If you’re a beginner horse rider, I need your help!!
The popularity of my blog series on the Top Ten Horse Breeds for Beginner Riders suggests that many beginner riders would like to own a horse. But it needs to be the right horse.
I'm writing a book for first time horse buyers who are also beginner riders, looking for that special equine buddy who’ll take care of them while they’re in the early stages of learning to ride. The horse must also be able to take them further.
Horse Buying for the Beginner Rider: A Stress-Free Strategy for Finding Your Ideal Horse
will be available as an ebook in many different formats, not just Kindle, and also in hard copy.
The success of my book for first-time dressage competitors gives me confidence - in fact I'm almost sure - that I’m up to the task. :)
But, as I mentioned earlier, I need your help, please!
First, see what you think about the following details I'm including in the book. While you're going through, would you jot down anything you feel is missing?
Thanks! I'll catch up with you after you're done reading.
Part One: The Easy Section
No one wants to open a book and immediately be told about how much money this whole enterprise is going to cost.
That's why we're gonna start with the Fun Stuff.
This talks about you, and how certain breeds could be a good fit for you.
It goes into stuff like:
The Fun Stuff helps narrow down the type and breed of horse which will work the best for you.
As you read the next section, you'll be carrying a more definite image of your ideal horse in your head and your dream of owning a suitable equine partner will now become more real to you. :)
Part Two: The Slightly Harder Section
Now comes the Serious Stuff.
This includes budgeting for your horse - how to determine the amount of money you’ll need to spend on him. It also covers the nuts and bolts of finding and buying your ideal horse.
After reading the Serious Stuff you’ll be able to refine your short list of horse breeds to look which you first wrote based on the Fun Stuff.
The Serious Stuff will talk about:
Finally, so as not to leave you hanging once you’ve made up your mind which horse you’re going to buy, the last chapter will discuss bringing your new equine buddy home and how to acclimatize him to his new surroundings while you both get to know each other.
This Is Where You Come In aka This Author Needs You!
Now that you’ve perused the intended contents of
Horse Buying for the Beginner Rider: A Stress-Free Strategy for Finding Your Ideal Horse
- do you have a topic which I haven’t addressed? If so, I'd love to hear from you!
If you're a beginner rider and looking to buy a new horse, what else do you want to know about?
What do you need or what kind of equine buddy would you love to have?
Have you had good experiences with a breed which you want me to be sure and include?
Do you have certain horse or riding details that you’d like to see addressed in my book? Things like what is the quietest breed of horse? Or what horse should you get if you have a disability?
Send me an email via the Contact Page and ask me anything: I’ll do my best to accommodate you by putting it in my book.
What’s in it for You? :)
If you email the details of what you’d like included in the book, I will do two things for you.
1. I'll send you the publish date of the book which means that you’ll be able to get the ebook version FREE FOR THE FIRST FIVE DAYS.
2. If you like, I’ll include your name and a link to your website in the acknowledgements. Just give me the information :)
If that sounds like a good deal (and I hope it does!) please go to the Contact Page and email me your requests.
Today we look at the final four of 7 reasons why your horse may not be right for you.
4. Wrong Temperament
Your temperament and that of your horse have to match. If you are both nervous types, the relationship is unlikely to work. One of you has to keep the other calm.
I once owned a very anxious Thoroughbred mare. My instructor told me that one of us had to calm down first, and it wasn’t going to be her!
If you find yourself ‘winding up’ your horse, and constantly worrying about what he’s going to do next, you may want to consider finding a calmer rider for him and a quieter horse for you.
5. He Is Too Young
It’s very tempting to buy a young horse in the happy expectation that you and he will grow old together.
Unless you’re experienced in dealing with youngsters, that romantic dream can swiftly become a nightmare. Even if he is quiet when you buy him, this will not necessarily last if you’re unable to continue with the correct training required to keep him well-mannered.
If you’ve purchased a youngster and realize he’s too much for you, don’t wait until the horse becomes unmanageable. Find an experienced home for him, where he’ll receive the training he needs to fulfill his potential.
Then look for an older, more experienced animal for yourself. You’ll have many more years of fun with the right horse than with the wrong one.
6. He Can’t/Won’t Perform in Your Preferred Discipline
Sometimes we find ourselves with a horse that is either unable to, or doesn’t want to, participate in our chosen riding discipline.
