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Where/How did you find your horse?

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  • Where/How did you find your horse?

    I've been looking for what seems like forever... reality since June...and haven't found a suitable horse. I've vetted one and decided ultimately I had to pass based on my vet's advice-- I had taken a few lessons on that horse and was more than ready to take that horse home and got my heart broken.

    I'm probably an advanced beginner rider looking for my first horse... I rode through college and have since afterwards and have rode a few difficult horses, but I realize there's so much I have yet to learn. So I'm looking for a horse that's gentle, tolerant, and has an amazing mind. I could care less about athletic ability... I want to go to start eventing and only plan on going BN-- maybe novice. It really doesn't matter to me... I'm going to be the biggest limitation on my horse's ability to advance up the ranks. I'm working my trainer in finding a horse and we've hard time finding nice, easy going horses bigger horses (I'm 5'10 with long legs).

    So the question is how long did it take for you to find your horse, how did you find him, and how long did it take?

  • #2
    It took me months to find my perfect horse! I looked all over the place, all the online sites and called a bunch of barns, then someone I know saw someone she knew riding a horse and Bingo! I was looking for a Novice packer, had to be honest but never had to do upper levels. Had to have the right brain for an adult who's not getting younger, had to be sound. Didn't have to be too trained but wanted to avoid really bad training. I find that you're better off talking to reputable trainers and barns than just using online site, although I know people who've gotten horses all sorts of ways.


    • #3
      Well My current horse I got REALLY luck with. I looked at two horses the first with questionable soundness the second was definitely just lame (owner didn't even notice..talk about awkward) then My guy was the third one i looked at in person ( i screened out a ton through video and usea records) so after about a month I found him randomly on dreamhorse. My sister on the other hand looked for 14 month before finding one via our farrier. The farrier also found us another reallyyy cool pony... so we've done it the easy way and the hard way I guess...

      eta to add- dont worry about size too much I know a number of ppl in the 5'10"- 11" range on horses in the 15.2-15.3 h range and they do just fine!


      • #4
        I found mine by mistake. Not even looking for a horse at the time. Asked to visit a warmblood breeder (and informed him up front I just wanted to visit and was NOT on the market for a horse). Well he had this OTTB mare that didn't get pregnant and was downsizing his herd. So I got stuck with her. I've had her for over 2 years now.


        • #5
          Most of my horses have come to me in one way or another when I wasn't expecting it. I've always chalked that up to "horsey fate"

          But a few years ago I started looking for a big jumper prospect....2-3 years old and preferably unstarted. It was so much harder than I ever would have expected! It took me forever to find one I liked enough to vet, and when I did the vet check on one 3yo mare who was a few weeks under saddle she failed the vet check miserably. My vet, who understands my program and usually stands by "risky" purchases, said "run, don't walk away from this one." That was maybe 8 months into the search. It took me another 6 months to end up with a coming yearling.

          So the last time I went looking for a horse it ended up turning into a 14 month search. With that being said, I already had several horses to ride and show, so I wasn't in a hurry. My feeling has always been that the "right" horse will show up at the "right" time, whatever that is. Good luck in your search!
          Flying F Sport Horses
          Horses in the NW


          • #6
            I was looking for a horse to full lease, my trainer and B/O brought in a horse for me to trial, I was not aware I was looking at 4yo OTTB's for sale only...but there he was. Then I bought him. A month.

            Your horse will find you. Be patient, have fun, and good luck!


            • #7
              I looked for just over a year. I was looking all over the country, and was planning a trip to Florida (I live in MT) when a trainer who I had tried some horses with wrote on my Facebook that Hawley had a solid Prelim horse for sale if I was still looking and I should go look at him.
              So I did. I was looking for a big Warmblood but tried the skinny, spooky little Thoroughbred and ended up falling in love I rode a few others on that trip but vetted him and had him shipped up a few days later He's not perfect for me, but he is talented and willing and I can't wait to see how far he'll go. And can't wait to ride him again!
              My other (lease) horse I found when, after my trainer and I decided I should take some time off from riding my horse and I should either a) buy another horse (after buying horse number 1 we didn't really have the money to buy a packer of the type I was looking for) b) ride an older, super experienced horse at her barn who I had already been riding a little or c) (which was not really an option at first) lease one! She went down to Twin Rivers 2 days later and called me that night to tell me she found the perfect horse for me to lease and she was going to have him sent up for me on Sunday. It was completely and totally random and he is quite perfect for me right now


              • #8
                There are times when you have to read between the lines of what your vet says... He has his behind to look after as well, you know.
                "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


                • #9
                  It took me a day. Wasn't even seriously into my horse search when the perfect one came along. My trainer took me out to the local sale barn when another appointment fell through. Horse was there, had only been there for three days. When I tried her, I just knew. Vetted clean, price was perfect, personality, training and ability were exactly what I wanted. I usually have have everything line up so perfectly like this though, I'm sure on future horse searches I won't be so lucky.


