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Buying versus Bringing Up

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  • #21
    There is nothing as awesome as raising and training up a young horse if you are an experienced enough/confident enough rider to do so. I will say, you should switch your budget and lower the amount you will spend on a young horse and UP UP UP the amount you will spend on training OVER THE YEARS. One year of training may not get you out of first level, not really. There is SO much to learn in training and first that prepare you for the jump to second level and the best way to do that (in my opinion) is with guidance and help. Unless you have already trained a horse thru to and shown second level then you do not have the experience to do so and you will never know when you are doing things right and when you are NOT getting the basics. Getting up to second level is years of TRYING, GETTING STRONG, GETTING WISE, GETTING QUICK with your aids and is a HUGE learning curve.

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    • #22
      I know of an honest to goodness PSG warm blood gelding 14 yo. Sound. Riden by working student of very famous Olympian for sale for $25k.

      No fooling.

      Tell "Susie" to PM me.

      Comment


      • #23
        In my part of the country, there are no schoolmasters. Opportunities to lease are scarce as hen's teeth. Horses educated to second and above were all way over my budget.
        I got all four of my current horses as babies. . . and I am lucky enough to have an FEI level instructor and trainer who has helped me tremendously. My first horse suffered a career-ending pasture accident, one was purchased as a pleasure horse and I started her - she still earns her living pulling the cart and taking me down trails. My third one is now Second Level and about to be ready to learn flying changes. My fourth one is 3 1/2; iI started her groundwork this fall and she is accepting the bit, carrying a saddle, and has learned to longe, etc. She will be backed this coming April by my trainer's husband, who is himself a first rate colt-starter. I have literally four horses for the price of one, and they have each contributed to my education as a horsewoman.
        I went with what was available to me. Sometimes you have to do that. And I'm pushing 60, too.

        Comment


        • #24
          I've seen a pretty good sample of Suzie's over the last ten years. I only know one Suzie who regrets purchasing training. In her case, the horse had a long-term issue that wasn't found on the PPE, and she has had to put a lot into rehab instead of learning to ride him. Of the Suzie's who bought young talent, a good number - maybe even 1/3 - seem to regret the choice. Some bought very quiet, docile 3-year-olds, not fully realizing that hormones, strength, and confidence can create a very different situation at 5 and 6. Some are still stuck in training or first level because they aren't getting enough training to bring horse/rider up together.

          IMHO, the most reliable path is to get through third on horses with solid training (even if they aren't fancy or aren't show-able) before trying the young horse path. I think it's really hard to get the basic training right without an understanding of collection and the ability to ride it.

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          • #25
            Buy the training.
            A) Either buy a horse that has been trained (and shown!, confirmed) through the level Susie wants to be. Take lessons to learn to ride the horse to that level. This option is more expensive, but will get Susie to her goal more quickly.
            OR
            B) If you have a good eye, buy a sound, sane, willing, trainable, broke horse with good basics (w/t/c, mostly on the bit) with 3 good gaits that you really enjoy riding...don't limit yourself to 'dressage' labeled horses...good gaits, willingness, and a good brain go a long, long way...think eventing, backyard hack, B-level english pleasure horses (saddlebred, morgan, arab, crosses) ...6-10 yr old (ish) so you know what you are getting personality-wise. There are a lot of NICE horses that don't have a specific dressage label but could easily be successful up the levels with good training. Pay a good trainer for at least first year to get horse solid in dressage basics and moving up levels. Susie rides/takes lessons a couple times a week on horse to learn along with training, continues with some training/lessons as she and horse move up. This is a more economical option, spreads the funds out, is a better fit for a busy schedule, and still has the fun of growing and learning with your horse.

            I personally did option B and found it very rewarding, I learned a ton, and I'd do it again in a minute if I had the funds.
            Wiiliam
            "A good horse is worth more than riches."
            - Spanish Proverb

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            • #26
              I bought the trained horse(s) for dressage. Did the young horse thing back in my younger days different discipline. Starting dressage in my 50's, wanted to learn from schoolmaster. Now bought another trained horse as I'm in my 60's.

