Perhaps looking at not so popular breeds? I am a timid adult rider and found exactly what you are looking for in a Standardbred. She had raced, and has basically seen and done everything. Her foster at New Vocations had her trail riding solo before I got her. Yes, some will be hotter than others, but I still say you cannot beat a Standardbred for a good solid citizen.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf
I would suggest looking at QH's. Lots out there and at bargain prices. Most all are quiet quiet horses. All shapes and sizes and colors. Just rode with one this weekend, he was perfectly behaved. I used to have one and sold him due to him being so dull (to me). I like a little spice every now and then. For a solid quiet horse, a QH is a great breed to have.
QHs have always been near and dear to my heart, having owned 3 and done 4-H and AQHA as a kid. The problem with QHs is that there are so many types within the breed. Some of the western bred horses are fast and agile, which can translate to a hard spook. The english types are mostly TB but have been through the QH training program and sometimes end up quite brain-fried, or, are not used to living in anything BUT a very rigid QH type show program.
Personally, now that I have found a trainer I like, I have thought about getting a young QH and having my trainer but a good year into it. I don't know how else to find what I want.
I do agree that TBs are honest sorts and usually broadcast a spook long before it happens! My TBs have been the least spooky, best-minded of the horses I've owned... unfortunately mine have also been riddled with soundness issues.
Sigh... I dunno, KPF! I am sending good horse buying juju to you....
We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.
It took me a year to find a lower level, calm, sane, able to trail ride horse as well. It got very frustrating and I was lied to a lot about how easy and calm a horse was until I got there and realize the horse is nuts. It's hard to deal with and you get down about the whole process. Every horse I've gotten has fell in my lap except the last one that I had to go and search for.
My advice is find good trail riding places. They sometimes will sell a horse or two for the right money. Usually these places the right money is not much 3k or so usually. I got my guy from a place like this and he is a dream really. I have had to put dressage training on him but he is worth it because I feel safe and that's number 1 to me. His spook is ears up and what's that look and keeps moving, his evasion is throw my head up sometimes and that's about it. It took awhile but I'm glad I didn't settle on something I wasn't comfortable with and I found the right one. He wasn't for sale at the place i went to but they all have a price and like my farrier and vet said is look for the horse that's not for sale. I went to this place and tried ones for sale and they were great but there was something about my guy in the pasture that made me say he is the one. I begged then to just let me ride him and they did, then I said I want him how much. They hesitated a bit about it but did put a price on him and now he is mine forever.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
I don't know if you will buy a horse without seeing it but if you are willing I can give you the name of where i got my guy, they always have some for sale and the owners wife is actually in this board you could probably talk to her to learn more about the horses.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
The horse you want is out there, but I haven't seen it in your price range any time recently -- at least not in VA, and not something that wasn't a trail horse. Quiet, decent gaits, and good training? That's the horse that everyone wants and it is worth its weight in gold.
That having been said, are there any good lesson barns near you? You may try calling up to see whether someone has a horse that's in decent shape and nearing retirement from the school string but not from being a riding horse -- they may be willing to part with one. It could be a win-win for everyone.
I strongly second this.
Purchased my very first horse from a local lesson barn that was going out of business. An 8-year-old TB/QH with some slight arthritic changes, but nothing mind-blowing. Loved & enjoyed him for 12 years - ring work, trails (even swimming!), local shows, gymkhanas - just a helluva lot of fun for a more-than-reasonable purchase price. He was my heart horse, & I still miss him terribly (had to have him euthanized on the hospital table when a HUGE inoperable tumor was discovered).
I have to agree with Rabicon -- if you are looking at a business horse owner, every horse is for sale at some price. Probably wise advice to look at the ones that are not listed for sale. King was not for sale, he was never for sale. I offered to buy him three times, I campaigned hard. Finally, I think they realized they could take what I was offering, buy a younger horse to replace him and still make a nice profit. Yeah, he was expensive, but there really wasn't enough $$ in the world to actually match his value!
If I wanted another I'd go back to him. I figure either he'd have one for me or he'd know about one.
There's a similar guy here in VA but with more of an English riding emphasis, but usually gives his horses trail and/or hunting exposure. I'm blanking on his name at the moment but maybe somebody else can chime in? I know this is vague, but horses similarly priced to Paula's contact, maybe a bit more, and out towards Charlottesville, not NOVA?
If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great
[QUOTE=Trakehner;6991354][QUOTE=Bank of Dad;6991054]I feel your pain. All I want is a dead quiet trail horse, with smooth WTC. DH's horse is dead but really dumb.
I suggest a nice mule, even a gaited mule (I have one of these). Can't accuse mules of being dumb, and most have a pretty good work ethic. I bought mine as a trail mount...he's great, gaited but has a nice comfortable WTC and he jumps like a horse vs. coon-mule jump
I LOVE mules. But OP has clearly stated that she not only won't be jumping, she also won't be trail-riding. Just ring work. I think doing just ring work would drive a mule crazy.
Yeah, VesperSparrow, that's why I haven't really looked into those type of places. I want something that's already doing what I want to do and is a known factor. A lot of horses don't like the ring and love the trails and vice versa. My old guy was a TOTALLY different horse on the trail, he was super quiet in the ring but hot, hot, hot on trails.
IMO - It's a case of supply and demand. On the east coast (where we used to live) LOTS of people wanted the same thing you are looking for. Out here in NE Ok. EVERYONE wants a roping or barrel horse or a "good ole boy" for $300 (which they CAN find at the sales!!). I can't sell a "fancy-ish", well broke, English horse worth mid 5 figures to save my life!! You just have to keep beating the bushes until you find a good one!!
New Vocations has nice horse after nice horse, lately. Too bad about the gray, but, it looks like you can put a general application in, and get approved, without having a specific horse in mind (if you haven't already done so). It's a good idea, because you will be able to move quickly if the right horse does show up. http://www.horseadoption.com/adoption-process-2/
Somebody on this forum just donated a nice looking standardbred mare to a prominent rescue, I think it might have been New Vocations. I can't find the post, unfortunately, as our search function stinks, but, you might want to keep an eye on New Vocations' Standardbred page, too.
“When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American.” Dorothy Thompson 1935
Take a look at New Vocation's other offerings (if you haven't already...LOL). Another gorgeous one just came across my FB newsfeed - a stunning TB gelding!
I saw Shiny Pemmy in action at the Thoroughbreds for All event and just loved her. She may be a bit too forward for you (or me!), but worth a look. Although she did settle down in the canter afterward in the video and looked great cross-country so maybe all she needs is training. She was a rock star at the event, very brave (Eric Dierks rode her). Her gaits looked like they could be pretty nice, I think everyone was pleasantly surprised (including Philip Dutton) because she didn't look like much at first. Looks like she learns quickly and has a good brain. A gem in a plain brown wrapper. She was a real pocket pony in her stall, too. Run with Sue looks sweet, too.
Last edited by Vesper Sparrow; May. 21, 2013 at 02:37 PM.