or 3 years and lose money on it because it has aged. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If the trainer is any good, a kid will not ruin a horse with the ability to go 3'6"! Steady eddie is a good thing, however. It does sound to me like someone is looking for two commissions... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif Again, going to a camp for the summer is a great way to improve skills - and save money on buying two horses, AND have FUN!!!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> 2.Trainer will not let us look at horses we have found on the internet that are at other local trainers. Seems she wants to find the horse and in her opinion horses on the internet are there because they can't be sold by the conventional methods. Do you agree? I look at the internet as just another avenue to advertise. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    People sell on the internet because they are, frankly, damned tired of trainers nixing sales because the commission isn't big enough, or because the trainer didn't find the horse (and build in the commission) to start! It is a great way of advertising your horse outside your own area, too. The problem is that if you find a horse for X dollars, and you know what that dollar amount is, then the trainer can't add in his/her hidden commission.

    Which takes you back to putting on paper your expectations of your trainer. That is, if YOU find a horse, you will pay trainer for the time s/he takes to goe see/try horse. OR you will pay a set commission, agreeable to both of you. And, when you do find a horse, you will pay trainer the set commission, and pay the OWNER DIRECTLY for the horse (that is, you negotiate the price with the owner.) However you decide to do this should be in a contract, spelled out. There are some examples of sales contracts and buying proceedures on other threads on this BB.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> 3.Trainer says we cannot look at recently imported warmbloods (I do not want another TB). She says they are too head strong and my daughter can't ride one. Do you agree? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Don't agree at all. But do think you must be careful - and, of course, it would be MUCH more fun to come to a place like IRELAND and look!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif (There are also places over here where you can come and ride full time for a week or two with lessons, etc - whether or not there is a "camp" atmosphere is something I don't know offhand.) Actually, a nice quarter horse sounds like it could be perfect for your kid - but, again, I recommend the camp - then you can see how much her skills improve and then buy!

    [quote} My daughter is looking for that "forever horse." Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking for a 5 year. Something between 8-10 would be good in my book with the right work ethic and ability. [/quote]

    Well, as someone who is incapable of selling a horse, I understand the sentiment! However, depending on what they've done and how they've been handled, some older horses will go one forever.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> I know these questions are hard to answer without knowing my daughter's abilities, but I would really appreciate general opinions.

    Thanks - </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You are welcome - and I am sure plenty of other people will have their opinions, too! http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 12, 2001
    Location
    ocala, florida
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    1,092

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    Depending on your budget you may be able to find a competitive 3'0 horse that would be able to step up to the 3'6 and still pack your daughter...however...they are not cheap if they can do both divisions and be competitive and pack. You could think about a lease on a 3'0 horse and wait to spend the money on a 3'6 horse when your daughter is ready. I disagree that if your trainer is good that a horse won't get ruined...just because a trainer is good doesn't mean every student has talent. If you want the talented horse before your kid can really ride it you will be paying for a lot of trianing rides to safeguard your investment. If your daughter is doing the 2'6 now and ready to move to 3'0 you are most likely looking at a couple years at 3'0.

    I disagree that the internet is a dumping ground. It's just another media for selling and gets a much broader audience.

    Perhaps you need to sit down with your trainer and spell out your budget and concerns and make it clear that you will pay her commission and you would like to start looking.
    Some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2000
    Location
    Pawlet, VT US
    Posts
    3,646

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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Weatherford:
    QUOTE]

    Go back and read Weatherford's reply again. Trainers LOVE to build totally dependent students...

    madeline
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2003
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    939

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    JMHO - I think that your money is better invested in riding lessons for your daughter than in horse flesh. At least until she becomes more confident. Good riding schools will give your daughter the opportunity to ride a multitude of horses which will help boost her confidence.
    I also agree to lease rather than buy if you have to have something.
    Success is a journey not a destination.




  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 1999
    Location
    Chicago,IL, USA
    Posts
    886

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    Okay....and remember this is just my VERY humble opinion!

    A 3' "steady eddie" hunter who is capable of moving up to 3'6" at an "A" show level is going to be VERY pricey and the ones in the 8 - 12 year old age group are the most expensive. It's hard to find these guys. And from what you say, it sounds like your daughter has had some bad experiences in the past which have made her a tentative rider. So your trainer is right, this kid needs a saint for a while, a horse who will just go out and do its job.

