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21 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the topic for novice horse people.
I've been teaching riding and horsemanship for about 23 years and have often felt the need for just this book for my novice students and the hundreds of Pony Clubbers I've taught (and their parents!). No other book that I've found (and I own over 900 horse books) comes even close to the helpfulness and usefulness of Guay's book.
The author leads you through a...
Published on June 23 1999 by G. Slusher

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Too basic to be helpful
If you need advice like "if you've never ridden before, be sure to take a few riding lessons before deciding whether to purchase a horse" (yes, the authors actually thought it necessary to tell their readers this), then this book may help you out. But if you are looking for tips on evaluating conformation, soundess, suitability, etc. then look elsewhere...
Published on Oct. 27 2000


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1.0 out of 5 stars Out of focus and poorly written., Oct. 12 2003
By 
NW Shopper (Washington, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
If this is the "Best book on the topic...", then it must be the only one! Luckily that is not the case, as there are many really good books available on this subject.
This rambling work just glosses over each subject that it attempts to address. It doesn't settle in on anything specific. The reader is never able to get a real idea of what they would be getting into when buying their first horse.
The writers should have made a few assumptions at the beginning, such as this book is for the average person buying their first horse, which will be relatively inexpensive and used for basic riding. Since they did not focus on anything specific, the book has no real direction or purpose. Reading it is like looking through someone else's glasses - after a few minutes your eyes kind of go blurry and start to water.
For example, there is a table that gives average costs per year of owning a horse, and under the heading "Tack" it gives annual costs from $500 - $10,000! Is this book trying to cover everyone from a 15-year old kid doing 4H to the King of Persia? Plus, don't horses eat? The table on what to expect to shell out in a year for horse costs doesn't even include the cost for feed. The total annual costs are listed as anywhere from $3520 to $25,800.
Is the average Joe, about to go out to buy their first horse, really going to budget $25,000 a year for a horse? I don't think so. Who is this book written for?
You start to almost get mad that you even wasted your time once you read this book. Then it gets kind of entertaining, because there are so many mistakes, that I found it hard to believe that I was reading a published work, and not a rough draft. There are sentences that start and then just end in the middle. One sentence had the word "so" when they meant to use "do". There are so many grammatical and typographical errors that it makes you wonder if the authors even read it!
The last section of the book is entitled "Buyer Beware!" I think that about sums it up. I'm just glad that we got it for free at the library.
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1.0 out of 5 stars full of misinformation, May 10 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
as I started to read this book I thought, OK, not a lot of detail but a good overview. The more I read the more obvious it was that the authors were providing some very inacccurate and predjudicial information. Readers of this book are presented with a narrow view of an expansive subject.
Some of the glaring misinformation: "In the United States, a negative Coggins test is required for any horse bought or sold, raced, shown or crossing state lines." Complete misuse of the terms "linebreeding" and "inbred" as well as comment that purebred horses have "faults due to inbreeding" The term "nuetered" is not used regarding horses. Male or female. Castration is the proper term for explaining the gelding of a male horse. "Stallions. . . are hard to manage and dangerous". "A stallion near a mare in season is dangerous" both comments are grossly inaccurate. A stallion is not a suitable horse for a beginner or first time buyer, but they are not dangerous or hard to manange simply because they are stallions. Similar inaccurate statements were made about mares "in estrous". Also untrue.
This is the kind of book presented to beginners and first time horse buyers who have no way of knowing better, things as fact that are not, because it is written by so-called experts. My impression of the book is that is was written by someone who pieced together information from other sources and without proofreading by qualified horsepeople.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too basic to be helpful, Oct. 27 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
If you need advice like "if you've never ridden before, be sure to take a few riding lessons before deciding whether to purchase a horse" (yes, the authors actually thought it necessary to tell their readers this), then this book may help you out. But if you are looking for tips on evaluating conformation, soundess, suitability, etc. then look elsewhere. Lacking a trainer who could travel to evaluate horses with me, I was hoping to find a "pocket guide" to the issues that are beyond the ken of the average rider who has never owned a horse. I was disappointed to find this book addressed more to the average person who has never ridden. There was almost no information on figuring out whether a given horse is a good match.
This book may be best used to convince your horse-crazy offspring that there's more to the undertaking than feeding carrots to a pony . . . but anyone who's seriously contemplating horse-ownership should get far more information before making this important commitment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the topic for novice horse people., June 23 1999
By 
G. Slusher (Eugene, Oregon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
I've been teaching riding and horsemanship for about 23 years and have often felt the need for just this book for my novice students and the hundreds of Pony Clubbers I've taught (and their parents!). No other book that I've found (and I own over 900 horse books) comes even close to the helpfulness and usefulness of Guay's book.
