Hi all! So I went to look at the little Connemara yesterday. Sweetest thing ever, and such a saint u/s! He hadn't been ridden for three months, and last year he had a total of 15 rides put on him. I was mildly impressed! I think I would snatch him up, apart from the fact that while I was in Edmonton yesterday I went to look at an OTTB that I totally fell in love with.
The OTTB is 6, the Connemara is turning 4 in July, so the OTTB fits my age wants better. I'd be afraid to do much with the Connie until he had developed a bit more. The OTTB is definitely a 'project' horse, hasn't had anything done with him since being taken off the track 15 months ago, so he was quite rude on the ground and slightly clueless under saddle except for FORWARD! Not sure why, but I just couldn't get this goofy grin off my face after getting off him. He was quite the character too.
So now I have this dilemma! The Connemara is super cute and a lot easier to ride, would be an easy flip if I needed too. But he's $4000 and the OTTB is $1000, and I absolutely adaored riding the thoroughbred while the Connemara was fun. What to do what to do! Anyways here's the video of Artemis (the Connemara) under saddle. Maybe you guys can help me out with this!
The foundation on the Connemara means that even though he's younger he's miles ahead of any OTTB fresh off the track. Considering he's been off for 3 months and had 15 rides before that I think he's just about perfect. I'm having a difficult time figuring out what you want in a horse, an OTTB is very different from this pony.
Do you like him because he's bigger and cheaper? Because he's an OTTB? His ground manners sound awful and most OTTBs start out being very forward because it's all they know.
I think as a resale project the pony is overpriced, but as a personal horse he's priced right.
Then compare that list to each of the two horses you're considering.
I have no idea what you're aiming for (personal horse, resale horse, must-be-quiet-if-only-ridden-twice-a-week etc.) so it's important to be honest about your goals, skills, and desires.
Personally I don't want to have a livewire who is impossible to deal with if it's had a day off. I could deal with it, but it is more pleasant for me if I don't have to. So that has become part of my horse-shopping list.
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
I don't know why you think a 4 year old is too immature to do much with. I would have no problem doing as much as his fitness and mental state allows. Once he's fit and had some more schooling he's going to be great. I bet he progresses faster then the OTTB. By summer you could be doing entry level stuff with the Connie; the TB may still be learning to keep all 4 feet on the ground at that point.
In the end, you have to go with your heart so if the OTTB fits that bill, then get a PPE and go from there.
There's a good chance they'll take a fair offer on the Connie; the market is very soft in the lower price bracket right now.
Northern Virginia, 45 minutes east of paradise - 2 hrs during rush hour
You start trotting at about 4 minutes. Watch his ears for the rest of the video. He is listening to you the whole time. On top of that he has rhythm and is trying very hard to stay balanced even though he clearly is not in condition. I thought his canter looked great for an out of work pony who has had very little chance to develop balance under a rider.
Once he has balance, he is going to have forward. I like a pony who is thinking balance first, speed later.
And OMG, all those toys in an indoor arena and he is still focused on the rider.
"The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"
"...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x
Thanks for the replies! I agree the Connemara is super, I was impressed. The thing with the TB is that I haven't had so much fun on a horse for a long time. I just loved riding him. Plus $4000 is pushing my budget quite a bit, and with $1000 I'd have more left to work with for clinics, shows, etc. Really all I'm looking for is a horse with lots of potential, to be able to get a good start on before the summer show season. If we find out it's only going to be a LL horse I'll flip it, but if it's going to be able to work its way up the levels I'll keep it. The thoroughbred comes with a week or two trial period, so I may do that and if it doesn't work out get the Connemara. Still really on the fence though.
The Connemara's price could triple or quadruple around here if you did a few months of working with him and a few Beginner Novice events. He is very cute.
Think about what you want in a horse. If you want an Advanced horse, the Connemara is probably not what you want. He is what a lot of adult amateurs are looking for.
Adult amateur here and if I knew where this pony was I'd go buy him sight unseen. He looks super forgiving and fun.
