Buying Your First Horse – Part Three, Personality and Mannerisms

Ok, you think you may have found the right horse. You went through all the check points in part one, you have made arrangements at the nearest horse stables that meet the requirements that were discussed in part two, or you have made arrangements for a facility at home providing either a stall or a lean-to (a two or three sided building with a high roof and preferably built in hay racks). Remember, all horses need to have shelter from the elements. Hopefully whichever place you will be keeping your horse, there will be a considerable amount of room not only for your horse to graze, but where he or she can run and play and have some fun; preferably with other horses. But, before you pass over your hard earned dollars, I want to give you just a few more things to consider, hence – Part Three.

What kind of mannerisms did the horse display when having the saddle and bridle put on them? Were they putting there ears back, or acting like they wanted to step on the person trying to tack them up? Were they moving back and forth, acting nervous or even starting to break out in a sweat? Were they difficult when the bridle was being put on them, or were they interacting, being friendly, wanting attention and not seeming to care that they were about to be ridden? When you started to mount the horse, did they stand there quietly and wait for their first command, or did they want to walk off quickly? Did they do what you asked or was it a struggle to get them to go forward or turn around? Is the horse trying to take control and go wherever they want to go, or are you on an animal that really wants to please you? If you are saying yes to these negative inquiries, then this may not be a horse for a beginner. The quieter and more agreeable a horse behaves, the better a prospect that animal will be for a first time horse owner. He or she will enrich your life, and warm your heart with pleasant experiences that come with owning a horse. As your experiences grow, you then can step up to meet the challenges of other horses. Horse behavior can sometimes be compared to that of a child. So, if you have children you will understand how to deal with them.

Before making that final commitment, it is to your advantage to ride the horse for more than just a minute or two. Make sure that you walk, trot and canter preferably more than once. Some horses seem to be fine at first but as time passes with you on their backs, they sometimes can change into a “horse of a different color”. It is not unusual, and actually recommended, that you come back a second time to ride the horse again. That way you have something to compare their behavior to. Meaning if the horses’ behavior was very much the same the second time you rode him or her without much variance, then he or she probably is the real thing. Remember that this animal may possibly be with you for the rest of their life. You want a horse that you will really enjoy and who really enjoys you. As I said before horses are social animals, but it is important to understand that they are emotional ones too.

Unfortunately, there will always be horses that exhibit bad behavior, and some, very bad behavior. My experience tells me that a lot of bad behavior is usually the result of human error. That is why I am here trying to talk to you, and hopefully in the future, you will be talking to me. It is so easy to buy a horse, bring that animal home and find that you have an animal that is out of control, and you don’t know what to do about it. Horses have a tendency to try to take advantage of beginners. Trust me, they know! All they have to do is take one look at you, the way you approach them and ride them. Your best defense is knowledge. I am not trying to scare you, I am trying to educate and help you to understand that the more knowledge you have about horses, the more success you will have with them. Please don’t be afraid to enter into the wonderful world of horses. It is a fun place to be and learning about horses is the best part as it is never ending. Most of the riding horses out there are sound, quiet animals. They have a lot to offer an owner who wants to know, love, and care for them, as they will gladly return the favor.

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