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What would you buy for a 12 year old beginner?

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  • What would you buy for a 12 year old beginner?

    I'm looking for a horse for a 12 year old beginner. She's been learning to ride on my 17.1h 6 year old Danish Warmblood, but he's way too big, too green and he's a dressage horse. So we are looking for something more suitable. She wants to be able to do the low hunters and some flat classes. I'm thinking something around 15.2, with loads of show miles but also calm enough for the occasional trail ride. What do you guys think? Age? Size? (the rider is small but will be growing and Mom may want to take lessons on the horse also) Breed? Would you consider a horse that is ridden western? Arabians doing Hunter Pleasure? Also can you find this horse for under $8000?

    Thanks
    Erica
    Erica H. Max
    Fire Hjorner Farm
    Breeders and Importers of Danish Warmbloods

    www.danishwarmblood.com

  • #2
    How big is mom? Can mom already ride or is she also a beginner? Where does she want to do these low hunter classes -- at open shows or unrated h/j shows or rated h/j shows?

    Comment


    • #3
      I think 15.2 is a good height for that age, depending on how tall she is. If she's a bean pole, you might want to go closer to 16h. Breed doesn't matter as long as it is quiet and well trainer, but a lot of horses you'll find in your price range are QH and QHx.

      I have taken some western pleasure horses and turned them into nice hunters, but I am also a trainer. For a beginner I would look for something that's very well trained in whatever she wants to do (hunters, jumpers, eq, or just general hunt seat).
      Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
      My equine soulmate
      Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

      Comment


      • #4
        [edit]

        For a rider like that, and possibly mom, i would definitely go for the babysitter type. non specific to any breed, so long as they are quiet. generally the older horse will give you that quiet, confident ride, but i have come across younger guys (under 10 or 12) that have the same disposition. Would they be keeping the horse forever or reselling it when she outgrows his ability? that answer will dictate if age is a real issue or not, also size. smaller horses are much more difficult to sell (15h-15.3h) because riders are limited.

        what discipline is this girl into? hunters, jumpers, dressage, eventing? where does she want to go with her riding? having some idea of her long term goals will certainly impact the decision of what horse/type/discipline/etc you buy. If its just for pleasure, and no competitive desire, then options open more-western pleasure horses, etc.

        i think you could probably find that kind of horse for around 8-10k, but again, there are several variables that will impact price.
        Last edited by Moderator 1; Jan. 4, 2012, 06:19 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Find an oldster stepping down. A horse in the ~16 hand range who has been there, done that will be a good fit. I would not look for something that hasn't proven its ability to jump and show if she wants to do that - trying to teach a kid to ride AND a horse to jump isn't a good thing. Yes, you may have a little maintenance but it's well worth it.
          A proud friend of bar.ka.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd be looking for a ~15.1-16.1 critter that has miles, at least 10, but probably more like 13+. A 'stepping down' children's hunter that has shown on your local circuit might fit the bill.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              They don't have any property so they would probably be looking to resell the horse so age of horse is a factor. Mom is about 5'6" and a beginner as well. The daughter is very beanpole like so we've been looking at smaller horses but I appreciate the fact that they are harder to sell. Now I'm thinking that something in the 16.1-16.2 might be better.

              They would most probably show in unrated shows. We are in SW Colorado and shows are few and far between other than local shows. They would ride with a trainer several days a week but would also like to just go in the arena and play around with out a trainer.
              Thanks for the input
              Erica
              Erica H. Max
              Fire Hjorner Farm
              Breeders and Importers of Danish Warmbloods

              www.danishwarmblood.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Been there, done that horse of average size (15.3 to 16.1ish) no specifics as to breed, age, or gender. Most important is the miles, experience, and personality/temperment. If they get nothing out of it when they have to resell or rehome as a trail horse-- so be it, it will have served its purpose. Who cares how fancy or nice it is. The only thing that matter is it is sound enough and seasoned enough.
                ~Veronica
                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
                  I think 15.2 is a good height for that age, depending on how tall she is. If she's a bean pole, you might want to go closer to 16h. Breed doesn't matter as long as it is quiet and well trainer, but a lot of horses you'll find in your price range are QH and QHx.

                  I have taken some western pleasure horses and turned them into nice hunters, but I am also a trainer. For a beginner I would look for something that's very well trained in whatever she wants to do (hunters, jumpers, eq, or just general hunt seat).
                  Agree with this 100%.

                  Be patient. Tell vet, farrier, friends what you are looking for. Head to local shows, the kind kid will be competing in eventually, and scope out the trainers who are doing the local circuit and see what their horses are like and what the have for sale.

                  Around here we have a lot of QH barns, so it is somewhat easy to find a nice QH that is maybe not cut out for the breed circuit due to size or movement. They are perfect for the local circuit though, and are usually broke broke broke.

