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Which Horse??? (long)

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  • Which Horse??? (long)

    I've been in a bit of a riding "rut" lately and after chatting with my trainer last week, I have some opportunities to get out of it! I was half leasing a fabulous horse, whom I clicked really well with, but she went lame earlier this year and won't be coming back to the barn, (sound now but I can't afford a full lease). At that point, a girl in the barn let me ride her horse full-time since she had another greenie to deal with. He was for sale and sold in June. Since then, I've just been riding random horses in the barn for people on vacation, sick, busy, etc.

    Anyways, now two different half leases have presented themselves and I'm having trouble picking one.

    Horse #1: Gorgeous WB schoolmaster. Has done medals and hunters all over and can do anything you ask in his sleep. Is a great horse for building confidence and working on yourself since he's pretty push button. Due to his age, (mid-twenties), his limit in jumping is 2'6. His other half leaser, (according to my trainer), is not that driven so I'd get to ride pretty much whenever I want.

    Horse #2: Younger WB, calm, lazy, and definitely more of a kick kind of ride. Nice personality, good mind, but not as experienced. Scopey, (trainer has jumped him over 4ft), but definitely needs guidance and constant pace reminders, (likes to get behind your leg). His owner is only half leasing him because of a busy school schedule, but is very easy to get along with.

    Both horses sound great right now! I'm leaning towards horse #2 since I do want to move up, but I could also learn a lot from horse #1. With the horse I was leasing before she got hurt, we were just getting really comfortable at 3ft and ready to move a little higher. I really don't want to be stuck at/under 3ft, and I know horse #2 could move me up as long as I'm really consistent/confident in my riding. I know it's very unrealistic to think I'm going to find a 3'6 horse to pack me around without paying $$$, which I don't have.

    If you were in my situation and had to pick one horse, which one would it be and why?

  • #2
    I would ride them both and see what my gut told me. You may find that you "click" with one more than the other.

    I'd probably go for the younger one, all things being equal, as you won't have the 2'6" limitation but if you ride the old guy and love him? It's a lease! Have fun.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


    • #3
      Horse #1 sounds like a great teacher for someone...but you were already comfortable at 3' and ready to move up. Horse #1 will be a step down and how do you know he'll stay sound for riding and showing when he's being worked more? If you aren't very serious about showing or improving your skills, you could lease horse #1 just to have something you can count on having to ride. I think horse #2 would be a good choice if you want to continue improving yourself and taking lessons. You'll be able to move up and I think riding a less pushbutton horse will make you more aware of your riding (giving direct concise signals, coming straight to fences, etc.). Plus, since he's more of a kick ride, you'll build leg strength! lol.

      Whichever you choose, make sure you actually really enjoy riding the horse because it's just a lease, not a purchase.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bogie View Post
        I would ride them both and see what my gut told me. You may find that you "click" with one more than the other.

        I'd probably go for the younger one, all things being equal, as you won't have the 2'6" limitation but if you ride the old guy and love him? It's a lease! Have fun.
        My advice also. I'd be leaning toward horse #2 because of the lack of limitations you would experience versus leasing horse #1. You'll learn a lot from bringing along a youngster and getting such a horse (I have one!) in front of your leg is not really an issue if you find the right approach (and it doesn't involve leg strength). Finding and developing that right approach is one of the areas where you will learn tons
        ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
        ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bogie View Post
          I would ride them both and see what my gut told me. You may find that you "click" with one more than the other.

          However, if you were doing 3 ft on your old horse, I would definitely lean towards the younger horse. I, for one, would be extremely bored stuck at 2'6, especially after jumping 3 ft and wanting to move up to 3'6.

          Plus, if some soundness or health issue comes up with the older horse, and the younger horse is being leased, you would be in the same position that you are in now.

          In my opinion 'kick' rides are easier than 'pull' rides because you can always add a spur, crop, etc but you can't always calm down a hot horse! If he is a very calm and lazy horse at shows, you can focus on your position more instead of trying to slow him down. That said, I have extremely strong legs and I don't know which type of ride you prefer!

          Best of luck with your decision and new horse!
          Professional hunter princess


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the replies!

            I did ride horse #2 for a couple months while his owner was recovering from surgery, (not riding related), and we seemed to get along well. I prefer a horse with a little more pep to a lazy one, but I actually got him going pretty forward. His laid back attitude is kind of refreshing though! He's also matured a bit since I last rode him.

            At this point, I just keep finding more and more pro's about horse #2. Since the lease would be month-to-month, I can stop pretty much whenever if something isn't working.