OP - here's my opinion: I would NOT at this point want the owner to have a vet work up done- because you will never see it, never have the discussions, etc.
I would have my own vet called in to do a prepurchase evaluation, starting and focusing on that leg. Depending what you find, go from there, including possibly making a much lower offer once you are armed w/ facts.
I looked at a dressage mare several years ago - decent size price tag, NQR in one leg behind. Vet told me to plan on aggressive maintenance on a 9 yr old, so I walked. Owner asked if I would be interested in the mare at 1/2 the price! I still walked.
I could point you to quite a few horses who fit what you gave as your requirements for far less, where extensive pre purchase plus travel, hotel, etc., would still be less than you're considering spending.
I have learned that there seem to be a lot of soundness problems in Paints (probably started by QH small feet), and typically if one is having problems so young they'll only get worse. On the other hand, there are plenty who last into their teens, totally sound - you just have to find the right one.
Thanks for the responses everyone.
For the record, I know *why* the leg is NQR. I just don't know what's going on internally and if it's something to be fixed or if it will always be there. Chiropractic work has helped. Injections have helped. And most days he looks awesome. BUT -- it's still just not 100%, 100% of the time.
TBH, the horse really is a nice horse. I've taken him to two shows and done very well. It's more of -- I'm buying this horse to be permanent, so it needs to not only be able to handle what I'm doing now but also what I plan to do when we start gradually adding more and more pressure and go to a bit higher degree of competition.
I don't want anyone to think I'm trashing the horse; but I guess I am/was looking for validation that it's OK to say this isn't right and I'm correct in walking away if the seller won't work with me. The seller is a really nice, knowledgeable, skilled person as well -- so I'm not sure if there is a small amount of "barn blindness" going on or if she maybe just thinks I'm trying to "get a deal" and that's why she won't work with me, or what.
I am going to take a look, possibly, at one of the horses listed as I do see some potential with it.
I'm basically looking for a paint, over 16 hands, 3-4 years old, who specializes in the english events, but has the talent to potentially do the western pattern events and some driving. I would prefer if it could also be competitive at the Classic Amateur level in the bigger rings (Congress, World, etc), at least in the Showmanship and HUS. Don't care about sex. Don't care about color. Prefer horses that have more color (ie - not a "paint" with one small belly spot), prefer NOT having a bald face, and overo>tobiano. But, again, as long as the horse can do what it needs to do - I could care less on the specifics of how it looks. If someone can find me this and it's not 70-90K, I'd be on Cloud 9. But you can hopefully see why it's been a little bit of a pain. :no:
You could see if she would lease the horse on a month to month basis and in the meantime keep shopping. That way you can ride the horse more and see if the leg gets stronger with time and then make your decision but have the time to look at others without the commitment to buy this one. I wouldn't put any money into vetting the horse though at this point. Just an option to think about. I hope you find the perfect horse that you can enjoy many good years with.:)
We understand that there are only so many horses that fill your specifications and there are so many plus more buyers looking for those horses and that makes them more expensive than they really should be.
Supply and demand holds in the horse world also.
BUT and that is a big BUT, that horse is all you want except the very important part for such high priced horses, soundness.
I say, that alone brings him down to what most paint horses that are not perfect for showing at the top are bringing, not that much.
That is the nature of the business and it is too bad the owner, as you say, is a bit barn blind about that.
Horses like the one you describe are tend to be injected and patched up and shown like that for as long as that works, then they are eventually dumped on the unsuspecting public by less than ethical owners, that expect that show record to be honest and it was not and it goes downhill from there.
I would keep looking, no matter how nice the horse is, because now he is not your problem, but if you buy him and he doesn't stay sound, that may become a big problem for you.
To take those chances, that may fit your plans, or not.
I guess there may be a few other variables, if I read this right.
It sounds like you LIKE this horse and, granted, I am not in this league,but still, that counts!
If I was looking at spending that kind of money AND I liked the horse, I would consider "gambling" the whatever in the soundness workup so I knew what I was dealing with. I would have to decide for myself if I was totally okay in basically kissing that money goodbye,for the peace of mind of knowing what I had. Again, maybe I am missing it, but it seems like IF you know the horse was not chronic and could/was improving, you would take it, even at full purchase price. But you would have to know that you might spend thousands, find out the horse was as b ad or worse than you thought, and now you dno't have that money to put towards something else. It does sound like you have checked out the market and have not found what you are looking for commonly available, thus likely driving up the price here.
FWIW (and NOT at this price range) I went through something similar with a horse I really really liked. Unfortunately, even after paying for the vet check and several treatments, he was still off. I passed but felt pretty good about it, no second guessing (but that's me!)
I guess it sucks to have your heart involved before the deal is sealed, so to speak. Yours may not be, you sound smart! :) But if that is a factor, I would certainly take it into consideration!!
Ditto 1000%. Run away!
Originally Posted by BeeHoney
I would only go into the 6 month lease if the board fee (at minimum) counted towards purchase price - when you began with this horse, current owner had a horse of very limited value, even without the injury it is in no way at it's original value: as a 3 yr old, it was "market value", as a 5 yr old with a 3 yr old level of training, it falls rather short of market expectations for that horse: so it needs to offer something beyond to even retain it's 3 yr old value.
