Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A New Horse For Christmas?

The snow begins to fly and the shortest day of the year is around the corner. Yay! The New Year will soon be here and no doubt you will be setting new goals for yourself for 2018. Do those goals include doing more horse riding? Perhaps you used to ride and think about getting back into horses or perhaps you've been training at a lesson barn and think about buying a horse of your own? Perhaps your present horse is in need of retirement and you need to think about starting a new prospect?

A new horse for Christmas? Is that something you dream about? Of course the biggest concern is probably the budget. What can you afford? Should you go and look for a rescue horse, and do a noble deed or should you find an off the track Thoroughbred and give one a home? Or should you enter the horse market and search for a prospect.

In my experiences as a clinician I've seen a myriad of horses of all shapes, sizes and soundness. While I truly applaud the efforts of those that choose to rehabilitate a horse and realize sometimes this does work out well for both horse and rider, I would also suggest that if you are in search of a performance horse and competition partner, you may wish to consider buying just that. A horse that is bred to do the job you want. A horse that is a clean slate and not recovering from a soundness issue and does not have to overcome trust issues.

The reality is that your time is worth money. Time you spend working through physical and mental issues with a rehab horse will delay your progress and may even inhibit you from attaining your goals altogether. The recovery process for a rehabilitation case is also often an expensive option and one that may pay off or may be a dead end. The costs for chiropractic work, special shoes, working through past bad or poor training mishaps or issues, vet bills etc. all add up. Suddenly your inexpensive horse has become a giant drain on your bank account.

So if you are looking for that diamond in the rough and think you can beat the statistics and find a solid, sound partner for your high performance needs at a kill pen, auction, rescue or in someone's backyard go ahead. But be smart enough to realize that what you don't pay for in the beginning you may have to pay out down the road. 

U.S. breeders do a great job training and custom designing horses for specific disciplines. For my buck I'd start there. Believe me, your foray into your chosen discipline will go much smoother with a horse that is bred to do the job. But of course, as a horse breeder for more than thirty years in the Hanoverian, Dutch and Iberian marketplace, I would say that!

Fenix ( Furioso/Aktuell) my first warmblood purchased as a weanling...


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