View Full Version : Where/How did you find your horse?

Jan. 19, 2011, 11:24 PM
I've been looking for what seems like forever... reality since June...and haven't found a suitable horse. I've vetted one and decided ultimately I had to pass based on my vet's advice-- I had taken a few lessons on that horse and was more than ready to take that horse home and got my heart broken. :(

I'm probably an advanced beginner rider looking for my first horse... I rode through college and have since afterwards and have rode a few difficult horses, but I realize there's so much I have yet to learn. So I'm looking for a horse that's gentle, tolerant, and has an amazing mind. I could care less about athletic ability... I want to go to start eventing and only plan on going BN-- maybe novice. It really doesn't matter to me... I'm going to be the biggest limitation on my horse's ability to advance up the ranks. :lol: I'm working my trainer in finding a horse and we've hard time finding nice, easy going horses bigger horses (I'm 5'10 with long legs).

So the question is how long did it take for you to find your horse, how did you find him, and how long did it take?

Jan. 19, 2011, 11:32 PM
It took me months to find my perfect horse! I looked all over the place, all the online sites and called a bunch of barns, then someone I know saw someone she knew riding a horse and Bingo! I was looking for a Novice packer, had to be honest but never had to do upper levels. Had to have the right brain for an adult who's not getting younger, had to be sound. Didn't have to be too trained but wanted to avoid really bad training. I find that you're better off talking to reputable trainers and barns than just using online site, although I know people who've gotten horses all sorts of ways.

Jan. 19, 2011, 11:59 PM
Well My current horse I got REALLY luck with. I looked at two horses the first with questionable soundness the second was definitely just lame (owner didn't even notice..talk about awkward) then My guy was the third one i looked at in person ( i screened out a ton through video and usea records) so after about a month I found him randomly on dreamhorse. My sister on the other hand looked for 14 month before finding one via our farrier. The farrier also found us another reallyyy cool pony... so we've done it the easy way and the hard way I guess...

eta to add- dont worry about size too much I know a number of ppl in the 5'10"- 11" range on horses in the 15.2-15.3 h range and they do just fine!

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:03 AM
I found mine by mistake. Not even looking for a horse at the time. Asked to visit a warmblood breeder (and informed him up front I just wanted to visit and was NOT on the market for a horse). Well he had this OTTB mare that didn't get pregnant and was downsizing his herd. So I got stuck with her. I've had her for over 2 years now.

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:06 AM
Most of my horses have come to me in one way or another when I wasn't expecting it. I've always chalked that up to "horsey fate" :)

But a few years ago I started looking for a big jumper prospect....2-3 years old and preferably unstarted. It was so much harder than I ever would have expected! It took me forever to find one I liked enough to vet, and when I did the vet check on one 3yo mare who was a few weeks under saddle she failed the vet check miserably. My vet, who understands my program and usually stands by "risky" purchases, said "run, don't walk away from this one." That was maybe 8 months into the search. It took me another 6 months to end up with a coming yearling.

So the last time I went looking for a horse it ended up turning into a 14 month search. With that being said, I already had several horses to ride and show, so I wasn't in a hurry. My feeling has always been that the "right" horse will show up at the "right" time, whatever that is. Good luck in your search!

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:07 AM
I was looking for a horse to full lease, my trainer and B/O brought in a horse for me to trial, I was not aware I was looking at 4yo OTTB's for sale only...but there he was. Then I bought him. A month. :)

Your horse will find you. Be patient, have fun, and good luck!

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:09 AM
I looked for just over a year. I was looking all over the country, and was planning a trip to Florida (I live in MT) when a trainer who I had tried some horses with wrote on my Facebook that Hawley had a solid Prelim horse for sale if I was still looking and I should go look at him.
So I did. I was looking for a big Warmblood but tried the skinny, spooky little Thoroughbred and ended up falling in love :) I rode a few others on that trip but vetted him and had him shipped up a few days later :) He's not perfect for me, but he is talented and willing and I can't wait to see how far he'll go. And can't wait to ride him again!
My other (lease) horse I found when, after my trainer and I decided I should take some time off from riding my horse and I should either a) buy another horse (after buying horse number 1 we didn't really have the money to buy a packer of the type I was looking for) b) ride an older, super experienced horse at her barn who I had already been riding a little or c) (which was not really an option at first) lease one! She went down to Twin Rivers 2 days later and called me that night to tell me she found the perfect horse for me to lease and she was going to have him sent up for me on Sunday. It was completely and totally random and he is quite perfect for me right now :)

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:14 AM
There are times when you have to read between the lines of what your vet says... He has his behind to look after as well, you know.

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:15 AM
It took me a day. Wasn't even seriously into my horse search when the perfect one came along. My trainer took me out to the local sale barn when another appointment fell through. Horse was there, had only been there for three days. When I tried her, I just knew. Vetted clean, price was perfect, personality, training and ability were exactly what I wanted. I usually have have everything line up so perfectly like this though, I'm sure on future horse searches I won't be so lucky.

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:23 AM
One I got off the track - he's a cute mover and finally getting his head around after a year, but still isn't super confident jumping. The other one is also an OTTB my trainer found starving in someone's backyard - I ended up buying him because it was love at first sit - we had a great connection halfway through the first ride.

I have had good luck finding horses through shoers, too.

They always seem to find me.

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:30 AM
they find me... whether I like it or not

Jan. 20, 2011, 01:12 AM
Last horse I bought after my vet called me and told me I needed to go look at her. She was right, of course :lol:

Jan. 20, 2011, 01:18 AM
Not sure where you are located -- but I saw this on Facebook --


Good luck!

Jan. 20, 2011, 01:39 AM
I retired my old man October of 2009. I started really looking in December/January. In October of this year a ULR/ULHO friend of mine, Gillian Webster, who knew the type of horse I like and how I rode walked up to me at an event and offered me a horse to try. So like others here, the horse found me. I was still in a cast then so it was another month before I could ride him, and after 30 minutes I said, "The only deciding factor left is the vet."


Jan. 20, 2011, 01:54 AM
McKinna? We got her at the Woodburn auction. No test ride, no vet check, just 30 seconds or so of watching her in the 30x30 ring under western tack :D

Naturally, I highly discourage buying horses that way. Though, she IS pretty much perfect, and 100% sound, and I adore her to the ends of the earth, and I wonder on a regular basis how I am ever going to find another horse as awesome. We were just very lucky.

The last horse I bought was an Appendix QH mare off of the local Craigslist. She kind of found me, like a lot of people are saying. I wasn't looking (I had a broken ankle and was still on crutches), but I'd just been discussing how I really liked a friend's Appendix with my mother, and behold, one pops up on Craigslist! She was 6, had some XC experience, and was definitely the right price. It took a little TLC in terms of chiropractor work and patient training to re-teach correct basics, but she is literally the sweetest horse I've ever met. She's owned by a lady up in Washington now who is getting into eventing and she thinks that mare is the best thing since sliced bread.

