I found my new horse in 10 days (online shopping). But, by then I was having so much fun and had so many feelers out that I kept looking for another month just to prove to myself that he was really THE horse.
I still have never seen him. He arrives from Oklahoma tomorrow morning at 7am and I am SO excited!
I think if you are looking for your one personal horse it is likely to take longer than if you are a reseller, or not averse to selling and moving on. I was unfortunate my last time shopping (as I mentioned on the other thread) in that I had 3 failed vettings. But they weren't minor issues; I wasn't looking for the perfect horse. I vetted the second horse I looked at, IIRC. My previous horse was also the second I looked at, and I bought him on the spot.
I think it's different if you are buying prospects to sell (judybigredpony etc) or are a very good rider (bornfreenowexpensive etc) than if you are a non-talented, limited fund, low level ammie. If I don't get along with a horse, I don't have the skill or desire to make it work, nor do I have the money or facilities to either take a loss and sell the horse or buy a more suitable horse. So no, I wouldn't buy a horse without having a good idea of what I'm buying, and making sure it matches my goals and riding ability.
With that said, most of the horses I've bought just happened to be in the barn when I needed something to ride. However, only 2 of those 5 have worked out, both of which I currently own. It was not fun having to try and make it work with horses I didn't not get along with, and it wasn't really fair to the horses or me, not too mention the waste of time and money until the horses were eventually sold. In the future, I will take my time. Not to find the 'dream horse', but to be sure I'm not making a poor decision for the convenience of a quick purchase.
I think that when you buy a lot of horses you realize there is no such thing as the perfect horse and you become a lot more comfortable with knowing what you can live with and what is a deal breaker.
This is how I feel. The search for perfection can take forever. Some of the best horses I've owned I bought right away because I liked them. Some didn't work out and I sold them on, but that would probably hold true for the horses that took longer to find.
I like working with a pretty blank slate and am comfortable taking a horse off the track. Honestly, my preference now is to have someone who knows me and who has a good eye and connections find one on the track and drop it off for me . That's how I got my last one and it worked great.
I absolutely hate looking at sales horses since so many of them are not as described.
Heartstrings make my choices often too. I usually end up taking home needy horses from the track. I try to fix them, figure out what job they want and move them along. And then, just when I get down to my keepers I find another needy tb. This process has become a little expensive so this year I bought a sound ottb and I'm looking forward to bringing him along slowly and then selling him.
I will only take a horse that "falls into my lap." Sometimes that means making a 10 minute decision with no vet (or other) assistance, but sometimes it means passing on a lot of "not quite right" fits (not to be confused with NQR horses!) while waiting for the right circumstances to happen. Somehow, though, I always have a full barn
So my answer to your question is that I take things as they come. I'm willing to make a snap/gut decision if everything falls in place quickly, but I'm not willing to *make* a sale happen if even one factor doesn't add up. I call it the "I am one with the wind" buying methodology Hasn't failed me yet!
This describes my horse acquisition process to a T. I buy horses based on gut and whimsy.
However, I appear to be incapable of selling horses. All my personal horses are either in the barn now or buried on the farm. I have had a couple of sales horses at various points I flipped but I never let myself get attached and they were never my superstars.
I keep promising myself that if I get a crazy-large offer on one of my ponies in the future, I HAVE to sell. Because I never have, and after getting such an offer they instantly seem to then go lame and I have to support them to the tune of another 10+ years and tens of thousands of dollars. I grumble but then I also think, "what would have happened if I'd sold X and then he went lame, he could have ended up anywhere..." so I try to let it go.
I do have an alleged "project" now, we'll see if he actually gets sold or if he too dies of old age on the farm.
Pretty fast. I do not expect to find "perfect" and like to think I have a healthy sense of reality about what type of horse suits me, which includes plenty of room for flaws and imperfections. I am also realistic about price and don't expect to find a horse that will score 20s in dressage, jump clean twice per weekend with minimal input on my part and is also 5 years old, 100% sound including Xrays that make the vet weep with joy and completely free of quirks for $5000.
The horses I've loved the best have been decided upon after ONE ride. It's sort of like finding the perfect saddle--you just KNOW.
Fast, but I buy young ones to start and sell, knowing in there will be some I love. Right now I'm on my 6 y.o. Perch cross, who is the best horse for me. I have had lots and lots of them, and I know pretty quickly if they will be 'my' horse or not. I have never vetted a horse..
I love a good thoroughbred and have owned several, but the only ones I've ever lost have been the TB's. I like to think they come to me for a good 'after track life' experience with humans before they move on.
This describes my horse acquisition process to a T. I buy horses based on gut and whimsy.
However, I appear to be incapable of selling horses.
Lol, me too, Fordtraktor! I have flipped several in the last few years, but when one starts to show promise as a "superstar," they instantly turn into The Horse I Do Not Want to Sell (but is technically for sale to appease the DH). That means no advertising, no mention of the horse when in trainer company when the subject of, "do you know of any nice horses doing x, y, and z?" (when x, y, and z fit my horse to a tee) comes up. And then once they've given me their all at the upper levels, how could I sell them at that point?
It's a dangerous cycle. But on the flip side, I do this because I love it, not because I want to make money at it
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
I didn't shop for my gelding. He fell into my lap more like my granddad told me to work him and I ended up keeping him. My thoroughbred was out of the blue. They found me.
