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First Time Horse Buyer

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  • First Time Horse Buyer

    I am finally very very close (as in - this summer!) to the point in my life where I can buy my first horse. I have all of the riding gear I will need, as well as the grooming gear, wraps, polos and other random pieces of equipment. I also have a friend that's owned horses for years to help me look.

    Do any of you have any suggestions of things I should keep in mind when I'm looking and talking to sellers? What are some things you wish buyer would do/not do, ask/not ask when you're selling a horse?

    Thanks!
    Do no harm but take no s***
    Owned by Good Lil Train since 2014

  • #2
    Have you considered what you want to do with horses, if owning one is really what you want and more important, why and if spending the energy, time and money on a horse you own is really what fits with your life and horse endeavors right now, or by next summer?

    I would want to get those ducks in a row first, before starting to look for a horse.

    Now, if you do have ALL your ducks in a row, not just the brushes and such for a horse, then we need to know what kind of horse you are looking for and what will you be doing, as that could change the picture considerably.

    Do you want your own horses to trail ride with a group, to keep in your backyard and enjoy there or haul somewhere to ride, to board in a training stable and go to shows?

    Do you want a young one to bring along, a campaigner that will help you learn the ropes?

    I would guess, to have a trainer helping and let the trainer scout for the right horse is one of the best ways to get a first horse.
    The kind of good horses in trainer's barns don't even come on the market but by word of mouth, like a trainer mentioning to others they have a student ready to move up and a horse that is looking to teach the next show beginner the ropes.

    More information would help.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you've already got a saddle/bridle/girth, you'll want to take them along and see if they fit the prospective horse. (That's why I waited to get my saddle till after I got my horse, LOL)

      I'd say have your friend prepared to not let you write a check on the spot. When I was horse shopping, I went into it with the idea that even if I really liked the horse, I'd think about it overnight before saying yes or no. If the horse is really going to sell to someone else in under 24 hours...then it wasn't meant to be for you anyway and there are plenty of other horses out there.

      Don't get too hung up on looks. For instance, my "dream horse" was going to be either a bay with four white socks, a star, and a snip or a steel dapple grey. Definitely not anything spotted with a lot of white! This is what I ended up with. Draw your own conclusions.

      I don't know about you, but I put a lot of stock into "gut feeling". Not that I didn't take my friends' advice in mind too when I was a bit twitterpated about a horse (who was gorgeous but ultimately wrong for me) but when I found the right horse (see my link above)? I knew he was right, even though on paper he wasn't what I wanted (see color discussion. Also see that he was young and extremely green so I had to send him directly off to the trainer for a few weeks and I'd wanted 10-15 years old and been there done that). It's worked out for me (really really well) but I never would have gone to look at him if a friend hadn't pointed him out to me. And yes, even with the "gut feeling", I still sat and thought about it overnight.

      Ready yourself a list of questions to ask the seller before you go. Figure out what's most important to you and that if the horse doesn't fit into it, it's an absolute no-go. (for instance, even if I'd really liked a gaited horse upon seeing one and it had fit into all of my other criteria, I probably wouldn't have bought it because I want something that trots. Or even though I wanted been there, done that, something over 20 would've been out of the question)

      Don't be afraid to haggle. Don't be insulting about it (like offering $1,000 on a horse advertised for $10,000), but even if you really like the horse and are ready to write a check on the spot...it can't hurt to offer something a bit lower and see where you meet in the middle (that's what I did). Especially if the horse in question is being offered at a price on the upper end of what you're comfortable paying (on that note: decide ahead of time what you're comfortable paying and stick to it).

      Depending on what you want to do with the horse, consider adoption from a rescue. And by adoption from a rescue, I mean from one that puts time in rehabbing/evaluating/training their horses. You can get a really nice horse for an inexpensive fee that way.

      As a first time horse buyer, I'd strongly suggest NOT buying one from auction unless your helper-friend is very experienced in picking out good horses at auction and you've got the facilities to quarantine whatever you get for 21 days, minimum (and the ability to deal with whatever illness or training problems the horse might come with since you pretty much get no history on auction horses, despite whatever the seller might say in the ring about them).

