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View Full Version : Must I ride when I go to look at a horse I'm thinking of adopting?



greeneyelioness
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:30 PM
Ok this is a weird situation and I'd really like some advice on how to handle it. I am going to go look at a horse tomorrow that I am really interested in. He's almost everything I am looking for in a horse and I would be honored to have him be mine.
My dilemma is that I'm not the best rider anymore. I am out of shape having not ridden anything consistently for the better part of a year. Now I am sort of embarrassed to ride in front of anyone, and am dreading going to go look at this horse tomorrow because I don't want the owners to think I can't ride. I'd much rather ride him when I am at home and more comfortable.
Since I am a vet tech I can pretty much do my own pre-purchase evaluations and thought I could bring someone to ride him for me so I can watch him from the ground.
I don't know exactly what I would tell them owners but I figured I could bring someone with me to ride him so I could watch him from the ground. Also the trip is a couple of hours away and whenever I travel that far, I do have issues with my knees and back if I sit too long so I may have to have someone ride him for me anyway.
What is the best way to handle this without looking incompetent?

superpony123
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:38 PM
You aren't obligated to ride the horse. You aren't obligated to tell them why, either.

anyway, just say you would much rather watch the horse go around with someone else on him. you don't even have to bring a friend. call ahead of time and ask if the owner/rider will be there to ride the horse, explain that you'd like to watch. you could say you've been having some bad joint pain lately and you're taking a week or two off from riding, just so they don't feel odd about it.

however, i would definitely ask for a trial. i've ridden FABULOUS horses before that on the ground and in pictures were everything i would have dreamed of..then i rode them and said "eh." .. not quite for me. we didn't click. and it would be awful to be "stuck" with a horse that you don't click with at all.

Come Shine
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:39 PM
Why don't you just say what you wrote about not being in ring ready shape? I don't think that would be incompetent at all. I rode for a few friends when they were horse shopping and it wasn't a big deal at all.

Junebugz
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:39 PM
I always ask an owner to show me a horse. If they are afraid or leery it may make you think twice about getting on yourself. I would take someone with me as well since it is hard to flex a horse and then watch it trot off since the first few steps are ideally what you are looking at anyway. Two opinions are always better then one.:yes:

Thomas_1
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:48 PM
I've bought countless horses without ever having ridden them myself.

Tell the owners that you want them to provide a rider so you can see the horse ridden and evaluate it from the ground.

greeneyelioness
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:49 PM
Thanks guys. I am always a little shy and worry about what others think- I can be a bit socially inept. :) I think I will just tell her the truth and ask her to ride him for me. Really the ride down there is going to be hard, especially when I have to turn around and drive back!
Thanks again. It makes me feel better.

Foxtrot's
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:50 PM
If the owner rides they should show you the horse - or bring in someone who knows the horse to show it off the best. Then your friend could get on to feel him for you.

JinxyFish313
Oct. 9, 2009, 08:41 PM
Yup I've always seen the owner/trainer show me a horse before I, my trainer (when I was a jr) or my student gets on. As a seller, I have also never had a problem with an agent or other competent rider getting on for a potential buyer.

Showbizz
Oct. 9, 2009, 11:31 PM
I agree...except for asking for a trial because you don't want to ride the horse. As a seller, I wouldn't allow a trial just because you didn't want to ride in front of me. I don't allow trials anyway, but certainly wouldn't make an exception for that.

MintHillFarm
Oct. 10, 2009, 08:59 AM
I've bought countless horses without ever having ridden them myself.

Tell the owners that you want them to provide a rider so you can see the horse ridden and evaluate it from the ground.

I completely agree, I have done the same and understand where you are coming from. Ask them to ride him for you. This way you can see how he is when mounting (hopefully by way of a mounting block) and it will make you more comfortable. If they won't ride him (if he at the track they likely won't) then you can decide what to do from there.

An old trainer of mine (well respected, well known, great rider etc) said she can tell more by watching one go then by riding.

meupatdoes
Oct. 10, 2009, 10:17 AM
I agree...except for asking for a trial because you don't want to ride the horse. As a seller, I wouldn't allow a trial just because you didn't want to ride in front of me. I don't allow trials anyway, but certainly wouldn't make an exception for that.

Agreed.
When I have something for sale I fully expect to do the initial demo ride, which I actually like because I know how to show the horse off to his best advantage, but I would never let a horse out on trial to somebody that I hadn't seen ride it.

