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Has "beginner safe", "bombproof", "husband horse" changed???

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  • Has "beginner safe", "bombproof", "husband horse" changed???

    I'm just curious if I'm the only one encountering this...I have looked at a number of horses within the last year that supposedly were husband safe, good guest horse, beginner safe.... (I know NO horse is BOMBPROOF!)
    But I am realllllly adamant that my husband IS NOT a rider and needs a trail safe ride for the occasional ride.
    Every horse I've gone to see and ride, I wouldn't put someone I hated on it on a trail ride, much less my husband...I kinda like him! Has the definition of beginner safe horse changed since the last time I bought a beginner horse
    10+ years ago????
    Or WHAT???? I am so frustrated. I couldn't be ANY more clear and end up driving to try a horse only to ride it for 2 minutes (if I even get on) to say this is NOT going to work! I really don't understand. He wants a drafty gelding, but at this point, SAFE!!!!
    What's the deal????

  • #2
    The deal is people are trying to sell their horses. If someone is dumb enough to believe what they say instead of trying the horse out... well, that's what you get. The definition has not changed. FWIW, I haven't come across that many advertised bombproof horses that actually were bombproof, either.


    • #3
      Well, the way I see it is that a lot of women don't like their husbands very much!


      • #4
        If he is just going to ride occasionally, maybe you can help widen the field by looking at horses with small soundness issues which won't be effected by an occasional trail ride?

        I'm thinking of old lesson horses, which would otherwise be thrown out the door, specifically.


        • #5
          I think it is just a marketing tool.

          To me, a ":beginner safe" horse is going to be:
          b) has been used in a lesson program, trail string or the like so it has had multiple riders that it carried safely
          c) at least 10 years old- there are so many 2 to 4 year olds advertised as "beginner safe", when really, the baby horse is just waiting to mature before it learns to buck the sucka off its back.
          d) absolutely sound- no unsound horse can be expected to be safe if it has pain somewhere.

          and therefore will not usually be cheap.

          HOwever, the lower priced horse market is like bargain basement time at walmart right now. You might find that $5 silk suit, but you'll wade through a mountain of cheap, illfitting polyester first...
          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


          • #6
            Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
            If someone is dumb enough to believe what they say instead of trying the horse out... well, that's what you get. The definition has not changed.
            The OP is going to check them out and wasting her time. I am missing where this comment comes from.

            I have not tried to buy anything but I would be frustrated if that was happening to me too. I can see some people exaggerating but it seems that almost no one wants to be honest about what they are selling now days.


            • #7
              well, my take on it is NO horse is "bombproof" and the ones that come close to it are in HIGH demand and do cost a reasonable amount of money. But what I suggest to someone with the occasional riding husband is GET HIM SOME LESSONS and help him to become a more capable rider. People can and do fall off and get hurt even killed when a horse spooks at a walk. Beginners who rarely ever ride are at a high risk of something like this happening. Couple that with buying the so called "bombproof" hrose and then only riding it 2 - 3 times per year and that is a recipe for disaster! If you REALLY love your husband get him some good isntruction so that he becomes a better rider and then find a suitable horse.


              • Original Poster

                AS I said I KNOW there is no such thing as a BOMBPROOF horse. Every horse can and will spook.
                Husband has NO interest in taking riding lessons anymore than I want to take boating lessons (he is a boat captain), but our horses live with us and on the weekends I don't want to take off on a trail ride here at the farm and leave him at home.
                I have taught him enough to be safe and occasionally he will ride my 6yo Shire, but we want to go out together around here.
                The horses I've tried after explaining EXACTLY what I want, were horrible.
                I guess it is the market too, people w/o hay to get through the winter want to "unload" horses and will say anything...wish there was a way to make them accountable!!!


                • #9
                  To be honest, all my bombproof horses have come from someone's backyard, not a big barn.

                  So, look at tiny little classified ads within your driving distance. Size, type and age of horse you are interested in. Get pics and videos if any distance is involved (for me over an hour away). You will still see plenty of duds, but honestly...there are some really nice horses out there.

                  Ask farriers, a lot of people have lovely horses in their backyards that aren't being advertised. Maybe a lease option on a horse that really isn't "for sale" but isn't being used. Once the horse is off the property and works for you, buy it.

                  I have 3 "bombproof" husband/kid safe horses, but I looked long and hard. In fact we've had two of these guys over 10yrs now, and they aren't going anywhere.

