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Horse shopping: how long did it take you?

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  • Momateur
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • FitToBeTied
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ElementFarm
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • GraceLikeRain
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Momateur
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lunabear1988
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • rulex
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bristol Bay
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • pony baloney
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • mmeqcenter
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • chai
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbchick84
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • wsmoak
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Zevida
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • BigMama1
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • thatottbgirl
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • quietann
    replied
    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.)

    Leave a comment:


  • joiedevie99
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Momateur
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Momateur
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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