The author leads you through a series of decisions based upon _your_ situation, skills/experience, finances, and goals. Unlike most "how-to-buy-a-horse" books, this book doesn't go much into details about conformation, breeds, bloodlines, etc., as those are pretty much irrelevant for first-time horse owners. Instead, Guay takes the reader through the process of deciding, first, whether one should buy, lease, or just take lessons--including the financial and responsibility issues. If the decision is to buy a horse, she focuses on what is most important: finding an individual horse whose disposition and training make it suitable for that particular rider. She also strongly recommends getting help from an experienced horse person, preferably one's instructor.
This book is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to horse ownership. It is aimed at novices, not experienced horse people. For example, the author often covers what to experienced horse people may seem to be simple common sense, but which all too often can get novices into serious trouble. Guay emphasizes safety above all, both in selecting the horse and in riding and working with the horse.
Even though the book is aimed at novices, it should also be in every instructor's or trainer's library. We may forget what it's like to be a novice and looking for our first horse. Guay's book can help us understand and see things from the perspective of our students, and help them find a good horse for THEM, rather than what WE might buy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Way too general, Feb. 10 2000
By 
Dana Hughes (East Tennessee) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
i ordered the book and was so excited when i saw it in the mailbox...two hours later after i had finished the book i was extremely disappointed. i was looking for specifics, and this book was very general. there was a lot of "ask your trainer this...," and "ask your barn manager that...". i was reading the book because i wanted to learn, not because i wanted to know what to "ask my trainer." i'm definately not an expert on horses...but i did know that horses have 4 legs and eat hay. i agree with one of the other reviews that i read (a little late!), that said you feel like they just couldn't make a commitment on their opinion of proper horse care. this book would be fine for a 12 year old that's never riden before.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I got this book before I got a horse., Feb. 5 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
I am a total horse novice. My daughter loves horses and is
now getting old enough to take lessons. When I found out
how much it costs to lease a horse or even board one that
we bought, I started to consider buying a horse and stabling
it at our home, which is in a rural area. This book opened my
eyes to all that is involved in owning a horse, no matter
where it is stabled. It is extremely comprehensive, covering
every aspect I wondered about and several I didn't even
consider. I highly recommend it for anyone like me who is
inexperienced in the world of horse ownership and thinking
of taking the plunge. I'm sure having it will save me many
times the cover price
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough information!, Sept. 13 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
If you know little to nothing about horses this book will probably have a good deal of information for you. However, for people who know more about horses this book is not really applicable. Too many of the topics the author brings up are not thoroughly covered...mainly you get an overview but no real knowledge is gained. Also this book is not a guide to BUYING your horse, it should be titled "So...you think you want to buy a horse". You will want and need more information about the actual purchase...such as confirmation and good questions to ask about the horses current and past health.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Horses, Sept. 25 2001
By 
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
This book was okay, but I would've enjoyed it a little more knowing that I hadn't paid so much for it. I do agree with some people, how the pictures were kinda big and teh margines, well, I'll let you see for yourself. I have never ridden a horse yet I love them and my sister rides everyday. I know a lot about horses even though I have no experience riding. I know that it's kinda hard to hurt a horse while brushing it and that is one of the easiest things for a horse owner. Sugar cubes, apples, carrots, etc are treats, not regular food. So if you didn't know that you SHOULD get this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Buying Your First Horse is **SUPER**!!, July 9 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
Mary Guay covers the decision process better than anyone else I've read, and I have over 800 horse books. It will pay you back much more that the purchase price as it helps keep you and your family from making mistakes that you could avoid - and, more important, helping you find the RIGHT horse for you. I think this book is tops and just the thing for people thinking of getting a horse." - George Slusher, Examiner, Instructor and Clinician with US Pony Clubs, and Manager of Compuserve Horses Foru
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2.0 out of 5 stars This book offers too many generalizations., Jan. 5 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Buying Your First Horse (Paperback)
I puchased this book in conjunction with The Affordable Horse and found this book lacking the detail I needed in regard to many of it's topics. The Affordable Horse did have the information I wanted however.(Thankfully) Many of the pages in Buying Your First Horse refer to common sense items. Example, don't walk behind a horse, you may be kicked. The book refers the reader to different sources for information but doesn't provide detail within it's own pages. I was disappointed.
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Buying Your First Horse
Buying Your First Horse by Mary Guay (Paperback - Jan. 23 2003)
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