So I just recently sold my horse to a great new home where he will teach a young new rider everything he taught me.
But now I am looking for a new horse and feel like I have been looking forever (I am also not the most patient person so that doesn't help). I was looking while I still had my horse, but once I sold him my budget increased so I'm hoping that will enable me to get something a little more trained.
Anyways the question is how long did you go before you find a new horse? (I have been actively looking for 4-5 months, which I guess isn't a super long time, but I am just ready to have a horse again)
Also looking forward to the replies. May have to get a new partner this year.
My advice to you is don't rush. I know it's hard for us impatient types, but well worth it. Rushing leads to potentially unsuitable horses.
Last edited by Kiera; May. 23, 2013 at 01:23 AM.
Reason: Spelling... Need to quit posting after 1am
If I had to guess I would have to say 5 years.
I looked at every thing that crossed my screen that may have potential even if it seemed a bit out there. Like a 15.7 hh qh. or a leathal white bay.. yeah I looked at a lot of weird ones.
But then again that's my area.
It really depends on what you are looking for :-) I like to learn and do multiple disciplines. Plus, I'm a middle-aged re-rider post kids with some fear issues. So when I horse shop I look for conformation first, then a horse that I can swing a leg over and feel comfortable, then the "do we get along" factor, then I evaluate training, then talent, and I've never cared about color. So I tend to find horses rather quickly, usually within a few weeks of saying "I need a new horse".
If talent in a particular discipline was higher on my list, that would take longer. If I had "criteria" such as color or breed, even longer. A woman at my former barn once searched over two years because of how strict her criteria were.
I also think it can be regional and relate to the network that you have. I have a great network of trainers and resources. There are many FB horse sales groups that have horses come across the page daily. I look in other disciplines for that misfit that may be priced accordingly. I look for minor training issues that I know I know how to fix (the few I won't deal with include barn/buddy sourness, major bucking and rearing, if it isn't immediately obvious that it isn't pain related, and severe spooking). I think those things both help me find horses quickly.
I get along well with MANY horses, for my personal horse it took a summer, but I had already catch rode many sale horse so I knew what to expect and I had a very picky trainer by my side to help me pick the best prospect. If I got along with fewer horses I think it would take me 6months-1yr
Definitely depends on what you are looking for. I personally look for OTTB projects right from the track and am very impatient. I can look at 50-100 horses (online not in person!) in a week and my last two projects were bought within a week and they are the best! I think I just know what I want and what I am looking for and know I have a lot to work to do so I am not SUPERRRR picky but hey it works for impatient me Good luck with your search!
"People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
- quoted by Martha Drum
I never was ACTIVELY (did more window shopping than anything) looking because I hadn't gotten my previous horse sold, but I think I sat on 5 horses from December until February. Three of them I would have bought, but Toby was the ultimate winner of the three. The other two...ugh. Good on paper, not so much under tack.
I sometimes say that it was so easy for me because, at that point in time, I was professionally riding and rode a lot of horses so knew exactly what feeling I liked and what I didn't. I also wasn't terribly hung up on things like sweet and cuddly personality or even fabulous ground manners. My guy would not be accused of being sweet and cuddly (he has it in him, he just chooses to snark most of the time) and can be an ass on the ground But he is the most awesome horse I have ever ridden and I adore him. The running joke is that I'm the only person that could own Toby. Between his skin issues and his highly opinionated personality, not many would have him!
I do think I got a little lucky in that the three horses I liked most were with two professionals I trust and like a lot. Both pros also know me well and my riding style and goals, so knew what would suit both me and my goals.
For the record, Toby was the first horse I ever shopped for for myself (have helped lots of people shop, though). Everything else was either given to me or already in the barn when I've bought them. I HATED the process!!
I gave up the lease on one of my horses and literally by the end of the week, my friend found my gelding for me. I made the decision to buy him on my birthday, and he was delivered from New Mexico 2-3 weeks later. Seriously, I hadn't planned on buying another horse until the fall, but when one falls into your lap the way mine did, you just kind of have to go for it.
"It is not necessary for you to let everyone know everything about you. In fact, it is probably wise that you don't. There are some things that you need only discuss with God."
First horse: Took about 3 months, but I wasn't completely positive what I was looking for. Had him for 8 years.
Second horse: 0 months. I knew what I was going to want, but wasn't in the market quite yet. Horse found me and was literally the only one I looked at. Have had him for almost 4 years.
Third horse: 0 months. Again, knew what I wanted but wasn't really in the market. Horse again found me (sort of) and was the only horse I even considered. If I hadn't purchased her, I would've waited another 6-9 months to even start looking. Have had her for about 2 months.