Jan. 20, 2011, 06:46 AM
If I worked as hard at finding a man like I did for a horse, I would have been happily married for years by now!

I meticulously (obsessively) combed through every sales barn websites (eventing and foxhunting), used dreamhorse.com, equine.com and equinsite.com, notified my event and dressage trainers that I was looking.

I had an outline (kind of broad) of what I was looking for (between ages 5-12, 16.2H - 17.3H, has evented or foxhunted/potential to event, all-rounder type of horse - no cribbers, could hack out alone)

Contacted Diane Crump and made three trips to VA to look at horses, sent my trainer down to try ride finalist (I rode first, videoed before sending her).

3 months and 24 rides later... the "perfect" horse... (I'm sure just like a "perfect" husband... love her to death even when we were fighting and needed marriage counseling) Been together for 6 years now!

The effort was well worth it!

Jan. 20, 2011, 08:51 AM
This horse was offered in a text-only ad on equine.com...usually I ignore those, but something in this one piqued my interest. The only videos I got were short clips of him pulling an old lady in a carriage down a country road. Rode him twice (there wasn't much to see as he was very green broke), then TRADED my mare for him. Loooong story.
Took me a few weeks to find him, and I LOVE him.

Where are you located, ndirish?

Jan. 20, 2011, 09:08 AM
I feel your pain! I looked for about 3 months, rode over 30 horses (I think; I'm afraid to actually count). Mostly online ads, but also word of mouth, vet, etc. Had 3 failed vetttings, finally found one that a student at an UL barn was selling. Passed vetting with flying colors! My only advice is to be patient (which you clearly are being if you've been looking since June). And unlike a previous poster, I would say listen to your vet!

Jan. 20, 2011, 09:18 AM
Vernon I found by accident. Window shopping one day, saw his ad, thought of him for a resale project. Went and looked, liked, bought for a song. Then the bottom fell out of the market, I was allowed to keep him.

Now I'm actually horse shopping for the first time in my life (for myself, that is) and I officially hate the process.

Jan. 20, 2011, 09:54 AM
It took a year for Patrick to find me. It was miserable, going out every weekend to ride some new horse (I don't like getting on strange horses...) with DH and the video camera tagging along.

I told everyone what I was looking for. Eventually, I got a call from a friend who was out in California at an event, about a horse that had done Prelim in the past but wasn't really being used regularly. "He's not very pretty..." she said.

My coach was out there for the event and was staying after so I asked him to please try the horse and let me know. He rode, then put a student on him and said "Do everything wrong." Patrick was perfect. Coach called and said, "I think you should come try this horse, it's like riding a couch."

I scheduled a vet check and asked if the seller would like a deposit!

My advice... tell everyone you're looking, even non-horse people. You never know who they will tell and what friend of a friend will see something and think of you. There are some really good ones that are not advertised.

Jan. 20, 2011, 09:59 AM
Took a few months. He was the third or fourth I had looked at. It was a short ad on equine.com about two hours from me. I almost didn't go because I was tired of driving around, but I'm glad I did. He's phenomenal for me and very very special, we clicked when our eyes met.

Jan. 20, 2011, 09:59 AM
I have found almost all of mine on the internet through dreamhorse or equine.com. For what you want, you might consider draft crosses. I am surprised at what nice horses will come up if you google "eventing packer for sale" Also, make sure that you are not trying to find a horse that is right for your trainer and for you, which is to say you want quiet and easy and s/he may be adding athletic on top of that. PM me if you want me to send you some of the ones I have found recently when looking for other people.

Jan. 20, 2011, 10:04 AM
I wasn't even looking for a horse since my arm was still in a cast from the last one. :D

This happened several years ago but transpired over several months. My friend, JFS, was teaching a friend of ours when said friend showed up with an OTTB in August. JFS said at that time that this would be the perfect horse for me but friend said "not for sale." So when I volunteered at JFS's HT in Sept., I asked friend about horse and she told me how wonderul he was but he was "not for sale." December rolled around and I needed some trailer work done and the shop is 5 minutes from friends barn. I called friend and asked if I could see this horse since JFS keeps raving about him. I hadn't really started riding again since the cast was removed but since JFS was going to be at the barn, I could take a lesson on him. In my fragile state, both mentally and physically, he was such a gentlemen and I loved him but he's "not for sale." Two weeks later when I went to pick up trailer, I called friend again and asked if I could see the OTTB again. She said come on over and ride him, so I did! After that ride, I explained to her how much I loved the horse and understood he was "not for sale" but if she ever decided to I would pay so much. 3 days later she calls to tell me she will sell the horse! Between waiting for my dressage instructor to see him and the vetting, it was March before I was able to bring him home.

I guess I was being looked after by my guardian angel (JFS) because she helped me find the other special horse I owned many years ago.


Fractious Fox
Jan. 20, 2011, 10:08 AM
Oh I love this thread! I think I can add to it, as well, and maybe it will help you. In fact, I was just having a discussion like this with a fellow rider who is hoping to purchase this year...

So I began looking earlier this year. I wasn't scouring the earth, but I would scan the listings every day. I am located in the heart of the SE, so I looked in my region, but I also looked all the way up to NY at the Finger Lakes horses, too. I too am 5'10", and really wanted a horse who was 16.3-17.2ish. It was really important to find a willing partner who was talented, but didn't need to have a pro ride it all the time to keep it going. I wanted a horse who was able to go up to prelim level eventing, even if I wasn't planning on getting there myself. I also wanted to be competitive in jumpers. Bonus if I could fox hunt, trail ride, etc. Basically, I wanted the entire package! For a number of reasons, I was pretty much asking for the moon and was either going to have to change my parameters or cross my fingers and plan to wait a long time.

I ended up learning about the horse I bought by accident. My now-dressage instructor overheard me talking to my jumping instructor one day when she was visiting our barn, about some horses I had been looking at (who wouldn't have ever worked for me). I could see something happening in her brain, and she suddenly said "Hey! I think you need to call on a horse I know! I think he'd be perfect for you!".. and later it came out that I'd probably be perfect for the horse and seller, too. This dressage instructor was very close to the seller and horse, and super invested in the situation. Long story somewhat short, I called the number she gave me, told the seller who sent me, and was out to visit the horse within a few days. Amazingly, he was only 45 minutes from me. That first visit, the minute I sat in that saddle I just KNEW this was my horse, and he was what I had been longing for my entire riding life. My instructor tried him for me not long after and my vet gave me the thumbs up as well as arranged a trial for me, we took him for a month, then had him fully vetted, and signed the papers on Thanksgiving weekend. ETA: I forgot to add that he's plenty tall enough for me (18h), 5yo, and was started perfectly - never had a bad day in his life! I knew I'd end up with a very young and less trained horse, but that's ok as I knew I'd get more value that way.

