Stallion Spotlight

Feinrich-Nr_1-12-18-10-074 Beelitz

Real Estate Spotlight

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Horse shopping: how long did it take you?

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  • #21
    Going on 2 years and still searching. I did take a 6 month break from looking. Have gone to look at about 40 horses in 3 states, contacted exponentially more sellers. Found a few I really liked but didn’t vet, a few others that sold before I could go see them. It can be very demoralizing. We could probably start a thread on dealing with flaky sellers lol. I feel like I’ve got enough to write a book.

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    • #22
      A year. Although I think I tried looking too soon after putting my young horse down. I don't think there was anyway that I was ready yet. I'm very seriously looking now and wonder if it will ever happen! I feel everyone's pain.

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by rulex View Post
        Going on 2 years and still searching. I did take a 6 month break from looking. Have gone to look at about 40 horses in 3 states, contacted exponentially more sellers. Found a few I really liked but didn’t vet, a few others that sold before I could go see them. It can be very demoralizing. We could probably start a thread on dealing with flaky sellers lol. I feel like I’ve got enough to write a book.
        The struggle is real. It really makes me wonder how some of these people make a living. As a businesswoman, it makes me absolutely cringe. If I made my customers chase me around for answers, I would not have a job anymore.

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        • #24
          Horse 1: Came into the barn on trial for another rider. She wasn't a good fit on paper but had an unbelievable heart and was the perfect first horse.


          Horse 2: 6 months, 5 states, 24+ horses tried, 3,500 miles traveled, one failed trial on another horse, and I ended up with a horse who had profound health and behavioral issues.


          Horse 3 (In progress): month and a half, 3 states, 14 horses tried, 1,000 miles traveled, one PPE lined up (fingers and toes crossed).

          Between horse 2 and 3 I became better at evaluating videos, refusing to travel based off of blurry photos and "I promise he's great", and did more background research on a seller. Four of the 12 were within an hour of me. The rest were seen over two weekends by grouping the horses geographically and seeing a bunch each day.

          If this horse does not vet I've already identified my next trip location. Traveling to horse hubs in the south (Atlanta, Aiken, Southern Pines, Ocala, Lexington, etc.) is a better use of my time than driving to bum diddly nowhere Alabama to see one horse.

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          • #25
            I've been all over the map. My very first horse was a lesson horse at my up/down barn who I fell in love with. Though in retrospect, he was a fairly unsuitable first horse. He turned into a solid citizen eventually though.

            The last time I deliberately went horse shopping, I planned a road trip all over Germany, looked at countless horses, rode about 10, and bought a nice 3yo who I still have, but ended up growing unsuitably large.

            The last several horses were advertised on FB or found through friends, and I wasn't specifically shopping. When I stumble across something that looks promising, I go take a look. If it works, it comes home with me (though admittedly, the last two I bought off of pictures and video, and met them when I showed up with the trailer). I have a beer budget but champagne taste, so all my horses are a certain amount of risk. I have my own farm now, so I can take a chance on one and still have plenty others to ride while trying to sell something that ends up not being a good match. If I was boarding, there'd be a lot more pressure to find 'the' perfect horse. I've been there, and it does tend to add levels of stress. Now I just wait for the right ones to fall in my lap, and in the meantime I'm also breeding my next generation of amateur hunters.

            I've got a great coach who's willing to look at lots of videos and I've been around long enough that I'm pretty good about picking the types that will work for me.
            A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

            http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

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            • #26
              Usually it only takes a few months. I think the main thing is never to be in the position to "need" a horse. I have multiple fox hunters spread out in age.As the oldest gets to be 4-5 years from retirement, I start looking. The most important thing is not to broadcast that you are looking for a horse. You will get inundated with horse that are near dead, always lame or just unsuitable for the job. Talk to people that know your discipline, know how you ride and what style of horse you like to ride. Keep that number to a minimum.
              A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

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              • Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by FitToBeTied View Post
                Usually it only takes a few months. I think the main thing is never to be in the position to "need" a horse. I have multiple fox hunters spread out in age.As the oldest gets to be 4-5 years from retirement, I start looking. The most important thing is not to broadcast that you are looking for a horse. You will get inundated with horse that are near dead, always lame or just unsuitable for the job. Talk to people that know your discipline, know how you ride and what style of horse you like to ride. Keep that number to a minimum.
                Seriously. I made that mistake and got flooded. Apparently people have a very loose interpretation of my requirements, which I made clearly known from the start.