              Worth noting is that a trained horse still needs to be learned by the rider. Takes time to build the relationship. Rarely a jump on and go, particularly at upper levels for us ammys
              We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

              Comment


              • #27
                Buy the trained horse. Frankly, it's quite a challenge to learn how to ride a trained horse so neither option is the easy way.

                Comment


                • #28
                  I wrote a blog on this not that long ago. Both can be done well, and both can be done badly. The most important factor is your coach, and whether s/he can help you bring a horse along. Good luck!

                  http://chronofhorse.com/article/two-ways-levels
                  spriesersporthorse.com | farm on Facebook | me on Facebook | blog

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Hey, this is me! I went with the payment plan, and bought a weanling in 2013. She's now three and I started her lightly under saddle last Fall. She'll get most of the winter off, and I'll pick back up in the Spring.

                    My thought process was:
                    - I'm not in a rush
                    - I like the training process
                    - I keep my horses at home
                    - I have other horses to ride while she's growing up
                    - I have access to good training

                    I do think it really depends on "Susie's" goals. If it's get a medal quickly then yes, buy the training. I certainly could have bought a nice older horse for what I paid for a well-bred Hanoverian weanling plus three years of feeding/vet/farrier/etc.

                    I'm enjoying the process, and will let you know in a few years if I ever get past 1st

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Originally posted by dressagediosa View Post
                      I wrote a blog on this not that long ago. Both can be done well, and both can be done badly. The most important factor is your coach, and whether s/he can help you bring a horse along. Good luck!

                      http://chronofhorse.com/article/two-ways-levels
                      Your blog post and some recent experiences of friends actually prompted the original post. I am a *huge* fan of your blog.


                      I am a "Susie" but not an "in the market Susie".


                      dudleyc - PSG for 25k makes me tempted to sell an organ on the black market. What a screaming deal!! I hope whoever ends up with this horse appreciates the amazing opportunity.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I don't know folks. I'm a 60+ Susan whose mare had a foal in 2009. He's going to be 8 this year and is working on PSG. He was an opinionated pain in the butt in his 5-6 years, but now he is back to what he was at 3 - bold, friendly and interested in everything. I wouldn't swap that experience for anything. My main riding horse has been his mother as my skills did not advance much. However, it is all kicking up a big notch. My mare and I are working on first and second, while my young horse is helping me refine my skills with collection. I love them both and I am blessed.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Well, I basically did just that so I for one think its possible.

                          I fit developing hunter sale horses around a 9-5 desk job and ended up with a nice one that I was the first one to sit on. Literally started from scratch with that one.

                          The key was to seek good education whereever and whenever possible. One dressage trainer came to the barn for a group of clients and I would have 15 minute checkups for $25 because that's what the budget allowed. When clinicians came to town I went, and brought a friend to video.

                          We didn't go up the levels as fast as a horse in a dressage show barn would, but clinicians repeatedly commented that while he might be coming along a little slower, what I HAD managed to teach him was all correct.

                          He was a late 3yo when I first climbed aboard and 8 when we got our bronze together. He had room to spare in the scores and could have certainly moved on to the upper levels but ny then he was to valuable as a hunter for someone with my level of retirement savings to keep so I sold him and invested in real estate.

                          Really the only difference between me and most of the other boarders at the barns where I kept him was the frequency with which I sought out lessons and their quality. A trailer was essential to be able to travel to where the teaching was good.
                          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                          Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                            I've watched various Suzie riders try to do this, and I haven't seen them go up the levels. I'm at a primarily recreational self-board barn where you can bring in your coach of choice, and there are several lower-level coaches who also board there. If you have your own trailer, you can trailer out to a trainer, or you can send your horse out for full training for a couple of months.