My jump instructor was helping me look, but she kept telling me that you just need to wait.. "the right one will find you". I admit, I didn't really understand this, but now I do. It just happened. Sure, make yourself available to the horse when they do come, but don't force anything.. I think this is the secret to finding the perfect match. Use word of mouth and involve people you respect as individuals and horsemen.

You can see a photo of my new guy by viewing my profile. Technically, he's as green as grass and in that photo (late November?) he was barely broke. He's incredible, and it was possible for me to purchase him because it was the right situation (his ex-owner/breeder is becoming a wonderful friend, too, who follows our progress with a smile and happy tears in her eyes).

Best of luck to you, and please keep us updated - I hope you find your perfect match!

Jan. 20, 2011, 10:17 AM
I've always said the best horses I've ever ridden have just appeared on my doorstep, when I hardly knew I was looking. :)

The exception is Bonnie, who was premeditated--I bred her myself. :lol:

Gwen was boarded at a barn where I rode, I knew her for years and always joked that I would buy her someday, but I wasn't serious--what did a weenie adult amateur who thought Novice was the pinnacle need with a going one-star horse?. :lol: Then one day I was riding in my car with a friend who had ridden and competed her and we got to talking and Lindsay said (she is rather a forceful person) "You need to buy Gwen". And it clicked in my head . . . why not? So I did. :D Didn't vet her, hardly rode her (trotted twice around the arena and she was off due to a cut on her ankle . . . ehh, good enough!) and we had the best years together I've ever had with a horse. :sadsmile: Obviously knowing her and her owner was the key--I would certainly not do that with just any horse!

Keebler (not mine, leasing him) came to me through the magic of COTH! I hardly knew I was looking then, either, but scubed floated the idea and it clicked in my head the same way, and he's still here with me. :) Hoping to get him back so both scubed and I can enjoy some ear-to-ear grin XC rounds again on his little spotted back. :yes:

Moral of the story: when you least expect it is often when THE HORSE shows up. ;)

Jan. 20, 2011, 10:25 AM
I've been looking for what seems like forever... reality since June...and haven't found a suitable horse. I've vetted one and decided ultimately I had to pass based on my vet's advice-- I had taken a few lessons on that horse and was more than ready to take that horse home and got my heart broken. :(

I'm probably an advanced beginner rider looking for my first horse... I rode through college and have since afterwards and have rode a few difficult horses, but I realize there's so much I have yet to learn. So I'm looking for a horse that's gentle, tolerant, and has an amazing mind. I could care less about athletic ability... I want to go to start eventing and only plan on going BN-- maybe novice. It really doesn't matter to me... I'm going to be the biggest limitation on my horse's ability to advance up the ranks. :lol: I'm working my trainer in finding a horse and we've hard time finding nice, easy going horses bigger horses (I'm 5'10 with long legs).

So the question is how long did it take for you to find your horse, how did you find him, and how long did it take?

I'm going to be making horses for peeps just like you!

but for now:

well, I fell into my horses.
The first one was a horse I rode at a boarding facility. She was a bucker so people never really wanted to use her. When I moved from NJ to TX I went back 2 months after the move and bought her.

my 2nd horse was forced upon me. I had choosen his sister--who ended up lame after 6 weeks of work. I traded her out and the only suitable horse was her brother. I swore I was going to sell him but after about 6 months I just loved him.

Now I've moved on to my Mom's horse. I stole him from her in November. He is the exact horse that you discribe. He's her western trail horse but was first trained to be a header--which he hated. He's good around cows though.
Turns out the little tyke is REALLY fun to jump!
the horses are out there.
Ammy friendly horses can sometimes be expensive though.
: )

good luck with your search. You'll find one eventually.
I'd say look for the 15.3h quarter horse type. Don't look for the big athletic flashy mover. Often what riders want and what they need are very different.

Jan. 20, 2011, 10:27 AM
It's hard to find what you're looking for. Especially when you're new at this.
My suggestion is to call up Lisa Reid, www.reidtowin.com She found 2 perfect horses for me. The first was a cheap little guy who was just what I needed at the time. And the second was Winston.
So, I "thought" my requisites were pretty good. Gelding, 16h or less, either going a bit or bred to event. Price 20k. Reasonable, eh?
Well, I get an Amish reject on the side of an icy PA mountain. And she toted me up there! It was a horse I would have passed on looks alone. He was a tyrannasaurus rex. And Amish broke - sure - but didn't know anything.
But then I sat on him. And I knew. He's got it between the ears with decent gaits. And a lot less than my budget.
So, sometimes you need a horse finder. One that has an idea of who you are, where you want to go in eventing and scours constantly for horses. She will contact your trainer too to find out your 'horse personality' to find you a proper match.

Jan. 20, 2011, 10:33 AM
I had only been officially shopping for one week when my trainer forwarded a Craigslist posting to me. 'Needs a home by Sunday' combined with a low price. The owner didn't have a stall for her at the end of the week. It was near my office, so I went out to take a look. She was exactly what I didn't want. A chestnut thoroughbred mare.

I was immediately smitten with the pretty, sweet red head that seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. I bought her and shipped her to the barn the same day after one test ride. No time for a vet check, either.

I don't recommend it, but it's been a wonderful partnership so far. My previous horse was another TB that needed a home in a hurry, so I'm another one that just has horses drop into my lap when it's the right time for them.

Jan. 20, 2011, 10:49 AM
Mine found me... sort of :) My friend, username Ishi on here, knows my type of horse and she had this horse and was telling me for months how much I'd like him! When I decided to sell my other horse, I got Echo and I haven't regretted it one moment since.

I'm SUPER lucky to have a friend who has such a great eye for horses and found such a fantastic one for me.

Jan. 20, 2011, 10:52 AM
My competition horse I bought @ Jennings sale in Herndon-wanted her for her bloodlines.
All the rest found me although they do/did have issues.
It sounds like a few on the giveaway thread here would suit, equine.com and thehorse.com also have free horse sections.
Sometimes your perfect horse is hidden-helped a friend find one for their daughter-after they spend 8 months looking, I was with some others @ a local show and a really nice gray mare came into the ring, they told me she was one of the sale horses.
So after the show, they got her back out and we tried her-we did not like her, and asked about others.
The last one we tried was a 14.3 heavily built QH, who they couldn't figure out how to ride as she had reining training then a broodmare.
Both the kid and I feel in love in 30 seconds.
Bought in March-started Eventing in May and won Lendons Dressage festival in July.
Currently toying with Reining.
Vetted w/ bog spavins-typical for Reiners.
Story point-don't be afraid to look outside the box.

