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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2007
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    Default Questions About Buying a Horse - Potential Health Issues & Such

    I've always purchased a horse from a known source, and now I'm in a situation where I'm looking at horses for sale from folks I don't know. There are a few questions that I have no experience with.

    1) Greys - OK, this is probably a silly question. Do you have to worry about melanomas with all greys? How serious a concern is it? I am always hesitant when I come across a grey. Is this a valid concern?

    2) Cribber that is controlled with miracle collar.
    Horses that are cribbers have a reduced price. (at least thats what I'm finding). This means that a horse normally out of my price range could be in my price range. I have electric fencing, so I'm not too worried. Although I would always use the miracle collar because I wouldn't want the run-in shed deteriorated.

    The downside of a cribber is that, as I said before, the resale value would be less, if things didn't work out with the horse for some reason.

    But if you are on a limited budget, its not a showstopper, is it? Wouldn't it be great - or preferable - to get a horse with the training and background that would normally make it unaffordable? Or am I just legitimizing something I should walk away from....

    3) Pricing questions:
    When someone asks me "whats your price range?", do I have to worry that they will automatically jack up the sale price, assuming they had planned to ask less?

    Does it ever hurt you to say your price range?

    Thanks.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    1) With regards to melanomas, if a white/grey horse lives long enough, he/she will probably end up with melanomas. Here is one article that I think is pretty good in discussing the topic: http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/research/ceco/melanoma.asp In it, they say that 80% of white/grey horses have melanoma by age 15. To me, it's not a deal breaker, but I think it's wise to go in with your eyes wide open.

    2) If you don't think you'll ever have to board, a cribber wouldn't be the end of the world for me. BUT, there are some boarding facilities that just won't take on a cribber. I'd also be interested, if looking at a cribber, what diagnostics were done because as I understand it, ulcers and the like can cause that behavior.

    3) The price range thing is tricky. If you're looking at horses online, then you should know if the horse is in your price range before you even contact the seller, so it wouldn't make sense for them to even ask, IMHO. If I were a seller and someone just called me up and asked if I had anything available, I might ask what their range was just to see if I had anything that fit. But....I think that if you give a dealer/broker a price range, you're probably only going to see $$ that are on the upper limit of your range.

    On the other hand, if there's a horse currently priced slightly above your range and the seller feels like it's a good fit, perhaps they'd still be willing to show you the horse.

    I dunno. That price thing is tricky.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Default

    First, health questions, that is what vets and PPE are for.

    Greys, yes, you will have to get your vet to see if there are any melanomas and what they look to be, more or less active.
    A few marbles under the tail may not bother the horse ever.
    A fistula under there, or larger masses, no go.
    The same for nodules around the head, behind the ears, in the cheecks/mouth.
    Why borrow trouble?

    Cribbers? I would never consider any horse with any OCD tendencies or serious behavioral problems like cribber/weaver/stall/pen/fence walker, cinchy, doesn't tie, etc.
    Why? You may manage, but if you ever had to sell, your market, even to give away, is extremely small to non-existent, really, unless your horse is a world beater.

    Prices are honestly what someone will pay and someone will take.
    Yes, you have to give a range if someone is looking for a horse for you and horses generally have a price for a reason, in the market they are selling, but negotiating is always a gamble, see first sentence in this paragraph.

    It is a buyer's market out there today, there are so many horses out there looking for buyers, but if you want a horse very bad, then you have to pay what the seller wants, as always.

    Finding the right horse that fits what you want is not easy, luck also helps.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2007
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    535

    Default

    I would avoid the cribbers s much as possible. Some places won't board them, the "miracle collar" doesn't work that great,limited resale and all the usual deterrents.

    I like grey horses so don't usually worry about melanomas but be sure to examine the horse throroughly
    Price range is a tricky one. I usually name a number that is a tad lower than what we really have. Yu should be able to recognise when a horse is drastically over priced. Also do alot of research and see if it is advertised anywhere, that helps with price verification.. consider what the horse is worth to you, don't be afraid to counter offer.
    Good Luck on the search
    "The Desire to Win is worthless without the Desire to Prepare"

    It's a "KILT". If I wore something underneath, it would be a "SKIRT".



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Boston Area
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    The most important thing to do when buying a horse from an unknown source is to get a very good PPE and probably pull blood.

    If you are buying a horse that has a competition record, that will tell you a lot about its performance. You should also go prepared with a list of questions for the seller. Why are the selling? Has the horse had any injuries? Does the horse require any kind of maintenance? How long have they owned the horse? Does it have any vices (cribbing, weaving, etc.)
    Quote Originally Posted by grey_mare View Post
    I've always purchased a horse from a known source, and now I'm in a situation where I'm looking at horses for sale from folks I don't know. There are a few questions that I have no experience with.