    Think of it this way - you could go out now and buy your 11 year old daughter a $500 pair of Jimmy Choo stilleto heels on the premise that she'll be able to wear them for years and won't she be happy with them when she's 18! Well, at 11, she isn't ready for them. They don't fit her needs and ability at this time. And if she falls off them and breaks something in the process, she may never put on another pair of heels in her life! Better to buy her a trusty pair of Keds and let her enjoy herself. Check out the "ADVICE TO PARENTS" on my website. While it is geared to novice pony buying parents, I think you will find it helpful in your situation.

    There is always a market for good reliable 3' horse and provided your daughter doesn't "break" it (create issues like running out/stopping etc), you should be able to get out of the horse what you paid for it when your daughter is ready to move up. Horses are hard...You not only have the problem of suitability for the rider's level of skill and ultimate ambitions, there IS an emotional bond as well. It's not like a pair of skis or a tennis racket. But as a parent, you can't let the thought of this emotional bond color what has to be a LOGICAL decision at this point. Your daughter's safety and continuing love of this sport will depend on it.


    The internet is a fine place to find a horse. Refer your trainer to all the sites of well known farms/trainers who use this method of selling! I see no reason you can't do the preliminary screening yourself, looking at ads, sorting through videos. Just be sure you involve your trainer in the process. Admittedly you are a novice in this process. Your trainer is a pro. That's why she makes the "big bucks"! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif

    Finally, a horse is a horse. I see no reason why you can't look at any appropriate breed of a suitable temperment and level of training with the ability to get the job done who is currently showing in the 3' childrens/adult division. That would include warmbloods, thoroughbreds, appendix quarter horses, mixed breeds etc. The only real consideration should be the horse's temperment, soundness and ability to do the job sfaely. One of my daughter's best jumpers - her "move-up" horse from the Pony Jumpers to the Children's Jumpers was a Thoroughbred/Clydesdale/Hackney mare who we found on the internet and who carried my daughter safely to ribbons at The Winter Equestrian Festival in classes of 80/90+! You can see a picture of this wonderful chestnut mare on the home page of my website.

    Good luck in your search. It may take a while but in the long run it will be time well spent.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    NJ & FL
    Posts
    2,449

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    I know there are trainers that use the internet to find horses (have been contacted by them in the past) and sometimes the horse your trainer may be showing you that she found - can also be found "For Sale" on the internet if you check the various sites and search the horses description - a good friend had a trainer show her a competitive, honest but not spectacular 3'6 horse for $26,000 only to find the same horse on dream horse listed at $14,000 directly by the owners- so while I like to assume most people are honest be sure to look around..



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2004
    Posts
    1,922

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    In this sport, an eleven year old does not get a "forever horse" - sorry, that's just not how it works.

    Why isn't she on a pony? A large pony would give her experience at 3', and then when she is ready to move up to a horse, you could get something that is capable of the 3'6.

    On another topic, I would wonder what was wrong with the 14k 3'6 horse. Does it only have 3 legs, or what? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif

    Reread PonyFan's reply; it is excellent and she has played the game at the highest levels of the sport within recent memory unlike some others.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
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    NJ & FL
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    The 14K 3'6 horse is not super fancy he is a TB x WB he was suitable for an adult amatuer to ride did novice level horse trials, and did the A/0 jumpers, the catch is his age 15yrs old but did vet sound no injections needed http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif a packer and good teacher, had one owner his whole life... great horse and she is happy to have him...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
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    NJ & FL
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    In other words - Jack of All Trades, not super flashy and not a blue ribbon winner everytime out but capable and honest - luckily he found a forever home with Amanda.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2004
    Location
    Ligonier, PA, USA
    Posts
    809

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    Good communication is vital to good results with your trainer, so please sit down and discuss with her the same things you've mentioned here. You may not yet be done searching for a new barn.

    It is also VERY important that you and your family have decided on your budget before you begin looking. Your trainer is not your financial advisor, so you must be very clear about what's possible and comfortable for you before you start to shop. Nothing will stress you more than to spend more than you wanted to on a horse that ultimately doesn't work out for some reason. And even the most careful searches can end that way. It's just horses.