Jan. 20, 2011, 11:14 AM
When I set my mind to do something, I do it right stinking now:D. I've never looked for long... I realized long ago that there was no perfect horse, so I settle for a good friend and work it out from there. I have also never vetted a horse. They don't usually say yes or no anyway and I find they often defer to my judgement. If they look sound in body and have deep dark pools for eyes, I take them home:).

The two I have now... one is a novice packer that just isn't a challenge anymore. I found him in a field in the boonies. I was bored one day and there was an add in the paper for 1/4 horse stallion... I wanted to know which quarter it was so I went for the ride. I found the cutest little horse ever. Took him home, gelded him, started him under saddle, and now have a million dollar pony (according to the girls at the farm who get to ride him now). No one in their right mind would have gone to look at this horse much less bring him home! He finished off his career with me in 2nd place at South Farm. He is probably the most intellegent horse I've ever been around, but he's a little too easy to tote around on... so...

Last year I decided I wanted a new project. I am a wussy ammy. Huge ball of nerves until I am comfortable with a horse, fwiw.

My new gal I found through an OTTB rehome group (hate calling it a rescue... I bet she LOVED the track). I had scoured CANTER, etc, but happened to find the one I wanted there. I set up to look at 3 horses and bought one I hadn't wanted till I met her. She is a doll! She cribs and has some ulcer issues, but both are very manageable non-issues for me.

The first horse I didn't sit on, the second got a quick walk and trot... for me, it's all in those big, dark, liquid eyes. Put that with good gaits and it's worth a try.

Favorite places to window shop:

Jan. 20, 2011, 11:21 AM
I first heard about this little 14.3 palomino pony that was for sale for cheap. I had been looking for something in the 15 hand range and I wasn't terribly interested, but I called the owner anyway. On the phone, she said that he had solid walk, trot, canter, had been jumping 2'3" (he was only 5, so I didn't find this strange), and had the scope for Training.

Fast forward to going to try the horse out. We pull up, get out of the car, and first thing she says to us is "I'm going to be completely honest with you. He walks and trots, but can't really do more than a few strides at the canter, can jump 18" because I'm scared of jumping, and can probably only go Elementary, if that." So, needless to say, we turned around and went home.

Once back, we get a phone call from this lady from before saying that she had saw an ad on equine.com for this horse that looked good for us. She gave us the ad ID and we looked his ad up, and I liked the way he looked. He was an awesome jumper, 7 years old, 15.1, very green, and absolutely no dressage training whatsoever. But I went and tried him, and I liked him a lot. He wasn't exactly what I was looking for as he had never evented and I was looking for a horse I could start competing pretty soon. I wasn't looking for a packer necessarily but I was looking for a horse with eventing training/experience. So I went and tried him again and decided that I really did want him, but I wanted to know that with the proper training, he would be able to pull himself together and be able to do dressage. So I went and watched a dressage lesson his owner took on him, and his potential really came out.

Gave them a deposit, took him on trial for a week, vetted him, and the rest is history :)

So, while his ad was technically online (even though I had been searching online for months and had never seen it...), I still heard about him by word of mouth. I think that most people have acquired their horses that way. Looking online is obviously good too, I just think that by telling as many people as you can about what you are looking for you have a better chance of finding your perfect match. :) Good Luck!

Jan. 20, 2011, 11:38 AM
I found mine while playing on DreamHorse (with out putting in the mileage locator I might add)...I was smitten and watched him for weeks wishing…but he was 15+ hours away and out of my price range. He was also the type horse I had never wanted or ridden…small (15h), a mutt, loudly colored and a camp pony to boot. But there was just something about him!

On a fateful Friday afternoon my aunt passed (we were very close) and my best girlfriend was facing cancer surgery and treatment in 2 days...we were both crazy with stress and grief so made the logical decision to go see him that weekend with a pending funeral and cancer treatment be dammed!

I am type A –when ever we travel with horses out of state the truck and trailer get a safety check and I have horsey layovers mapped out as well as vet numbers along the way in hand.
That Friday night we scrambled – the newer truck that we use for hauling had a ton of dirt in the back. The newer trailer was found to have a flat. Screw it –we took the old truck and trailer driving through the night (15+hours) to see the horse the next morning. And what a drive! Someone (not saying who) accidentally hit the “no tolls” option on the GPS which resulted in driving through the mountains…not fun at 2 in the morning with a trailer. And nary a hotel or gas station did we pass so we drove on through the night.

We (finally) arrived at the camp before lunch the next day. We rode him 30 minutes-he was REALLY green-made a cash offer that was a ¼ of the asking price and with camp closing that weekend they took it.

Due to the location, I had to ride him a few miles through the camp to where the truck and trailer were parked-followed by tearful children that did not want him to go. I was so delirious I had no sympathy –“ yes I am taking your camp pony –HE IS MINE hahahahaha”.

With no layovers planned, we proceeded to drive through the night again and arrived home Sunday at 6am. I threw the poor pony in a paddock and slept for 8 hours. Woke up thinking “what the hell did I do?” Went out to see what was in my paddock and have never regretted in since. He is my heart horse.

Sorry for the novel –it’s a fun story to tell. Wouldn’t recommend it though and not sure I *could* do it again!

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:03 PM
My rescue mare came to me from word of mouth - a friend of a friend heard about this free horse. I kept hearing tidbits, and realized this horse was in for some very bad luck if someone didn't take her soon. At the time I'd been out of horses for a while, but I was almost ready to get back into them. She was never going to be rideable, but something made me get her anyway. She had been starved, and had a catastrophic injury to her leg which meant she'd never be ridden, and could barely stand at the time. I kept her at someone's house until she was stronger and clearly needed to go somewhere she could run and play.

When I moved her, I started taking lessons with an event trainer. She had a competition at the end of October I went down to see, and while there saw this horse I thought was the most beautiful horse I'd ever seen. My trainer was showing him. In his stadium round he hit two jumps, and I wasn't impressed with the way he went, but something about it made me sad. Turned out, those were his first poles all year so my trainer went straight to the shoer to have his hooves tested. He wasn't limping, but had a stone bruise he picked up between warmup and hitting the rails in his round, as his warmup was fine. When we went to the barn area, he had just been given bute, and was putting his ears back and angry because he hates it. I got near him, and his ears came forward and head came down to see me (he's 16.3, I'm 5'1".) I had no idea at this time that he apparently didn't really like people much.

Fast forward a few months... I had been planning on looking for horses over he summer, but was impatient. Went to a breeder with the understanding I was just going to look around, loved some horses there, and started looking for the approx 15.2 QH, quiet mind, push rides. During a lesson, the owner of the OTTB I thought was so beautiful showed up and mentioned to the trainer that I should try her horse who was sitting at home - had been ridden once since October. I had heard things about him which made him sound all wrong, but my trainer said we actually seemed a good fit. We went to see him, and I still loved him, and still do. It turns out we are perfect for each other - he's happier than anyone remembers seeing him, and I am completely head over heels with him.

