Choosing A Horse
by Mark Woodcock
Choosing a horse will be one of the most important decisions you ever make so for the sake of both you and the horse – take your time.
At 50 I was a bit older than the average first time horse owner, so should have got it right. I fell in love with a pretty little horse that I had ridden on a riding holiday when he was in his own environment and I was relaxed and had all the time in the world.
9 months later, after a lot of heartache I admitted that he was the wrong horse for my lifestyle and experience and fortunately he was able to go back to his original owner. Pretty traumatic for me, but less so for him as he was going back to where he was happy.
Our livery yard owner helped me decide what type of horse I was looking for by considering the following:
1. My horse riding experience
2. Who I would be able to ride with
3. The grazing, stabling and riding available to me
4. How much time I had for horse care and training
5. How much money I had to buy a horse and care for it
6. What size horse I was comfortable with and was sensible for me
7. Whether I wanted a particular horse breed or colour
We decided that based on the above, a traditional coloured gypsy horse would be ideal and found Amy, a 5 year old ex brood-mare. She was road trained and gentle with lovely paces, but was oblivious to all the standard horse training commands.
2 years on I can’t imagine life without her. She may not be the most beautiful horse around (though I think she is) and with a full time job to fit round her, she adapts to whatever horse care and horse riding routine I need. We have had a lot of fun improving our horse riding skills together and I hope that we will still be doing so for many years to come.
So step back and consider the above points before you choose your horse, as he/she will be relying on you to make the right decision
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