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What you thought you wanted v. what you bought (h/j copycat thread)

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  • What you thought you wanted v. what you bought (h/j copycat thread)

    I was looking for either a young warmblood prospect (not as desired) or older schoolmaster-ish horse with less than stellar gaits, 10-15 years old, at least third level, probably a QH or something grade since it would be a horse to learn on, not a prospect or even something to show. Probably a push type temperament, and while in the 15-17hh range, preferably shorter. Color wasn't a requirement, but anything other than solid bay was a plus.

    The only non-negotiable was that I couldn't look stupidly short on the horse, so taller meant narrower.

    What I ended up with:
    turning 8 year old OTTB, very hot (he had a reputation for crazy) needed to start over from the beginning despite having evented to Training (1st level-ish) with decent scores. Solid dark bay with a few white hairs on his forehead and one heel, 16.3hh.

    I had seen him 6 months earlier at an event and thought he was the most beautiful horse I had ever seen, but with all I had heard about him thought he was a completely wrong horse for me. My trainer put me on whatever horse was available for my lessons and was convinced he was exactly the right personality for me. Turns out she knew what she was talking about, despite being far taller than I wanted he fits me well, and his gaits are far nicer than any other horse I've ever ridden, including warmbloods. The trot doesn't have as much suspension (but is increasing) but walk and canter are both the best I've ever ridden. I also was reminded that all my past horses were the horses other people were afraid of and I loved, so maybe a push ride wasn't what I really wanted after all...
    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.

  • #2
    I'll play. Years ago (talking 1970's) I wanted: any color but grey, gelding, at least 3-4 and started, over 16 hands. Bought a 2 year old unstarted grey filly at 15.1. Kept her until she was 17.


    • #3
      My horse is a hand me down from my mom. When she bought him, she wanted a 6-10 yo quiet horse to do some pleasure riding on (mostly W/T). She bought a 6 mo Arabian stud colt. 16 years later she has managed to only ever walk/trot on him! She never quite got up the nerve to canter him. He's doing pretty well at adjusting to having a real job after all this time at least!


      • #4
        I wanted: a dead broke short stocky horse, nothing fancy didn't even have to be 100% sound but did have to be trail broke and useable for light lessons. Preferably a gelding, no specific color, but didn't really want white feet. I was looking in the 14 - 16h range, and really wanted to stick to the short end.

        I got: An unbroke, ungelded 4 year old, 13.2h FjordX (see blog below) that was quite rank when he was purchased. He turned out great with about 3 months pro training, though we're working through our winter sillies now he turned into the "dead broke" horse I wanted, plus I'm getting all competitive again, which I never expected.


        • #5
          Wanted: 8-16yr old, 3rd level or above, basic knowledge of jumping, 15hh+(shorter was better) any breed, gender, or color. Something I could improve my dressage with and maybe get my upper level(C-3, B, & A) pony club ratings on. Didn't have to be fancy, just do the job.

          What I got: 3yr old, barely broke, 16.3hh(still growing!), BIG bodied, bay, dutchxtb mare.

          She's turned into a good little mare for me. Not quite what I wanted. So our time schedule has changed a bit and I've had to scrounge around to find horses to do my pony club ratings on. But hopefully she'll be the horse I get my A on and my 3rd Level and above dressage horse/ preliminary level eventer! So it's working out so far.
          Last edited by eventerchick517; Jan. 4, 2012, 08:29 PM. Reason: I can't spell...


          • #6
            Wanted: Solidly built gelding, 16 to 16.2, between 4 and 7ish yrs old, that was an athletic and eye-catching mover with the talent to go above 2nd level (assuming I could keep up!). Ammy friendly temperment (aka. Tolerant!) and a trier. Didn't need to be 'trained' specifically in dressage, but at least started with some basic w/t/c and some indication of dressage aptitude...a nice 'color' (chestnut with flaxen main and tail?!) would have been a bonus....oh, and able to fit into my budget of <3K. Ha! ...tall order.

            First horse I tried was nice but greenish and I quickly concluded my rusty ammy butt needed something that was a bit more 'seasoned' and MORE than just started.