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                • #28
                  I use my network to find horses. These are low level dressage and high level trail horses. Must be sound, same, and smart. I like training so younger and not screwed up is better for me. I can't imagine how hard it would be to pick a serious competition horse!

                  With that said, the last transaction went like this. Sold DH's great riding horse who was an ass in the group turnout my farm provides. I kept him about a year trying to make it work, it wasn't working so OK BYE. Upon delivering him to a pal's for shipment out of state, DH fell in love with a cute 3 yo she had in that he wasn't good enough to ride. So of course he brought him home. She said keep him as long as you want to figure out if you want him. I vetted him (no xrays or such) and bought him. I rode him a year or so, got some stifle issues sorted out, and he's good as gold, for all of 1500 bucks.

                  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
                  Last edited by TMares; Sep. 5, 2019, 10:43 AM.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                    Between horse 2 and 3 I became better at evaluating videos, refusing to travel based off of blurry photos and "I promise he's great"
                    Yes I’ve consistently found a lack of video to be a red flag when I’ve gone ahead to see the horse anyway and hoped for the best. With phones these days it’s really not hard to quickly take a few clips. Even if “I always ride alone and there’s no one to video me”, like just put the phone on a fence or something!
                    Last edited by rulex; Sep. 9, 2019, 12:04 AM.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by rulex View Post

                      Yes I’ve consistently found a lack of video to be a red flag when I’ve gone ahead to see the horse anyway and hoped for the best. With phones these days it’s really not hard to quickly take a few clips. Even if “I always ride alone and there’s no one to video me”, like just put the phone on a fence or something!
                      i could not agree more! I raised a filly who turned out to be unsuitable for some of the tougher trails we do (as a day dreamer, she fell off of the trails more often than she stayed on them LOL). I propped my phone up and made videos of loading/unloading/tacking/bathing/spraying/catching her in the field/riding/etc - I chopped them into bits (maybe still a little long but I'd rather bore you with how honest they were than trick you with editing) and put them as a group on YouTube. They are still there - a sweet reminder of a good mare who landed in a great home. I just took a peak. I miss her sweet mug sometimes!

                      https://youtu.be/pTYRisdpygc

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                      • #31
                        Last horse - five months, and then the perfect one fell into my lap. This one - six weeks and counting. As far, one failed vetting, a couple others were not as advertised when I got there. It's very frustrating.

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                        • #32
                          Current main horse- zero sort of lol. I went to try her for a friend and friend said nope, not getting on that freight train. I, however, loved her. Made an offer and bought her that day. Did I think I needed another horse? No but she is turning out to be amazing and much more talented than the previous horse I was competing. All of my other horses I've kind of happened into
                          If history repeats itself, I'm getting a dinosaur

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                          • #33
                            These happy ending stories give me hope. Rulex, I think we could put together quite a thread similar to a bad dates thread. When we were looking for a horse for my daughter, we looked at 37. Which leads to my anxiety over every advertisement now that I am looking again.

                            Thank goodness I love a road trip because we wasted so much time - highlights: after a 4-hour drive to see a horse, the owner greeted me with, 'Oh, I forgot to tell you, we bred her last week.' Another time we drove 6 hours to meet the vet for a ppe on a horse whose trainer assured me was sound, including producing clean hock x rays. The vet took one look at the x rays and said, 'These xrays aren't from this horse,' and the trainer who had been standing right beside us, suddenly disappeared and we could hear her driving away.