      Be willing to look at a LOT of horses, you might even start perusing the horse ads now to see what's available and what the market is like in your area. I know I looked at hundreds of ads when I was shopping and went to actually see three before I found my guy.
      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

      Comment


      • #4
        When you go to look at horses and think you've found one you like, go back a few times. Don't rush into anything and ride lots of horses before making a final selection. Don't purchase any horse that you haven't seen/ridden more than once. Never buy a horse based on an arena ride only. Take a horse out of the arena even if just around the farm to see how the horse goes outside. Sometimes horses are very different in the arena and out of the arena.

        In short, be careful not to get carried away with that "I'm so in love with this horse" feeling that you make a decision too quickly. I'm prone to doing that myself, so I speak from experience! Remember that you are not buying a pet--and look at this from the perspective of an investment and choose carefully.

        Get the best pre-purchase exam you can afford.

        For your first horse, don't look for a 'project' type or a 'green' horse or one that has any obvious issues. Get a horse that has been around the block a few times to minimize the potential for problems. Get a horse you can enjoy from day one, and don't view it as "we'll figure it out together."

        Always ask the seller a lot of questions before you go look so you can save everyone the time and headache. If you get to a place and take one look at the horse and think, "no way"--trust your instinct and look elsewhere. Don't feel obligated to ride any horse simply because you came to look. Always ask the owner to ride it first. Get recent videos and pics before going to look. Take as much of the footwork out of it and week through horses from your computer before you ever go to look.

        Don't buy a horse because you feel sorry for it.
        Don't buy a horse because it's attractive.
        Don't buy a horse because it's cheap.

        I'm sure I'm leaving a lot of stuff out, but these are some thoughts to get you going.

        Good luck!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Always ask the seller a lot of questions before you go look so you can save everyone the time and headache. If you get to a place and take one look at the horse and think, "no way"--trust your instinct and look elsewhere. Don't feel obligated to ride any horse simply because you came to look. Always ask the owner to ride it first. Get recent videos and pics before going to look. Take as much of the footwork out of it and week through horses from your computer before you ever go to look.
          Hahahah, the part about asking the owner to ride? Not just that, but make sure the owner rides the horse doing EVERYTHING it's advertised to do and that you want it to do. If they say it's going quietly w/t/c, the owner needs to show you that. If they say it can sidepass or is jumping 2' or runs barrels or whatever....they need to show you that. BEFORE you get on and try it.

          Ask me how I know.

          (the first horse I tried, the seller just rode w/t. When I got on and asked for a canter, I got bucked off and very impressively sprained my ankle bad enough to be on crutches for over a week and make the doctor think at first I'd broken something)
          The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
          Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by analise View Post
            Hahahah, the part about asking the owner to ride? Not just that, but make sure the owner rides the horse doing EVERYTHING it's advertised to do and that you want it to do. If they say it's going quietly w/t/c, the owner needs to show you that. If they say it can sidepass or is jumping 2' or runs barrels or whatever....they need to show you that. BEFORE you get on and try it.
            LOL....soooo right you are! I am always suspicious when a seller sends a video or posts a video of a horse walking or trotting only. Why not show the horse move at the canter as well!?? My experiences have shown me exactly why they don't show the video!!

            Yes, definitely ask the owner to ride the horse at all 3 gaits and show you anything he/she claimed the horse can do. You'll find some owners will make excuses..."oh my back is bad and I'm on doctor's orders not to ride, that's why I'm selling the horse." Don't even go see that one! Unless the owner will have a friend or someone come ride it for you, don't even bother!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by valkyrie36 View Post
              Get the best pre-purchase exam you can afford.
              Ditto!!!

              That monetary investment in a solid PPE is worth it.
              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                Ditto!!!

                That monetary investment in a solid PPE is worth it.
                I once spent about $1000 in the first month on vet bills and hauling for a free horse I was given (from Coth no less) Live and learn.

