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First time actually buying -- frustrated

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  • First time actually buying -- frustrated

    So, I'm not a first time owner, but I am a first time *buyer*. My last horse sort of just happened... I was looking for a free lease, showed up to see this horse, realized right away I had seen him advertised four years prior (and as a teenager, had a rational moment where I said "If I was going to buy, this is what I'd get" rather than the usual wistful thoughts of having a pricey horse), and clicked right away. The owner wanted to GIVE him to me, and to get on a horse who hadn't been ridden in 3 years and do half pass? Yea, I had to take him. Never tried other horses, never shopped around, was never looking to own.

    So fast forward almost 2 years after losing that lovely boy, and I'm ready for my own again. And this shopping process? Where I have to PICK and commit? It just seems like there's nothing I want. I ride lower level dressage and want something trailsafe, but it seems very little has dressage basics. I also don't want anything big, less than 16h. It just seems that even though I'm in a horsey area, there's not much that even closely resembles my criteria. I have a small budget (4 digits!), but surely there's something safe out there that's not wildly fancy or huge and has some foundations on it. Surely getting something "plain jane" (ie, not warmblood, more traditional breed) that isn't the desireable 16h and can go training level isn't this hard?

    I posted a wanted ad in my local popular horse forums, and got a bunch of hunters as responses. I look because you just never know what the horse may know, or how the personalities click, but I feel like I'm on a roller coaster -- high and excited and then disappointed. RATIONALLY, I know shopping can take a while. The other part of my brain just keeps expecting santa to bring my majikally perfect pony like last time.

    To add to the frustrations, at least half the ads I've responded to are horses who have already sold. If the horse has sold, take down the ad??

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  • #2
    I am just curious. Are you actually looking at horses in person or are you just looking at ads? Given your stated criteria, I would think that you would have suitable horses to look at in your price range within a radius of a few hours drive from home.

    Even if you respond to a sold ad, sometimes the seller will have another suitable horse or know of one you might like. I agree that sellers should mark ads as sold, but not necessarily take them down as it gives buyers a rough idea of what horses are going for. (Yes, I realize that the advertised price and selling price are different, but it gives you an idea.)
    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
      I am just curious. Are you actually looking at horses in person or are you just looking at ads? Given your stated criteria, I would think that you would have suitable horses to look at in your price range within a radius of a few hours drive from home.

      Even if you respond to a sold ad, sometimes the seller will have another suitable horse or know of one you might like. I agree that sellers should mark ads as sold, but not necessarily take them down as it gives buyers a rough idea of what horses are going for. (Yes, I realize that the advertised price and selling price are different, but it gives you an idea.)
      I'm frustrated with the ads that turn out to be sold, but I have also gone to look at horses as well, who just turned out to be nothing like their ad. Gotta love when the ad or pics show a horse in pristine show condition years ago, and the horse is actually doing nothing, or out of shape, etc. Currently, most on the local market in my price range and size preference are hunter trained.

      Comment


      • #4
        IMO you need to look for their potential, or have someone else who has those eyes to see potential behind the scruff and the loss of shape. It also might help to have a list of deal breakers. Frankly your list of requirements is quite reasonable.

        Paula
        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

        Comment


        • #5
          Have YOU advertised that you are in search of a horse? There may be more horses out there who either aren't being promoted in the places you are looking... or who may not be for sale yet- but who might be for sale if the owner already had a buyer and didn't have to deal with the hassle of all the tire kickers.

          Comment


          • #6
            What's wrong with the one where your only complaint is the canter cue?
            That literally a fix to happen in a weeks time span
            www.destinationconsensusequus.com
            chaque pas est fait ensemble

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Plainandtall View Post
              Have YOU advertised that you are in search of a horse? There may be more horses out there who either aren't being promoted in the places you are looking... or who may not be for sale yet- but who might be for sale if the owner already had a buyer and didn't have to deal with the hassle of all the tire kickers.

              *I* (I don't know why you're emphasizing the YOU) have advertised, specifying dressage and trail as my main focus, jumping being a bonus. Every. Single. Response. has been hunter trained.

              Edited to add, the most recent response was for a hunter trained pony at very near twice my budget.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                What's wrong with the one where your only complaint is the canter cue?
                That literally a fix to happen in a weeks time span
                Second ride I was less impressed. Watching the video footage, I was even less impressed. She was sweet and safe, but plucky. I think the first ride had my "OMG HORSE SHOPPING" endorphins going...

                Comment


                • #9
                  I hear you.
                  The horses out there for sale are for sale for a reason.
                  That same reason may be a deal breaker for you.
                  Because of that, I have found lately that you really can't believe sellers much, they are desperate to sell.
                  Even supposedly honest people today end up lying and making excuses for their lies.

                  When you do finally buy, then you have to become the seller if the horse was, after all, not what you wanted and could not tell up front, or were misled.

