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Are older safe, sane and mostly sound horses that hard to find?

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  • Are older safe, sane and mostly sound horses that hard to find?

    Have a friend that's been looking for an older "been there done that" type of gelding for the past 6 months and is having no luck in her search. Mostly looking within 200 miles of her home (northern CA) and is coming across LOTS of geldings for sale but they're either sound and nut cases or sane and have major soundness or behavioral issues. Also she's found a few that have been outrageously outside of her price range so she doesn't even bother inquiring about them.

    She's had a few unfortunate purchases in the past so is a bit jaded on what folks describe in their ads. She has tightened up her criteria list as well so she doesn't make the same mistakes twice.

    Where would you begin your search for that type of horse?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Grace67 View Post
    Have a friend that's been looking for an older "been there done that" type of gelding for the past 6 months and is having no luck in her search. Mostly looking within 200 miles of her home (northern CA) and is coming across LOTS of geldings for sale but they're either sound and nut cases or sane and have major soundness or behavioral issues. Also she's found a few that have been outrageously outside of her price range so she doesn't even bother inquiring about them.

    She's had a few unfortunate purchases in the past so is a bit jaded on what folks describe in their ads. She has tightened up her criteria list as well so she doesn't make the same mistakes twice.

    Where would you begin your search for that type of horse?
    Those kind of horses, like people, are hard to come by.
    By the time someone is older and has been there and done that, generally is a bit less sound or sane also.

    Seriously, I would start with trainers, that is where such jewels are found and when one owner moves on, trainers sell them to other clients of theirs or of other trainers.

    The advantage, you have a real history of the horse and is vetted very much and many times you get to prelease or at least try it for some time.
    With those horses, everyone is very interested they end up with a compatible home.

    Those many advertised here and there, many times the ones advertising them don't even know how to represent their horse, so you can't go by what they state in their ads.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you have any big boarding barns in the area. Sometimes they post listings of older school horses.

      I have been seeing craigslist ads for summer camp horses (in California) for sale, can't speak for soundness or sanity of those.

      Where are you in N. California? Maybe Joe at TB Friends can help. He mainly rescues thoroughbreds, but I'm sure he may know of something that may fit the bill.

      Comment


      • #4
        You're not all that clear about what exactly the horse needs to have been there and done. A trail horse or a crossrail horse is not so hard; if you're looking for a horse jumping 3'6" it's going to be more challenging.
        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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        • #5
          Some of our best horses have been free leases or given to us by people who were more concerned that their horse be in the right home than the money they might gain.

          We had a horse once called 'Cody' and he was a one in a million horse and so well loved by everybody that a horse of that type is now called 'a Cody horse'
          when people are looking for that special solid citizen, and they are very rare indeed.
          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            I suggested that she enlist the help of a trainer and I've put the word out through my vet and farrier as well. Apparently they are indeed not a dime a dozen. She is a mostly weekend trail rider and middle aged so she needs something very safe and sane that she can take out alone and trail ride on the weekends for an hour or two each ride.

            That being said she'd like to also be able to walk, trot and canter occasionally in her little home arena, no jumping, no cow work but something that's been trained well enough to neck rein and has a good "whoa". She has an old gelding that is no longer ridable and keeps her horses at her home and dotes on them, she's no stranger to horse ownership but in her "old" age as she puts it she is a much more cautious rider and wants to enjoy getting on a horse not dread each ride.

            I'm not willing to part with my own 21 year old gelding who fits much of her criteria much to her chagrin

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Grace67 View Post
              I suggested that she enlist the help of a trainer and I've put the word out through my vet and farrier as well. Apparently they are indeed not a dime a dozen. She is a mostly weekend trail rider and middle aged so she needs something very safe and sane that she can take out alone and trail ride on the weekends for an hour or two each ride.

              That being said she'd like to also be able to walk, trot and canter occasionally in her little home arena, no jumping, no cow work but something that's been trained well enough to neck rein and has a good "whoa". She has an old gelding that is no longer ridable and keeps her horses at her home and dotes on them, she's no stranger to horse ownership but in her "old" age as she puts it she is a much more cautious rider and wants to enjoy getting on a horse not dread each ride.

              I'm not willing to part with my own 21 year old gelding who fits much of her criteria much to her chagrin
              Seems that this description is what a good 90% of buyers today are looking for, one reason they are hard to find.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Bluey I think you're right or at least that's what 90% of the buyers looking SHOULD have!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The bay area equestrian network has some sale horses advertized that may work. Type in what your looking for in the search engine.

                  http://www.bayequest.info/b001/horse_1.htm

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks Airfern I'll pass that along as well though I think she may be checking Dreamhorse and the BAEN site as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Any older safe, sane and mostly sound horses are probably owned by someone who have loved the said horses, and have some kind of emotional attachments to them, and as a result, are very reluctant to sell them, in fear of what might happen to their old faithfuls.

                      I know I won't sell any of my such horses because I'm afraid. If the horses are younger, it is a different story; if not, it seems likely that the odds that the horses will end up somewhere go up dramatically.

                      To find such jewels, you will need word of mouths. Some people will be willing to let them go if they know their old horses will be well taken care of.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I bought a horse of that exact description for my daughter. I talked to my trainer and she checked her "mental rolodex" for any horses she hadn't seen at the shows that year.

                        She called a woman and asked if she'd sell her older gelding and was told "no way". My trainer said that was too bad since she had a young girl who needed a horse just like him. The next day the owner called her and said she'd sell him after all, since he was too nice to sit in the pasture and he was the type to love being loved by a young girl.

