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How long did it take you to find a new horse?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Appsolute View Post
    It seems like some people take years to “find the one” – me, it has always been a pretty quick process with no regrets.

    First horse – he was the second horse we looked at, after a couple of weeks in the market. A green 15 hand 6 year old appaloosa. I was a beginner walk trot rider. Got lots of warnings about “green and green make black and blue” – took my knocks, and came back for more. In 7 years together we went from walk trot, to prelim level eventing – he was a super horse. NO regrets there!

    Second horse – OTTB, he was the first and only horse I tried when I out grew my 15 hand dude and decided it was time for a bigger mount. We spent 7 years together, doing everything from prelim level eventing, to fox hunting, to trail rides and team penning. He had been passed up by another buyer due to changes in the fetlock - I rode him very actively for years, and it was never an issue. Loved that horse, lost him to an accident.

    Third (and current) horse – Wasn’t quite in the market yet, but she was listed, and met what I was looking for. First and only horse I looked at. Purchased as a weanling, 6 years later, I have a fantastic partner, again, no regrets!

    So, while some like to take their time and find the “perfect” horse – I have always jumped at the first one I *wanted* - and it has worked out, I can say each of them has been "perfect" for me.
    My experiences have been a lot like this. I've bought 4 horses and none of my searches have taken long. Only one of my horses I sat on for the first time and wasn't sure it was what I wanted (it was a 7 year old that was SO out of work and training that I could only focus on riding it in a straight line), the other 3 I knew right when I sat on them for the first time. My last horse I looked at 5 other horses, but only cause 4 horses were with one trainer, and the other horse was with the same trainer as the horse I bought.

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    • #22
      It took me about 6 months to find my last horse. Looked at sooooo many and then ended up buying one that wasn't really even for sale Kept him for almost two years, then took me about 4 months to sell him so I could buy my 3'6 horse. I sold him in the beginning of March and we are wiring the money tomorrow (!!!) for my future 3'6 horse.
      Professional hunter princess

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by JumpsJumps View Post
        My first horse, Hans, was already at the barn so looking time was zero. I looked for my hunter for a few weeks and looked for my eq horse for months. It got to the point I drove my trainer crazy because I sat on pretty much everything for sale at Wellington but knew they weren't for me. I spent a couple buying trips looking for my mare and knew I wanted her after the first ride.

        If you're getting anxious trying to find something, I would re-evaluate whether or not you are making the most of your searching. Looking at horses online is fine, but I think it comes down to sitting on every horse reasonable until you find the one you click with. And it's important to see their behavior on the ground. Videos can show a lot, but just watching a horse get tacked and walk out to the ring can tell you a lot about their brain and personality.

        Have you talked with an agent? Have you gone to horse shows and asked trainers you like what they have for sale? Other than budget, do you have a clear idea of what type of horse fits best with your program and experience and what your goals are? Start making phone calls and riding some sale horses!

        Get out there and get on and I bet you'll find one soon!!
        Thanks for this advice. I have my trainer on board, so now it's just a matter of getting those feelers out there to local trainers and to my trainers connections.

        I haven't talked to an agent, although I have tried to find some sales barns in FL where I could try multiple horses at a time but can't seem to find any.

        The hardest thing about going to try horses is getting everyone's schedule to coincide.

        I have a couple I want to go see so hoping to go sometime in the next week and a half.

        Thanks so much for the advice, I'm sure when I get out there trying multiple horses I will find something soon

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Thanks for all the advice. I will remember to be patient and keep my eyes on the prize, lol.

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          • #25
            Of all my horses, my horse of a lifetime came to me after another prospect failed the PPE. Literally the next day I met someone randomly on an airplane who told me to give a certain BNT a call. When I returned home I called the BNT and described what I was looking for in my relatively small budget . The assistant trainer suggested that I look at a young horse they had for sale, saying she had a feeling that it would be a good fit. The horse in question was only 4 at the time and I wasn't looking for a greenie, however, I asked her to send me the video. One look at the video and I knew I had to go try the horse. She was (and 12 years later, still is) the perfect horse for me. I am convinced that it was divine intervention that brought her to me. So, don't give up and keep your ears open, even in unlikely places. Let people know that you're looking for a certain type of horse and the universe will provide.

            Have you put the word out to your friends and rider acquaintances? I've seen some nice horses posted on FB horse sale pages as well.

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by Prime Time Rider View Post
              Have you put the word out to your friends and rider acquaintances? I've seen some nice horses posted on FB horse sale pages as well.
              I have contacted my horsey friends and have asked them to talk to their friends, so there are feeler out there. I was just sent a horse through a friends trainer who looks nice, so word of mouth really is one of the best ways to find a horse.

              And I stalk those FB pages lol, but a lot of the horses are just further than I would want to travel. And I don't think I would be able to buy a horse without at least sitting on it first.

              Thanks for all the advice guys, it is much appreciated. I will start making some calls!