    From your description of events, I, too, would recommend a solid 3' horse with an eye towards finding a 3'6" horse later. The 3' packer is simply going to cost less.... but, more importantly for your daughter, the 3' horse is much more likely to be a confidence-building ride. A good 3'6" horse is going to have a much bigger, more forward, step, and most likely a bigger jump (in terms of the athletic ability needed by the rider to stay with it) - both of these things can really create confidence issues if they're introduced too early in a rider's career. And confidence issues in a rider are almost certain to cause major problems in a horse's training, performance and subsequent value. If you had said that your daughter was a confident, accomplished rider, I would encourage you to look for the elusive 3' - 3'6" packer... but warn you that you may need to take a second mortgage to afford him (although good deals do come along now and then without having to accept something with "three legs".)

    I know it's intimidating to think about going through another "search and spend" adventure in a few years, but it would be much better to do so than to overface your daughter with a horse that's beyond her ability level. There will be plenty of challenges as she learns to compete regularly in the 3' division on a new horse. (You must also consider that your daughter may not want to continue competing (or riding!) in a few years. It does happen to many horse-crazy pre-teens. So you may not have to do another horse search after this one.)

    As for the internet, I disagree that it's a bad place to look. Many trainers do have their established "channels" though, and it sounds as if yours does. It may also be that she is simply trying to cut down on the amount of time she needs to look at "wish list" horses that you send via email. It can get overwhelming, especially when the client is a novice, to have to keep explaining why that beautiful bay is not worth taking a look at even though he looks great on paper. As trainers, we have learned to quickly "read between the lines" in ads to determine whether a horse is really a prospect or not. It shouldn't matter to you where the horse comes from, as long as the price is fair and the horse is suitable.

    As for warmblood vs. tb vs. something else, I can only recommend that you hold out for the right HORSE. Individual personality, build, sensitivity, training and conformation all combine to create a good show horse. Not all warmbloods are a pain and not all tbs are hot... keep an open mind and keep the horse's training level and willingness to put up with rider mistakes as your top priority and you'll end up with a happy match.

    Good luck.
    ----------------
    What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.
    - Samuel Jackson



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2004
    Posts
    263

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    Here's a thought...skip the high dollar trainer all together!! JK

    But, in all seriousness, sometimes high dollar horses and big name trainers and the pressure to show and jump take all the fun out of horses!

    IMHO, (and you will just have to trust me, that I have "been there and done that", most kids just want a trustworthy steed that they can love and have fun on. At 11 years old, I really feel most kids do not have enough of the basics to be jumping 3'. I kknow, I know, all lot of them are doing it, but I am hesitant to let my daughter jump until I am confident that she can stop every time, go every time, turn, speed up, slow down, etc. Most hunters and jumpers I see are not "broke" enough and let's face it, horses are dangerous and when you add jumping into the mix, look out.

    The statistics are that 90% of riders stop riding within 5 years (some horse mag printed that). Most riders stop because they got hurt.

    My daughter shows and is very competitive, but her favorite thing to do with her horse is ride around bareback with a halter on! And go for long trail rides. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 2, 2001
    Posts
    108

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    Mom -
    Some more humble opinions.
    At your current level of knowledge, keep learning but in the meantime trust your trainer. If you can't trust her, don't be there at all. True, opinions can differ, but only from experience and knowledge. Basically, I agree with her in most aspects. But - everything depends upon your goals, and the level at which you and your daughter want to ultimately compete. At the advanced levels, it would be extremely difficult to find a horse that is "steady eddie" enough to carry her much beyond 3 feet. At least, not competitively. Most horses "move down" to 3 feet as they age, not UP!! And, if your daughter does develop into a talented rider, the steady eddie will NOT in fact be the right horse, later. Your trainer needs a horse that she know your daughter can ride, and that she, the trainer, trusts. The real issue here, for me, is SAFETY: a child mounted on the right horse, and competing at the right level, is what we want.

    Financials: Can you lease? Although it is money with "no return," it DOES limit your risk, and allow more flexibility in changing mounts.

    Again, financials: Know that this is an extremely expensive sport. Looking down the road, know that the 3-6 hunters at the A level are generally very, very expensive - more than you can imagine. The rated division are competitive beyond belief. Great if you want it, not great if you don't. Is this where you want to go? I've seen so many kids who are good riders but can't continue at that level because of money.

    Lastly: I am admittedly a hunter freak, and love them. However, you may want to think long-term about getting into the jumper ring - pony jumpers, childrens, and on up. First, it is nonjudgmental - you either clear the fence or not.
    Secondly, at most levels it is considerably less expensive - beauty and movement simply don't matter. At our barn, the trainers almost never steer a family that is financially unable to go the distance into hunters, it doesn't make sense. And the kids, actually, more often than not PREFER the jumpers, it's fun, and exciting.

