• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 2/8/18)
See more
See less

Buying a horse sight unseen?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Buying a horse sight unseen?

    Has anyone had experience purchasing a horse without riding it first? How has it turned out for you? As background, there is a young horse in Europe that is of great interest to me. Seller (horse dealer) says it's the perfect amateur horse with mind of an older horse. Movement is lovely, nice but not extravagant. Doesn't look overridden in video. Size is perfect for me. Research on bloodlines indicates stallion and dam's sire both produce highly rideable horses. And I really don't want to travel to Northern Europe in the winter time! Can't find out much about horse seller, however. Just testimonials she puts on her website. Looked up some of those names on centerlinescores.com and not many of them are there. Could mean this seller's typical buyer doesn't like to show. Or it could mean that horses are not as represented. Or could mean that buyers shouldn't buy horses sight unseen, because they might not be a good match! Anyway, any experiences you are willing to share would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Please be very cautious. I have purchased a few without seeing them in person. It is risky even when there are good recommendations. Anyone buying a horse in Europe is likely planning to show it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Find out what registry the horse is with( Oldenburg..Holsteiner...etc) then get the bloodlines and find out who bred the horse. If you can get that information, then you might have success with contacting your local English speaking registry representatives. They may be able to give you more information about the horse and perhaps the seller.

      I spoke directly to the head of the German Oldenburg Verband and got a wealth of great information about the horse ...before ....I purchased ...sight unseen...for an enormous amount of money..at least for me. The horse I purchased was performance tested and was well known by the verband inspectors. I also had a pre-purchase exam done and had the report and xrays sent to my vet.

      Registered horses are usually (not always) inspected so there may be a report on the horse....with the registry. I hope this helps.

      I purchased the horse, it was a wonderful experience and the mare gave me wonderful foals....she is still in my barn fat and happy.

      Comment


      • #4
        I did this recently - based on info from very trusted sources etc. I imported the horse without meeting it.

        I think it depends on what you intend this horse to be - is it an investment / resale or a member of the family? I have found that even though I thought I would be compatible with anything, the import just doesn't spark with me like my other horses do. Mine are part of the family and this one is lovely - perfect for her job - never a foot wrong - better than advertised BUT are we best buds? No. Not at all. We tolerate each other but will never be in love. We're just different, we want different things from our partners.

        So...she's currently for sale and I won't buy a personal horse without meeting it first. It was an expensive and slightly sad lesson for me, but I'm working hard to find her a person that sparks with her.

        Hay, flights are cheap in winter

        Comment


        • #5
          Are you working with an agent at all, or is this a horse you found on your own?

          i’ve done it, and it worked out incredibly well for me, but I don’t know that I would’ve taken the plunge if the horse hadn’t been brought to my attention by an agent who was recommended as very honest to me by someone I trust. Of course, I would’ve preferred to go ride him/try others in person, but the agent had been sending me possibilities, and when I saw this one I just knew he was it (And I’d seen a lot of nice looking horses up to that point!). I couldn’t take the time off to go for another couple of weeks, and I knew he would be gone by that time.

          be aware that amateur friendly can mean something slightly different in Europe than it does here... they are very skilled. Think about what you can handle. My horse was represented as being very sweet and easy, which he is, but he’s also quite powerful and sensitive, moreso than the average horse marketed as ammy friendly in North America, which I was prepared for/prefer. If the horse shows up hotter/quirkier/greener than you thought, will you be ok with that?

          Vetting is critical. I’d be looking for good vet recommendations near the horse just as much as feedback on the seller....

          i’d also be super thorough getting video/conformation shots/etc.

          Don’t know what price range you’re looking in, but if it seems like a really great deal/too good to be true, I’d be very cautious.

          All that said, I’m sure you’ll get a lot of cautionary tales, so I wanted to share a positive story... I feel like this is probably the nicest horse I will ever own, and he’s definitely the sweetest!

          Good luck!


          Comment


          • #6
            Offhand I know two people who have done this. One bought a young horse (4ish at the time) and he has turned into a lovely and capable adult ammy eventer. The other bought an upper level dressage horse based on US pro recommendation. Did not turn out so well, and the horse is, I think, going back up for sale.

            IMO horse buying is hard enough when you are eyes-on and a trial ride, and maybe even know the parties involved. I've seen some of those bad decisions. BUT I can't imagine a sight unseen, across the ocean purchase. . That said, with a young horse (as opposed to upper level horse) there is less cash outlay so more opportunity to recoup money if it isn't as said. Another factor, I hate to say, is your age/experience. If you are younger and a solid rider you may be fine; if you are an older ammy, like some of us, you are probably not so flexible as to what you can deal with...
            This is a big investment in any case. Personally I'd suck it up and get on a plane. And look at a number of horses while there.