                            Another horse advertised as 'kid-friendly' repeatedly tried to attack the trainer as she tacked him up so she had a kid at the barn give him carrots while she got him ready. I stopped it, thanked her for her time and we left. Then there was the lovely thoroughbred whose owner told us, "Oh, those hives? Don't worry about them, it's nothing." Sigh. I know there are wonderful sellers out there who really want the best for their horse in a new home but once you've run into some real characters, it's tough.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by ElementFarm View Post
                              I have my own farm now, so I can take a chance on one and still have plenty others to ride while trying to sell something that ends up not being a good match. If I was boarding, there'd be a lot more pressure to find 'the' perfect horse. I've been there, and it does tend to add levels of stress.
                              Having to pay board definitely does up the pressure to find a really great match. There are a couple of horses I’ve passed on that I would have liked to take the chance on if I had my own place. But board is expensive in my area and I’ve watched barn mates stuck paying the bills on an unsuitable match they can’t ride, which is a situation I’d really like to avoid.

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                              • #35
                                I've been on two sides - current horse, I wasn't really even "horse shopping" for...but she was cute and I have poor impulse control so she's mine.

                                The first time around was a complete rigmarole, with a crazy barn owner as icing on top of a very unnecessarily complicated cake. It didn't take as long as some people's situations (probably about 9 months start to finish) and I didn't look at as many horses as some here, but there were a few moments where I sincerely questioned what on god's green earth I was doing because either I was crazy or the sellers were crazy and at that point, I couldn't figure out which because I was so mired in the process that I didn't know up from down anymore! It was a pain in the neck, but the horse I ended up with made everything well worth it.

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                                • #36
                                  Current horse is the schoolie I lessoned on as a re-rider. I wasn’t looking for a horse, especially not a chestnut TB mare that cribs. I had an electric reaction to her the first time I swung my leg over her. I knew we were meant to be together.
                                  First horse was purchased because he gave me the look. He was an unbroken rising 2 year old. I was a green rider. We were together over 25 years.
                                  Proud member of Appendix QH clique

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                                  • #37
                                    My last one took a year, and I actually bought a different horse after about 6 months who turned out to be totally unsuitable and was sent back.

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                                    • #38
                                      Between 4-6 weeks. I adore him, he's perfect. Looking for a horse felt very discouraging because my budget wasn't that big and horses with any sort of dressage potential are priced accordingly (high).

                                      Probably looked at a gazillion horses on line. Fate guided me away from some I thought were possibilities. I had knee surgery with swelling complications, so was unable to be physically present to look at a very nice warmblood mare with established dressage bloodlines in So. Cal. who was in my price range because of an injury she was rehabbing from.

                                      One horse, another fancy bloodline imported WB with one eye, (trailer accident) also in my price range, who was a potential was jerked away from me before I even looked at him because the seller could keep him at their barn, boarding with lessons to someone else.

                                      I looked at a nice TB online and inquired on him, but I made the mistake of telling the TB rescue person my age, and every woman in her 30s thinks 60s is someone with one foot in the grave.... she told me I didn't have enough experience for that horse, but she had another nice TB who had a cracked hip I could look at. I told her I wasn't ready for a rocking chair and horse lawn ornament just yet, thanks, but no thanks.

                                      Then the sky opened up, the angels sang and I became aware of Ty. The vet I had helping me with conformation advice told me he was the nicest horse I'd sent her videos of. He's been great. A year later with a lot of work from me, he's coming along nicely from a wagon horse to a dressage horse.
                                      Last edited by Tyrus' Mom; Sep. 6, 2019, 11:28 PM.

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                                      • #39
                                        For my two ottb mares, about 5 minutes each. The trainer called me on one, and the track vet called on the other. Saw one photo on the former, but none on the latter. Both were free, with minor track injuries. After a few months on Dr. Green, neither have taken a lame step and it’s been about 13 years now.

                                        The APHA wearing took a few days for a co-worker to talk me into seeing her, but once at the breeder, the deal was done in less than a half hour. I wouldn’t take six figures for her now, even at age 19.
                                        "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive

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                                        • #40
                                          I had my first two horses sent to me by trainers that knew what I like and told me to trial them for a week and send them a check. Loved both of them. My current pony was a craigslist ad, and if I could catch him + 125.00 for his supplies I could have him. I paid her the next day after he was caught and loaded in less than 10 minutes. I adore him...he's such a little shit, my kids are definitely his people.
                                          "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten

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