Here are some ways this can happen:
(a) We’ve switched disciplines: for example, moving from show jumping to dressage, and our horse doesn’t enjoy pure flatwork.
(b) The horse’s abilities were misrepresented to us when we bought him.
(c) He simply isn’t interested in his job any more (he’s sour).
If this last is the problem, it may just be a matter of changing his work routine to revive his enthusiasm. I trail rode a sour show jumper for six months solid, and he willingly started jumping again. My current dressage horse co-operates if I take him on trail rides and occasionally jump him to vary his routine.
But if the horse makes it clear that he is not suited to whatever you wish to do with him, it’s time to find him a home compatible to his strengths.
7. He Has Constant Health Issues
We horse people seem determined to continue with an animal which never stays sound for very long, has permanent respiratory problems or suffers from some other health issue which prevents him from being ridden consistently.
While this is an admirable trait, there comes a time when we need to admit that such a horse will never be rideable. Neither is he happy, struggling to be the horse we want. Especially when he has to stand for months on end in his stall – for the sixth time - with an injury that will never heal sufficiently to withstand the rigors of being ridden.
I speak from experience, and know how hard it is to accept the finality of this. But the time, money and effort put into such a futile task are much better spent on a healthy horse.
If he has an otherwise good quality of life, your unrideable equine buddy should be allowed to live peacefully as a companion animal.
Our horses can be totally wrong for us, and yet we tend to love them like children. Since it’s morally reprehensible to sell one’s offspring, we feel the same way about our equine buddies!
But be prepared to consider that maybe your horse would be better off in a different, more compatible home. As long as you’ve done your best to find him good parents, there’s no need to feel guilty about selling him.
If you think your horse may not be the right one, visit me next Friday, when I’ll be exploring ways to find your perfect horse.
If your horse isn't making you happy, ask yourself whether he's the right one for you.
And if you're not enjoying him, he's probably not happy, either!
Maybe you should consider finding him a more suitable home? This will free up your time and money to find a horse you can truly have a fun and successful relationship with.
But how do you know if it’s time to go your separate ways?
This week's post examines three key problem areas in horse ownership, and next Friday I'll address the other four.
1. You Don’t Look Forward to Riding Him
(a) The Temporary Situation
Perhaps you’re working through a minor behavioral issue or a difficult movement, which will be resolved eventually but is consuming a lot of your time and energy.
You’re not enjoying the process, but know the final results will be well worth the effort.
(b) The Permanent Situation
But if you dread going to the barn every day, and find yourself constantly looking for reasons not to visit/ride your horse, with no happy end in sight - you need to reconsider keeping him.
2. You’re Afraid of Him
Being afraid of your horse is nothing to feel ashamed about. We all have times when our horses make us anxious. It’s far better to admit the fact to ourselves and do something about it, rather than wait until we get hurt before we take corrective action.
But can the situation be resolved, or is your horse always going to frighten you?
Here are two possible causes for your fear.
(a) Your horse really is dangerous
Examples of a truly dangerous horse are: one which consistently rears, bolts, kicks, bites and/or runs back home every time you take him on a trail ride.
Such an animal needs to find a home with a professional horse person. (Been there, done that - several times!!)
(b) Your horse handling skills need honing
Maybe your lack of leadership is causing your otherwise amenable horse to take over control instead? Horses need to follow a leader or else they boss us around.
My previous two posts discuss how to improve this situation, and feel comfortable around your horse, instead of being scared of him. Using the methods I describe, I changed from being afraid of my own horse (and desperately wanting to sell him!) to falling in love with him.
3. He’s Too Much Horse For You
Many of us are drawn to horses which are too big for us (I have also been a culprit).
Such animals require a great deal of strength and effort to ride properly and are much better matched with physically stronger, taller riders who can ride them with ease.
It doesn't matter how much we love such a horse, we'll always be the wrong person to ride him.
I've struggled many times in the past with the knowledge that a horse was wrong for me, and
have been unwilling to admit defeat by selling him.
But professional riders at the top of their game aren't embarrassed to concede that they don't get on with a particular horse. So we don't need to feel ashamed or guilty about finding another home for a horse that is wrong for us.
Make sure you find him a suitable, loving owner and you will create a win-win situation for both of you. He’ll be well-cared for and you’ll be free to find the right horse.
Next Friday I'll examine four more reasons your horse may be wrong for you.
Horses are my big obsession, and I'm constantly striving to get better, smarter and more in harmony with my equine buddy, Cruz Bay.
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