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  1. #21
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    Yes I think there will have to be compromising, somewhere.... frankly I'd take a horse that was safe to hack out over "true" 2nd level.

    Honestly I am ok with something not a WB or even a TB, which I think unless I have more $$$ to spend, would be hard to find with my wish list and totally sound, sane, and in my price range.

    Megaladon, Equi-Fest is at the Hamburg Fair Grounds on Sunday the 17, from 9am to 5pm.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


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  2. #22
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    FlashGordon--thank you!
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  3. #23
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    Thoughts on DraftXs? Though I see prices on them seem to be going up too... are they getting trendier?
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    I know how horses get sold through personal connections and networking, but in the age of the internet, I'd expect pics/vid/ad to be *somewhere*. So much networking happens online nowadays.
    I agree with meupatdoes. Fortunately or unfortunately, many horses are for sale through personal connections and aren't advertised. It's not uncommon that someone wants their horse to go to a good home for whatever reason (I've known several WB, WBxs, other breeds that excelled in dressage that fit your description - owners loved the horses but needed to sell due to grave sickness or bad injury or moving overseas with armed forces or whatever). The internet is a scary place for people like this who want to sell. Sometimes beating the bushes with your desires, your price range and a description of the home you can provide/show aspirations can lead to the right connections.

    Most people I know try take their dressage horses out of the ring and on some kind of trails (even if it's just around the pasture). Some horses hate trails (like my mare) or can be too sensitive to be reliable in the face of nature. Others love it. I think the "trail experience" relies mainly on the prospect's accessibility to real trails. Many barns just don't have that.

    Good luck in your search!
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    Seeing as I am now retiring my TB mare due to chronic soundness issues, I've decided I am NOT taking on any more projects, young horses, or anything that is not currently trained, relatively sound and doing what I want it to do.

    Coming from hunter land, I have no idea how dressage horses are priced. Say I wanted a gelding, 15.2-17h, schooling 2nd level, safe to hack out, sane and sound. Not fancy, doesn't need to be an extravagant mover, breed unimportant, under the age of 18. I don't even have aspirations of moving up the levels, just want something broke I can get on and go. (Does it sound bad to say I have no goals beyond hacking safely and hitting up a few clinics/local shows?!)

    Price? Is under 8k unrealistic!? I would think that would be enough for 2nd level, trail safe, maybe an "off breed".... but I've perused ads and most of what I see are horses with holes.... major soundness issues, quirks, older, younger.

    I do work with a trainer who has a couple leads, but I'm just curious as to what the general pulse is in terms of the dressage market.
    I was just doing entries tonight for a show we are doing in a few weeks and noticed a really cool looking horse on the classified section of the online entry website (equestrianentries.com.) Very cool looking Andalusian PRE and the ad says he is doing second level and emphasizes what sounds to be a lovely temperament. This is NOT my horse, all I saw was the ad so cannot vouch for anything in the description... but the asking price is $10k and he looked lovely in the posted photo. http://www.equestrianentries.com/cla....php?a=2&b=268

    No idea if this is indicative of the market, as I am new to dressage... but it would seem to indicate that your price range is perfectly reasonable.
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  6. #26
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    Lucassb that horse sounds lovely, and just the type I'd like. I am not hung up on breed or type so much as wanting something well trained and rideable that will be a pleasure to be around. The rest of my life is complicated so riding is an escape.... and I'm finding I no longer have the time/patience for projects or rehabs anymore. Thus I'm going to take my time the next 6-12 months and try to find the right match.

    J-lu I hear you on the networking-- the two horses I owned and loved the most were found via personal connections.

    Anyway it is encouraging to know a horse that fits my wish list will hopefully be out there in my price range.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  7. #27
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    Networking is key and being willing to look at the unconventional. I had a sound, sane welsh cob available for free lease who I had shown through PSG. I only had one score to go for my silver but I was looking at several horses to ride and a couple of foals on the way. My daughter left for a working student position on the other side of the country and I needed to downsize (due to the loss in help). I could not give him away because he was not "of the blood". So I sucked it up, put him back in work with me and finished off my silver. I never advertised him but I went to 4 different trainers with my offer (again free lease). He could easily have helped a few people earn their bronze without breaking a sweat. Think outside the box and network every where you have a chance! My guy is definitely off the market now but I would have leased him to the right situation at the drop of a hat only a year ago.
    Ranch of Last Resort
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  8. #28
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    I sold that horse last year. Super warmblood cross--all warmblood except the whithers, 16.3, gelding, dead sound, barefoot, lovely jumper, super on trails, and 2nd level. He wasn't for me because 3rd was too much and he preferred jumping. He was a super babysitter raising my babies.

    There are plenty of good horses like that out there. Stay away from "dressage" trainers and riders and find "real" riders. I can't imagine not spending a lot of trail time with all my horses and doing everything with them, no matter what level, and I know there are other people like that. Eventers are often great resources as they DO stuff with their horses.