                  My last horse was really green, but I could just see the potential in his eyes. Now he is more dependable that my oldies.

                  Keep looking.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                    The OP is going to check them out and wasting her time. I am missing where this comment comes from.

                    I have not tried to buy anything but I would be frustrated if that was happening to me too. I can see some people exaggerating but it seems that almost no one wants to be honest about what they are selling now days.
                    Sorry, I should have said that's what they get, not you, as in the OP. I meant someone that isn't trying a horse out and just going on the seller's word, unlike what the OP is doing. Sorry for the confusion.


                    • #11
                      " d) absolutely sound- no unsound horse can be expected to be safe if it has pain somewhere."

                      I think this definition needs to be changed to servicibly sound. A horse that can not tolerate jumping or higher level dressage work may be suitable for YEARS AND YEARS as a trail horse.

                      My ancient horse had arthritis in his hocks, to the point where he could no longer be a high level hunter. But, with proper management he was a stunning horse for flatwork and VET recommended as it was better to keep him going. He was not "in pain" at all, as soon as he became uncomfortable he was fully retired at the ripe old age of 28 (not bad for a TB!)

                      I would try looking for a retired show horse. Many people give them away as they have been used up so much in the ring, they just want a kind home for them. A lot of them are sound for light work.


                      • Original Poster

                        A recent "bombproof" (I hate to even use that word) horse was loaned to me by a "trainer" to help my husband get confidence. I tried horse at "trainers", dead... they drop horse off and it becomes a RAGING LUNatic!!! I mean Scary just in the pasture or attempting to lead...maybe he switched horses??...I promptly asked he pick this idiot up! He got an attitude and asked what the problem was...it took him over 20 minutes to catch his horse then the horse tried to flip in the trailer...I quietly said "that is NOT bombproof buddy"!
                        Maybe too, I'm older and maybe bombproof has changed for me! I used to get on the stupid ones for a challenge, now..... no WAY. Hmmmm maybe a light bulb moment???


                        • #13
                          I had someone offer up a six month old pony stud colt when I mentioned I was looking for a mount for my (then) four year old daughter. It's a good thing looks can't kill. But I did manage to politely squeeze out that I didn't think that would be suitable. . . she's like "aw sure, they can grow up together!"

                          Been offered green broke two year olds, unbroke older horses, etc. For a beginner -child-.
                          I understand wanting to sell their horses, but geez. They get a gullible person and
                          the kid gets seriously hurt or killed. . . .


                          • #14
                            I agree that it is very frustrating to expect one thing and get something completely different. My trainer needed to expand the beginner end of the business as the current horses were aging, being overused, and just plain not enough of them to run a lesson with up to 8 up-downers. She was having a heck of a time even with her contacts.

                            Just keep looking. Personality is key, with training you will have that safe and sane horse you want. And don't sell the DH short, if he has a CG license he had to take all kinds of classes, he may be willing to take a short course of lessons.
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible


                            • #15
                              I am in full agreement with the OP. The rescue "bombproof" I got last winter may still be too much horse for hubby. True, he doesn't spook at anything, or even look much, esp. compared to the arab , but he likes to move out at a fast trot. Hubby has been riding 35 years, with lessons on and off, but will always be an advanced beginner. I see all these expensive (4000-5000) on the net. Are they what they're advertised? Or is it more likely that they really are a good seasoned horse for the intermediate to advanced rider? And if I got one of these, and they were still too hot for hubby, could I recoup my money? Buying for 5000 is easy, selling one for 5000 is a lot harder.
                              There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                              • #16

                                These are all in VA (I saw lots of interesting ones and I could have expanded the search to include OH and MD and pulled up probably 100 more!). :





                                Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                                • #17
                                  Rebmik, I can't tell you how many I've seen advertised as bomproof/beginner/husband horses. Honestly I think it's more rare to see one listed for sale without those attributes, though we all know that those attributes are relatively rare. It is frustrating.

                                  I started looking for such a horse several years ago. I had a low budget so I started looking mostly at backyard horses. The owners were so uneducated they didn't know what they had. At first I was angry about wasting my time, but honestly, if a person doesn't know that their bit is in backwards, they probably don't know their horse isn't trained.

                                  So I upped my budget and started looking at horses in "professional" barns. Sadly it wasn't much better.

