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Horse Shopping Question

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  • Horse Shopping Question

    Hello everyone! I just joined and I have a question regarding trying new horses. In the very near future, I will begin looking for my next horse (3'6" hunter). I have been riding and competing for many years and have owned my fair share of horses. Therefore, I have a very clear picture of exactly what I am looking for. So much so, that I can usually tell just by looking at a horse whether or not I am seriously interested. So, my question is-when trying new horses, is it rude to tell the sellers that I am not interested in the horse just by looking at him/her? In my opinion, I feel that I am being polite by not wanting to waste someone else's time by riding his/her horse. However, sometimes I think that people become offended by this and say, "well, you haven't even ridden the horse, how can you know?" Side note-I am younger (recent college graduate) and sometimes people think that I may not be experienced enough to have such a clear and distinct idea of what I want. Please give any comments/ideas in relation to this subject....thanks!

  • #2
    I dunno...I think there are a lot of horses out there and if you aren't working with a super restrictive budget, you should be able to pretty much get what you want. But...I would ask for plenty of pictures and not go back and forth with a potential seller or set up an appointment to just tell them sorry! and then turn on your heel and leave. Tell them upfront what you are specifically looking for and then don't waste any more of their time if it doesn't fit your criteria.


    That being said, I'm shopping right now and am not picky at all in terms of appearance. I just want a safe, sane partner to have fun with and I think that being open minded is a must for me, especially since my budget is not big.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you can tell just by looking at it that it's not the right horse with photos and videos pretty much readily available via email/internet then you need not waste anyone's time calling them on those horses. There are some horses where when you see them you just don't like their build.. like I don't like a real thin neck - when you're looking down at it... and sometimes you can't tell that until you sit on the horse...

      Some horses can look a bit ordinary standing in a stall, field or on cross ties but once they're tacked up - they've got PRESENCE... and that's what you'd want in a 3'6" hunter...

      you might not like the horse just standing there but if you've taken the time out of your day and the sellers out of theirs you owe it to them and yourself to at least watch the horse go and if you like that then get on and try it too - you never know...

      Comment


      • #4
        What is it you can tell just by looking at the horse? That's not a cheeky question...seriously interested to hear your POV.

        I'm always surprised by horses...the ones I think I'll love I sometimes don't connect with and ones I don't think I like turn out to be great.
        ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

        Comment


        • #5
          Depends on what you mean by looking. I assumed immediately that you meant by watching it go, and totally agreed, as both a buyer and a seller, that there is no point in getting on if you don't want it. Waste of everyone's time and purposeless use of the horse. But the people that posted above me all thought you meant literally just looking at it standing there. If that's the case, then no, you have to at least watch it go. It would be extremely rude to turn around and leave.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have seen MANY hroses (particularly WB's) that were quite ordinary and even somewhat unattractive just standing, but when they began to move and jump it was a whole different thing. I personally do not like a person to show up and decide they don't want the horse without giving it a decent try. THis is because I try very hard to insure that what I have is what they have said they want, I do NOT like to waste my time or yours with looking at unsuitable horses. So if you come to see a horse I ahve made photos, videos (usually multiple ones) and lots of description via phone/email contact before you ever even come. So if you don't want to try the horse, then you ahve not been upfront with me! I always describe short comings, conformation defects etc in advance. I recently had someone come and try a mare that was exactly what she described. Upon getting here the two things that she objected to were, a bit ridiculous, if you ask me! The mare was a growing four year old and her topline had not filled out, she had been under saddle for three months., It was something that was going to get better and already had improved since she had come to my farm. The other was that her breeder/owner had not kept her feet trimmed regularly and they developed soem "flare" she was a very big footed WB anyways. The feet had gotten MUCH BETTER shape to them since she had come to me with 5 week trimmings, and she was at a point where shoeing her would be recommended. She was 100% sound and had been the whole time she was at my place, as well as her whole life according to the breederm, so it was really a non-issue. However, BOTH of these things had been stated prior to her coming, so this was not a "surprise".
            www.shawneeacres.net

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
              Depends on what you mean by looking. I assumed immediately that you meant by watching it go, and totally agreed, as both a buyer and a seller, that there is no point in getting on if you don't want it. Waste of everyone's time and purposeless use of the horse. But the people that posted above me all thought you meant literally just looking at it standing there. If that's the case, then no, you have to at least watch it go. It would be extremely rude to turn around and leave.
              Agree. I would watch it go, but no need to get on if you don't like what you see.

