>I need opinions regarding purchasing an older horse or a younger horse
>for a young person of the age 15. She has taken a beginner english horse
>riding lessons (approx. 12 hours) and has had about 5 hours of additional
>hours of riding. We plan on purchasing a horse in the Spring of 1994.
>Any help/suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Also, what is the pros
>and cons of a run-in versus a barn? And is it advisable to have a horse
>out in Upper NY winter weather? Would a horse blanket be recommended?
before you buy one. If I read you right, this girl has only had 17 hours
total lessons. That's not really enough to be sure she's going to like
it and stick with it. Leasing a horse, which she hopefully will have to
spend time with every day will tell you what you want in the long run
and give you experience before you take on your own first horse.
There are several excellent books for first time owners. MA Stoneridge,
"A Horse of Your Own" and the Pony Club Owners manual are two that I
recommend for all my students. I assume that you are the parent or
other significant person in the girl's life. Get those two books
for the girl and Frances Wilbur's book "How to Handle Your Horse
Crazy Daughter" (or similar title) for yourself. See if there is a
Pony Club local in your area. If so, join it. Veteran members and the
DC (district commissioner) will be happy to help you and the girl.
Also, talk to whoever is giving your girl lessons. They will help you.
(If they are trying to sell you a horse, talk to other people who have
bought horses from them in the past.) A little more on age. Old
horses in general are quieter than young ones but just because a horse
is old doesn't mean it's quiet. Also, just because it's young doesn't
mean its not quiet. A lot has to do with the horse's basic personality.
However, you want a school master. That takes time. Make sure the horse
is at least 8 years old. 10 is even better. Make sure the horse has
a reputation as a successful school master. These are hard to find but
they are out there and they are worth their weight in gold. Look for
one that a successful rider in your area has outgrown and is willing
The pros of a run in versus a barn are that a run in usually provides
more room for the horse and better ventilation. Also my own opinion
is that it is more natural for the horse psychologically so it develops
less vices. The cons are that the horse gets dirtier which means more
work for the rider before riding. Also, sometimes the coat doesn't look
as pretty in a run in as it does in a barn. If you have a choice, I think
you should go for the run in. If you are going to ride everyday, you may
have to clip the horse so that the sweat dries. In that case you will
definately need a blanket.
Hope this helps some. Good luck. the fun is just beginning.