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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2009
    Posts
    94

    Default Must I ride when I go to look at a horse I'm thinking of adopting?

    Ok this is a weird situation and I'd really like some advice on how to handle it. I am going to go look at a horse tomorrow that I am really interested in. He's almost everything I am looking for in a horse and I would be honored to have him be mine.
    My dilemma is that I'm not the best rider anymore. I am out of shape having not ridden anything consistently for the better part of a year. Now I am sort of embarrassed to ride in front of anyone, and am dreading going to go look at this horse tomorrow because I don't want the owners to think I can't ride. I'd much rather ride him when I am at home and more comfortable.
    Since I am a vet tech I can pretty much do my own pre-purchase evaluations and thought I could bring someone to ride him for me so I can watch him from the ground.
    I don't know exactly what I would tell them owners but I figured I could bring someone with me to ride him so I could watch him from the ground. Also the trip is a couple of hours away and whenever I travel that far, I do have issues with my knees and back if I sit too long so I may have to have someone ride him for me anyway.
    What is the best way to handle this without looking incompetent?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3,389

    Default

    You aren't obligated to ride the horse. You aren't obligated to tell them why, either.

    anyway, just say you would much rather watch the horse go around with someone else on him. you don't even have to bring a friend. call ahead of time and ask if the owner/rider will be there to ride the horse, explain that you'd like to watch. you could say you've been having some bad joint pain lately and you're taking a week or two off from riding, just so they don't feel odd about it.

    however, i would definitely ask for a trial. i've ridden FABULOUS horses before that on the ground and in pictures were everything i would have dreamed of..then i rode them and said "eh." .. not quite for me. we didn't click. and it would be awful to be "stuck" with a horse that you don't click with at all.
    (|--Sarah--|)

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    3,292

    Default

    Why don't you just say what you wrote about not being in ring ready shape? I don't think that would be incompetent at all. I rode for a few friends when they were horse shopping and it wasn't a big deal at all.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2009
    Posts
    35

    Default

    I always ask an owner to show me a horse. If they are afraid or leery it may make you think twice about getting on yourself. I would take someone with me as well since it is hard to flex a horse and then watch it trot off since the first few steps are ideally what you are looking at anyway. Two opinions are always better then one.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    I've bought countless horses without ever having ridden them myself.

    Tell the owners that you want them to provide a rider so you can see the horse ridden and evaluate it from the ground.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2009
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Thanks guys. I am always a little shy and worry about what others think- I can be a bit socially inept. I think I will just tell her the truth and ask her to ride him for me. Really the ride down there is going to be hard, especially when I have to turn around and drive back!
    Thanks again. It makes me feel better.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    13,884

    Default

    If the owner rides they should show you the horse - or bring in someone who knows the horse to show it off the best. Then your friend could get on to feel him for you.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2001
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,283

    Default

    Yup I've always seen the owner/trainer show me a horse before I, my trainer (when I was a jr) or my student gets on. As a seller, I have also never had a problem with an agent or other competent rider getting on for a potential buyer.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2005
    Posts
    620

    Default

    I agree...except for asking for a trial because you don't want to ride the horse. As a seller, I wouldn't allow a trial just because you didn't want to ride in front of me. I don't allow trials anyway, but certainly wouldn't make an exception for that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,038

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    I've bought countless horses without ever having ridden them myself.

    Tell the owners that you want them to provide a rider so you can see the horse ridden and evaluate it from the ground.
    I completely agree, I have done the same and understand where you are coming from. Ask them to ride him for you. This way you can see how he is when mounting (hopefully by way of a mounting block) and it will make you more comfortable. If they won't ride him (if he at the track they likely won't) then you can decide what to do from there.

    An old trainer of mine (well respected, well known, great rider etc) said she can tell more by watching one go then by riding.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,583

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Showbizz View Post
    I agree...except for asking for a trial because you don't want to ride the horse. As a seller, I wouldn't allow a trial just because you didn't want to ride in front of me. I don't allow trials anyway, but certainly wouldn't make an exception for that.
    Agreed.
    When I have something for sale I fully expect to do the initial demo ride, which I actually like because I know how to show the horse off to his best advantage, but I would never let a horse out on trial to somebody that I hadn't seen ride it.

    It is too much of a liability to both myself and the horse to send one out with an unknown quantity.

    OP, sellers will probably be EXPECTING to demo the horse for you, and, as someone who demos horses on a regular basis...believe me, however "bad" you think you ride, the seller has seen worse. Trust me on that. If you know enough to 'be embarrassed,' you are waaaaaayyyy ahead of the game!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2006
    Posts
    824

    Default

    Always have the owner (or someone else) get on before you do. Like another poster said, if they won't get on, you sure don't want to. If it were me and I liked what I saw, I would at least get on and walk around- just so you can get a"feel" You can always tell them that you have a physical issue right now that prevents you from doing more..they won't care.
    I have sat on horses that looked nice when someone else rode, but when I got on, just didn't click for me..

    ...but I'm not a younger anymore either



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2004
    Location
    Bluffton, SC
    Posts
    3,124

    Default

    You certainly have the option to pass on riding the horse, but talking a seller into a trial can be a challenge anyway, but especially if they haven't even had the chance to see you interact with their horse.

