RU Rosie, RU Pardner with RU Glinda, RU Casanova, RU Brisa and RU Genesis
Before You Buy
a Young, Unhandled,
or Untrained Horse
|Although we are eager to
find our horses homes, we want to ensure that prospective buyers
understand the reality of horse ownership. Here are a few
considerations to keep in mind:
1.) Horse ownership is expensive. Can you afford to keep your young horse?
Although the initial investment (i.e. cost of the horse) may be only a
few thousand dollars, yearly expenses—which may include veterinary,
farrier, feed, dental, and boarding costs—can exceed $5,000.
Medical emergences (e.g. colic surgery) will increase this estimate.
2.) Do you have a place to properly keep a young horse?
Some stables will not accept young horses. Our youngsters have been
known to jump (or push through) 5 ft fences if isolated from other
horses. Be sure that you have suitable facilities.
3.) Size considerations:
Although you may purchase a 15.2hh draft-cross yearling at our April
auction, he or she will continue to grow (both vertically and
laterally) until the age of about three. Furthermore, as their
breed designation suggests, our draft-crosses have draft horse
ancestry—in many cases, their dams were Percherons or Belgians.
This heritage predisposes them to larger, wider sizes. Keep this in
mind when considering the intended rider. The mustangs, on the other
hand, will be smaller and narrower—more petit.
4.) Our horses are young.
This reminder is not intended to discourage novice horse owners;
indeed, our draft-crosses are known for their forgiving personalities
and, with the help of an experienced trainer, can make ideal “first
horses.” However, despite the extensive handling they receive
while in the program, our horses have “young minds.” At times they can
be reactive to new stimuli and misunderstanding of your commands.
Their youth also limits their “ride-ability”; you’ll have to wait 1-2
years before training them under saddle. If you want a horse that
is “ready to go,” check out our “For Sale” section under the
5.) Mustangs may not be the best choice for novice horse owners.
The mustangs have consistently shown an ability to learn quickly.
Although this aptitude, when correctly handled, can facilitate
training, in inexperienced hands it can also contribute to rapid
development of bad habits. Furthermore, on average, the mustangs
have displayed a higher level of reactivity to new stimuli than the
draft-crosses, which may be unsettling for novice horse owners.
6.) Our horses are not ready to ride.
Although our horses have been round-penned and worked (from the ground)
under tack, they have never had riders on their backs. Ideally,
this training should not begin before they are three years old--only
after more ground preparation.
Equine Science Center
For questions about the program or the website, please contact Dr. Sarah Ralson
© 2009, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights