Buying a horse - being honest with myself - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Buying a horse - being honest with myself

Hey guys! I'm planning on buying a horse in the next year or so and I need to go into it with a clear mind this time. I bought with my heart last time and ended up permanantly injured. I bought a 3 year old mare that SEEMED to be well trained until I took her home.. And she bucked me off. Compressed some vertebrates in my spine, bed-ridden for 3 months, and I started riding again in March. It's funny, things like sitting on the couch kill my back but riding doesn't, not even cantering.

I need to go into this with a clear head! Is there a checklist I can take? What sort of horses should I avoid? I was thinking of getting my riding instructor to help me. I know I need a PPE and things like that.

I've been riding for about 10 years on and off. I'd say I'm intermediate. I can comfortably w/t/c and have done some jumping. I don't show, so I'm not worried about that but I need something that can do some western pleasure and trails.. Is that a lot to ask for? I was thinking about maybe someday getting into fun shows.

I'm confident but nervous around big horses I don't know why. I always have been. I was thinking about something older.. And what's a good price range? I'm willing to save up for something a little more pricey.

I need some honest opinions!
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post #2 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 06:34 PM
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Do you have an instructor or horsey friend that could go look at horses with you? They can keep you grounded and DON'T look the potential horse in the eye. Once you do, you're hooked!!!
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post #3 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 06:39 PM
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It's good that you're thinking ahead so much this time! And taking an instructor along, or someone else who is very knowledgeable on buying horses, is a very good idea :)

I'd say when you're looking, stick to horses that are between 10 to 15 years. You could go younger or older, but by that age they're generally pretty level headed and steady rides, most are well trained.

Breed doesn't matter too terribly much as long as the horse is a good match for you in every other way, but you'd be wise to stay away from off-track horses, and very young horses.

As far as price, you can get a good horse for less than $5000, probably less than $2000 for what you're looking for. :) Good luck!
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post #4 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys!
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post #5 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 06:46 PM
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The safest thing to do is to establish a relationship with a trainer and take them along. Most trainers know about horses that aren't necessarily officially on the market but are up for sale, and about which people to avoid in the area and all kinds of things you won't get to know unless you're in the know.

Go for something a little older and more trained.

I can't help you with a price range though since we're not in the same country.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #6 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 06:54 PM
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Well, I'd look for an older horse, in general. personally, I prefer geldings. they tend to be less changeable.

look for a horse that has experience with a good rider/trainer. a few months of experience with a quality rider/trainer is worth 10 times what a few years of experience with a backyard rider who permits all kinds of bad behavior, or causes it by bad handling/riding. so,
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post #7 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 07:19 PM
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the last horse! There IS a horse out there for you, just be really selective. You CAN find the right horse by using both head and heart. Using your head means you find a horse at your riding skill level. Using your heart means you use your head first and THEN decide in your heart if that horse is one you can form a partnership with.

For me, I've always used my head first; the right horse for what I do. Then I build a partnership with this horse. But twice the heart wasn't there as well.....both mares, and I just could not develop the "heart" relationship with them. (I''m a gelding gal all day long). When both worlds when I bought my WP gelding back in 2002. He's my heart horse and a top performer...I couldn't ask for more!

I've very particular about what I want in a horse, as I compete AQHA with my horses, the willing mind and talent HAS to be there. I have a list...."wants/needs and don't wants/needs"...and I follow that list to the tee. So maybe you should create a list of want you want/need for your riding level, and what you don't want/need for the same. When you look at horses, take someone with you, and that person needs to know your list like the back of their hand. Every horse I've bought, I've gone to see several times....with the exception of one; a 3 YO WP prospect mare who was bought in partnership with my trainer and a friend as a financial investment. The mare came from Texas, an impeccable trainer and farm, stud on the premises etc. She did not have the talent needed for the level we wanted her to be at. And as sweet as she "heart" could not partner with her.

So make you list, be choosy, see the horse a few times, and both your heart and head will meet when you see the right one.
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post #8 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all the awesome tips. As for the list, do you mean like.. Needs: not spooky, excellent ground manners, no buck bolt rear kick bite, etc
Don't need: can jump 3 feet, etc?
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post #9 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 08:02 PM
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I like dividing a list into:
Needs (no buck/bite/kick, trailers, stands for farrier, has such and such training)
Nice to haves but can live withouts: Can jump 3 feet, does flying lead changes etc
Do not wants: Too young, hasn't been ridden out of an arena, obstinate while girthing, you get the idea
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post #10 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!
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