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bay vs gray (sorry, a little long)

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  • bay vs gray (sorry, a little long)

    Both is not an option. And this is not about color preference. However I do need some input. I have been looking at horses and have found two that I really like.

    Bay horse is an 8y/o Trakehner cross mare. Is relatively green, not much in the way of steering, good walk and trot and nicer canter. Usually ridden only once or twice a week. Can be very sassy. Is somewhat backed off from the rider's leg.

    She definitely has potential. She is definitely a one-rider horse and was a bit weary of me being in the saddle. Ride #1 was messy for me. I was worried and didn't trust her. She is a bit backed off to the rider's leg (with current owner as well) and very stuck in her body. Her work ethic does not appear to be the greatest but at the same time current owner hasn't asked much of her and I also feel she was testing me. I did ride her twice more and had a blast after I was past my initial nervousness. And each ride seemed better than the previous. On day three - in a row so much more work than she is accustomed to - she did show signs of weakness in her left hind (felt her trip a little and it was apparent for a few strides here and there, though she was not lame) so the ride was shorter than the others. But by this point I was all smiles and really enjoying her. She was also less stuck in her body. Downside: Owner did tell me I have not seen her at her worst, though it doesn't sound like she is dangerous, just opinionated and I feel those are probably the times when she is more expressive about being backed off to the rider's leg. With some work I'd say she could easily do 3rd level dressage, IF she has the work ethic.

    Gray horse, a 12 y/o Hano cross mare. She was unflappable when I went to try her out. There was a yearling running and snorting and bucking near the arena and this mare did not care, not even an ear twitch. She wanted to please her rider. She is much further along in training and clearly has some jumping in her background (an area where I lack experience). But her background is very unknown. Current owner hasn't had her long (less than 6 months) and is selling because of financial reasons. She has lighter bone structure than I prefer. Not the greatest feet, but had four shoes and pads pulled recently and has not shown any lameness. I also believe she needs some work on strengthening her back. Her conformation when I saw her made me question her soundness through the loins but an older photo of her makes me think she has lost conditioning and weight and that is why she looks so weak through the loin. This mare is also only being ridden once a week, at most. She is also not easy to bridle and this will need lots of work. She was very easy for me to ride. I almost felt like I was playing.

    If this mare can hold up to 3-4 rides a week I can see her as a very nice, all around horse. She has three good gaits (not great, but good) and I know she will ride like a Porche. Very quick - not rushed - and very agile. What I love most about her is her work ethic. Big positive: owner offered that if I purchase her then she comes with a 30 day soundness (mental and physical) guarantee.

    Here is what I want: A horse with a good brain who I can dabble in dressage and jumping with. I don't believe I will find what I want in a horse who has the ability to go "all the way" and I'd be happy playing at 3rd level and lower level eventing.

    Both horses are super cheap. I feel they each have their risks but I also think all horses have their risks. If these horses were in full work, without their individual problems, I feel they would be well out of my price range. I clearly like them enough to not want to keep looking at other horses. I really enjoyed riding both and think they are both good horses for an ammie like me.

  • #2
    from your descriptions I would have no doubt of which to go with
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

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    • #3
      Based on the information that you have provided, I would lean toward the grey mare.

      What are her issues with being bridled? Throws her head up? Balks? I have seen horses with similar issues come a long way with time and patience.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        She throws her head up and backs up. She definitely needs to be bridled in a stall right now. But that is not a problem for my setup.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok. That would not deter me from purchasing her...with time and patience you can work through that.

          Originally posted by sabriel View Post
          She throws her head up and backs up. She definitely needs to be bridled in a stall right now. But that is not a problem for my setup.

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          • #6
            The bay mare sounds lame and uncomfortable and clearly does not want to work, I would pass.

            The gray does not sound perfect, but a horse happy to work is 80% of the battle.
            On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks, PerfectPony. I don't think the bay is in pain. I just think she is setup incorrectly in her body and when she gets unbalanced she has an opinion about that. By day three she was less stuck and also less opinionated which is why I think this is not a pain issue.

              This is hard for me. I've turned around backed-off horses and I've also successfully rehabbed weaker horses with back problems.

              On the flip side... the gray mare could turn out to be A LOT of horse once she is fit. I don't see the bay being as much of a handful when fit.

