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Going to be getting a horse soon; need advise on how to pick right...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I had a Morgan that I loved as a teen/ young adult. I used to ride him 50-60 miles a week and was training to do endurance riding. I eventually had to sell him (out of my control) but he went to a great home.

    Fast forward 13 years; I was fortunate enough to find a riding buddy who has taken me out for the last year and a half roughly two times a week, I have also got to take some lessons at her place. Fast forward another year and we are now living on the same property as said horse friend! She has 4 horses but they are older and hers.

    I think I am finally ready to get another horse! I have been dreaming about the day when I could get another one. So, I have been looking on craigslist and on some local ads and also the equine rescues. I want to be very particular about the horse I acquire as I really want it to be the right one for me. I plan on keeping this horse until it dies of old age!

    I am a very confident intermediate+ rider and I REALLY want to do some of the local endurance races. There are quite a few 15 and 20 milers around here. So I am POSITIVE that I want an arab or arab cross. But I am running across a couple problems (maybe you folks could help me out)... 1. I am a big girl, 5'9 and 180 pounds (trying to lose), which is pretty big for an arab, and especially because they say the weight with you and tack should not exceed 20% of the horses weight, so I would need at least a 1000 pound arab? 2. I have inquired about a lot of arab ads, but EVERY single one has said "yes it's an arab, it'll be good for endurance"... I get it, but how do I REALLY know that that one is a good one and not just another arab...

    I would love any help/ suggestions/ advise or anything else! Thanks in advance!

  2. hotrodflash

    hotrodflash Songster

    Oct 18, 2012
    East Texas
    Just my opinion but you really can't beat a Quarter horse for most riding needs. They are steady and solid most of the time. And usually readily available.
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    The only thing I could suggest is if you have contacts or know others who are involved in endurance to talk to them, put the word out that you are looking for an endurance horse and at what level you want to do. Your probably better off looking for one from somebody already in the sport rather then just trying to find one in the paper or on Craigslist. People will tell you whatever you want to hear if they think they can sell you that horse!
  4. How competitive do you want to be in endurance? Are you wanting to compete at Tevis Cup level, or more just something fun to do on the weekends?

    Barring any lamenesses or severe conformational faults, just about *any* Arab can compete at a lower level of endurance. If you want to compete with the big guys, you'll need to be a little more choosey, and have a bigger budget.

    Often, if you are just starting into something, it is better to begin cheaply, at a starter level, rather than sink a ton of money into it. Later, when you are more experienced, and are sure this is what you want to pursue, you can "upgrade" and getting a better horse.

    As far as size, yes a larger Arab will be able to more efficiently carry you through an endurance race. But proper conditioning is the key - so even smaller horses with bigger riders are sometimes the winner... There are larger Arabs to be found - not all of them are under 15H.
  5. apowell

    apowell In the Brooder

    May 1, 2012
    Olympia, Washington
    I completed two 25 mile endurance rides last year on a Paso Fino. We were top 10 at our second ride, which was over an extreamly tough course with a 4000ft elevation change. Years ago I competed on an Appaloosa/Quarter Horse. I am also 180# and said Paso was under 15h.

    You do *NOT* need an arab to be successful, and competitive, at the lower-mid levels. Any sound, well conditioned horse will be able to complete a 25mile ride. Buy the horse you love.
  6. animals1981

    animals1981 Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    wow res that arab you have in your avatar is stunning
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  7. Thanks. That's Khenny (Khindled Fire)... My youngster... He's just now getting broke at almost 8 yrs old. Hope to do some dressage with him, but we'll see, he's gotta calm down a lot before he's ready for that. Meanwhile, we may dabble in some endurance... I won't lose points if he spooks there.

  8. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs Songster

    Jan 8, 2011
    I say maybe look into a Quarter Horse. You can find them in just about all sizes and athletic abilities.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    That's what I was thinking. My little "range horse" could do that many miles easily, and we weren't training or anything, just hard trail riding.

    Go for temperment first, that's the most important thing. If you're spending that much time with an animal you might as well like it! Then feet and soundness, etc.
  10. I'd rather look at conformation first if I am gonna be riding for a 25-mile race. Temperament is a great factor, but it's not going to make the ride comfortable for you or the horse. If the conformation can't hold up to the training then you are kinda shooting yourself in the foot.

    My 36-yr old gelding was purchased solely for his temperament, to be my husband's horse. Conformationally, he looks like he was made of spare parts, and that is how he rides, too. I could sure walk him 25 miles comfortably, but no way would I ever trot him that far.... And his arthritis at this point is horendous, and he's never been ridden hard. It's just how he's made.

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