Mia I got through the giveaway boards on this forum. Every horse I had/have ever had was green or pretty tough or some combination of both. When I saw this 9yo mare up for grabs with actual training I could have done cart wheels. Now granted... she has her moments. She is extremely pushy and I have to stay on her with it constantly, occasionally very herd bound, and really needs to be in work constantly or she can be fairly hot. However... this mare makes me ride correctly and has a wonderful work ethic, although we have our bad days overall we get along very well.
I had Casey on consignment when I was 20 and helping this woman sell her horses, we later became friends. She wanted a crazy price for Casey, and she needed way more work than she had said, but I haven't ever sat on a kinder or nicer horse. Three great gaits, perfect on the trails, perfect in general. It took many years of her sitting on that farm for her owner to ask a reasonable price for her and me not to talk myself out of it. But it is the best thing I ever. Did for myself . She is wonderful and I love her to pieces.
The one I am riding - Called on an ad posted in sporthorsenation. That one was sold, but she had another. I was not looking for a completely green OTTB at that point, but fell in love and have been very happy with him.
The spotted one - dreamhorse.com (bought off a single still photo and a phone conversation). Currently leased to one of FlightCheck's students after 3 great years with Deltawave
The larger spotted one (the spots are larger, not the horse) - dreamhorse.com while I wasn't actually looking
Sale horse 1 - from MapleShadeFarm (2nd horse I bought from her)
Sale horse 2 - from Ryan Wood's current working student, posted on his website bought for another working student to ride. She is now back in nursing school.
Also must mention the very nice guy I found by googling "for sale gelding loves to jump" He did. We ended up selling him to a lovely junior riding after riding him through training level
Last edited by scubed; Feb. 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM.
Reason: added last one
3 year old -- bought off a breeder friend's facebook pics of his first days, when he was a week old.
Middle-aged TB -- was boarded at my family's farm (though I lived in a another state). Wasn't working out for his rider so I took him on a whim when I retired my older guy.
Older guy -- was a barrel horse I rode once for a client (I was backing some colts are her place), to show her how to fix a dropped shoulder in the turns. When I got off I told her to call me if she ever wanted to sell him, because his canter was incredible. I could feel the natural balance and power he had behind. The next spring she did -- he was mine 2 hours later.
I was not actively horse shopping for any of these purchases -- all whims. The last time I went horse shopping for myself I was 14...they just fall into my lap.
Did a lot of searching on the standard sales websites, sent a lot of emails, made two seriously out of state trips to try horses (VA and MD and I live in MA), etc.
Though I started out looking at anything that might suit, I was pretty specific about what I wanted, eventually. Morgan, preferably a mare, LL eventing experience, not green or young, suitable for a fairly good but timid rider.
The one I have was the one I tried in MD. She didn't come to me through a website, but through a Morgan person who knew she was for sale and not widely advertised, and thought we'd be a good match. (We were not, at first, but now we are Had I known then what I know now, I probably wouldn't have bought her, but it's turned out fine.)
My resales over the past year or so:
-Bought one from Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue after I saw his picture on facebook. Lovely horse who later sold to one of my volunteers at CANTER who saw him orginally on MAHR but I got him first
-bought three horses after browsing a facebook post which led me to their farm page. Three nice ottb's that I bought on a picture/short video. One had a month of let down, one recent and one was a giveaway.
-Latest I bought off of CANTER PA based on his picture and emailing the CANTER volunteer.
Traded a Trakehner mare that was too small for me for a TB sight unseen - deal was made over a bottle of wine in a camper at an event. She had a breeding to use and I needed an eventer. He was always lame on the rocky terrain of his home. At my place he was never lame on easier footing.
He was green, keen, and needed confidence. We meshed.
Sold him before I could (in my dreams) take him Intermediate, which he won three months after I sold him - went to Young Riders, Advanced and retired
under his lemon trees in California.
So - reading these stories, finding an eventer is a special occasion and they can come from anywhere, do not need fancy breeding, just luck on the part of the searcher.
Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique
Belle foaled Izzy in my back yard in Hudson, OH. When he was four, I started doing mini trials with him. He was a super jumper and a lovely mover. He hated cross country. He was quite adept at cantering along after the fence, stop, drop his head and I would summersault over his head. Izzy was almost 17hands, so I always got hurt. I decided that my body could not take the abuse, plus he would rather not event, so I sold him to a friend of mine.
I agonized for about six months, before I sold him. I was there when he was born and it hurt to let him go.
I decided to look for an "old age, gaited horse". Four days after I sold Izzy, I went to look at a coming 3 year old, scrawny, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse named Tessie's Brite Star. I had found the ad on dreamhorse. The girl who owned her called her "Star". Tess was probably 15.1 hands. The BO, who had nothing to do with the girl who was selling Tess, came out and told me that I was too big for that mare, but she had a big QH that would be perfect for me. I told her that I had just sold a 17h. Appendix QH, four days earlier.
I looked at several more gaited horses, but always came back to the little bay mare, with no personality, but an eye that drew me. I bought Tess, without getting her vetted, three weeks after I first saw her.
When Tess turned three, I sent her to a gaited trainer. Two weeks later, the trainer called and told me she had good news and bad news. The bad news was that she could not get Tess to gait. The good news was, "Wow! You should see this mare's extended trot!"
