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Two nice horses, tough choices.. what would you do?

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  • Two nice horses, tough choices.. what would you do?

    Hey everyone-

    I have a coming three year old gelding out of my mare who is very well bred for eventing (Caro, babamist, water serpent...) and by Riverman (HOL). He is a very good mover and from what I have seen from his accidental jumping, a good jumper. He was purpose bred by me for me to be my next event horse that could take me back up to intermediate and beyond.

    I have taken up retraining off the track thoroughbreds to keep myself busy while I wait for my young horse to grow up. So far I have been very successful at buying quality horses and selling them.

    My most recent purchase I have actually had for over a 18 months. He is an exceptionally well-built gelding. He has slightly above average movement, an average trot, but a very nice walk and canter. He is a phenomenal jumper. Just phenomenal. After a year off the track and about 6 months total training was winning level 2 jumpers and this past weekend was third in his first training level event with a 34 in dressage and double clear cross-country. I think this horse has what it takes to get to intermediate, and maybe beyond (though I have never had an advanced horse, so I can't honestly say I know what that feels like).

    This horse, as I mentioned, is for resale purposes. However, he is slightly difficult in his personality. He is one that takes quite a bit of patience as he is ADHD. when you make him focus, he is wonderful. However, he is the typical "wont stand still" gets nervous before dressage" a pain on the trailer at times, and when another horse leaves him on the trailer, good lord... He has been getting exponentially better as time passes and he detoxes from thinking he is going to race on the track but still, not the easiest sale.

    I am a wife, mother of a one year old, and work full time. I have to sell one of them as I can't afford to continue to pay for both, pay for showing for both, and get a horse up to prelim/intermediate... I just don't have the time to ride both.

    While I realize there are no guarantees that my young horse will make it to intermediate, I don't know what he has in him and I would hate to sell him prematurely. His breeding was also a gift that I would hate to give away, and while I 100% own this horse and have free will to do what I want, I would hate to give that away, at least without knowing. At the same time, this other gelding is 6 years old and on his way to Prelim this spring. I think he could go far, fast, fast enough where I would have to slow down due to his age instead of his ability.

    So, what would you do? I realize you don't know all the details, but from a business point of view, is it best to sell the one that is easiest to sell? Which one is then easier? The difficult personality but exceptional jumper and proven competitor? or the very well bred, un proved and just broke (as he will be before I would sell him) young horse?



  • #2
    Do you want to compete RIGHT NOW? Keep the TB.

    Do you enjoy the training aspect? Keep the baby.

    To paraphrase Jimmy Wofford, which one gives you the greatest joy when you see his head hanging out of his stall?


    • #3
      FlightCheck, Thank you for including Jimmy's quote. Somehow, in the midst of our very cold winter, that put everything in perspective for me today.

      My heart says keep the one you raised, but I realize you are thinking more from the business end.

      Maybe the answer is that either choice is a good one, you are lucky to have two very nice horses in the barn.


      • Original Poster

        I 100% agree that this is a good choice, and yes... that quote is perfect and something to really think about.


        • #5
          In your post....it comes across that you like the TB more.

          I think that they both sound lovely and fun but for different reasons. If it was me....and I had to sell one. I'd put a price on both of them that I would be ok to see them go at.....and then which ever one sells first goes.

          I would suspect it will be the going horse more than the youngster.

          I would say that you have time on your coming three year old though. No reason he has to take a lot of your time or $$ (he doesn't need to be showing) for 2 more years. Get him started when you give your TB time off....drag him along to a few events on the trailer....that is more than enough. (especially with his pedigree....it SCREAMs late bloomer based on what I know personally from those blood lines).
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


          • Original Poster

            You nailed it... the young horse is 1/16 ID, 7/16 TB and 1/2 HOL (which brings in whatever TB riverman has..) but his mother was a very late bloomer, and being half warmblood... he is going to tool aroudn for a while. He is also close to 17 hands, or will be by summer, so large, young, and warmblood... hmmm...gonna be a while


            • #7
              Keep the TB. The couple of Riverman babies I have been around were nice horses but not easy. One had mounting issues for a long time although he was carefully brought along and if one was out of position on him would panic, scoot, run and buck.


              • #8
                I wouldn't sell the baby just yet. I think you'll regret that as you'll "never know if he was the one." I also think selling the going horse will be much easier than an immature WB that someone will have to wait for (or not wait for and thus ruin). If the TB is that talented, try marketing him to more upper-level riders who don't worry so much about a difficult personality.


                • #9
                  If you end up not being able to decide, put them both up for sale and see who finds a good home first. For me, I always have people want the horses that I don't want to sell....and I can never find buyers for the ones that I have for sale on purpose!!! Hind site says "Sell while they are going good, and you feel like keeping them".
                  But, good that you have two good horses to decide between.
                  With these horses, you gotta enjoy the journey!


                  • #10
                    If you can, keep them and see... but from a business POV, sell the youngster who sounds like a very easy horse to sell, with height, breeding, gaits, etc... a slightly difficult tb is so hard to sell for anything worthwhile....

                    Third Charm Event Team


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bamboo View Post
                      Keep the TB. The couple of Riverman babies I have been around were nice horses but not easy. One had mounting issues for a long time although he was carefully brought along and if one was out of position on him would panic, scoot, run and buck.
                      When I saw Riverman, I had the same inclination...then the description of the TB sounded just like my horse, who I am keeping instead of selling.

