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    horseride posted:
    How can you tell if they are perfect to buy or adopt?
    Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Dear horseride, I am not a horse expert, but I do own a lot of horses, so I thought I'd give you my opinion. If you have not owned horses before, or if you would consider yourself a novice horse owner, then I would definitely look to buy or adopt an older horse. Look for a horse with a bright, alert expression who seems interested in the surroundings. A horse for a novice owner should lead, tie, stand for the farrier, go into a trailer easily, be easy to catch and not have any bad habits like weaving or cribbing. If you're intending the horse to be a pasture ornament (i.e. look at, but don't plan to ride), then soundness isn't as important. However, make sure that you are able to handle any special needs the horse might have like special feed, shoes, daily medication, etc. If you have an expert horse friend or trainer, see if they can accompany you and give an opinion. If you know a bit more about horses, you should be able to approach the horse and put a halter on it easily. You should be able to saddle and bridle it, and pick out the hooves without any problem, unless it is not trained to ride. Do not start out with an untrained horse unless you have someone who can help you train the horse, or someone you can afford to train the horse for you. Baby horses (foals, weanlings) are cute, but they take work and can't be ridden until they are three years old. Have someone ride the horse first for you so you can watch. Then, if you feel comfortable with the horse's behavior, you can try yourself. If you have an expert horse friend or trainer, see if they can accompany you and give an opinion--especially of how your riding skills match the horse. Only if you are an advanced/expert horse owner should you consider a horse with problems (rearing, biting, kicking), a stallion (ungelded male horse), or a wild horse (BLM mustang). Also, only an advanced person should take on a horse with a lot of specific training, such as dressage, reining, saddleseat, etc. unless you are willing to take many lessons to bring yourself up to your horse's level. You should try riding the horse several times--under different circumstances if possible--before considering a purchase. If you work with a trainer, have him/her come with you and give a professional opinion. Wild horse ownership is romantic until it tries to leap through the wall of your barn or kicks down your fence and runs down the road. Only tackle wild horse ownership with the help of a professional if you are not an advanced horseperson. Always get a vet check before buying, even if you have no plans to ride the horse. You need to know exactly what you are getting into. Try to see the horse in question a second time, on the spur of the moment. Sad to say, but some people drug horses to make them seem docile to a prospective buyer. There are some very bad horse rescues out there that do not really care about the horses. They care about your money. If the rescue you visit is dirty with dangerous surroundings (broken fences, barbed wire, etc.), and none of the horses are clean or have visible food, run away and report them. Stallions are romantic and glamorous, but require advanced knowledge to manage appropriately. Unless a male horse is a registered purebred and an outstanding example of his breed, he should be gelded (neutered). Some mares can be temperamental (mare-ish) during their monthly cycle. Ask the owner about this if you are considering a mare (female horse). Do not get a horse unless you can afford not only the purchase price/adoption fee, but boarding/housing, feed, farrier, vet, training and so forth. I hope that has helped! Byroney
    horseride responded:
    Thank you. I am an expert on horses. I just need to figure out how to know how to tell of we will have a bond and how to tell about how old it is. I have been training stallions. I want one. I have broken one. I need to figure about how old he is because I want a young one. I have patience and love. I work at a horse place. I am a fifteen year old girl. The horses all like me so it is easy to train them. They have com from abused homes. They all trust me and I can only afford one of them. There is a mare that I trained and broke that might be leaving to a good home. The place is a horse rescue.
    mustangrena responded:
    Excellent response to Hayley . 15 years ago we got into horses. Our first was Shorty, a 16 yr. old quarter gelding, a great teacher for us. Then Hubby & I bought a baby mustang 8 yrs. ago, "Mac". We spent countless hours with him. He is now 8 years old, 17 hands and will give you a kiss when you ask for one. He is not only ridable but we have taken him among crowds and he is a ham in front of the camera. I have dressed him in hats and bandanas for photos. It was an incredible amount of work the 1st couple of years but the rewards now are indescribeable. 6 months ago we "inherited" Rena, an 8 yr old mustang mare with "some" training. She also has learned to kiss and is an absolute angel. We treat all our horses like we did our children when they were growing up. We even refer to them as "the kids". Horses are intuitive and know if you are scared, angry, viscous or loving. They require patience, understanding and a wide birth for errors, just like we humans. We have a healthy respect for their size, weight and their "fright and flight" syndrome. My horses need only a finger pointed at them if they try to get away with something. Each horse has their own personality and there is much joy in learning about them. Each morning and evening when the manure is cleaned up and they have eaten their meal, there is nothing like that special time with just you and your horse. It makes everything in life worthwhile.

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