My mom's horse was one we weren't looking for. She thought she wanted a trail horse, but wasn't really sure, was losing a job due to a company buyout, thinking about retirement, and decided not to look. We told our trainer but said "this means the right horse will show up." Within a few weeks, trainer got an email about a 9 year old who had been a trail horse her whole life and really needed a new home. I had been saying Mom needed a Friesian cross, or something with a similar high natural headset, as it makes her nervous when a horse stretches down. Well, she's half Friesian, half Andalusian. Fanciest trail horse I've ever known, and kind of fun for me to play dressage with, too!

It took a year for Patrick to find me. It was miserable, going out every weekend to ride some new horse (I don't like getting on strange horses...) with DH and the video camera tagging along.

I told everyone what I was looking for. Eventually, I got a call from a friend who was out in California at an event, about a horse that had done Prelim in the past but wasn't really being used regularly. "He's not very pretty..." she said.

My coach was out there for the event and was staying after so I asked him to please try the horse and let me know. He rode, then put a student on him and said "Do everything wrong." Patrick was perfect. Coach called and said, "I think you should come try this horse, it's like riding a couch."

I scheduled a vet check and asked if the seller would like a deposit!

My advice... tell everyone you're looking, even non-horse people. You never know who they will tell and what friend of a friend will see something and think of you. There are some really good ones that are not advertised.

Ok, I'm curious with all the AZ pics... where are you? I think your profile said GA, but I see pics in this area! (And I see you were at the horse trials where I first saw my guy! Grass Ridge, Oct '09)

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:13 PM
Due to the location, I had to ride him a few miles through the camp to where the truck and trailer were parked-followed by tearful children that did not want him to go. I was so delirious I had no sympathy –“ yes I am taking your camp pony –HE IS MINE hahahahaha”.

:lol::lol: You are cruel!

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:15 PM
ndirish07, where are you located?

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:24 PM
I am either lucky or incredibly bad at horse shopping. I've bought the first horses I looked at twice now, with no prior shopping at all. Either way, I'm happy with the beasts I've ended up with.

First horse was bought after it was announced to my family that the horse I was leasing (and had leased for a year) was moving out of the barn. A sales horse came in that week, almost 5 year old 16.2H appendix ex racer. Sounds perfect for a 12 year old girl, right? ;) I rode him twice and hacked him around the place alone - chainsaws and the new place did NOT phase him. Sold.

When the first guy (who will always be my heart horse) was diagnosed with terminal cancer (given about a 1-2 month window before he'd die on his own), I set a date to put him down. A week and a half before, the barn owner got an email from someonone in Arkansas that had a 2 year old WBx mare she needed to sell. I was familiar with the stallion (he had evented), and I was absolutely heartbroken, devastated and low on sanity, so we drove 10 hours to Arkansas with a trailer and picked her up. I didn't vet her, I didn't even see her canter (like trying to chase off lint on a static-y day). Like I said, I was low on sanity. I just knew I couldn't deal with being horseless. Owned 2 horses for exactly one sad week.

So yeah, first project horse is now nearly 9 and going Novice. After 2 major surgeries for her and time off for me to do grad school, she's not really a marketable horse if I was looking to sell, but we're having fun. I am proud of how my self-made girl has turned out.

Jan. 20, 2011, 12:37 PM
I also found my latest boy through the magic of COTH. I was only half-looking. :lol:

Three Plain Bays has some beautiful horses. Mine came with a fabulous mind to boot. Brought him sight onseen from across the country. Had a friend that was in that area that was able to pick him up and drive him to Colorado for me. Figured it was fate....

Jan. 20, 2011, 01:07 PM
I started leasing my old guy when I was a kid that was outgrowing my pony but my parents couldn't afford to buy me anything new yet. My pony club trainer had a friend that had a green TB that she needed ridden because she was having a baby. My trainer said, "Hey would you want to lease Sara's horse Junior to play around with a young horse for a little bit?" 2 1/2 years later, his owner practically gave him to me as a successful training horse.

When Junior's career was winding down 9 years later, I was starting to look for a new horse. Trainer and I started looking out for something I could afford as a just-graduated-college kid. We were being very picky since I had plenty of others to ride at the time and called the dream horse my "fancy horse." My trainer had an accident and ended up not being able to keep her horses. She asked me to take her 5 month old, saying "I think he's your fancy horse."

So yeah, they often fall in your lap if you are patient and have the right people looking out for you.

Lori B
Jan. 20, 2011, 01:29 PM
Love these stories.

When I found my horse, I was half-leasing and not shopping for a horse at all. She was walking around the ring under saddle, and I looked her in the eye, and thought, "this is MY kind of horse" -- she has a very kind eye, and was so relaxed and personable. In Dec. 2006, she was a hairy, slightly skinny 5 yr. old TB mare just off the track.

I told my best friend, who was shopping, to look at Katy. She looked at her, tried her, fell in love, and bought her on the spot. A year later, her life gets too full for a horse, and I started leasing her, and then bought her. She is exactly as sweet as I thought she was the day I met her.

Trust your gut, if there are no giant alarm bells to contradict it.

Long Shadow Farm
Jan. 20, 2011, 02:06 PM
I have a large network of race track friends from when I was young and galloped some in high school. I can usually find something from them if I need to. I also have a lot of friends that show QH and they are always finding me something that isn't a flat or pretty enough mover for the HUS classes that might make a jumper.

My current guy I found in my pasture! LOL.... when my other TB fell and tore a muscle in his hindquarters and was like 3 legged lame for 8 months, I really wanted something to event and looked out in my pasture. I had this big headed ugly colt that I had originally got as a western pleasure re-sales project as a baby. However he got so big and lanky no one would look at him. I ended up riding him and he has turned into one of the nicest horses I have ever put a leg over. After awhile he grew into his big self and is super handy and fun to ride.

Last year, I bred his replacement. I have my fancy warmblood colt setting out in the pasture now that I am waiting for to get old enough to event.


Jan. 20, 2011, 02:28 PM
I was happily torturing myself by looking at online ads for nice babies while shopping for for something in a much lower price range (i.e. barely restarted OTTBs, DraftX's, QHx's, even some ASBs), and NOT a baby. I'd seen my mare's ad when she was way out of my price range, but then due to some circumstances with the breeder and the horse, the price was dropped significantly.

Sent the ad to my trainer expecting to be asked what the heck was I thinking looking at ads for 3yos. Instead we went and looked at the horse....