                      The Riverman baby I knew was both suicidal and would take you out as he took himself out. We were supposed to break him and get him going, but the day he ran THROUGH the indoor gates and almost killed himself- all for no real reason- was the day we sent him home. Supposedly he grew up into a nice boy, but his often brain deadness did not shine favorably in our minds...especially when we had other nice babies that were MUCH easier.

                      So, anyway, my inclination is to keep the TB, but it is always nice to put them both on the market and see what happens.


                      • Original Poster

                        Just a note.. time will tell and he is obviously not broke yet, but my youngster, like all my mares babies, inherited her loving, wonderful personality. Smart, calm, and thoughtful, not rash. That is why I was comfortable with the Riverman breeding.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TSHEventing View Post
                          Just a note.. time will tell and he is obviously not broke yet, but my youngster, like all my mares babies, inherited her loving, wonderful personality. Smart, calm, and thoughtful, not rash. That is why I was comfortable with the Riverman breeding.

                          I've known a couple of Riverman...there are a lot of them out there. They tend to be a bit more sensitive than most but athletic as all get out. Most don't really mature mentally until they are at least 8... They are not for everyone. But there are quite a few Riverman babies doing very well in the show hunters with ammy riders.....just not often under the age of 8....and many others doing well in eventing, dressage and jumpers. They not the type of youngsters that you push along quickly or that everyone can handle. In addition, most breeders will say the dam contributes a substantial amount to temperment as well. He was/is a popular sire who I suspect was breed to some not so good mares to "improve" them
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                          • Original Poster

                            Bornfree- That is sort of what I have gathered from my research. He has been highly used as a stallion and thus became sort of marred with this "insane baby" label. However, I think that while he probably does throw more difficult offspring, if bred to the right mares he can have some pretty phenomenal babies, which is why I chose him.

                            Anyway, thanks for the comments thus far, I really appreciate them and look forward to any other insight.


                            • #15
                              Been there...

                              My Riverman gelding was two when I bought him. Great mover, super jumper. When he started competing, I took in a CANTER OTTB to foster, in order to fill that third stall and avoid the "alone" horse syndrome.

                              The Riverman took FOREVER to mature...I mean at 8 he was great. Meanwhile, the little CANTER horse was stealing my heart. Fast forward...the Riverman horse is with a dear eventing friend and will probably go Intermediate this year. My CANTER horse did his first prelim last year, and that's probably tops for him and for me.

                              I found that I enjoyed the OTTB more. He fit me better in terms of size, energy and work ethic. The Riverman horse has much better movement and certainly more jump. He was not as much fun to ride, bottom line. Feel free to PM me if you want.



                              • #16
                                You're getting some great advice here...

                                I think you probably know in your heart which one meets the Wofford Factor best (thank you Flight Check for relaying that). The group can give you lots of good arguments either way, which can help you feel out what's right for you. It would be nice if you could just sit on the baby a little bit just to see whether he "feels" good to you. Maybe you have a feel for him from being around him a lot. There is that ineffable feeling of being on "your" horse as opposed to a horse that should be someone else's.

                                good luck - you'll know the right thing to do.


                                • #17
                                  Thats really hard.

                                  I guess what you have to ask yourself is.. Do you want to compete NOW or are you happy with waiting?

                                  My vote goes to the TB. but thats because im all about the OTTB and I would never ever want a horse that was anywhere near 17 hands. But I also have a homebred (she's just 7 months) and I don't know if I could choose between the her and my TB.

                                  Do you know anyone who would maybe lease the TB ? Any pony clubbers or does your trainer know someone? That way you wouldn't be paying all of the expenses and you could have more time to choose?
                                  "Hell yes I can ride. I was riding when I fell off!"


                                  • #18
                                    Just another plug that not all Riverman babies are nuts...

                                    Mine is a 7 yr old gelding, by Riverman out of an OTTB mare. I bought him last May, and he had been brought along very slowly and carefully by his breeder. In fact, he never jumped at all until 6. And he is LOVELY. He has extravagent gaits but I fell completely in love with his jump- he is just a brave, bold, natural jumper who figures out questions faster than any other horse I have ever ridden. His temperment under saddle is what I call "spicy" in that he has plenty of attitude and the occasional spook or buck, but overall he is quieter than any of my previous UL horses at that level of training (all were OTTB.) He was injured last summer in the pasture and wound up spending 3 months on stall rest, which he tolerated better than any horse I have ever seen. Finally turned out for the first time, he just sniffed the air, looked around, and started grazing. That has to speak for some sanity! I would say his temperment (for my purposes) is the best on my farm.

                                    Not sure what the right call for your sale is at all...just hoping you have something as fun to look forward to in your baby as I do!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Mickey -

                                      My OTTB is 17.1 or so.....so... that isn't making up my mind


                                      • #20
                                        I think the advice about sitting on the baby to see how he feels is a good one. In my earlier post, I recommended keeping the baby -- at least until you know more. I still think that's great advice.

                                        But then I realized that I didn't take my own advice! I bred a baby that was to be the perfect horse for me. Before she was old enough to ride, I ended up buying what amounted to a retired show horse. I adore this horse. She is everything I want in a horse (I think she is perfect in every way) and seeing her head hanging over the stall door when I arrive is priceless (the Wofford advice). I realized that the baby was NEVER going to stack up to this horse and it wasn't fair that she not have an owner who thought the world of her. Mind you, there was not one thing wrong with the baby -- except that she wasn't my other horse. I did sell her and I did not regret it. Although I did lose contact with the owner and sometimes I feel guilty worrying about what happened to her. So lesson learned there . ..