I wanted a 15.3-16.3hh 4-7 year old warmblood mare, colour not so important, although I do like a bay with some white markings. Goal was to find one that was going W/T/C, and hopefully get to 3rd/4th level eventually.
I ended up buying a 14 year old OTTB gelding that had also run chuckwagons for 5 years after his flat racing career ended. A very dominant personality and not easy at all! I've owned him for about a year, been riding him for 2.5, and he's finally relaxing when we figured out he likes going in a long and low "huntery" frame, and has pretty nice movement too!
With his talents and age, my goals have changed - I will be happy if we can eventually do a solid 1st level test - but I am also jumping again, and hope to do some low level eventing!
Who knew I loved Thoroughbreds?? From my original criteria, he does fit the height range, and is a bay with white
Wanted: Young warmblood mare. Color not important. Training also not important, but I wanted the potential to go above 1st level and be somewhat competitive in the ammie divisions (my gelding topped out at 1st, he just wasn't that into dressage, Lol). I preferred a 4-5 year old, but was looking at 13 year old ex-broodies as well. A mare because my gelding was driving me up a wall and I wanted a change. Lol. The real kicker? I was donating my gelding, so my initial investment budget was TINY.... think... less than $1K.
Bought: 2 year old Friesian X NSH filly. Stunning in every way (or maybe I'm just barn blind)... spooky as can be. Had spent 6 weeks with the amish learning to drive, but that was it. She didn't even trailer load. It's been 2.5 years since I brought her home and I couldn't be happier! While she challenges me every day with her sensitivity and her "athletic" moments, she's improved me tremendously as a rider and I find that every ride on her is amazing.
This is so interesting...there is definitely a pattern here...lol Maybe it is what "they" want that buys us.
Sometimes I almost think that. I probably was a little harsh in my evaluation of my mare earlier (I'd just come home from a ride where she decided that "GO" was not something she wanted to do, until she did, and then "STOP" was not exactly what she wanted to do. ) She is actually a very safe and well-mannered horse... one of those who will just stand there while you do all kinds of stuff around her or from on her back. The barn workers like her because she doesn't kick, doesn't try to run them over, isn't a troublemaker at all. The worst she does is get really antsy around feeding time. I trail ride her alone and she's really good about it... quite an improvement from the herdbound horse I started with.
What I think is, thank g-d she ended up with me. A more serious eventer would have either run her into the ground (she will give and give and give) or been disappointed when her soundness issues meant she could not jump anymore. Or both. I was forbidden to jump a few months after I bought her, and poured time, money, and effort into getting her sound. She's a lifer for me.
Wanted: Older, dead broke WB that I could do low-level dressage/hunters with. Something that would tolerate my ammy-ness.
What I got: 3 YO Gypsy/Clyde cross that gives me a run for my money in the stubbornness department. We're working hard on groundwork, but she's really surprised both my trainer and I so far. Her withers have caught up with her butt (for now) and she's a much more balanced mover than we thought she'd be. She steps under herself beautifully as well.
Also, a coming 5 YO gray NSH gelding. I swore one youngster was enough and refused to buy him for the first month I was boarding in the same barn. Something about him kept bugging me, and I ended up buying him. He has carefully seen my through my bad moments with a patience I have no right to expect. I mess up and he quietly stops and waits for me to get my act together. I lose my seat and he slows until I regain it and goes back to work like nothing happened. I ask, and he gives everything he has. Something spooks him, and he will look, maybe step sideways but focuses right back on the job at hand. He's given me the confidence to tackle dressage, and he's loving it. He has plenty of suspension, and is happily learning everything that he's being taught. I always get off his back with a huge smile on my face. We're thinking of maybe aiming for Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in 2013.
What I wanted: A gelding with a real lengthening and flashy enough gaits to win at at least first level. Yes, I wanted to break out of training level. LOL! Size didn't matter so long as it wasn't too big. (I'm 5'1") In fact, I thought I might find a deal for a well-trained hony. Ammy friendly personality and able to ride out on the trails alone and in company. Having had a horse with practically no canter, a good canter was a must. Oh, and my brain always knows that no good horse is a bad color, but my heart says chestnut is my least favorite color.