As a 5 yr old with the training level of a 3 yr old who has had a significant enough injury that it is still NQR several months later - horse currently has very little value.
If I were the owner & you were bringing my horse back & training & showing it for me, I'd be paying board & basic expenses & thrilled to have a competent rider willing to cover training & showing costs ...
ie stop under valueing your contribution to where this horse is now.
Take the money you'd spend on this horse over the next 6 months & add that to your purchase budget - now go shopping :)
It sounds as if you're willing to put a year (or more) into getting this horse going again, so why not just start with an unbacked or green 3-4 yr old & go from there - I suspect any decent prospect would be at the same level as this horse in a year's time.
(of course video of this particular horse might alter my perceptions of his value BUT the leg is still a major consideration - have you seen the original vet reports? spoken to the treatiing vet about recovery expectations? as you know what happened, it should be easy enough to gather "expected" prognoses - then consider where this horse falls on that spectrum.
I can understand your attachment to this horse, there is a stunning colored QH that comes into the barn for a couple months every spring, he is just a wonderful boy.)
It doesn't matter what you or anyone else perceives this horse's market value as, owner sounds determined to keep the horse ... walk away now, & you may be able to buy the horse at your price in 6 months.
Keep leasing & training & re-habing the horse for the owner at your expense & horse will eventually return to close to market value (if leg comes sound) & then you can pay the owner the price she wants ...
You asked what I would do - it's the bolded phrase :)
You're having difficulty finding a horse you really like given your current search parametres (so much so, that you're willing to pay $$$$$ for an unsound, out of work horse), so open up your parametres :yes:
Best wishes on whatever path you choose - you sound like a wonderful person I'd be very happy to sell my horse to (expect he's nothing like you want :lol: - but he is an outstanding example of an extreme project horse that 2 years on, has multiple trainers excited at how bright & talented he is.)
Actually, this is really good advice! :)
Originally Posted by alto
If the horse were 10, I would vote for option C) but since the horse is young, and already having issues, I vote for D) Walk on, and find exactly what you want.
I agree to move on for all the reasons given.
I don't think what you're asking for is all that much based on what I've seen - I have seen many horses who were limited by their riders who were as nice as the ones who won at the various world shows as far as raw talent and mental ability went. I sent you a few links by PM of local to me horses where you could spend the same amount of money, same quality based on what you described, and end up with more - unless the way you're talking about this horse is underselling him to us and he's really exceptionally good.
Talk to these people, they have contacts in Texas. They most recently found a Paint named Whip Cream Machine at the Reichart for a client (horse is still on youtube I think) :) --
Also, TT (Teresa Sullivan) is a judge as well as trainer for APHA, she specializes in the Hunters.
A 5-year-old that needs injections?! RUN! Especially one that sounds like it was started very young--those futurity horses are often asked to do far too much too soon.
It sounds like you have really "fallen" for this horse and I know it will be hard to walk away, but it seems like this horse will not be able to hold up for showing, jumping 3', etc. if it already needs injections as a 5-year-old and isn't yet performing at the level you want him to be.
Buying a young horse with a known physical issue, but unknown etiology, is really buying a "pig in a poke." It might be nothing; it might be catastrophic. And that latter result might not happen for a year or two (as work becomes ever more serious).
This is to be distinguished, of course, from buying a young horse that's had an injury or disease but has fully recovered and shows no signs of residual problems.
Folks who breed for a single characteristic (color, gait, speed, size, etc.) oft times make real compromises on the Holy Trinity of Equine Quality: Conformation, Temperament, and Way of Going. Maybe some "compromise" in breeding is the root cause, here, and maybe it isn't. But since you don't know how much of a gamble to you want to take?
Horses right now are below "dirt cheap." This means that a buyer has real options and the "whip hand" in negotiations. A smart buyer uses that leverage.
In this case, if you want to go forward, negotiate a sale but put some terms and conditions into the deal that allow to do anything from go as written to walk away.
Or, in the alternative, if your pockets are deep and money is not an object, buy the horse as offered and then live with the consequences of your "roll of the dice."
I don't know much about APHA, and I haven't bought a horse (yet!), so take my advice with a grain of salt.
I have to agree with what everyone else has said: walk away. I would try to keep in touch with the owner. I wouldn't continue the lease-- look for a lease on another horse that fits what you're looking for (if it is also for sale). It sounds like the current owner isn't a particularly motivated seller. Give her a chance to find another lessee or buyer with the horse's issues. In the mean time, you'll be fully exploring your other options. Perhaps if the current owner struggles to sell or lease the horse she will be more flexible with price. Or, if the horse has been leased out, maybe you'll get a chance to see it holding up at its full potential. Alternatively, you'll fall madly in love with your new lease horse :)
Are you willing to travel to look or want to stay in Texas?
I'm willing to go outside of Texas if need be. I'd prefer to ride something first, obviously, but if the right horse came along -- I'd travel.
Regarding the links, I don't like the first horse and the second horse, I actually did try about a month ago -- he's since been sold, and he wasn't the best fit for what I was looking for. Sweet boy, though.
I'm going to be speaking with my trainer after Thanksgiving. We'll see what comes of it. Thanks for all of your opinions on this, I feel more confident that I'm correct in my hesitation on this one. Just frustrated that I'm having such a hard time finding a horse. *sigh* Patience is not a virtue I possess in spades.