The pound should at least give you an honest health check, so that's a plus.
They would also be more likely to do a trial adoption. Worth asking if they have any more mature horses there.
Looking and asking are a great way to see what's out there before you make your choice. You will have a better handle on what is a good deal for you and what you want if you know what's in the market in your area.
That sounds like Sam when he was 4. Sam was 8 times more in cost. Ivebeen hanging with a horse dealer. Here's what I have learned about this market: horse flesh has gone down In price due to over surplus and hay issues. There are a LOT of cheap horses on the market. However, a good riding horse especially one with the training you described is still bringing a fair market value. $200 is not a fair market value.
There is a reason why the horse is $200. As DR Gregory House would say, trust no one.
I went out recently with him to look at an older dead broke horse and um, dead broke means something entirely different to this family.
You can get great deals out there. Cheap horses are always cheap for a reason - but that doesn't mean that there is necessarily something wrong with the horse. Feed might be too expensive, horse may require too much work, owners are time poor etc, there are many, many possibilities. Unfortunately, one of those possibilities is that there is something wrong with the horse that means it won't stand up to the work you want it to. That is a risk you take with any horse.
Now for a $200 horse I wouldn't get a vet check, unless something jumped out at me. If you want one by all means do it - but don't expect the seller to wait around until you have more money. Usually no guarantees are offered with a horse of this type, and there is rarely a return policy. If they were picky and flexible they'd charge a higher price - at this price likely they just want it gone.
Now I know you have been looking for a barrel prospect on here for a while. As you have a specific purpose in mind I urge you to look for a specific horse - not just any horse that you can get cheaply. You are unlikely to get something competitive that way. You will be lucky to get something sound and sane. If you don't have the money for a horse that will fulfil your purpose - they don't get a horse yet. Save for 6 months or something, work more, but just buying any cheap horse you come across is setting yourself up for failure.
I also think that, while I apologise if this sounds harsh, if you can't afford a vet check you can't afford a horse.
Be smart, buy the best you can, go into everything with eyes open, be patient (even if that means waiting a while for a horse) and try to have a huge financial buffer.
I know it seems like I probably can't afford to care for a horse, but I can. It's just a matter of when I get my money. I get $800 a month, all of that being put towards the horse. It's just at this particular moment, I'm getting $100 a week until next month. I have a buffer for medical emergencies too.
I have been looking and not settling too, otherwise I would have had a horse by now. I honestly think he'll be a good prospect for what I'm wanting to do, which is mostly playdays.
I've had a serious conversation with my trainer, who has been doing barrels and poles since junior high (40 now) and her daughter has since she was very young and she's in college now. She really likes his build, and thinks (if all the information I've been given is true) he will make a good, level headed barrel horse. She also thinks I shouldn't bother with a vet check unless something seems off about him.
She knows my ability, and I trust her judgement very much. I really appreciate all the advice.
I will for sure keep my eyes open to him, I'm not letting myself fall in love with him because I want to be aware of his faults and if he'll fit my needs.
He's the age I want, as well as a gelding, a good height, and I really like his conformation. He has good ground manners, and is well started under saddle, his price just so happens to be low..(based on if what I've been told is true.) Posted via Mobile Device
My daughters horse was "free" it cost about 200 to bring her home and vets check was about 300 with getting her utd with shots and also a float.. she had very little training so we put money out for that.. we have had her 8 months now and although she has came a long way .. she is in no way ready to show or do barrels..
I think if you are looking for a "project" that may be a good horse he may be that but If you are looking to do barrels right off then spend more money .. Take your trainer with you to see the horse and see about the vet check .. good luck
Go look at the horse. Go ride it. Then decide. Don't listen to a bunch of people telling you to buy expensive. I can go through my local craigslist adds currently and find a huge amount of well broke to grade crazy horses right now that are free to a good home or just a few hundred.
Sounds like the horse needs a home and is going to get a kid to love it. If they are suitable to each other, make it happen. Don't worry about the PPE. I have 5 horses, all super healthy, and have never had a PPE. Of course, I don't pay 10K etc for mine.. but then again I wouldn't sell any of them for a million either.