Eight and above. Though I just had a client purchase a six year old freisian that is super quiet and safe for any level rider so I guess it depends on the horse. Usually by eight though the brains have settled in. I also do a lot of horses in their early 20's that are perfect for what you are looking for. Linda
I can't answer for the top end........but we lucked out and got ourselves an absolutely wonderful bomb proof 9 year old gelding. None of us are experienced riders, but all of us have been able to crawl up on his back and he's been great.
Have to admit, what helped was that we acquired him through a child hood friend who is a long time horse woman and trainer. And the time was right!
I'd consider 12yo or a little older. Probably othing under 8yo.
Have you had riding lessons? If not, I'd probably start there on some horses at a stable where they give lessons and that can also be a great place to network to find a great, quiet, safe first riding horse
Besides looking for one that is safe for beginner / novice riders, I'd also aim for one with good, hard feet. Neither of my riding horses had to be shod even when I was riding "a lot", and that is a big money saver.
i wouldn't hesitate to go with something in double digits. don't overlook a horse just because it's 18 or 20 or even older. if a horse has been well cared for with regular attention to its feet, regular deworming, good food, etc., an aged animal is the absolute best choice for beginners.
i bought my quarter horse mare when she was 16. she lived to the ripe old age of 37 and it was only the last year or so of her life that she wasn't rideable. my gelding will soon be 26. he's so bombproof, i can read a book on trail rides.
if somebody tells you they have a bombproof, KID BROKE 3 year old...run screaming in the other direction. i always ask "how many kids has it broke?"
I would expect to pay $1000-2000 at least. You may be able to get alot cheaper if you look but if you have no experience then I would start out in that price range. There are alot of horses out there and it is easy to get scammed so be careful!! If you have someone that is experienced then you need to take them with you, I have been in horses for 30 years and I still like to take my friend with me so between the 2 of use we usually catch everything!!!
I would also try and stick with a gelding, no hormones to deal with
You should look for something around 7 and above. I have to say we had better luck with mares then the geldings and ask someone that has experience with horses go and ride for you even if you have to pay them it is worth it to get their opinion. Prices are down so you should be able to get one well broke for 1000 to 2000. Do not rule out a senior horse either. I have seen some awesome riding horses that are 20+
10 and older is a good age to start with. Usually they're out of their fuddy-duddy stage of kicks and giggles and are usually more settled. Beware however that even tho they're older in age does not mean they are well trained or bombproof. Do your homework and footwork before you settle. Also if the buyer will let you ride the horse a few times and take it for a trail ride before you decide, that usually gives you an idea of what to expect of it's personailty.
Edoted to add: Around here you can expect to pay anywhere from $1500 on up for a nice, quiet trail horse.
10+ has always been my experience. We bought our gelding for 500.00 He was bought through our farrier. I think he was 15-18 yrs old. He was a great horse, we ended up selling him becuase boarding fees were just too much. Now we have the minis which live on family property.
Seven to eight is a good age range to start with, and certainly older works as long as there are not soundness issues. HOWEVER - many other things to consider. Some friends of ours just bought their very first riding horses, one eight one thirteen. Sold as broke nice trail horses - I went out and rode them both, no particular problems other than one a little busy with her head. Fast forward a few weeks......the gelding has now bucked off his new owner and the mare is hard to control. They started tracking previous owners and found a great deal of history. The gelding had been abused and although he's a nice ride, some things set him off and he becomes dangerous. They are getting professional help with both horses now, and hopefully will have something to ride eventually but they will have a lot more than their original investment into them. Just goes to show, age is not a guarantee. Find out all you can about a horses history, know the sellers reputation, get a vet check.
We adopted our quarter horse when he was 23 years old. He is now 25. He is really good because we can leave him in a pasture for a month or so and then just get on him and go. (I am a beginner rider) We adopted him from the Last Chance Corral in Ohio. Their website is www.lastchancecorral.org. Lots of great horses go there, and like my old man, some just go because their owner donated them because of needing some money or wanting a new horse or something like that. They get new horses often so if you keep checking you can find one that would best fit your needs.