Girls Horse Club Blog

Ask GHC: My Friend Doesn’t Know What She Wants

Published by • Oct 24th, 2008 • Category: Ask Girls Horse Club, Lend a Hand

Ask Girls Horse Club

My friend has just discovered the ‘horse world’ and is enthralled with it. The problem: Instead of getting an older horse or pony, she has her heart set on a purebred Arabian. For anyone who is familiar with this horse breed, they know that Arabs are not for beginners. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve tried showing her beautiful 15+ year-olds, but she doesn’t want her horse to ‘die on her soon.’ I’ve also tried talking to her about middle-aged ponies, but to no avail since Sugar (a young pony she had for 6 months) wasn’t so sweet. Please, any help through the comments would be great!

submitted by Salina, age 13

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31 Nickers »

  1. If your friend only just found out about horses, she shouldn’t be getting a horse yet. She has to understand that no good would be done to her horse or herself if she buys a horse now. When I first became horse-crazy, I dreamt of owning an Arab too, only I knew that I hadn’t enough experience to handle a horse of my own and I was eager to learn as much as I can until then. Try explaining that to her in addition to directing her to different horses. Remember to tell her also that not all middle-aged ponies are as sour as Sugar, and that with enough care horses can live very long.

    I hate to admit it, but if nothing else works, try thinking up negative points about Arabians to set her heart elsewhere. For me, it’d be hard since I think every horse is perfect, but I hope you can find a solution or something similiar. Good luck!

  2. I agree with Madelina. If she has only just become horse crazy, she is no way near ready enough to buy a horse! Tell her to take riding lessons and help out at a stable for at least a year before considering her own horse.

  3. I should’nt have said’ just discovered’ I ment to say… well she always did think horses were beautiful but now her parents can offord one( a very exspensive one I may say) and now she knows a friend of a friend who breeds pure-blood Arabs…:(
    She also has that personality that when something ‘gets old’ or does something bad she forgets to feed,brush,ect. or wont ever do any thing with it for the longest time because it ‘might hurt her’
    Hope I’m more clear now! Thanks for your help I’ll use it!

  4. Salina-
    Has your friend talked to her parents about getting a new horse or pony?

    You are 100% right. Arabs are not for beginners. Ponies and middle aged trained horses are best. Try telling your friend again that Arabs are not for beginners, and say a couple “not so good” things about Arabians. That may get her mind set on another type of horse.

    Hope all goes well,

  5. Mustangmane~ Yes she has talked with her parents about it and they don’t seem to think its a bad idea, after all they know about as much as my 8 year old brother about horses. (No insult intended)

    Sweetie~ Where we live there’s no such thing as a ‘stable’ where you can barrow a horse for the day ( around here you pretty much have to have your own or use a friend’s).
    And as for riding lessons its about the same, either your parents or friends teach you, although some times we hav a clinic but thats for people with ‘problem’ horses and horsemanship.:(

    Ok, now every one will think I live in the waste-lands of Siberia!

  6. Ask your friend if she can try riding an older horse or a pony that’s sweet and likable. Maybe one that’s at your stable, or something like that. Perhaps she will enjoy that horse so much she will want one like it. If not, try telling her the disadvantages of owning an Arabian when you’re a beginner, or at least give a try at convincing her to do lessons first.
    Hope this helps some.

  7. I see what you mean now. What about talking to her parents about an Arabian? Point out how dangerous they can be for a beginner. You don’t want to offend them though, so just try saying things such as “You know the Arab your daughter is trying to buy? Well, I’ve heard they could be so flightly that you can get thrown off all the time if you don’t have enough riding experience.” and try to list all their bad points to them. As well, recommend other beautiful, suitable horses or ponies. Pick an especially cute or pretty one if you have to or whichever horses her parents might prefer (my mum, for example, aren’t very fond of Appaloosas). Try to get them interested in a few horses, but even if you don’t, tell them to discuss this with your friend, and in the end they might have an argument of which horses to buy. So far what I’ve always seen, parents always win the argument battle, and your friend might end up getting a gentle and calm pony or no pony at all.