                What is your goal for the horse? It is hard to give advice without knowing your riding level and plans for your horse...
                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  valkyrie36, I bought my current horse because he was attractive and I felt sorry for him. He is perfect for me, by some miracle!

                  Anyway, to the OP, there are great people out there, and there are some real doozies in the horse world. Just look at COTH, for example. No one wants to lose money on a horse, so while I wouldn't go so far as to say that all horse sellers are liars, I would say that you want to get them to disclose anything that would be a deal breaker for you.

                  So be very specific in what you don't want in a horse and ask about that. Does he bite? What does he do when he spooks? Has this horse ever bolted, reared, bucked you off, etc.

                  People want to sell, and so they put their horse in the best possible light. One horse I bought what was just a jerk, was portrayed as the sellers heart horse, but he just wasn't competitive in the eq, bla, bla, bla, and years later, I found posts she made on COTH about her suspicion that he was mentally defective. My retired gelding was a saint throughout the PPE and trial, then after I had handed over the cashier's check, the seller told me about how he used to buck her off regularly. Now I know I had asked her about that, and since he hadn't done it in a few years, she thought she was being honest.

                  So just be prepared to ask about everything and if the sellers don't like you asking, too bad.

                  Other than that, spend as much time alone handling the horse as possible. Good luck!
                  2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                  A helmet saved my life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First of all, congratulations...a bit prematurely, but hey, just being in the position you're in is better than a lot of horse-crazy folks ever get. My first suggestion is to take your time. If you don't find a horse this summer, wait until fall. Or next spring. Or next summer. Don't get yourself worked up into having a deadline to have that horse.

                    Originally posted by Silence View Post
                    I have all of the riding gear I will need, as well as the grooming gear, wraps, polos and other random pieces of equipment.
                    Ha ha ha. Cute. Are there seriously any horse people who have all the gear they need?

                    Originally posted by analise View Post
                    Hahahah, the part about asking the owner to ride? Not just that, but make sure the owner rides the horse doing EVERYTHING it's advertised to do and that you want it to do. If they say it's going quietly w/t/c, the owner needs to show you that. If they say it can sidepass or is jumping 2' or runs barrels or whatever....they need to show you that. BEFORE you get on and try it.

                    Ask me how I know.
                    Yeah, I can tell you how I know that too. Except I had a funny feeling about the horse and the owner was literally a small elephant sized man and he said his daughter had broke the horse (it was 3) I made him go get her out of the house and come get on. That girl didn't even have her leg swung over the horse's back before he was up and almost over. He ended up flipping out, hanging himself up on the fence and not being able to struggle down without a few minor abrasions. SO glad that wasn't me!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheHorseProblem View Post
                      valkyrie36, I bought my current horse because he was attractive and I felt sorry for him. He is perfect for me, by some miracle!
                      You're one of the lucky ones, for sure! A lot of the time those types of acquisitions can bite you in the hiney (no pun intended)!

                      When I went to look at the last horse I purchased, the lady who was selling him told me that she pretty much bought him because she felt sorry for him (I guess he was very underweight and being ridden hard by a some teenagers). But turned out that he didn't work out well for her. Not that he was bad or anything--just never turned out to be suitable for what she was looking for. I don't think she regretted buying him at all, especially now that she knows I'll keep him forever--but she acknowledged that it was a heartstrings purchase and that it slowed her down from accomplishing her own riding/competing goals while she tried to make him work.

                      For me, buying is serious business--I HATE being in a position to have to sell a horse so I want a KEEPER when I go to buy. That ups the stakes for me quite considerably! I know some people don't mind buying and selling (and can handle the financial losses that sometimes occur as a result)...but I don't have the stomach for it, personally.

                      I'd much rather take a good 6 months to find the right, *forever* horse!

