Just about everybody wants a Flicka.
There aren’t too many, and lots of things need to be considered when trying to locate that perfect horse.
Rick Lamb emphasized those points during one of his presentations during the 2010 EquiFest of Kansas at Wichita.
Best known as host of “The Horse Show with Rick Lamb” on RFD-TV, the speaker is actually a Wichita native and a repeat speaker at EquiFest.
Lamb, now of Phoenix, Arizona, opened his program relaying what the title “Finding Flicka – Choosing A Horse That’s Right For You” actually meant.
He informed the audience: “‘Flicka’ is a 2006 film adapted from the 1941 children’s novel, ‘My Friend Flicka,’ about a youth and a horse. A previous adaptation was released in 1943, and there was TV series of the same title in the ’60s.”
There are many things to consider before acquiring a horse. “Do you have facilities, the time, the money and even the physical fitness?” Lamb asked. “You need a horse that fits you today, not tomorrow,” he emphasized
Many people think of a horse like they do a dog or cat. “Horses have a much different psychology than pets,” Lamb stressed. “They are naturally animals of prey that have survived for centuries because of their flight responses.
“Your knowledge about horses in general will strongly affect your success with them,” he added.
Just because a person has been to a horse show or even ridden horses at a camp doesn’t make them a skilled horseman. “Handling horses is a constant learning endeavor, and the experience level is very important,” Lamb pointed out.
In today’s busy society, many people don’t actually have the time for horse ownership. “Routine care of a new horse requires considerable several hours a week,” Lamb said. “Then there are training sessions, outings and continuing education.”
With the general economy being stressful, horses are an added cost some families can not afford. “The initial cost is the least expense about owning a horse,” Lamb tallied.
“Facilities, feed, veterinary bills and transportation all soon add up to be quite high.”
Although a person doesn’t have to be an athlete to own or ride horses, a certain amount of fitness is essential. “It’s important to have some strength, plus stamina, coordination, alertness and emotional stability,” Lamb warned.
The inverse rule of horse ownership was defined by the speaker. “Contrary to common opinion, the concept that a new owner and a new horse can learn together is completely wrong,” Lamb verified. “A novice rider must have an experienced horse, because it is safer and more enjoyable.
“Experts perform best on inexperienced horses. Project horses are not for beginners. Green on green equals black and blue,” Lamb continued.
Prior to getting a horse, one must determine what is expected of it. “Different people want different things, and they need different types of horses,” Lamb explained.“All
of it is personal, and if it makes you feel good, that’s what you should do.”
Many characteristics should be considered before acquiring a horse. “It doesn’t need to be registered, unless you want to participate in breed competitions or raise purebred horses,” Lamb confirmed. “You should buy one with a desirable temperament, the size and build that you like and fits your style, and one with color and markings you want.”
Sometimes it’s better to lease a horse first, before buying one. “That way you learn the responsibilities without having a permanent commitment, in case you change your mind,” Lamb advised.
Keeping a horse at home is usually better than boarding it elsewhere. “However, living with a horse changes everything,” he warned.
Shopping for a horse is easy, but finding the right one is difficult. “Newspapers, magazines and the internet are all filled with horses for sale, but you must have a knowledgeable horseman with you when looking at a horse.
“Make a scheduled visit to the location of the horse, and then later make a surprise visit to see if the horse is any different that time. Always make sure you have a prepurchase veterinary examination,” Lamb urged. “Choose with your mind, because your heart will follow.”
Not all horses work out as you would like, despite following all of the recommendations. “Don’t be discouraged. Admit it is a mistake and go on. Change is often for the better. The next horse may be Flicka, even if the first one isn’t.
“It’s not so much the horse or the owner. It’s in the two of you, the combination, the
relationship, the team,” Lamb concluded.