Horse Purchase Dilemma (Long but need advice) - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Horse Purchase Dilemma (Long but need advice)

So I had been leasing this horse for the last year and my lease was up on June 15. However, he is still at my barn for a while until he is sold. I am so torn as to whether or not to buy him. My trainer is fairly confident that he would practically give this horse to be, but I cannot decide whether I want that or not.

Pros: He is a great mover and jumper, and he is stunning. Bay with four stockings and a blaze. People always ooh and aw over him. He has taken me from 2' to 2'9" in less than a year and he still has the ability to keep moving up. He takes awesome care of me and is such a great teacher. The farrier was talking to someone else about him and saying that if some things (see cons) were different, he would be a six-figure horse. People always compliment us and him specifically.

Cons: Here's the catch. He only has one eye. He was born this way and wears a prosthetic. Since he was born this way, it doesn't really affect him but it is a little jarring sometimes. He has a black prosthetic to wear for shows but at home wears a white one that is pretty creepy. He is also very sensitive to things, like he gets awful allergies, awful rainrot, and sometimes gets ulcers. He is also kind of a jerk. He is never friendly and always lays his ears back. He has kicked both me and my trainer and bitten her, but it has always been during one of his allergy flareups or other such things. It sometimes makes me nervous when he is cross tied and there are kids walking around.

I don't know what to do. I am a recent college graduate with a very limited budget. My parents have offered to loan me the money to buy a new horse, but I just don't want to go into debt to my parents for who knows how long just to buy a horse who is less talented than one I could basically get for free. I have dealt with his eye, his issues, and his attitude for the last year and it was never awful but it was definitely a hassle. And he is my first real horse so I actually don't know how much more high maintenance he is than a "normal" horse. I know that all horses have their own set of issues but I just haven't had experience with other horses. But at the same time I don't want to be saddled (no pun intended) with a horse that I already am aware has a lot of issues.

I mean also, I've obviously gotten emotionally attached to this horse. I am scared that nobody will buy him and he will just get shopped around to a bunch of sale barns because that's what his owner did with another of his horses that wasn't selling. Carlyle is way too special-needs for that kind of life, he would be miserable. I want to be very competitive in the Adult Amateur division, and I think that he could be that horse for me for a very very cheap price. I just am so torn and I keep thinking myself into migraines about it. Any advice?

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #2 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 05:25 PM
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With the health problems, sorry, but no. It's just the worst to deal with and the biggest money drain. But you have dealt with this for a year, and other than the hassle, has it affected your riding or time off for him?
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post #3 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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I've had to miss a few days here and there when his skin was too inflamed to ride, and after he kicked me I missed a week because he got me right in the knee. His eye has never been a problem for me riding him. As for money, the treatment for the ulcers and skin stuff has been probably about 1000 dollars over the course of the year.

It had never ever even crossed my mind to buy him until about a week ago, the plan was always just to lease him until my lease was over, and now its all I can think about.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #4 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 05:50 PM
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If it was me I would not buy him. If it was ONLY the one eye, I would buy him, but with health and temperament issues, that would be the deal breaker.
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post #5 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I would have never have thought a missing eye would be the least of the problems haha but with his prosthetic at shows you really can't tell and at home everyone is used to his creepy ghost eye haha so its basically a non-issue and I've even shown him with his white eye to no ill effect. But I do agree that his temperment and health is the bigger issue. I am not sure, I really do need to have a long talk with my trainer and such. But I want to have as many opinions as possible.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #6 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 06:12 PM
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My main question to you would be, what are your goals?

If you really want to show in the Adults, do well, etc. and your budget is limited I would say buy him. Nice 3" horses are hard to come by and rarely cheap. Can do he do the 3"6? If so, I'd say don't buy him and sell him to me. Seriously though, I remember seeing a video of this horse and thought he was lovely. Being able to take a rider from 2" to being successful at 2"9 in a year is a big deal. If you can get him cheap and deal with his issues then you've got a bargain. I'd consider the eye thing almost a non issue. It's really just cosmetic right? If the "ghost eye" really bothers you can you get another black one? Sounds like the allergy and attitude thing is related. Have you researched other treatment options? Can you switch feed or give supplements or something like that to make him more comfortable? Have you ruled out pain? So often attitude issues are caused by pain. Does he need a break from his job? Some time trail riding or something. My friend's grand prix horse has major skin allergies and very high maintenance feet issues. He can also be a cranky pants but she got a good deal on him and he does well in the grand prix so she deals with it because she can't afford something else and he gets the job done. And she still loves him despite all that. :)

If your goals are not in the show ring or you have a pretty big budget I'd say find something that you enjoy a little more.

Is doing another year lease an option?
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post #7 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Right at this point I would consider the eye a non-issue. At first I was a bit self-conscious about it but now I am over it. We have gotten better at handling his attitudes and his health issues and he hasn't actually tried to bite or kick me since when he actually did in February. We have learned the best way to handle his skin issues as well to make him comfortable. I just keep changing which way I am leaning and it is stressing me out. Honestly, a few hundred bucks every few months for his antibiotics and special shampoo will always be less than the price of a horse I would buy.
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There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #8 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 06:54 PM
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I'd buy him. He seems like he is the horse you want and need. His health issues aren't anything major and you have already found a treatment that's helping him and you said the $ for them doesn't bother you.
I bought my guy without knowing he had PSSM. When he was diagnosed I was a little upset (not for me, for him). He is pretty high maitenance but he is definitely worth it.
You know what you are getting into and you don't seem too upset about it. If I were you I would snatch him up in a heartbeat.
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post #9 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 07:19 PM
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If after 1 year of leasing him...If your having doubts on purchasing him, then I don't think he's the horse for you. That's a long time to have a horse and be undecided.
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post #10 of 37 Old 07-06-2014, 07:46 PM
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The thing I'd be worried about too is resale. A horse with these issues and the eye may be hard to sell on in a couple of years when you're looking for a horse to take you higher.

And as another said, if you've had for a year and you're still not sure, well that's not the best sign.
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