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Which horse?

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  • Which horse?

    I just bought a horse around 2 months ago. She is still young, only 6 years old and a bit inexperienced but still a good horse. I was told by my instructor that I should maybe switch to a new horse because it will take half a year to a whole year until I can start competing. I want to compete, and I’m not sure if I can wait that long. I’m not really attached to her yet so I’m not sure if I should switch. I’m not really experienced yet, and my horse isn’t either, so I don’t think that would be a good pair. My instructor also said that the other horse is older and more experienced than my horse. If I’m willing to wait and if I don’t mind which horse, I should probably not switch but I think I do want to, but the other horse will cost a bit more money. What should I do?

  • #2
    I would listen to your instructor if you want to be showing sooner rather than later. The advice is solid - a green horse and a green rider together are usually not a good match. Sure, there are exceptions, but often it ends up being a long road and a struggle. The older and more experienced horse is probably ready to go to shows already and will allow you to focus and work on preparing yourself rather than trying to also train a young horse. You will also likely be safer and able to have good, confidence building experiences at the shows rather than accidents or disappointment.


    • #3
      Could you not have your young horse to train up and maybe lease or half lease an older experienced one to compete with?

      ETA just read the part that you aren't experienced either. I would definitely go with the older one then, let the green horse go to someone who can bring them along efficiently. Training young horses can be very rewarding but you won't be going out to compete for a while, and when you do go it will have to be entirely focusing on having good easy experiences for the horse, even if that means unloading, walking around and leaving. You won't be able to just focus on yourself and your riding.


      • #4
        We don’t know you or the horse. Your instructor does. Best choice here is listen to your instructor if your goals are to compete. If she’s suggesting a horse to you, she very likely can sell your Greenie pretty quick and easy to maybe even trade with you outright.

        Making up a Greenie when you are a Green yourself means neither one of you knows how and there’s only so much a trainer teaching you twice a week can do without getting on and training the horse. Plus that, you have no idea if the horse will be able to compete well or not with a lot of months of board, vet, farrier and lessons, maybe Pro rides if you get stuck ahead of you. The months add up big time bucks without getting you into the show ring.

        Your choice but think you are going to be a lot happier and have more fun with that older BTDT horse to teach you the ropes. Later on, there’s always a good market for that kind of horse and you can sell him and get yourself a project Greenie after you learn what you are doing well enough to teach the horse.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • #5
          Why not keep your younger horse and compete on a horse your instructor has while your horse is learning? If the older horse belongs to your instructor or one of her clients I would be suspicious.


          • #6
            I assume if the OP could have both horses, there would not have been this question?

            In general, a well trained experienced show horse is who will teach you best how to show.
            The right horse for that, not just any show horse.
            Some show horses are not easy to show, others just right for someone to learn with.


            • #7
              A few questions for you, OP -

              Why did you buy this horse specifically (the greenish 6yo)? Did you have help finding this horse/arranging the purchase? If you did, was it with people you are working with now (or was it different professionals/trainers/etc)? What components are going into the 6-12 month timeline (what skills are you being told you/horse need to acquire before you can show)?

              In general it is typically not a bad idea for a less experienced rider to buy a horse with more experience and education. Learning what you are doing when you are not also trying to teach a horse (teaching them something you also don't know) is generally easier. This is one reason why people advise green riders avoid green horses.

              All that said: I am curious why this conversation didn't happen prior to the purchase of the green horse. That was a discussion that should have occurred. ("What are your goals?" "I want to show." "This horse is green and hasn't shown before - are you willing to show LATER as opposed to this season?") If you bought the horse on your own (or under guidance/supervision of individuals you're no longer working with - or even against advice of the professional, which is fine, it's happened before) and are realizing now that what you thought you were getting into isn't the reality of the situation, you aren't the first and you won't be the last. It isn't wrong to sell a horse that you're a poor fit for (skills, goals, temperaments, etc, may not line up), but do be sure that you ask the right questions before selling/buying the next one so you don't end up with a revolving door repeating this pattern.


              • #8
                Yeeeeaaaaahhh not enough info. I ask to understand how you feel about current horse..what made you buy it?? How do you feel about potential horse? You do not mention how well you know or how you feel about potential horse. Again if instructor financially benefits from you changing horses I would be suspicious. Here is a thought...take current horse to a show just to hang out on the grounds and see how she reacts being at a show before deciding anything. Again just asking to try and get informed..Have you ever shown? If not start on older horse a few times. Decide based on how you feel emotionally about each horse and if one is really more suitable for you to ride in general, not just in shows. SSSSSOOOOOOOO many things could happen to prevent you from showing no matter which horse you own that would NEVER NEVER EVER be a top criteria for keeping or selling.
                Last edited by Haylter; May. 15, 2019, 11:21 AM.


                • #9
                  Trainers make a big part of their living buying and selling, it’s not nefarious to suggest a client with an unsuitable horse allow trainer to sell it and suggest a more suitable mount in the barn. Certainly not expect full commissions here but well trained horses often sell within the barns of good, honest trainers and everybody is happy with no surprises since it’s a known suitable horse.

                  If OP feels the trainer is going to rip her off or cheat her, or if trainer sold her the unsuitable Green horse in the first place, OPs got a much bigger problem then being overhorsed and looking at a long time to the show ring. Likewise don’t think taking this Greenie to a show right now is going to set anybody up for success.

                  Would also like to know how and why OP ended up with this particular horse when her goals were to learn to show in the very near future. Probably on a tight budget but if that’s the case, it’s even more important to get the most suitable horse in the first place to save money in the long run.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                  • #10
                    I meant take greenie to show just to hang out on the grounds, not competed...edited my post for clarity