                                  The truth of the matter is that horses like this get passed on to friends, family members, or other people in the same barns/circles. They are hard to find, and when somebody comes across one, they keep him/her. My bombproof/husband horse was actually given to me when he couldn't stand up to the rigors of lesson work any more. He had a few kinks to iron out but I'm so lucky to have gotten him.

                                  Here are my tips:

                                  -Don't look for a "kids" horse. Kids are brave and/or stupid. Brave kids will ride anything. So will stupid ones. Just because a horse has been ridden by kids does not mean it is suitable for one! Also, many horse sellers live by the saying that God watches over fools and children. Just look at some sales ads to see what I mean!

                                  -To most people, husband horse means one or more of the following:
                                  a) It's big...can probably carry a man
                                  b) It's too strong for a lady...probably pull her arms out of socket!
                                  c) Based on the same premise that most men won't stop and ask for directions, let's dump the horse on some man whose macho-ness won't allow him to admit that he can't manage to ride the horse.

                                  - Look for a "granny" horse. Tell them you are bringing your beloved 80 year old grandmother with arthritis and 2 hip replacements. Tell them the horse is for her, she means more to you than anything in the world and the horse has to be perfectly suited for her. I am dead serious. Just say this to the seller and be amazed at all the "disclosures" that wouldn't have happened if you were looking for a "kids" or "husbands" horse!

                                  Good luck!


                                  • #18
                                    I fully agree with the suggestion to talk to your farrier. Also put the word out with your vet, the local tack store, the feed folks, etc. You are far more likely to find a great horse by word of mouth and not so likely to find someone wanting to take advantage of you. My husband's horse was a 16 year old OTTB who belonged to a friend (and veterinary chiropractor). He was retired to pasture board somewhere and she suggested that we give him a try as a free, permanent lease (keep him as long as we wanted). We had looked and looked with much the same result ("bombproof" "beginner-safe" horses that tried to buck me off within the first couple of minutes). This horse couldn't have been better if he tried. He was the type who when worked consistently (by my hubby- he didn't like my ride but would do anything my super-green hubby asked) could go around a BN x-c course with ease but was also good to get out of the pasture for as little as 4 rides a year. We ended up keeping him through until the end of his days and miss him very dearly. He did give my husband the confidence to decide to not get another "bombproof" horse, but instead to give my made eventer a try for his next ride Keep looking and get as many ears to the ground as possible. There are plenty of great horses out there and many can be had for free to the right home (for that matter, check the freebies list on here!). Good luck!


                                    • #19
                                      lol if you are ever up in jersey..we have a draft x mare that is at the rescue a client has. She isn't broke BUT will beginner safe. She's free to a good home, as her last owner dumped her and she does have arthritis in her ankles, so will only be able to be a w/t horse. She's only 5, so we're not quite sure what she will or wont be able to do, other than that. (THat was what the vet thought).

                                      She does w/t/c on the lunge line and has had people (me and another rider) on her while being led around. Not spooky at all. 16.2 paint x draft.

                                      Just thought you might want to take a mini vacation. lol.

                                      There are SOME non lying sellers out there, though lately it seems they are few and far between (i had one client get screwed over royally by a 4-H leader. You'd think that should be a "you're safe" kinda thought b/c of what they do with their time. I'm of course, the one that ended up getting hurt b/c the drugs wore off and up his ass came. down i went. sigh.)

                                      Good luck

                                      *Maybe check out some of the "real" rescues?



                                      • #20
                                        I don't think the definition has changed per se...it's just that not everyone gets it.

                                        Maybe some open ended questions are in order to help you screen a little better?

                                        IE: When you call, instead of saying, "So, he's never bucked?" or "So, you trail ride?"

                                        1) How often is this horse currently worked? By whom? How would you rate said rider? (novice, intermediate, etc.) Reason I'd want to know this is that some horses ARE great for a confident rider...but they fall apart with a novice.
                                        2) Can you describe the type of trails that you guys ride on?
                                        3) What else does the horse know how to do?
                                        4) Can you describe the tack you normally use? I would see red flags if there's a tie down, ginormous crazy bit, etc.

                                        To be really honest, the seriously "husband/guest/kid safe" horses are worth their weight in gold and I don't think you see many of them up for sale. They tend to get passed from friend to friend, family to family because they truly do seem to become the "go to" horse, ya know?
                                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...