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good first horses

Discussion in 'Horses - all breeds / types' started by tina1, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. tina1

    tina1 New Member

    Hi! This may sound stupid but I am a complete novice when it comes to horses. I don't have any yet, but my family will be moving soon and we will have the opportunity to keep horses. I'm really just wondering what kind of expenses would be involved for the day to day keeping of one or two horses. Besides the barn, food, and shoes I'm kinda lost. Also, what kind of horse would you think would be best for me (age 18 ), and my step father (age 35) to learn how to ride and care for with. I was obviously thinking of an older horse but as I've said I'm really a newbie so any opinions are welcome. We will have approximately 1.5 acres (is this too small for a horse?) with a creek and lots of trees.

    Thank you!
  2. OTTB lvr

    OTTB lvr New Member

    Where are you from? Here (in Virginia) it's pretty much a rule of thumb to have 2 acres for the first horse, but as long as the horses have room to move around and plenty of grass or hay, an acre and a half is not unheard of. If you're going to be keeping the horses on your property, there will be the obvioius costs (vet, farrier, grain, hay) but you'll also have to think about bedding (shavings/sawdust/straw), buckets (feed and water) either a barn, or a run-in, halter and leadrope per horse, and wouldn't hurt to have at least one spare, medical supplies for emergencies, blankets/fly masks/fly sheets as needed to your area, grooming tools....and if you plan to ride at all down the road, saddle, bridle and bit, saddle pad, girth...also, insurance is really good to have for your horses in case of unexpected emergencies (death, stolen horses, colic surgery etc). De-wormers every 6-8 weeks. Do you plan on having someone bring the horses, or would you buy a trailer? You'll need safe fencing up around the field (NO barbed wire!!!) Also, where you're going to have the horses kept, is there water pipes going up there? You'll need a water trough and a hose as well. Plus all the bucket hooks and clasps.
    A lot of the stuff you need is a one-time buy (buckets, blankets, trough) until they wear out, years down the road, but you'll have to keep up on ordering feed, bedding etc as needed, plus keep an eye on the vet, farrier and worming schedules. Owning a horse shouldn't be trial and error, but have a boarding facility nearby you know you can contact if things get too heavy for you, so that you can move your horses to another location.
    As far as horses, look for something with a laid back personality. A lot of young horses and certain breeds (Arab, Thoroughbred, Warmbloods) have tendencies to be higher-strung, and even at an older age, aren't the best for beginners to learn with. A Draft, or a Draft X, Appaloosa, Paint or Quarter Horse may be a good learning choice, as well as many ponies. Make sure what you get suits your need and interest, and the personality matches you. If you want to learn as much as you can before you even think about riding, you may want to consider rescuing a horse in your area and going from there.
    If you decide to go through with this, good luck!! I hope I could be of some help to you :)
  3. tina1

    tina1 New Member

    Wow! Thank you for the wonderful information, I really appreciate it. You've given me quite a bit to mull over, many of the expenses I had thought of but there were quite a few that when I read them I went "oh, duh!" I live in California and watering them wouldn't be a problem as there is a creek that runs through the property (I assume this would be ok for them to drink as its what they would drink in the "wild", please correct me if I'm way off here!) or there is a nice place for a trough. I am reconsidering though as there are over 100 trees on this property so the horses wouldn't have room to run around without bumping into a tree! I do appreciate you taking the time to answer my silly newbie questions though.

    Thanks again,

  4. OTTB lvr

    OTTB lvr New Member

    Glad I could be of some help :) My friends used to have a horse in Cali, but I can't remember what they told me about turnout and how much room the farm had :( They're in SoCal (Greater LA area) so maybe that doesn't help you anyway! The creek would be fine for water, so long as it doesn't dry up. It would be best if it was a flowing creek, as standing water attracts mosquitos and such. If the creek was their main source of water, you'd have to make sure they were on a strict de-worming schedule, since you can never be quite sure what they're picking up in there.
  5. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    As far as expenses go. A good general rule of thumb is it takes $50 a day to keep a horse.

    As for pasturing, a horse will eat 3X's the amount of grass and hay that a cow will. A cow needs two acres a peice to live naturally. There for its a rule of thumb that each horse should have 5 acres, but not always. My two (at my house) are on 3 acres and doing great. Of course their fed daily and have access to hay continuously.

    Remeber, just because there's grass doesn't mean its fully nutritional for them. THey need suppliments, as well as access to hay.

    Honestly, a horse doesn't need to be shoed, unless there is some sort of laminess problems, or your riding heavily on concrete or hard rocky ground.

    Natural trim is the best way to go and oh so much cheaper. Horses can do alot of damage to themselves and others with shoes on in a pasture. THey can get pulled off from an uneven spot in the ground, causing damage to the hoof wall, or sucked off in the mudd, then later stepped on causing bruised feet.

    Really you need to try out a wide variety of horses to determine what is best for you. DO NOT RUSH to buy the first pretty horse you see. There are many many rescues such as LSER.ORG that have excellent beginer horses. Just because they are for novices, doesn't mean they aren't fast, or sprited!
  6. Horse_Lover

    Horse_Lover New Member

  7. Horse_Lover

    Horse_Lover New Member

    sorrry about the mess ups in my reply.
  8. OTTB lvr

    OTTB lvr New Member

    tina1 : i did some research today, and in Virginia, it is required by law, that in order to own a horse, you must own 2 acres, however, only 1 acre of that is required to be fenced in (and you can keep multiple horses on that....though, that doesn't mean that's good for the horses!) Check with your state and county to find out the laws there.