    Good luck from a hunter mom



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,751

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">1.Trainer says she needs a real "steady eddy" that knows and does his job so that she can concentrate on her riding rather than worry about being thrown off. I totally agree. Trainer says she needs a 3 foot hunter now and then buy a new one in a couple of years when she is ready for 3 1/2 feet. She says that she couldn't ride a horse capable of doing 3 1/2. Why can't we get a horse with 3 1/2 ability and work up to it? Trainer says she would ruin a horse with that capablity. Do you agree or does she just want to sell us a horse every couple of years? My husband says that he does not want to spend this kind of money on a horse that we have to sell in a couple or 3 years and lose money on it because it has aged. [quote]

    I totally agree that what you want is a PACKER - a horse that will accept some rider mistakes without becoming upset, and one that already knows its job - so your daughter can focus on HER position rather than just worrying about falling off. As has already been posted, horses with that kind of experience and temperment that can ALSO jump the 3'6" exist - but they are worth a fortune. Well into the six figures for sure. You can tell your husband that a solid 3' horse, one that can pack a kid around the children's hunters (or an adult around the 3' hunter ring) is worth a great deal even if it has some age on it. So if your daughter gets one and gets some good mileage for a few years, you should still be able to sell one that is maybe 11 or 12 without too much of a problem.

    As far as ruining a 3'6" horse... think of it this way. You have a child that is just learning to drive. Do you buy them a Ferrari for their first car? Nope. Too much power, too much performance for a novice. A lot of (not all) 3'6" horses are like high performance cars. Great for someone with skill and experience, but an accident waiting to happen for a novice.

    In your shoes, I'd consider a compromise. If you can find a QUIET horse that has competed successfully at 3'6" but needs to move down to the 3' ring to continue to stay sound and happy... you can buy it for less than a normal 3'6" horse and still have the benefit of all that ring experience. You might have to do a little maintenance, and your daughter likely won't ever SHOW that horse at 3'6", but she can learn on it, and get in some practice at home once she is ready to move up - which will be several years from now anyway. Just something to consider.


    [quote] 2.Trainer will not let us look at horses we have found on the internet that are at other local trainers. Seems she wants to find the horse and in her opinion horses on the internet are there because they can't be sold by the conventional methods. Do you agree? I look at the internet as just another avenue to advertise.[quote]

    A lot of trainers are not very internet-savvy and of course, once you see a horse advertised on the internet, YOU know exactly what the price is. Not every trainer is looking to take advantage of novice clients, but many do. If they only show you horses they personally present, they are free to price them as they see fit. (Not saying that your current trainer is doing that, but it is something to be aware of.) To discourage that, I would suggest you insist on writing two separate checks; one to the seller (who should provide you with proof of ownership, preferaby USEF records or something similar, not just a bill of sale) and a second check to the trainer for the commission. Also have a good attorney do the sales contract. Equine Legal Solutions (who posts on this board) has some good ideas on her website about things to include.

    [quote] 3.Trainer says we cannot look at recently imported warmbloods (I do not want another TB). She says they are too head strong and my daughter can't ride one. Do you agree? [quote]

    Warmbloods tend to be different rides compared to TBs. I love TBs myself, but wouldn't buy one for a kid, nor would I buy one for the show ring if I knew I would want to resell it in the near future. The market prefers warmbloods. As for being headstrong - well, that is a big generalization. Not all TBs are hot, and not all WBs are lazy. I'd forget about breeds altogether and just look at individual horses. Once you find one that your daughter can ride easily and that can get the job done, you won't care about what breed it is.

    [quote] My daughter is looking for that "forever horse." Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking for a 5 year. Something between 8-10 would be good in my book with the right work ethic and ability. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If she wants to continue to show, that may be unrealistic. The horse that will suit her now is not going to be the one that takes her to the big hunters or to the big eq ring later on, nor to the jumpers if she ends up going in that direction. If she would be satisfied with a nice trail or pleasure horse, well, maybe you could find one that she could keep for years. But I agree with the age range you are considering.

    What you look at will depend not only on your daughter's ability and your trainer's contacts, but also on your location and the budget you have to spend. I am looking for a similar horse right now for my stepson, who is 11. He only started riding a short time ago, and isn't at the point where he can jump around 2'6" yet. But he loves to horseshow and is both athletic and confident. Still, I am looking primarily at QH cross types for him. Some have enough TB in them that they are actually pretty good movers, but in my mind that is secondary to temperment. I don't care if the kid can win in the hacks; I just want him to be safe and have fun. Once he gets a few more years of mileage under his belt, I'll start looking for something fancier or more athletic (he'll probably go to the jumper ring rather than the hunters) that he can do the equitation on if he wants.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,221

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    Sounds to me like there are a several different issues here.