    In addition, if your friend would refuse to take care of her horse because it made a mistake, she is no where near the experience needed to own a horse. Those who gets bored of their horses have no right to buy them in the first place. It is one of the main reasons why so many horses are neglected these days. Tell your friend that she needs to be fully committed every single hour to her horse (especially since this horse is an Arab), and that means getting up early to feed them, brush them, ride them properly for an appropriate amount of time and even come out at night to put on a rug if it gets too cold. If you burden her with enough responsibilities and trouble, she might have second thoughts about buying an Arabian.

    If all else fails, we have to think more for the Arabian. Afterall, he or she would be the one suffering if your friend doesn’t take care of him or her properly. So in the end, offer to teach her all she has to know about horses, this can include reading books, studying horse pictures and learning their parts, going to the local vet to ask about different horse diseases or treatments, surf through the internet, and even looking through the fields around you for poisonous plants so that she can recognise them if they grow where her horse lives. The both of you can even learn new things together! Maybe all this hard work might make her not want to keep a horse.

    I hope this was helpful. Good luck!

  8. hi there! so how old is your friend? if she is 9 and below there is no way she should be getting an arabian why doesnt she start off with an appaloosa or American paint? either way if she just started with horses she should NOT be getting an arabian. I have been riding 10 yrs! thats why i have a friesian! (were actually looking for another horse Arabian too)

    (My poor Thoroughbred Quincy died on Oct. 2108. Was 22 yrs old :(

  9. Maybe your friend should consider half leasing an arabian, just to be sure she can really handle such a high-spirited breed. If she really can manage it, then she could consider buying her own.

  10. Thanks guys! I saw her today and I think I ‘m gettig through to her!!!! Shes now found a Quarter horse!! YAY! I asked her how old he was but I don;t think she heard me. She also sad that he’s don’t alot of rodeoing in the past so I guess he middle-aged the only problem is she would have to travel a long ways to actualy buy him.:( Not cool.

    Friesian Keno Pop~ My friend is 13 and has a will of foil-paper.Ya.
    I’ve been riding for 12 years,too!(I don’t have a Friesian but I ‘d like too!)
    I’m so sorry for your loss. That was’nt that long ago.I comepleatly understand your pain. all I can say is the best way to feel better is remember to laugh and stay out of the pit of dispare.

  11. Friesian Keno pop, this blog is intended to help Salina with advice about how to deal with her friend. But a while back Rebecca Shyly (aka Horsecrazzz) created a blog where readers can share a tribute to animals friends who have passed. You’re welcome to add your tribute there. I’ve added a link from the sidebar (look for the ‘In Loving Memory’ banner) or you can CLICK HERE.

  12. In my opinion, just because that is what she wants in the future doesn’t mean it is what she’ll get. When I first really got into horses, I know I wanted some unGodly crossbreed thing of like ten different breeds that didn’t fit together. At the time, it seemed great. I was thinking I’d get it right away, name it Wildfire, and skip merrily off into the sun set with my super broodmare, show jumping, barrel racing, trail riding, race horse. One day when I knew more, since I thankfully didn’t get that horse when I wanted it, I found my old diary describing this horse. I was utterly horrified at my lack of knowledge. I said to myself ‘oney, you’ve come a long way. Be friggin proud of yourself that isn’t you anymore’. I went through an Arab phase too. And a Quarter Horse one, and then a Shetland one, and whatever breeds I got a liking to and was SURE I’d get someday. In the end, I’ve ended up falling in love with a handsome little ponyboy named Vifill, and he’s gotten me utterly in love with Icelandics.
    I may be rambling like I tend to, but my point is that this stage she’ll grow out of. Rather than try to change her mind, since she seems rather stubborn, encourage her to learn more about Arabians, and other breeds as well. And if that doesn’t change her mind, then a tleast by the time she can get the horse, she’ll know more about them., Best try to educate her rather than change her, because if you try too hard to change your mind and might adjust the friendship over it. Let’s face it, even though horses are wonderufl creatures and are very important to us, nothing is worth losing a true friendship over. Don’t push her. Help her and aide her, but try not to egg her on in the Arab thing outside of helping her learn more about the breed and other breeds. Remember, she’s new at this. And even though once you’re more educated it’s hard to understand nor remember when you where in a state of knowing little to nothing about horses, remember that she’ll learn and grow not only as a horsewoman, but as a person and gain better understanding of what she’s doing.
    One last piece of advice dearie, your friend is free to learn, grow, and make mistakes all on her own. You can help her pursue good things and try to keep her from the bad, but in the end she’ll be her own person and you can’t completely change her mind, but only alter that frame of mind enough to hold more knowledge and wisdom. Although, I’m not trying to say not to help her as much as you can, but just to be aware of limitations and be patient with her.

