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  1. #41
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    The younger you buy the more risk you get.

    Weanling: Pros: Malleable, you get an idea of personality, cheap. Cons: Don't know if it'll be sound under saddle down the road, don't know how easy it'll be to back and train, don't know it's physical or mental aptitude for the sport yet.

    Young horse: Pros: Backed, you know it's sound, you can tell if it likes it's job and what it's aptitude might be. You know if you like it's personality. Cons: Don't really know how it'll physically or mentally hold up over time, more expensive, can get some training baggage.

    Seasoned horse: Pros: you know what you're getting because it has a training/show/vet record, you can ride it and see how well you meld with it, it has a developed personality. May have really solid basics for your sport plus experience. Cons: more expensive, can have bad trainer baggage, cna have sport related injuries.

    So the thing is, how flexible and comfy are you with risk, and how flexible and comfy are you with riding different kinds of horses?

    Yankeelawyer, if only all breeders were honest like you say. Lots are trying to sell horses and aren't particularly honest. I know some "reputable" breeders in your neck of the woods who try to sell untalented or even injured horses as "ammy" horses. Because they can. If you don't personally know the breeder - know they're a good person - it's hard to take their word for anything. I don't trust anyone in horses unless i know I can trust them. Paranoid? Yea. But for good reason!!!!!



  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaluna View Post
    The younger you buy the more risk you get.

    Weanling: Pros: Malleable, you get an idea of personality, cheap. Cons: Don't know if it'll be sound under saddle down the road, don't know how easy it'll be to back and train, don't know it's physical or mental aptitude for the sport yet.

    Young horse: Pros: Backed, you know it's sound, you can tell if it likes it's job and what it's aptitude might be. You know if you like it's personality. Cons: Don't really know how it'll physically or mentally hold up over time, more expensive, can get some training baggage.

    Seasoned horse: Pros: you know what you're getting because it has a training/show/vet record, you can ride it and see how well you meld with it, it has a developed personality. May have really solid basics for your sport plus experience. Cons: more expensive, can have bad trainer baggage, cna have sport related injuries.

    So the thing is, how flexible and comfy are you with risk, and how flexible and comfy are you with riding different kinds of horses?

    Yankeelawyer, if only all breeders were honest like you say. Lots are trying to sell horses and aren't particularly honest. I know some "reputable" breeders in your neck of the woods who try to sell untalented or even injured horses as "ammy" horses. Because they can. If you don't personally know the breeder - know they're a good person - it's hard to take their word for anything. I don't trust anyone in horses unless i know I can trust them. Paranoid? Yea. But for good reason!!!!!
    Oh the stories I'm sure we all could tell......
    Riding the winds of change

    Heeling NRG Aussies
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyadawn View Post
    Oh the stories I'm sure we all could tell......
    Ha! We'd need a vat of wine or something for that.



  4. #44
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    kaluna, I have no idea what you have experienced but I cannot imagine doing anything other than trying to make the best match possible - because I care a lot about my horses and I want a happy client. The last thing I would ever want is an unsuitable match. I have a very good eye for youngsters and an even stronger ability to match horses and riders. And I do find it incredibly frustrating to deal with people who are so cynical that they refuse to consider that I am on their side.

    Many here claim they want an ammie friendly horse. Yet I have not met a single ammie that gets excited about the horse identified as great for ammies. They act like you are showing them a bike with training wheels. All of a sudden they want the " big kid's" bike and by God if you make the mistake of saying another horse is for pros. That is the one they just have to have. And then they will come here and complain about how youngsters are too frequently unsuitable for ammies.
    Roseknoll Sporthorses
    www.roseknoll.net



  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
    kaluna, I have no idea what you have experienced but I cannot imagine doing anything other than trying to make the best match possible - because I care a lot about my horses and I want a happy client. The last thing I would ever want is an unsuitable match. I have a very good eye for youngsters and an even stronger ability to match horses and riders. And I do find it incredibly frustrating to deal with people who are so cynical that they refuse to consider that I am on their side.

