I'm looking for a horse for a friend of mine's daughter. I have to admit that I've never actually bought a horse in the US. Not because I'm a snob and don't like US bred horses but more because I wasn't living in the US when I was looking for horses. Now I have no shortage Anyway it's been really interesting because suddenly I find that while a horse sounds great in an ad, I don't want to travel too far. I look at ads and think,"Are they being honest about this horse?" It's a whole new world and a real eye opener. Has anyone else had this experience?
Erica H. Max
Fire Hjorner Farm
Breeders and Importers of Danish Warmbloods
Yes! I scheduled a trip around the NW to look for a new broodmare a while back. I was looking for a real bargain so I was not shopping high-end where one can expect lots of quality pics and decent (or any!) video. I looked at 12 horses and most of them were not to my liking (obviously I wouldn't have gone to see them if I knew that!). Twice I saw people bring a horse out of the stall and said to myself "That is NOT the horse I saw in the picture!" (but it was) Yikes.
It is important to carefully schedule as many visits as possible in one area or along a route but then expect the unexpected and be willing to go with the flow. Bring your internet with you so you can check on new ads or contact people who you hear about along the way. Word of mouth is an excellent start- ask folks where they have made a happy purchase. Also, the response you get from your inquiries will tell you a lot about what kind of seller you are dealing with. Personally, I tell people more than they ask most of the time. I want them to be well aware of each horse's faults as well as their selling points. This saves us both time and lets them know that I will be very upfront about what I am representing.
It can be daunting but if you know what you want and are willing to wait for it to come along, then you'll be fine.