                            I have been at this barn for six years now, and I haven't seen any Suzie rider, or indeed any of the resident coaches, manage to buy a young prospect and succeed in bringing it along to show succesfully above first level, or probably really above training level. By successful I mean consistently in the low to mid 60s. A couple of Suzie riders have left for a full-board full training barn with an established upper-level coach. They seem to be having much more success there, but I only have the Facebook posts to go by; don't know the reality.

                            Here are the problems.

                            A young, quality, horse with the impulsion to do well in dressage is going to be hotter, at least at times,...
                            Nope, the horses are not the first problem.

                            The problem is that none of the coaches at this barn have any clue how to get themselves and their own horses up the levels, to say nothing of decent scores, so it is unsurprising that they are unable to get other people and their horses anywhere either.

                            If the care is good and affordable those who wish to learn more will help themselvrs tremendously by purchasing a truck and trailer so they can seek education from people who know how to get past the lower levels.
                            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              If you haven't read the Dressage Curmudgeon blog, you should.

                              She was essentially an average ammie rider, who used to ride hunters (I think), before starting dressage with an Arab, dabbling in Training/First. Then she bought a 3 year old Saddlebred cross and through many training misadventures, brought her up the levels to PSG. The blog is hilarious, one of the best blogs I've ever read. It's a bummer she hasn't updated since December 2015.

                              http://dressagecurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/
                              Help me keep my horse in peppermints and enjoy a great read! My New York City crime novel, available on Amazon.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                The problem is that none of the coaches at this barn have any clue how to get themselves and their own horses up the levels, to say nothing of decent scores, so it is unsurprising that they are unable to get other people and their horses anywhere either.
                                I would argue that it's not the coaches or the lack of trailer, it boils down to these AAs not having the time or the money or not being willing to work that hard to move their training along.

                                Honestly, you have to have the time to work with your young 4+ days per week plus get on other horses to learn the skills you are missing. Or you have to spend the money and put the horse in training so someone else puts the time in. A lot of AAs are stretching themselves with both time and money just owning a horse.

                                It's also a personality issue - the AA needs to be driven to set goals, have a plan to meet them, and search out the tools to they need (training, clinics, shows, reading, videos, etc.).

                                I transitioned from a JR to AA when my horse was 4. I had a TB before him that was a hunter and I took him through 2nd level. My horse is now schooling GP and I have done 99% of the riding. I'm lucky if I get lessons 1x per month and clinic 2-3x per year.

                                I'm very goal driven, analytical, and like to have a plan/schedule. So I am able to get on my horse and have a long-term goal/plan but also a plan for that particular ride, and then can analyze what needs to be addressed the next time. I don't have a SO or children, which makes a huge difference in the amount of time and money (which is still not enough) I can spend on the horse.

                                I board with a very, very nice AA who bought a green 8 year old horse a few years ago. She gets on and has no plan for her ride. So she ends up working on the same thing every ride, or only does exactly what she worked on in her lesson. It sometimes makes her frustrated but we've discussed that to make a major change, she needs to put him in training or find an instructor to give her a lesson 2x per week.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                  Well, I basically did just that so I for one think its possible.

                                  I fit developing hunter sale horses around a 9-5 desk job and ended up with a nice one that I was the first one to sit on. Literally started from scratch with that one.

                                  The key was to seek good education whereever and whenever possible. One dressage trainer came to the barn for a group of clients and I would have 15 minute checkups for $25 because that's what the budget allowed. When clinicians came to town I went, and brought a friend to video.

                                  We didn't go up the levels as fast as a horse in a dressage show barn would, but clinicians repeatedly commented that while he might be coming along a little slower, what I HAD managed to teach him was all correct.

                                  He was a late 3yo when I first climbed aboard and 8 when we got our bronze together. He had room to spare in the scores and could have certainly moved on to the upper levels but then he was to valuable as a hunter for someone with my level of retirement savings to keep so I sold him and invested in real estate.