                      Glad you found that!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Be very honest and upfront with your abilities and goals. As someone said, be sure the owner/trainer rides first and if your gut says walk away, then be polite and walk away. Don't get hung up on breed, color or sex but instead focus on the best match for you.
                        Epona Farm
                        Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                          Have you considered what you want to do with horses, if owning one is really what you want and more important, why and if spending the energy, time and money on a horse you own is really what fits with your life and horse endeavors right now, or by next summer?

                          I would want to get those ducks in a row first, before starting to look for a horse.
                          I have wanted a horse since I was twelve years old, so I am very sure that this is what I'm what and that I'm ready for it. I'm currently sorta kinda leasing (it's an odd story) a horse at the barn my friend rides at and not having any control over his feed and a few other things is driving me absolutely batty. Also the thought that I'm putting money into an animal that's not mine and won't ever be. (I adore the horse and think he's worth it right now, but he's much older then what I would buy).

                          My husband is also very on board with this and excited. That to me is a big clue that it's time to take the leap I've wanted to take for a long time.

                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                          Now, if you do have ALL your ducks in a row, not just the brushes and such for a horse, then we need to know what kind of horse you are looking for and what will you be doing, as that could change the picture considerably.

                          Do you want your own horses to trail ride with a group, to keep in your backyard and enjoy there or haul somewhere to ride, to board in a training stable and go to shows?

                          Do you want a young one to bring along, a campaigner that will help you learn the ropes?
                          My friend and I have dubbed the type of horse I'm looking for the "jack of all trades, master of none horse". I want something I can trail ride on, bounce over small (2') jumps, lope around a set of barrels, maybe take to a small show here and there. In other words - I want something that's FUN.

                          I don't want a young one, because I know I'm not ready for that. In a few years - I can see myself buying an already started prospect and finishing him out with the help of a trainer, but right now I need a horse that is already going and willing to be forgiving of the fact that it's been a while since the days when I was riding six horses a day and helping at the summer day camp as a teen.

                          I really want a Quarter Horse, probably no younger then 5 and no older then 12 or so. And I definently want a gelding.

                          Originally posted by analise View Post
                          If you've already got a saddle/bridle/girth, you'll want to take them along and see if they fit the prospective horse. (That's why I waited to get my saddle till after I got my horse, LOL)

                          I'd say have your friend prepared to not let you write a check on the spot. When I was horse shopping, I went into it with the idea that even if I really liked the horse, I'd think about it overnight before saying yes or no. If the horse is really going to sell to someone else in under 24 hours...then it wasn't meant to be for you anyway and there are plenty of other horses out there.

                          Don't get too hung up on looks. For instance, my "dream horse" was going to be either a bay with four white socks, a star, and a snip or a steel dapple grey. Definitely not anything spotted with a lot of white! This is what I ended up with. Draw your own conclusions.
                          I plan on taking my saddle to try any horse. Even if I don't ride in it I will want to set it on the horse's back just to see if said horse is the ONE, am I going to need to start saddle hunting or not.

                          That's what my friend will be there for. She's very very good at spotting lameness, so she'll be able to tell me to walk before we get to the pre-purchase point. I DO have a bad habit of doing the "OMG I LUFF HIM" thing..luckily my husband is much more level headed about things (and just getting horsey enough to pick out any cons on a horse to point out to me that I may be glossing over).

                          There isn't a single color horse that I don't like. I like 'em all. I perfer horses with a ton of chrome (white legs, blazes), but I have fallen pretty hard for plain jane bays and chestnuts before. Though the grey that I just found out was sold had the cutest head EVER..it's probably good he sold..he was probably on the young side for me.

                          Originally posted by analise View Post
                          I don't know about you, but I put a lot of stock into "gut feeling". Not that I didn't take my friends' advice in mind too when I was a bit twitterpated about a horse (who was gorgeous but ultimately wrong for me) but when I found the right horse (see my link above)? I knew he was right, even though on paper he wasn't what I wanted (see color discussion. Also see that he was young and extremely green so I had to send him directly off to the trainer for a few weeks and I'd wanted 10-15 years old and been there done that). It's worked out for me (really really well) but I never would have gone to look at him if a friend hadn't pointed him out to me. And yes, even with the "gut feeling", I still sat and thought about it overnight.

