One was born in my lap, the other I got from Team CEO after searching lots of websites and keeping my eyes and ears open for about 3 months. The one I recently sent to a new lease home after 3 great years came on loan from another COTHer.
Oh oh! I have a good one! My first two (still own) were auction buys, no special stories there.
But my baby mare, she has a good one.
I'll set the scene: Fall of 2011, I decide I want a second horse, a mare with chrome, who can be my new event partner, as my gelding has decided he is done.
I spend hours every day perusing ads and stalking Fingerlakes/CANTER. Some close calls, no go. I try to buy a specific Fingerlakes mare, but she was sold that morning.
Jan 2012, I am perusing craigslist, and get search results from a whole different area that I never look in. (You know, sometimes if you don't get a lot of results in your area they pull up the "Hey, look at these results in nearby areas"?) The ad says nothing more than "Bay TB mare, free to good home due to divorce."
No photos, no nuttin'. So I email, and low and behold, it's the mare I tried to buy in the fall! She's been let down, but the owner has only the track photos. I say "Eh, whatever!" and have her shipped, from eight hours away, sight unseen.
She gets off the trailer in rough shape, but that's all in the past now! I've had her for a year and two weeks and she is everything I wanted and more. My gelding of 9 years has my heart, but this little mare is growing on me (and everyone else in the barn!) quickly, and I can tell that she is going to be an eventing super star if her rider can just get the guts and finances in order.
Tucker was a PMU foal. The person who was providing the drop site in my area had already picked him, but she really didn't need another foal, and when she found out I was looking (the one I had picked out online was already adopted), she offered him to me.
When I went and picked him up, he was the biggest baby of the bunch. The vet I was working for at the time was also picking up a fjord he had adopted and was letting me quarantine Tucker at his farm with his filly. At his farm, Tucker jumped the fence twice and jumped over the round pen panel. Because he was so far away, I worked part time, went to school, had 3 kids and had 2 horses at another farm, I thought I would never tame him! After quarantine, I moved him closer to home where I could see him several times a day, and once he figured out clicker training, he was halter broke in a day and after that, everything came quickly and easily for him!
I was in the market. Started putting out tentative feelers looking for a big green prospect for the BF. Randomly got an email from an acquaintance (we had been at the same barn about 5 years prior but had lost touch). She knew of 3 for sale, had just bought two from the breeder but one big one was still available. They weren't joking big - at this point we were told 18 to 18.2.
I knew the horses were with a western young horse trainer so I figured he couldn't be *that* big. LOL Messaged BF and told him to meet me at home in 30 min - pronto! we have a prospect! Got pedigree/pictures/videos from acquaintance, spoke with trainer/barn owner on the drive home. BF finally got home, looked at video/pictures/pedigree and agreed. Called owner who was a straight shooter wonderful person.
It all fell into place. After speaking with our trainer we did the foolish thing, paid for him that day and bought him sight unseen pending vet check. SCANDAL. To minimize the crazy, he was about 2,000 miles away and I couldn't get out to see him.
I knew it was going to work out when the vet (a 60+ year old veteran) gave me the most thorough vet check I had ever participated in (I still have the two pages of scribbled notes) and concluded by calling him "cute". The only concern the vet had was that his hooves didn't fit in the hoof tester so that part was 'inconclusive'.
About three weeks later he was home. Two days of trailer time followed by 2 weeks of quarantine. I called him the woolly mammoth as this was December and he had grown up on the prairies with no blankets.
The trailer ride shrunk him as he is only 17.2 <barefoot> when he arrived
I, all 5'4" of me, eventually took over the ride this past summer as my BF gets along better with the tricky mare. He is beyond awesome though I do acknowledge that I am beyond biased. He is undoubtedly the best horse I have ever owned or will probably have the pleasure of ever owning. We got him with 30 days on him and worked with him as rank amateurs. He tolerates my silly shenanigans with merely a grunt of protest when I really screw up.
About 3 weeks ago I did my first schooling jumper show with him - we got up to 2'9" in what I call "hunter styles" and he's got the scope for much more. The challenge this summer will be cross country as I've never jumped him outside. He hacks on the buckle so I think we'll be ok.
I walked past a field and there she was, in all her dappled, buckskin glory. It took a full 3 weeks for the owners to figure out quite how feral she was, and another 3 weeks for my buddy and me to halter her. She's been my little <3 Po ever since.
Current horse came from a race/breeding farm that a friend of mine manages. When the owner died she ask if I could help them sell and rehome some of their horses. I just went down there to take pictures and videos. She talked me into getting on one, and not long after I went back with truck and trailer
A similar thread like this came up not long ago, and after thinking about it, I realize I've never bought a horse from an ad. All of them came by word of mouth, or I bred them.
"Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George
My horse was given to me because everyone thought he was kinda useless since he has a swayback.
My previous boss at a farm I managed let me know he was selling off the stock, and that two of the 'extra' horses - a pony and the foal one of the broodmares had been pregnant with when he bought her - were free to a good home.
I had one horse but had been tossing around the idea of another and took the foal - who I had worked with and trained as a yearling up until I broke him at 3 before I left the farm.
He was 5 at the time I got him, worked by other people for two years but unable to be sold because he has a swayback. I found out I was pregnant right after I agreed to take him, so he had a year off, but he's almost 8 now and we're doing good.
I currently show him at local dressage shows at First Level and do well. We've dabbled in some jumping and eventing, and will do more of it this year.
He was almost completely written off as a youngster, but has made up for his conformation issues by having a heart of gold and winning over anyone who meets him with his lapdog personality.
I found Bobby in the free horse listings on thehorse.com. I had just lost my first horse to colic, so obviously the right thing to do was get another. First horse was a freebie off the track and turned out to be the best first horse ever. I decided to see if I could find another freebie/cheap OTTB. My criteria was at least 16 hands and at least 4 years old, sound enough to piddle around the ring and on trails and maybe do some low jumps.
So when I found Bobby I figured the ad was a fluke. Sound, 16.2, 6 y.o. decent looking gelding for free coming straight from his breeder? Yeah, right.
Well, I lucked out again! When my trainer and I went to look at him, he was much better looking than his picture and was actually a solid 16.2. I didn't ride him or see him ridden, just watched him go in the round pen for about 5 minutes and went with my gut. Four years later, he's now jumping around 3' (did 3'6 for the first time two days ago!!!!) and schooling 1st/2nd level dressage.
I kind of feel like all my future horses will be cheapie OTTBs
New amazonian TB mare came by way of a dear friend going thru a divorce. Wasn't looking for a horse (too busy writing checks for DD to be a DQ ) but I swear every time I get on this mare I hear God whispering, "Don't you like this mare I made just for you?" Weird what a perfect fit we are. Hope to have her out competing by early summer - she's a bit of 17h chicken so we'll see.
Connie X mare is a home bred '96 model I caught on her way out on April Fools Day in a rain storm (lost a fairly new Dansko clog in the mud ). She was reared by her weirdo mom & co-parented by myself and my old pony mare. Like a big dog, this one follows me all over, goes where ever, has no stop, jumps fire, and has the best brain...just can't say enough nice things about her. Love a home bred horse.
We've got a few more in the barn but these 2 are my faves.
Tebogo Sport Horses. But because the trainer for them kept telling me I HAD to try Toby. She told me that the first in December, but I put it off because I technically wasn't ready to buy (it hadn't been that long since I had come to terms-barely- with selling Vernon). Went to Aiken a couple of months later shopping for someone else, and ran into her a Paradise. "You MUST come sit on Toby." So I did. And she was right.
Well for my mom's horse... she was looking for a while for an event horse to take her through prelim (she was looking at novice/training horses with room to look up). She had vetted one and it didn't work and so she was still looking. Got a kall from a local event rider who used to teach me when I was little basically saying 'I heard you were looking, I have a horse that I want to sell to you because someone just offered 50k for him as a dressage horse.' So mom went and looked, and fell in love with Skip when she went through the grid set up that ended with a 3'6" oxer and it felt like nothing. Of course he had to pass the husband test and all but she had her mind set. He passed the vet and all was well
For my guy, well I really wasn't even looking at all. I was at a working student position in argentina and again, mom was looking for a new event prospect to be Skip's replacement. I fell in love with one of the horses I was riding and she was considering coming down to look at prospects (and to visit me). Well she found a yearling in the states that she liked but then out of the blue offered to buy me Skyline if he passed the vet (which he sort of did). Several months later and he finally made it to the states (mom has yet to meet him though, march!!!) and I am so happy with him, he is just fantastic.
My farrier. My farrier happens to run a couple TBs at the track. Someone had given him a project horse (gorgeous) and I was drooling over his pics. He called me 2 weeks later to say the horse had run out of races (hadn't been top 4 in a while) and if I wanted him come get him!
And that's how I got a horse that sold as a yearling for $75k and who's father has a 100k stud fee for nothing. I've had him for 5 weeks, I'm so smitten it's sorta funny.
Ater searching many websites And multiple states I found one guy in Virginia and took a risk flying all the way there just to try him. Good thing I did because he was the coolest horse in the world and so glass that I have him in my life!!!