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View Full Version : Can we talk about pet peeves when trying to buy a horse?



Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 7, 2012, 03:19 PM
So I started a thread a week ago in Hunting asking for tips on being a good buyer. Got some good advice. But now I have some questions for sellers. Thought I would post here in Eventing for this go-round.

1. Why do some sellers' websites NOT list prices?
I understand the BIG BUCKS horses as "private treaty" aka if you have to ask you can't afford it. I'm talking about a barn with a half dozen OTTBs that based on how much let down or training they have had are all likely to be in the $2k to $15k range. I don't like it when a seller wants to know my budget BEFORE telling me the prices on their horses....

2. Why is it that almost every time I ask a seller to elaborate on the horse's breeding, I either never hear from them again or am made to feel stupid for even asking. ("It's a gelding, who cares what his breeding is?") Well I care and for good reasons as certain breeds are now associated with genetic anomalies, and in the TB world, there are known lines good for sport, or jumping or whatever. And really, if I have the money to ask about your horse, maybe I just want to know as much as possible before flying or driving a long way to come look?

And I'm talking about horses that are advertised as TB or Warmblood or TB cross, etc... Why would a seller put that in an ad if they really don't have any clue what the horse actually is? And if they do know, why don't they answer my question? I would rather see "breed unknown" than to end up with an evasive response from the seller when asked to clarify...

Am I being too picky about this whole process?

SnicklefritzG
Jul. 7, 2012, 06:29 PM
I think both #1 and #2 are very reasonable expectations in most cases. Some very high profile breeders *do* list prices. Others indicate a range of prices ($5-10k, $10h-20k, and so on). I'm sure the ones who don't list prices have a reason for it. That's something that I find a bit of a turnoff. It's like going to a store and not seeing a price tag on something and then having to ask. Makes me feel stupid as it that means I'm admitting that I can't afford it which may not necessarily be the case.

#2 is also a reasonable question to ask regardless of the horse's sex. The breeding can often say something about the horse's potential and/or personality. For example, my mare is by a stallion who is well known for passing on a good mind and temperament and some people are attracted to his offspring for that reason. The only people who might get defensive about a breeding question are people who either don't know or who are selling a horse that doesn't have anything special in its pedigree.

There are a TON of horses on the market and fewer people buying, so perhaps some of #2 is related to people doing whatever they think they need to in order to make a quick sale.

judybigredpony
Jul. 7, 2012, 06:48 PM
I ask about the budget because if a customer has $5k total to spend, they forget a PPE can run from $1200-2000. and add in shipping and the buy power drops to $3500.

I also occassionally have horses not yet advertised that might well fall in their price range. Or may know of a better fit somewhere else.

To spend considerable time doing special photo's uploading archived video and just time on the phone ..only to discover they have $2k to spend is frustrating.
People come try tie up time resources to then share they don't have enough money.
I have had couples argue, daughters cry, Mom's peel out the driveway because I wouldn't take what they had for a horse clearly worth his asking price.

I also want a riders height because if your 6' and my horse is 15.2 why waste everyones time.

I showed a rider a lovely horse, price advertised, rode not 1 but 2x's, all went better and beyond anyones expectations of being more than perfect...only to be told horse was beyond riders budget...guess they didn't find a fault to make a case to negotiate $$. Frustrated you bet, time, gas, energy...I also had a rider come who was..umm..the size of my VW and I didn't have a horse she would look acceptable on. She insisted she had right to try a horse I had for sale and she had ability to ride said horse...Said horse refused to let her mount, totally freaked out every time she attempted to put a foot in the stirrup. She left and I rode the horse around..no trouble getting on and I am no twiggy..So honesty about size height ability and most important budget Yes needs to be asked and answered...

Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 8, 2012, 12:10 AM
First, let me state publicly that JBRP was NOT one of the anonymous sellers I was describing! Every horse I have seen advertised by her on her own website has had price, size and actual JC name. Wanted to clarify that!

Thanks, Snickle, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one...

Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but here are two recent, actual inquiries I have made...

ABC horse seller has a nice website with several OTTB horses listed, with no price info at all. Various stages of rehab or retraining but none with show records or brilliant movement. So, several prospect horses to sell just like hundreds of other very similar horses out there right now with very few >$10 k price tag.

