Buying "the one" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Buying "the one"

More and more on different forums I see this. People turning down great deals on good horses because their was no instant connection, no magical love at first sight. They say "I passed him by, I just feel like when I meet the right horse I'll just know"

That's crap people. Sure, people who are in the horse world for 50 years might get lucky and meet "the one" and know it right away. Even your common buyer may just win the horsey lottery. But it is ridiculous to pass a horse for that reason. Bonds form over time with dedication and trust, not the first time you hop on the horses back. Nor will your first ride by perfect!

Take my current horse. He never was, and never will be, perfect for me, nor I for him. He is 3 inches taller, 4 years younger, and much heavier then I wanted. I hated him the first ride, it was horrid. I trusted my trainer and brought him home on trial. After a week of serious effort, I decided we could make it work. He was so different and strange. He was 4, 16.3 hands (and built like a tank), a OTTB, and sensitive as a brick. I was coming off a hot, sensitive, quick, 15hh QH.

No, he's not perfect, but we've bonded and do well together. I adapted myself and trained him to fit me, and now I think nothing of his size. I trained him, and he is no longer as heavy or dull.

Basically people, don't give up after one ride. Pick a horse that has potential to work for you and go with it. Adapt your expectations and you may suprise yourself. Don't expect a bond to happen, develop it!
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post #2 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 07:29 PM
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Yeah, Sunny was the same way. A brat. He reared, bucked, had attitude problems, and there certainly wasn't any "magical connection". As bad as I wanted one!

Never pass up a potentially good horse just because he dosen't whinny, toss his golden mane, and gallop up to you from the other side of the pasture even though he dosen't know who the heck you are.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #3 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 07:32 PM
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I think it depends on your level to be honest - younger/beginner riders definitely need some form of 'bond' when trying a horse so they feel safe. Good school masters give you that.
But I agree, too many people overlook horses cos it isn't the clone of the horse they just came off. Lets face it, if you sold a horse you had a reason - you needed something bigger/smaller, faster/slower, hotter/quieter ....
I brought Tai sight unseen, based purely on potential, and he wasn't even broken in. Coming off an OM dressage horse I rode for 12 years, Tai was hard work!! I often cried to myself cos I had the 'wrong horse'. Eventually (after a good month or so) I realised I just had a different horse, and that there was plenty to prove. It took awhile to bond (over a year) but now we are inseprable. I wouldn't swap him for the world! Just to think, if I had passed him on after that first month I would have missed out BIG TIME!
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post #4 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 07:33 PM
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I somewhat agree with you, 1D3C17R (ha ha, long name, had to abbreviate it). No horse is perfect, and if he seems great in every other way except you didn't "click", get him on a trial. But, for me, that click is part of the quality of horse ownership. I keep horses more as "pets" than competition animals, so I don't want to be around a creature all day long that I feel I will never bond to, or vice versa.

Again, if you get a trial, that click will happen or it won't. If that isn't important to you (or isn't the MOST important thing) and the horse is otherwise perfect, get him. He'll probably be as close to perfect as you'll get.
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post #5 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 07:44 PM
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I personally cringe when I hear "bond" when it comes to horses. Is there such thing? Absolutely. But think about those riders who train and show 30 different horses a month. Do they have a "bond" with each of those horses? no. They ride it properly and the horse listens and the ride goes well. Sure, there are certain riders who get along better with certain horses then others. But this "bond" that keeps people from buying a horse that might work out very well for them? Drives me nuts.

What drives me even more nuts is the other side... people who think they have some kind of a "bond" with a horse and buy it even though it's very clearly the wrong one. There was a girl at our barn who was barely jumping crossbars who bought a Trekkahner who really should have been a grand prix prospect for a very educated rider. Her father was repeatedly told by her trainer, me, another trainer, the owner of the horse, the owner of the barn, AND the vet that it was the wrong horse for the girl. But the dad was convinced that she had a special "BOND" with the horse. You know, when she stands at his stall and gives him a carrot.... after a year the girl finally admitted she was afraid of the horse. They moved barns and several months ago I saw a sale ad for him for $2000. He was jumping 4ft when she bought him. What a waste, on both sides!
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post #6 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 07:49 PM
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I think I agree with you, to a point. Maybe I'm a little biased because I knew my horse was the one I wanted the second I saw him, lol.....but I think I wanted him because he wasn't coming to me "perfect", he was coming to me as an OTTB with nine years of racing, no other experience under saddle, and the woman who owned him at the time had never been on him. Once I brought him home, I realized he had issues with bits, issues with food, issues with space, issues with going, issues with stopping......the list gets longer every time I go out and ride him. But he gives a lot, and I give a lot, and even though he doesn't call out frantically every time he sees me, I know we have a bond because he's 100% different around me than when he's around other people....but thats also after five months of working with him.
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post #7 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 07:59 PM
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I agree somewhat - I don't beleive in a magical 'bond' - However, I know as soon as I see a horse if I want it or not. It isn't a bond, but it is a feeling of some kind, and I haven't been wrong yet. I still ride the horse, do all the usual things, but I will have made up my mind in those first few minutes. So I don't think it is entirely 'crap'.

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post #8 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 08:10 PM
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I can honestly say that I've never felt a connection when I bought any horse.
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post #9 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wild_spot View Post
I agree somewhat - I don't beleive in a magical 'bond' - However, I know as soon as I see a horse if I want it or not. It isn't a bond, but it is a feeling of some kind, and I haven't been wrong yet. I still ride the horse, do all the usual things, but I will have made up my mind in those first few minutes. So I don't think it is entirely 'crap'.
For an experienced rider/owner/buyer, having a "feel" for a horse is great! saves alot of time and grief. But it's mostly in begginer/first time buys that they think they will find the perfect horse they bond with in an instant
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post #10 of 40 Old 12-07-2009, 09:54 PM
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Haha cant agree with you more, I disliked my horse strongly when I bought him, and thought of selling him, but now I love him so so much, it just took awhile, and Im so glad I didnt turn him away.
Sometimes diamonds in the rough that look like the worst horses ever can turn out to be amazing.
Its not like a wedding dress where you cry when you put it on. A horse is a living creature, and a bond has to form.
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