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A packer that's never competed?

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  • A packer that's never competed?

    So I am horse shopping, STILL. <sigh> I am really surprised at how many people have approached my trainer or me with a "novice packer" that has either never evented at all or never gone novice.

    Do people use "packer" in the future tense - as in "he's calm enough to be a packer one day after you spend a year or two showing him the eventing ropes?" I always thought a packer had competed at a certain level competently and could help out a less than perfect rider (aka me when I'm being a chicken.)

    This is half vent/half question to make sure I am not completely off-base when discussing horses with sellers.

  • #2
    Originally posted by BestHorses View Post
    So I am horse shopping, STILL. <sigh> I am really surprised at how many people have approached my trainer or me with a "novice packer" that has either never evented at all or never gone novice.

    Do people use "packer" in the future tense - as in "he's calm enough to be a packer one day after you spend a year or two showing him the eventing ropes?" I always thought a packer had competed at a certain level competently and could help out a less than perfect rider (aka me when I'm being a chicken.)

    This is half vent/half question to make sure I am not completely off-base when discussing horses with sellers.
    Yes I've seen many use it in the "future" sort of way. Usually means they are honest and generous in nature. You just need to make sure you understand how they are using the term....and the horse is priced accordingly.

    I only think one could use it in the "future" tense for an event horse if the horse have been xc schooling and to some type of competitions. Otherwise, you really can't tell if they have the potential to be a packer as an eventer. Then there are horses like my mare...who clearly will NEVER be a packer

    ETA: I should be clear that it it is in the ad...it should not just be that they are a "packer" but that will be a packer...or has the potential to be a packer etc. I personally do not use this term this way but see it used this way and understand what they mean.
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Apr. 21, 2011, 05:03 PM.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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    • #3
      www.sporthorsenation.com

      I've seen a lot of horses on the website advertised as "packers" or confidence builders, and they are coming out of well known barns/programs.

      IMHO, anything advertised as a "packer" should have competed quite a bit. You can say a horse is ammy friendly, but it's not a packer until it's proven itself at competitions.
      No Trouble
      2/2/05 - 7/29/13
      Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.

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      • #4
        People say all kinds of crazy things, which I am sure doesn't surprise you

        Giving them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they mean pack novice (aka beginner riders) in lessons and xc schooling (as opposed to have packed anyone around an actual novice course)

        Or it could be the future tense thing. Or, it could be that the horse has only done starter trials at novice and thus doesn't have a record you can find.

        Of course, they could just be making s&$+ up.
        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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        • #5
          In the h/j world, "packer" pretty exclusively describes a horse with a lot of showing experience that can jump safely and competently around a course with a blindfolded monkey on its back, as in, "Susie seems to win everything!" "Oh she just bought a packer"

          I wouldn't use "packer" to describe a horse that hasn't competed. I guess people just mean "ammie-friendly" when they say it.

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          • #6
            i have one like this that my friend is selling (im not advertising her here). she hasnt done 'recognized' competitions but you could take her to a horse trial this weekend at novice and place well.

            i wouldn't advertise her using the term "packer" because of her nonexistant usea record, but i understand what people mean when they do say that.

            horse shopping and horse selling is seriously frustrating!
            Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
            Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

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            • #7
              There are a couple at the barn I'm at that are like that. Packer is what they are but they're described as Beginner - Ammy friendly. CS has it right for the description. The ones at our barn have never won anything huge and likely wouldn't (Not fancy enough) but they're safe, sound and good for the local shows to get ribbons on. A phrase I have seen used and even done it myself is a packer type meaning they'll get the kiddo ribbons on the local and they've been around the line a few times but it's all non rated and schooling shows.
              Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
              Originally Posted by alicen:
              What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

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              • #8
                I've got one I call a "future packer". And he DOES have a record (2 rec at BN and 2 rec at N, plus some unrec).

                He has the skill and the attitude to be a packer, but he still has occaisional "green" moments.
                Janet

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                • #9
                  I'm going to muddle the water. It depends on what the packer was doing and how calm he was when he did it.

                  My first event horse was an incredible packer who had never evented. He was a medal- maclay equitation horse who went to the Garden every year. His previous rider was a teenager who had run away from home. Her parents decided to sell the horse.

                  I couldn't afford him, and told them I couldn't on the phone, without even wasting their time. I did tell them my background, who was teaching me, and what I wanted to do. I explained about the great home, too.

                  About a month later, I got a call from them to come see the horse. I went with my teacher, a former member of the Army pentathalon team. The horse was a gorgeous english type Tb, with the manners of an English butler.

                  He could look at the course and do it perfectly. The dressage was magnificent. Flying changes were effortless. I was winning most of the competitions. I even thought I was a pretty good rider, lol!

                  This horse was so wonderful that Mike Plumb came over and asked if I would sell him! Then, I knew I better not sell him...

