So my Nor Cal friend went to see him this a.m. and she really likes his conformation. His attitude in the stall is friendly and social. However, the ranch does not have an arena (strictly breeding apparently, so she is unable to ride. They walked him to a neighbor's ranch to lounge in a tiny paddock and in the videos she sent me he is rearing striaght up like a wild man. I have no idea when the poor guy last was out to stretch his legs, so I am being very lenient with him, but the fact that he rears at least three times in the short video clip is a bit alarming. When I don't work a horse for a few days and then lounge, I expect bucking, crow hopping, skittering sideways, maybe a little light in front, but I rarely see full on Black Stallion style rears. Is this a big red flag? I would literally be buying this horse from long distance without ever having ridden him or even having had my friend ride him at this point. Even if I made the six hour drive, there is literally no place to ride him available. I'm already nervous about the prospect of buying without a test ride, but he is a gorgeous mover, great conformation, supposedly already has some re-training and has been started over jumps, etc. What do you think about the rearing? What do you think about the gamle of a no-try buy (assuming a clean PPE, of course)?
I have a 5 year old and a 20 year old who both do Black Stallion-esque rears when playing in pasture--and they're both out 24/7!
If this guy hasn't been really taught to longe (not just learned to stay on a circle, but really learned that it is "work time") and he hasn't been out in a while, I wouldn't think twice about it. Actually, was he being longed on a line, or free-longed?
The caveat, of course, being if (and having lived in CA myself for a few years, with said 20 year old when she was a good bit younger and hotter) you would be keeping him at a place where he won't have much opportunity to get out, and you think the hijinks may intimidate you. T
here are horses recently off the track who will stay quiet even after several days stuck in a stall, but I'll hazard a guess that it'll be a bit tougher to find a sound one in your price range.
Like I said, the rearing in the above scenario wouldn't bother me, but it may be worth thinking hard about what you can and can't live with. If you are going to get a horse without spending time getting to know it beforehand, I would ask a lot of detailed questions of the people who currently have him (your friend just saw him in one circumstance, probably not at his best--what is he like day to day? getting from the stall and leading to turnout? handwalking near horses running around in turnout? etc.). I'd also make sure there were a few good horsepeople I could call on if needed, to deal with issues beyond my comfort range.
No, that would not alarm me. My horses do all kinds of ridiculous, dangerous things while playing. Especially if he doesn't get regular turnout or handling, it's not an immediate reg flag IMO.
Is there no possibility of paying them to haul him to an arena? I'd think there has to be *somewhere* they could be paid to haul him to ride. Where was he in training? I get buying without riding on a track horse with no training and regulations that prevent strange people hopping on to ride, but when you're selling a horse as restarted and going o/f (and a corresponding price to match), you kind of need to have a place for them to at least hop on and do a quick w/t/c. I'd press the issue and see if you can come to some sort of arrangement with the sellers to make that happen. If he passes the PPE, that could be one really NICE horse.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
lies with in us. - Emerson
IME it's pretty rare to get to ride CANTER horses. Never at the track, very occasionally if the horse is on the farm the owner/trainer will allow it, but there is a lot of liability involved in letting an unknown rider hop on a race fit horse.
As for the rearing, I second others' questions as to what exactly was happening. Was he turned out loose to be chased around? Or was someone actively handling him? I would not generally consider at liberty behavior to predict under saddle behavior. But if he is challenging to handle on the ground, even though he will surely improve once let down, you have to consider if you are comfortable with that.
2 - Galway Downs if hosting their Spring event in two weeks. I would look at the entries and contact the trainers that will be there and ask if they have anything for sale in your price range. Even if the answer is no, they will then have your contact info and know that you are a motivated buyer. Horses come and go, and prices change. I would also recommend going down to the event and doing some in-person networking - http://www.galwaydowns.com/
Welp, my friend really liked him and there happened to be a van going to Santa Anita. She agreed to a trial, so he hopped on and is arriving this evening. That way, I can do a PPE with my own vet (not over the phone with a stranger) and can ride him. I like everything but the frisky rearing at this point. Let's see how it goes!!!
BTW, my 21 year old OTTB still does black stallion rears even when out 24/7. It is how he expresses himself LOL. That said, he was NOT easy to teach to lunge, and, in his younger days, needed to be ridden at least 5 days a week.
Sounds like a good plan to take him on trial. I hope he'll get some turnout while with you, could make a huge difference.
If you could, I'd investigate what he's been eating (a lot of grain could turn even old Dobbin into the Black stallion) and talk to the person who has ridden him for their take on his behavior while being tacked up, groomed, under saddle.
Just from his photo, I think he is lovely, he looks very balanced conformation wise.
I am no pedigree expert, but it looks good to me. I have always liked Pleasant Colony and Deputy Minister horses. His dam line looks like it is strongly Great Britain and New Zealand lines so you have a strong outcross, not a concentration of a couple of U.S. thoroughbred sires.