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Purchasing a youngster sight unseen

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  • Purchasing a youngster sight unseen

    A couple of weeks ago I ran across an ad for a filly that really caught my eye. I've seen a short video of her in the pasture and some so-so photos that show her at various stages (foal, yearling, current). I ride/show reining horses and this filly is quite well bred for that with a number of successful show horses and producers on her papers (though her dam was injured before she started her show career and this is her first filly, so not a lot to go on there). The filly in question is a 2 year old (actually 22 months old) and not yet started. I have not seen this filly in person as she is half way across the country.

    So my question for sellers/breeders is how often do your buyers come to see young/unstarted horses before purchasing vs. how many buy off of photos/videos without seeing the horse in person? For buyers of young horses, would you purchase such a prospect without seeing them first? I have purchased youngsters about the same age before without seeing them first (or even seeing photos/video), but my trainer had always seen them in person. I've actually purchased horses already going undersaddle that way as well. But this would be my first time purchasing without at least having someone I know and trust lay eyes on the horse in the flesh. Any advise (short of flying out there) on things to specifically ask the seller and/or PPE vet?

    My other question is about PPE. I don't have a huge budget and the filly is reasonably priced, so I would prefer not to spend a fortune on PPE. What do you recommend for PPE for an unstarted coming 2 year old? Would you do/allow flexions on a horse this age? I'm thinking baseline x-rays of the feet and a basic wellness/soundness exam.

  • #2
    Originally posted by hunt_jumpfl
    ............... So my question for sellers/breeders is how often do your buyers come to see young/unstarted horses before purchasing vs. how many buy off of photos/videos without seeing the horse in person? For buyers of young horses, would you purchase such a prospect without seeing them first?
    Twice I have purchased over the phone, sight unseen.

    The first time the pony was champion of the country in his green year.

    The second time the pony was Zone 3 Year End Champion (twice), Champion of Virginia (twice) and the National Hunter Pony Breeding Series Year End Champion (twice), Grand Champion at Devon and Grand Champion at Upperville (twice).

    No picture. No video. It can happen.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

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    • #3
      I have purchased and sold sight unseen, and always been happy funny enough. Some riding horses too.

      I would do a general look over at least from an unaffiliated vet however!

      Best of luck!
      Linda Woltz
      www.walnut-farm.com
      standing Benidetto (Belissimo M/SPS COrdoba)

      Comment


      • #4
        ALL of my breeding stock, with the exception of two of my mares, have been purchased (and then imported) through pictures only. Usually with just a few photos, sometimes of very poor quality. The trick is to know PRECISELY what you are looking for, and to also know the bloodlines and what to expect from them.

        This has been EXTREMELY successful for me.
        Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
        Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony

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        • #5
          I too have been fortunate to purchase nice babies from pictures only. Of course, I have scrutinized them from as many angles as I could and spoke to the breeder/ seller at least via email, also asking questions regarding the parents' temperaments and sizes.

          It's just more of a gamble. . .

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          • #6
            I have bought a LOT of my horses without seeing them in person. Usually some pics and video clips, even my riding horses. I have even bought a few without so much as a pic, but that was on someone's advice. There isn't much to tell about a baby in person that you can't tell from a photo and a decent video, IMHO. Go for it.
            Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

            http://www.halcyon-hill.com

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            • #7
              buying sight unseen

              In the past 18 years, I have bought 6 horses (4 in the past year alone) from Judy Yancey and only 1 of them had I actually ever seen in the flesh before hand. All but 1 were young (under 3) and all have been INCREDIBLE. None of them were vetted pre-purchase. None have had any problems and I have never regretted buying any of them. I would buy more horses sight unseen from her again in a heartbeat (if only I had an unlimited budget!!!)

              The main thing is if you know who you are dealing with, the level of their integrity, their reputation within the industry and the quality/breeding of horses they have, it is not much of a risk. If any of these factors are unknown, I might be more concerned about commiting to purchase without first seeing the horse and getting it thoroughly vetted.
              Tricia Veley-First Flight Farm
              Boerne, Texas
              830-537-4150 phone/830-537-4154 fax
              www.firstflightfarm.com
              FFF Page on Facebook: Become a fan!
              FFF Channel on YouTube: See videos

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              • #8
                I have bought one horse (broodmare prospect) from just afew photos.

                I have sold several youngsters (weanlings to 2 year olds) off of nothing but photos & videos....I would say 6-8....maybe afew more.

                Some went through a prepurchase, most did not.

                I've never had someone be dissatisfied. I am careful to sent close-up photos of legs, feet, etc., which don't always show in a video.