What I got: A chestnut saddlebred gelding who could have easily won at first level if he didn't come with issues. Worked really hard for 2 years to make it work, but finally gave him away after the 3rd year. He did have a great canter, though.
What I got now: A 14.3 hand chestnut overo paint gelding who will learn first level but probably will never win. He is 7, but wasn't started until late in his 5 year old year after he was gelded late. He is quiet; I can ride him 5x a week or 1x a week. My only goal now is to have fun at whatever I do with him!
What I wanted: a young horse straight from the breeder that would grow up to be a professional quality dressage horse that I could train and compete at Grand Prix. Preferably not over 17hh and not a Trakehner as I'd had a nutty part bred one in the past. Ideally not bay and with plenty of bling.
What I got after a lot of legwork and research: (good bits first)
Gorgeous 2yo bay (oops) Purebred Trakehner (double oops) filly. But she has got plenty of bling.
Highest scoring 3yo in the country in the Futurity, top 10 out of 900 young horses. Looking good so far.
Kind enough for me to back her myself and so kind that she comes out of the stable safe and straightforward to ride even if I haven't been able to get to the stables for several days because of work.
She's now 5 and is working towards 3rd level. She did her first "official" flying changes (in a lesson with witnesses ) this week.
However this horse of my dreams is a whole lotta horse. She's at least 17hh and isn't mature yet. When I get her truly through and working over her back the power she gives me is intimidating. Bless her, she doesn't even think bad thoughts, let alone do anything naughty. She's just an athlete. It's not her fault. She's what I wanted. I've trained horses to 4th and PSG in the past and have a great trainer who both teaches and inspires me but in order to ride this horse I'm on a steep learning curve and need to up my game.
A case of be careful what you wish for?
Shame I haven't learned my lesson. A year ago I bought another 2yo filly. She was 3rd in the country for dressage as a 3yo and top 20 out of 1000 young stock. She's by Jazz. And I'm backing her myself. She's ridiculously athletic too but fortunately she is also a very good girl. Between the two of them I'll either become a very good rider or a nervous wreck!
Wanted: Really, I wasn't looking. I had decided to stick with my current (lifer) mare who was 19 at the time and just do what her body could do until I felt comfortable spending money on a second horse and figured out how to make that work. However, I had a "future list" going. I wanted a low key, sane horse capable of going up the levels...already doing 1st or 2nd level...who could also do a bit of low jumping and just all around fun riding. Something that didn't need to be ridden every day to be sane. Something with more substance than my mare and perhaps a bit more height than her 15.1hh. I was open to a gelding or mare...age between 6 and 12. No bolters, rearers or buckers.
What landed in my lap almost 2 years ago: 17 year old gelding, almost black with white star and snip and three white feet, 16.0hh and much more substantive. Trained to 4th and did some jumping somewhere in his history. Very low key and hardly a spook to him. Anxiety issues needing to be worked through and we've done a lot of that. Generally a pleasure to ride and teaching me to be a better rider. There's really not much I'd change about him, other than perhaps having met him earlier in his life.
nearly 12 years ago I was looking for an FEI horse that could take me to GP, 9+ years old, PSG, started in Piaffe and Passage, gelding. Flew all of the world looking at horses that were nice, buuuuut, there was always an issue. I was venting my frustrations about the horse search when a horse buddy suggested I expand my horizons. "OK, I said, the only horse I will not look at is a three year old chestnut mare!"
About a month later, Fanale walked into the indoor where I was riding and my search was over. She was a self-assured chestnut mare, 10 weeks shy of her 4th birthday! She has taken me on the journey of a lifetime... one footfall at a time, all the way to GP. I am so thankful that I didn't stick with my original criteria!
I wasn't looking. Had my retired QH event horse at my parents house, hadn't done anything but a trail ride here and there in at least 7 years. Looked on CL for fun every so often but didn't really think riding was in the budget.