    Many here claim they want an ammie friendly horse. Yet I have not met a single ammie that gets excited about the horse identified as great for ammies. They act like you are showing them a bike with training wheels. All of a sudden they want the " big kid's" bike and by God if you make the mistake of saying another horse is for pros. That is the one they just have to have. And then they will come here and complain about how youngsters are too frequently unsuitable for ammies.
    We've not done business so I can't say anything about you. I'm sorry if you thought my email was directed at you-it's not at all. it sounds like you care alot about your horses but I still have a hard time trusting horse people I don't have a relationship with. Too many want to sell horses regardless of the match-they want to unload horses. You sound like you're better than many. Kudos to you- I'm sure your clients could provide great references.

    I don't doubt you but I find it odd that ammys (ammies?) choose to want your pro horses. Do they handle and ride these horses? Those aren't exactly "fun" for non-pros. Why do you think the ammy riders you deal with would want one of these horses that could harm them or at least be un-fun to ride? Why do they think your easier horses are horses with "training wheels" rather than suitable mounts? I guess I'm lucky that my clients seem to be reasonable - I don't deal with much of this. Seriously - don't your ammy buyers feel uncomfortable around "pro" - meaning highly energetic and athletic, sometimes difficult horses? Why do they say they don't want the easier horses? They don't like the gaits? Not enough spark? They like to live on the edge and feel that health insurance will carry them thru? They want a horse they can buy and then put in training with a professional rather than ride themselves? My amateur clients and the clients of my friends don't want horses they can't handle but pro clients can take the challenge. I guess I don't understand why your amateur clients might want horses that they can't ride or train or could hurt them. I'd appreciate your perspective.
    K.



  6. #46
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    Kaluna, the only thing I can fathom from my conversations is that like you people are suspicious so if you have two horses for sale and are saying one is better suited ( based on what you know about your horses and the client's stated desires), the client frequently will be drawn to the other one. I have no idea why because I see this with horses with very comparable quality and gaits, etc. To be clear, I do not believe any of my horses are dangerous and would not sell such a horse to anyone. But I do have some that are exceptionally good-natured and easy to deal with, and for reasons I cannot understand I have found the worst possible thing to say is that they are ammie friendly.

    Regarding the training wheels analagy, my point was only that it seems that some people equate ammie as a modifier with "limited" ( whereas I equate it with uncomplicated, straightforward, willing and highly trainable) and " pro" with "future gold medalist.".

    Note that most of these exchanges occur by phone or email before the client has seen anyone in person, based on a couple of photos and a short video clip. But believe me I have learned not to dare say ammie anything when describing a horse, which brings me back to the point that I was making that I find it ironic that people so frequently lament here how they are looking for ammie horses and can't find anything suitable. If that is so, I recommend going to reputable breeders and being open to really listening to what the breeder says about each horse of interest and better yet bring a knowledgeable and objective friend or trainer along if you are having difficulty choosing for yourself.

    I know that at least among my breeder friends that we all want to mke the best matches possible because we want our horses to succeed nd for clients to be thrilled with them. Why else would we do this? It certainly isn't for the fortune made on sales!!!
    Roseknoll Sporthorses
    www.roseknoll.net



  7. #47
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    Dec. 9, 2008
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    I know this is going off topic, but young doesn't rule out ammies. I sold a 3 yr gelding this year that I started to a ammy rider, because the horse was good for ammies. I received an email recently from them saying there was some concern initially because of his age, but he has quickly risen to be the favorite horse in the barn. She even remarked that he was better then a 12 year old with tons of training. I new he would be ammy friendly after 2 months of age. It was in him.

    Now with the exception of gaits that are too big for some riders, I disagree with you Kaluna that ammies don't want athletic and competitive horses. Most pro quality horses can be dumbed down. The opposite is not true. There are a few that are "Special" but for the most part pro's want good minded, highly trainable, athletes. I can't think of an amateur that doesn't want the same.

    I do agree with you Kaluna that you must trust the breeder, salesmen, trader etc. This is usually done by getting references and calling them. To return to the original posters question, this level of trust is necessary when buying foals and mature horses. The only difference, is people "think" they are good at evaluating mature horses, and they usually know they are not with foals. Hiring someone who does for a small commission makes sense when you are not sure, because they have a reputation to protect.

