Horse Buying: Conformation & Vices
I'm shopping for an event prospect, but my budget is rather tight ($3500). Something that came randomly across my radar is a 4y/o OTTB filly. She was picked up at an auction and the seller is willing to give her to me for $500 (long story, but not super questionable). I went to see her only because she is ten minutes from my work. I totally expected to write her off, but thought that it never hurts to be open-minded.
She is a GORGEOUS mover! I've been looking at horses listed up to $5k and nothing I've seen has the movement she does. She has massive suspension, a huge overstep, floaty gaits, incredible balance, pushes (rather than pulls) herself from behind, and rocks back on her hind-end with each step.
However, she is slightly over at one knee. Not sure if straight legs are a deal breaker for me. Also, she cribs and weaves (mildly on both, but who knows how they will progress). I have one friend who thinks she's so talented that those vices won't matter (in terms of resale value). I tend to disagree.
I went back to see her a second time and rode her. I left with a silly grin on my face. She is forward, but not hot. She's sensible and sweet and SMART. She takes leg and contact but is sensitive and responsive. She wants to please. Just a FUN FUN ride!
However, I am not in a place to take huge risks right now. I lost my heart horse and eventing partner to tragic and unexpected circumstances (although I PPEd him and he passed with flying colors and died less than two years later). I know that horses are always a risk, but I want to minimize it as much as possible by starting with something sound, young, and well-built. I already did a costly PPE on a horse that failed. If I PPE her and she fails too, I will have to really lower my budget if I want to continue shopping right now.
Thoughts? Thanks again for all the help in the horse shopping department.