Buying a horse - being honest with myself - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 08:14 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Keep age in mind, I would look between 8-14, but you should be focusing on training and experience.

You want a horse that has been ridden regularly for multiple years in a range of situations. You want a horse that has the correct training. Age is often used as a guide because something under five won't usually have the right training and experience for a first horse or novice owner, simply because there isn't enough time. They are also still learning.

So I guess I'd be asking for a horse that has been ridden regularly for the past couple of years at least, ideally one that has been to riding club or competitions. Ask for proof, if they have trainer receipts, or a trainer who can give you a reference, results from competitions etc.

Get a horse doing what you want it to do now. So don't get one that's been out of work for a few years, or needs a little more training or has a few issues. Get one that is being ridden western pleasure style and does do trails.

A good horse, that's quiet, experienced and trained doesn't usually go cheap. Price range depends on area, so I wouldn't have a clue for your region. If I were you I'd go online to a few places and start look at ads that have horses similar to what you want and see what the going price seems to be. Look for the best horse, not the best deal.

A second opinion, like that of an instructor, will be valuable.
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
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That's awesome advice, thanks. I've been looking and the been there done that type horses in my area that are still currently being worked, some even used as lesson horses, are in the $3500 - $5000 range.
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post #13 of 27 Old 07-09-2014, 11:36 PM
Showing
 
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Location: Saskatchewan
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This is a subject I know well, my unsuitable, bought on my own, isn't he pretty, OK so he's 9 and only just backed, but I'll trust you put me on hospital last summer.

The fortunate thing was that the day before my trainer had found me a new horse, the original intention was that he would be my go to horse when I didn't want to fight with the big guy, turned out he was my way back.

He cost me $3200 and was a ranch horse being sold because he was to slow for the job, and he has been a star for me. He is a little over 15hh, 13 this year and a gelding, if you can find the same, snap him up. My guy was never advertised, he came by word of mouth through my trainer. Being a working horse means nothing much spooks him, so he is safe, but he is challenging in that he has never been refined, so it is a constant progression trying to make him a light and responsive mount, so I don't get bored.

Put the word out when you are ready, hope that the horse comes to you rather than you have to go look for him, networking pays. Have your trainer or someone you trust and knows your situation come with you. What you are looking for is out there, all you need is a little luck, and being in the right place at the right time.
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post #14 of 27 Old 07-10-2014, 12:10 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I have made not one but two mistakes buying horses too green. One was an unbroke 3 yo TB filly and the other a 3 yo stud colt with a couple rides. I put a good start on them and got them in great shape, but they were not fun for me. They've both gone onto good homes, the TB is now a polo pony and the (gelded as soon as I bought him) colt a happy trail pony.

When I decided to get another horse I made a strict list of things I would not be flexible on and others I could. Ideally I wanted a gelding, aged between 5-10, around 14-15 hands with adequate training and trail experience. I looked at a mare, a 16.2 horse, a 14 yo and a 3 yo. My main pursuit is endurance so I looked for a big motor and forward attitude with willingness and sensibility, I'll never be truly competitive so I searched a variety of breeds. Any history of unsoundness was unacceptable and they must have nice, large hard hooves. Make your own list and stick to it.
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post #15 of 27 Old 07-10-2014, 01:02 AM
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Have a read of this. It popped up on my FB feed yesterday, and it is absolutely brilliant. I think the main thing about buying a horse as an amateur rider is that you have to be 100% brutally honest with yourself about your abilities and what sort of horse will fit those abilities.

− But I wanted a horse that was beginner safe!
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post #16 of 27 Old 07-10-2014, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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I am super honest with my riding ability, now. I definitely got lucky with my first boy.. I was in the 1% that got an awesome horse for free. He was in no way trained, a 9 year old Standardbred gelding that was just a personality. I rode him on the trails, saddle trained him myself (I was 15 when I got him) and he never bucked, kicked, bit, or bolted. He passed away last year at the age of 13, bless him. As much as I loved him, I don't think that I can take any more seriously bad accidents with greenies before I lose my confidence for good.
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post #17 of 27 Old 07-10-2014, 03:58 AM
Trained
 
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If you make a long list of what you do and don't want, you'll never find the perfect horse.

Our big horse search websites let you put an age, height, trained up to etc etc in the search engine.

Even colour, if you want.

The big thing is you need to take someone with you who KNOWS your riding ability, and someone you can trust to make the right decisions, not someone who will get you to buy an unsuitable horse so they get to ride it.

Young doesn't always have to be bad. I bought a three year old with a handful of rides when I wanted a been there done that. Best thing I ever did... but I had great trainers to help me.

What are your true ambitions? Do you want to do low level competitions, be able to go all day on the trails, have a horse you can visit and work two or three times a week?

You have to really look at the training of a horse, and the personality, and then the conformation IMO.

A 6 year old, here, can be trained and competed to the hilt and have more exposure than a 14yo who just packs people around in the school and can't cope with anything new.

Some horses can be sour, exciteable or lazy under saddle... none make for enjoyable rides when you want something with an even temperament.

And you want something with decent conformation so you aren't forking out vet and farrier billls every other week.

PPE is completely necessary, no matter what an owner says. Get a contract too.

Ride the horse as much as possible before you purchase, and go in the school, on trails etc. Just tell them you want to turn up and groom/tack up and maybe watch the owner ride first. I generally do so I can get the sense of how the horse goes with someone who knows it's buttons. You also wouldn't believe the amount of "safe" horses I HAVEN'T gotten on because they are completely loopy.
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post #18 of 27 Old 07-10-2014, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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I want a horse that I can trail ride, maybe do some arena riding and maybe (someday) some low level competitions. I've honestly never competed but it might be fun.

I was thinking of possibly taking my riding instructor because she definitely knows my riding ability, probably even more so than me. I was also thinking of maybe asking for a trial period of one month or something, if that would be even possible.
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post #19 of 27 Old 07-10-2014, 11:46 AM
Showing
 
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It's always worth asking for a trial period, but not always easy to get one, as a buyer I would love one, as a seller "HELL NO!"

When I bought Gibbs I had 48 hours, which was fair enough, it gave me enough time to take him home and the plan was to ride him out once in company and once on his own to see how he went.
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post #20 of 27 Old 07-10-2014, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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That would work too! I don't necessarily need a month, maybe a week? I know so many things can go wrong with trial periods.
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