4 mos old filly..how hard could it be?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by RockyToggRanch, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I have had 2 horses for 1 1/2 yrs now. They're older and I am a beginner. I came across an ad for a 4 mos old that I fell in love with just from the picture. I have 2 twh geldings who are 12 and 20ish. I have a new barn and have room for 2 more stalls. I was just wondering...how hard can it be to train a horse? I've watched hundreds of hours of training shows and it all seems to be common sense. Would she be able to share the same paddock with my old guys or would she need her own paddock? Their stalls open to one large paddock which also has a run in shed. They are pretty much confined to that space for the winter. In summer they have small fenced grass areas that we rotate them on for a few hours each day. We're clearing land for larger pasture.

    Is it a bad idea for a semi-beginner to get a baby?
  2. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    No it is not a bad idea and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. I know I'm getting on a lot of people's bad sides lately but they just have to live with it. I'm tired of seeing opinions scaring people away from doing something they would love and enjoy. You will learn as you go, be patient with yourself and enjoy it!
  3. Knight Hawk Ranch

    Knight Hawk Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2007
    Labelle, Florida
    I really would not recommend it. Young, untrained horses act completely different than older ones that have been trained.
    Young ones need consistant handling and if you have never been around them, they can get pretty rambunctious.
    If you have someone that is experienced and willing to help you through the process that would be better than going it alone.
  4. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is it a bad idea for a semi-beginner to get a baby?

    Yes and no. If you are willing to put in the time and get good professional help along the way, you will probably be OK as far as raising her well goes.

    But you are not going to know what her temperament under saddle will really be like, and she may simply not be a beginners horse (some never are). So even if she's professionally started, she may not ever be safe and suitable for your riding abilities.

    Riding a horse that wrecks your confidence can have life long implications for you as a horse person. For that reason, I would not recommend taking on a 4 month old filly unless you are completely willing to sell her if she's unsuitable for you, but I can well understand why you might want to.

    I have a 4 year old to start under saddle next year, and I am not sure if I want to start another one by myself after that... I'm finally starting to realize I'm not bulletproof after all (I'm in my late 30's).​
  5. cqranch

    cqranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    As far as penning with the older horses, just kinda depends on their temperament. You'd really just have to see how it goes, I would make sure you have plans for a separate pen just in case they would pick on the young one too much. It could go either way, they could either take offense to the new horse and exclude her or they could take to her.

    As far as the training, you just need to make sure you have plenty of time to devote to training the young horse. One or two times a week will not be sufficient. A young horse needs consistent, repetitive training for it to be done properly.

    If you have the extra space, the means to care for another horse and time to spend with it, I'd say go for it. It's a great learning experience for both horse and handler.
  6. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    We all have to start somewhere. But then again, this kind of situation is why I have retrained horses. I would suggest that you find a willing trainer to mentor you through this and be willing to pay them for their time.
  7. hollyclyff

    hollyclyff Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Well, I'll just relate my personal experience here. When I was 13 years old, my parents gave me a weanling filly and left all her care and training to me. I had no idea how to train her, but I managed to at least raise her OK I guess because when I sold her at 5 years old, the guy who bought her had her riding like a seasoned trail horse in a very short time. At the time I sold her, I could tack her up and ride her around at a walk, basically just going where she wanted to go. That was the extent of my "training" ability. But she was easy to handle on the ground. So, I didn't ruin her, but I could have never turned her into a real riding horse by myself.
  8. skirbo

    skirbo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2008
    Walton County, NW FL
    I'm very torn as to how to advise you. Babies need lots of very consistent, very patient handling. They need exposure to all sorts of things that your older horses take for granted. I wouldn't say 'don't do it' but I would say that you need to seriously and honestly evaluate your own abilities and the amount of work you are willing to put into her. If you do nothing but tie her up and have the farrier do her feet until you try to start riding her, you'll have tons of problems. If you let her get away with things your older horses don't do because it's cute or doesn't bother you because she's small, you'll have tons of problems.

    If you are willing to get bitten, kicked, jumped on, knocked around and *still* be willing to work with a baby patiently and fairly afterwards, then go for it. If not, then you need to pass. Because even the gentlest baby is going to try things, how else do they learn they can't do them? Mine have never deliberately knocked me down, but at that age when they get scared, they can forget about you. Or more accurately, they're scared and you are safe so they forget about leaving space between you. I always spent tons of time walking mine around and exposing them to new things. It's never wasted time.

    Good luck,
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  9. mainchick

    mainchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    wow. is 4 months kindof young? it seems young to me. is that normal?
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I wouldn't say absolutely don't do it. But you can get into real real serious serious trouble that way, not just for you but for the HORSE, so I'd be awfully careful about the decision.

    First question, have you worked with a wide variety of horses, or have you mostly just had your own two and maybe ridden a couple lesson horses. If you haven't had much experience with a wide diversity of horses, this will really count against you in terms of the trouble you are likely to get into.

    Second question, how much easy access to professional or highly-experienced-at-working-with-babies help will you have. If you have good friends or neighbors who've dealt with a lot of weanlings and started a number of youngsters and so forth, and can have them help you whenever problems develop, that will help a whole lot. To the point where I'd say it is nearly essential.

    Third, when the time comes, will you have someone else start her under saddle (be it sending her out to a GOOD professional, or having someone with lots of experience starting babies come to your place and work with you both together). If so, that's fine; if not, I'd say DO NOT GET A BABY.

    No offense meant, but "how hard can it be" and "I have watched hundreds of hours of training shows" kind of worries me. It *is* hard, because you have to be able to read and anticipate the horse. THis is not something you get from books or videos; it is a mileage thing. And if you are too slow or inaccurate at 'reading' what the horse is about to do, or the reasons for what she's doing at any particular instant, you can get into huge huge problems. I don't just mean for your own confidence and safety, I mean for the HORSE -- I have seen too, too many youngsters more-or-less permanently ruined by very well-meaning novices.

    I have also certainly see well-meaning novices get lucky on just the right horse, winding up with an extremely user-friendly easy model that does not really require much in the way of actual training to be able to work with safely and effectively. That's where you get all these "when I was a kid I had never seen a horse before and I got this wild unstarted youngster and three years later we were winning all the 4H shows and he'd do anything I asked" stories from.

    Unfortunately, IME (and I've been riding and training horses, and teaching riding, for most of my 43 years) those horses are a minority.

    I think you have to ask, What will I do if (or rather, 'in the likelihood') that I turn out to have problems dealing with this horse. If the answer is "I have multiple sources of very experienced help ready-at-hand whenever I need it", I'd say it is not unreasonable to get this horse, IF you and she get along very well in terms of behavior and obedience whe you go to see her.

    But if good, experienced help is not going to be ready-to-hand, I would really strongly advise against it. There are lots and lots of horses out there in the world, and plenty of others you will be drawn to as strongly or moreso than this one, that would be much less risky bets.

    BTW what breed is this horse -- your odds would be better with some breeds/lines than with others, although the horse's actual temperament and brain, when you meet it, is really the controlling facto.

    Good luck,


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