It is the luck of the Irish in many cases- Reds Ready left here with a very good trainer who figured, along with me, that he would be a solid Training level horse- he ended up being sold to a student, and taking that rider to Intermediate. Years ago we had a horse at Del Park named Anderroo who was a nice type but no one ever figured he would be listed for the Olympics. SEPowell has a lovely mare from us who probably has all of the stuff to shoot for the stars, but she is happy to have her as a foxhunter. When I was younger and eventing a lot, the horse I thought would be "IT" topped out at Prelim.....
The main thing is to find a young, sound horse that you LIKE, and seemingly has all the right parts, see where the road takes you, and have fun on the journey!
I'm certain you didn't upset or offend anyone by asking your question!
caffeinated gave you lots of great links for OTTBs - and if I were on a strict budget, I know that's where I would be looking, first.
I am certain, as I type this, there are many WONDERFUL, talented and athletic TB horses with great potential, who need a good new home.
You could also contact some breeders, if you are willing to take on a younger horse. Your budget might be able to stretch to one of theirs too.
This is a nice organization in KY. The woman who runs it and the woman who does most of the training are both eventers. I got 3 horses from them. Don't bring too big of a trailer. They'll fill it up for you. I went with a friend and we brought back 5 total. http://www.secondstride.org/
Last edited by avezan; May. 4, 2010 at 10:51 AM.
Reason: added link
I totally feel for you Cloiebell! I'm in the same predicament and thought about leaving the sport for a bit, getting a career, and then coming back. But that's expensive too! So I say keep plugging along, and with hard work you'll get there. And yes, you may have to go through several or dozens of track ponies to find the right one, but no one but you has the right to tell you that you can or can't do it. Especially when you're willing to work hard. One good suggestion once you've gone and purchased something, might be to get into a good working student position. That way you get lots of good teaching to potentially get that horse somewhere or if all else fails you'll be in a position where the coach might know of something and be able to help you out. I wish I could do that right now but now I decided to do some schooling and am paying for it...which was a waste of time in my case! All I wanted to do was go ride and I should've listened to my heart! Good luck and I'm sure it'll all come together And I would definitely go for a Canter pony or equine.com or dreamhorse, you can find some good ones cheap on there..just gotta do your homework.
I've gotten inexpensive or free horses from MixNMatch (PA), ac4h (also PA), Canter (midatlantic), Heartland Horse Rescue (FL), equine.com, Craigslist, from trainers or breeders who didn't have time/room for something that wasn't quite fitting into their program.... mostly gone on to ammy homes not interested in upper levels, so hard to say if they were UL prospects, but... my current UL prospect (currently running Training and ready to go Prelim) is a 15.2h TB mare, bred to event, didn't get big enough for her owner who didn't want to keep paying board on her..... I got 2 3yo's free off the Giveaways forum from a race trainer in PA and they are both fabulous, seem to have to right raw materials! You never know!
$500.00 now that its spring and optimism will be at an all time high on the track. No snow, grass is green owners coming out.
The low enders or freebies might disappoint at a PPE.
The really best time to buy will be Septmeber thru November as outfits weed out and head south for the winter or trainers will be pressured to sell off the non winners but not necessarily unsound horses.
Bankrolled with $2500-3500. you would be in a position to pick n choose pay some shipping and pop for PPE and x-rays.
Average $1000-1500 across the board
$500-$750. is a wing n a prayer if you don't have an insider to scout for you.
Also the older the horse and sex n size play a part. Geldings always cost more, colts can be a good buy but add in cost of geldig ($350-500).
Mares and fillies can be cheaper and again AGE 7-8yr old definately cheaper to buy 3-5 will be premium.
Buying from a OTTB restarter base $3500. for one you can sit on and flat jump x-rail then prices go up.
But you usually can get a good sense of horses after being let down and also get a good idea of attitude and willingness to learn a new job.
Plus once all the post race suppliments,chemicals,leg wraps etc have been gone for a while the legs/joints will show themselves.
Finances: My 2-star TB cost $2200 out of the field, with a $400 commission to the ULR who found him (at insistence of seller, NOT ULR).
He was out competing locally in 3' classes a couple months later, and did his first event the following spring.
By the time he finished his two star I figured I had put about $40,000 in - and I didn't have to pay board or lessons that whole time.
My current "bargain" 3 y.o. TB from the track was $500. No pre-purchase. So far I've put about $8500 in (including some vet bills for hurting himself in the pasture) and have finally got to the stage 2 years later of going out for a little XC school.
If I had spent more money at the outset, I could have possibly gone with a horse that was let-down, older, and ready to work, and been way further along in his training. (However, this guy does have potential, and I feel like I am finally able to ask for it - as we progress I think I will have a very special horse!)