                  Don't get caught up on things like size, color, fancy movement. Don't even get crazy about it needing a lead change at this point. It just needs to be safe, trained, and broke.
                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Age is important. You do NOT want a three year old just broke to ride horse. Get a teenaged horse. With proper care they can last a very long time. Breed, color, gender isn't so important for a beginner (Mom and teen both) as is the three S's: Safe, Sane, Sound. Better to get a well broke, 19 year old babysitter than a horse that may be Incredibly Well Bred But.

                    In the early stages of riding, a horse that is too hot for a green rider can sometimes scare them off of riding permanently.

                    They should have a good solid understanding of basic equitation, and be comfortable with proper balance and seat at a walk and a trot before she ever pops over a fence.

                    Don't get hung up on price. A high price tag doesn't always mean the horse is a good one. A low price tag doesn't always mean the horse is a dog.
                    As one person said, ask around. There's always someone who knows someone who knows of a horse that's been outgrown that is just perfect for your green rider.

                    Get the horse vetted before you buy him.
                    The best thing to do on a golf course is a GALLOP!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                      Agree with this 100%.

                      Be patient. Tell vet, farrier, friends what you are looking for. Head to local shows, the kind kid will be competing in eventually, and scope out the trainers who are doing the local circuit and see what their horses are like and what the have for sale.

                      Around here we have a lot of QH barns, so it is somewhat easy to find a nice QH that is maybe not cut out for the breed circuit due to size or movement. They are perfect for the local circuit though, and are usually broke broke broke.

                      Don't get caught up on things like size, color, fancy movement. Don't even get crazy about it needing a lead change at this point. It just needs to be safe, trained, and broke.
                      The problem we have is that there aren't any shows around here this time of year. Maybe we should head south to Arizona for awhile.
                      Erica H. Max
                      Fire Hjorner Farm
                      Breeders and Importers of Danish Warmbloods

                      www.danishwarmblood.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry, I should have clarified that when I said "age doesn't matter" I meant don't pass because a horse is "too old," not "buy a 3 year old."
                        ~Veronica
                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, if they are both beginner riders? I would not worry too much about jumping ability and, understand that as much as you may like it to be so? One horse is generally not suitable to teach beginners and take them from ground poles to the show ring at anything over 2'ish. It's just a different skill set.

                          I like the idea of a QH type, probably at least 8 years old that knows what it's doing but is not fancy. There is a resale in that type horse as well.

                          You can certainly find those for under 8k. If you add style over fences, that is going to start jacking the price up for something they not only don't need but won't be ready for in the near future.

                          I don't think breed, type or color are big issues for a starter horse, just the right attitude and a kind heart.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I got my daughter a lease horse when she was 12. I already had an older horse with issues. Good luck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Obviously Colorado is a big state, but....

                              Horses that have been outgrown by their current kids are always worth a look:

                              [edit]

                              I did a quick search of CO on a few different sites but I see your dilemma-- I wasn't getting much that was older, and broke, and prices were ALL over the board.

                              Word of mouth/networking is going to be your best bet, for sure. The kind of horse they need is the kind of horse that sells long before it needs to be advertised.
                              Last edited by Moderator 1; Jan. 4, 2012, 06:20 PM.
                              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Someone getting out of pony club or going off to college or similar may be looking to sell/lease this type of horse. I would contact local pony clubs and 4H groups, in addition to putting the word out through vet/farrier etc.
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Hunter Mom View Post
                                  Find an oldster stepping down. A horse in the ~16 hand range who has been there, done that will be a good fit. I would not look for something that hasn't proven its ability to jump and show if she wants to do that - trying to teach a kid to ride AND a horse to jump isn't a good thing. Yes, you may have a little maintenance but it's well worth it.
                                  I concur. Look for an older been there done it horse around 16 hands. I looked for a long time for a horse that was fancy enough for me to show but quiet emough for my beginner husband to hack, trail ride and take the occassional lesson.
                                  I found a wonderful 13 year old (at the time) WBx gelding that had shown in the children's hunter division successfully, had lived at home and was a happy camper out on the trails. Sure, he has a few maintenance issues (hocks need to be injected every year and I have him on a joint supplement), but he fits the job description perfectly.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Do everyone a favor and get a horse who can be a nice pet, too.

                                    Why?

                                    So the kid and mom can enjoy him, no matter what and enjoy him on their own.

                                    So that the family feels a connection to him and to owning their first horse.... with all of the bills, effort and risk that that entails.

                                    So that they can sell him. He'll have a bigger market if he's a nice guy that anyone can love.

                                    So that you will want to keep him in the barn of the next kid.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Please avoid references/links to specific horses for sale to comply with our posting policies--keep the replies general.

                                      Thanks!
                                      Mod 1

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'd be looking to lease a horse if possible. Mom and kid may be at the same level now, but I will bet you that in a year, if the kid is committed, she will have progressed a lot more than mom and the horse that keeps mom happy will not be so fun for the kid. Alternatively, if the kid starts losing interest, mom may regret having stretched the budget for the kind of horse that could take the kid to 2'6" next year when mom won't be showing at 2'6" for years if ever.

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