So I think it?s safe to say that most of you guys know Lauren and I pretty well by now. You have probably noticed differences in our personalities but maybe even more so in body type! Lauren is 6? ft tall, and I?m only 5?6. Lauren is calm and patient and I?m more fiery and passionate. It?s hard to scare Lauren, while I get startled by a bird in the bushes. I?m a more experienced rider than Lauren, although she is a natural and comfortable rider, she doesn?t have the urge to do any jumping and cross country hacks. And while we definitely both love horses, I am the certifiably ?horse crazy? one. So you can also bet I?ve done my fair share of research. In fact, it?s not rare for Lauren to walk into the room and me snap my computer shut because I?ve been on yet another horse forum or site. Now you probably want your own horse. I don?t blame you! I?m going to geek out on my thoughts on horse shopping with you?since I don?t think Lauren handle more horse convos than we already have.
Ok. So. My first thing to consider is the size of the horse. What I have found when I?m riding horses that are shorter, I feel pretty awkward even if they are strong weight bearing horses. Lauren has ridden a few Icelandic horses, which usually are little compact power houses, but when the snow is really high, her feet are actually dragging in the snow when she?s on an Icelandic! HAHAH. That is also pretty awkward. Even if the horse feels fine, it?s an unsettling feeling of ?maybe this horse is suffering from my big body right now?. That is very uncomfortable. On the other hand, having a horse that feels way to strong or too large to control soothly also creates frustration. So size does matter. My dream horse would be around 15.5 h.h (somewhere between 150-160 cm by the withers). Lauren is leaning towards a sturdy, stockier horse at around 16.5 -17 h.h. Different breeds have completely different abilities to carry weight, so whatever breed we?re looking at, we have to take those?specific breed characteristics into consideration.
Looking at temperaments and personalities in horses, we have experience with Icelandic horses, Thoroughbreds, Quarter horses, Draft horses , Mustangs, Arabians, Cobbs amongst other breeds. You?d want a horse that will enjoy being ridden, at the same time you want to enjoy riding it. They all have their beauty and it?s super hard to pick a favourite! What type of breed we want would also differ in relation to where we would live at that given time. Like in Southern California, we?re both suckers for Quarter horses. But now that we?re going to do a our Swedish countryside living trial for a year, we?re looking at cold blooded horses that do well in colder weather. We both lean towards a horse with an even temperament, calm, forgiving and safe in traffic and forests. So preferably a gelding who?s mature and kind. Age between 12-15 or so. Before too many of you horse people start thinking ?oh that?s so individual? I want to say of that course this is all general talk, but nonetheless clues and guidelines for horse shopping 101.
The Haflinger?breed?s characteristics and typical personality?seems like a match made in heaven for me. Plus my hair can match my horse?s! hahaha just kidding?. sort of?ahem. Anyway, Haflingers are not very large but they are strong and have great endurance. I?m considering them though, because of their heart and sweet nature and they make great all around horses. I?m also considering a Tinker or Gypsy horse. They are a bit bigger than Haflingers, usually cool and sweet personalities and they are absolutely gorgeous with their long wavy manes and tails!
On Lauren?s part, we need to be a bit more mindful with the size, as she?s quite a bit taller and heavier than I am. Lauren has a tendency to like little trouble makers or a more insecure personalities (such as in life). We always joke around that she?s the biggest animal and baby whisperer ? although I?m not sure that it is a joke. It?s common that the most fearful dog or horse, or the most shy baby, seeks Lauren?s company. It?s something about her energy? Apparently it worked really well on me!??In this regard, she likes a bit of a challenge. Therefore, for Lauren we?re looking at different larger crossbreeds that are kind but still has quirkiness and challenge to them. Crossbreeds are also said to be a good choice when looking at overall health.
I know many of you are horse nerds as well so please give us your feedback! Is there anything big we?re missing in horse shopping 101? Do you have a horse or horse experience that you want to share with us? Even though we are silly, we take this process very seriously and want to cover all aspects.