    -Peace, love, happiness, and luck to you, Halee

    P.S. Sorry if my advice is outdated or unfit to the situation, I didn’t havea chance to read through the other comments for additional information. So if my advice is redundant or unfitting, I apologize to you, but none the less still wish you and your friend the best of luck.

  13. Not trying to tell you you are wrong here, but sometimes you have to let your friends figure things out for themselves. If she has the personality you say she does,and gives up on things easily, she might just give up on this whole thing, and all will be well. Then again, if she seems really set on buying a horse, you might have to follow Madelaina’s advice, and point out some bad things about Arabians. Hard to do if you really love horses, but you might need to to protect your friend. And, although I might not be as experienced in judging a horse’s character as some of the people who have written some of these answers, not all Arabs in my experience are flighty and skittish. I infact know a horse, his name is Echo, he is 7 years old, Arab, and gentle as a lamb. His mother, Suzzana was even calmer. It might just be the blood lines, but if your friend really wants an Arab, you might just go with her to pick out the horse, and try to steer her towards a calm, Arab.
    Hope this helps!

  14. when i 1st got interested in horses and riding, i wanted an arabian. it’s just a fase , take her to horse showsand watch cob classes ect and then show her arabian class ans see how much they act up, it mat change her mind – hope this helps x

  15. Once again, we don’t have horse shows(except once a year we have a 4-H horse show).
    You see we live way up north where most of us have the ‘if its not needed don’t buy it’ kind of attitude. There are a lot of cattle ranches around here almost every one has at least 1 acre or 2.
    We just don’t have time for special shows and stuff like that.
    Many people from all over try to start classes and boarding barns here only to go out of bisness the next year because nobody has the time or does’nt want to pay the the money for what they can have for free.

    Is there any other option than taking her on a llloonng road trip?

  16. Well if that’s what she wants and shes sure about getting it then maybe she should. If she truly falls in love with this pony then she will be able to pull through any problems. She may possibly be fine with an older Arabian. If she really struggles then maybe you could ride it for her.

  17. Also I agree with horsecrazzz, it’s her decision.

  18. I know it’s mostly her decision, but I worry for her safety!
    Lets look at the facts, she has hardly any experience, she is weak willed and her parents don’t know enough about horses to see what she realy needs. I may sound mean and unfair but its the truth.
    I’m afraid she’ll find one thats beautiful, goes to see it, finds it calm, takes it home and finds out it was drugged and is now stuck with a high- strung Arab that she doesn’t know what todo with.
    Thats why I need help:(

  19. Salina: We are trying to help. My answer was not all about letting her do something that might hurt her. If you read it all, I did make some other suggestions. Not trying to be rude, just hoping my answer will help you.

  20. I know how she feels..She wants this gorgeous young arabian but everyone is saying she isnt good enough for it. I know you just want to help her, but when people tell me not to get a younger horse because im not experienced i get very mad! They dont know what kind of rider I am and I feel its unfair to judge that quikly. Have you seen her ride or deal with a horse yet? If not then you shouldnt tell her not to get an arabian. By the way, all arabians arnt that bad and hard to deal with..I rode the sweetest arabian ever a couple days ago, very young arabian too!

  21. Worst comes to worst, if she is off to buy a horse, you should go with her. There are numerous helpful blogs right here on Girls Horse Club that are relevant to buying a horse. I typed “buying” in the blog search box and many came up that can help you.

  22. I’m sorry if I came out wrong, (computers are so hard to get the true emotion across.) I realy do apreciate all the help you’ve sent. And I realy love my friend, she’s the sweetest girl! she just needs help with horses.:)

    And Horsecrazzz I’m sorry if it sound as if I was disreguarding your opinion( I value it very much) or any one elses, I did read your comment and found some parts very helpful.

