A Green Horse for a Beginner Horse Person?

This topic contains 72 replies, has 54 voices, and was last updated by  wintersmom 2 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 73 total)
  • Author
  • Renee Rider Original Poster Renee Rider
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 2

    I have a question about a topic that no one has been able to agree on, so I find myself very confused about which path would be the best way to go. Should a beginner horse person that knows all about horses (from books and the web, not experience) get her first horse that is green broke? I know it will be hard to answer without seeing the horse in person, so I will try to describe the mare as best as I can: she was born in the field with a heard of other horses that are left out 24/7 with no training or interaction. Her mom also was never trained and was just used as a broodmare. The mare has now grown to a 6 year old and still has never been messed with at all. Though every time someone comes to the fence, her and the rest of the horses runs over and loves pats and scratches and sniffs you out to see if you have any treats! And just recently we tried to start training her by putting a halter on her for the first time. And we were amazed at how quickly she learned things. We found out she is a very fast learner. And I could be wrong, but it also seems that the girl and the mare “clicks”. But it has been about a year now since they have seen each other or since the mare has been worked with again. And now the time has come to either bring her over to their farm or sell her. If they were to bring the mare over to their place, she can spend time with her horse so they can get to know one another. But would it be safe? How could they even trailer the mare over if the horse has never done anything like that before? And is the quote: “And for an untrained rider, there is an untrained horse”, really true? I need some help on what to suggest!

    A horse doesn't care how much you know, until he knows how much you care.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    If there is a creditable trainer available on a REGULAR basis, it could work but it is not an optimum situation for either, generally speaking. A good trainer can make a difficult or awkward situation work or can tell you when it won’t. Book/internet learning is a great start but hands on is best/necessary as rarely does a horse go by the book ; )

    If she is herd kept, chances are she knows how to get along with others, seperate them for a few days before you put them together. Work a flake of hay between them a little closer each couple of days until they seem like they will/are sharing, then try them together for a half day or so. Wean them on to each other, so to speak.

    Most horses, if handled calmly and with patience (and a cookie or two), will load within reason the first time. Make sure she will walk, halt and walk politely again in hand before you attempt to load her. Don’t dawdle but don’t rush.

    As you seem to be aware of, green horse and green rider can go either way, more often not a good way but it CAN work. Be particular in your approach, VERY consistent in your efforts and language/cues.

    Good luck with this adventure, I hope it is one of the green on green stories that works out well : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    rlueders rlueders
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 24

    I agree with all of the thoughtful comments made by the poster above, but I also wanted to give fair warning that I have never seen a green/green combination work. Green horses need a confident, experienced horse person to guide them through new, and scary situations. Often, I see green riders get intimidated and discouraged when the horse isn’t learning as quickly as they’d like or when the horse acts up. The big quote at my barn is “green with green leads to black and blue.”

    I’m not trying to say that it couldn’t work out, but learning from internet and books is a great start, but is not a substitute for actual time spent with/around horses. I guess what I would do in your situation would really depend on what the girl hopes to do with the horse. If she plans to train her to ride, I would not pair them up. Training a horse can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing (and sometimes, even when you do!); however, if the horse is just to be a pasture pet that is used for grooming/leading around every now and again, I wouldn’t see the harm, so long as the girl was supervised and had access to a trainer.

    But that is just my opinion! (: I really hope that, whatever you choose, everyone is safe and happy!

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    If the green girl was my daughter there is no way I would agree to her having a green horse. There is a slim chance that it could work, versus an absolute probability that someone will be hurt.

