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Poll: finished horse or young with talent for a returning-rider

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  • Poll: finished horse or young with talent for a returning-rider

    So....I am returning to jumping after oh, 25 years off...anyhow, after taking lessons for a while I am ready to start looking for a horse. I rode up to level 2 jumpers before I went off to college, so I am not a beginner, not an expert, and have rusty form. I will be able to have a trainer who can work with the horse to undo whatever damage my riding might leave, but the question remains:

    do I buy a finished, older horse (who makes things easier for me), but who I may outgrow in 3-4 years, or a younger horse who can grow with me (but who may make my own re-learning on more challenging)? Your thoughts and experiences are appreciated.

  • #2
    I am going through this as well. I returned to riding after 8 years off, and recently became a weekend warrior rider. I purchased a horse (by a fluke and very unplanned). I went with a project because I knew I may get bored with a made horse and budget mattered. Yes I don't get to jump right away and no I don't care, but I'm wondering if I made the right choice. Go with your gut! Trust YOUR insticts and do not let anyone steer you in a different direction.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it is important for a re-rider to have a confidence building ride. If your budget permits, I'd buy a made up horse with the talent to do more than you're capable of now, so you can grow into him/her and do the big stuff together later.

      Comment


      • #4
        Totally go with the finished horse, the whole, "younger horse who can grow with me" never ends up working out like that and you will end up frustrated. You need something finished so you can concentrate on yourself.

        Comment


        • #5
          anyhow, after taking lessons for a while I am ready to start looking for a horse.
          Have you discussed this with your trainer? which way does he lean?

          do I buy a finished, older horse (who makes things easier for me), but who I may outgrow in 3-4 years, or a younger horse who can grow with me (but who may make my own re-learning on more challenging)?
          What are your budget vs time constraints?

          If you did pick up a young green horse, will you be able to lesson on trainer's horses (training you) AND lesson with your horse (training your horse)?

          Which option intrigues you more?

          What sort of horses have you been riding in lessons? & for how long? have you looked into leasing: why not lease a BTDT horse for 6 months, then lease a nice prospect for 6 months?

          Comment


          • #6
            Finished for the first one. Spend a year or two on it then decide if you want to keep or go green....but I would be very reluctant to recommend something green for a returning rider. Sometimes it works out, most of the time it doesn't.

            Comment


            • #7
              Really, look before you leap here. Returning to ownership after a long hiatus includes some surprises you don't think about, especially working it in with career and family demands that were never an issue when younger.

              Do a full lease to start for 2 reasons. First it will let you discover how your barn time is going to work out, finances and if you are a good fit for your trainers program. Sometime you learn your twice weekly lesson experience is not the same as the full time owner experience.

              Second, you can polish you own skills without distraction and quickly get back where you were...or decide you now like 3' Hunters instead of 3'9" Jumpers. It happens when you get older and learn you no longer bounce.

              Also, when you are ready to buy, not all projects are babies. If you are careful, you can find a lot of older types with good basics that hit the skids with bad riding/training. You can usually get those turned around inside of a year. Lots of older riders do pretty well with those and can do most of it themselves not worrying about the greenie boogers that are fun at 20, not so much at 40+.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by findeight View Post
                Also, when you are ready to buy, not all projects are babies. If you are careful, you can find a lot of older types with good basics that hit the skids with bad riding/training. You can usually get those turned around inside of a year. Lots of older riders do pretty well with those and can do most of it themselves not worrying about the greenie boogers that are fun at 20, not so much at 40+.
                I agree with this (and the leasing suggestions). I came back to riding for real (as opposed to the occasional trail ride ) three years ago, after 28 years off. I'd owned horses and shown eq/hunter/jumpers in my previous life.

                I do not have the time and, frankly, am not in a position to take on the long term financial responsibility of owning a horse (since we have to board in an expensive area). So, I've been half leasing.

                First half leased horse was a decent enough guy to get me back on my feet and work on some fitness issues, but intermittent soundness problems prevented any progress toward jumping much again.

                The mare I half lease now is a great "project" for where I'm at now. She's not super young and she's not really green. She's sound and sane. She's 9 and has a solid lower level dressage background. She didn't like dressage much after a while, but loves to jump, though she's pretty new to it...and she had a year and some off from any serious work prior to my picking up the half lease.

