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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2007
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    Ventura Ca
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    41

    Default Considering a Schoolmaster

    When thinking of buying a schoolmaster what should I be looking for? Tried one out the other day. He is 16 yrs old seems in good health. Is trained to second level. Easy to ride.

    My question is when he is ready to retire or I out grow him then what? I have used all my monies on him, and only gotten a few years. But hopefully, learned alot.

    Or would you buy something around eight or nine and be able to keep riding for a while longer and possibly resale at some point.

    Help! Such a hard decison when buying a horse. Just lost my 4 year old to a severe injury.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2002
    Posts
    4,960

    Default

    How "good" of a rider are you right now? Answer honestly and objectively...and I'll give you my opinion.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2007
    Location
    Ventura Ca
    Posts
    41

    Default Considering a Schoolmaster

    I have been riding Dressage for about 3 yrs. Rode Western Pleasure about 8 yrs ago. Got out of horse when I had kids. When I rode western I had 3 two yrs olds that I rode and showed.

    When I got back into horses instead of Western I chose Dressage. Ended up buying a young horse due to finances. Had been in training the whole time until my young horse had an injury that was career ending. So now I am looking for a new horse. And finding it had to find the right what for what I can afford.

    I am currently taking lessons on a school horse. Doing a lot of lunge lessons. I need help with my seat, which is coming along. I have not shown yet but would start at training level.

    A schoolmaster I know would teach me alot but I have a very limted buget for buying horse. Can't keep getting new ones. I don't think I wanta unbroke horse again I have to much to learn in Dressage but the thought of the horse only having a few years left scares me.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2006
    Posts
    400

    Default

    I think it depends on your budget. Look around and see what other 2nd level horses are going for and see if you can find one a bit younger in your price range if this is really a concern. Or see if you can lease a schoolmaster instead-- that would probably be the best way to go.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2005
    Location
    The Big Mitt
    Posts
    1,714

    Default

    I think Dune's right. It depends on your riding. If you are ready to work up the levels but aren't good enough to train a horse, then school master is the way to go. You may be able to get a young horse and train it yourself after learning enough.

    The other consideration would be if you have a trainer who could work your horse with you up the levels. Find a first level horse that is a nice mover (don't go for the over the top mover) and then use your left over money to put the horse in training when you are ready to move up and need help getting the horse there.

    This is always a hard question to answer and you'll get different answers. You should do a thread search and read what has been discussed over the years. It will give you more to consider.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2007
    Location
    Ventura Ca
    Posts
    41

    Default Considering a Schoolmaster

    That is what I have been thinking. Buy a first level horse that has nice but is rideable for my level. Put it in full time training and be a little below it. I just have such a hard time with buying a older horse that you know has or will have medical issues to deal with. I want to own my horse and grow with it for a long time. I think it takes a while to build a partnership.

    I think I need to be patient and the pefect thing will fall in my lap.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2003
    Location
    Brenham, TX
    Posts
    4,902

    Default

    I just bought a 14 year old horse with a decent 3rd level show record who has also shown 4th 1 once. I have trained several horses up to 2nd level but would always get stuck there. After considering it, I decided I didn't want to spend $40K on a PSG horse - just couldn't justify doing that, even though I could have managed to afford it. I looked for almost a year and got this little mare for a super price.

    I have an 8-year-old that is pretty solid 2nd level and has a nice trot half pass. I have done all the training myself. That horse is a really, really nice mover. The mare I just bought is an okay mover but has good training. My hope is to learn enough on the mare I bought to train my younger horse (with help, of course) so that eventually my younger horse can get to PSG. The younger horse definitely has FEI talent.

    So far, I am having a blast with the new horse. It is really nice to ride a trained horse. I KNOW if things don't go right it is ME and if I fix ME, then everything works! This is the first horse I have ever had that is not totally green. I wish I would have done this sooner but I guess better late than never!

    When I bought her, I decided that as long as things work out well (which they are going to) that I will keep her for life and her retirement home is with me. What I mean is, as long as she didn't turn out to me too much horse for me or something like that, then this is her home for life. But, I have a 40 acre place that we will be moving to in a year or 2 so it's not that difficult for me to provide a retirement home. I figure I have at least 4 good years with this mare, if not more. I am hoping to show her 3rd and 4th level before we are done. She will deserve a good retirement after teaching me to get beyond 2nd level!
    Triple J Ranch Sporthorses
    www.triplejsporthorse.com
    Member - OMGiH I LOFF my mare(s) clique



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2005
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    The Big Mitt
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    1,714

    Default

    Sounds like you are in a good spot to bide your time and keep learning.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    1,089

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    I'm an absolute proponent of riding schoolmasters. (I'm lucky to be able to part-lease one and ride another one a friend owns pretty regularly (both at PSG + level). That along with excellent instruction got my riding from Training to 3rd in a year and a half.

