View Full Version : First Horse ...eeeek

15th October 2009, 02:03 PM

I need some advice please.....

My 12yr old Daughter started riding about 6 months ago and is progressing well. She has been learning some technical aspects of riding and has got to cantering stage.

I am looking into either buying her a pony/horse or doing a share at the stables where she rides.

She is 5'7 quite tall, but quite slim. I just want to know what sort of horse I should be buying. I have taken a look at lots for sale and am really attracted to a warm blood, but do you think for a first horse a warm blood may be a bit racy? Also how big do you think I should be looking at, as i may go back to riding myself and thought we could share.

Any suggestions would be appreciated



15th October 2009, 02:06 PM
I'm no expert on suggesting horses so I won't go there but I would recommend you share a few first. You'll get a much better idea of what suits you both and then you can buy your dream horse without the hassle and heartbreak of having to sell because it wasn't right.

Cat x

15th October 2009, 02:16 PM
I would say 6 months is too soon after learning to ride to be buying a horse. The reason being in the first couple of years your riding progresses very quickly and the sort of horse you would need at 6 months will likely be a different animal to the one you would want after riding a couple of years.

For this reason I would say either a loan or a share would be the best idea until she is an established rider.

If she is only just learning to canter, a warmblood type would probably be a disaster, they generally need an experienced rider. I had been riding 18 years before I got my first warmblood.

For a first horse I would buy one at least 8 years old, and a cobby type, they are usually more sensible, something like a dales or fell pony would be perfect. Buying an older teenage horse is often a good idea as they have been there, seen it, done it and are good tutors for a new rider.

I am the same height as your daughter and I am suited to anything from a well built 14.2 upwards. My current horse is 15.2 and he is actually a little too big for me as he is well built.

15th October 2009, 02:24 PM
I would personally go for a share first so that she learns more about the day to day care, becomes a more competant rider etc.

In terms of what to look for I'd be looking for a schoolmaster that's been there and done it all already so that it can help your daughter learn rather than needed to learn itself at the same time. You also need to look for something that's safe in all situations, yes obviously all horses can be unpredictable but I'd want something that will hack out in traffic, alone or in company, isn't spooky or strong etc. Also you need to consider the financial and workload side of things, do you want something that can live out 24/7? Would you rather it could go barefoot either all round or just have front shoes? How much do you want to have to feed? I know all horses are individual but considering things like that will help you decide what 'type' to look for.

15th October 2009, 02:48 PM
Personally 6 months is nowhere near long enough really to consider buying a horse.
I would always get a share first.
Have you any experience of horse care. Do you have somewhere to stable it?
Will you be DIY livery or full?
Just some of the questions to ask first.
Sharing at the stables where she is now is a really good idea as you will find out then if your daughter will be totally committed.

15th October 2009, 04:16 PM
I wouldn't advise a Warmblood as a first horse! They're beautiful horses, but really not for 1st time ownership or for someone who has only been riding for 6 months. I'd also advise sharing a horse 1st that stays at its present location, so the owner can help when needed and give advise to your daughter. She needs to have hands on experience of the daily care a horse needs and not just the riding side. You may find that once she has to muck out, clean tack, prepare feeds etc, go down the yard in the freezing cold and chucking rain she might decide against having her own! If you do decide to buy go for a horse that has some experience. The quieter ones tend to be Irish Cobs or some of the native breeds.

My Crazy Clan
15th October 2009, 07:09 PM
Agree with the others, 6 months is nothing for owning a horse, loan or share for now, the least would be until the Summer.

15th October 2009, 08:03 PM
Owning a horse is a way of life - it changes your entire lifestyle and isn't something that you should rush in to. If I were you I would continue riding lessons at the stables for now before you think about buying your own horse. Maybe somebody at the stables would be willing to do a horse share with you and your daughter - it would be a good way of getting an insight into the daily "horsey" way of life. As your daughter is only 12 and is at school etc, it's more than likely that you will end up doing most of the work at the yard - what about the dark winter mornings and nights??? I certainly wouldn't go for a Warmblood as a first horse - they can be very demanding. My last horse was a Warmblood and she was hard work....I've had horses for the last 26 years and I can honestly say that she was the most headstrong. I would go for a schoolmaster type that's been about a while and has experience at various levels. Perhaps an older horse would be another option, as they tend to be a bit quieter and not so demanding.

15th October 2009, 09:04 PM
Thanks so much for all your replies, i really appreciate it.

My gut feeling was never to buy first, but to definetely share. The owner of the stables she rides at is brilliant, she would no way let her do anything she or we couldnt handle.