                  I really think it can't be said enough:

                  Work thru a trainer, be patient until thru the trainer's contacts the right horses, with a known, honest history come up for sale, pay what those horses are really worth and you will have the best odds of getting what you want.
                  Those horses generally are there for you to try without pressure.

                  A friend trainer is taking two horses for some prospective buyer to see.
                  If they like one, there is a little jackpot this weekend the buyer can try the horse in competition and if they click, a chance to buy the horse, knowing exactly what it is getting.

                  That buyer could maybe find cheaper horses here and there, but will go thru many horses from questionable sources before it finds that one gem.
                  That really is not worth for most that just want to buy a horse to enjoy for years to come, as you seem to want.

                  Hard to be a seller or buyer today, more than ever, I think.

                  Since you are not a horse professional, why not let one help you look for and find your next horse?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Price aside, just because it's "hunter trained" doesn't mean the horse won't be perfectly suitable for low-level dressage and a nice steady trail friend. I've had a lot of fun on TBs that met your criteria.

                    Are you doing this on your own, or is a trainer helping you evaluate? I know it can add $$ to the shopping experience, but it might also save you time and annoyance to have someone help identify easy fixes.

                    FWIW, dressage aids are a bit different than what I think of as "cues" ... they take some time to develop between horse and rider.

                    Still ... as another first-time shopper, I really sympathize with you and encourage you to find a nice fit and connection.

                    Do consider the "hunters" in your price range and keep your own ad going ... just know that there are lots of people trying to unload horses (especially with winter coming) and they may not be reading your ad carefully. To me, that means no foul on my end if I reply saying "Maybe my ad wasn't clear, but my price is $x,xxx. If you'd consider that offer, I'd like to come see horsey-priced-too-much-but-why-not-ask."
                    *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by AllWeatherGal View Post
                      Price aside, just because it's "hunter trained" doesn't mean the horse won't be perfectly suitable for low-level dressage and a nice steady trail friend. I've had a lot of fun on TBs that met your criteria.

                      Are you doing this on your own, or is a trainer helping you evaluate? I know it can add $$ to the shopping experience, but it might also save you time and annoyance to have someone help identify easy fixes.

                      FWIW, dressage aids are a bit different than what I think of as "cues" ... they take some time to develop between horse and rider.

                      Still ... as another first-time shopper, I really sympathize with you and encourage you to find a nice fit and connection.

                      Do consider the "hunters" in your price range and keep your own ad going ... just know that there are lots of people trying to unload horses (especially with winter coming) and they may not be reading your ad carefully. To me, that means no foul on my end if I reply saying "Maybe my ad wasn't clear, but my price is $x,xxx. If you'd consider that offer, I'd like to come see horsey-priced-too-much-but-why-not-ask."

                      I'm looking at all the hunters too, because I never know where I might find that horse. Maybe I'll get on and be surprised by what the horse knows, or has done in a past life. I'm literally looking at anything that fits the brief and price range in a reasonable driving distance.

                      As for time -- well, I've got lots of it. When I work night shifts I've got 9+ hours to scour the internet. I've been to the end of the internet and back, and it is NOT a pretty place! I've perused ads on probably 10 different horse sales sites, plus breeders and known sport horse seller sites. When I find something I like enough, I will have trainer come look, and I am getting other's opinions on footage as I go.

                      It's just this roller coaster and back and forth of not-quite-what-I-expected or not what was advertised that's so frustrating. I'm also one of those people that's very hyperfocused, so even though my rational brain knows that I just have to wait it out, I can't stop it from running through my mind.

                      Idle time at work doesn't help....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        She was sweet and safe, but plucky


                        pluck·y/ˈpləkç/Adjective: Having or showing determined courage in the face of difficulties.

                        Synonyms: brave - courageous - bold - gallant - valiant - game

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Maybe meant clunky

                          It took me a year, I wanted to stay in the 4 digit range but could go higher if I needed to. Looked at everything even hunters. We have the same goals it sounds like. A nice easy going horse that can trail ride and do maybe up to 2nd or 3 rd level dressage or pop over a jump. I looked at hunters and found one I liked but had a bowed tendon that farrier saw so decided against dealing with that right now. Then a western pleasure horse that knew what forward was but ended up losing that sell, student bought without me knowing. I looked at warmbloods and found most younger ones in the range I wanted to spend were crazy. I was lied to so much through the process it was disheartening and I thought I'd never find a horse. I found a guest ranch in
                          my area that had some for sale that were trail horses. Went and tried a few nice horses but saw a buckskin lightly marked paint in the pasture and begged to ride him. He was not for sale they were keeping him for the guest at the ranch. I fell in love got Him cheap IMO because of his brain and work ethic but others might say I pay to much in this market but it was lower 4 figures. Idc he is amazing. Yes I've had to with my trainer start his dressage training
                          but its fun and we are accomplishing it ourselves so I feel more pride in it. So maybe look at plain old trail horse that don't look like much. My husband could not figure out what I saw in this horse. Now he sees it. With love and groceries and correct work he looks great and moves like a dream. My trainer and I always joke that he thinks he's a mini warmblood not a paint lol
                          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Are you on the main land or island?

