Many of you have followed the Our First Horse blog for the more than four years we’ve been around. You’ve read about us starting with our first horse (Valentine), purchasing our second horse (Moonshine) soon after and later our third and fourth horses (Romeo and Cash). We started out as total newbies with a nice horse barn and a decent fenced property and gradually, slowly we gained knowledge and experience. And I’d like to think along that way we gained wisdom, as well. It’s a piece of that wisdom I’d like to share with you today.
Someone once said that hindsight is 20/20 and this we have all proven in our lives. After more than four years of horse ownership, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve made some poor decisions, especially early on. I love all of our horses and have no interest in selling any of them. We’re emotionally attached to them now. But even though we can ride any ride-able horse and even though we know how to take care of them, we’re in a way still beginners, unskilled and without a lot of time. I had an epiphany recently. For people like us who don’t have much time but love horses enough that they want their own, it’s better to buy a well-trained, excellent horse right in the beginning. What we should have done was spend $5,000-$10,000 each on two already-trained, “good” horses. There, I said it. Our horses are great but they need a lot of training. The trouble is, I need training, too, and I don’t have a lot of time for me to learn, become an expert and then train my horses.
So if I could do it all over again, I’d start out with better trained horses. I’m certainly not giving up on our horses and we will invest time and money into training them. But there are days I wish I could just saddle up any of them and head off on the trails (we can mostly do this with Romeo). So my advice to you if you’re a beginner looking for your first horse – save your money and invest in lessons for you (critical) and a well-trained horse.
For those of you with horses, do you agree/disagree? What would you do differently in hindsight?