            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

            Comment


            • #7
              I bought my horse without looking at her luckily we turned out to be a great match. I knew someone in the area and I had them try her out for me, if you have someone that could go there for you that made me feel so much better. I would say as long as you are willing to take the risk the reward could be great!

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't have any experience with buying from overseas but have bought sight unseen here in the US. Sometimes it turned out ok, others not so much. However I am comfortable with working with quirks and behavioral issues so I worked with them and found them lovely homes with riders who just loved them. I can't imagine buying a horse from overseas, but there are plenty of people who do it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to say, if the horse is in the mid 5 figures on up, $500 for airfare and maybe that again for hotel and transport seems like a small price to pay and much less than you'll lose if you sell quickly because it's not a good match.

                  I could see a trainer taking a $1000 ottb prospect from a trusted source sight unseen. But if this is going to be your one pet horse it might be good to see in person.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by quiet girl View Post
                    Please be very cautious. I have purchased a few without seeing them in person. It is risky even when there are good recommendations. Anyone buying a horse in Europe is likely planning to show it.
                    Thanks. Good point about showing the horse.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ticker View Post
                      Find out what registry the horse is with( Oldenburg..Holsteiner...etc) then get the bloodlines and find out who bred the horse. If you can get that information, then you might have success with contacting your local English speaking registry representatives. They may be able to give you more information about the horse and perhaps the seller.

                      I spoke directly to the head of the German Oldenburg Verband and got a wealth of great information about the horse ...before ....I purchased ...sight unseen...for an enormous amount of money..at least for me. The horse I purchased was performance tested and was well known by the verband inspectors. I also had a pre-purchase exam done and had the report and xrays sent to my vet.

                      Registered horses are usually (not always) inspected so there may be a report on the horse....with the registry. I hope this helps.

                      I purchased the horse, it was a wonderful experience and the mare gave me wonderful foals....she is still in my barn fat and happy.
                      Thanks. His brand would indicate Hanoverian. I'll try to contact them. Couldn't find anything directly from their website.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by UpHillFarm View Post
                        I did this recently - based on info from very trusted sources etc. I imported the horse without meeting it.

                        I think it depends on what you intend this horse to be - is it an investment / resale or a member of the family? I have found that even though I thought I would be compatible with anything, the import just doesn't spark with me like my other horses do. Mine are part of the family and this one is lovely - perfect for her job - never a foot wrong - better than advertised BUT are we best buds? No. Not at all. We tolerate each other but will never be in love. We're just different, we want different things from our partners.

                        So...she's currently for sale and I won't buy a personal horse without meeting it first. It was an expensive and slightly sad lesson for me, but I'm working hard to find her a person that sparks with her.

                        Hay, flights are cheap in winter
                        Yes, horse would definitely be member of family. Sorry yours didn't work out.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                          Offhand I know two people who have done this. One bought a young horse (4ish at the time) and he has turned into a lovely and capable adult ammy eventer. The other bought an upper level dressage horse based on US pro recommendation. Did not turn out so well, and the horse is, I think, going back up for sale.

                          IMO horse buying is hard enough when you are eyes-on and a trial ride, and maybe even know the parties involved. I've seen some of those bad decisions. BUT I can't imagine a sight unseen, across the ocean purchase. . That said, with a young horse (as opposed to upper level horse) there is less cash outlay so more opportunity to recoup money if it isn't as said. Another factor, I hate to say, is your age/experience. If you are younger and a solid rider you may be fine; if you are an older ammy, like some of us, you are probably not so flexible as to what you can deal with...
                          This is a big investment in any case. Personally I'd suck it up and get on a plane. And look at a number of horses while there.
                          In some ways it's more difficult to buy an upper level horse sight unseen, because the training system becomes a consideration. Theoretically a younger horse should be more of a blank slate. Even still, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around taking the risk. Thanks for your thoughts.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by kmar View Post
                            Are you working with an agent at all, or is this a horse you found on your own?

                            i’ve done it, and it worked out incredibly well for me, but I don’t know that I would’ve taken the plunge if the horse hadn’t been brought to my attention by an agent who was recommended as very honest to me by someone I trust. Of course, I would’ve preferred to go ride him/try others in person, but the agent had been sending me possibilities, and when I saw this one I just knew he was it (And I’d seen a lot of nice looking horses up to that point!). I couldn’t take the time off to go for another couple of weeks, and I knew he would be gone by that time.

                            be aware that amateur friendly can mean something slightly different in Europe than it does here... they are very skilled. Think about what you can handle. My horse was represented as being very sweet and easy, which he is, but he’s also quite powerful and sensitive, moreso than the average horse marketed as ammy friendly in North America, which I was prepared for/prefer. If the horse shows up hotter/quirkier/greener than you thought, will you be ok with that?

                            Vetting is critical. I’d be looking for good vet recommendations near the horse just as much as feedback on the seller....