So I see one I really like and email seller with a compliment on his nice horses and I am really interested in Dobbin1 as a nice all round hacking out, hunter pace, etc... forever horse. I asked 2 questions: Does this sound like a good fit? And how much are you asking? Response was that i might like Dobbin 2 better and how much did I have to spend? I did not like being asked for my budget with not even a price range. I threw out a $ value that was within my budget and typical of similar horses that have had some training time put in. Again they pushed Dobbin2 instead. I wrote back one last time to thank them for their info but I wasn't interested in Dobbin2. Realize that they have still not given any me a single price, but I have assumed that my budget would not buy Dobbin 1. Two days later, I get an email asking if I would like to try Dobbin 1 as maybe they could work with me on my price. I politely declined as I had gotten some unfavorable feedback about his sales tactics.

It occurred to me to try a little experiment. I had a friend call them about the same Dobbin1 horse. Same conversation as mine, except her stated budget was HALF mine. Guess what? After she declined interest in Dobbin 2, they came back offering to work with her for Dobbin 1 within her budget!

I'm sorry, but that was clear dishonesty. AND IT PISSED ME OFF!!! Like I said before, we were not discussing $50k plus horses. Under $10k. And JBRP, I know what you mean by wanting to know how much a buyer can spend. Your bad experiences with buyers taking up your time to try horses that they could not afford would tick me off too. That sort of buyer gives the rest of us - sane - buyers a bad reputation. I'm the opposite - I don't want to waste my time on horses I can't afford.

Ok, enough for tonite. Will tell the story of the "Warmblood cross" tomorrow.....

IronwoodFarm
Jul. 8, 2012, 07:27 AM
As a seller, I always list prices. While there may be some flexibility on some horses, it's generally not much. I price as accurately as I can based on similar horses doing similar work. It does help that I am involved in a specialty breed and there is a limited number on the market at any given time.

Most of my sales horses, aside from the young stock, are in some kind of performance. I make sure information about showing and results are available, too.

All my horses sell with papers and I can discuss bloodlines ad nauseum. I do understand exactly what the OP is getting at about breed. It make me crazy to see some grade horse advertised as a TB cross or a warmblood when the seller does not know what the horse really is. I think many sellers like to use the term warmblood in hopes of getting more money. From my perspective, if a horse doesn't have papers, then there is no way in knowing what the horse is exactly. And I agree that you can't ride papers, but if you are asking a papered price then the horse ought to be a good performer, at the very least.

judybigredpony
Jul. 8, 2012, 09:21 AM
Fox Wood you are a forever welcome buyer....did I tell you I have a new gelding:) so tired of fillies.....and I was not refrencing you as well...xxxx

THe best thing or 1 of the best about OTTB is the JC has all their statistic available free..

SonnysMom
Jul. 8, 2012, 09:59 AM
I currently have a gelding who I got at the professional sales auction. He has no papers. They listed him as a grey and white pinto, which he is.

However Finnegan is very clearly part Arabian. He looks like it and has the energy. He has staying power. He could easily do LD or endurance.
If I were to list him for sale in this area I would put that he is an Arab cross. The reason is that in my area there is a large number of people that want nothing to do with Arabs or Arab crosses.
I could wait to tell them when they call or email me but why waste my time or theirs. If they don't mind an Arab they will contact me based on the ad. If they want nothing to do with an Arab they won't call.

I don't mind people listing a horse with the breed cross they think he is based on build and personality. It gives the buyer a little extra insight into what to expect from the horse.

The equivalent to me is a dog rescue guessing at the breed of a stray or mixed breed puppies. Hopefully the guess will give you a vague idea of size, temperment, shedding or potential size in the case of a puppy.
Is it an exact science, no. Do some sellers call a draft cross a Warmblood to hopefully increase the price? Yes.
Do some rescues call pit bull crosses a boxer mix to get past the stigma of pit? Yes.

JustABay
Jul. 8, 2012, 10:46 AM
I'm in a similar boat - however I have found that more often than not sellers are dishonest. :no: My #1 priority is QUIET, ad I explain in great detail to the sellers why this is a non-negotiable for me. How many horses have I been told are kickalong quiet, and I get on and every corner or shadow has a monster in it, or the horse is a bucker, or the horse won't hack, or the horse can't be ridden with other horses. Sigh.