    First of all, the horse has not read the books. Each horse is an individual and would in some cases turn some authors into liars. Secondly, I have a ‘horse book library’ of approximately 100 books. Depending on who you read, you treat or don’t treat, you whip or you don’t whip, you lunge or you don’t lunge, you start with hand reining or you move straight to saddle. There are dozens of books on the subject of horse training, and there is far more than a sliver of daylight between them. If the experts don’t agree, could the subject be so vast and complicated that a novice might go underwater and fast? Thirdly, consider the horse. If the girl loves her, would it not be best that the mare go into experienced hands that can guide that mare, calm her, and build upon her strengths? I for one believe that all horses have special gifts just for them, and the right trainer knows how to mine it out. Like Michaelangelo said of the granite, “the sculpture is in there, I just let it out”. The green horse has talents and personality as well as weaknesses. An experienced trainer knows when muscle groups aren’t developed for a tough challenge, and will build that horse up for the work it has to do. Conditioning is a science unto itself. In many cases the horses get the blame for not doing something they can’t do; how will the green girl know whether the horse can’t or won’t do what is asked? There is a big difference as to how the rider must respond to can’t vs. won’t. The wrong choice can lead to injury to either horse or rider or both.

    The fact is a horse is always learning, even when the rider doesn’t know that she is teaching. Experienced equestrians bring that knowledge into play with every movement and every sound. Can this green girl do that? What are the consequences of inconsistency? Disrespect and fear.
    What are the consequences of incorrectly reading the horse? Frustration and mistakes.
    What are the consequences of taking on the love, training, and care of a horse without the proper knowledge and tools? The horse will suffer.

    The green girl can love a trained horse, too.

    A well-trained horse can give the green girl some experiences with horse behaviors, what scares them, what pleases them, how to enjoy without stress the companion who will work harder to keep harmony. The well-trained horse will bring its own challenges, and those are to the rider where the focus should be when beginning to ride. Learn first, then you teach. The school of hard knocks is a tough school, for both the green girl and the green mare. I know that the heart wants what the heart wants, but what sets us in dominion over our horses is that we can think ahead. Think about it and consider the horse.

    A well-trained mare can love a green girl. It happens all the time.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    ClinicHorse ClinicHorse
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    As long as she has some good help, it actually should be OK. Since she is a n older horse (now 7?) I would recommend having the girl bring her to a good horseman in a horsemanship clinic where she can get safe, qualified help in getting the mare started together. I would recommend someone like Buster McLaury.
    If she watches a lot of videos on good basic groundwork and horsemanship, that will give her a great start to building a respectful lasting relationship even if they are both green. I have seen many people find success this way because they learn good skills from the very beginning together.
    I am someone who was very green with green, un-handled horses and I am still around to talk about it 25 years later, so I know it is possible!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    I’ve been breeding and raising horses for 25+ years and I have to say – his isn’t just a green horse and a beginner horse person. This a a mature mare that has been living in a herd and making her own decisions for her entire life. I’m sure she is very nice when you have treats and her herd is right there with her, but take her away from all that and things will change. This beginner horse person – has she had any actual riding lessons or just time caring for horses? We learn from horses just as much (maybe more) as they learn from us and it doesn’t sound like she’s got any real time experience. Honestly, she would have more fun and be able to continue learning on a well trained horse than she would with any green horse. If I were the owner of the mare, I would not let her go into this situation – it would be bad all around.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    While I agree with some of the afore said things on this forum, all I must say is FIND A TRAINER. Trainers are more knowledgable than the people on this forum (including myself!), and should be able to tell if the horse and rider are a good match. Also, knowing HOW to do something (i.e. from books/internet) does not always mean that you could do it in a pinch, such as in an emergency. Furthermore, info found on the internet is not always valid, and again ALWAYS contact a vet/trainer before doing anything questionable with your horse.

    In conclusion, I have never seen a green horse and rider combo work out, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. What I would do is maybe pay a higher price for the horse, on the condition that the horse go through a training program before moving to the new owner(s)’ farm. Also, make sure it is a fair price, especially if the horse is being sold without the training program. Paying a lot for a horse based on breeding vs. on actual performance is definitely not a good idea. It doesn’t matter if the horse’s dam was a champion reiner, you should care if the horse in question is a good reiner.