Jan. 20, 2011, 02:38 PM
I'm probably an advanced beginner rider looking for my first horse... I rode through college and have since afterwards and have rode a few difficult horses, but I realize there's so much I have yet to learn. So I'm looking for a horse that's gentle, tolerant, and has an amazing mind. I could care less about athletic ability... I want to go to start eventing and only plan on going BN-- maybe novice. It really doesn't matter to me... I'm going to be the biggest limitation on my horse's ability to advance up the ranks. :lol: I'm working my trainer in finding a horse and we've hard time finding nice, easy going horses bigger horses (I'm 5'10 with long legs).

My trainer has this standing in her barn for sale at this very moment. Can't get rid of him. Reason? He's just turned 12 and in this market everyone thinks that's "old." :rolleyes: 16.2hh, grey, sound, extremely kind and sane, great bloodlines and conformation, teaches beginner lessons for my trainer but she also foxhunts and trail rides him. He took her for a trail ride the other day in the snow, 45 minutes on the buckle and not even a hint of spook (this after not being ridden for nearly 2 weeks). We're in central Ohio. PM me if you are serious and I'll put you in touch.

As for my own horse, he literally fell into my lap. I was catch-riding at a barn, one of the boarders offered me a ride on this green horse that she'd mistakenly bought for her ten-year-old kid (not realizing that even the sweetest 4-year-old TB is probably not an appropriate mount for a 10 y.o. with less than a year of riding experience). He'd had some very iffy early training, but I knew right away that this horse "had it between the ears." I bought him 2 months later and it was the best decision I ever made.

Jan. 20, 2011, 02:43 PM
COTH magic! annikak and I were emailing about an unrelated matter and we discovered that she needed a person for Taco at the same time I needed a horse. I leased him for a year and then we both decided that it would be impossible for me to give him up, so I bought him. :) He's everything I could have wished for and more-- a dream come true. :happysigh:

Jan. 20, 2011, 02:57 PM
I was at a show and saw Monday...and literally fell in love. A few months later I had the opportunity to lease him....we were on a trail ride where a horse dumped a kid and ran away. The young horse next to him, body slammed him in her attempt to flee the scene. I said "whoa" he stood stock still...I said SOLD!!

He is now retired and I am starting the horse search all over again....I also am looking for a sweet, sane, sound horse that is just a good solid citizen. I am a timid rider. However, I want one under 16 hands! They are hard to find...most people don't want to sell them. I just scheduled the first "test ride"...so we shall see.

Jan. 20, 2011, 03:24 PM
I went to the track and said to whomever was listening I was looking for a smallish mare. Lots of such mares to look at. I chose the one who willingly let me touch her all over while untied in her stall, had a kind eye, and trotted out sound. I really didn't know how she would turn out, and I didn't even do a PPE on her.

I've had her for 6 or 7 years now, and I'm having a lot of fun with her. I guess I got lucky...?!

Mtn trails
Jan. 20, 2011, 03:32 PM
I found mine in the BLM holding pens in Burns, OR. Liked the way she looked and for $125 Zephyr was mine. She was only around 12-18 months old at the time; now she's a 7 year old and we're going novice this year.

Jan. 20, 2011, 03:42 PM
I bred my eventing horse, although not on purpose. He is a stallion and being in a closed breed book, he needs a job outside of breeding as the opportunies are limited. Turns out he loves eventing and is good at it.

I think the OP should be able to find a suitable horse to pack around BN without too much difficulty. They are out there and today's horse market favors the buyer.

Jan. 20, 2011, 03:52 PM
I bought a very nice young TB mare from a local rescue, and she proved not be sound enough for what I needed. They offered to take her back, but I'd spent pretty much all my money at that point--so when I ran into the mom of someone I was in pony club with years before, and she asked me if I knew of someone who might be interested in a free horse, I said yes.

He was big, quiet, and sound--but also skinny, crooked, only green-broke, quirky, and ten years old. It was not love at first sight, and some days it still isn't, but I am harder headed even than he is, and now he is fifteen and will hopefully be doing his first Prelim this summer. There's no such thing as a perfect horse!

Jan. 20, 2011, 03:56 PM
I love hearing your stories!!! It gives me hope! Since people have asked-- I'm located in Northern Kentucky, near Louisville. I figured coming from here it'd be easier. I guess my problem is I'm looking too hard. Ugh. I've wanted a horse since as long I can remember and I'm finally all set up and ready for my first horse AND then I can't find one. My trainer and I have been putting the word out at the local barns... it seems no one wants to part with their solid citizens. I feel like once I finally do find the horse for me I'm latching on for dear life and never letting him/her go.

I'd also like to apologize for my poor writing in the original post, I was way too tired.... It's been a long week at work.

Jan. 20, 2011, 04:19 PM
I got really, really lucky. I had replied to probably 20 ads on Dreamhorse, and narrowed it down to 3 horses I wanted to try. I didn't like the first or second enough to vet, and the third was kind of a "hail Mary" trial because this horse was EXACTLY what I was looking for (6 yo OTTB, very athletic, great jumper, had run a couple of N events), but when I talked to the owner on the phone, she admitted that he had recently started bucking at the canter.... which was the only reason he was in my price range.

Trainer and I tried him, and although he bucked with the owner, he didn't with trainer or me. Otherwise, he was perfect-- we clicked, and I fell madly in love. He vetted sound and came home with me a week later. We had his saddle fitted and he got an appointment with the chiropractor just to be sure. The "bucking problem" has yet to re-appear.

Divine Comedy
Jan. 20, 2011, 05:12 PM
I was prepared to buy a horse, finally, at the age of 20. I had my heart set on an OTTB that my trainer had named Orion. I'd been riding with her for a long time and she hadn't put much into him yet, so she was going to part with him for only nominally more than she'd bought him. I'd been riding him pretty frequently and set up a vet check. The day before the vet check, I rode him and all was fine. Turned him out (he lived outside). That night, there was a big thunderstorm. The next day, he was severely dropping his right hip during the vet check.

I really wanted him and figured it was something that would be better the next week. Kept nursing him and nursing him, until finally, two months later, I finally decided that he was still lame and was going to stay lame. Sure enough, years later, I hear he is still not right. Thank god the thunderstorm was the day before the vet check.

Anyways, I found Dante on dreamhorse. I'd actually seen his ad months earlier, before I was even looking. Super cute, four years old, TB gelding for $15K. I first saw the ad in July. It stayed up for months. Orion failed the vet in September and Thanksgiving was when I finally gave up on him recovering. Dante's ad still read $15K, but at that point I only had $10K. Then in December his ad dropped to $12K. I had tried a couple of other horses but didn't like any of them that much. I called his seller and asked if she had anything like him but greener and cheaper. That was when she told me she'd be willing to sell him for $10K. I went out, tried him, and knew the moment I sat on him that he was the one.

Jan. 20, 2011, 05:54 PM
Dreamhorse.com both times. First time around I had been looking for a while, tried anything I thought might suit, mares, geldings, big, small, etc. Fell in love with one horse based in his ad, videos, etc. Never got to see him as he was sick and had not recovered by the time i found my big guy. Love at first sight.

