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Horse shopping: how long did it take you?

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  • Momateur
    Originally posted by Belowthesalt View Post
    Not to mention, people canNOT measure horses. Unless you know the pedigree mitigates towards size, take at least 3 inches off any ad-stated height!!!!! Also, two out of three were lame at the time I went to look at them, but no seller saw fit to mention that (in one case where I drove 5 hours to see the horse).
    OMG, this is SO true!!! What stick are people using?! AND, I have shown up to see lame horses twice in this search. Gee thanks.

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  • Belowthesalt
    For last horse, I had something very specific in mind - Appaloosa/16 hands minimum/movement suitable or at least adequate for dressage. But I also had a limited budget, so I knew that meant a youngster, probably unstarted. I had always admired a certain breeder's stock, so checked website - two suitable horses - both 2.5 years - both full color - a filly and a gelding. Went to look, took video, left a small deposit with one week to make decision, showed video to my trainer, she liked the quality of movement of both, bought gelding because of the two I liked his color pattern better (dependent upon PPE, of course). Left him with breeder at a low board rate until he was three, then took to colt starter.

    Previous horse - SIX MONTHS. Do you know how long it takes to find a 16 hand+ Appaloosa that DOESN'T look like a QH? LOL Not to mention, people canNOT measure horses. Unless you know the pedigree mitigates towards size, take at least 3 inches off any ad-stated height!!!!! Also, two out of three were lame at the time I went to look at them, but no seller saw fit to mention that (in one case where I drove 5 hours to see the horse).
    Last edited by Belowthesalt; Sep. 13, 2019, 07:02 PM.

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  • colorfan
    I have been casually looking for 2 yrs, seriously for 8 months. Four failed PPE, some sellers simply never returned calls or provided pics other than super cute noses...... some you just get a feeling....rode twice then sat-probably needs a refresher, .....yeah it dumped your butt....
    I have been burned buying one sight unseen, not too willing to do that again.
    However, I am more convinced now than ever that buying the wrong one just isn't worth been hasty.

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  • candyappy
    Most of the horses I have bought for myself were youngsters and I bought them on sight. There have been a few broke to ride and after trying them I bought them.

    I think we have bought 4-5 for our kids over the years ( pony-horse size) we bought every one we looked at. I've never had a bad one . I just know what I like and can't stand dragging things out.

    I guess I should feel fortunate.

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  • MsM
    My old horse was the first I looked at, but it took four months before I bought him. Now I was shopping in the lower price range for pleasure/dressage horse. Tried a young Morgan gelding but thought he was too young, too hot, not trained enough. Kept looking. None of the other horses seemed to measure up. When he was still available 4 months later, I bought him! Had him for 20 years. He was a great horse except for soundness issues.

    Current horse I found when doing cyber shopping for a school horse for my BO. Loved his video but he was about 4 hours away and very green (see a pattern here?) My BO was my enabler and we went to see him. Really liked him but at that point as an older rerider, I thought I should get something more trained. Did more cyber-shopping and trips to see and try several horses that didnt work out. More negotiations with first seller and two more long trips and I bought him! At least this time it only took two months... And looking for another prospect really brought home how difficult horse shopping could be.

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  • Obsidian Fire
    Spent a couple years before I found my current one. I wasn't shopping super hard tho, until my SM decided to take a hard injury that forced retirement on himself. I tell ya, it's hard to horse shop when 99% of your riding is getting done on whatever horse you're looking at that day! LOL.
    My price point was not great, so I knew I'd have to deal with "something" - but good golly I came across horses that ought to have just been put out to pasture. I even had one lady finally try to give me a mare. *Really* nice mare BUT she had fetlock injuries from racing that were pretty serious.

    What finally happened, I basically stopped shopping, and then a fellow COTH'er said "hey did you see...." and the rest, as they say, is history....

    Leave a comment:

  • Malda
    Originally posted by Momateur View Post
    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.
    I feel your pain. Each time I looked at 70+ horses, none remotely close to their ad. I agree it's not fun. But when you find the right horse it's worth it. Good luck and hang in there.

    Leave a comment:

  • luvmyhackney
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • chestnutmarebeware
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Tyrus' Mom
    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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  • SBrentnall
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • peedin
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Edre
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • rulex
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • chai
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • tabula rashah
    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

    Leave a comment:

  • Nelzeagle
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • TMares
    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!

    Leave a comment:

  • rulex
    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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  • TMares
    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.
    Last edited by TMares; Sep. 5, 2019, 10:43 AM.

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