    Tim

    P.S. You can keep a foal in Germany for less then 200 euros a month. Add $600 or so euros and they will start them for you. Even less here, not a big deal.
    Sparling Rock Holsteiners
    www.sparlingrock.com



  8. #48
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    Nov. 26, 2003
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    I agree with Yankee Lawyer. It is a strange phenomenon. I can talk to someone and they can tell me all about their riding, experiences, fears, and what they want in their next horse. I get very excited when I realize I have something perfect for them that will make riding a real joy for them again. Invariably, they will look on my website or facebook page and see the most showy, "Black Stallion-ish" horse and ask all about that one. If I tell them that I don't think that horse matches the description of what they are looking for, they don't come look at the other suitable one at all! Lord knows I need to sell some horses, but I do not want to sell a horse to someone that I am pretty certain will intimidate them. There are ideal matches and it doesn't mean the one that is 100% predictable and forgiving of errors is less of an athlete. My four year old son always wants to ride the black stallion or one of the youngsters and not his 10.1 hand Shettie so I think it is ingrained in all of us. It is an emotional response and pretty much human nature. I have noticed one other interesting phenomenon. People in your same geography assume there is nothing of interest locally and don't even look. Most of my serious inquiries come from across the country or from outside the country.



  9. #49
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
    Many here claim they want an ammie friendly horse. Yet I have not met a single ammie that gets excited about the horse identified as great for ammies. They act like you are showing them a bike with training wheels. All of a sudden they want the " big kid's" bike and by God if you make the mistake of saying another horse is for pros. That is the one they just have to have. And then they will come here and complain about how youngsters are too frequently unsuitable for ammies.
    These types are the ones that generally have no business buying a baby. Huge red flag to the breeder that the person is not a proper person to be buying the horse as their priorities are not lined up with their expectations for the animal. They are not likely to be happy with the purchase down the road.

    I can ride/develop a "for the pros" horse, but I select babies specifically for their ammy-friendly temperaments. For two reasons -- they are more marketable if/when I sell them to ammies down the road, and I generally ride at home, alone so I try to avoid something that's going to dump me more than once in a blue moon. So it might not jump around the GPs -- that is not my target market since I can't afford to campaign at that level anyway. There is a much larger market for a nice, solid, easy to ride, beautiful and honest horse competitive at 3'6 to 4', that can play in the hunters, jumpers or eq. If my horses do that they will always be in demand.



  10. #50
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    These types are the ones that generally have no business buying a baby. Huge red flag to the breeder that the person is not a proper person to be buying the horse as their priorities are not lined up with their expectations for the animal. They are not likely to be happy with the purchase down the road.
    This is absolutely the truth. Much fit also stems from the fact that like many have suggested here, many ammies looking for a weanling/yearling are doing so because they want the "best" they can buy on a limited budget. Thing is, most define the "best" as the prettiest, best moving, best bred, "GP prospect" horse. This is often NOT what they need or at the end of the day what they can ride.

    I disagree though that ALL ammies turn their noses up at the less fancy ammy friendly types, I looked for ages for one. But the smarter ammies looking for them know there's a better chance of actually finding them when they are 3 years old or older.



  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
    My experience is that frequently buyers will not listen to breeders when they tell them which horse(s) have better temperaments, are more suitable, etc. It is as if they think that the fire breathing dragon you are trying to tell them is a pro's horse, at least as a youngster, MUST be the better horse. It is one if the most frustrating things I encounter as a breeder. I really wish people would trust that the breeder actually knows her own horses and their strengths and weaknesses.
    I think this is key.

    When I hooked up with the breeder of my mare, I told her what I was looking for (aside from the obvious sound and sane)-- suitable for lower level dressage, trail riding, hunter paces, maybe a few local hunter shows, and above all else good-minded enough for my kids to ride eventually. I was originally interested in a gelding that she had, but she felt one of her mares was a better fit for my needs.

    The mare I purchased was the least "fancy" of her prospects but is proving to be a perfect fit for me and my needs.