I guess I don't take a lot of time. However, I do know what I want and I don't just look at any old horse. It has to meet my requirements (budget, abilities, size, etc) before I even consider it.
Last edited by RugBug; May. 23, 2013 at 03:52 PM.
"I am witty. Ask around." --Pat, COTH
My previous horse died (put him down on the table in colic surgery) and I needed to take a break after that experience. I adored that horse and thought I would have him for decades, but he had just turned 7 when he colicked and ruptured his cecum.
I had other horses to ride, and leased something for a few months before my current horse became available. Rudy died in February 2011 and I got Finn in July 2012. I was sort of looking, but half-heartedly, because I wanted something that I could develop the same bond with that I had with Rudy. Finn is a VERY different personality, and he's not the pocket pony like Rudy was, but I loves him just the same.
For me, it was about waiting for my heart to heal.
Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Hopefully I will be able to find something soon, I am tired of being horseless lol. I am also getting to that point where I am tired of looking at horses online, I keep telling myself to take a break but I think I am addicted to looking now lol.
I found a few I like but weren't "the one". Did PPEs on several that didn't "pass". Then widened my criteria a bit (I was looking for a specific breed) and found "the one" probably about 6 months later.
It took me 2.5+ years. That was ACTIVELY looking. I sold my former OTTB in 2003 and was heartbroken after that. I was "looking" but not seriously for quite a while. I started the serious search about October 2010. I was dead set on an OTTB project. Conformation was not the most important factor for me. I wanted something that I could do hunters with and resell, preferably a mare, 16.1h+ under 7 yo. Oddly, I ended up with a 15.2h gelding 9yo that seems like he wants to be an eventer. Apparently he isn't too keen on being "pretty" in the ring!
"As you get older, the hardest thing about riding is the ground"- anonymous
It seems like some people take years to “find the one” – me, it has always been a pretty quick process with no regrets.
First horse – he was the second horse we looked at, after a couple of weeks in the market. A green 15 hand 6 year old appaloosa. I was a beginner walk trot rider. Got lots of warnings about “green and green make black and blue” – took my knocks, and came back for more. In 7 years together we went from walk trot, to prelim level eventing – he was a super horse. NO regrets there!
Second horse – OTTB, he was the first and only horse I tried when I out grew my 15 hand dude and decided it was time for a bigger mount. We spent 7 years together, doing everything from prelim level eventing, to fox hunting, to trail rides and team penning. He had been passed up by another buyer due to changes in the fetlock - I rode him very actively for years, and it was never an issue. Loved that horse, lost him to an accident.
Third (and current) horse – Wasn’t quite in the market yet, but she was listed, and met what I was looking for. First and only horse I looked at. Purchased as a weanling, 6 years later, I have a fantastic partner, again, no regrets!
So, while some like to take their time and find the “perfect” horse – I have always jumped at the first one I *wanted* - and it has worked out, I can say each of them has been "perfect" for me.
Having an awesome trainer can really help speed things along/get you pointed in the right direction. My trainer helped me find two horses (one at a time) and in both cases it was only a matter of weeks from the time I said "let's start looking" till the time I bought one. I think both times, we bought the second horse we looked at.
I am easy to shop for though! I do plenty of online shopping to make sure my wishlist and budget are realistic, and by the time we started going to look at horses in person we had already zeroed in on the must-haves vs. the would-like-to-haves. I've been thrilled with both purchases. So it can be done - just keep trying to be patient.
Start with knowing what you want and how much you are willing to spend. But have a secondary list of what you would be willing to compromise on. Flexibility makes all the difference in a short shopping experience or a long one.
My first horse, Hans, was already at the barn so looking time was zero. I looked for my hunter for a few weeks and looked for my eq horse for months. It got to the point I drove my trainer crazy because I sat on pretty much everything for sale at Wellington but knew they weren't for me. I spent a couple buying trips looking for my mare and knew I wanted her after the first ride.
If you're getting anxious trying to find something, I would re-evaluate whether or not you are making the most of your searching. Looking at horses online is fine, but I think it comes down to sitting on every horse reasonable until you find the one you click with. And it's important to see their behavior on the ground. Videos can show a lot, but just watching a horse get tacked and walk out to the ring can tell you a lot about their brain and personality.
Have you talked with an agent? Have you gone to horse shows and asked trainers you like what they have for sale? Other than budget, do you have a clear idea of what type of horse fits best with your program and experience and what your goals are? Start making phone calls and riding some sale horses!
Get out there and get on and I bet you'll find one soon!!