What I Got: Perusing CL one day and came across a 15 year old Chestnut Hanoverian gelding for half lease. "Trained to 3rd" said the ad. In reality he had REALLY crappy training but they showed him 3rd a couple of times anyway. His forehand was glued to the ground, he didn't know the meaning of the word self carriage, and his "confirmed" lateral work was anything but. But I thought he was beautiful and he has a temperament to die for. I half leased for a year and a half, got him to a pretty solid 3rd, and was able to buy him for a ridiculous steal of a price. He's now going super solid 3rd, schooling 4th, just starting PSG and doing it PROPERLY!!! You would never know it was the same horse and I love him to death! He is definitely a forever horse and I'm hopeful that we will get to don top hat and tails for a PSG ride at least a few times before he retires
EVERY horse I've ever bought the "right way" aka... Gone and ridden more than once, taken a friend or trainer to look, looked at several horses before deciding, doing a thorough vet check, etc etc.... Yep, None of them worked out.
However, every one that I wasnt looking for, wasnt in the market for, wasnt exactly my type but thought I'd "just got sit on", brought the trailer with to see and just took home.... I've LOVED every one of them.
My personal gelding was purchased purely out of pity. He was lame, thin, and just looked sad and dead inside. Turns out, he has a WONDERFUL personality, great work ethic, is actually totally sound, has a FANTASTIC jump, and can go weeks without being ridden and be the same great guy. Go figure.
Wanted: Finished horse that would be my own so I wouldn't continue to ride everyone else horses. 14-16hh, needed to have either no socks or an even number and facial markings.
Got: 12hh skewbald, raunchy Thewell wanna be stud that was not at all happy to see me on the end of his lead rope. I really thought my dad was kidding when he handed me that things lead rope. After I got him cleaned up he still wasn't appealing nor did the bath improve his temperament. 6 months later though and I sold him for 2 times what my dad bought him for. That lead to a string of horrible little ponies that I will thank for the rest of my riding life.
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.
I'm another of those "wasn't looking" folks. I started reading CraigsList because it got mentioned on Fugly so often, wanted to see what she was talking about. No really, I wasn't looking. Then some Arabs came up, so really, we weren't looking, we just went and looked. (The "we" in this case is my ultra enabling younger sister who insists that I *was* looking. No I wasn't - had 2 in college.)
The first place we looked had some pitiful horses and quite possibly every manufactured good known to man on the lawn surrounding their mobile home. Which did not have running water. Horses were so bad we made another trip 2 weeks later as the owner insisted that she was getting rid of all the horses and we wanted to see if she really did. Nope, they, all thin and pitiful, were still there plus more I called the Humane Society.
Second horse I found on CL was 3 yo Arab who was Sweepstakes nominated for a ridiculously low price. I wasn't looking, but I had to go look just to see how this could be. Took ultra enabling sister with me again. Bought this one, even though I wasn't looking. She made me do it!!
So I wasn't looking, but I ended up with a 3yo Arab gelding who grew another 2 inches after he got some feed in him and who is turning into one heck of a dressage horse. The last two years have been a blast.
I did know that I wanted to get some fun back in my life and that has *definitely* happened. So in that way, what I wanted and what I got were truly the same thing!
Oh, I bought what I wanted and he's developing into exactly what I wanted, right size, lovely color, exceptional movement...... EXCEPT......after 35+ years of riding Appies, I was confident that, while I used a colt starter to start him under saddle, I could continue his training, working with my instructor, NO PROBLEM! WRONG. I totally disregarded the fact that he was half-Arabian, and he has turned out to be a much hotter, reactive horse than I anticipated, especially for a more-than-middle aged rider. (he has gifted me with too many flying lessons. Ouch!)
My previous horse had a good deal of TB in him (one would think "probably hot", but he wasn't), and I kinda expected the same kind of temperament. WRONG. Still, he's beautiful, talented, and I WILL work through it all. He improves all the time. It's just taking a lot longer than I anticipated!!!
Still, he's beautiful, talented, and I WILL work through it all. He improves all the time. It's just taking a lot longer than I anticipated!!!
Right there with ya sister! I almost cried this week when my dressage boot camp instructor took a video of the two of us and I only cringed once or twice! When he talks about doing first level I'm sure I'm looking at him like a nitwit because the thought that someone thinks it's as natural as can be that we would be there....stuns me into silence. And yet it seems to be happening!