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              • #8
                I don't like the sound of the bay at all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sabriel View Post
                  Thanks, PerfectPony. I don't think the bay is in pain. I just think she is setup incorrectly in her body and when she gets unbalanced she has an opinion about that. By day three she was less stuck and also less opinionated which is why I think this is not a pain issue.
                  You can think whatever you want. Don't make excuses, seriously. She has given you several indications that something is not right, you said yourself the last day she was NQR on one hind and was tripping. This in conjunction with her not wanting to go forward is a deal breaker for me. Unless you can take this mare on a long term trial I would run away.
                  On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    PP, I guess my experience rehabbing horses is different. I've seen them go from weak/small trips behind to 100% sound in work with me. Not making excuses, just clarifying something that is hard to understand without seeing the horse in person.

                    I do agree with everyone liking the gray mare's personality more. She is a doll and a very hard trier - something priceless in a horse, I think. Anyway, would love to hear more opinions from other people as well.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sabriel View Post
                      PP, I guess my experience rehabbing horses is different. I've seen them go from weak/small trips behind to 100% sound in work with me. Not making excuses, just clarifying something that is hard to understand without seeing the horse in person.

                      I do agree with everyone liking the gray mare's personality more. She is a doll and a very hard trier - something priceless in a horse, I think. Anyway, would love to hear more opinions from other people as well.
                      if they super cheap and cant decide buy both lol
                      then work on each one as they both have issues which often cheap horses have

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would not consider a horse that is 8 years old and still green, unless I could afford more than one horse. JMHO, since you asked.
                        The journey is the destination.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
                          if they super cheap and cant decide buy both lol
                          then work on each one as they both have issues which often cheap horses have
                          They are super cheap! And I could afford to buy them both. But I cannot afford to keep both.

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                          • #14
                            i'd go with the grey mare. the bay, on top of being green, sounds like she would need more remedial work (not just getting fit, but fixing things) while the grey sounds like one you could do more with. and if you're worried about what the grey mare might turn into once fit, i wouldn't worry about it. she sounds like she'd do her best by you, regardless of the fitness level.
                            Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                            www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

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                            • #15
                              Sounds to me like YOU want the grey. So get her.
                              madeline
                              * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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                              • #16
                                hmm a bitchy backed off mare or a willing to please but out of shape pleasant one?

                                Enjoy your new grey horse!
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

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                                • #17
                                  With all the negatives... there's some reason you want the bay. Is it your gut instinct in reaction to the horses, or is it just because of age? I have a feeling that's actually who you want more and you are telling yourself logically that isn't who you should want.

                                  Personally, the gray sounds less adjustable and interesting, and likely to have less potential from your description. One I might want as a schoolmaster, but wouldn't want to have be my sole horse for years to come. The bay just doesn't sound appealing from your description, but I have a feeling there's something there telling you that's the one for you.
                                  Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                  If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by netg View Post
                                    The bay just doesn't sound appealing from your description, but I have a feeling there's something there telling you that's the one for you.
                                    Yeah, it's probably prettier, and a challenge. That's always the best recipe for choosing a new horse, it always works out so well.

                                    The big red-flag for me with the OP is she is claiming the 8 year old, green, ridden once a week, NQR, bitchy mare that doesn't want to go forward is a 3rd level dressage prospect.

                                    And I am not trying to be bitchy myself btw, just playing devil's advocate here. Made enough mistakes myself as an re-rider that's for sure. If you can afford to keep this mare in your backyard and go buy another one if she turns into a nightmare, more power to you. If you can afford one horse you have to board, seriously, there are a lot of red flags. I would really try to get an extended trial or a short lease first.
                                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If these are your only two choices and the grey passes the PPE, hands down her. You said you wanted a good brain, and this one is showing you that she has one.

                                      The 8 yo sounds exactly like a mare I was leasing a couple of years (also part Trakehner) ago with the hopes of buying her. She was a complete no-go (in every sense of the word). Her attitude got worse and worse, and I was not the rider to turn her around.
                                      "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Actually, the more I talk about the two, the more the gray appeals to me. I have always gone by the "buy the horse you feel comfortable riding today" moto. I can ride both but I am more at ease with the gray's personality. She might end up being hotter but I know she tries.

                                        The bay mare IS prettier. But what has ultimately held me back from her has been her personality. I wouldn't mind the weakness behind (again, I've successfully helped a few horses through this proper conditioning) but I just don't like the 'tude that comes with it. She isn't full out bitchy but this is also more than a quirky personality. And being NQR behind on the left hind - when she naturally carries herself to make that leg work ever so slightly less than the right hind (the part about her being stuck in her body) - fits together. So, PP, you are probably right and it is more of a pain issue. Probably the beginnings of one.

                                        Thanks all for helping me talk through this. After riding the gray I was so excited I almost didn't want to go back and ride the bay. But I thought "what the heck, I need to make sure." The more I rode the bay the more I liked her but there are also more red flags.

                                        I scheduled to see the gray again. I like that her owner offered up the 30 day guarantee.

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