So what horse is right for you???
What horse is right for me? Many of us ask ourselves that question, or more likely we should do it more often. What horse we end up buying should reflect what we would like to get out of owning a horse. All too often i see people with completely unmatched horses, which is so sad both for horse and rider.
So how do i know what horse is right for me?
I have put together a questionnaire below but let us first consider a few things. Trends come and go, but the main question we should ask ourselves is: What is my ambition with my horse / horsey life? This is where you should really let yourself dream away!!! This is about you! Nobody has got the right to tell you if your dream is right or wrong or if it is obtainable or not. Quite often we can reach goals if we want to reach then bad enough.
So do you want to ride around Badminton, the Olympics, maybe even the Grand
National or do you want to go hacking in the woods, ride across America or would you like to go showing and head for the Horse of the Year show? only you know what you really really want. Here I am going to quote my religions teacher at school, he said; “It is the road not the goal that is important”. Back then i thought he was nuts but now I realize how right he was! The most important thing is to enjoy the road to your goal. Why is this important? Lets say you want to ride in the Olympics, showjumping. Currently you are jumping 50 cm on a riding school pony and are now looking to buy your first pony. The features of the pony should match what you love, ie jumping. If you are aiming for the olympics, well that tells me you are ambitious and willing to learn.
What is stopping you?
When I ask this question many will say economics, they have not got the money needed. Whilst this may be part of the truth, it is by far not the only reason why we do not reach our goals. So what factors play a part? Ability, desire, access to help, humility. In thinking about these factors the most important thing is to be honest. There is some really good news here! All these factors are possible to alter! Yes you can do something about them all!!
Rider ability and humility
Please be honest with yourself! Sport horses come in many shapes and sizes, it is important to choose the right one. If you know your weak points you will get to your goal faster. The horse should complement you, help you erase your weak points. A lot of warmblood horses are quite highly strung and require a steady knowledgeable rider with a good eye for point of takeoff. If you are doing dressage it for instance important with a steady correct seat with ability to give tiny commands. Maybe a more steady horse will give you more confidence and will teach you all about strides, transitions and jumping difficult combinations.
If you really want something you can get there!! If you lack the economy to get there, you can work your way there! Yes this require blood, sweat and tears but as it is part of the road to your goal, it is also FUN! To do horses is not like playing Golf! To own a horse is a way of life – yes point taken it pretty much takes over your life, but this is part of the fun right??!!!! Find your fun! Something that is fun is soo much easier to do and you will reach your sub targets a lot quicker.
Access to help
Are you prepared to work with your weak points. Do you know of any local trainers? Talk to people and take time going to training sessions to watch. Read up on a few instructors, do they fit in with you? Main thing!!!! Dont be put out by an instructor that give you instructions rather than pouring compliments over you and your riding skills! You want someone that will make you better, someone who will help you reach your goals. If you feel the need for compliments, please work with your self esteem. A good way of doing that is with affirmations.
Sometimes it is unpractical or even impossible to get help locally, look at possibilities to go on clinics. Another way is to video yourself, this will give you an idea of what to work with, but please dont make this your sole way of improving – we all need an instructor!!!!
How do you intend to keep your horse? This is worth thinking about and keep in mind when you buy a new horse. Some horses absolutely detest being outdoors in the wind and rain whilst others cope rather well. Yes even some thoroughbreeds are kept outdoors whilst racing but they will need shelter!
There is a very good saying when it comes to buying horses; you can only have two of these three things Good Sound Cheap! Here it comes down to your preference. What is the most important for you. You might say that now shes gone completely off her rockers!!! But no!
Yes you might want to ride in the Olympics and yes if you really want to give your all you can get there, but right now you need something that can take you from a 50cm jump to maybe 1.10m. There is no need to pay for the ability to jump another 50 cm and it might not be in your best interest. Remember it needs to be FUN!!!
Some or actually quite a few horses that are competing at top level are not completely sound! It might be small things and if treated right might mean that the soundness problem is no problem at all. For instance back problems; minor back problems can be kept in check by a strict routine with for example lunging before riding, massage etc. Some horses need dust free feed and thrive better in the fresh air for their airways to function properly. There is a long list of complaints that can be managed. f course knowledge is needed but the good thing with knowledge is that everybody can obtain it, and no on can take it away! This is something for you to consider if you need a brilliant horse but money is a limiting factor. Listen to the seller, follow their advise. If they are open about a soundness problem and can show you how they have learnt to live with it, it is definitely worth listening!!
Know your budget, yes it is easier to find the perfect match if you have a big budget but any budget is possible. The sellers job is to give a choice at the right cost. Dont fool yourself, if a horse is advertised at £20000 and your budget is £2000 it is out of reach. Fear not! You can end up with a suitable horse anyway, just not that particular one. Be open, we are happy to discuss options.
Our job is to find your dream horse! The better communication the better match! The questionnaire below may help point out what you need to think of. If you are looking for a competition horse it is a great help if you can show us a video of you riding, this will give us an idea of what you are looking for.
Questionnaire “What horse is right for me?”
You are most welcome to visit us for trial rides. We aim to show you a selection of horses that we think would suit you. If you can it is a good idea to stay for a few days, you can try the horses out more than once and possibly in more than one environment. We are happy to help finding accommodation that suit your needs. Are you flying to Ireland? No need for hire cars, airport buses stop in Loughrea Co Galway and we are happy to pick up at the bus. For more information on buying a horse please look at our for sale page.
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