What to look for. (And what I was looking for)

Hey, ya'll! :) This is a pretty important post, especially if you are currently looking into buying a horse and have not owned one before. :) 

Red was a surprise, I was told one day after we had went to Florida that I would be getting the horse that belonged to my Aunt. Here's our story (I shortened it a bit)

We went to Florida to visit some family because most of our family lives there other than just immediate family like my siblings and etc. My Aunt has about ten horses and because of financial stuff she was having to downsize her herd. They had a sweet Quarter Horse named "Little Red" that is 15 H.H+ and was used for lessons, mostly. He is ten years old and has had a good few rides on him. He's a great trail rider and pretty obedient. My Aunt told my mom about him and she knew I had always wanted a horse, she also knew I was pretty educated and knew a lot. She somehow talked my step-dad and mom into coming on a trail ride and letting me ride Red. Mom LOVES horses, so it's not like she had to fight for it, but mom wasn't sure about the whole getting a horse thing because of various reasons. She decided that if I liked Red and we had a "Connection" then she would do some thinking and decide. Well, we got to my Aunt's house and she immediately sent me and my cousin out to get Red tacked up and get me on him for a quick "lesson" before we hit the trails. 
I was in charge of going to get him and getting the halter on, so I went out there and he ran. It took me and my cousin to get him, and finally, we both got him and I had the halter on him. I led him to where he needed to be and I cross-tied him so we could tack him up, then, after he was ready, I mounted and we rode around their little area they had set up that they did their lessons in. Red was such a good boy and was very patient with his amateur rider! Other than almost walking me into a fence, which was partially my fault, he did great! After mom, my aunt, my cousin and step-dad were content with my little lesson, we got the other horses and headed out! 

I rode Red, my cousin rode her beautiful Paint named Moe who she shows, my other cousin rode her little Paint pony named Princess, my cousin's boyfriend rode a pretty QH who's name I forgot, ah! And my mom rode Anastasia, a beautiful Halflinger. We rode for a few miles and let me tell you, I was so sore afterwards! I hadn't rode a horse since I was about 5 or 6, maybe 7, so yeah. :)) So anyways, we went back home (a 12 hour drive, eehhhh) and the day after we got home mom told me I would be getting Red. <3

So here we go! 
There were certain things I knew I would want in a horse and those things are, 
  1. Patience.
  2. Calmness! I don't want or need a hot horse!
  3. Obedience.
  4. Trail-ridden
  5. UNDER A SADDLE. And preferably under one for awhile!
  6. Loads well. No spooking at the sight of a trailer
  7. Willing.
  8. Trusting.
  9. Good with kids. This is a must considering we have kids everywhere at my house.
  10. Friendly.
And I also had a couple things I would like look-wise. Of course, sometimes the ugliest horse ever will be the best horse ever. My mom had an Appaloosa once who was very ugly, but she loved and still loves that horse so much. She talks about "Beauty" all the time. Ironically, the ugly horse's name was Beauty. 
  1. Big. I don't like really small ponies, but I didn't want a giant either. I preferred a 15 H.H horse or around that, at least.
  2. I've always been fond of Bay's, Paints and Appaloosa's, so I guess that was a want. :)
  3. Good conformation.
  4. Beefy and fat! Not super overweight, but I hate seeing a horse with it's ribs and hip bones sticking out.
And here is a check-list that an amateur rider should have.
  1.  Lazy. An amateur rider does not need a hot horse that they can't handle. It's dangerous and not smart. Make sure you can handle the horse!
  2. Make sure the horse is big enough, but not too big. If you are 5.6 or around that, you probably shouldn't get a 13 H.H horse. If you are 4.11 or 5 feet, you might not want to get a 16. H.H horse. I'm around 5.2 and my horse, Red, is pretty big, he is over 15.H.H (not positive on the definite height) and very beefy, but I can mount with ease and dismount with ease. If you don't feel comfortable on a bigger horse than you should stick with smaller horses unless you are a height or weight that you just need a bigger horse. I feel very comfortable with large horses, actually, I feel more comfortable with big horses, so yeah.
  3. Make sure your personality and the horse's personality do not clash. If you are a person who is easy-going and, I don't say this in a bad way, but you have a lazy personality (I have a lazy personality, haha!) then you probably should stay away from hot horses! (A hot horse is a very high-maintenance, stubborn kind of horse)
  4. If you have kids or there are kids around a lot and you know you want the kids to be able to ride, you may want to look into a "lesson" horse. Make sure you know they are OK with kids.
  5. If possible, ride the horse that you are looking into buying a few times. Make sure you really know the horse before you fork out money and move the horse to your property or where you board. 
  6. Make sure you ask the owner of the horse you are looking into buying a lot of questions. Do they spook? Are they nervous? What do they like? What are they currently eating? Does the horse have any major problems? These questions are very important.
  7. Never ride alone until you and the horse are 100% comfortable together! Never! It is very dangerous! Make sure you always have someone with you, especially if you are not an experienced rider. 
  8. When you go to look at a horse, get the owner to ride around for a few minutes if they are able. Make sure that the horse has no bottled up energy from being left in a stall so he/she doesn't randomly start running with you on him and unsure of what to do. Make sure the owner didn't lie about the horse being "perfectly sound while being rode"
  9. When you first bring the horse home, make sure you quickly show the horse that you are the boss. When tacking up, don't let them graze or start walking or something! If they do, give them a firm, "NO" and if needed, smack them on their side. Don't smack them super hard or with something. Obviously, a 1000+ animal isn't going to be fazed too bad by a smack.
  10. Give the horse a little time to get used to his new surroundings. He will probably be pretty nervous and scared being in a new place. Might want to wait a couple days to ride so you know the horse is feeling secure and safe in the new area. :) 
 Always make sure you know what the horse is eating! It isn't good for the horse to change his or her food so abruptly. Ask the owner what they had been feeding him or her and see if you can buy that food and maybe ease the horse into another feed if you want to switch. If you can't get the exact feed, research and try to find a feed that is similar. 

So guys, any other tips for new owners? I'd love to hear them!

Always keep your heels down, your head up, and your heart with the horse.

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