    First, a parent that does not ride sometimes will overestimate child's riding ability. That, plus the fact that reliable show horses are expensive, may be leading you to want to buy a 3'6" horse now. If your child is not riding confidently and correctly, a 3' horse may be a better purchase.

    Get a yardstick, and mark off 2'6", 3' and 3'6" somewhere. You will see that this is a BIG move up. A prudent trainer would probably want her to start the new horse at whatever level she's comfortable at, and should keep her at that level until they are ready to move up, so it should not ruin the horse. If the trainer keeps insisting that she would ruin a 3'6" horse, you need to ask for exact information on why she thinks that, and get a lesson plan going that will fix the problem(s).

    Regarding your trainer not wanting you to look on the internet, I have seen some inexperienced parents buy totally inappropriate horses for their kids, usually on-line, or from a trainer they didn't know very well. If you are deemed to have more money than brains, you are at risk. You have to determine if your trainer is honestly trying to protect you and your daughter, or if she is just looking out for herself.

    Regarding your daughter wanting a "forever horse", that is entirely possible. If you have some land to keep it on after it retires. An 8 - 10 year old horse will have several good competitive years, but as the horse approaches its late teens, or early 20's, it will not be competitive. My "forever" horse is 32 this year, and is happily living on my farm, along with my other "forever" horse who is 19. My current "forever" horse is 7 and is stabled at a good show barn.

    I agree with the poster who suggested a pony instead of a horse. I know of many kids who have brought ponies along successfully, and then sold them to get money for their first horse. This too, would depend on your daughter's riding ability. If her current horse has become "dangerous" and she is getting thrown off, again you need to determine why that happened before you proceed. A "steady eddy" large pony might be what she needs now more than a 3'6" horse.

    With enough time and effort, most riders eventually find a horse that suits them very well. You just have to sort out all of the advice, and speak frankly with your trainer. Much of the time, unreasonable expectations lead to inappropriate equine purchases.

    Good luck to you and your daughter!

    ~ Adult Pony Riders' Clique ~
    It's 2015. Do you know where your old horse is?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2004
    Location
    Ct
    Posts
    2,669

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    It is hard to know what to think when you have just moved from a bad experience to a new trainer with a different point of view, I have been there myself and know what you are going thru. Firstly, I would not recommend a large pony if your daughter wants to show, that is a VERY competitive division and those kids have been showing a long time, it would not help your daughter's self confidence or your wallet because those ponies are extraordinarily expensive and many of the large pony kids are basically unpaid professionals. Does your trainer offer an in barn lease on one her horses? If she does, that may be a way to go, let your daughter lease something nice and quiet that can rebuild her confidence and she can build a relationship with. Once she feels comfortable again, then start looking for a longer term investment of a 3' horse that can move up. Those horses are hard to find because everyone wants one, but if you can buy yourself some time a shorter term lease, I am sure you'll be able to find a great horse. If she has something simple to ride for now, you could perhaps find a greener horse and then invest in training it for when she is ready to move up. The most important thing is allowing your daughter to feel good about riding again and not rush into buying a new horse. Maybe that means riding a school horse for a few months, but I will tell you, it takes a long time to a kid who has had a bad experience to feel comfortable again. My older daughter has been thru the same thing and is just now wanting to buy a new mount. The most important thing is to TAKE YOUR TIME and don't rush into anything, regardless of what the trainer says, it can be hard to stick to your guns because trainers can be very persuasive, but you have to do what's best and safest for your kid. Also, read Pony Fan's advice page, it is invaluable information from someone who really knows the ropes http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 12, 2004
    Posts
    828

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    You've gotten excellent advice here. Both PonyFan and MHJLittlefield said exactly what I was going to say. You need to look for the "right now," not for the "3 years from now." I thought the shoe analogy was very fitting- trying to walk in a pair of size 8 1/2 stilettos when you're 11 just won't do!