    You can always just get on, walk/trot a little, and say that's enough for you. There's no rule that says YOU need to show off. If a lap in each direction at each gait is enough for you, that's all you need.

    Remember, when you're out of shape riding it always feels 10 times worse than it actually looks from the ground. I'd suggest you find a friend and get on their horse before you go. Getting back in the saddle before you head down there will give you more confidence.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,205

    Default

    When I went to look at my horse, the girl who was selling her got on and rode her around at each gait then I got on. I was in the same situation as you- completely out of shape, hadn't ridden in 6+ months, and throw in a horrible case of fear! I got on, walked around the ring twice, trotted twice, and cantered her once. We only worked in one direction. I stopped her, slid off, and handed over the cash Was it the best trial- no probably not, but if I would have passed on her I would have missed my dream horse! Since then I have become friends with her old owner!
    Proudly Owned By Sierra, 2003 APHA Mare
    In Loving Memory of Tally, April 15, 1983 - June 2, 2010



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2008
    Posts
    804

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FindersKeepers View Post
    You certainly have the option to pass on riding the horse, but talking a seller into a trial can be a challenge anyway, but especially if they haven't even had the chance to see you interact with their horse.

    You can always just get on, walk/trot a little, and say that's enough for you. There's no rule that says YOU need to show off. If a lap in each direction at each gait is enough for you, that's all you need.

    Remember, when you're out of shape riding it always feels 10 times worse than it actually looks from the ground. I'd suggest you find a friend and get on their horse before you go. Getting back in the saddle before you head down there will give you more confidence.
    I agree! I wouldn't want to commit to a horse without feeling how it trots, at the very least, and preferably canter, too. But a few strides and a 5 minute ride should be enough to tell you if there are any HUGE red flags.

    If I were in your position, I would have someone else "put the horse through its paces," and then I would get on for a brief howdy-do ride



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,669

    Default

    Being out of shape has made me a bit of a weenie. When I buy my horses I always ask the seller to ride it first so I can evaluate it from the ground and if I like what I see, I just hop on for a few walk / trot circles and to test brakes and responsiveness to my seat.

    My advice is even if you don't plan to ride, bring some paddock boots, a helmet and 1/2 chaps. If the horse looks easy, then you might want to hop on even if its only to see if he's comfortable for you.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2003
    Location
    Brenham, TX
    Posts
    4,711

    Default

    I certainly understand because I am also nervous riding in front of people I don't know on a horse I don't know. But, as a seller, I would NEVER sell my horse to someone who I haven't seen ride the horse. I ALWAYS ride the horse first but I also want to know that the buyer gets along with the horse and they are a good match.
    Triple J Ranch Sporthorses
    www.triplejsporthorse.com
    Member - OMGiH I LOFF my mare(s) clique



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2005
    Location
    Unionville, PA
    Posts
    3,414

    Default

    You'll survive. I bought my horse after about an 8 year break, from a very well known trainer in the area. I was uncomfortable, but I didn't topple off or anything. I even popped him over a tiny jump! I have found that the trainers/sellers are always VERY nice and helpful. They WANT to sell you a horse. If you really feel like you can't do it on the first visit, though, and you like the horse, then make a second visit and get on. You will never know if the horse is right for you if you don't ride it.
    Delaware Park Canter Volunteer
    http://www.canterusa.org/



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
    Posts
    3,493

    Default

    Here's my advice - make sure you have some sort of trial period. I have a couple of friends who have adopted/rescued horses. One got 2 rescue horses, none of the horses have worked out for the riders. Both riders were getting back into riding, didn't have time because of work schedule constraints. And basically the horses were never going to become the horses that the riders wanted them to be... you don't want to be stuck w/ a horse you cannot ride, doesn't suit you, and you can't sell or find another home for. So be cautious, don't be too impulsive. A horse might look and sound like everything you want but then again it might not turn out that way -just make sure you think very objectively. One horse - the owner cried every single time she rode the horse. It's not worth paying board on a horse that you don't enjoy riding - just make sure that this animal will suit want you want to do now and in the future - if not pass on it - there will be others



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Central New York State
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by greeneyelioness View Post
    Ok this is a weird situation and I'd really like some advice on how to handle it. I am going to go look at a horse tomorrow that I am really interested in. He's almost everything I am looking for in a horse and I would be honored to have him be mine.
    My dilemma is that I'm not the best rider anymore. I am out of shape having not ridden anything consistently for the better part of a year. Now I am sort of embarrassed to ride in front of anyone, and am dreading going to go look at this horse tomorrow because I don't want the owners to think I can't ride. I'd much rather ride him when I am at home and more comfortable.
    Since I am a vet tech I can pretty much do my own pre-purchase evaluations and thought I could bring someone to ride him for me so I can watch him from the ground.
    I don't know exactly what I would tell them owners but I figured I could bring someone with me to ride him so I could watch him from the ground. Also the trip is a couple of hours away and whenever I travel that far, I do have issues with my knees and back if I sit too long so I may have to have someone ride him for me anyway.
    What is the best way to handle this without looking incompetent?
    How did it go? There's lots of times that people look at horses and don't get on their back until after they're bought and brought home. Did you friend ride the horse?



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