            Bought: Solidly built, 16.1 9 yr old gelding, plain jane chestnut. ...came with a) positive Lyme test, b) ulcers ...both of which I found soon after purchase...and c) no forward button and an attitude likely from a) and b), but compounded by being a backyard/barely ridden/leased to a camp horse who probably terrorized children everywhere for a couple years.

            He did have w/t/c, but was not at all 'finished' and his quirky 'tude was on full display at the test rides (kick at leg, turn around to make camel faces at the rider...and bite the whip ). BUT his behavior never escalated beyond basically that (nothing dangerous) and he did 'get on with it' after letting his opinion be known, ...plus he was smart and a beautiful ...and I mean BEAUTIFUL...mover.
            With a little (o.k., a bit more than a little) professional guidance, I knew I could turn him around... and he EASILY fit my budget!

            A year and a half later, we are schooling 2nd and will show 1st early this summer and hopefully second by late summer. The attitude is gone, he is sweet and funny and personable and is trying very hard to learn his 'dressage' on a daily basis...LOFF him!
            Will, William...and my favorite, Willie.... he is in my signature.
            "A good horse is worth more than riches."
            - Spanish Proverb


            • #7
              I had recently lost my 31 year old mare heart horse who I had owned for 30 years when I saw an add for a nice mare for my start up breeding program. I contacted the seller and asked that he verify that she was no more than 16 hands. With that established I went to try her out though I wasn't really looking for a riding horse. I liked her but thought she was overpriced for her training. Mr P wanted me to make an offer but I didn't want to insult the seller. Several weeks later the seller contacted me with a lower price and I brought her home, still thinking she was just a good broodmare prospect.

              Don't know if I'll ever breed her, I'm having to much fun riding her
              I wasn't always a Smurf
              Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
              "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
              The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


              • #8
                I once owned a mare that had spent years in badly ridden hunter/eventer land. She was 15.2 (I'm 5' 8"), and was about as spooky, neurotic, sensitive, hot, tense, intelligent, stiff and horribly trained as they come. The thing about her that piqued my interest was that she would piaffe in her stall or in the cross-ties when she was stressed. Needless to say I bought her for a song... and probably wouldn't have done that if she hadn't been so darn cute. But I thought, "What the heck. I'll put some miles on her and sell her in a few months." Famous last words.

                I had her for years, and went a lot farther with her than I had expected. In fact, she probably had the best piaffe I've ever ridden... major sit and great natural rhythm.

                I learned more from her than any other horse. I wish I had taken more pictures of her.


                • #9
                  Wanted: Modern, elegant WB. Preference for bling. Shapely and intelligent head that does not require XXL bridle. Pride of the barn and envy of others. Fairy-tale looks and brains to boot. Also, moves like a dream powered by sunshine and rainbows. 16H or so.

                  I was slightly unrealistic.

                  Bought: A-line Hanoverian gelding with a penchant for "hanging down" at inopportune times as if to say, creepily, "Heyyyy ladies..." He looked like a couch covered in shag carpeting (he gets super fuzzy) and his head is longer than my torso. Proud owner of one sock and possibly the equine world's biggest star in the center of his forehead. Oh, and no forelock or tail to sway majestically in the breeze created by his... jog.

                  Ended up being the consummate showman who refused to lose a class unless I absolutely screwed everything up. Which I did, repeatedly, and much to his chagrin.

                  And guess what? I didn't apply any of the learning from that experience to the next 2 horses I acquired, either. But that's a different story.


                  • #10
                    You and I had the exact same wish list – and a very similar "what I got instead" list.
                    However, my 8 year old OTTB was NOT the perfect personality for me. Nor did I have a trainer at the time who could teach us how to be a better match.
                    Sticking w/him taught me to ride – really ride and not be a passenger. And I learned to be quiet . Yup, after years of doing the macarena in the saddle I had to give up the hand gestures and flinging limbs, lest I be dumped on the dance floor.

                    On February 3 we will be celebrating our 11th anniversary. Not bad for a wussy amateur who was looking for a quiet packer of any colour except black or dark bay.
                    I am so happy I got the "wrong" horse!


                    • #11
                      Always said I would NEVER buy a chestnut, NEVER buy a quarterhorse... too common, boring, slow, etc. Until I met a mare who totally stole my heart, and just happened to be a chestnut QH. And green as grass
                      "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

                      Trolls be trollin'! -DH


                      • #12
                        did NOT want:
                        -grey horse

                        ended up with:
                        -grey thoroughbred

                        story of my life...