                I don't think I would buy a riding horse this way, but for youngsters or broodies I think it's great, especially if you know the pedigrees. Of course, alot depends of the price. It's one thing to "risk" $5-10K, a whole 'nother to risk $20K.

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                • #9
                  I just bought a coming three year old (in June) sight unseen. I basically went off her stellar pedigree and a somewhat grainy youtube video; the owner didn't have any current pictures. As for the PPE, I was going to have flexions done but the vet said there was not a suitable place to get her on a circle where she was living. I had your basic clinical, a navicular series of x-rays as well as her stifles done, blood drawn, etc. In hindsight I think I would have skipped the feet. I then had a consult with the vet over the phone. I asked about her feet (condition and size), conformation, and temperament. Anyway, I got really lucky as I loff this filly. I was really worried she was going to be too long (among other things) because she sort of looked long in the video. It all worked out in the end and she is really as the owner described in her ad, but I will admit it was super stressful waiting to actually see her in person. Do you know of anyone who can look at this horse for you? If not, it can work out!

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                  • #10
                    We also purchase and sell from internet videos quite a bit and have had good success with it. Personally, if the price of the young horse is a bargain, then we will limit the exam to a physical exam and basic soundness exam. A little higher in price we will add in flexions (we don't do them on youngsters). If we are making a significant investment of a 3 year old or older, then we will x-ray.

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                    • #11
                      On a reining prospect you should have them x-ray the front feet and the hocks at the PPE. Definitely the hocks.

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                      • #12
                        We have both bought and sold off just video and pictures and it has always went well . Most times, only a basic health check was done as well.
                        Patty
                        www.rivervalefarm.com
                        Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LetsRide View Post
                          On a reining prospect you should have them x-ray the front feet and the hocks at the PPE. Definitely the hocks.
                          Agreed! The hocks are the first thing I'd check out during a PPE on a reining prospect.

                          99% of the horses and ponies we've sold have been purchased sight unseen. Many have been purchased off of photos and video and a couple of people purchased without even looking at a photo or anything. That being said, it's taken us over fifteen years to build up enough of an honest reputation that purchasing sight unseen has become so successful for us. We have also purchased sight unseen ourselves. I think the key is to be comfortable with the buyer/seller you are dealing with, go with your gut feeling and make sure, if you are dealing with a seller, they have a good reputation in the industry!
                          www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                          Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                          Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness
                          www.EquineAppraisers.com

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                          • #14
                            I have sold 20 or so foals to yearling's sight unseen (photos and short video clips only). They have been shipped all across North America. A few had pre-purchase exams but those were more just for the purpose of getting the horse insured.

                            I have purchase a few youngsters without seeing them. It is much different when purchasing a riding prospect as you need to make sure it is what you are looking for. But with horses 2 and under, I think it is done quite often.

                            If you are a bit concerned about it, ask for the vet and farriers phone numbers for references.
                            http://www.blazingcoloursfarm.com

                            Join us on FACEBOOK
                            Living life for the journey, not the destination.

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                            • #15
                              So my question for sellers/breeders is how often do your buyers come to see young/unstarted horses before purchasing vs. how many buy off of photos/videos without seeing the horse in person?

                              I've also sold many youngsters sight unseen - some with full sets of x-rays and some without any vetting.
                              As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~W. Hazlitt

                              Gift Hill Farm

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                              • #16
                                I bought this little guy sight unseen last Summer. I got him here in December and I have been thrilled with him.

                                http://www.rbefarm.com/Rainbows_End_..._Geldings.html

                                He came from a friend who I trusted. I would not buy that way from just anyone.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by VirginiaBred View Post
                                  Twice I have purchased over the phone, sight unseen.

                                  The first time the pony was champion of the country in his green year.

                                  The second time the pony was Zone 3 Year End Champion (twice), Champion of Virginia (twice) and the National Hunter Pony Breeding Series Year End Champion (twice), Grand Champion at Devon and Grand Champion at Upperville (twice).

                                  No picture. No video. It can happen.
                                  It helps a heck of a lot if the horse has been shown in hand and won some serious classes under respected conformation judges.
                                  A different thing entirely if she hasn't even been started. After my experience, I'd say be careful, be very careful and do your homework well

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Tango14
                                    It helps a heck of a lot if the horse has been shown in hand and won some serious classes under respected conformation judges.
                                    A different thing entirely if she hasn't even been started. After my experience, I'd say be careful, be very careful and do your homework well
                                    It also helps if you know the breeder as I did.
                                    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

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