It is too much of a liability to both myself and the horse to send one out with an unknown quantity.

OP, sellers will probably be EXPECTING to demo the horse for you, and, as someone who demos horses on a regular basis...believe me, however "bad" you think you ride, the seller has seen worse. Trust me on that. If you know enough to 'be embarrassed,' you are waaaaaayyyy ahead of the game! :lol:

Trees4U
Oct. 10, 2009, 10:25 AM
Always have the owner (or someone else) get on before you do. Like another poster said, if they won't get on, you sure don't want to. If it were me and I liked what I saw, I would at least get on and walk around- just so you can get a"feel" ;) You can always tell them that you have a physical issue right now that prevents you from doing more..they won't care.
I have sat on horses that looked nice when someone else rode, but when I got on, just didn't click for me..

...but I'm not a younger anymore either :D

FindersKeepers
Oct. 10, 2009, 11:31 AM
You certainly have the option to pass on riding the horse, but talking a seller into a trial can be a challenge anyway, but especially if they haven't even had the chance to see you interact with their horse.

You can always just get on, walk/trot a little, and say that's enough for you. There's no rule that says YOU need to show off. If a lap in each direction at each gait is enough for you, that's all you need.

Remember, when you're out of shape riding it always feels 10 times worse than it actually looks from the ground. I'd suggest you find a friend and get on their horse before you go. Getting back in the saddle before you head down there will give you more confidence.

mypaintwattie
Oct. 10, 2009, 12:34 PM
When I went to look at my horse, the girl who was selling her got on and rode her around at each gait then I got on. I was in the same situation as you- completely out of shape, hadn't ridden in 6+ months, and throw in a horrible case of fear! I got on, walked around the ring twice, trotted twice, and cantered her once. We only worked in one direction. I stopped her, slid off, and handed over the cash:D Was it the best trial- no probably not, but if I would have passed on her I would have missed my dream horse! Since then I have become friends with her old owner!

Cita
Oct. 10, 2009, 12:48 PM
You certainly have the option to pass on riding the horse, but talking a seller into a trial can be a challenge anyway, but especially if they haven't even had the chance to see you interact with their horse.

You can always just get on, walk/trot a little, and say that's enough for you. There's no rule that says YOU need to show off. If a lap in each direction at each gait is enough for you, that's all you need.

Remember, when you're out of shape riding it always feels 10 times worse than it actually looks from the ground. I'd suggest you find a friend and get on their horse before you go. Getting back in the saddle before you head down there will give you more confidence.

I agree! I wouldn't want to commit to a horse without feeling how it trots, at the very least, and preferably canter, too. But a few strides and a 5 minute ride should be enough to tell you if there are any HUGE red flags.

If I were in your position, I would have someone else "put the horse through its paces," and then I would get on for a brief howdy-do ride :)

Trevelyan96
Oct. 10, 2009, 01:16 PM
Being out of shape has made me a bit of a weenie. When I buy my horses I always ask the seller to ride it first so I can evaluate it from the ground and if I like what I see, I just hop on for a few walk / trot circles and to test brakes and responsiveness to my seat.

My advice is even if you don't plan to ride, bring some paddock boots, a helmet and 1/2 chaps. If the horse looks easy, then you might want to hop on even if its only to see if he's comfortable for you.

inca
Oct. 10, 2009, 08:50 PM
I certainly understand because I am also nervous riding in front of people I don't know on a horse I don't know. But, as a seller, I would NEVER sell my horse to someone who I haven't seen ride the horse. I ALWAYS ride the horse first but I also want to know that the buyer gets along with the horse and they are a good match.

kcmel
Oct. 10, 2009, 10:21 PM
You'll survive. I bought my horse after about an 8 year break, from a very well known trainer in the area. I was uncomfortable, but I didn't topple off or anything. I even popped him over a tiny jump! I have found that the trainers/sellers are always VERY nice and helpful. They WANT to sell you a horse. If you really feel like you can't do it on the first visit, though, and you like the horse, then make a second visit and get on. You will never know if the horse is right for you if you don't ride it.