                        • #13
                          Wanted a Morgan mare, well-trained, sensible, suitable for a timid rider and for low level eventing, and rock-solid sound.

                          Got a Morgan mare, palomino (wasn't expecting that!), major holes in her training, dominant, wicked smart, a bit crazy. And, as it turned out, with some pretty major soundness issues. She had quite the show record at unrecognized/schooling horse trials and dressage shows -- mostly 1st and 2nd placings. I didn't know that at recognized dressage shows, she was a consistent low-50s horse at Training Level, thanks to her distractable nature.

                          It could have been a recipe for disaster, but with a lot of training and saddle time, suspensory surgery followed by lengthy rehab, and dropping jumping as an activity we could do, she's actually turned out to be a fabulous horse for me, just challenging enough and very, very talented. The crazy has diminished and we've worked out the dominance issues, mostly, but she keeps me on my toes.

                          Yes, I love my horse!
                          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                          • #14
                            I didn't want a horse at all.

                            It was one of those, well, let's just go see him...and then I wrote a check without even having the vet out.

                            What I never wanted to buy ever again was a green OTTB. I wanted a horse so mellow he could be a kid's horse.

                            So I bought a fresh off the track TB and left the riding to my trainers for a year, adjusted his feed, and what I have now is a kid's horse.

                            I totally listened to my gut on this one and it worked out.
                            2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                            A helmet saved my life.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by Somantu View Post
                              You and I had the exact same wish list – and a very similar "what I got instead" list.
                              However, my 8 year old OTTB was NOT the perfect personality for me. Nor did I have a trainer at the time who could teach us how to be a better match.
                              Sticking w/him taught me to ride – really ride and not be a passenger. And I learned to be quiet . Yup, after years of doing the macarena in the saddle I had to give up the hand gestures and flinging limbs, lest I be dumped on the dance floor.

                              On February 3 we will be celebrating our 11th anniversary. Not bad for a wussy amateur who was looking for a quiet packer of any colour except black or dark bay.
                              I am so happy I got the "wrong" horse!
                              Oh, I'm definitely improving faster than I planned just to try to keep up with him! He's a bit Jekyll and Hyde in personality - and usually the good side. So when he is bad, I'm not ready or riding well enough... usually. I quit showing to focus on improving my seat and overall riding ability the last half of this year. I discovered I had a frozen SI joints so it was physically impossible for me to ride well until I had that fixed, then had to re-learn how to ride to some extent when I suddenly had ridiculously more movement in my own back. When I tried him, his trot was so easy to sit I didn't post because that felt like a waste of energy... and within 3 months his trot was far larger than I intended to buy.

                              It's been amazing riding a horse who tries so hard and teaches me so much. He's a schoolmaster without knowing any more than I do, because he simply shows me what my riding tells his body to do as soon as he's ready for it, and if it's what I want that's fabulous, but if it's not that means there's some flaw in what I'm doing.
                              If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                              • #16
                                fun thread!

                                Ok, what I wanted:
                                • German Riding Pony or other small warmblood or cross
                                • 14'2 -15h
                                • 3 good gaits, suitable for moving up the levels and showing recognized with some work.
                                • Young, but not a baby, around 6-8 yrs.
                                • Well started, WTC with some show experience (not necessarily recognized).
                                • Kind temperament but not a dead head. i.e. NOT DANGEROUS.
                                • Gelding, non-chestnut preferred but a chestnut mare was not a deal breaker if she fit all of the other requirements.

                                Having just had a wretched, heartbreaking experience buying a young mare sight unseen, I had to be able to see the horse in the flesh and ride him/her. I was willing to go see pretty much any breed or cross that fit the requirements, but truly wanted a small warmblood.

                                What I got?
                                A 9 year old, 15'2 bay sabino CURLY gelding.

                                He had been carting around a young girl and her mother at local shows at Intro and was always in the ribbons. He was being ridden "dressage" and was being marketed as a "solid first level horse". ha! He was nothing of the sort, but he was famously kind, wonderful to be around, solid WTC with 3 decent gaits and athletic with a super work ethic.