                  The butler did have a secret vice. He was a speed demon foxhunting.
                  Intermediate Riding Skills

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                  • #10
                    I think a packer should have done what he is advertised as being a packer for.... because otherwise how can you be sure? I have a total Novice packer, she is safe as houses (the title of her ad on dreamhorse is "safest. horse. ever." LOL) and totally sane but I would never advertise her as, say, a foxhunting PACKER because she has never foxhunted! Though she would be AWESOME at it....!

                    Jennifer
                    Third Charm Event Team

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                    • #11
                      Well, I can see how basically everyones perspective on this is correct as it's just such a subjective term.

                      I have a pony I use for lessons that I refer to as a packer. She has tons of trail experience, confident, calm, will go over any jump or obstacle, or thru any water, etc. She is also quiet enough for a beginner, etc.

                      I refer to her as a packer in general. If you got her fit enough she could probably go BN, mayyyybe N (If she was fit enough... she tends towards lazy and fat.) and I do believe she would be a "packer" at it first time out. I had a boarder, whose horse was off, take her to a mini trial last summer. Pony had never done anything like that before... it was her first dressage test, first time showing over anything except X-rails. She took second in the 2ft. division.
                      2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com

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                      • #12
                        The difference is, they shouldn't be saying "NOVICE packer" if the horse has never evented (or gone Novice)...!!! "Packer" in general is quite different, and acceptable.

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                        • #13
                          Not that my opinion means anything...but if you need to be packed around and you are old enough to drive don't you think maybe the extra money spent on a special horse that will win ribbons with any rider should be spent on lessons so the 'rider' can win ribbons on an average horse?
                          A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
                          Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 5 View Post
                            Not that my opinion means anything...but if you need to be packed around and you are old enough to drive don't you think maybe the extra money spent on a special horse that will win ribbons with any rider should be spent on lessons so the 'rider' can win ribbons on an average horse?
                            I guess that would depend if you had more money than time and was able to afford that packer and just wanted a break from your busy life to go "get packed around" a fun course of jumps on the occasional weekend.

                            Taking lessons and buying an inexperienced "average" horse and turning that horse into a ribbon-winner includes many hours of barn time and ride time and a good bit of mental stress.

                            So my answer would be, no, the money shouldn't necessarily be spent on lessons. The rider's overall goal has to be considered.
                            Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.

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                            • #15
                              So if money is better spent on lessons, what kind of horse are you supposed to buy and how long and how many times do you get dumped until you can compete well?
                              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by scubed View Post
                                People say all kinds of crazy things, which I am sure doesn't surprise you

                                Giving them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they mean pack novice (aka beginner riders) in lessons and xc schooling (as opposed to have packed anyone around an actual novice course)
                                That's a take on it I hadn't considered. It definitely would make sense for people outside the eventing world to say it that way.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  quit relying on labels

                                  My wife and I had a similar muddle. I've decided that the only thing you can do is quit using a simple term to describe what you want. Judge the horse against what you want. Then it doesn't matter what the seller calls their horse. Trying to figure out if their packer equals your packer is useless. If the horse is laid back and seems likely to be good at what you want, then you decide if you want a proven commodity or if you are willing to take a chance. Forget packer. You can call the horse a packer after you get it and prove to yourself that you have one.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Pferd51 View Post
                                    If the horse is laid back and seems likely to be good at what you want, then you decide if you want a proven commodity or if you are willing to take a chance.
                                    That's pretty much what I've been doing since you have to take whatever a seller tells you with a grain of salt. I just think it's kind of funny (or annoying depending on the day) the different descriptions you see. Anyone seen the 7 year old "schoolmaster" currently being advertised by a BNT?

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                                    • #19
                                      [QUOTE=whicker;5560089]I'm going to muddle the water. It depends on what the packer was doing and how calm he was when he did it.

                                      My first event horse was an incredible packer who had never evented. He was a medal- maclay equitation horse who went to the Garden every year. His previous rider was a teenager who had run away from home. Her parents decided to sell the horse.


                                      Seconded! My UL horse is an absolute packer in every sense of the word over fences... so long as you look at your out and keep your leg on. Never a stop at Intermediate with me, he recently "packed" a gal around training while she had a melt down from past negative experiences... all in a snaffle. HOWEVER... Although this horse will save you any day over fences, he is a cow in the dressage arena! A confirmed 3rd level horse, he will exit/tear down arena at any moment should he decide you don't deserve the ride at a horse trial. At dressage shows, he scores in the high 60's. I wouldn't hesitate to put ANYONE on this horse for a safe ride that will establish confidence.
                                      So, although he is a packer, I would only advertise him as such over fences, not on the flat... He is still a true pro's ride at the upper levels, despite being honest and taking care of his rider. He would most likely drive an ammy nuts with all his antics around the barn.
                                      Keep your feet on the ground, but always look to the stars!

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