gottagrey
Oct. 11, 2009, 11:40 PM
Here's my advice - make sure you have some sort of trial period. I have a couple of friends who have adopted/rescued horses. One got 2 rescue horses, none of the horses have worked out for the riders. Both riders were getting back into riding, didn't have time because of work schedule constraints. And basically the horses were never going to become the horses that the riders wanted them to be... you don't want to be stuck w/ a horse you cannot ride, doesn't suit you, and you can't sell or find another home for. So be cautious, don't be too impulsive. A horse might look and sound like everything you want but then again it might not turn out that way -just make sure you think very objectively. One horse - the owner cried every single time she rode the horse. It's not worth paying board on a horse that you don't enjoy riding - just make sure that this animal will suit want you want to do now and in the future - if not pass on it - there will be others

Marli
Oct. 15, 2009, 08:03 AM
Ok this is a weird situation and I'd really like some advice on how to handle it. I am going to go look at a horse tomorrow that I am really interested in. He's almost everything I am looking for in a horse and I would be honored to have him be mine.
My dilemma is that I'm not the best rider anymore. I am out of shape having not ridden anything consistently for the better part of a year. Now I am sort of embarrassed to ride in front of anyone, and am dreading going to go look at this horse tomorrow because I don't want the owners to think I can't ride. I'd much rather ride him when I am at home and more comfortable.
Since I am a vet tech I can pretty much do my own pre-purchase evaluations and thought I could bring someone to ride him for me so I can watch him from the ground.
I don't know exactly what I would tell them owners but I figured I could bring someone with me to ride him so I could watch him from the ground. Also the trip is a couple of hours away and whenever I travel that far, I do have issues with my knees and back if I sit too long so I may have to have someone ride him for me anyway.
What is the best way to handle this without looking incompetent?

How did it go? There's lots of times that people look at horses and don't get on their back until after they're bought and brought home. Did you friend ride the horse?

greeneyelioness
Oct. 15, 2009, 08:11 AM
We haven't gone yet due to scheduling conflicts but are going next weekend. She agreed to ride him for me, which is absolutely great and I've gotten myself pretty psyched about this horse after chatting with her daily about him via email. I hope he works out. I have a very good feeling about him, much different than my other horses or other ones I have looked at so I have a feeling that this is going to be THE one. I'll post after our visit and let everyone know how it went.;)

spurgirl
Oct. 15, 2009, 09:18 AM
I looked at a rescue/adoption case back in July-after many emails, phone calls, reference checks, we drove 3 hours to see her-with the trailer. I could not ride her, due to insurance issues (lack of) at the BO's property-was told in advance. Horse had not been ridden in 2 years. Mare was in good condition, so we took her home for a one to two month trial, but I was riding her lightly after 3 days. Owner came here and turned papers over to me a few weeks ago, everyone's very happy!! Totally recommend a trial period-good luck!!

greeneyelioness
Oct. 18, 2009, 10:45 PM
I went today and the owners rode him, which was great because I got to really see what he was like with someone he knew. I didn't ride him because it took us forever to get there and I was really hurting by the time I did. On the ground I was able to really see him fuss about in the ring and could make notes about everything that we need to work on, even before I get on him. He's been out of consistent work for awhile but I think with daily training and exercises we'll do okay. And hopefully, we'll be competing next season.
We decided that I am going to take him on and if it does not work out, she will have first right of refusal. He needs work and patience and I saw some things that we will need to correct but all in all, I think he will make a nice horse.
She didn't seem too bothered that I didn't ride, which was a relief for me as I probably would have hurt myself getting on today after such a long drive and idiot stupid dumb me, did not take any Ibuprofen before we left so I am all crampy now. :no:
So I am off to the hot bath and then to my Dachshund heated bed where I shall dream up new names and keep myself awake thinking of what colors should we get for him.
New horses are fun :D

SouthwestRerider
Oct. 18, 2009, 11:10 PM
As someone that was in the same position a couple of years ago, I also was very shy about getting on and showing my lack of recent experience. I have a couple of points to make.
I advise getting a horse with NO problems to get back into riding. You may not be ridng as often as you seem to think if you are having physical problems. You may want to , but if you are older as I am, you may find it more taxing than when you were a young rider. You may find yourself revising your goals, or giving them up just to enjoy your horse time. Make sure you do "click" with the horse, even if only at the walk. You may need a confidence builder type horse.
Just my experience. You may be a young rider without these issues.
I hope this horse works out. Getting a horse to me is a little like getting married after one date. And I have found many horses for sale not being anything like described in emails, or over the phone. You have to learn to evaluate the seller as well as the horse. Good luck.