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Buying a horse from a seller you don't trust?

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  • Buying a horse from a seller you don't trust?

    Has anyone ever bought a horse from a seller that is annoying/less than truthful and NOT regretted it?

    Talking about someone who says a horse can do a bunch of things, when they are unable/unwilling to show any of the things they claim the horse can do. Part of me says I should just judge the horse based on what I can see/test it do, but at the same time, it really annoys me. (For example, says the horse has auto-changes, but is unable to show a single lead change).

    I am very frustrated horse shopping.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    Run away, far away. Very fast.
    F O.B
    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


    • #3
      I horse-shop more than most, either for my program or for a client. I made a rule for myself some time ago that I simply do not bother looking at or entertaining the idea of buying a horse from a seller I don't fully trust. Will it exclude me from the occasional good horse? Probably. But it will DEFINITELY save me from a lot worse.


      • #4
        Run! Fast! Not worth the risk. If they lie about little stuff, no telling what else they are lying about.


        • #5
          Run, don't walk. Run. Don't even consider it.


          • #6
            I can't remember where I heard this, but the saying was unless they can show you what the horse does, do not believe them. It's all too easy to lie about a horse. Also I heard it's always good to have.the vet draw blood during a PPE. You don't have to test it cuz that's expensive. It's just insurance for if you buy a horse and it's ok for a while then suddenly goes bonkers cuz the drugs have worn off. Then you call the vet and have them run a tox screen. I've heard vets can store blood for a while. I heard that just helps you with legal recourse.

            But as others have said- run don't walk from this seller.


            • #7
              To answer your question: No.

              But, why would you even consider a horse without a lead change?
              My adventures as a working rider



              • #8
                Does the seller not ride? If they don’t, can they find someone else at the barn (a good riding kid, perhaps), to hop on and show you all the things that you need to see?

                If you are advertising a horse for sale with A, B, and C listed as part of their skill set, then I want to see A, B, and C being executed by at least a somewhat competent rider. Do I expect everyone to be an equitation star or the next McLain? Absolutely not, but show me something, give it your best shot! Don’t tell me that your horse jumps 3’6” and then send me a cross rail video...

                Also, I would be leery of wasting my time going to see anything from someone that I didn’t know that didn’t have a sale video for me to see first.


                • #9
                  I always believe the horse.

                  People lie or sometimes just really don't know. I listen to it all and then really look at the animal in front of me.

                  My girl was advertised as 2 years younger and a hand taller.

                  Telling me stuff like a grey horse is that magical "Rose" grey that is so rare and valuable etc.

                  Meh, it's a chestnut going grey, happens all the time. And by the way a chestnut horse doesn't have black points, so she was bay. lol.

                  If I like the horse and think it will work for me, then I couldn't care less who is selling it. And money makes people very weird.


                  • #10
                    I would not believe much of what any seller tells me, even those that I know and trust. What the horse can do is what the horse can do.


                    • #11
                      For myself if it’s cheap? Possibly depending on the degree of the BS claims. For a client paying for and trusting my advice? Not no way, not no how. just no.

                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                      • #12
                        I have when the horse is cheap and I like him/her enough to imagine as a long term project for myself. Basically I ask myself "Would I buy this animal based on its movement and conformation for this price is none of the things the seller told me about it are true?"

                        I've picked up a few diamonds in the rough this way, and also picked up the most challenging equine I've ever worked with this it is a gamble for sure. But one I'm sure I'll take again. However, my husband and I have a couple of very nice dependable riding horses, so there is no need for the project pony to immediately do any job in particular (or even be ridden right away... I've had to start or re-start several), which is a totally different scenario from someone buying a horse for a particular job to start immediately.

                        For friends of mine who are buying their one and only show/riding horse and spending a significant amount of money (whatever that actual value might be to them), I advise waiting for a trustworthy seller!

                        Although for the most part, I find sellers in the <1K range to be pretty honest for the most part. They might not be particularly knowledgable about any issues the horse has, but I've seen a lot more shady behavior and straight up lying go on in the sales of far more expensive horses where there is a much greater financial incentive to misrepresent the horse.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nickelodian View Post

                          But, why would you even consider a horse without a lead change?
                          It depends on the age of the horse, how much training and how fit the horse is. A good rider/trainer can train most horses to do a flying change unless there is a conformation or lameness issue. Hopefully you would be able to tell by looking at the horse or having a PPE if that is the case.

                          My OTTB doesn't have a flying lead change with me. My dressage trainer doesn't ask for flying changes as he isn't strong enough at the canter for consistent dressage changes. She does not want him to learn that changes that are a little late behind are okay. The hunter trainer at the barn can get them. I wasn't there so I don't know if they were "clean" changes by dressage standards. She was rode him twice while I was traveling for work and my dressage trainer wasn't available.