    Sams: 5 acres?! that's an awful lot!!
  9. tina1

    tina1 New Member

    Thanks again. The house is zone for ag and is ok by law for horses or small farm animals. I've decided to wait on even thinking about the horses for a while after everything you guys told me. I wasn't planning on rushing into this anyway but after this chat I'm certain that I couldn't even afford one horse. Things are so expensive in California anymore that just to have this one small house with one acre is nearly $200,000 and the "house" I've found out is a mobile home. I'm not up for that. I'll keep house shopping for now. But thanks again! You guys have been very helpful, I'm sure I'll have more questions for you guys in the future.

  10. lanena322

    lanena322 New Member

    Hi, I would reccomend trying out (if at all possible) different horse breeds before making youre decision. But I dont mean going and riding a 3yr old, try taking out mellow, older horses.

    Or try looking at different horse breeds and make sure you can test ride them before making your decision. Um...I personally would not recommend Thoroughbreds, most Arabians, or most Paso Finos as first time horses. Or any hot blooded breed.

    I own a Paso Fino stallion, an Arabian cross stallion and ride a TB mare and let me tell you all three fall under the 'experienced rider' category. My Paso Fino is a stallion in every sense of the word, he has excellent conformation but can be a pain in the butt most days! My arab is still in retraining and some days he will act like a green horse. The TB mare, being a racing breed is a real pain. She is always wanting to run, and I have to keep a tight rein, any loosening of the rein and she will take off.

    But keep in mind not all horses of this breed are like this. My mother owns a TB gelding and he is a very good horse, very well mannered and calm
  11. lanena322

    lanena322 New Member

    Oh, and another thing, I would personally recommend boarding. I say this because I used to board my Paso Fino down at the stables that I train and work at. But thats just my opinion, I work there so I wasnt charged for boarding, just for feed. I dont know if this is available to you.
  12. elizavixen

    elizavixen New Member

    I was going to recommend what lanena did. Try either leasing a horse or if you buy one, try boarding it for a year. Then you would have time to get used to the horse and learn about it and how to take care of it, rather than just jumping into it all by yourself.

    As far as breeds, I'm partial to quarterhorses myself. There are also paints, drafts, and walking horses. You should stay away from thoroughbreds, arabians, etc. They're highstrung.

    Also something you should think about - horses need company. I really don't think it's a good idea to just have one horse. They should have a friend, preferably another horse but at least a goat or something. They're herd animals. My horse freaks when he is the only one in the pasture.
  13. lanena322

    lanena322 New Member

    i agree with the company thing. hehe, when i first got my paso fino he was really lonely, he was always used to being with 3 or 4 horses. So, we went out and loaned a goat. Now, we no longer have the goat but we have the arab with him
  14. tina1

    tina1 New Member

    Boarding is good idea that I've been thinking about but there doesn't seem to be any boarders around here. We're still thinking about the move in general, it's hard to find a place with property! I'm estimating that if we find a house soon the move will probably happen by June and the whole horse thing probably won't begin until almost a year from then so I'll have plenty of time to learn. My mom actually had a horse when she was a teenager so we won't be jumping into this too blind. One more question, which way do you guys think its easier to learn how to ride western or english. I'm leaning toward western.

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply and for your wonderful suggestions!
  15. lanena322

    lanena322 New Member

    Well there there are positives to each saddle. I prefer the western saddle, as its more confy and thats a must for me since when I ride I ride for long periods of times. But the english saddle is a wonderful tool in teaching you proper balance. I personally have a western saddle and I loan an english one from a friend
  16. elizavixen

    elizavixen New Member

    I have both types. I think western would be easier to learn in - it is bigger and just more stable. I learned first in a western. HOwever, i love riding in my english saddle. you move more with the horse and are not so stuck in one position. if that makes any sense. there's just not really anything to hold on to on an english saddle.
  17. horse_child

    horse_child New Member

    Different costs come with different horses and different places oyur going to keep him. To many people get horses just to have horses. I suggest you find a boarding and training facility near you and talk to the owner of the facility. then see if you can lease a horse that he/she thinks is suitalbe for you. Lease it for a few months and see what you think. make sure you take on the full responsiblitties. (shoeing, vet, board, feeding, mucking the stall, grooming, riding, ect.) Take a lesson a week in it and really get the feel for it. if you decide it takes to much money or time, don't get a horse. If you decide you do like it, keep in mind, the cheapest purchase is the horse, it alwasys goes up after that. :wink:
  18. Sara

    Sara New Member

    As a beginner your horse will be the biggest determiner of what style you will ride to start out with. Most likely you'll be riding a horse ridden and trained in western and you should stick with that... Have you taken any riding lessons at all? I would recommend you do that for a short time (either style or try out both) and ride school horses... It's a good way to decide which way to go, a good way to get your skills up and to practice caring for a horse... Also it's a good place to find a mentor of sorts that will assist you in purchasing your horse etc...

    Before boarding I would go the lesson route and see what you think.... I would do lessons for a bit THEN choose a breed and horse... Rather than looking for a particular breed...just look for a horse that suites you... You may miss out on a great mount if you think so specifically. JMO

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