    If I were going to buy, I'd propabaly not get a horse that was maxed out at 2nd. And if it doesn't feel right to you to buy horse with only 3-4 years or so riding left, and if you're maxing yourself out with that investment, I'd investigate lease options very very closely. The fixed costs and not having to worry about retiring the horse (if you board, that's a big issue) make the experience all the more enjoyable.

    Otherwise, I'd be looking for something a little younger at 2nd level with the ability to move up while in training or is re-sellable. For example, there was a little Arab mare for sale in my area at 2nd level at 12 years of age for only 6 k. She was adorable, too : ) So you can find deals if you're determined and don't rush it.
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2004
    Location
    The Great, uh, Green (?!?!) North!
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    3,858

    Default

    Have you considered looking for a lease??

    I've been fortunate enough to get two schoolmaster horses in a row. Neither were for sale, but both needed easier jobs than they were doing (first a former PSG mare, and now an ex-Prelim eventing packer). If you can find the right situation it can be a win-win for you and the owner - the horse can stay in work until they're ready to retire, and you know that the horse has a home to go back to when you're ready to move on.
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2007
    Location
    Ventura Ca
    Posts
    41

    Default Considering a Schoolmaster

    I am looking into a lease right now. The horse is 21 years old. The girl that owns him says I can keep him a month, a year, life whatever works out. She does not want him to sit. My trainer thinks this may be a good idea because I could be looking for a younger horse at the same time I am riding the schoolmaster who would not have to be in full training just a lesson a wk.


    I think lease is the way to go on an older horse because I have to board and the price for board in Southern Ca is not cheap. If I had to retire an older horse and pay board or pasture I could not have another horse. So maybe though all your guys great advice I am answering my own question.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2003
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    916

    Default

    I think if you have the opportunity to lease an older, trained horse that would be a much better investment for you.

    There are big leaps between training-first level and first-second level. If you can take those leaps and not have to invest a bunch in an expensive horse to do it, I definitely would.

    Before I did my working student stints, I purchased a mare schooling 2nd level. I had ridden her training level two years and was making sloooowww progress towards 1st due to my riding schedule and limited access to trainers.

    After my working student stint I was able to get the mare doing respectable 2nc level work in 6 months (fitness being the issue, mainly) and after another year am schooling 3rd. But that was with intensive instruction from two internationally-known dressage trainers.

    So the leap from training to 2nd is time consuming- it might take you a couple years to do it even with a trained horse. If you're going with something older, you might as well not have to pay for it if you don't have to!

    Spectrum.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Posts
    454

    Default

    I have also been horse shopping. When I started, I wanted something with confirmed changes. That is definitely when the price jumps into mucho deniro.
    So for my price range, I could get something young (3-4) with potential to FEI or buy one 14+ with loads of education and experience. Since the horse would be resold when my daughter goes to college, I decided to forgo the older horse.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2007
    Location
    Ventura Ca
    Posts
    41

    Default Considering a Schoolmaster

    So much money per month goes out on a horse that I think you really need something that will last. The promblem I think with some of these school masters at their age fitness is an issue. They can not be worked as hard as a younger horse. I don't think it is fair to put an older horse though that. Resaling the older 20yr old is probaly pretty hard. So I think going in you need to figure that money is gone.

    I think you can learn alot but if a horse is doing first and your doing training level you have sometime to catch up esp if you have a trainer moving the horse along.

    I think to get a young horse 2 or 3 and start from the beginning is hard done that already. I think I need to go 6 or 7.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2001
    Location
    Oxford PA
    Posts
    10,337

    Default

    If you are willing to put up with horrible ground manners, you probably can buy a dressage horse that is able to help you move up for next to nothing. We bought a horse that can do all 4th level moves & could do 1st/2nd level tests excellently for $800 in 1999 or 2000. (He was around 12 at the time or a year or two younger.) He is a jerk & a half on the ground. The woman that sold him to us thought he was crazy. He is "crazy like a fox" - can figure out how to pull the chain of any given human & will pull that chain as often as possible. I call him Mr. Lewd, Rude & Crude. He is the only gelding I know who can ejaculate just by looking at a mare he likes.