This is me! Rode at sales barns and breaking horses for years due to my military career. First horse I bought to sell - her trainer called the only English barn in that wild West Texas town to get inputs on how to market the three horses owners weren't paying for. I was just tagging along, and didn't want a mare. But 9 years later, still have her! I think riding so many honed my taste - she's an awesome mare. Second horse was even less planned. DH got poisoned overseas and was told he'd be dead in 2 years. He saw this interesting looking horse in someone's corral and wanted me to have another horse. Horse was tricolor (buckskin) paint x PRE - an Azteca. I didn't want a nag, no matter what, but looked closer, and he was CUTE! He loves to jump and is a darling dressage horse that attracts fans everywhere he goes. And DH proved doctor's wrong and is quite proud he picked such a cute horse. But yeah, combo of not looking and having ridden so many, I'm a speed buyer, but a forever owner who boards. I do still like looking, but years from being on the market. Both mine were rescues, so I'll stick with that. Likely always an OTTB and leaning toward Saddlebred for the next "other."
I usually take forever to find what I want. Althought I can tell you within riding a horse for five minutes or less if it's going to be something I want to really considered.
I remember when looking for my current ride I went to look at an older TB mare who had eventing experience and was supposed to be an Ammy ride. I knew without even getting on her that she was not for me.
If I had a bigger farm I would definitely have a problem. I like some of the other posters want to buy, but not sell. So while not a speed shopper per say, I'm a speedy decision maker. My current mare I took after seeing her once, with no PPE, and after she tried to put hoof prints on my car. LOVE HER.
Some day I would like to have that bigger place to give OTTB's a way station to another life.
"But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost
I'm in PNWjumper on this. I can pass on prospects for as long as necessary - but when its "the one" and the stars align they are mine. Quickly. Before someone else scoops them up!
I buy mine for life. They're not resale flips and I'm not anywhere near to being a pro rider. But we fumble along, laugh, sometimes cry and eventually get our act together to have lots of fun.
I do have to give kudos to my coach though - she is a gem and one of the few that know horses, lives horses, loves horses and can put the polish on a campaigner or start a baby - properly - from scratch. Not many coaches around who have that varied skill set at the ready.
Well, I am currently horse shopping and have been on and off for about a year. In the past, I've bought horses I've known, which was quick and easy. But, being an eventer boarding at a hunter/jumper barn, I've had to look elsewhere this time. That coupled with a demanding job that doesn't afford me the opportunity to go see horses during the week has likely accounted for the delay in my shopping. I didn't schedule any appointments until October, had 3 cancellations due to the horse being sold before I could get there, and had what I thought was "the one" vetted only to find out she had an injury. Now, I've mostly lost my motivation to shop and instead am focusing on getting my retired guy back to being healthy. Not to worry...I'll get motivated again soon, I'm sure!
I don't have the time or facilities to be able to take risks on unproven horses at this point. I also realize that while I'm working this job (which I don't plan on making my life's career), I should capitalize on the generous salary I'm afforded and find something that meets most everything I'm looking for. Perhaps I'm being too picky, but since I only have time for one competition horse, I want to make sure I find the right partner.
If all I do is "window shop" on CANTER and dreamhorse.com, imagining what I'd do if there was money in the bank, where does that put me on the spectrum?
Ya, me too. I have horses most of the time through some sort of magi, the Vulcan mindmeld process, osmosis, or vaporization through The Cloud, I think. I walk out the back door and voila! there they are, pooping, eating, vetbilling, and causing constant worry without an apparent care in the world. I am horse velcro (but not money velcro, alas....)
I'm in a totally different spectrum. I usually have a hard, long time selling them. So even when I want a new horse, I have to wait for the other one to sell. (And they are usually great horses, but everyone is looking for a "perfect" horse...)
My greatest successes, and quickest buys, are when someone else buys/makes the decision for me (parent/trainer/owner). I end up with the horse, skeptical, and it usually works out fabulously.
Allow me to buy my own horse, on my own gut instincts, and I usually fail miserably. The exception was the most fabulous re-sale pony that I bought at auction. That had all the hallmarks of turning out horribly, but it didn't!
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
I've been in both categories. 2 horses I found rather quickly (basically fell in my lap), and the other 2 I've owned took longer (6 months). I hadn't thought about it before, but it seems to relate directly to the budget I had while shopping. The 2 I found quickly were cheap - the 2 that took a while were more expensive. All were quite green when I got them, but the more expensive horses were more athletic, better movers.
I have always boarded, so until recently was limited to 1 horse at a time (now I have a small place, but spacewise am still limited to 2-3). I also don't buy with the intention to sell the horse in the future, so there is more pressure to find a horse I absolutely love and will be happy with for, hopefully, the animal's entire life.
I agree with others that I could probably find the best suited horse by buying cheap, unmade horses and selling them on until I REALLY fall in love with one or find a gem... but I am just not good at parting with horses
I really liked every single horse I tried when looking for my most recent horse... probably would have been happy with any of them, and if I had unlimited funds wouldn't mind having all of them! But the one I went with put a huge smile on my face the moment I got on - just had that extra something.