              Shawnee, I understand your frustrations, but even when things are disclosed sometimes I will go and look to see how bad it is. For instance, if someone discloses that a horse paddles to me, sometimes I don't care (minor paddling doesn't bother me), but if I get there and it looks like a KitchenAid mixer, I'm going home. It's a matter of degree.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you are that picky, why not get videos and pictures? Honestly, I do think its rude for you to waste the sellers time. What exactly are you seeing in person that you can't see by video?
                .

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thank you for your responses. Yes, the internet can be useful, however, many of the barns that I will be travelling to do not put their horses on the internet. My criteria for a horse will be...age 5-7 yrs, ability to do the 3'6" and be very competitive, along with a good temperment. Also, I generally like horses who are on the "lighter side" and not extremely large and heavy. However, what I have just described fits the description of many 3'6" hunters. Soo, where my problem exists is that while a horse may fit that description, he or she may not be exactly the "type" that I am looking for. I am extremely picky and "presence" on the ground is very important to me. I guess "looks" matter to me more than most...but I have been lucky in the past to find horses that look AND perform the way I want, But, in my opinion, if I am going to buy anything (horses are expensive!) I want to be 100% happy. Thanks again for your help : )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know exactly where you are coming from OP.

                    I too have pretty specific requirements that I am looking for in a horse; it's easier for me since I am always looking at youngsters so right off the bat..conformation, movement & type are what I am looking for..2 of which I can see standing in the crossties. However, before I get to that point; I have asked for pictures & hopefully a video of movement (even if it's a 1 minute clip of horse trotting in the field).

                    Nowadays, I wouldn't even go look without at least a picture unless the horse was 20 minutes away. And even with a picture that I thought looked promising; I have arrived to find a horse that obviously was having a good day when that photo was taken

                    A few times with the horse in the crossties, I have told the seller that I don't think he is going to suit what I am looking for. I always apologize and explain that I don't want to waste their time. I try NEVER to say why (made that mistake once and never again).

                    My mother once gave me excellent advice that I will pass on - kind of ties in with the above...never tell a seller that their horse is lame. Opens up a can of worms and isn't worth it. Just lie & say "Not suitable" and try to avoid explaining why

                    Oops, posted after OP...I wondered if you were going to barns with multiple horses for sale. Honestly in that case, these sales barns usually roll em out efficiently and you can look at 6 horses practically at the same time. You rarely get to see them tacked up; they just show up in the ring and you say "Yay" or "Nay".
                    \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      One last thing...I can tell by looking at a horse if I want to try it, not necessarily if I am going to "match" with the horse. I don't know exactly how to explain it but I am very good at just looking at a horse and getting an idea of how it will perform...(hunters...not jumpers!)I can generally go into a barn and pick out the top hunters just by looking at them in their stall...trust me, it happens all the time. By no ways am I trying to brag or anything, but people are usually very surprised at my ability to pick horses...and that is why I have this issue when I try horses. I really do not want to be rude to the seller at all...it is just that I know exactly what I want.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                        Agree. I would watch it go, but no need to get on if you don't like what you see.

                        Shawnee, I understand your frustrations, but even when things are disclosed sometimes I will go and look to see how bad it is. For instance, if someone discloses that a horse paddles to me, sometimes I don't care (minor paddling doesn't bother me), but if I get there and it looks like a KitchenAid mixer, I'm going home. It's a matter of degree.
                        I do agree it can be a matter of degree, and yes sometimes things are different than they seem, but when a seller (myself) goes to the trouble of asking extensive questions about your likes, dislikes, ability, goals etc to try and make a match, provide you with multiple videos (even tho you only live an hour or so away), photos etc, I feel that a buyer should at least be a bit tactful. The woman who looked at this horse was, frankly, VERY degrading to the horse, and this was a NICE horse. And she did not represent her riding abilitys well, which is also a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I do realize however, that it's not a "black and white" thing when it comes to hroses, and I have NO problem with a prospective buyer turning a horse down for any reason. But prospective buyers need to realize that sellers often go out of their way to change their scheduels to accomodate a buyer and to show up and say "Ummmm....sorry" without having a VERY GOOD reason (i.e. horse is absolutely not as represented) without even watching the horse go is a bit perturbing. I will say, tho, that for the most part the buyers that come to me are very aware of things and most all of them tell me that "the horse was exactly as I represented it" even when they don't chose to buy. That to me, is important. I want someone to have as clear a picture of the horse as possible before they ever set foot on the farm. So to answer the OP's question more directly, before you go to the farms to look at these hroses, ask for videos and photos. Frankly, for a 3'6" horse, I cannot imagine that those would not be available, and if I were looking and someone would not give me those things on a suppsoed 3'6" horse, I wouldn't bother to go and visit. Also have a good checklist of questions, and have a frank conversation with the seller about what you do and do not like, so as to not waste both of yours time. Believe me, I know oh so well what it is like to drive several hours and find the hrose is not what it was said to be!!
                        www.shawneeacres.net

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm trying to sell a horse right now. And if someone came, saw the horse and said "sorry" I'm not interested without watching it go - I would be extremley offended. I make sure to have my horse clipped, bathed and clear a few hours away for the person to come see him. If they just see him and walk away - well they should have looked at him harder online or asked for more videos, etc.