    1) Greys - OK, this is probably a silly question. Do you have to worry about melanomas with all greys? How serious a concern is it? I am always hesitant when I come across a grey. Is this a valid concern? Never owned a gray but it wouldn't bother me. If the horse already has melanomas I would discuss it with my vet.

    2) Cribber that is controlled with miracle collar.
    Horses that are cribbers have a reduced price. (at least thats what I'm finding). This means that a horse normally out of my price range could be in my price range. I have electric fencing, so I'm not too worried. Although I would always use the miracle collar because I wouldn't want the run-in shed deteriorated. I own a cribber and it has not been a problem for me. However, there are some barns that don't want them, even with a collar, so if you are ever planning to board it is a consideration. In my experience, cribbing is something that is either or deal breaker or is not. My cribber is an amazing athlete and if I were to sell him (which I will not) I would not discount his price for that because the people who buy cribbers generally don't care about it. So I wouldn't think that cribbing will bring an amazing horse into your price range -- you're still buying the overall package but the potential market for a cribber is going to be smaller (see how many people have already said they don't want one!)

    The downside of a cribber is that, as I said before, the resale value would be less, if things didn't work out with the horse for some reason. The value will mostly be determined by what the horse can do and if he/she has a show record. BUT if I was going to buy a horse just for resale, I would probably not buy a cribber.

    But if you are on a limited budget, its not a showstopper, is it? Wouldn't it be great - or preferable - to get a horse with the training and background that would normally make it unaffordable? Or am I just legitimizing something I should walk away from.... I would not walk away from a great horse that cribs but there are many people who would. I have owned my cribber for 7 years and have had no health problems related to it or any other issues.

    3) Pricing questions:
    When someone asks me "whats your price range?", do I have to worry that they will automatically jack up the sale price, assuming they had planned to ask less?

    Does it ever hurt you to say your price range? Who is asking you? If you are going to look at a horse, you already know if it's in your price range. In the seller's defense, they may not want to waste their time showing you a horse that you can't afford. If it is someone who is helping you look (such as a trainer) they do need to have some guidance. Whether a horse is 'worth' what the seller is asking is something you need to determine for yourself based on a number of criteria.

    Thanks.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  6. #6
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    WRT pricing... If a seller is asking you what your range is, it's generally best for them to give you a price first and you can go from there. Barring that, you can say you'd like to stay in X range (a bit of a lowball) but your budget can stretch a bit, for the right horse.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  7. #7
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    Nov. 5, 2002
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    way out west
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    Default

    The best horse I've ever owned was a cribber. His was managed by a miracle collar, and when I bought horse property and he was able to be out all the time I rarely ever saw him crib again.

    Don't know about resale since I kept him until he died at 27 years old. And I definitely didn't buy him at a reduced price due to his cribbing. I paid top dollar and was lucky to get him.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2007
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    73

    Default

    I always get a thorough PPE. The questions I'm asking are to weed out horses/situations where I wouldn't even proceed to being interested enough to pursue trying out the horse and then getting a PPE. But great info, thanks.



  9. #9
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    Dec. 10, 2010
    Location
    nevada
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    Default

    Melanoma scares me and I don't like greys. 4 yrs ago my trainer asked me to ride her young grey while she was gone; he has been my horse ever since and the most fun and best horse I have ever had (she KNEW I would fall in love). Have had a cribber, don't like the habit but never had a problem with boarding or anything else. Look at the individual, do a PPE, there is no perfect horse. (Not even my grey, think Pig-Pen from Peanuts!)



  10. #10
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    Default

    I would also look into lease to buy situations; then you'll have an idea what your working with. Are you working with a trainer? If not it might be a good idea to find one you trust & take a few lessons on a school horses with them so they get to know you. You don't have to continue lessoning after buying if you don't want to, but you may want to with a new horse anyway.

    As for your specific questions:

    I'm not a huge fan of grays (says the person who is currently leasing one), but would not be completely put off by one because of melanoma concerns if everything else was right & vet approved.

    Cribbing is a no go for me. As someone else said, why buy trouble? You never know when you'll be in a situation where you have to board, and you don't want to narrow your options or have to pay for damage. I know horse people have varying opinions on this though so you'll have to decide for yourself.

    Price range...as someone said, I would always say a tad lower than what you actually have. If the seller jerks you around too much with price then walk away - its not worth the trouble; and its a buyers market so you should have the upper hand.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    9,429

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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_mare View Post
    I've always purchased a horse from a known source, and now I'm in a situation where I'm looking at horses for sale from folks I don't know. There are a few questions that I have no experience with.

    1) Greys - OK, this is probably a silly question. Do you have to worry about melanomas with all greys? How serious a concern is it? I am always hesitant when I come across a grey. Is this a valid concern?