                  • #10
                    off track & rescue

                    One I got off the track - he's a cute mover and finally getting his head around after a year, but still isn't super confident jumping. The other one is also an OTTB my trainer found starving in someone's backyard - I ended up buying him because it was love at first sit - we had a great connection halfway through the first ride.

                    I have had good luck finding horses through shoers, too.

                    They always seem to find me.


                    • #11
                      they find me... whether I like it or not
                      chaque pas est fait ensemble


                      • #12
                        Last horse I bought after my vet called me and told me I needed to go look at her. She was right, of course
                        "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                        -Edward Hoagland


                        • #13
                          Not sure where you are located -- but I saw this on Facebook --


                          Good luck!


                          • #14
                            I retired my old man October of 2009. I started really looking in December/January. In October of this year a ULR/ULHO friend of mine, Gillian Webster, who knew the type of horse I like and how I rode walked up to me at an event and offered me a horse to try. So like others here, the horse found me. I was still in a cast then so it was another month before I could ride him, and after 30 minutes I said, "The only deciding factor left is the vet."



                            • #15
                              McKinna? We got her at the Woodburn auction. No test ride, no vet check, just 30 seconds or so of watching her in the 30x30 ring under western tack

                              Naturally, I highly discourage buying horses that way. Though, she IS pretty much perfect, and 100% sound, and I adore her to the ends of the earth, and I wonder on a regular basis how I am ever going to find another horse as awesome. We were just very lucky.

                              The last horse I bought was an Appendix QH mare off of the local Craigslist. She kind of found me, like a lot of people are saying. I wasn't looking (I had a broken ankle and was still on crutches), but I'd just been discussing how I really liked a friend's Appendix with my mother, and behold, one pops up on Craigslist! She was 6, had some XC experience, and was definitely the right price. It took a little TLC in terms of chiropractor work and patient training to re-teach correct basics, but she is literally the sweetest horse I've ever met. She's owned by a lady up in Washington now who is getting into eventing and she thinks that mare is the best thing since sliced bread.


                              • #16
                                If I worked as hard at finding a man...

                                If I worked as hard at finding a man like I did for a horse, I would have been happily married for years by now!

                                I meticulously (obsessively) combed through every sales barn websites (eventing and foxhunting), used dreamhorse.com, equine.com and equinsite.com, notified my event and dressage trainers that I was looking.

                                I had an outline (kind of broad) of what I was looking for (between ages 5-12, 16.2H - 17.3H, has evented or foxhunted/potential to event, all-rounder type of horse - no cribbers, could hack out alone)

                                Contacted Diane Crump and made three trips to VA to look at horses, sent my trainer down to try ride finalist (I rode first, videoed before sending her).

                                3 months and 24 rides later... the "perfect" horse... (I'm sure just like a "perfect" husband... love her to death even when we were fighting and needed marriage counseling) Been together for 6 years now!

                                The effort was well worth it!
                                Live, Laugh, Love


                                • #17
                                  This horse was offered in a text-only ad on equine.com...usually I ignore those, but something in this one piqued my interest. The only videos I got were short clips of him pulling an old lady in a carriage down a country road. Rode him twice (there wasn't much to see as he was very green broke), then TRADED my mare for him. Loooong story.
                                  Took me a few weeks to find him, and I LOVE him.

                                  Where are you located, ndirish?
                                  Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                                  • #18
                                    I feel your pain! I looked for about 3 months, rode over 30 horses (I think; I'm afraid to actually count). Mostly online ads, but also word of mouth, vet, etc. Had 3 failed vetttings, finally found one that a student at an UL barn was selling. Passed vetting with flying colors! My only advice is to be patient (which you clearly are being if you've been looking since June). And unlike a previous poster, I would say listen to your vet!


                                    • #19
                                      Vernon I found by accident. Window shopping one day, saw his ad, thought of him for a resale project. Went and looked, liked, bought for a song. Then the bottom fell out of the market, I was allowed to keep him.

                                      Now I'm actually horse shopping for the first time in my life (for myself, that is) and I officially hate the process.


                                      • #20
                                        It took a year for Patrick to find me. It was miserable, going out every weekend to ride some new horse (I don't like getting on strange horses...) with DH and the video camera tagging along.

                                        I told everyone what I was looking for. Eventually, I got a call from a friend who was out in California at an event, about a horse that had done Prelim in the past but wasn't really being used regularly. "He's not very pretty..." she said.

                                        My coach was out there for the event and was staying after so I asked him to please try the horse and let me know. He rode, then put a student on him and said "Do everything wrong." Patrick was perfect. Coach called and said, "I think you should come try this horse, it's like riding a couch."

                                        I scheduled a vet check and asked if the seller would like a deposit!

                                        My advice... tell everyone you're looking, even non-horse people. You never know who they will tell and what friend of a friend will see something and think of you. There are some really good ones that are not advertised.
                                        ... and Patrick