                          So I'd say if you are that picky (which I don't have a problem with, kudos to you for knowing what exactly it is that you want!) then try to make sure you are interested before going. Even if your not keen on the horse right away, I'd atleast watch him go a few minutes under saddle before saying he's just not what your looking for. Try to give the seller a reason why you don't want to spend more time with the horse. But don't take up hours of the persons time when your clearly not interested (that is annoying in itself).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Before I got my last horse I would have said the same thing. Once I watched a horse go, I had a pretty good idea of whether or not it would suit me.

                            However, I took on my current horse as a favor. he had NO presence on the ground and he moved like he'd just come of the track, which was like a sewing machine .

                            When I first sat on him I thought, maybe there's something here.

                            Fast forward to today and the same horse I would have turned my nose up at has a ton of presence, has more scope than any horse I've sat on, and has turned into a lovely mover. He's a horse that people always ask me about because he's such a spectacular jumper.

                            Of course, you're probably looking at horses that are farther along in their training than he was, but it taught me a lesson about judging a horse before sitting on it.


                            Now, that said, I won't bother to sit on a horse that's obviously lame or dangerous. I've looked at several expensive sales horses that were one or both.
                            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If I am selling my horse, really, I want as few random people as possible to ride the horse to try him/her. My trainer is always saying, you are either training or untraining the horse, and having alot of different people try the horse, even good riders, is not helping the horse. its a necessary evil, but I would give the person kudos for their honesty and for not wasting my time if they look at the horse and walk away. Also, honesty and integrity are not exactly synonymous - unfortunately - with buying and selling horses, so the more that both sides can do to just be honest and walk away when you know its not the right horse, maybe in the future you have more credibility when you DO love the horse.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by aband12 View Post
                                One last thing...I can tell by looking at a horse if I want to try it, not necessarily if I am going to "match" with the horse. I don't know exactly how to explain it but I am very good at just looking at a horse and getting an idea of how it will perform...(hunters...not jumpers!)I can generally go into a barn and pick out the top hunters just by looking at them in their stall...trust me, it happens all the time. By no ways am I trying to brag or anything, but people are usually very surprised at my ability to pick horses...and that is why I have this issue when I try horses. I really do not want to be rude to the seller at all...it is just that I know exactly what I want.
                                I definitely understand your point about wanting a certain type, and I agree that since you are the one spending the money you shouldn't buy something you don't really like. Of course, I'm assuming your budget is big enough that you can be picky! As for walking down a barn aisle and picking out which are the fanciest hunters by looking at them in their stalls... I think a lot of people can do that.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  As for walking down a barn aisle and picking out which are the fanciest hunters by looking at them in their stalls... I think a lot of people can do that.
                                  Most can do it without looking. It's always the two closest to the grooming stall and the tackroom .

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                                    Most can do it without looking. It's always the two closest to the grooming stall and the tackroom .
                                    Good point lol

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      at least see it go because you made the appt to see it don't waste the time. and you never know you could know someone looking for exactly what the seller has that doesn't work for you.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        [QUOTE] Originally Posted by aband12 View Post
                                        One last thing...I can tell by looking at a horse if I want to try it, not necessarily if I am going to "match" with the horse. I don't know exactly how to explain it but I am very good at just looking at a horse and getting an idea of how it will perform...(hunters...not jumpers!)I can generally go into a barn and pick out the top hunters just by looking at them in their stall...trust me, it happens all the time. By no ways am I trying to brag or anything, but people are usually very surprised at my ability to pick horses...and that is why I have this issue when I try horses. I really do not want to be rude to the seller at all...it is just that I know exactly what I want.[QUOTE]

                                        If you have that much talent picking out the hunter stars of any given barn, then you don't need to spend much time shopping. Shucks you can just waltz down the barn aisle and tell them you'll take that one..the OP's posts are a little reminiscent of Velvet Brown and the Pie... she just knew he could do it (but was the Pie pretty?)

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