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Horse shopping: how long did it take you?

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    Horse shopping: how long did it take you?

    For those of you who have "horse shopped" in recent years, I'm curious how long your searches took?

    the first one? well over three hundred head (edited to add this first horse purchased did nothing of what she was purchased to do, but did do everything else, so more new tack required...she was a horse that when you looked at her after seeing a few hundred you knew she was going to be good)

    others ranged form months to years, most notable was daughter's search for a buckskin Morgan that was almost two years
    Last edited by clanter; Sep. 4, 2019, 02:02 PM.


      called about several, rode 1 and bought him after a 2 week trial.


        Original Poster

        Originally posted by clanter View Post
        the first one? well over three hundred head (edited to add this first horse purchased did nothing of what she was purchased to do, but did do everything else, so more new tack required...she was a horse that when you looked at her after seeing a few hundred you knew she was going to be good)

        others ranged form months to years, most notable was daughter's search for a buckskin Morgan that was almost two years
        This makes me feel better. It's been a couple months for me and I'm sad about it. But at the same time, I'm not about to buy the wrong one.


          Forever. Literally forever. Four months to two years or more? One of those searches had 8 failed vettings before one passed.


            The better part of a year. It maybe could have taken less time if I was sure about what I wanted (young and green vs BTDT w/maintenance). I have no idea how many ads I responded to that went no further for one reason or another. I looked at a couple that failed PPEs, another got an offer in and sold before I made up my mind, and two that sold before I could even schedule a visit, more than a few I looked at but didn't love, and last, but not least, a lovely, talented horse that I thought I wanted until the seller went looney-tunes on me and I slowly and carefully backed away.

            It was all for the best, because I ended up with the right horse for me after all.
            "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


              Originally posted by Momateur View Post

              This makes me feel better. It's been a couple months for me and I'm sad about it. But at the same time, I'm not about to buy the wrong one.
              As my trainer said frequently "If it doesn't work out, it just means it wasn't the right horse"

              Hang in there. Horse shopping in theory is fun. Actually looking with the intent of buying a horse is awful.
              "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


                Original Poster

                Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                Forever. Literally forever. Four months to two years or more? One of those searches had 8 failed vettings before one passed.
                You poor human.


                  Original Poster

                  Sounds like the experience is similar across the board. I've flown to see unsound horses (twice), dealt with one seller gone crazy, one seller totally disappeared, one horse didn't pass PPE, two sold from under me, and a few times the sellers just "forgot to mention" a major vice/quirk/issue. Not fun. Not fun at all.


                    Originally posted by Momateur View Post

                    You poor human.
                    Thanks! If there is a bright side, they almost always fail before we get to any diagnostics.

                    Good luck with your search. Don't rush, no matter how tempted you get.


                      Several months. I actually visited and rode 8 horses (all Morgan mares), of whom 5 required a plane ride for me to get to them -- but 4 were all in one place and I saw all 4 at once. The one I ended up with was *not* an ideal horse for me, as it turned out, but I hung onto her anyway and have now had her for 11 years. She still isn't ideal, but much closer, thanks to changing goals on my part. Honestly, having seen how awful things can turn out after a horse purchase, I am happy to have her. (There was one who probably would have been a better choice, but she was on hold for someone else, and they decided to buy her.)
                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                        Take your time, even when it seems like too much and you get anxious or over excited.
                        I wish I had taken more time in my last two. Both were not a good match for me -- but it's hard to knock sense into a late teens/early 20s horsecrazy girl. For my next one, I will be taking as much time as I need, especially since I haven't even owned a horse in 4 years, so I'm more okay with the wait now and I've had plenty of time to ride lesson horses or friend's horses, and get a feel for what I REALLY want, and what I can realistically handle. hope that helps.
                        I kick myself all the time for how much I have spent in failed attempts.


                          I’m probably a bad example because for my first two horses I didn’t go “shopping;” I fell in love with horses already in the barn where I rode and bought them.

                          My current horse I spent several months window shopping online. I only tried two horses, both on the same day, and this one was the second of those two. From the time I saw her ad online to the time I tried her was 24 hours. Another 24 hours later I had transferred payment to the seller.


                            This most recent time I bought the first horse I tried in person, though I did try a second horse later that day that I passed on, but I'd also been looking at ads for months. It was pretty easy for me to rule horses out from ads and from videos and then from talking to people, because I had really specific requirements and knew exactly what I wanted, and also had a big enough budget which of course makes it easier. Then of course the vetting is just luck.


                              About a year of off and on spending every weekend driving to see something, then giving up for a while and looking at ads. And then a friend called to say there was a horse for sale at a facility they were headed to and she'd remembered I was looking for a been-there-done-that type. My coach was out there for the show and was able to try him. He called to say "you should buy this horse." So I scheduled a vet check and bought him.

                              So... my advice is to tell EVERYONE you are looking. Post your wish list somewhere public and link to it from everywhere. Some friend of a friend's trainer knows someone who... and it only takes one.

                              This time around... I bought a yearling. Horse shopping is too exhausting. This way I don't have to travel and ride strange horses I don't entirely trust, I just have to wait for him to grow up. I figure it takes about the same amount of time!
                              ... with Patrick and Henry


                                I bought the first horse I saw. I know that's supposed to be a big no-no, but I could not stop thinking about this horse's mind and sweet disposition. The day I went to look at him, it just clicked. His trot was horrible, so I initially said no. For three days, I could not stop thinking about his kind demeanor and knew that a trot could be improved up to 80%. I bought him the next day. Best decision I ever made. We've been together for 13 great years so far.
                                "Do what you can't do"


                                  Clanter and Momateur, this makes me feel better. I lost my horse last winter and I wish I could have the experience tbchick84 did! I'm hoping for the click factor soon. When I had my own farm, I took in all kinds of horses in need and kept them for life but now that I'm a boarder I feel the pressure to really find the right horse.


                                    I'm an impulse buyer, I've most often bought the first horse I've gone to look at, and bought my current mare sight-unseen. I guess technically both last two mares, but the mustang was free and not halter broke so...


                                      I found mine in one weekend. Tried one horse on a Sat., then tried another one on Sunday and knew he was the one. Actually I had seen his ad on a local dressage barn's website a year ago and figured he wasn't available when I was ready to buy. The owner adored this pony and wasn't about to sell him to anybody but saw we were perfect together right from the start.

                                      My last horse was another "knew right away" situation as well, and also the second one I tried. Of course I'm not looking for an expensive show quality horse, so I'm not terribly picky.


                                        I shopped for two years, and fell in love with a few. It was very much like dating. One horse I loved, but couldn’t pull the trigger at first, kept coming back to her. I tried her three times. Finally bought a different horse I ended up really unhappy with. Went back to see the mare, but couldn’t pay what they wanted. Months later I was trying another horse, turned out the seller knew the people, had ridden the mare who reared and put her in the hospital. So I dodged a major bullet.

                                        After selling the unsuitable horse, I bought an older gentleman who I loved but was only sound for 18 months. When I retired him, another horse fell into my lap. He’s the horse of a lifetime, and has made up for all the heartbreak and wasted money.

                                        Don’t give up! Your horse is out there somewhere.
                                        BLACK LIVES MATTER