                        We bought him and kept him until he died last year at 27. I turned down several offers for him for precisely the reason Gloria stated..I was afraid that he might end up in a bad circumstance. Sometimes word of mouth with reputable trainers is really the best way to go.

                        Horses like that are worth their weight in gold.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The short answer, YES! I market horses as part of my business, and these horses are hard to find, mostly because EVERYONE wants one and the ones that are out there, people do not want to part with! People are always contacting me wanting a horse that fits this description, yet they think that they will find them for a lowprice! Not the way it works, when something is high demand, low supply, the price is naturally going to not be cheap! I have a WONDERFUL gelding that I put up for sale, only because I wasn't using him as much as would have liked. Had someone come look at him, frankly they could not ride, and their 8 yr old son was even worse (altho he had taken "lessons" for two years). The horse packed them around and was an absolute angel, altho I was having a HEART ATTACK especially when mom told the son to canter! At any rate, he wasn't "forward" enough for them, frankly, any more forward and neither one would have stayed on!. Luckily they didn't buy him, even tho he was what they needed, as a new student shortly afterwards leased him. They are about 90% certain they will buy him after 2 months of leasing, just want the child to have a chance to take him to a local show this weekend. Since he has been leased I have had people begging to buy him, but they have first option.
                          www.shawneeacres.net

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've found one in the last two years, and I do keep my eyes peeled. Sound, sane, smart, surefooted MFT mare. And I sold one to OH when he quit sweating. Oh, one more.

                            OK that's 3 in ten years

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Seems like it. I didn't realize how lucky I was to have bought my lesson horse after half-leasing her. I bought her when she was 16, with her tack, for under $2k - I was offered $10k for her 2 years later! Crazy.

                              I still have her. She's 22 now, and except for a partial DFT tear a few years ago from which she fully recovered she's remained happy and sound. Such a good horse
                              Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                                I have a WONDERFUL gelding that I put up for sale, only because I wasn't using him as much as would have liked. Had someone come look at him, frankly they could not ride, and their 8 yr old son was even worse (altho he had taken "lessons" for two years). The horse packed them around and was an absolute angel, altho I was having a HEART ATTACK especially when mom told the son to canter! At any rate, he wasn't "forward" enough for them, frankly, any more forward and neither one would have stayed on!. .
                                I have a reg qh palomino gelding for sale that has me going through the same experiences! <shakes head> he just packs them around, quietly , perfectly, ...then they get off and say hes too lazy! <thwacks head>! Now, they just kick and go, perhaps they really want the beejesus scared out of them, no clue!
                                Also, hes not cheap. I use him for lessons and trail rides while waiting for someone to come along that appreciates a solid safe sane horse. Go figure.
                                Thanks for sharing!

                                I've only had 3 horses in 7yrs that were like that. Yes, rare. You dont make them, you find them.
                                IN GOD WE TRUST
                                OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.
                                http://www.horseville.com/php/search...=1&ssid=057680

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Grace67 View Post
                                  She is a mostly weekend trail rider and middle aged so she needs something very safe and sane that she can take out alone and trail ride on the weekends for an hour or two each ride.

                                  That being said she'd like to also be able to walk, trot and canter occasionally in her little home arena, no jumping, no cow work but something that's been trained well enough to neck rein and has a good "whoa".
                                  We actually get horses like this in pretty often, but if they aren't 900 years old and don't have special feed requirements (soaked feed, senior) they find homes pretty darn quick. Especially in the spring/summer. We're always on the lookout for beginner-type trail horses and frequently find them at the sale barns around here. Of course we know that "12 years old" in the ring is often "21 years old" by the time you get them home, but many nice, average, well broke trail horses (with minimal to no issues) go through our local auctions.

                                  We've also bought & sold a number of former camp horses that just aren't quite young enough, (or in some cases sound enough), to be hauling dudes around 8 hours a day, 7 days a week anymore but are wonderful for kids or someone who wants a no-fuss trail horse. Unfortunately we're in MN so not close enough to help.

                                  Is she anywhere near TB Friends? Joe seems to have many contacts needing to place horses including former schoolies/well broke horses, (not just the fresh-off-the-track racers).
                                  The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done".

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Any standardbreds in your area? They tend to be mentally more mature than their counterparts at younger ages and steady eddies, sure footed on trail and hearty. A bonus, brown horses go with any color tack (grin). If you can find a nicely gaited one, they are wonderful for miles and miles of hacking. Generally, even ones with lots of good miles under saddle on them already are still going to be inexpensive. If you were up here, I could point you toward free or nearly free ones.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                      Any older safe, sane and mostly sound horses are probably owned by someone who have loved the said horses, and have some kind of emotional attachments to them, and as a result, are very reluctant to sell them, in fear of what might happen to their old faithfuls.
                                      This. I have one too. The heavens would have to part and shine a light down on a saint for me to sell him, whether that is rational or not, for me to sell him. He has earned a safe guarantee for the rest of his life, even though he's only 15. I don't think you'll find many horses like this online -- you're doing the right thing by tapping the horse network and going through people who know people.
                                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                      We Are Flying Solo

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I bought a pony like this last year, found her on dreamhorse and snapped her up. She is wonderful. I have had 3 horses fitting this description in my 20-plus year horse career and they were all worth their weight in gold. All buried on the family farm. This one will be too, someday.

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