For all the claims that it's a "buyer's market" it's been a challenge for sure. I'm also on a small budget and I guess that means I get to see every piece of crap within a 2 hour radius. Horse shopping is NOT enjoyable, that's for sure. We'll see if the OTTB I'm trying has a brain or I'm tempted to call it a day and hang up the spurs for a while.

SaddleFitterVA
Jul. 8, 2012, 12:15 PM
JustaBay,

I've found that my quiet horse has been passed over multiple times. Diane Crump has been bringing people to look at him and after the third or fourth time, she just shakes her head and is marveling that he is the same horse, in heat, in cold, in rain, bad riders, good riders, I told her he was quiet, but she said "He's quieter than I expected". So far, they all want something different...fancier, bigger, flashier.

I don't worry about it. The right person will come along for him. I am more concerned with my projects going to the right home than selling ASAP. When I take on an OTTB, I want to find out what that horse wants to do for his/her next job. It is not in the horse's best interest to be dishonest.

I don't think all sellers are dishonest. I don't feel that I've ever bought a horse that was misrepresented, and I have never misrepresented a horse.

over60
Jul. 8, 2012, 01:05 PM
SaddleFitterVA you have a PM

brightskyfarm
Jul. 8, 2012, 01:31 PM
Its frustrating to the get the response...*hes too quiet*
>?????
when folks come to ride the track ponies. they too, adt always the same whether cold, wind, rain, thunderstorms, ..you name it. I chalk it up to the fact that most folks havent met that many horses in one place, all quiet and well-behaved.

Since I dont like ads without prices ... I surely put the prices on all mine -- now, I do have sone that states, >prices start at .. giving the base of a budget -- that sometimes helps and there always IS a selection of horses at that base price.

Selling is hard enough without stacking the odds against yourself by being coy or confusing in your ads.
The right buyers always come along.

Foxwood, I have a top ten I ask as a seller...maybe we need to make a top ten for you to ask as a buyer!

CharmCity
Jul. 8, 2012, 02:51 PM
Normally, I lurk in H/J land but I have a question for those who will be going to the 'Totally TB Show' at Pimlico next week:)
If a prospect is for sale then how would I know? One of my friends asked me to alert her if I saw something that she might like. Now, I just can't be running up to people like a kid in a candy shop asking
"Is this one for sale?"
When I was in Gulfport a few years ago, Classic Company had a 'sales' class which was pretty fun to watch!

Lord Helpus
Jul. 8, 2012, 03:31 PM
In H/J land, horses are often not priced because then the buyer would know what the horse cost. And, knowing that, she would only want to pay a reasonable commission, and not write a check that is double the amount the seller will receive.

I know whereof I speak because I paid 250% of the price of a horse.... Fool me one, shame on you. Fool me twice and you will never fool me again. (quoting GW Bush) :)

Yes, it is called "breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract and just plain illegal (at least under the laws of Ky, Fla and Ca).

Why does it keep happening? Because buyers and sellers are not acting in a business like manner and are willing to shell out big bucks because their trainers tell that that $$$$$ makes the horse "better".

No rider at the AA level will boast that she got a great deal because her $100,000 horse only cost $25,000.

However she will brag that her horse cost $100,000, even if it is only worth $25,000.

A fool and his money.... :rolleyes:

Judysmom
Jul. 8, 2012, 03:46 PM
I'm in a similar boat - however I have found that more often than not sellers are dishonest. :no: My #1 priority is QUIET, ad I explain in great detail to the sellers why this is a non-negotiable for me. How many horses have I been told are kickalong quiet, and I get on and every corner or shadow has a monster in it, or the horse is a bucker, or the horse won't hack, or the horse can't be ridden with other horses. Sigh.

For all the claims that it's a "buyer's market" it's been a challenge for sure. I'm also on a small budget and I guess that means I get to see every piece of crap within a 2 hour radius. Horse shopping is NOT enjoyable, that's for sure. We'll see if the OTTB I'm trying has a brain or I'm tempted to call it a day and hang up the spurs for a while.

Quiet's out there. My most recent OT purchase was so quiet from day one I could have taught up down lessons on him :lol:

Don't give up :) You'll find your horse, just might take awhile because you are looking for something very specific :)

Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 8, 2012, 05:57 PM
As a seller, I always list prices. While there may be some flexibility on some horses, it's generally not much. I price as accurately as I can based on similar horses doing similar work. It does help that I am involved in a specialty breed and there is a limited number on the market at any given time.