                            It is hard to sell as well. You might have to look a little more out of your range. Look at any horse not just those that have showing english but just a horse.

                            Maybe look at ponies if you want to stay under 16 hhs. It is funny how you can't find a horse over 16 hh when you want one and you can't find a pony under 14.2 hh when you want one.

                            Maybe if you post that you are looking for a show pony that has done it all, someone might send you a link to a 15hh horse that has a good mind and is a all rounder.
                            My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

                            Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yeah... sorry about the *YOU*... there isn't a halfway between lowercase and caps option and it reads more emphasised than I meant. I just wanted to suggest that rather than hoping to find ads from sellers- that another option is to advertise yourself and what you are looking for in a wanted ad.

                              I always think that the horse world is full of owners who have one too many mouths to feed- or wish that they could replace so and so with something more like whooseywho...or they just don't have to time to complete this training etc... but they aren't commited to selling because it just seems so final and unknown... so they hang onto said horse out of loyalty and love etc... but if they knew that a wonderful home and bright future were out there and they can get a preview of it before they even commit to selling - that the # of horses who might suit you would probably be much greater.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                PMed you.
                                Sheilah

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OP think of it this way, this is a little like marriage. You have to start with the good raw materials, but you MAKE the relationship as you go along. Solve challenges together, etc.

                                  You might do better if you don't expect to get what you want, but look for a possible match that could develop long term. This is really what it is about.

                                  You could find the 'perfect' horse tomorrow. BUT, after riding it for 3 months, you could learn you aren't the perfect rider.... Etc.

                                  You are looking for a potential relationship that will be built over time. Not a finished product like a refrigerator.
                                  "Friend" me !

                                  http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                                  • #18
                                    It took me over a year to find DD the perfect mount and my only criteria was that it be safe, under 20 and under 15hh and very low 4 digits. Bought a fuzzy advertised at 15hh grey roping mare last December. This spring she morphed into a lovely, sticks at 14.1, jumping machine. Still not thrilled at having a grey without a wash rack, but the pony is amazing.

                                    Set the minimum criteria you have to have. Like at least x hands, under $xxxx, and x temperament, then start weeding them out. I wouldn't discount a horse just because it was a hunter. He could be waiting to be dressage superstar!

                                    Good luck
                                    Originally posted by The Saddle
                                    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      This sounds like what my friend is going through right now, too. She had also 'clicked' right away with her first horse that fell into her lap over 20 years ago.

                                      We've now been looking over a year. It's a tough process. The worst is thinking "Yes! This is the one!" only to find out, nope.

                                      Think about when you got your first horse. If he was to re-appear right now, would he still be the perfect one?

                                      I know for my friend, she would not have even considered the horse that turned out to be the love of her life. Horses can do lots of things, if the horse has a good mind and a good heart, you can make a lot work.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Tried two more today...

                                        I had been in touch with a local sport pony breeder, and they had a few they suggested I come out and try. I showed up and tried a morgan mare they hadn't even thought of or mentioned to me prior... this was a pleasant surprise as I LOVE morgans! She was chewing on the bit and foaming at the mouth after the second lap with the owner. I had a pleasant ride on her and she is apparently great on the trails. However, she's 15, which is 3 or 4 years older than I was really hoping to look at.

                                        Then I got to see the other young mare go. I think she was 5, half connemara, 15h and very pretty. Sensitive, good disposition, and the trainer made her look lovely. I was given the impression she was either happy with you or not and you need kind quiet hands and so when I got on, I just rode forward with a very soft hand and didn't ask for much, until about halfway through where I got her attention a bit better. She had lovely gaits, and while she's green, she's got a nice foundation and I could see us coming along together.

                                        But -- she's well outside the budget I had mentioned I was looking at. As far as my riding, they said I was being too hard on myself, that she looked lovely, and that I should come back with eyes on the ground (everyone else is at a show this weekend) and that their trainer would give me a mini lesson. It would be a week or so before I could back out there anyhow.

                                        I try another mare tomorrow, and my BO's event horse (who had been away on free lease) on Tuesday. I'm quite hopeful about him, as he fits the bill besides not being higher maintenance. I was really hoping for a hardy easy keeper pony with good feet, not TB or part TB needing shoeing all around and groceries! The BO's horse isn't particularly high maintenance, I'm just gun shy about TBs and the potential for being very breakable (mine was), but I know all horses can be.

                                        So we'll see. I'll try these next two, and see how they go. Perhaps I'll get back in touch with the owner from today and mention my situation, saying I liked her, see the potential, but that I don't want to waste her time and I simply can't spend that much, but that if she honestly felt we were a good match, wants to sell and wants to know the horse is going to a great home, maybe we could work something out.

                                        But again, I've got a few more well schooled prospects on the horizon

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