    He has been handled firmly & consistently by experienced horse people for the last 8 years & he is still a jerk (most days ... he has wonderful days when you just have to love him). On one bad day I threatened to personally deliver him to the slaughter house & stay to see him killed & ground into hamburg! I must have sounded really angry because he rolled his eyes at me, sighed & starting behaving like a perfect gentleman.

    I don't ride dressage & I have never ridden this particular horse (my daughter owns a number of horses so, since I am "womanly sized" & 63 years old, & have various health problems, when I ride I ride a quiet, sturdy quarter horse). However, he has been a good mount for my daughter & is a really top dressage lesson horse for someone who wants to learn to use their aids correctly, because he will only perform when asked correctly. To my understanding, he is a joy to ride ... But I know he's not a joy to work around. He is good under saddle, though, even on his jerkiest days.

    Keep looking. There are bargains out there if you are able to deal with the quirks.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

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    Quote Originally Posted by inca View Post

    When I bought her, I decided that as long as things work out well (which they are going to) that I will keep her for life and her retirement home is with me. What I mean is, as long as she didn't turn out to me too much horse for me or something like that, then this is her home for life. But, I have a 40 acre place that we will be moving to in a year or 2 so it's not that difficult for me to provide a retirement home. I figure I have at least 4 good years with this mare, if not more. I am hoping to show her 3rd and 4th level before we are done. She will deserve a good retirement after teaching me to get beyond 2nd level!
    This is so nice to hear.. that you are thinking about how you will deal with her retirement and feel that she deserves one!

    I think A LOT more people would sell their beloved older, well-trained horses if they knew they would be retired with loving care when the time came. I have had an interesting experience this year; I offered my schoolmaster (he does dressage AND hunters equally well) for sale but ONLY with a retirement clause - that he HAD to be returned to me when he was no longer of service and I would take ownership of him again and retire him.

    No one would buy him unless they could resell him later.

    He is 15 years old.. sound, beautiful, excellent mover, a joy to own and ride.

    But what would he be worth as a 20 year old? Not much. But everyone wanted to be able to get that final $1500.00.

    Sigh.

    I will be leasing him instead.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2001
    Posts
    8,542

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    I offered my schoolmaster (he does dressage AND hunters equally well) for sale but ONLY with a retirement clause - that he HAD to be returned to me when he was no longer of service and I would take ownership of him again and retire him.
    That's a very good way to do it. I'm surprised no one took you up on it because it takes the worry out of things for both parties. I would love that clause if I were buying an older horse.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2004
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    The Great, uh, Green (?!?!) North!
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    Quote Originally Posted by egontoast View Post
    That's a very good way to do it. I'm surprised no one took you up on it because it takes the worry out of things for both parties. I would love that clause if I were buying an older horse.
    I'm surprised as well - the fact that I won't be in a position to retire a horse is exactly why I lease, and plan to do so until my abilities are at a point to take on a decently-started youngster. There are no guarantees in horses (youngster could always get hurt and become a pasture puff), but a little farsightedness can avoid a lot of heartbreak down the line...
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    Boston MA
    Posts
    650

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    I offered my schoolmaster (he does dressage AND hunters equally well) for sale but ONLY with a retirement clause - that he HAD to be returned to me when he was no longer of service and I would take ownership of him again and retire him.
    Wish I had seen that horse when I was looking
    Thankfully I have a friend with 20 acres in NC who will retire my horse when he can no longer work, that's why I was not too worried about taking on a 16 yr old. For most people who have to pay board that would just be too $$$

    My advice is to lease the schoolmaster and get yourself to the level you want to reach, then find a younger horse that has the potential to get there too.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2002
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    4,960

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    If you can lease a horse and learn to "sit", that would be the best scenario. I would NOT suggest at this point that you purchase a younger horse, put it in training and try to learn with him/her. That just doesn't work. You mentioned that one of the drawbacks to getting an older schoolmaster is that they can't be drilled and worked hard every day and you don't get to ride as much. That is true, but you wouldn't get any more riding in on a youngster that has to be ridden by your trainer a few days a week either. I think it is also unfair to a young horse that is trying to learn/develop their gaits to have a good pro on one minute and a flailing (no offense meant) ammy the next. Soooo, if you have the lease option on the older horse, take it. When you can sit those gaits and have learned the "moves" through 2nd level and have a general idea of collection/mediums....then perhaps looks around for either another lease of a 3rd/4th level horse or purchasing one with that training. Yes, you may be "stuck" with a retired older horse, or maybe when/if you outgrow that one, you can return the favor, lease him/her out as a lower level schoolmaster and then you can look for something else suitable.



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