    Now, no matter what any of the people on the internet say, get a trainer. There advice is usually very valuable, and often times is true. I hope this has helped you, and I really hope that you can find a way to purchase this horse safely and smartly. #haveagreatride!!
    Picture is of me and my green horse 🙂

    experience with green horses
    trainer’s advice
    common sense

    ~Margaux Lavenue

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I dont think there is any correct answer to this. I have seen many green/green relationships fail, and I have seen some that have been amazing. I think everyone needs to have the dedication and the common sense to know what is right and what isnt. I agree that you need to have a trainer or someone experienced to help out though. Every horse person needs someone they trust that they can turn to for help, no matter what their experience level.

    As with any horse adventure, do your homework(which it seems like you have) and ask lots and lots of questions to people you trust!

    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 61

    I started out in the horse world as “green on green”. Thankfully, I never made “black and blue”, but I can honestly say I would have had much more fun if I would have had a trained horse to start with.

    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 29

    i don’ suggest it, because when you are still learning you don’t want to be teaching your horse. You need a dependable horse that will teach you and take you far.

    Life is not about waiting for the clouds to pass, its about learning to ride in the rain

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    There are two thoughts I have that were not specifically mentioned in the other posts. First, horses are herd animals and this mare has always been with a herd. If you move her elsewhere, will she have other horses to live with? I have seen horses absolutely freak when separated from their “herd”, to the point that no one could do anything with them, experienced or not. The other is that no book or video (and sometimes even a trainer will find this difficult) can tell anyone how something should feel. I have been riding for 55 years (pleasure, trail, hunting and exercising racehorses), and I would say that I still have a lot to learn. It is nearly impossible to teach a horse to do something if the rider does not, herself, know how to do it.

    I put herd in quotes, because the herd need not consist solely of horses, but horses do need companionship. Three is a better number than two, because the one working should be concentrating on the work, and the two left behind will still have a companion. Friends of mine recently had to leave a show because the companion they brought for the horse they were showing went nearly ballistic when left in the trailer area.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I would generally not recommend it especially with a mare, but in our case we adopted an off the track thoroughbred who was green in many ways, especially because of his age. He was 4 when we got him. My daughter, with no previous experience, has done a lot with this gelding even though there are times when he is quite psycho, to use her words. He is a very sweet horse and loves people so that helps. I am currently planning on paying for consistent lessons because she eventually wants to have him polished for showing, but she has shown him in a small venue and came away with some ribbons, including Grand Champion, so he performs well, just not well enough. That being said, I really do not think this young lady should start out with a green mare such as you have described.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Dear Green Person,

    I have to tell you that i had a green horse and i was green, probably greener than you. I put him at a barn that had great support. i learned how to ride on school horses at first working the ground with with my green horse. when my trainer felt it was the right time to ride we started slowly. It was an awesome experience and my Ty is a champ for putting up with me. I still have him and love him so much i got him a friend and now with my experience i was able to bring my new young horse forward easily and with less help. As the first person to respond said, if you have reliable trainer and one with an open mind because you will need some natural horsemanship input, it is only common sense, than go for it!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    No no no no please get something else for yourself! There are soooo many things you need to learn by being on a horses back before you can consider training a green horse let alone an older green horse. I’ve seen this time and time again where an inexperienced rider gets a green horse and at first it all goes well then a few months down the road the person is completely miserable bc their horse has gone out of control. There’s so many things you must learn like feel and how to use your reins and legs properly to move each body part that you cannot learn in books. These are important bc naturally a horse will try to take advantage of you and try to get their way and if you don’t know how to correct a horse you will create a monster. Good luck on whatever decision u make 🙂

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    If she wants to learn to ride then I think it’s better off starting out with a trained horse and a trainer to teach the rider how to ride properly. A recent trainer told me regarding a green broke horse – ride her as if she’s an old broke trail horse that knows what’s expected (doesn’t mean she’ll understand it all but does mean you have to ride her properly).

    I would agree with the other response – if the horse will not be ridden – then could work out unless the horse is crazy – My horses have taught me a lot and I don’t have a huge amount of experience but they have been for the most part sane and very sweet.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 73 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.