                          Ready yourself a list of questions to ask the seller before you go. Figure out what's most important to you and that if the horse doesn't fit into it, it's an absolute no-go. (for instance, even if I'd really liked a gaited horse upon seeing one and it had fit into all of my other criteria, I probably wouldn't have bought it because I want something that trots. Or even though I wanted been there, done that, something over 20 would've been out of the question)
                          I put alot of stock into gut feelings as well. Which is why I think it's time for me to take the leap into horse ownership. My gut isn't telling me it's a bad idea anymore.

                          The list is a good idea, and I started one after reading your post. I don't want gaited, I don't want a horse with soundness issues right out the gait. I really want a horse that's 15.3 to 16.1 (I'm 5'6), but I'm willing to waver on that either direction.

                          Originally posted by analise View Post
                          Depending on what you want to do with the horse, consider adoption from a rescue. And by adoption from a rescue, I mean from one that puts time in rehabbing/evaluating/training their horses. You can get a really nice horse for an inexpensive fee that way.

                          As a first time horse buyer, I'd strongly suggest NOT buying one from auction unless your helper-friend is very experienced in picking out good horses at auction and you've got the facilities to quarantine whatever you get for 21 days, minimum (and the ability to deal with whatever illness or training problems the horse might come with since you pretty much get no history on auction horses, despite whatever the seller might say in the ring about them).

                          Be willing to look at a LOT of horses, you might even start perusing the horse ads now to see what's available and what the market is like in your area. I know I looked at hundreds of ads when I was shopping and went to actually see three before I found my guy.
                          I'm not opposed to adopting, as I know you can find really good horses that have ended up at rescues. I think I will look into that. No auctions, I want to be able to spend time with the horse a few times before handing over a check.

                          And taking more of your advice, I've already started looking. It drives my husband a little crazy, but I figure out what I like and don't like by SEEING it. There's already a few things I've seen in ads that I've added to my list of no's.

                          [QUOTE=valkyrie36;6099683]Get the best pre-purchase exam you can afford.

                          For your first horse, don't look for a 'project' type or a 'green' horse or one that has any obvious issues. Get a horse that has been around the block a few times to minimize the potential for problems. Get a horse you can enjoy from day one, and don't view it as "we'll figure it out together."

                          Always ask the seller a lot of questions before you go look so you can save everyone the time and headache. If you get to a place and take one look at the horse and think, "no way"--trust your instinct and look elsewhere. Don't feel obligated to ride any horse simply because you came to look. Always ask the owner to ride it first. Get recent videos and pics before going to look. Take as much of the footwork out of it and week through horses from your computer before you ever go to look.[/qoute]

                          I already have a vet in mind for the PPE. It's a vet that my friend has used multiple times over the past ten years and I really trust his opinion and expertise.

                          What is the best/most polite way to ask for more pictures and video? Every horse I've ever leased was just sorta dropped in my lap, so I've never really had to hunt for one and ask all the questions and such. I don't want to annoy sellers. And is it possible to ask too MANY questions?

                          analise - I will make sure I get the owner to ride everything they say the horse can do in the ad. I hadn't thought of that.

                          TrotTrotPumpkin - I would say I'm an intermediate re-rider. I started riding when I was twelve and spent four years as a working student for a trainer that did Western Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle as well as dealt with a lot of problem horses and started young ones under saddle. I was exposed to a LOT of different horses, which I count as a good thing. When I was eighteen my life got flipped upside down (kicked out of my house because I was *horrors* dating, working and being a productive member of society, lost my job because I had to move, ended up depressed and had a hard time holding down a steady job due to forces outside my control [company 1 went under, company two had crazy owners, company 3 went under], I've now been in a steady job for two years in a company that is GROWING with coworkers and managers that are wonderful. I'm putting my life back on track, losing the weight I had gained and getting fitter.

