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Horse shopping red flag?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Jax View Post
    Am I the only one who's shocked that horses are braided when you're showing up to try them? I've been to some pretty high end sales barns around here with some pretty pricey horses and I've never seen one of them braided. Scrubbed and hoof polish? Yes. Braiding? Not once.

    Maybe we're just not as fancy as some circuits, or is this a breed-specific thing? Not to totally derail the conversation but...
    Depends on what you mean by braided....mane braided over to lay flat....lots do that but then pull and comb out before showing the horse so if someone is early, they may be still braided over. FWIW...mine are never braided!
    ** 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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    • #42
      I've shown up to some barns with the horse spit shined, braided and the whole 9. Others not so much. And the spectrum in between. If I had a grey horse to sell, I'd wash it if conditions permitted, or do my best non-full bath cleaning. Why not show the horse looking its best? I'd also probably do it close to arrival of the potential buyer unless I could reliably trust the horse to hang out in the stall a little while (possibly while the rest of the barn is out) and stay clean. Depending on where the OP was, weather conditions, if the horse was clipped, etc., being wet 20 minutes out isn't necessarily weird. I live in a low humidity place, and provided it's warm enough to bathe and go out in the sun, they dry a lot faster than in other climates.

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      • #43
        Fact that they were hand grazing to dry usually is only a red flag that horse is a piggy. It wouldn’t raise a flag to me that they had washed a horse prior to showing it....especially the piggy sort.
        ** 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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        • #44
          Originally posted by Jax View Post
          Am I the only one who's shocked that horses are braided when you're showing up to try them? I've been to some pretty high end sales barns around here with some pretty pricey horses and I've never seen one of them braided. Scrubbed and hoof polish? Yes. Braiding? Not once.

          Maybe we're just not as fancy as some circuits, or is this a breed-specific thing? Not to totally derail the conversation but...
          It is a quarter horse thing. I sold a nice hunter type QH once and the owners insisted it be braided for the trial. I shrugged and did it, and the purchaser didn't seem to find it odd at all.

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          • #45
            I'm over here chuckling at all of the things we do to prepare horses to be seen when we know they are so strongly attracted to dirt . Typically I'll groom, clean tack, brush mane and tale, maybe clip.

            BUTTTTT, when I showed my TB to his leasor, the only day we could work was a Monday. I came straight from work and was about 5 minutes later than the leasor. He was NOT clean, he had a scrape on a leg, and I still needed to change into my riding clothes. Needless to say, there was no question about whether he was prepped .

            OP, I can see what made you concerned because of your past experiences. Sounds to me like they had a dirty grey horse and waited until the warmest part of the day to wash it and let it dry in the sun. I had 2 grey horses at a time once. Unbelievably frustrating, and there seems to be some correlation between how light they are and how much they love dirt and manure.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

              Ok so the horse has gone sour on jumping either through pain or incompetent riding. Nothing like a bad beginner or lesson program to make a horse wary of being thumped on over jumps

              If you want to do learn jumps on a horse don't buy one that has gone sour on jumping and developed a dirty stop or a runout on crosspoles

              The absolute risk is obviously lower than doing Grand Prix but I have certainly known people to be pretty seriously injured jumping two feet because the horse had a dirty stop or ran out, and they didn't have the seat to stick it or the strength to school through and make it happen. Coming off over the head of a horse onto a jump pole can cause damage even if it's just a cross rails.

              The horse you are looking for is hard to find because it is an absolute treasure. A good minded trail horse that can also happily do an uncomplicated trip around some two foot six jumps from time to time? Those horses are in huge demand for juniors and for better quality lesson programs.

              Indeed, if you have some trainer help you might even be well off buying a nice ranch broke QH and teaching him to jump. Good QH have no problem with lower level jumps, they have good canters, and they often have good brains
              I ended up buying a western / ranch quarter horse who had never seen a trot pole before and we’re now jumping 3ft and haven’t hit his limit yet (we’ve hit mine though 😂). He’s awesome on trails, brave to jumps (will jump anything you point him at- and takes care of you with funky distances), and has an amazing brain. I highly recommend going the ranch QH route!