We will carry on with lessons until after Xmas, then we will set the wheels in motion to do a share at the stables she rides at. Its a lovely place, full of girls her age, most have their own horses, but have been riding for 2 years or more.

Yes we will be sharing first, also letting her do all the menial hard yard work, and after that (through the cold winter) we will see how keen she still is about having her own !! Even if she shares I want her to have something older and quieter as i dont want her put off by a spooker or excitable pony straight away.

Generally which are the calmer, more level headed horses? i think you guys have put me off warmbloods !! for a few years anyhow !!

I always worry the cob types seem so strong, and i think they will run away with her <<<<<< nervous Mum !!:lol:

Thanks again

My Crazy Clan
15th October 2009, 09:36 PM
Even if she shares I want her to have something older and quieter as i don't want her put off by a spooker or excitable pony straight away.

I think that would be good :)

New Forest are good kids pony's but I think most are not over 14'2hh I personally think she would be fine on this size but not sure if you would think that is big enough for your daughter?

15th October 2009, 09:43 PM
14.2 would be ok i think, but she has 31inch legs already !!! Just dont want anything too strong for her 1st time around.

My Crazy Clan
15th October 2009, 10:38 PM
Jesus! at 12! she should become a model :lol: What size horses does she ride at the riding school?

15th October 2009, 11:04 PM
lol yes she has a model figure. She rides a few different ones, mainly an old gelding who is 17 yrs old!! he's about 14.3hh.

Yesterday she rode one about 13.2hh ans her legs looked like they were dragging on the floor !!

She is going to need i reckon about 14.3. Im scared of her having a 15 hander !!

16th October 2009, 11:08 AM
I would say that you don't need to go for an individual breed, but write down a list of criteria, such as age, height, easy to ride for a novice, easy to handle, good on roads, what price you are willing to pay and have a look round to see what fits your criteria.

Generally I would suggest a cob type, but horses are very much individuals and I wouldn't write anything off, probably with the exception of TB's and warmbloods as generally won't be quiet enough.
My 15.2 cob has been ridden by a small 10 year old girl and he is very well built. Although strong, as long as they are well schooled and have good manners it doesn't matter.

Technically all horses, even small ponies are stronger than we are as they are much heavier and have more muscle than we do. I've been dragged to the floor by a minature shetland!

16th October 2009, 12:08 PM
My daughter rode from 6 to 12 years old then went off to go back to it at 17 1/2. She had lessons for four months on the horse that we ended up buying but I have to say that I look after him most of the time. There is always a genuine reason why she's not around like being at University, assignments to do, work and going out in hindsight she would have been better off with a share.

My Crazy Clan
16th October 2009, 08:34 PM
lol yes she has a model figure. She rides a few different ones, mainly an old gelding who is 17 yrs old!! he's about 14.3hh.

Yesterday she rode one about 13.2hh ans her legs looked like they were dragging on the floor !!

She is going to need i reckon about 14.3. I'm scared of her having a 15 hander !!

Honestly 15hh really isn't big these days, she would be fine, I bet you wouldn't really tell the different between a 14'3hh and 15hh. :)

18th October 2009, 09:59 PM
I wont be rushing into buying, thats for sure. She has been at the stables with her cousin this past weekend and my sis in law had her mucking out, she laughed and called her a city girl as she was clueless. But she is pretty much starting from scratch, so one step at a time would be sense i think. Lessons for now, possible share in a few months, then we will see in a year or so.

Do you guys think thats ok?

19th October 2009, 07:18 AM
I think if you can get her going and keep her interested through winter and all the bad weather, early cold mornings you will find out if she will be committed.
You will know if she is ready, but like you say, its a total learning curve at the moment.
Even now we are all still learning.

19th October 2009, 09:13 AM
I think what you're planning to do with lessons and helping out at stables during the winter months is a fantastic idea and very sensible. By then you'll have more idea of what size horse your daughter needs too and what she's going to want to do, ie is she going to want to just hack and ride in the school at the yard or is she competitive and going to want to go out jumping.

As for worrying about something 15hands or bigger, really there's no need! I have been seriously tanked off with (in trot might I add lol!!) by a 12.2 welshy, and have ridden the gentlest 17.2 who is built with a leg at each corner, really sturdy Irish Draught, who was the most saintly horse I've ever sat on and handled, so it really is dependent on the individual horse rather than size or breed! For a first horse though, as a general rule, I wouldn't go for a warmblood as they do tend to be a little quirkier than some native or native crosses!

Lots of luck xx