My "old age, gaited horse" had other ideas for how her life was to proceed. I moved Tess to an eventing barn, which was closer to my house. The first time that I turned her loose in the jumping indoor, she trotted over a cross rail. By the time that she was four, she was jumping 2'6" jumps on her own. When I was watching the barn's instructor give a jumping grid lesson out in the jump field, Tess grabbed hold of the bit and started cantering toward the exercise. I had trouble getting her to stop, but succeeded. I started popping logs out in the field, walking through the water complex and the rest is history.
Tess is now 14 years old. She is a "Brite Star", however mispelled her name. She is my heart horse. She always takes care of me and is quite a "good egg" in dressage, too.
This very long story has a moral. Listen to your horse. He will tell you what his job is to be. Izzy would have made a super show hunter or jumper. Tess is an eventer. I am grateful that I took the time to listen to her.
My grandmother bought my pony when he was 5 from her driving instructor who bred him. She drove him for a year or two and then lost interest, so he sat around getting fat in a field. I had gotten rid of my horse during my freshman year in college and was missing riding something sore by the time summer hit. He was 12 and not doing anything, so I took him on. I'm lucky it ended up being such a great match!
I found my gelding after about 6 months or so of casually looking. I had seen all sorts of horses... good and bad. I even fell in love with a few and I had had a few failed pre purchases by the time I found him. I was incredibly discouraged and contemplating taking a break from horse hunting. And then he fell into my lap.
I am so glad that I didn't give up then. I initially wasn't going to try him because I had my mind set that I wanted a horse that was smaller. He also wasn't much to look at. He was an awkward coming 5 wooly warmblood but once I rode him I knew that he was the one for me.
His breeder is an incredible lady and without her help I wouldn't have the incredible gelding that he has developed into. We have had our ups and downs the past year but I am so glad that I ventured to a lovely hidden gem in the middle of nowhere Indiana to find him. If/ when I am in the market for another horse I will definitely be contacting Bannockburn Farm to see what they have available.
Bottom line is word of mouth found me my horse. It was pretty much by chance that I spoke with a trainer and one of her clients who had recently been to visit horses at the farm Houston was at. Otherwise I am fairly certain I never would have stumbled upon the farm/ horses.
Well this girl who I just love http://s297.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=8. I got a call from a fellow trainer saying she needed a home. She needed lots of reschooling as she was use to a standing martingale and a twist bit and had a habit of trying to hit you in the face when she tossed her head. I got her as a resale as I wanted a big Greg Irish gelding. Turns out I wanted a small bay tb made. I love her to death. We will never get good dressage scores, but I just don't care. We were division champion for the jumpers at 3`6. She was a free one
This one is one of my most invaluable lesson horses, though she is more my friends horse then mine. I use her for lessons but my good friend rides her all the other times and shows her. I got her from a woman who needed her gone by the end of the week. She was 10 and didn't have leads didn't jump but was green. Best $100 I spent http://s297.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=7
And my newest one I found online, loved her look and movement, talked with the owner and decided I had to have her even though I didn't have room and was having surgery. We named her Jello as no matter how full you are there is room for jello. http://s297.beta.photobucket.com/use...tml?sort=3&o=3
Frustrating part is I have these horses and I can't ride for ten weeks!
I was looking for 3 months after I lost my horse. I had 3 failed vettings during that time. Then Mr KC found one on DreamHorse (I think) that I hadn't seen because the advertised price was above my search range. Belonged to a working student of Boyd's. She had brought him with her from England with a grant, but for various reasons lost said grant and couldn't take him back with her (or something--the story gets a little complicated here; I've heard various versions since I bought him). Due to her situation his price was very negotiable and we came to terms. Passed his vetting with flying colors. I've been very happy with him; although he has his quirks .
Albuquerque, NM Craigslist. Actually, a friend of mine found him for me immediately after I gave up a 2+ year lease on a bucking, rearing, and unpleasantly nutto mare. ("Oh, but this is the horse who will really help teach you how to ride!" said the horse's owner and my barn manager. While I eventually started thinking, "No, this is the is the horse who is going to teach me how to pray that I don't DIE!")
Friend convinced me to give up the lease and immediately started looking for another horse. I had wanted an OTTB and I didn't want to buy another horse until the fall. Well, things rarely ever work out as planned. My horse's sales ad read something like, "6 y.o., buckskin, 16.2 QH/warmblood gelding." No pictures posted and thankfully, I was the first person to call the guy the next morning so I had first dibs on him. When describing my horse, he said, "He's like riding a bicycle in a sand dune." (Huh????) To which I replied, "That sounds great, actually. Works for me!" Asked the guy for pictures, and when I got them, the photos weren't that great, but I trusted my friend who said to me, "If it were me, I'd buy him."
Seller also turned out to be a shipper, so a couple of weeks later, my horse made the trek from New Mexico to Virginia. He's not conformationally perfect (his back is too long and he's straight in stifle), but my trainer said there's no reason he shouldn't score 7's and 8's in dressage because he's a nice mover. (His canter is exceptionally good.) Long back be damned! Not much fazes him and he's typically pretty sensible, uncomplicated, and he's athletic. The friend who found him for me trains with a very picky and difficult GP jumper rider, and he says to her all the time, "I like that horse. Why didn't YOU buy that horse?", and this guy seriously doesn't like anything.
We'll see how things go this year once he's introduced to xc schooling. I'm going to have my trainer take him to a couple of events before I try it because I'm a total novice at this and am chicken. If it works out, great. But if not, he might just end up being a dressage horse. We'll see what happens!