                                I purchased him in April expecting to re-school him all season, go to a few schooling shows and maybe, just maybe hit a recognized show at the end of the season. By July we were showing recognized at Training Level and by September we'd qualified for Regionals after just two shows!

                                He is my heart horse and I feel so lucky to have him. And to think I almost didn't go see him because I was afraid his appearance might be "too weird".
                                Last edited by duecavalle; Jan. 5, 2012, 09:45 AM. Reason: spelling


                                • #17
                                  I wanted a 16+ (I'm 5'8-1/2") draft cross mare, 4-6 years old. Something broke, but still a bit green. It had to be a mare, as I generally don't get along that well with geldings. I ended up with a 15-1 hand morgan gelding who was coming three. Green broke, never had a bit in his mouth. I'm a para rider (wheelchair type person) and was looking for a para dressage type mount.
                                  What I got was a horse with an amazing attitude who will try his butt off to do whatever I ask. I will never again have a preference for one gender over the other. Copper is all I could ever ask for. He has a nice canter and amazing walk. His trot needs some work, but is coming along nicely. He parks himself next to my chair and swings his butt over parallel to it. He stands quietly for me to mount and dismount and I generally accidentally kick him in the butt on the way off. He tolerates my goofy service dog who barks like an idiot whenever I get on and who is glued to our side while riding. They even share the horse cookies. He's learning the beginnings of lateral work and is one of the smartest horses I've ever been around. Once he figures out what you want, he's got it down pat. He listens intently to my seat aids and will turn from seat alone. Of course, he is quite young and can be a booger from time to time - but he is just amazing to me. Just what the doctor ordered...


                                  • #18
                                    Hmmm...I wanted a 6-10 year old half-arabian gelding, 15.1-16H that was broke, but needed polishing. Anything but chestnut would be the preference.

                                    I got a half-arabian, 15.2H gelding that had good gaits, but needed work to put him together.

                                    But he is a chestnut, so I didn't get everything I wanted!

                                    Maybe I'm just lucky?
                                    Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


                                    • #19
                                      Well....I definitely never wanted any more horses after being horseless for a couple of years..."If" I "ever" got another horse...it would be a 15.2-16hh TB/Iberian/cobby...something...preferably dun or palomino, with great ability to "sit" and a great shoulder, with suspension in the trot, and a great attitude.

                                      I "accidentally" looked on CL and saw an ad for an Andalusian X filly...and thought I'd just go "look". She was way too small for me (I'm 5'10), and with great relief I walked away...but the bug caught me.. I then looked on CL again and came upon an ad for a really beautiful, super well bred (Muchos Billy Boon X Brazen Sugar Cookie) but unregistered, bay quarter horse colt (2) nearby who resembled a horse I had in the past. I went to see him, and he was a pathetic pile of wormy awfulness, and I bought him for $450 as a project. I then "accidentally" came across an Arabian mare (By Golly Nika) a Polish/Spanish race bred, bay, (9), broke, gorgeous mover and built like a tank at 15.1...she was at a jousting barn. I bought her for $500. I then bought an Andalusian/QH filly (2) who is registered and bay and will be tall-ish, her sire is Magico VIII.

                                      Last week, I got a text and a picture of a yearling colt..buckskin, sire (same as above wormy colt), mother grade QH/something drafty (haffy or belgian possibly) that has won a ton at rodeo events...for free. My lips were moving...OK. He looks super, but hasn't arrived yet.

                                      The bay QH has put on tons of weight, has been gelded, was really a pill...now he's doing well in his ground work. He's a really good mover..his butt is 15.1, and his wither is 14.3..string test says 16hh...go figure...

                                      The Arab mare is my soulmate. She has spectacular movement and is the sweetest thing ever....I swore I'd never have another Arab.

                                      The Andy/X filly hasn't arrived yet, but will be here in the spring.

                                      Oh well...or should I say...Oy Vey....

                                      They will all be classically trained...and we'll see what happens...LOL


                                      • #20
                                        My needs were simple: a small brown mare that, after a few years of full-time training, I could "take over" (still with trainer help), enjoy and show.

                                        I got my brown mare, 3, straight out of the field, who grew taller than I wanted and more beautiful than anyone deserves. And thoroughly not an ammie horse. However, she IS so much fun with the right structure and guidance, I'm very happy.