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Anyone with experience shopping with Virginia Sport Horses?

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  • Anyone with experience shopping with Virginia Sport Horses?

    We are about to start shopping for a new (made) hunt horse, and came across a website for Virginia Sport Horses. They have lots of part drafts that have done some hunting. It sounds like if you make an appointment with them, they show up with 5-10 horses to try, and have a vet on call for a pre-purchase if you like one. Has anyone used their services, or know of any horses that came through their training program? We're looking for a real steady-eddie, could do a little dressage and low-level eventing with, too. Any advice?

  • #2
    I would love to know the answer to this as well. Also if you decide to go and try I'd love to hear about what you thought of their horses. Am looking for an especially beginner friendly without too big a barrel for a 5'4" 135lb woman type...


    • #3
      Never got past the initial inquiry stage. Just my experience. Hope you have a much better one.


      • #4
        I do know

        They arranged for one or two horses to be placed with City of Richmond Mounted Police Unit a year ago

        I tired to contact them via phone without much luck; as in no luck....so I moved on.....I sense this is a situation where you'll only get what you pay for in the midst of the season

        Good Luck
        Last edited by Berkley; Nov. 29, 2009, 03:52 PM. Reason: word missing


        • #5
          One of my clients tried a horse with them once. Not too impressive, plus, I seem to recall that there was a lengthy (very very negative) discussion of this/them over on Off course or somewhere. I tried to search it (when she asked me about trying that horse) but could not find it.
          * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hunter's Rest View Post
            One of my clients tried a horse with them once. Not too impressive, plus, I seem to recall that there was a lengthy (very very negative) discussion of this/them over on Off course or somewhere. I tried to search it (when she asked me about trying that horse) but could not find it.
            This might be the thread you're referring to.



            • #7
              Check the FOL archives (Foxhunters Online) because someone else also shopping asked the very same question about 2-4 days ago.

              The respones were negative to extremely negative.

              Someone else pointed out the numerous conditions of purchasing a horse from them on the webpage were a red flag in and of themselves.


              • #8
                Is it possible to post the link directly to the FOL thing? I'd love to send it to my client - I was slightly reluctant when she wanted to look at those horses - it would be good for her to see why I had that idea.
                * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


                • Original Poster

                  Thank You!

                  Thank you all for your input!


                  • #10
                    Wow there were over 60 pages of posts on the link provided by Scaredofcoops.

                    Around page 55 or so the VHS proprietor came on and answered questions.

                    At least one person posted about very good experiences buying a horse there.

                    It appears that in response to all the "feedback" that VHS received she made some changes to her website to make it more ethical and friendly sounding and less off putting to people on these boards but it did become something of a free-for-all and she got pretty flamed.

                    As a total beginner to horses but with a background in dog breeding this person strikes me as a "broker"/ "big breeder" i.e., someone who makes a business out of their animals not necessarily in an indescriminant breeder way but in a pragmatic business-model way that rubs many dog "fanciers" completely the wrong way especially when they have success that results in part from the fact that breeding success is often a numbers game (i.e. statistically its easier to get a best in show dog by breeding 1000 puppies in ten years than by breeding only 10.)

                    People were angry, called her arrogant, thought her animals were over priced and misrepresented.

                    Thanks for the link.
                    Last edited by Lesson13; Nov. 30, 2009, 11:42 PM. Reason: additional detail


                    • #11
                      This thread caught my eye as I live right in the thick of hunt country.

                      Though I don't hunt myself, I have many contacts who do-it's Middleburg, after all! Feel free to PM me if interested in organizing a trip to the area.
                      Inner Bay Equestrian


                      • #12
                        Run Away Quickly...........

                        I personally have had a couple of very bad experiences with VSH..........

                        If you want to know about someone or their horses in the hunting world, then give a call to the Masters of the recognized hunt they belong to for references.

                        Looking at their web site it seems as though they don't belong to any hunts as you need to pay their capping fees besides your own to try a horse. That's a bad sign right there!
                        Virginia Field Hunters

                        https://m.facebook.com/studconcertogrosso?ref=bookmark CONCERTO GROSSO


                        • #13

                          I do not know how to link to FOL but google FOXHUNTERS ONLINE, then scroll to the third selection on the menu, ARCHIVES, click on the last page for November 2009 and look under the posts titled HUNT HORSE, they contain comments concerning VSH.

                          PS you looked awesome out Saturday in the field - snapped a great pix of you and must resize it and send it on, wish I could post it here!


                          • #14

                            I have 2 ,actually 3 ( but 2 are married to each other) clients who recently bought horses there. The first couple are very happy with their horses. I will say that the horses are unflappable and very safe for beginning hunters. On the negative side is that they have no mouths whatsoever ,and are very green for anything but trail riding. If you want safe trail horses ,quiet,quiet ,quiet. These are a good bet ,however ,a bit pricey in my opinion for the level of training.Not outrageous ,but more than I would spend. As hunt horses ,will probably be fine second field ,but I think they will lack the stamina and speed to do first fiield. Mind you one is 3/4 draft and the other full draft.
                            My other client Just bought the horse. I liked it first try in the ring,not so green as the others ,and has a good mouth,but it was a bit bargy about going for the gate. 3 days later,they horse is VERY bad with new owner ,and dragging him accross the ring,knocking over stuff to get to gate. I got on and it was really persistant in this behavior ,although I was able to improve it. Hopefully it will be fine on the trail,and is just ring sour.I have advised new owner to try trail riding for now and let me work on the ring business.He bought it for a trail horse ,so I am hoping it will turn out alright.Again this is a draft /draft (2 draft breeds crossed) Not something that I would want for much other than trail riding.
                            If you want something made for eventing and hunting ,I would think twice ,as I can't consider what I have seen so far to be made ,only quiet,and too much draft blood to be good for anything requireing speed or endurance.I believe that they specialize in this type.


                            • #15
                              I have had the opportunity to ride several of the horses there (in fact you can find my picture on the website, riding Seamus at an expo in 07ish). I also have several friends with VSH horses (one had a perch/tb, perch/tb/paint), and I owned one (perch/tb) myself. They are all lovely horses who are quiet, easy to ride, and excelled at their discipline they were purchased for. I think she has several "diamonds in the rough" if you know what you are looking for. I would absolutely have no problem buying another horse form Virginia Sport Horses.


                              • #16
                                That old thread cost me valuable sleep; it took so long to read! It was a full speed, full on, a-bomb trainwreck into the firey internet oblivion. What a wild ride!


                                • #17
                                  They are very local to me. I will say that they go through staff with amazing speed and have used up the good will of the horse community around here quite thoroughly.

                                  Be very careful. Whatever you get you will have. She is NOT in the business of holding anyone's hand. At least she doesn't pretend to "save" PMU horses so much anymore (she sells them) or solicit "help" (like a charity) only to make a profit off folks kindness and donations.

                                  The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



                                  • #18
                                    On the flip side, I think I've read good things about this site:

                                    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                    My CANTER blog.


                                    • #19
                                      VSH is primarly a PMU horsetrader and it is buyer beware.


                                      • #20
                                        Not that there's anything wrong with PMU horses (I own one and he is wonderful!)
                                        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                        My CANTER blog.