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What do you allow when someone is trying your horse?

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  • What do you allow when someone is trying your horse?

    A girl who has been looking to purchase my horse is bringing her trainer out with her on Saturday. The horse is being marketed as a hunter prospect or a barrel horse prospect. The girl barrel races. Last time she was out, my horse kept leaning on the bit. A very simple eggbutt french link snaffle. I normally ride her in a d-ring with copper rollers and she doesnt lean on it, but the bit was unavailable and I knew she rode in the eggbutt as well. Anyway, the girl asked if she could bring some bits to try on her incase they make her into a barrel racer. It was really early and the phone call woke me up so I just said sure thats not a problem, but then I got to thinking, there is no way in hell I really want someone testing bits out on my horse. Its not like the bit I had in her mouth wasnt strong enough, my horse just leans on it. She is a head flipper when she is pissed and simple things like a bit being wrong for her really tick her off. I dont know how to tell the people that she doesnt need more bit. The horse has amazing breaks and you can run barrels in any bit (infact the d-ring is what I used to run in).
    Any advice on this situation, or just let them put the bit in my horses mouth?
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

  • #2
    I don't think I'd let someone play around with a bit change unless it was to something more benign (like you had the horse in a twisted elevator gag mikmar and someone wanted to see it go in a plain snaffle). Maybe offer to let them try her in the roller bit?


    • #3
      OK, I will preface this by saying I do a lot of sale horses.

      I'm pretty sure one ride in a bit is not going to ruin your horse. I prefer a snaffle feel, but if I have a tiny adult or kid come try a horse I'll ask if I they want me to bring out a gag or something when we go XC, just in case.

      My real question is.. and perhaps it is just my ignorance.. but how can a hunter prospect also be a barrel prospect? Those two just don't line up to me... training it to be a REALLY fast, quick handling, good jumping horse.. why not just market it as an eventer? ; )


      • Original Poster

        I dont think she would make a good eventer. I mean, its possible, but she is too looky out in big fields for my taste! maybe I am just a wimp! She does lovely in the hunters and jumps great, but is racing bred and her lines carry great barrel racers and she did great when I ran her the few times I did. I originally bought her to barrel race, but ended up not running anymore when I retired my gelding. Started the mare jumping and she went to a few small hunter shows and did really well. Its possible for a horse to do both at the same time. My gelding did barrels and also did hunters. As long as you don't strictly run your barrel horse, they can be super versatile. I have never seen one be able to do western pleasure, but I am sure there is one out there that can! lol Its all in the training you put into them.
        ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
        R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


        • #5
          My husband's barrel horse (1994 and 1995 NCQHA champion in barrels and poles) also kicked serious tail in pleasure classes. That son of a gun had (has) a KILLER lope. He was trained by a reiner who taught him to listen to the rider not run a pattern. He also did a little bit of kiddie hunters about eight years ago at the age of eighteen....

          Third Charm Event Team


          • #6
            If you're serious about selling the horse, and the person trying the horse out is not sticking barbed wire in their mouth or something and is reasonably competent, you smile and help them tack up. They're not driving out to your place to get a lesson, they're out to try a horse to see if it suits them and the way they ride. Obviously you communicate your experiences with the horse, but unless you want to pre-qualify potential buyers that will only use equipment that's approved by you, you kind of have to roll with it.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              I think I would do my best to ensure that the horse's regular bit is available.
              If you're showing this horse to potential buyers - I think i would do my best to set the stage for the horse to perform his best - which he will likely do with his most familiar tack.
              The buyer's aren't coming out to give your horse a training session and will not be using their time to let him figure out the feel of a new bit - which as one earlier post eluded - the horse will need more than one session with a new bit to truly evaluate it's good or bad effects.
              If they insist on wanting to try an alternative bit - I still would only do so after they see how the horse goes in his regular tack. And further still - my willingness to allow different bits would depend on the confidence i had in the rider and their abilities.


              • #8
                Originally posted by ThreeDays View Post
                I think I would do my best to ensure that the horse's regular bit is available.

                If they insist on wanting to try an alternative bit - I still would only do so after they see how the horse goes in his regular tack.

                1. Make sure you have the roller bit available next time and have them start with that. Explain that the bit they used las time was not her usual bit and that you are sorry she hung on it and that she should be better in this one. If she's not better...

                2. ... let them try their bit of choice. I agree that they won't ruin her in 20 minutes and , if they do buy her, they likely will try/use other bits so they might as well see what happens now...
                "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


                • #9
                  Originally posted by yellow rose eventing View Post

                  My real question is.. and perhaps it is just my ignorance.. but how can a hunter prospect also be a barrel prospect? Those two just don't line up to me... training it to be a REALLY fast, quick handling, good jumping horse.. why not just market it as an eventer? ; )
                  My born barrel horse is now an eventer and shows on the QH circuit (and is a foundation looking mare) so its veeery possible


                  • #10
                    I did refuse to let someone use their own bit when trying one of my horses. He was a 4yr. old paint and did go english and western, but had only been ridden in a plain eggbutt snaffle. A man came to try him and ask if he could use his western saddle, and I said sure. Then he brings out a western bridle with a bit that had about 6" shanks and a port that had to be 2" high! I said no (almost hell no!) to that. He rode him just fine with the snaffle, but didn't buy him. The horse ended up at an event barn and has successfully done training
                    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George