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
I'm not sure the 1 out of 40 would be accurate. I'm sure Phyllis Dawson has a better eye than most of us mere mortals, and if I read the statistic correctly she's saying 5 out of the 200 she picked. I'm sure the percentage out of random horses off the track would be considerably lower. The difficult part now is also that to find a competitive upper level prospect is considerably harder now that the sport has switched from the long format, and dressage is weighted so much more heavily.
I just wanted to thank Caffeinated for all of that work post Rolex on the histories of the horses. That is so great! I would have been so excited to see the ex-Charles Towners and Mountaineers, hometown boys! And thanks for the heads up about the Washington State horses. Now I have a whole new bunch of horses to oogle since my cross country relocation.
"We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK
Yes, Lisa is an excellent horse matcher. Be prepared to answer questions like where you are, what level you are competing at, who your trainer is. And she will contact your trainer too! Get the jist of who you really are and what you really need. She's thorough and she hasn't steered me wrong yet!
I worked with Lisa recently to purchase a preliminary prospect and I selected her partially based on feedback from COTH. I have been thoroughly disappointed in the horse's quality as well as Lisa's assistance. The horse I bought is totally unsuited for eventing and several folks have questioned this horse's soundness, besides the fact that I paid $4500 for an OTTB. PM me for details.
Well, did you go see the horse? Is he horribly unsuited because of conformation? Because I haven't seen any uglies come from her. If it's because you got on and he's a pansy, that's not her fault. Lisa can only point out that the horse has the right parts when it's an OTTB situation. It is not her fault if you guys don't get along once started under saddle, or if the horse ends up preferring playing in a sandbox instead of running fast and jumping high. That is the risk everyone takes when buying OTTB's.
Did you have it vetted? If it vetted sound at the time, it's not Lisa's fault that he's questionable now. If you didn't have him vetted, well, that's all on you.
Just saying that the situation sounds a bit off, and not because of Lisa.
several folks have questioned this horse's soundness
Did you have the horse vetted? Lisa isn't a vet.
The horse I bought is totally unsuited for eventing
What makes the horse "totally unsuited for eventing"? Was it something that was evident when you looked at the horse? If yes, then why did you buy the horse? If no, then why would you expect Lisa to know about it?
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).
I also second mapleshadefarm.net. Margaret has a good eye and is familiar with sport inclined pedigrees. She also events so her horses are most likely to be up your alley.
Of the folks on this board anyway, Margaret and Jleegriffith are the two I'd go to if I needed something restarted or wanted to buy something with a little mileage at a reasonable price. (well, besides picking out one of the new CANTER arrivals, I fall in love with each one I swear!)
"smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"
I feel that this a suitable place to post a dissenting opinion of Lisa's work. I know others have had good experiences, but I have not.
Just to clear-up the facts:
1) I did not see the horse in-person, I wish I had. I did not have time/vacation/money to canvas the East Coast looking for a prelim prospect. I paid for Lisa's professional opinion because she advertises herself as a matchmaker and reported that she has several happy customers who have purchased from her sight-unseen. Lesson learned.
2) The horse was vetted using Lisa's recommended vet and Lisa attended the PPE as my agent. I paid for the x-rays recommended by the vet, x-rays were clean. I will be present for all future PPEs, lesson learned.
3) This horse was located at a horse-trader's farm and Lisa had an opportunity to evaluate this horse's movement in an open arena.
4) This horse is cute and attractive (certainly not ugly!) with a pleasant and trainable attitude, that is not the problem. Bold and curious - great for x-country. Heck, I'd be happy playing in the sandbox even if this wasn't an event horse - I know not all horses are meant for x-c! I only contest the horse's suitability for eventing, dressage or jumping based on his unusually short, choppy, uncomfortable movement behind (that was immediately spotted by my vet and two trainers) - exactly the kind of thing a professional should have ruled-out.
NS- I don't know anything about Lisa but I would always ask for a video. Heck, now you can do a short video on your phone if necessary. If someone is unwilling to make a video for me then I would absolutely not buy a horse from them regardless of their reputation.
There have been two horses that have come through the CANTER program that I thought could be true upper level horses based on their movement, jump and boldness. I find these horses often only fit certain riders because they are extremely athletic and would probably intimidate anyone who didn't enjoy jumping 4ft over an x-rail
We don't get to pick and choose the horses that are donated to CANTER so you often don't know what you have until you start working with them and evaluating their talent. Both of the horses that I thought had all the right tools to be upper level horses went through the jump chute like they had been jumping forever and seemed to have a natural feel for the distances and the ability to adjust when they got it wrong.
I think everyone is looking for the over 16h geldings, who are good looking, athletic and sound for prices under $3500. I think you often have to be in the right place at the right time to find what you are looking for and even then you are still taking a risk that it will want to event. I am still of the opinion that eventing is one of the most challenging disciplines because a horse has to be able to do all three things well in order to be in the ribbons.