                She's a good, safe, but challenging enough to be interesting, "project". She started out unfit, but solid on flatwork, so it was a reasonable project for my current ability to get her fit enough to jump again...now trainer, owner and I are starting to work on jumping.

                Since first half leased horse and I did not do much jumping at all, I took regular jumping lessons on the barn manager's 2'6" packer before working on jumping with this mare. I could work on getting my eye and timing back on a horse who knew what HE was doing and was forgiving of some mistakes on my part.

                Comment


                • #9
                  PC posted same thing twice!
                  Last edited by Canaqua; Mar. 21, 2013, 10:54 AM. Reason: duplicate

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by findeight View Post
                    Really, look before you leap here. Returning to ownership after a long hiatus includes some surprises you don't think about, especially working it in with career and family demands that were never an issue when younger.

                    Do a full lease to start for 2 reasons. First it will let you discover how your barn time is going to work out, finances and if you are a good fit for your trainers program. Sometime you learn your twice weekly lesson experience is not the same as the full time owner experience.

                    Second, you can polish you own skills without distraction and quickly get back where you were...or decide you now like 3' Hunters instead of 3'9" Jumpers. It happens when you get older and learn you no longer bounce.

                    Also, when you are ready to buy, not all projects are babies. If you are careful, you can find a lot of older types with good basics that hit the skids with bad riding/training. You can usually get those turned around inside of a year. Lots of older riders do pretty well with those and can do most of it themselves not worrying about the greenie boogers that are fun at 20, not so much at 40+.
                    Iagree with the above.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd say lease a finished one until you've gotten confident and strong in the saddle again, maybe 6 months to a year. Then get something young with talent. And remember, young with talent doesn't always mean super green. There are some great young ones out there with level heads.
                      Mendokuse

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OTTB-HP View Post
                        I knew I may get bored with a made horse
                        Personally, I have never understood people that get bored with made horses. I can honestly say that I have never been since there is always more to learn, do better, etc.

                        That being said, I agree completely with findeight's post
                        Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                        Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with everyone who's suggested leasing! I'm working my way towards hopefully buying a youngster in a couple years and I'm currently leasing a made hunter to build my confidence. So far it's been going really well - I've gained great experience o/f both at home and in the show ring, so by the time I've saved up for a young'n with talent I'll be ready to RIDE a young'n with talent! You probably won't get bored with a made horse in a year or two, and at the end of the lease you'll be able to reevaluate which road you want to take.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You took 25 years off? I'm over 40 now and have never really taken tome off riding. However I'm not as brave as I once was, and I can assure you that gravity is stronger and the ground is harxer than when I was 20. Go with a made horse... or a very good minded greenie... I get the idea that you might get bored on the made one.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm a trainer and I never can understand people saying they will get bored with a made horse. I would love a made horse, but when they get that way they get sold to pay the bills.

                              Get something that won't blow your confidence. Doesn't have to be fancy, but something that goes well WTC and jumps around at least a small course and can take a joke.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'd go for a horse with a little more training and experience. It doesn't necessarily have to be something "finished" but something with enough training and experience that you can ride, school and show it now, not in a year or so. What you might save in purchasing a younger horse will quickly be spent anyway in the form of training bills. Young horses are very expensive to bring along. I think most ammies would have a better experience spending money on lessons for themselves rather than on training for a young horse.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Finished! I have one now and never get bored, if anything he is letting me develop as a rider to levels I never was able to achieve when younger and much more brave. (Back then I could only afford green or OTTB's)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Maybe consider leasing a finished horse until you find something you really want/click with. While you're looking, set some limits but stay open minded and wait for the right one to come along.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'd second/third/fourth/fifth those who ask if you can lease, shareboard and/or take lessons for a while until you're back in the swing of things and back in riding shape?

                                      I jumped into ownership after a two-year hiatus by buying a young horse and it's working out, but only because she's also in training and happens to have one of those old-soul brains. But even still, I get aggravated with myself on a weekly basis for being out of shape and rusty and wishing I'd spent a little more time putting myself back together before diving headfirst into owning a young horse. I can't imagine being out of the saddle for 25 years and coming back to a young horse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Lease a schoolmaster for a year until you get back into the swing of things. Then look into getting a baby if you still want one then.
                                        Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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