Most of my sales horses, aside from the young stock, are in some kind of performance. I make sure information about showing and results are available, too.

All my horses sell with papers and I can discuss bloodlines ad nauseum. I do understand exactly what the OP is getting at about breed. It make me crazy to see some grade horse advertised as a TB cross or a warmblood when the seller does not know what the horse really is. I think many sellers like to use the term warmblood in hopes of getting more money. From my perspective, if a horse doesn't have papers, then there is no way in knowing what the horse is exactly. And I agree that you can't ride papers, but if you are asking a papered price then the horse ought to be a good performer, at the very least.


Thanks Ironwood - Too bad I'm not looking for a Norwegian Fjord!

I can understand advertising a horse as warmblood - type, or even TB type, or hell as a TB. But when a buyer asks for more info, the seller should be honest about what they do - or don't - know!

Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:01 PM
I currently have a gelding who I got at the professional sales auction. He has no papers. They listed him as a grey and white pinto, which he is.

However Finnegan is very clearly part Arabian. He looks like it and has the energy. He has staying power. He could easily do LD or endurance.
If I were to list him for sale in this area I would put that he is an Arab cross. The reason is that in my area there is a large number of people that want nothing to do with Arabs or Arab crosses.
I could wait to tell them when they call or email me but why waste my time or theirs. If they don't mind an Arab they will contact me based on the ad. If they want nothing to do with an Arab they won't call.

I don't mind people listing a horse with the breed cross they think he is based on build and personality. It gives the buyer a little extra insight into what to expect from the horse.

Hi Sonny's Mom -
I agree with your very reasoned and logical approach. And would have no problem with your ad that way. But although you didn't say this, I am sure that when an Arab lover called you, you would explain the horse to them just as you did here. I have no problem with that at all...

Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:18 PM
JustaBay,

I've found that my quiet horse has been passed over multiple times. Diane Crump has been bringing people to look at him and after the third or fourth time, she just shakes her head and is marveling that he is the same horse, in heat, in cold, in rain, bad riders, good riders, I told her he was quiet, but she said "He's quieter than I expected". So far, they all want something different...fancier, bigger, flashier.

I don't worry about it. The right person will come along for him. I am more concerned with my projects going to the right home than selling ASAP. When I take on an OTTB, I want to find out what that horse wants to do for his/her next job. It is not in the horse's best interest to be dishonest.

I don't think all sellers are dishonest. I don't feel that I've ever bought a horse that was misrepresented, and I have never misrepresented a horse.

I like your attitude about finding the OTTB's preferred job. In fact, one of the most important things in my pared down "wish list" is that I want a horse who is HAPPY doing the jobs I listed. Just because a horse CAN do whatever, doesn't necessarily mean he likes it. I don't ever want to force a horse into a job he doesn't like.

Unfortunately, the most expensive horse I ever bought WAS indeed mis-represented. I do believe the horse was correctly identified wrt the breeds of his parents. But seller lied about having documentation and copies of the papers for both sire and dam. It would have made zero difference in my decision to purchase if he had told the truth and said that no, he didn't have any papers. But when I asked about the parents and he volunteered to me that he had papers on both and would send me copies, I believed him. They never came. After two years bugging him off and on, I gave up. Bottom line, he lied to me. And if he would lie about something so trivial, what else might he lie about?

Hilary
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:22 PM
My only advice is to write down your experiences because in a few years they will be hilarious to read. If not experience now.

And I agree that if asked a question like "what is his price" the seller should answer!

Part of my collection of not so funny at the time horse buying stories involves trying to arrange a vet check for an out of town horse and the VET'S first question was how much is the price and quoted me right then and there what her fee would be ( 3x my regular vet...). Didn't even ask what I was going to want her to do!

Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:23 PM
In H/J land, horses are often not priced because then the buyer would know what the horse cost. And, knowing that, she would only want to pay a reasonable commission, and not write a check that is double the amount the seller will receive. <snip>

No rider at the AA level will boast that she got a great deal because her $100,000 horse only cost $25,000.

However she will brag that her horse cost $100,000, even if it is only worth $25,000.

A fool and his money.... :rolleyes:

Thanks for a good laugh. I'm so glad that I'm not into the H/J showing world. No offense intended but your story is one of many that makes me glad I have no desire to compete in H/J land!

Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:39 PM
So, I see a sale horse on line. He's nice, a little shorter than my required minimum, but is advertised as a Wb and also as a Warmblood cross. Thus may take my leg better than some TBs.

Having been cautioned (here) about not being too wordy at first contact, I sent a 2 sentence inquiry via email: Dobbin is very nice and although I like his video, he's a little shorter than I like. Can you elaborate on his warmblood cross breeding? Three days later, I got a very long response telling me all about his virtues, how wonderful he was, etc... But not one sentence addressing the one question I asked. So I wrote back and thanked her (sincerely) for all the info she provided but could she elaborate on his breeding.

As I was about to type that I never heard back from her, I just - literally - checked my email and she just responded. Owners had been told the horse was a warmblood cross when they bought him and so that's what he is advertised as now. So, this time I forgive the ad because I did eventually get an answer that I can understand. Maybe this horse's owner bought from the same guy I dealt with 4 years ago! :D (See my post from a few minutes ago!)

GermanyDRQ
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:43 PM
With horse listed as private treaties, those were horses that I had with special circumstances more than crazy prices.

Fox Wood Farm
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:54 PM
Selling is hard enough without stacking the odds against yourself by being coy or confusing in your ads.
The right buyers always come along.

Foxwood, I have a top ten I ask as a seller...maybe we need to make a top ten for you to ask as a buyer!

Well, I have way more than 10 questions that I will get answers to one way or another. But I also have three rules about shopping:

1. NEVER take your horse trailer when you first go try a horse.

Been there, done that, 20 hour roundtrip to Ocala for a horse I thought was going to be a sure thing. That's a loooong drive home with an empty trailer! :mad: :mad: :mad:

2. NEVER get on any sale horse without first seeing somebody - anybody - get on first if only for 5 minutes.

Been there, done this, hit the ground when the horse took off like a rodeo bronc before I even swung my right leg over the saddle. Nothing hurt except my pride and there were extenuating circumstances. But I'll never do it again. :lol: :lol: :lol:

3. NEVER travel to try any horse until you have a photo with a proper stick clearly showing its height!

This one is subject to waiver based on who I am dealing with!!!

Kryswyn
Jul. 8, 2012, 06:56 PM
No prices listed to me means that the seller's price will depend on the type and condition of the rig you roll up in. Also that the commission has to be factored in and without talking to your trainer, they won't be able to price the horse at the high end of your budget.

It's right up there with MY favorite horse website peeve. Owner's/trainer's name appears NO WHERE on the site. WTF are they thinking? Yes, it's a pretty website. Yes, the pictures of the facility look nice. Sure your lesson program sounds exactly like what I need. BUT ANYBODY CAN PUT UP A NICE WEBSITE. A few times I've clicked on sites and thought 'okay this sounds nice' then when I finally find out who they are, I can't run away fast enough.

I get that may be the reason they don't put their name on the site, but really people, if you have a good reputation and are proud of your place, put your freakin' name out there!

CharmCity
Jul. 8, 2012, 07:43 PM
From my humble perspective, I live in an area that's rich with nice prospects! My question had to do with "If COTHers will be at the TB show then how will I know if the horse is for sale?"
From personal experience (when another weinie re-rider was looking for a horse last year), here are a few questions that I will add to the list:
1. Is the sound enabled on video? The potential horse roared like no one's business. Friend almost passed out when horse cantered. She couldn't get past that.
2. Has that beautiful horse had any major accidents? Beautiful mare that friend looked at last year, failed her PPE with *flying* colors-best part of the PPE? Horse passed on the club foot, but when said mare tried to kick the vet when lifting feet, priceless. More priceless? Seller (who deals a bit in this area) blamed it on mare's heat cycle and argued with vet when we decided that said horse jogged lame and failed every flex test. At age 4. Use? Pleasure horse for re-rider friend.
3. You've said that you want to see the stick on the horse then put the stick on 'said' rider. Let's just say that I've driven a few hours for a 5'9 rider on a 16:2 horse. I'm 5'6 and rider was shorter than me. My friend? Um, almost 5'10:)
4. If the seller doesn't have anything for sale and then 'Remembers horse X' when senior advisor is out of town, there's a reason. Dead-lame horse, bute hadn't kicked in and weinie re-rider friend sobbing as she drives home.

5. Just when you're about to throw in the towel, have changed your questions a few times from the 'fun' of horse shopping, remember that there are many good horse people out there!

