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Selecting The Right Youth Horse (Skelly)

Selecting The Right Youth Horse (Skelly)






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  • Riding instructor – knows skill level of rider, will try to match for future success Trainer – may “over buy” horse Youth leader – good source for horses who’s owners have out grown them Newspaper – ask a lot of questions on the phone, send pictures, videos, show record Horse trader – makes money with fast turnover, usually has only sketchy history of horse, guaranteed to sell for more than bought or traded for horse. Horse sales – weekly auctions are usually unloading ground for attitude of soundness problems
  • A knowledgeable horse person can help you steer clear of future problem horses. It is worth paying a fee to have this resource.
  • Horses attitude can change with changes in weight. A thin docile horse may turn into a spirited mount with 200#s.
  • & up is determined by safety, level of training, show record, health, etc…. Lower range prices are dictated by slaughter market……50 cents ~ pound

Selecting The Right Youth Horse (Skelly) Selecting The Right Youth Horse (Skelly) Presentation Transcript

  • www.myhorseuniversity.com Please note: This presentation is intended for users with high-speed internet connections. Unfortunately, we cannot offer support for dial-up users at this time. MHU Live Web Presentation: Horse Selection for the Young Rider By Christine Skelly, Ph.D.
  • Horse Selection for the Young Rider Christine Skelly, Ph.D. Equine Extension Specialist Department of Animal Science
  • Youth and Horses
    • Live the dream
    • Build life skills
      • Responsibility
      • Team work
      • Patience
      • Conflict resolution
    • Build confidence
    • Make friends
  • The Rider
    • Age
    • Size
    • Experience level
    • Goals and expectations
    • Resources – expert help, facilities, finances
    • Social needs?
  • The Horse
    • Age
      • 5 years plus, older is usually better
    • Sex
      • Geldings or mares
    • Size
      • Appropriate for child’s height when possible
    • Breed & Gaits
      • Depends on interest, opportunity
    • Color
      • Don’t prioritize color!
  • Age
    • At least 5 years of age
    • Much older for very young or inexperienced riders
    • Old age doesn’t necessarily equate good training and disposition
    • Don’t expect child and horse to “learn together”!
  • Sex
    • Stallions cannot be ridden by youth in most associations or 4-H activities
      • Display stallion behavior
      • Concerned with mare’s reaction
    • Mares – sexual behavior during heat
    • Geldings
  • Size May Matter
    • Pony VS small horse
    • Youth more engaged when they can do their own grooming and tacking up
    • Safety when mounting and dismounting
  • Breed & Gaits
    • Stock Breeds
      • Temperament
        • Calm demeanor
        • Flat/low moving
      • Events
        • Timed events
        • Cattle events
        • Western pleasure
        • Hunter
  • Breed & Gaits
    • Saddle Type
        • Arabians
        • Morgans
        • American Saddlebreds
        • American Show Horse
      • Temperament
        • Known for more “spirit”
      • Gaits
        • Animated
      • Events
        • English pleasure
        • Stock events
        • Hunter events
  • Breed & Gaits
    • Gaited Horses
      • Tennessee Walking Horse
      • Missouri Fox Trotter
    • Pony breeds
    • Draft breeds
    • Donkeys and Mules
  • The Prospect
    • Soundness
      • Healthy and serviceable sound
      • Some arthritis may be OK
    • Conformation
      • As good as possible. Doesn’t have to be perfect.
    • Manners & Disposition
      • Most important factor!!!!
  • Manners and Disposition
    • Calm and pleasant
    • Reject bad habits
      • Rear, buck, kick, bite
      • High strung/overly sensitive/shying
      • Annoying habits (frustrating)
        • Hard mouth, sour, herd bound, stiff
    • Don’t buy thinking you can “change” him!
  • Sources
    • Riding instructor
    • Trainer
    • 4-H/Pony Club Leader
    • Classifieds – horse publications, internet, newspapers
    • Horse Traider
    • Horse Rescues
    • Horse Sales – Weekly auction VS Annual sale
  • Tricks of the Trade
    • Riding down horse before showing for sale
    • Drugs – attitude, mask lameness
    • File teeth
    • Dye hair
    • False registration papers
  • Expert Opinion
    • Need expert in your field of interest
    • Should have a good understanding of your ability and resources
    • Should be unbiased and unemotional
    • Will ride horse prior to youth riding horse
    • May require fee
  • First Visit
    • Watch horse with other horses
    • Watch owner handle horse
    • Watch owner ride horse
    • Watch expert ride horse
    • Buyer rides (only if all of the above goes well)
    • Ask LOTS of questions
  • Safety
    • Wear riding helmet
    • Ride in an enclosed area free of “obstacles”
    • Bring own saddle in case available saddles are too big
    • Don’t ride if there is any speculation that the horse is “too much”
  • Questions to Ask
    • Health history – colic, founder, lameness, respiratory, surgeries, etc.
    • Horse Shoeing – frequency, special shoes, behavior
    • Behavior – history of biting, kicking, rearing, bucking
    • Other – feeding, turnout, trail riding, show experience, past owners, tack preference
  • Second Visit
    • Unannounced
    • Ensure that “tricks” aren’t being used to sell horse
    • “ Just passing by and thought we’d stop in!”
  • Pre-purchase exam
    • Unbiased veterinarian – buyer’s choice
    • X-Rays may be necessary
    • Few horses pass a pre-purchase exam!
    • May discuss management of special problems – i.e. arthritis
    • Discuss health records
    • Negative Coggins required
    Veterinarian performing a flexion test
  • Warning Signs
    • Tail wringing
    • Ear pinning
    • Diving to the center of the ring
    • Resistant (lugs on the bit, ignores aids)
    • Back sore
    • Lameness
    • Weight
      • Looking for a Body Condition score 5.
  • Estimated Cost
    • Price of horse is just the beginning!
    • Grade horse for trail riding, pleasure ~ $1,000 & up
    • Entry level show horse ~$2,000 & up
    • Intermediate show horse ~ $3,500 & up
    • Advanced show horse ~ $5,000 & up
    • Price may not determine suitability!
    2003 Congress GMC 2-Year-Old Snaffle Bit Futurity - Open Division Winner - Hope By Invitation
  • Finalizing the deal
    • If you feel pressured – LEAVE!
    • Always take time to think about your purchase
    • Sign a purchase contract
    • If registered, get signed transfer papers
  • Problems?
    • Work with an instructor/trainer
    • Never jeopardize safety of child!
    • Sometimes it is best to cut your losses
    • Even the experts make wrong horse purchases
  • When it works! Grade mare “Bluebonnet” Presenter’s first horse Lived to be 28 years old
  • Mark your calendars! Please join us for our next web presentation: Topic: What is the 4-H Horse Project all About? Speaker: Karen Waite, Michigan State University Date: May 22, 2007 at 7:00 PM EDT
  • Thank you for attending MHU’s Live Web Presentation. Please visit www.MyHorseUniversity.com for more information about our speaker and our program.