                            i’d also be super thorough getting video/conformation shots/etc.

                            Don’t know what price range you’re looking in, but if it seems like a really great deal/too good to be true, I’d be very cautious.

                            All that said, I’m sure you’ll get a lot of cautionary tales, so I wanted to share a positive story... I feel like this is probably the nicest horse I will ever own, and he’s definitely the sweetest!

                            Good luck!

                            Thank you for your thoughts. This horse was posted to a Facebook group I'm a member of, so no trusted agent is involved. I probably would be OK with greener, as I have help. Quirkier would be an issue, so I'll have to explore that in depth. And vetting IS critical!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Highly not recommended.

                              Sire and Dam searches only tell you so much. The "reputation" represents the average of the offspring produced, not "this horse". My horse's sire is known to produce easy and ammie type dressage horses. My horse-not so much. People who have relatives, even the breeder, suggested I was wrong. Every good trainer in my area who has actually worked with this horse knows I am right. Genetics predict an average, but there are always produce on both sides of the bell curve. Breeders sometimes don't want to accept normal genetic distribution of traits of their offspring. Which is counter-productive to their own program. Riders of young horses are often specialists in Europe, likely you can't ride the horse to the potential of the sales/auction rider. Videos look fantastic!

                              If you don't have someone trusted to visit and handle this horse, you accept the risk that this horse is not "what you expect" and you have little recourse if it's not.

                              In the grand scheme of lifetime costs, a trip to Europe is nothing. If that's something you can't do, there are plenty of equally nice youngsters in the U.S. that you can visit and ride/send a trainer to ride.

                              It's great if you find a horse you like via Facebook, but you HAVE to have the resources to absorb having a distant vet give a fair PPE for you, trust the people who will transport the horse to and from the airplane, deal with any health or training issues after it arrives.

                              Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I agree that it's just not the best option for most. Having said that however i have done it multiple times and was only wishing I hadn't once. I was well versed in the bloodlines and for me the gamble paid off better than breeding roulette though I've been pretty darn lucky there as well. it's nothing I would recommend or advise someone else to do.
                                Ranch of Last Resort

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
                                  Highly not recommended.

                                  Sire and Dam searches only tell you so much. The "reputation" represents the average of the offspring produced, not "this horse". My horse's sire is known to produce easy and ammie type dressage horses. My horse-not so much. People who have relatives, even the breeder, suggested I was wrong. Every good trainer in my area who has actually worked with this horse knows I am right. Genetics predict an average, but there are always produce on both sides of the bell curve. Breeders sometimes don't want to accept normal genetic distribution of traits of their offspring. Which is counter-productive to their own program. Riders of young horses are often specialists in Europe, likely you can't ride the horse to the potential of the sales/auction rider. Videos look fantastic!

                                  If you don't have someone trusted to visit and handle this horse, you accept the risk that this horse is not "what you expect" and you have little recourse if it's not.

                                  In the grand scheme of lifetime costs, a trip to Europe is nothing. If that's something you can't do, there are plenty of equally nice youngsters in the U.S. that you can visit and ride/send a trainer to ride.

                                  It's great if you find a horse you like via Facebook, but you HAVE to have the resources to absorb having a distant vet give a fair PPE for you, trust the people who will transport the horse to and from the airplane, deal with any health or training issues after it arrives.

                                  Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                  You are absolutely right. Especially since I can become easily nervous, it is probably a good idea to pass on this young of a horse (four) anyway. The next horse I get will probably be my last, so I need to be extra careful in making sure the gaits, rideability and character are exactly what I need. Buying off a video cannot ensure any of those. It's too easy to get emotionally sucked in by a beautiful horse and a beautifully written sales ad.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    That seema like a sound decision. Unless you sit on a horse and do at least a trial ride, it is very difficult to determine if its a good fit. If this is to be a personal lifetime horse, you want to be sure that the one you purchase is "the one". Good luck in your search!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I bought a filly site unseen in the US. I would probably never do it again. Nothing wrong with her. She had decent breeding and was beautiful.....I did not like her the minute she got off the trailer. No reason, just no connection.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I bought a green 3 year old Arabian almost 10 years ago sight unseen and he and I will be attempting PSG in 2018. Although not a high dollar purchase it was the craziest and best decision I have ever made. I don’t think I would ever do it again as I’m sure I would never be so lucky again.

                                        For a higher dollar horse I wouldn’t do a sight unseeen unless a very thorough prepurchase was done with X-rays and findings were sent to a vet you trust. Even with a young horse it’s a crap shoot as far as talent, rideability etc. Someone I know imported a 3 year old and 2 years later was diagnosed with multiple areas of neck arthritis...a few others developed dangerous behaviors when asked for a more second/third level frame. A friend now is shopping for a young horse in the less than $25k range and all of them have findings on X-ray that are discouraging.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X