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Caravale
                The horse world is definitely about connections, so as much as online shopping is fantastic (and I engaged in my fair share of it!) it's certainly worth the phone calls to the known, good agents, the trainers that have good reps, etc. Even if they don't have anything for you, you may be pointed in the right direction!
                My latest horse was purchased from a COTHer. I'd admired this horse for a number of years and the circumstances worked out and she came to live with me.
                Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                  My latest horse was purchased from a COTHer. I'd admired this horse for a number of years and the circumstances worked out and she came to live with me.
                  That's awesome! What a cool way to be able to find a horse. I wish they still had a classified section on COTH so I could look there, I know there are so many knowledgable people with lots of connection on COTH

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                  • #29
                    One year, three months, and 14 days. I know this so precisely because it set a barn record. I was looking for a needle in a haystack, and boy, did I ever find him.

                    In the intervening time I took a couple of others on trial. One turned out to have an undisclosed rearing problem and the other an undisclosed bolting problem that nearly killed both me and two other kids in the ring- the horse really had a screw loose and no self-preservation. I'd viewed the latter through an agent and met up with the owner at a horse show. Quite by accident we realized who each other were, and the owner apologized profusely- she apparently had no idea how the horse was being marketed. He ended up being donated to a school program and I hold my breath thinking how they deal with him. Another one I took on trial didn't pass the vet; she was an astounding young horse with equally astounding, but not in the good way, xrays. In the middle of the search, my then-current horse, who was going to be passed on to my sister, died suddenly. It was an extremely eventful year.
                    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                    Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                    Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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                    • #30
                      Well I looked for 15 years found a few I love but let me say - depending on what you want your new friend "for" is very very important. (edit to correct - I see where you do have a trainer helping)

                      It only took a few weeks to find my new Hunter via my trainer. If you are looking for a competition horse I feel it is critical to ask your trainer for help.

                      I told my trainer I wanted a young, gelding at least 16.3 tall in a particular price range... didn't care what color or breed. It took SO much worry and wrong purchases out of the equation.
                      Last edited by doublesstable; May. 24, 2013, 10:35 PM.
                      Live in the sunshine.
                      Swim in the sea.
                      Drink the wild air.

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                      • #31
                        In my experience I think people have the hardest time finding a horse when they are looking for a "connection," especially when they are replacing a once in a lifetime horse or a really awesome guy that they have outgrown. Usually they are moving on to something greener that isn't matured or a pro yet in his job so it is hard to appreciate the new horse because in the back of their mind they have a lot to measure up to!

                        I think people also forget that the "connection" takes months and years to build. I think if you are looking for a personal horse you plan on keeping for a long time and not a resale you can be more open in your criterial--because truly the only criteria he needs to fit is that he suits you!

                        Good luck

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by tua37516 View Post
                          In my experience I think people have the hardest time finding a horse when they are looking for a "connection," especially when they are replacing a once in a lifetime horse or a really awesome guy that they have outgrown. Usually they are moving on to something greener that isn't matured or a pro yet in his job so it is hard to appreciate the new horse because in the back of their mind they have a lot to measure up to!

                          I think people also forget that the "connection" takes months and years to build. I think if you are looking for a personal horse you plan on keeping for a long time and not a resale you can be more open in your criterial--because truly the only criteria he needs to fit is that he suits you!

                          Good luck
                          Thanks for this, such great advice and so true. Thanks so much

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                          • #33
                            It's really varied. I looked for a few months, thought I found the one, leased him with an option to buy. Decided he was dangerous (like it wasn't obvious!), looked for a couple months. Went to Holland and Germany for 5 days and left with paperwork and PPE done. I love my mare to bits!!!

                            I could have found a horse quickly if I had upped my budget to about $65k or been willing to settle. I actually did find two nice, green WBs that were perfect for somebody and absolute steals, but not quite right for me.

                            If I wanted a green TB, there are a few tracks around.

                            Finding a horse can be quick. Once you start adding must-haves, it takes longer. If you live in a pricey area and don't have a big budget, chances are you will take more time and see a lot of broken horses. You may see a lot of broken horses at any budget...

                            Don't give up. I would definitely let folks you trust in the industry know you are looking.
                            Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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                            • #34
                              I window-shopped for about a year, and I started seriously looking at the end of February this year. Looked at dozens online, finally found one worth looking at. I ended up not liking her at ALL, and they brought out another mare for me to see. I wasn't crazy about her either, and they brought out a gelding for me to look at. I saw his face, fell in love, watched him go, liked him even more. I bought him and picked him up the next day and haven't looked back--he's the perfect horse for me. He didn't know a darn thing under saddle when I got him, but he always tries his best to please and is a very good-minded horse. I brought him home at the end of March, so it took about a month to find him.

                              I was in the market for a green bean OTTB. Personality, conformation and soundness were the most important things for me, but I was also looking for particular colors (gray or chestnut with white.)
                              Last edited by skipollo; May. 26, 2013, 08:34 PM. Reason: Added info

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