                          I mostly plan on eventing so a simple change or not changing is fine for the level we are currently at. I may play at a local hunter show later in the summer but it would be for experience so I don't care if he has a flying change right now. In the long run I prefer to be patient and make sure that when we start working on changes they are clean dressage changes.

                          OP- It depends on why they are stating incorrect things about the horse. We have all seen the ads where it says the horse jumps 4 foot only to find out that what they meant was the horse jumped the pasture gate-once. Of he does flying lead changes- while playing in the field. Some people are barn blind or delusional about what their horses can do at liberty versus what they are trained to do. If the price was right then buying from somebody like that I would consider. You just look at the horse in front of you and decide if that is something you can work with.

                          On the other hand there is the person that says horse has won competing at 3 ft and you find out that the horse has never competed above 2'6", was dead last or excused from the ring for refusals when they did compete. Outright lying would be a no go. What else are they lying about that is important? Are they dishonest enough to drug to hide the lameness?

                          Clueless versus malicious are very different.
                          Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                          • #14
                            I did, twice. Have not regretted it either time. First horse was touted as a seasoned show horse, but in reality was green as grass. He turned out the be the horse of a lifetime. Second one is still very new in my barn but so far I don’t regret it.
                            I never believe anything a seller says. I know that sounds bad, but if the horse was some miracle horse they wouldn’t be selling it.
                            If the price reflects the horses true knowledge level, then I have no issue wading through the cr*p.


                            • #15
                              I would not even consider it !
                              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                              • #16
                                Same! I never believe a word the seller says - show record, training, bloodlines, etc. If I can't verify it with my own two eyes (or my own search on the internet), it didn't happen. If I have reason to believe a seller is shadier than average, though, I won't deal with them. There are too many things that I can't find on my own. No PPE can tell you if the horse was injected a month ago.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                  Has anyone ever bought a horse from a seller that is annoying/less than truthful and NOT regretted it?

                                  Talking about someone who says a horse can do a bunch of things, when they are unable/unwilling to show any of the things they claim the horse can do. Part of me says I should just judge the horse based on what I can see/test it do, but at the same time, it really annoys me. (For example, says the horse has auto-changes, but is unable to show a single lead change).

                                  I am very frustrated horse shopping.
                                  I would not believe anything unless I saw it IRL and could get it myself. If I needed a horse with a certain training level I would not travel to see it unless video showed horse doing said thing.

                                  I would not believe show records unless I saw them online, and I would not believe breeding unless I saw the papers.

                                  IME most ammie sellers are barn blind, and all pros put a good face on things, to put it mildly.

                                  So actually there probably is no horse seller out there that I would fully trust without verification.

                                  I would buy a horse from someone I really really didn't trust if it was a rescue or project or upgrade scenario and it was really cheap.

                                  OP I think you had an earlier post asking about the current prices on horses at a given competition level? If you can't find what you want, its possible you have to increase your budget?


                                  • #18
                                    OK I GOTTA ASK...what is there excuse for not being able to show even one lead change????!!!!! If I got on the horse and was able to get changes, OK proceed, IF I got on horse and was NOT able to get changes, NOPING OUT even if I had seen seller get 20 of them out of the horse. I need to trust what the horse does when I am on it and vet more than I need to trust the seller...and yes sellers are motivated to hand you a pair of rose colored glasses between those and your "manure" colored glasses is about where the actual reality is.


                                    • #19
                                      It's what sellers don't say. They will tell you all the good things, as they should, and just leave out the bad, no matter the price of the horse. It's always buyer beware, no matter who.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Scribbler the budget is fixed unfortunately, but client has some flex in her we will have to give on what we get.

                                        It's been low level pros that have been the ones who have been difficult, and unfortunately they are luring the client in by being over the top in their praise of her riding skills "horsey loves you so much, he goes so much better for you than me" and so forth. (client is moderately disabled, and I wonder if they are picking up on that)

                                        I actually don't care about the lack of a flying change: that is something we can give up to save money, but when a seller advertises that the horse has auto changes, and then can't show a single change when the client goes to see the horse (or on a video), and tries to convince me that changing leads over a fence is a flying change, I start to get annoyed. (also tried to tell me a vertical in a video was an oxer...).Or there's the horse that has competed to Entry Eventing, and jumps 3 foot courses, but can't pick up the correct lead on the flat and only has video of 18" verticals.

                                        the one horse I actually don't mind, but their deception makes me wonder if the horse is just really tough at the higher fences, OR it started to go sore when they put more work on it, and it lost its changes?

                                        I thinking I need to make my own low level jumpers or move away from the discipline. It is ridiculous.
                                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!