    Horses with a lot of Arab blood have melanoma issues. Most North American grey horses have that issue. I've got six grey horses and one, small melanoma on one horse. Mine, however, are from South America and one in six is normal per the vets from there I've talked to. In North America it will be five of six.

    2) Cribber that is controlled with miracle collar.
    Horses that are cribbers have a reduced price. (at least thats what I'm finding). This means that a horse normally out of my price range could be in my price range. I have electric fencing, so I'm not too worried. Although I would always use the miracle collar because I wouldn't want the run-in shed deteriorated.

    The downside of a cribber is that, as I said before, the resale value would be less, if things didn't work out with the horse for some reason.

    But if you are on a limited budget, its not a showstopper, is it? Wouldn't it be great - or preferable - to get a horse with the training and background that would normally make it unaffordable? Or am I just legitimizing something I should walk away from....

    In today's market, with deeply discounted prices, I'd not look at a cribber unless it were perfect in every other way.

    3) Pricing questions:
    When someone asks me "whats your price range?", do I have to worry that they will automatically jack up the sale price, assuming they had planned to ask less?

    Does it ever hurt you to say your price range?

    As soon as you tell somebody you're "price range" you have given them the "whip hand" in negotiation. The correct answer is "it depends on the horse." If they won't talk to your without a range, run away!

    Remember that the horse dealer is the literal antecedent of the "used care salesman." Asking prices are just that. If somebody gives you a "firm" price first thing then run away from that, too.


    Thanks.
    Right now it's a "buyers" market. Shop around and you'll quickly see a wide range of pricing. Your limited budget today will buy a lot more horse than it would have five years ago. Some sellers don't get that yet. Don't be afraid to negotiate with a "sharp pencil." To save my time I won't mess with horses that have wildly inflated asking prices.

    Shop hard!!!

    And good luck.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2007
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    73

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    good info. sounds like folks steer away from greys. Regarding it being a buyer's market and negotiating..... doesn't it insult people to offer them less? How do you do it with savvy? Examples would be appreciated.
    Last edited by grey_mare; Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM.



  13. #13
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    Feb. 2, 2003
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    Iowa, USA
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    "Well, I like this horse very much and I think he'd be a good fit for me. His asking price is a bit higher than I want to spend, though. Will you consider an offer less than asking price?" And then just make your reasonable offer. If you don't disparage the horse or owner, and you're not making a ridiculous lowball offer, then you have not done anything to cause offense. If they get offended anyway, just chalk it up to inexperience on their part, or it may be just a negotiating posture designed to make the other person uncomfortable (we women tend to be vulnerable to that tactic).
    Practice helps, so do some role-playing with a friend who plays the role of the seller (seriously, it really does help!!). Go to a flea market this weekend, and resolve to negotiate the price on at least five things there. It gets easier the more you do it. Another mental tip: When negotiating salary for a new job or something like that, I always imagine myself to be the agent, who is negotiating the deal on behalf of an outstanding client (who just happens to be me ). ) It is easier, for me, if I mentally separate the negotiator from the beneficiary.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianHippo View Post
    Go to a flea market this weekend, and resolve to negotiate the price on at least five things there. It gets easier the more you do it.
    When I was a kid, we used to go to a lot of flea markets. If I saw something that I liked that cost, say $5, my dad used to give me $3 or $4 and tell me to go talk to the vendor. It gave me some valuable bartering skills.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  15. #15
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    Sep. 24, 2009
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    Personally I'd pass on a cribber. Your fence may be electric but a determined cribber will crib on everything and anything and can be pretty destructive.

    My friend's horse actually has cribbed all the latches off the stalls, and all of the screw eyes have been cribbed on and snapped off. He's cribbing on the trees in the pasture now, and has cribbed half the shingles off her chicken house. This horse will walk away from his endless pile of hay to go crib on something.

    Just keep this in mind.



  16. #16
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    May. 22, 2007
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    Good Point Roxillsk! The seller might say he's a mild cribber controlled with the collar, and then I'd have no idea till I brought him home and he did the damage.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roxyllsk View Post
    Personally I'd pass on a cribber. Your fence may be electric but a determined cribber will crib on everything and anything and can be pretty destructive.

    My friend's horse actually has cribbed all the latches off the stalls, and all of the screw eyes have been cribbed on and snapped off. He's cribbing on the trees in the pasture now, and has cribbed half the shingles off her chicken house. This horse will walk away from his endless pile of hay to go crib on something.

    Just keep this in mind.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_mare View Post
    Good Point Roxillsk! The seller might say he's a mild cribber controlled with the collar, and then I'd have no idea till I brought him home and he did the damage.
    You can tell before you bring a horse home. For one thing, a vet can look at their teeth. You should also spend some time observing the horse at liberty and in his stall.

    My horse does not crib with his collar but there are horses that WILL crib on anything that doesn't move. A horse that is that determined to crib will show its stripes.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


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