                                  Really the only difference between me and most of the other boarders at the barns where I kept him was the frequency with which I sought out lessons and their quality. A trailer was essential to be able to travel to where the teaching was good.
                                  I think you make some good points here, but the average adult ammy hasn't been a working student for a top rider. I think that does make a difference. I know you also work really hard and put in the time.

                                  I'm a Susie.
                                  Rode as a kid, weekly lessons, got a horse, multi discipline, showed training, local hunter classes, novice event, trail rode.

                                  Adult, went off to college, no horses, then lessons again for a couple of years. Had a kid, bought an unstarted horse.

                                  After about 10 years that horse I bought and backed finally showed 2nd last year. I had bought a hotter, spookier horse than I realized, and we had some big layoffs for some injuries and health problems for me and my family. As someone else pointed out, it was all I could do to afford just to board her and do weekly lessons with a good trainer. Full training wasn't an option for me, and 2 weeks ago I finally bought my first truck.
                                  I had given up on dreams of showing past first, decided I still wanted to keep her, and then she started coming around and I started riding 5 days a week. If the weather is good and we both stay healthy, maybe we will make it to 3rd. If not, almost every ride the last two years I've said "I love this horse, and I'm so thankful for what she has become".

                                  I think for the next horse I would like to be able to at least sit on it. But I did enjoy starting the horse (she actually was pretty easy there).

                                  Still, my advice to others is to buy something trained if you can afford it. I think the chances are that most people will be disappointed trying to do it on their own.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Pretty sure I'm a quasi-Susie as well and I went the baby route. I took my last, off breed horse from starting dressage in her teenage years to successfully showing 2nd, schooling 3rd & 4th when I had to retire her for health reasons.

                                    To be fair, this baby is not my first youngster I've started from scratch but it is my first purpose bred and she's of much higher ... quality, for the lack of a better word, than the others. The others tended to be arab or quarter horse mutts and the initial training process was "get 'em going, see what they're good at, go ride that discipline (or find'em a home that wanted that discipline)". And yeah, there were a few who were monsters but it's a lot easier to ride a 14 hand arab through a hissy fit than a 16+ hand warmblood whose got strength and athleticism to spare.

                                    Despite over a dozen babies in my past, I sometimes wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew. Miss Thing was an angel to get going. Breaking her out was dead easy (2nd easiest horse I've ever started under saddle) and she was a sweetheart for most of her first year under saddle. Now she's hitting her brat phase, though, and she picks up the tricks that work in one go . Yes, she sometimes scares the crap out of me even though I KNOW it's just young horse nonsense that she'll grow out of in a year or three if I don't screw her up. I know that. That doesn't mean that I'm necessarily capable of dealing with it from her.

                                    My solution was to admit my limitations ... I'm not 20 any more, I no longer bounce when I come off (only once but damn if she hasn't tried the maneuver multiple times since), I don't have the ability to work her every day, did I mention not 20 anymore? Where did my velcro butt go? Same place as my nerve, I guess. Anyways, I put a pro on her for multiple rides per week, someone with an amazingly sticky seat and crackerjack timing for corrections and a good track record with dealing with athletic babies who go on to be honest adults.

                                    Yes, I'm spending just as much on training Miss Thing as I would have if I'd bought a finished mid-level horse but ... I wanted a horse I could possibly keep for the next 20 years. Buying an older horse when I'm already dealing with the failing health of my old girl just sounded too depressing. I know Miss Thing could step in a hole tomorrow but the likelihood of me getting the "come quick, we've already called the vet" for her is a lot less than if I'd spent the purchase + training dollars on a made senior horse. With the kind of budget we're talking, you can't touch a confirmed 2nd/3rd level schoolmaster around here unless he's got some serious maintenance issues.

                                    As a quasi-Susie, if you go the youngster route, be prepared to admit when you're out of your depth and spend the money on good training with someone who has a proven record turning youngsters into solid citizens. And accept that might mean that you're only riding every so often while someone else does the hard part of bringing up baby.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Susie has to figure out what she really wants. If she wants her Bronze medal, her budget and training timelinerd le?