Second horse, way too fast. I had lost the horse of a lifetime (also found online but site no longer exists) in a freak accident. My husband suggested we look for a second horse for him to ride. I agreed to look but was still very much in serious grieving. Saw a few, very unsuitable, made me depressed. Then saw my guy online. Knew from his picture that I wanted him.

There is no rhyme or reason....just be realistic with your wants, needs, and budget. Bring a friend or trainer as a sounding board. Get a good PPE. You'll find a horse!

Jan. 20, 2011, 06:51 PM
My wish list was young, small, talented, and sensible. Mare preferred. I called one local trainer (I had taken a few lesson with and liked her a lot) about a horse she had for sale. She didn't think that horse was a good match for me (hot and spooky, I already have one of those ;)), but told me to go investigate another horse at another local barn (with a trainer I knew had a good reputation). Went to see the horse, loved her, tried her twice, went to see other horses just to make sure, came back to see her one more time, scheduled PPE and bought her. :) That was in August last year. I started looking around in June, but she was actually the first horse I went to see.

And I'm in loooooove :)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs748.ash1/163913_1608451723502_1002474968_1337079_4402298_n. jpg

Now we're going back to the barn where I bought her to become little Eventers :) FEI dressage career to follow. (I hope :))

Good luck! The right horse WILL come your way! :)

Joannie Jumper
Jan. 20, 2011, 07:24 PM
I actually find it very easy to find a horse for low level type jumping work. That would be safe for XC and do dressage.....

I found two off equine.com. One of those was listed as a WB cross. The other as a paint. The first is my horse and the second is one of my students'.

I found another off craigslist (for a student of mine). He was a trail horse and is a reg QH but I could tell by his picture he was built to jump and more english than western and I was right when I got there - we tried him over a few make-shift jumps and it was clear training him to jump would be easy. The girl is only 12 and she can gallop all over my fields over jumps and she has only had him 3 months.

We found another horse by simply letting people know who are in the eventing world we are looking for a horse. Maybe you could put an ad up on your area site - for eventing and on the area dressage site that you are looking for a nice low level event horse or prospect. Also, you could look and talk to people at a local pony club?

You should not have to look all over the country and spend a lot of money for what you are looking for.

Do not shun the QHs and Paints and Appys - when shopping for low level event prospects for teens - horses that would be safe for them - yet can advance with and are athletic and fun - I actually did not go looking at TBs though I love TBs.... I went looking at the QHs and Paints and Appys.... and I found a lot of great prospect there. And a lot of the Paint and QH people dont want horses as sporthorsey as I do so I usually find people wanting to sell these horses.

Like one halter Paint breeder had a 17 hand 3 year old paint who was all chestnut. He was a dud as a halter horse as he was not mature physically by 3 and not fancy color. But GOSH was he a great jumper and he looked a lot more like a WB than a QH! (this is not the same horse jumping in fields mentioned above)

Joannie Jumper
Jan. 20, 2011, 07:30 PM
Oh I think if you do go look at a horse not trained to jump yet - set up some small things and pop him over them - as I said if the horse wants to pick up his shoulders and knees - if he likes to use his back naturally - if he picks up his hind nice... if he has a willing attitude - maybe even acts like OH YEAH about it - you may have found a steal.

I know this QH we just recently picked up for a student - that owner is blown away that this horse jumps like this. But we tested him over some jumps - we went there 3x to look at him.

Jan. 20, 2011, 07:35 PM
I got my horse from a 4**** rider, because i needed a horse with the suitablity for upper level eventing.
What it sounds like to me is that a wonderful horse would be an exeperienced, older "novice/training packer" that has been there done that. I would look for older horses!
Good luck for your search!

Jan. 20, 2011, 09:45 PM

Many, many successful eventers are found on this site. These OTTBs are shipped all over the US and Canada. There's a reason! :)

Jan. 22, 2011, 02:53 PM
One of mine sold by her asking the vet if she knew of anything for sale that met her needs. I would also look to an Irish horse, there are some sale horses at irishdraught.com

Jan. 22, 2011, 02:57 PM
This isn't my story but one about one of the best horses I've every known and one of the best riders and a superb partnership.

She was working in a barn and a shipper delivered a horse to a client there. He overnighted the rest of the load there. It was such a long trip that a 2 yr old TB gelding on the truck came in, laid down in the indoor arena and went sound asleep. My friend felt so sorry for the big baby getting back on the truck for another long ride that she bought him!

Like I said, turned out to be a match made in heaven.

Jan. 22, 2011, 02:58 PM
My horse -- the one in my profile pick, who I've evented through advanced with -- was a freebie, and a freebie who found me.
A year out of college, I was missing horses horribly (I'd sold mine a year into college) and started looking in the classifieds in our small-town paper -- just window-shopping, really, because a year out of college who has the money to actually own a horse?
At the time, I was renting a room on a ranchette in Colorado -- a horse-crazy suburban girl FINALLY living in a place where I actually could keep a horse in my own "back yard." :cool: Well, my landlord/friend, "Moose," saw me sitting at the kitchen table one day, daydreaming in the classifieds and said, "You want a horse? We'll get you a horse!"
Moose is a really nice guy, but he tends to be a big talker, so I didn't think much of it at the time. But, sure enough...
Turns out Moose had a friend who owns racehorses, and he knew this guy was always looking for a good home for those who didn't work out. The guy also had a summer home in our town and liked to ride on occasion. So Moose swung a deal whereby two 4-year-old OTTBs would be delivered to our town -- one for their owner to ride and drive when he was here on vacations, and the other for me to do whatever I wanted with. I had no say in who or what these horses were, I just knew that in exchange for keeping one in work, I could do whatever I wanted with the other. (In retrospect, I was getting the good end of this deal in a million ways, particularly considering I wasn't a particularly fabulous rider and certainly NOT the person *I* would choose to retrain a racehorse at that time!) Thankfully, they showed up and both had great minds (I credit their trainer (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/www.dallaskeen.com), who with his wife now runs Remember Me OTTB rescue (http://www.teamkeen.com/remembermerescue.html) in their spare time.)
Anyways, I started riding "my" horse, taught him to jump and started doing some little horse trials with him. When I was ready to move away from the town a few years later, I approached his owner and asked if I could buy him outright. The man was kind enough to just give him to me, and the rest is history.
That was 14 years ago, and I can't believe all the things that horse and I have done together since, and all places we've been and people we've met. I met some of my best friends -- and my husband, even! -- thanks to eventing that horse, and had some fabulous adventures. I just love him to bits.

Jan. 22, 2011, 06:48 PM
I never DREAMED I'd end up with a horse while I was in college. Ok, well, I dreamed about it (horsekeeping is SO MUCH cheaper up here... I pay $50 a month for self care board with a nice family, and it's about the same everywhere in this area), but I never believed it would happen.