    As a buyer, I think you have to be honest with yourself. You have to know your limitations, and have a plan. Few ammies do a great job buying MADE horses, so taking a chance on a baby is perhaps not something most should do..... 10 years ago I was given a yearling, and let me tell you, it was an eye opening experience and one I don't care to repeat. Hence why this time around I carefully researched, listened to the breeder, and purchased a horse that was 4 and had already had enough handling/training to have her temperament reliably assessed.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  12. #52

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    People don't want to feel like they are getting the second best, so maybe unbeknownst to the sales people, sellers are somehow indicating that the amatuer friendly horse isn't quite as good as the professional ride horse. For instance, if you said, "well this horse has olympic potential, but he's too difficult, look here at this sweet guy," that makes the buyer feel that they are being condescended to. No one wants to feel they aren't worth the very best, even when they really can't handle horse X. I am assuming these aren't $500 horses, and if I had, say $10 -$30,000 to buy a horse, better sell me the "best" one you have on your property. Of course I can't ride it, but I can be proud to own it. Because it is prettier, flashier, and more talented than the packer. If I had that kind of money to spend, I would want that status symbol, because if I didn't care, I could get a very nice amateur horse off equine.com for about $2000, admittedly that was not so pretty or talented.

    It's all in the sales technique. If the seller said about the amatuer friendly horse, "this is the best horse we have on the place. He can do everything, is safe, and will win at shows for you," then no one is going to pick the admittedly more talented "pro horse." If you are subconciously actually more in favor of the talented horse, and know the amatuer friendly horse isn't as a good of a mover, then that gets broadcast to the seller. The buyer wants to feel they are getting the absolutely best horse on your farm, hands down. The problem with saying a horse is perfect for someone because it actually suits the person's level of riding ability is that everyone thinks they can ride much better than they actually do, so pointing this out doesn't help. All us middle aged ladies remember our glory days, and don't recognize we aren't 21, 100 pounds, and can't ride that big moving, spooky, brilliant horse that we used to be able to -- or maybe never were able to. Hard to tell those people they need a nice trike now, not the racing bike!



  13. #53
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    Good point, Kwill. Some breeders seem to market all their culls to the ammies, which makes me wonder how all their less than fabulous horses end up with the best temperaments, but their gorgeous ones all are best suited for pros.

    I get that they want the best horses to get in the GP ring, but the universe of people that want to go out and buy a young horse for their pro to ride is so much smaller...it contributes to people going to Europe to buy a horse for themselves since the fanciest ones here are often marketed as a pro's horse. I think more "FEI potential with temperament for an ammy rider" would sell pretty well, but no one seems to say that! It has to be out there somewhere. If not, y'all should start breeding 'em.



  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    I disagree though that ALL ammies turn their noses up at the less fancy ammy friendly types, I looked for ages for one. But the smarter ammies looking for them know there's a better chance of actually finding them when they are 3 years old or older.

    This is what I mean "less fancy ammy friendly types." Another poster stated "pro quality.". People make an assumption about quality or aptitude based on the modifier pro or ammie. When I say ammie friendly I mean high trainability, rideability, a good egg. Separately, the horse may or may not have clear upper level aptitude. Yet I believe that many equate the term ammie friendly with a horse that cannot go beyond lower levels. Consequently, I have learned to never say ammie anything.
    Roseknoll Sporthorses
    www.roseknoll.net



  15. #55
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    Apr. 12, 2006
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    If you have the skills to do it successfully, nothing matches the sense of accomplishment that comes from bringing along a baby yourself.

    If you have (and are willing to spend) the money it will take to have a pro step in and help when needed, there is still a great sense of accomplishment that comes from being there every step of the way as you still play a role in bringing your baby along with help.

    But if you don't have those skills, and/or you don't have the money to recruit quality help when needed, buying a baby can be a recipe for disaster.

    When I rode my 7YO down the centerline for his first PSG earlier this year, I was nearly teary eyed. It had been a long, long wait -- I bought him as a weanling. When we do our first Grand Prix I'll probably be an emotional wreck (in a good way *smile*!) I also paid less for him than I paid for my (used) saddle -- to buy him now I could never afford it. So he would definitely count as a success story for "buying babies".