If you didn't enjoy him, then you didn't enjoy him, and I'd say buy the OTTB if that's what you enjoyed. Of course, the way the OTTB is now is not the way he'll be with a year or two of training, either.
You want a horse that can move up the levels, if I may be nosy can you say what is the highest you've evented to and if your goals are realistic?
Many times we say that we want a horse with potential to go Advanced or something like that but it's really a pipe dream for many ammys on a budget and we wind up with unsuitable horses.
If $4,000 for a horse is pushing your budget so much it will eat into lessons and shows then maybe you'd be better off with a more amature friendly lower level horse? Getting a horse to the upper levels can be expensive even for riders who have been there before.
Really what I want is something that has the potential to be great. No, I may not be able to get it there financially but I'd like to bring it as far as I can and then we'll see. I have the experience under my belt to be able to bring along a young horse, but if it's just going to get to novice or pre-training I won't be terribly interested in keeping it. I guess by more than LL I mean something that can potentially get me to intermediate, which I kind of have doubts the Connie will be able to do (though who knows, there are quite a few super ponies out there!), but he might be a stepping block. If I developed him then sold him for more then I could invest in an even better prospect. Just trying to make the right decision right now
Here's what I've done in the situations when I'm tempted to buy two horses: buy them both. (Fortunately, I don't look at "expensive" horses.) Over the course of the next months, it becomes clear which one I want to keep.
You may not be in a situation to do it, but I thought I'd throw the idea out there.
Haha I wish I had the funds to buy both! Not going to happen though, stuck with choosing. For those of you interested here is some footage of the OTTB yesterday. Keeping in mind that this was the first time he was touched after 15 months off from racing, I think he did pretty good. Though these were his better moments He was super fun to ride though!
I don't see intermediate in the Connemara. Very, very cute sweet horse that will be someone's packer. The TB does not terribly impress me, but you do a nice job riding through his shenanigans, so I say go for it. You say you want to go to the upper levels, so you're going to have to get used to dealing with hotheaded guys like him when you're on a limited budget. He might have training/prelim in him. IMHO, $1k is too much for him, just because he hasn't been in the slightest amount of work. I say go with your heart. But do a vetting first!!
Honestly...buy the pony. Put the summer into him and flip him. Take the money you make on him and buy a nicer horse to go further up the levels.
You might have had fun on the OTTB...but he is a big risk. This pony is pretty easy to turn and sell. He's good moving and has a good brain. Put some experience on him and sell him for 10-15K. Then buy a nicer prospect.
ETA: Just looked at the video of the OTTB.... definitely buy the pony. You do a nice job on the OTTB but he doesn't scream UL prospect to me. I DO prefer OTTBs for my own horse. I currently own 5...and have owned many others. The one you tried I would have passed up. He doesn't have the build or balance that I like in OTTBs. Yes you can improve him...but I like to start with better raw material. I'm typically buying for at least a 2* horse....and I can see a diamond in the rough. But there are certain traits that I really want to see...and this one didn't do it for me.
The pony will be an easier and more profitable resale horse....and of these two...that is what I see.
Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Mar. 3, 2013 at 08:06 PM.
** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **
Not sure if this is going to help or not, but I think we are pretty similar. I am an experienced ammy. I wanted to get into eventing and thought that an OTTB would be the way to go, I bought a 3yo off the track with zero retraining, and she is not a horse I can just sit back and enjoy. She is very hot, and a mare to boot, and we finally got to our first event last summer after I had owned her for three years. I work full time and have a limited horse-stuff budget so I cannot afford a whole lot of help and do the best I can by myself. Some days I wish I had gotten something else. Actually a lot of days I wish that. That Connemara looks super fun.
Were the choice mine to make, I would take the pony all day long-- for all the reasons others have mentioned. These two are apples and oranges. If it's an OTTB you want, I'd do more shopping in the orange department. There are bound to be riper, sweeter ones for you--the right now you, and the you for later.