    I am in an expensive area, but I still see a lot of horses like that being sold. The market is not good.


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  9. #29
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    The one good thing I have working in my favor this time is that I love the trainer I ride with, she knows my wants/needs/capabilities, and I trust her judgment. Which is hopefully better than my judgment, as I tend to come home with projects even when I insist I do not want one!

    I'd love to find a free or even a paid lease-- is that as common in dressage as it is with hunters?
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  10. #30
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    I seem to know a lot of people who are currently leasing, but don't hear as many leases offered to the public. So in some sense I suppose its common just hard to find

    I have faith that you can find something suitable for 10k. If you're not looking for fancy or like 8's on second level movements I think you'll be surprised at how many nice, decently athletic horses are out there with a good head to school second and enjoy the trails. Especially if you already have a trail group (judging by your interest in trails I assume so ) and they'll have buddies.



  11. #31
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    FG, you say you have primarily a hunter background, are now just getting acquainted with the eventing world. So presumably you have not done a whole lot of dressage either. So why do you say you want a horse trained to 2nd level? A nice, sound, second level horse is likely to be out of your price range, because it is liekly to have potential to move up the levels. Sounds to me like what might suit you better is a horse that has done some eventing, some hunter paces, some trail rides, some dressage schooling shows, etc. -- a great all around horse that is sound, sensible, fun, safe, and doesn't have to be nearly as fancey as a horse that is trained to second level dressage is likely to be.
    I know of a couple horses in your immediate WNY area that fit this perfectly. I also know of some area event and dressage trainers who have connections to exactly this type of horse. If you really are serious, I can give you the contact information -- they are not being widely advertised on internet (for all the reasons mentioned), but instead through word of mouth and personal connections.
    The Finger Lakes Finest Trainer Listing Service
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    I'd love to find a free or even a paid lease-- is that as common in dressage as it is with hunters?
    They are out there. My schoolmaster is out on free lease to a phenomenal home because *I do not want to sell her* but I want her to be pampered like the diva that she is. And she is. There is a dressage trainer in my immediate area who used to advertise two lovely WBs for free lease because their owners wanted them to be in good homes. For half leases, I've known seeral people who offered half-leases on schoolmaster types to help offset the boarding cost when a) the rider went to college or b) the rider got a new young horse but didn't want to sell the "old" horse "down the river", etc. Networking with trainers can pay off. Lots of dressage trainers really love the horses...and many of the owners also love their horses more than the money they can fetch on the market. Netttttwwwooorrrkkkkkk.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


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  13. #33
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    Why a second level horse....Why not? I don't think 2nd level is all that unattainable, no? Are 2nd level horses that hard to find? I guess that is what I'm asking.

    I'm not that tapped into the local dressage community. As a kid I did everything-- started with a dressage trainer, switched to hunters, did AQHA, dabbled in Arabs, but as an adult my interest has gone back to dressage. Unfortunately family commitments and lame horses have hindered my progress, though I've lessoned when I can. Still more connected to the hunter world working at Skib, but I've been riding with an eventing pro the last year because I think she is a superb horsewoman.

    I had a lovely 15 year old schoolmaster that died tragically, who had done the working hunters, also solid at 2nd and schooling some 3rd-- he was a one in a million horse, for many reasons. I guess I still secretly hope I can find something like him, that is a bit older and coming back down the levels so to speak, as I enjoyed him most of anything I've owned or leased. I know finding a horse like that requires a lot of turning over rocks...

    I do realize networking is key. I suppose I was curious as to what the market was like for older horses stepping down compared to the hunter world.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  14. #34
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    I guess the point is, the only thing I am particularly good at is riding misfit/green/young horses and teaching beginner riders. I suppose that is a skill set, tho not a glamorous one. I'd really like to focus more on dressage (and still be able to hack out/trail safely) thus wanting to find something more educated in that regard. Would be nice (and really enjoyable) to have a horse that knew a tad more than me.
    Last edited by FlashGordon; Mar. 15, 2013 at 11:46 PM. Reason: OMG spelling
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    Lucassb that horse sounds lovely, and just the type I'd like.
    Except he's 17 yrs old. That's why he's so "cheap". Note his DOB as 1996. Personally I think that's alittle steep for a horse of that age.

    If you are on the East Coast, you should be able to find PLENTY of prospects.

    And I agree that you should leave "dressage" out of the equation and just look for the horse. Contact the various hunting groups on the East Coast, look for a retired hunter or one that doesn't like it much.

    As for Arabs & Arab crosses; the poster who said they are readily available for cheap is talking the truth. Depending on your height, a PB Arab might be just the ticket for you...or a cross.

    And better to take the confirmed trail horse who isn't QUITE 2nd Level but has all the other attributes and is sound.

    That way you can work on the other stuff.