    But as a trainer, I've also seen the downside firsthand enough to know bringing along a baby isn't for everyone, whether the unsuccessful attempts result in horses with training issues, or behavioral problems, or horses which are simply years behind in their training.
    River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.



  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    I think more "FEI potential with temperament for an ammy rider" would sell pretty well, but no one seems to say that! It has to be out there somewhere. If not, y'all should start breeding 'em.
    That is precisely the goal of my program. And the first page of my website states


    Roseknoll is a private farm located in Northern Virginia specializing in sporthorse breeding with a primary focus on dressage.* Roseknoll horses represent some of the finest European bloodlines for the Olympic disciplines selected with the goal of producing upper level aptitude and amateur-friendly temperaments.*


    Kwill makes a good point regarding inadvertently signaling to the buyer something that was unintended. There seems to be a gap between what the seller is saying and the buyer is hearing sometimes. I also think people assume some amount of puffery so if the seller provides a more balanced assessment the buyer thinks the horse is something less than that. I do know of some people who describe all of their horses with a surprising level of hyperbole ( they are all stupendous and phenomenal, regardless of whether this has basis in fact). I don't really understand how these breeders maintain credibility but they nonetheless frequently sell a lot.
    Roseknoll Sporthorses
    www.roseknoll.net



  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
    That is precisely the goal of my program......
    Kwill makes a good point regarding inadvertently signaling to the buyer something that was unintended. There seems to be a gap between what the seller is saying and the buyer is hearing sometimes. I also think people assume some amount of puffery so if the seller provides a more balanced assessment the buyer thinks the horse is something less than that. I do know of some people who describe all of their horses with a surprising level of hyperbole ( they are all stupendous and phenomenal, regardless of whether this has basis in fact). I don't really understand how these breeders maintain credibility but they nonetheless frequently sell a lot.
    I know of a few farms who also have this breeding goal, including my own.

    I totally agree with that last statement too, YL. Some breeders seem to live in some kind of Lake Wobegone, where every horse is "above average", yet they have countless videos of average foals for sale only to competition homes for $$$$$. Where's the rolleyes icon?
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut), EMC What Fun (Wolkentanz I/ Lauries Crusador), and EMC Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook



  18. #58

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    Coming from an "Ammie"... I say buy young and grow with them. There are lots of horses out there suited for amateurs! Coming from a hunter perspective... I can tell right away if they will suit me.

    By all means... buy babies! North America seems to be carving themselves a niche breeding horses for us ammie types. We don't want or need high spirited, sensitive, hard jumping, hot critters that need hours of prep to get to the ring. Our time is too valuable, so when it comes time to work with our horses .... all that extra crap is for the birds!

    I truly believe 100% that you can breed good temperament! Shop, find a horse, get opinions, and really research the bloodlines and other offspring. There are a lot of people representing nice horses... but beware of the counterfeits!

    I look at them turned out and do not care for upright inquisitive types that scoot and scurry in the field, cross canter, and never seem to relax.

    Besides I cannot afford to buy them all made up!
    ~ Bill Rube ~
    http://www.bydesignfarm.com
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  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaluna View Post
    The younger you buy the more risk you get.
    I disagree
    ~ Bill Rube ~
    http://www.bydesignfarm.com
    Check us out on Facebook



  20. #60
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    I think if all you want to do is ride then a weanling isn’t for you. I’ve had my girl from a foal and have really enjoyed all the different steps even the not so good days where she was trying new things out on me. It was fun watching her grow up, teaching her new things and there was even the day I realised she had it all worked out and was a “big girl”. Yes it costs money to give them the right start.

    One reason I wanted a baby was because I have owned a number of horses that I bought at 4 and upwards who haven’t worked out due to various issues mostly soundness. With this in mind I now know her entire history from what she was fed, breeding back ground, training, maintenance, personality and injuries. To me knowing all of this gives me a huge advantage on what I will and won’t do with her. I believe I own a horse I probably couldn’t afford to buy now which is the benefit of getting them young IMHO.



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