    Update: She now has spotted a 10+ Quarter horse on the horrizon!! Horse ahoy!

    I’ll write if any more news comes!
    Thanks for all your help in this matter and sorry for any miscommunication~ Salina :)

  23. Let me be the first to tell you that Quarter Horses are great!!! They are for all levels of riders. I have a 17 year old that is till with it. They have a great size. Not too big or too small. They have a great disposition, and mind. They are really smart horses and thats all I’ve had my whole life. APHA’s ( American Paint Horse Association) are also great. My mom had one. They are basically the same breed of horse!!! It really depends on your style of riding too. If your western ( I am) then Quarter Horses are great. I have also seen english riders ride Quarter Horses. As far as getting an Arabian, my cousin had one when she was little and it was crazy! She learned how to handle it and made it a great horse. I don’t know too much on Arabians but my freind had one and it became foundered really bad. SHe couldn’t ride it anymore. She said that they were spunky horses. If your friend has a good hand with horses and is not afariad to have a wild horse then great! Arabians are beautiful and fast! Good Luck!

  24. Oh you might also want to incourage her to try riding different breeds and study them alot. It helped me. SHe will surely choose the right one for her. I rode my horse before I bought her. I also seen her papers and read about her breed. That helped me realize she was the one for me.

  25. Salina, what their saying about her safety and stuff is true in a way. But I agree with you on the fact of her needing to be more expirenced to get a wilder horse. I too am not real strong willed when it comes to horses. My parents know a little about horse but not that much. I understand that you are concerned about her. But not all Arabians are wild. Look around and find one for her that isn’t real young and spirited. And always remember that she is the one buying the horse.

  26. Salina, I too, am sorry if my emotions came out wrong. Your right, compurters are hard..! Glad my comment helped you.

    It is so great that she is beginning to like a quarter horse. I agree with Barrelzzz, they are really really fantastic horses~

  27. I know I have left many comments but ironically, I was reading “The Essentials of Horsemanship,” and read that not all Arabs are so highly spirited. But, It also commented that many Arabs are very high strung. And about that taking her to riding lessons and stuff, I live down South and we all ride western and don’t have that type of thing everywhere. I too, have a friend that has wanted a horse but has that ( It might hurt me) attitude. If your friend really has this attitude try getting her into some other hobbie. This sounds horrible I know, but its the truth. I could never live without my two horses.

  28. Thanks Horsecrazzz! :() And I am sooo glad she has spotted a Quarter Horse!

  29. For a beginner rider like your friend an Arab definaltly isn’t the right horse. Arabs are great horses for a more expierenced rider or for someone with alot of confidence but are not good for starting off on. I have had three horses before I got my Arab and I can still find her a bit of a handfull. If your friend wont budge on her idea I think the best thing that you could do is suggest to her to take along an expierenced horsey friend or relative when she is looking at a horse and get them to have a ride and see what they think. If she likes the horse the best thing to do would be to ask the owners if she can have it on trial for a week or so, then she can take it back if it’s too much for her. Maybe look for an Arab-cross .instead.

  30. Barrelzzz I Know PERFECTLY how you feel about Quarter Horses as well as not having any horse club thingys to go to! I live up North in the Great Plains/middle of no-where (and love it, amazingly).

    ( back on subject) I ‘m sure there are great Arabs out there since there apeers to be at least one in every breed.But truly I don’t think she could handle one.The last horse she had wasn’t even a horse. It was a mini pony. I know that they can be quite onrey but if she can’t pull a litle pony into circles heaven knows what’ll happen.
    Anyway I should see her soon, and ask if they have looked into the Quarter Horse more.
    Wish us luck!

  31. Salina: What you said in your recent comment is absolutely true. There’s a beautiful Arab where I ride, but even though she is extremely calm compared to other Arabians, I nearly couldn’t handle her the one time I rode her. It’s quite impossible that your friend can miraculously manage to control an Arab without much experience, and it shouldn’t be a risk to take with a gentle and calm Arab. However, I wish you the best of luck, and hope that she’s fallen in love with the Quarter Horse.