    Out here (Idaho), horses are very inexpensive for the most part. I NEVER sell my WBs to people in this area. But last year I bought a 7 yr old grade gelding who is a trail MACHINE for $525!! Totally sound; chestnut with 3 whites & a blaze, you point him at it and he will go. Not ridden for a year, then just did afew minutes in the round pen and off we went with zero issues.

    Certainly NOT 2nd level, but for $7500 you could buy a bunch of training. At the auctions horses are bringing $50-70!! Of course, these aren't exactly what the OP wants, but still...

    Just stay away from ads that offer "warmbloods" or/and "dressage". For the most part, these horses are going to be more expensive.

    But unless things have changed a bunch $8K should get you what you want.

    There should be TONS of TBs that might your expectations (and don't worry about soundness; just because they are TBs doesn't mean they can't stay sound) and just as many "off" breeds.

    Good luck!


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  16. #36
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    And not all Arabs are small. The one that I am training is an ex racing Arab, and hes 15.3. The other benefit to an Arab is that they're going to be a fantastic trail horse With really good endurance, And a little bit of the invisible boogie monster syndrome so you should feel at home.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  17. #37
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    OP, it's funny...a few months ago i went through this exact same thing. Sold my too green/hypersensitive mare and decided i as done with the unpredictable green beans, and wanted something trained to 2nd in dressage that I could take on the trails.

    It took me 2 months of searching, and a bit of a leap of faith (i bought him sight unseen with just videos from half way across the country), but I finally found my dream horse.

    I wound up buying a beautiful Haflinger who is trained through all of the 2nd movements and can do a canter pirouette. He's super affectionate, safe...no spook or buck in him, the perfect amount of sensitive, affectionate, likes my dog, has champion titles at training level....for $6250. You have to scour and check ads every day. I found him on Horseclicks believe it or not...my advice is to not give up on your criteria and search everywhere. VAequestrians has alot of nice draft crosses as that's the fox hunting hub of the country.


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  18. #38
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    I agree with looking for a sane, suitable horse over "2nd level". In ads for dressage horses, Second Level seems to be the hot selling point whether they are close to that or not. It will result in looking at hundreds of God-awful videos of incorrectly trained, overpriced horses because the ad states "second level". You are better off with a solid trg level horse with no holes or bad training to fix, with 3 clean gaits. Perfectly attainable for the $8K range in a crossbred, WBX etc.


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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmydutch View Post
    OP, it's funny...a few months ago i went through this exact same thing. Sold my too green/hypersensitive mare and decided i as done with the unpredictable green beans, and wanted something trained to 2nd in dressage that I could take on the trails.

    It took me 2 months of searching, and a bit of a leap of faith (i bought him sight unseen with just videos from half way across the country), but I finally found my dream horse.

    I wound up buying a beautiful Haflinger who is trained through all of the 2nd movements and can do a canter pirouette. He's super affectionate, safe...no spook or buck in him, the perfect amount of sensitive, affectionate, likes my dog, has champion titles at training level....for $6250. You have to scour and check ads every day. I found him on Horseclicks believe it or not...my advice is to not give up on your criteria and search everywhere. VAequestrians has alot of nice draft crosses as that's the fox hunting hub of the country.
    I am absolutely drooling over so many of the halflingers for sale. There is one at the barn I usually board at, and he is a wonderful little horse. Probably close to 15hh and massive, and SAFE. Although this one has a pretty bad fear of cows. He is too much of a drafty, shuffling type for my taste, but some of them can MOVE. And they look a lot more sane and easy going than many of the pony breeds.

    I would look at some of the Connemaras on the East Coast too. My 3 year old was absolutely trail safe, and totally bombproof at shows. A bit on the sensitive side but so level headed. I miss her and wish she worked out for me.

    And I know the OP had an unfortunate Morgan experience, but I wouldn't rule them out on that. The right breeding makes a super, duper horse.



  20. #40
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    PP and luvmydutch, I love haflingers! We had a couple in a lesson program I was involved with and they were great. Goofy, silly, and sometimes pranksters.... super fun under saddle, and super sound. I could ride them quite comfortably even though I am 5'8.

    I agree on the Morgans-- we have a *lovely* one in our barn that is schooling 2nd and I would scoop him up in a minute. I think my experience owning one was a combo of unfortunate incidents, the largest being that she was unbroke, had been turned out for 4 years with minimal handling, and was from a line known to have a quirk.... which she did have....

    As far as Arabs, they are certainly a possibility. I live in a hotbed of Arabs, with four BNTs who compete on a National level within 20 minutes of me. 3 of the 4 have very well rounded horses, none are into dressage, but may have sporthorse types that would fit the bill. So lots of possibilities there that may be worth investigating. And yeah, prices on Arabs seem way low lately.

    And I love TBs first and foremost, but unless it is doing what I want/need it to do, SOUNDLY, I am reluctant to go there again.

    Thanks for all the responses thus far! Lots of enlightening info.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



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