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              • #47
                I think it’s funny how many people on here insist that they need to see the horse from pasture to grooming to tack up... I worked for a couple of trainers who did a lot of sales, we literally never had a single client ask for that. The horses were always groomed, sometimes braided, tacked up and waiting in the crossties for the clients.

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                • #48
                  Slightly off topic- but it sounds like you're looking for a fox hunter or at least a horse trained in that discipline.... steady on trails, able to jump out in the field or in the ring, good with activity, etc. Maybe check out some of the local hunts or call the club masters (I think that's what they're called, forgive me, I'm a Jumper) and see what they have- its different lingo but I bet they would know where to find what you're looking for

                  ETA: I have a gray too and if I was showing her I would want to bathe her as soon to the appointment as possible because she's has an incredible talent for being disgusting when it counts. Sometimes hoof beats don't mean zebras....

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                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Originally posted by Cocorona View Post
                    Slightly off topic- but it sounds like you're looking for a fox hunter or at least a horse trained in that discipline.... steady on trails, able to jump out in the field or in the ring, good with activity, etc. Maybe check out some of the local hunts or call the club masters (I think that's what they're called, forgive me, I'm a Jumper) and see what they have- its different lingo but I bet they would know where to find what you're looking for

                    ETA: I have a gray too and if I was showing her I would want to bathe her as soon to the appointment as possible because she's has an incredible talent for being disgusting when it counts. Sometimes hoof beats don't mean zebras....
                    Thank you that's a good idea! The gray horse I started this thread about was pulled off the market! and will be leased to one of their students. But you all have given me a lot of tips for my horse search.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Originally posted by AlexxSays View Post

                      I ended up buying a western / ranch quarter horse who had never seen a trot pole before and we’re now jumping 3ft and haven’t hit his limit yet (we’ve hit mine though 😂). He’s awesome on trails, brave to jumps (will jump anything you point him at- and takes care of you with funky distances), and has an amazing brain. I highly recommend going the ranch QH route!
                      That sounds amazing! I will have to expand my search.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        Originally posted by JustTheTicket View Post
                        I think it’s funny how many people on here insist that they need to see the horse from pasture to grooming to tack up... I worked for a couple of trainers who did a lot of sales, we literally never had a single client ask for that. The horses were always groomed, sometimes braided, tacked up and waiting in the crossties for the clients.
                        I think it depends on where the horse will be kept. My family has a small farm with livestock and 2-3 horses. Manners are most important to us. A busy boarding barn would be quite a different environment.

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Pleasurehorsemama View Post

                          I think it depends on where the horse will be kept. My family has a small farm with livestock and 2-3 horses. Manners are most important to us. A busy boarding barn would be quite a different environment.
                          I’m not sure how a horse that’s been made ready for a client equals no manners? That’s not really related. Our horses were all happy and well behaved, but no clients were demanding to tack up themselves. I guess it was the level of client we had.

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Pleasurehorsemama View Post

                            I think it depends on where the horse will be kept. My family has a small farm with livestock and 2-3 horses. Manners are most important to us. A busy boarding barn would be quite a different environment.
                            Does a horse not need manners in a busy boarding barn? Can you not evaluate manners on a second appointment? Regardless of reasons, most responsible sellers won’t turn a total stranger loose from catching in the field to test riding and, I assume, cooling out and cleaning up, on their property and they don't have 90 minutes to 2 hours to shadow that person.

                            That’s something to be negotiated for a second appointment after each side knows the other better and seller knows you are a serious buyer, not one of those people playing games to get free rides. Even see “trainers” hauling clients around masquerading as buyers basically giving a lesson during the test ride. I know, that’s not you but how is seller supposed to know off a phone call, text or email?

                            There’s as many bogus buyers out there as there are crooked sellers. That is on top of liability concerns means most sellers will say no to anything like that on an initial visit, Later visits, maybe, first visit, nope.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #54
                              JustTheTicket and Findeight, I didn't mean to offend anybody. Like I said I don't have a ton of experience shopping at hunter barns. I do not expect to handle the horse myself but I would like to observe it being done. If the horse will not stand quietly, or runs away when being caught, or is in a stall with the wood chewed up all over or evidence of weaving, it's not for me. I wouldn't even waste the seller's time riding it.