                                      Where is Susie located? That does make a difference too. If in a more competitive area (such as California parts of the East Coast), she is nowhere near reality. Maybe buying an older schoolmaster that is ready to "step down" to 2nd/3rd level, spend a year in training and showing, get her medals, then give it a try on her own while schoolmaster is still sound and going well. I do know of a few of these horses in their late teens and early 20s, and I know people who have gone that route. But otherwise, with that budget and a ONE YEAR training budget, uh uh. Not realistic.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        If "Susie" wants to buy a baby, I encourage her to do scads of research. Talk to riders, breeders, and trainers about specific bloodlines and their suitability for her goals and abilities. Go and meet lots of horses. Watch them in a show environment. Watch videos of even more. Read, read, read. What's appropriate for raising one horse may not work for another.

                                        Honesty about both the rider's and the trainer's abilities are crucial when buying a young horse. I'm a breeder, and I've seen a lot of Susies. (I much prefer to sell to pros). So often the temptation is to buy the horse that will be huge, the horse with the extravagant movement. It can work out for those who've never done it, but Susie should know that training such a horse will be humbling, especially if you don't have the help you need.

                                        Dressage Today is publishing a series of articles called "The Kindergarten Years" which might be helpful to you. The Feb 2017 issue features a horse I bred, Seig. I'm a very lucky breeder because his owner, an FEI rider and a pro, is taking her time with that horse, getting help when she needs it, ensuring he gets the right start and isn't rushed. I assure you it's not cheap and the road is long, but it's going to be incredibly rewarding when they start competing.

                                        If, on the other hand, Susie decides on a schoolmaster, tell her to contact me. I know of a sound 3rd level horse for $15k.
                                        Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                                        Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
                                        'Like' us on Facebook

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
                                          I'm 30, so I don't have infinite time in my life. This horse may be my last real competition horse in my life. This was the only way I was affording one, and my budget was a lot smaller than the one being discussed.

                                          I think it just really depends on the situation.


                                          That's funny.


                                          I think everyone asking ultimate goals has really captured it. It depends and varies greatly depending on goals and motivation. For me, I always have Grand Prix as a final goal, but that doesn't mean I'll reach it. That's more a guideline on not skipping steps and leaving holes, and keeping my horse's long term mental and physical health a priority. What I really value and what really matters to me is the partnership with the horse - even if that means I need a lot of help from a pro to make up for my weaknesses. I'm a dramatically untalented middle aged AA, but I'm motivated, lucky to have a good job in a low cost area, and have an excellent FEI trainer. My first horse was an 8 year old OTTB who had evented pretty successfully when I bought him, who had some issues I knew about. As we started working on those issues, they started showing to be significantly more than expected, layers upon layers of issues. Some physical, some mental stemming from his never being meant to be a racehorse mentally. I actually would LOVE to have him as an unstarted young horse, as he is extremely talented physically, and mentally I suspect would be just the type I love - sensitive and energetic, but not the least spooky.
                                          My gelding made me look for unstarted for my next horse. I had looked at young horses in person and online for a while before buying her at 2 1/2, and she is turning out to be exactly the horse I had hoped she would be. I went for rideable gaits, a full sibling I got to ride for an idea of how she would feel (which was pretty darned accurate), a sire who produces piaffe with international jumping and dressage lines, and a dam from athletic eventing lines. At 39, I will most likely be doing young horses I start for the foreseeable future. I enjoy all the "boring" stages of just working on the mind, waiting for the body to develop, helping them understand. And the trust and partnership which builds from that. It's not for everyone, it's mental focus, and it takes both a lot of work and a lot of good ground support (plus pro rides when you're as untalented as I am!) It has made me a better rider than I expected to be or knew I had to learn, yet nowhere near the rider I want to be in the future. So I just keep at it, and while I wouldn't turn down a schoolmaster, it's just nowhere on my list of desires.
                                          Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                          If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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