    Remember that a good 3' horse will be easy to resell- there is ALWAYS a market for a 3' horse, especially one that is sound, sane, and packs. You will get your money back out of it without a doubt.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As for the internet, I disagree that it's a bad place to look. Many trainers do have their established "channels" though, and it sounds as if yours does. It may also be that she is simply trying to cut down on the amount of time she needs to look at "wish list" horses that you send via email. It can get overwhelming, especially when the client is a novice, to have to keep explaining why that beautiful bay is not worth taking a look at even though he looks great on paper. As trainers, we have learned to quickly "read between the lines" in ads to determine whether a horse is really a prospect or not. It shouldn't matter to you where the horse comes from, as long as the price is fair and the horse is suitable. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ah, MHJ, you certainly hit the nail on the head with that remark! I have been going through this with a client of mine and have explained over and over what will not be suitable, how to tell which aren't suitable, etc, only to have to explain point by point why each ad she sends me won't work. Makes me frustrated to no end to constantly repeat myself.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2002
    Location
    Harford County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    4,553

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    What sorts of shows does your daughter want to do, and why?

    If you're looking at rated As only, that forever horse is probably not realistic unless you can afford to kep and retire one at home or somewhere. If you're looking at competitive local circuits, you may have a shot.

    While most horses that can jump 3' can add the 6", the ones that can be COMPETITIVE at the higher heights tend to be more athletic, expensive and difficult. Coming off a bad match, I'd say your daughter needs time to have FUN and gain confidence before moving up.

    I think your family needs to clarify finances and goals first, then list your expectations --while understanding that if rated competitive hunterland is a goal those expectations may not be realistic. Then you need to sit down alone with the trainer - be professional and pay for her time - to discuss all of that. You may fibd a fine middle ground; you may choose to modify some things.

    You can "do" horses at many different levels. But be sure to as questions, evaluate answers, keep learning and make informed decisions that work best for you WHILE understanding that there is an opportunity cost with each decision. There are no "perfects" ime, but honest evaluation can give a good match of horse, rider, trainer and competitive situation. Good luck!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2002
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,400

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    First of all, you asked alot of good questions. I am a fellow "Mom" on this Board, who went through all of these thoughts and questions myself. So here are my thoughts:

    1. I think the trainers advice to get a 3 foot "steady eddy" is good. There are some 3'6" horses which can be ridden by an 11 year old (even a good one) without losing skills, etc. But not many. You will overpay to find that horse, and may not get what you want. You think your daughter will be ready for 3'6" soon, but many, many talented riders never make that transition. And there is certainly no need to even think about doing so for several years.

    2. I disagree with the trainer that the internet is for horses that can't be sold otherwise. However, I would say that the kind of horse you should be looking for will probably be sold word of mouth. You need a "been there, done that" horse. We had our trainer looking for us AND we looked on the internet and printed off prospects we thought looked interesting for her to evaluate. In all candor, the things she found word of mouth were generally better for a young teen interested in showing. I think the internet is great for green prospects and pleasure horses. And, of course, there are always gems to be found. So while I wouldn't rule it out, I don't think your trainer's attitude should make you suspicious.

    3. We bought a recently imported warmblood. She had just turned 5 when we got her. She is a wonderful girl, and very athletic, but I didn't realize at the time how very YOUNG these horses are. They are quite a challenge for an ammie, since many have only been ridden by trainers and experts. They are used to very precise signals, and have alot of basic dressage training. My daughter was already 14, so it was okay and she and her mare have been learning together. But I wouldn't buy a recent import for an 11 year old unless it was an older and previously owned ammie horse. Otherwise, you are likely to see alot of deterioration in the horse's performance after the sale.

    I choose a WB because I had seen enough psycho TBs that I didn't want to take the risk for my daughter (not safety so much as the risk of breaking her heart over a horse that would never calm down). But the TBs in our barn were all babies off the track, so my experience was pretty skewed. I believe that a good, older (8-12) TB or Appendix (my personal favorite, since they can do 3 foot and have wonderful temperments) is what you should be looking at. That's what she will be competiting against in the shows. You want a horse that can get the strides and the leads without needing a perfect ride from a teenager. That sounds easy, but its not, and few young horses can do it. If your daughter excels, she can move up to a 3'6" horse in a few years (or more than a few years since she shouldn't be in a rush). The kind of horse I have described can be sold easily or, if you love it too much, it is even easier to lease out in the barn.

    4. Your trainer may be interested in multiple commissions, but it sounds more like he/she is interested in making sure your daughter doesn't burn out by having too much horse too soon. I would discourage you from tryng to find the "forever horse" at this time.



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