                          The horse I'm riding now is about twenty and no one who had ridden him before was able to get him to do well..anything. I ride him all over the property and back again and have just this past weekend added trotting into our rides. I AM an overweight rider (I dread saying that in light of the recent threads..), but I am very concious of keeping myself balanced so I don't hurt the horse and making sure I don't ride a horse that's too small for me. (For instance - someone at the barn has a 14.2 arab they were trying to rehome. She's much too dainty for me at my current weight, but if I were at my goal weight I would totally go for a horse of that build).

                          TheHorseProblem - My motto about life in general is a bit like House's: Everybody Lies. Specificif to horse people: We're ALL crazy. I adore my husband and my friend because they can usually smell BS a mile away.

                          oldpony66 - I spent my drive from work naming off a list of things I could really use..LOL. I guess I should say I have enough gear to get me STARTED. One can never have enough horse stuff..

                          To round this rediculously long post out. There's a few things I'm willing to waver on - size, breed (sorta, I realllllly like QH's..), age, etc. I'm willing to spend a year or more looking for the horse that fits me and what I want if I need to.

                          I'm looking at this potential horse as a life partner pretty much. If I ever got seriously interested in one discipline or another - then and only then would I consider selling future horse if he couldn't do what I wanted, but I've never been too terribly interested in showing seriously.
                          Do no harm but take no s***
                          Owned by Good Lil Train since 2014

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                          • #14
                            I have to laugh, it sounds like you have MORE than you need. (I have wraps, ie quilts and the bandages to hold them on....somewhere...from shipping my old horse. I have never owned polos or bell boots or anything else like that and never missed them.)

                            And really, the horse is more important than the saddle. I had one, it fit my old OTTB...it does NOT fit Lucky. Not even close. I would definitely not have passed on him if I'd known that in advance (I bought him long-distance and wouldn't have been able to try him anyway as he came straight from the track.)
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                            Steampunk Sweethearts

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                            • #15
                              In my experience, it's best to not just ask about specific things but see how the horse is for yourself. Don't ask if he's okay to clip, take along your clippers and clip him. Have a trailer hitched up and watch him load and unload. Be sure you see the horse being caught, groomed, saddled and bridled.

                              I went to see a horse once who was all tacked up and ready. I asked the seller to take it all off and do it again. She let out a big groan, and watching her take 15 minutes to re-bridle the horse showed a major hole in his training. Spray fly spray, put on the fly mask, etc. Granted, not everything is a deal breaker, but you need to know what you're buying before you write the check.

                              I'm like you. I am not a casual buyer/seller. I look at them as new members of my family. Just don't take the seller's word for it on simple things you can check out for yourself.

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                              • #16
                                Analise, I love your horse. He/she is ADORABLE! I *love* big fuzzy pintos.
                                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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                                • #17
                                  Make sure you have a good set of pros you can call on when you need to, whose judgement you trust, whose knowledge you respect, whose experience you value and whose philosophies you agree with.

                                  Things that bothered you when you were a weekly lesson taker or a lessee are not going to improve when you are an owner/boarder. So make sure you're happy with the boarding barn you plan to keep the horse at (unless you're keeping the horse at home), both the facilities and the staff.

                                  You are going to come across situations that you've not experienced before, and when you do, you need to know who to talk to for guidance and/or assistance. When this happens, it's nice to know the people you're getting advice from know their stuff and have your horse's (and your) best interests at heart and not their bank accounts.

                                  If you don't have a trailer, make sure you know a few people who are available to haul your horse in an emergency (colic, natural disaster, BO has a mental breakdown, etc.).
                                  Full-time bargain hunter.

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                                  • #18
                                    I THOUGHT my DH was a tough sell but when we looked at the pony he was the one who fell in "looooove" and I coudn't talk him out of it.

                                    Add the freebie old guy, (not a grand, more like $400, unless you factor in the cost of fencing and corral panels and stuff, in which case it's a LOT more than a grand!) and to be honest it's the feel sorry + cute + cheap route, and Val36 is absolutely right in my case. Boo hoo. I still love having them but my riding goals are somewhere in the toidy.