I used to ride this OTTB in high school. He was little, he was skinny, he was downright ugly. He was never the most affectionate horse either. I was friends with the daughter of the lady who owned him, and we volunteered together at an equitherapy facility for a year before we figured out we lived about five miles apart and she had FOUR horses. I went out to ride one day and she let me ride her little, skinny four year old thoroughbred. Didn't take me long to figure out they'd done almost NO retraining after they'd gotten him off the track - he'd just been sitting in their pasture. Her mom watched me ride and said "Well, you can ride. If you want to you can come out here whenever you want. _________ doesn't ever ride them, she's too lazy." (talking about her own daughter, who just nodded!).

So there I was, I could FINALLY ride as much as I wanted, and what did I have to ride? a four year old thoroughbred who had no idea beyond "Iwanttorun and Iwanttorun NOW" ... They were riding him a rusty unpadded mechanical hackamore, so I found a bridle with a loose ring snaffle that fit him in their tack room, and we went back to ground work. Both their eyes nearly popped out of their head when they heard I got a bit in his mouth - they said he freaked when they tried.

I told myself, he was just a chance to get extra saddle time, and try my hand at training a horse.

Fast forward - I graduated high school, her daughter (my friend) dropped out of high school, I went off to college and did not see Don for a YEAR. And as much as I told myself I wasn't allowed to fall in love with him in high school, all I did was daydream about riding him again. I would see his ad on the craigslist back home, and she even put him on the LOPE listings. He never sold.

I finally got a chance to ride him again Nov 2010. He'd grown up and filled out in that year so much it was amazing - he looked GREAT! The weirdest part though, was that he remembered me! He gave me this odd look when I went out and caught him like "Huh. I thought you were never coming back to see me." so I caught him, tacked him up and rode. He was just fine, a little rusty, but still the horse I remembered.

I was texting his owner, and she told me to come see her the next time I was out there, because she felt we could "work something out."

I made SURE not to get my hopes up. I went out, I rode him bareback because I missed his great canter so much, and if I couldn't afford whatever "working it out" was, I wanted to have one last ride bareback before he was sold, because I was absolutely certain that SOMEONE would buy him.

So that night she came out to the fenceline and I just cantered him up and stopped there, and we started talking, and she started telling me about her attempts to sell him. Apparently the only people interested were people who had NO IDEA about horses, who were looking for a first horse, and she was not going to sell him to them. For the people that actually did know, he had started BUCKING of all things (he's the sweetest, most honest horse I've ever ridden) whenever new riders would get on, or just flat out ignoring them. She had some pretty funny stories. :lol: Then she told me, and we worked out this deal: She REALLY wanted me to have him, because he doesn't act like he does with me with anyone else. So she told me to go ahead, take him with me to college, and then pay $500 for him once I graduate. In the summers he can stay at home on her place still, and she even helps me by hauling him up here for me! (College is six and a half hours away from home).

And that novel is how I ended up with a green six (well, technically seven now that the new year has passed) year old thoroughbred while also being a 19 year old junior in college.

Jan. 22, 2011, 07:05 PM
In the same boat ndirish07. My last two wonderful horses were the first ones I tried. This time the search has taken months and lots of plane tickets. Patience is not one of my virtues and I am so wanting the "AH HA" moment when I sit on the ONE. Great ideas here tho.

Emmas Hot Brass
Jan. 22, 2011, 08:46 PM
patience and perseverance.

I contacted a lot of owners, but the first horse I actually went and tried was the one I bought. it actually ended up that my trainer was training the horse as well, and I didn't know it. Long story, but that was funny to find out. Small world. my trainer loved him. good work ethic, great mover, willing, sweet, big. perfect. I rode him once, and vetted him a week later. the vet didn't love him, but his only real issues were cosmetic. His soles are a little flat, he has a sunken eye orbit (doesn't affect function at all!), and a little scar tissue on one of his back legs. for an 11yo TB with 7 years on the track, he was really in great shape. only very mildly stiff in the hocks, but he worked straight out of it in 15 minutes. he acts like he's 4. I was very careful after hearing the vet, but after discussing everything with my trainer, we decided to buy him, because we believed in him and his potential.... so far, its been great!!! We will start showing in April! I bought him in September.(: Listen to your vet, but also listen to your trainer.

Jan. 22, 2011, 11:30 PM
All mine kind of fell into my lap, though I was looking both times. I started online and drove all over, only to find them both right under my nose.

When I was looking for Bob, I had a season of Novice under me on a schoolmaster and I was 12. It was hard to find something nice enough but at the same time kind and reliable enough for my little 12 year old self. He was bred by my farrier at the time and was back at his place getting sold as a 10 year old after his timid adult rider got scared of him (he really wasnt bad, just had some strong opinions about his spank and crank dressage training). He was perfect for me at the time, basically trained but not autopilot, and turned out to be a really awesome event horse.

When I was looking for AJ I drove all over the place looking at "promising" youngsters and found nothing but unsound, unsuitable 6-8 year olds. He was bred by a friend of a friend but she hadnt been able to put much work into him because of her health so he wasnt actively advertised. He was a little greener than I wanted but on the plus side he hadnt been pounded or ruined already like the most of the other ones I saw. He hasnt been the easiest for me to bring along, but he is a very nice horse and he is just too sweet to stay mad at.

Jan. 23, 2011, 03:54 AM
I actually came across Bobby on Craigslist! I have a habit of looking at all the sale ads just to look at the pictures. Well I came across Bobby's ad and he's handsome, sweet face spoke to me. I called and talked to his "mom" and she couldn't say enough wonderful things about him. So my BO/ great friend said lets go look at him and we'll take the trailer just in case. I saw Bobby and I knew he was it. Rode him and just fell in love. He came home with me that day!!! He's an awesome horse and his first "mom" is a wonderful person and honest! Not found often in horse sales....thanks Chrissy for giving me such a great boy to rebuild my confidence and self esteem :)

Jan. 23, 2011, 01:28 PM
Tru showed up at my barn to be trained and sold when I was in 8th grade. After my trainer and the older students worked his kinks out (like not wanting to leave the gate, he was VERY barn sour) I started to ride him. He was tall enough me and quiet enough for a very green horse. I started leasing him that summer. That's when his owner decided that now was a convenient time to literally drop off the face of the earth. Wouldn't answer his phone, never came around, wasn't paying board. He was gone. My trainer had to get him sold because at this point so much money had been lost due to the unpaid board. Through many tears and much convincing my family bought him in the spring of 2006 and I have owned him since.

I consider myself very lucky to have come across him. We wouldn't have been able to afford a more trained horse, nevertheless a finished one. In all honesty, if he hadn't come along I probably wouldn't have been able to buy a horse until later in highschool or college after saving the money up myself.