6. If you're sentimental like me (and weinie re-rider), ask to meet said horse first if the horse is close! Case in point-I *made* re-ridin' friend ask for a video of a horse who was on equine.com without a video. Said horse was 3, green but has a *brain* and a personality-another appendix QH. A year later, weinie re-rider friend has a nice horse and who knows if this horse will be an A/A horse, hunter pace horse, or what? All I care is that the horse filled the criteria that we needed: 'Is this a horse that I won't worry about when my friend is alone at the barn?' Yep. He's met the criteria:)

7. Final note, the seller thought about raising the price when she found out certain things. My words (and I'm not a pro!): Raise the price and we're not buying.My only concern is that my friend is safe with said horse. Dobbin's job is not to kill my friend while they both grow together with professional help.'

Final words to remember from weinie re-rider's DH:
"Horse shopping:the original 'car dealers'.

Good luck!!

FairWeather
Jul. 9, 2012, 08:27 AM
I do always ask what kind of budget people are working with, for a few reasons. First, I want to know that before I go into long, detailed list of horses we have available, I want to know what market you are shopping. If you are looking for a 700$ dollar horse, I will direct you elsewhere. If you are looking for a 10K horse, I will also direct you elsewhere. We do not adjust prices with a persons budget, but it does get right down to the meat of whether our horses are a good fit for the buyer.

redalter
Jul. 9, 2012, 11:27 AM
Or you could have my experience as a buyer. i was up front about everything, my price range, experience, etc. Person told me ranges of their horses.
I set time to see 2 specific horses on Wednesday. Sat morning, I get out of car, horses were $2000 more than they were on Wednesday!!!!

No warning, etc.

goodmorning
Jul. 9, 2012, 12:17 PM
Recently, while considering a not-yet OTTB..."Well, the owner has decided not to sell," or, "I listed the horse without telling the owner, now they're annoyed," or, "XYZ is racing next week, wanted to see if there was any interest."

Wasted time dialing my phone & waiting for calls to be returned.

Think I will hold off, was considering a 'fun' project, but, not worth the aggravation of the shopping process. I'm busy, and don't have time to play these games. As the end of the racing season rolls around, much easier to avoid the headache.

Beam Me Up
Jul. 9, 2012, 12:37 PM
I just don't think that asking about (for sellers) or revealing (for buyers) the buyer's financial situation is usually helpful to either party.

As a seller I list the price (b/c I don't want to be bothered by endless "how much?" calls), but I accept that there is no way to guarantee that people without money won't come try the horse. Asking someone their budget or grilling them about finances doesn't guarantee a truthful answer, nor is it my business, and it might drive them away.

As a buyer, the price I will pay for any given horse is not related to my overall budget. If I can pay 10K and a horse is priced at 10K, but only worth 5K IMO, I can't offer the 10K. Or if I see an awesome ad for a 2K horse that might work for me, the fact that I have 10K to spend wouldn't make me less interested if the horse itself were promising.

But, I'm not going to mess with sellers who won't tell me their asking prices before I reveal my budget either. Unfortunately I think tire kickers are just an inherent risk to selling horses, that doesn't justify a financial grilling.

gr8fulrider
Jul. 9, 2012, 12:58 PM
As a buyer, I must:

--see someone ride the horse (in person) before I do.
--Have a second ride on the horse, preferably when nobody's been on him/her for a couple of days.
--Tack him / her up myself on second ride.
--know whether seller or subsequent potential buyers have vetted.
--Find out colic history as far as they know.
--Know who's been riding the horse.
--competition history
--soundness history.
--Ideally, I will know something about the seller. A seller's reputation is worth its weight in gold to me, the buyer. If not the seller (say it's an ammy owner), then the seller's trainer if possible.

When I've been the seller, I needed to know:
-Whether rider has an independent seat and hands, which I've defined as w/t/c/crossrail without stirrups and cantering outside of the ring.
-Whether rider has ridden a horse as big/green/young/big-moving as mine.
-Whether rider intends to keep taking lessons and/or working with a trainer.
-Intended use.
-Plans, if any, to sell in near future (off to college in 2 years?).


I think it's fair for a seller to ask all of these things and more. In fact, the more a seller asks, the better. It might be a hint that the seller really cares about her horses. Or she might want not to get a reputation for selling "too much horse" to someone. Valuing one's own reputation is a good thing.