                              I meant our small farm horses are probably handled LESS than a commercial barn. So good manners help them go less feral lol.

                              Anyway I am new to the forum and do appreciate the responses!

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Manners in horses must be taught. They can be learned and unlearned. They aren't an inherent thing like mind. You can have the most deadbroke kids pony learn that if she stays ten feet away from you there's no catching her on 40 acres. You can have a groundwork wunderhorse that can still go ballistic in hand on a frosty day when other horses are playing in turnout. You can turn most horses into nippy treat hogs in about a week.

                                If you are going to keep your horses on pasture and handle infrequently I would really recommend getting a horse that has successfully lived like this already.

                                TB differ a lot. Many are just fine living outdoors. But you don't want to end up with Special Petunia who gets rain rot and scratches and thrush from wet grass and paces off weight because she's agoraphobic and needs to be brought inside to pick her way through 5 lbs of high cal feed twice a day. And the big thing you don't know about a horse in a big hunter barn is how well she will adapt to field life.

                                Field life is best IMHO, but doesn't always work.

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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                                  Did you ASK? I know everyone here likes to assume that all sellers are liars, but I would still have asked why is horse wet? I'd have also asked when was horse last ridden, did you lunge ahead of time, etc. As my most recent trainer likes to say to me, use your words.
                                  YES! I was just saying on another thread how soooo many of the threads these days are "WWYD/What do you think?" type threads. Why is basic communication not a thing? Just ask why the horse is wet.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by JustTheTicket View Post
                                    I think it’s funny how many people on here insist that they need to see the horse from pasture to grooming to tack up... I worked for a couple of trainers who did a lot of sales, we literally never had a single client ask for that. The horses were always groomed, sometimes braided, tacked up and waiting in the crossties for the clients.
                                    Could be too that the clients you experienced had connections to the trainer you worked for. If my trainer knows the trainer or owner of the horse I am looking at, I go in with way less skepticism because I know their relationship exists and needs to continue to exist outside of this one sale.

                                    However, if I am going in rogue or to someone I don't know or my trainer doesn't know, I approach with a bit more caution.

                                    In my experience, I have found that it is pretty easy to gauge who is honest and who isn't. Seller evades my questions, is short with me and the horse and "forgets" important details like when horse's feet were last done? Suspicious. Seller takes me into her house to show me the horse being broke by a Christ Cowboy with horse's flailing, panicked legs smacking the round pen every few strides? I don't think they have much to hide.....

                                    The above are 2 extremes but about 99% of the horse shopping I have done has ended with me finding the seller pretty clearly on one side or the other of the spectrum.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      I owned a grey horse and even if he was bathed after I rode you could still see an even darker area where the saddle pad made him sweat. You could definitely tell he had been worked with the saddle on even if he was soaking wet from a bath afterward.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                                        If you're taking the time to bath a horse before a client arrives for a sales appointment, you aren't the person who presents a soaking wet horse out hand grazing.

                                        Yes, I would assume the horse was worked worked shortly before your appointment.

                                        Bad presentation regardless.
                                        But the OP was 20 minutes early.

                                        I'd assume that with a gray horse, they were bathing it for the showing and they got a little "last minute" about that.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                                        • #60
                                          If I had just bathed a horse for sale, I might just hand graze it. Mostly because the horse may dry faster in the sun/outdoors so they don't show up to a wet horse. Nothing nefarious, just want a clean dry horse as opposed to clean wet horse. Plus, as mentioned, some horses are piggy and once you put that clean wet horse in a stall, it lays down for a good roll.

                                          So no, I don't think it is "bad presentation" either since the OP was early. And, as always, with horses who knows what their day was like. Perhaps this bath got pushed to last minute due to the events/workload of a day at a stable. So I wouldn't have discredited them over such a thing.

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