                                    Now, since you are doing the lease thing right now you must have some connections, a trainer, farriers and vets, how about putting out the word? That is how I got the old guy.

                                    As far as the actual purchase routine, start with catching the horse and go through all the steps. I rode a lesson horse who would lead you on a merry chase in the pasture so he had to have a halter on all the time, when we went to see the pony they had brought him up to a nice grassy area and he was very distracted by the grass so far better mannered as far as being able to be caught and being polite in your space. Go along with the horse's usual routine and absolutely make the owner ride first. The pony headed straight for the pine tree and tried to beat the poor guy to death with the branches. Ask exactly what cues they use for each gait - the pony is part saddlebred and knows how to rack, BUT, he doesn't think he should trot under saddle, nor canter, and the guy was very vague about what cues he used to get a canter - because he never did it! The footing in this grassy area was very soggy, and it was the only place to ride. Sometimes around here you wind up riding up and down the gravel driveway so it really limits your ability to test things out. I didn't press the canter cue issue because of the footing (now, the pony does go fairly well for my DH, who knows diddly about leads and whatnot) so we have a nice little racking pony which wasn't precisely what we wanted, LOL.
                                    Things might have gone a bit differently if I hadn't taken DH.
                                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                    Incredible Invisible

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Silence View Post


                                      What is the best/most polite way to ask for more pictures and video? Every horse I've ever leased was just sorta dropped in my lap, so I've never really had to hunt for one and ask all the questions and such. I don't want to annoy sellers. And is it possible to ask too MANY questions?

                                      One thing that helps is to keep a notebook of questions that you've already asked and had answered for a horse you are considering. I know I'd be looking through all the horse classifieds and I'd fire off 10 preliminary emails and then I'd get a response and I couldn't remember what horse was what and I probably repeated my questions to some sellers. That is no doubt annoying to a seller so keep yourself organized on your horse hunt!

                                      You can't ask too many questions. I'd suggest email unless the seller prefers phone calls. Much easier to stay on target and not get sidetracked. Figure out what kinds of things are "must haves" and ask those questions first. Weed out deal breaker stuff and then you can get more in depth. If the horse is more than an hour away I'd definitely want video before I made the drive to see him. All you need to say is, "Do you have any videos of this horse? I'd really like to watch him move at all 3 gaits before I make an appointment to come see him in person."

                                      A reputable seller is going to want the horse to go to a well matched buyer, so they are going to be glad that you are asking a lot of questions and being thorough. It will help them figure out whether or not you'll be a good match.

                                      First, be up front, tell the seller what you want to do with the horse. Then ask the seller about those essential deal breaker issues. If at that point you are still interested, politely inquire about more pics and/or video. Ask for pics of the horse without tack. Ask how recent the posted photos are and if they are more than 6 months old ask for a few new ones. No video would only be a deal breaker for me if it was a long drive. I've made waaaaayyy too many 2 hour trips that turned out to be an utter waste of time and a video would have saved everyone the aggravation!

                                      If you see the video and are still interested, time to get a little more nit picky with questions and ask to set up an appointment to see the horse. Let the seller know you'd like the horse to be ridden for you when you make the appointment so he/she can be prepared. Touch base with the seller the day before to let him/her know you're still coming and looking forward to it. Show up on time or let him/her know if you're running late for some reason.

                                      When you get there, let the seller do the talking for awhile. Sometimes people talk more when they're allowed to just talk and not answering a lot of questions. After seller has done some talking, ask any questions you still have. Spend as much time as you can with the horse without being underfoot. If you're still interested, ask if you can come back another time. On visit 2, if you're still interested maybe start talking price.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Guin View Post
                                        Analise, I love your horse. He/she is ADORABLE! I *love* big fuzzy pintos.
                                        He's a he. And yeah, I've found myself liking pintos more now since I got him.
                                        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                                        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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