Narrowed it down, final choice time - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Narrowed it down, final choice time

I haven't posted... in years.

But, I am looking to buy my first horse. I am beginner to intermediate in terms of riding ability and have been riding friends' horses for years, taking lessons and riding at rental stables. I work with animals for a living, just not horses. I have narrowed it down to three geldings, all within $700-1500, which is nothing on what the horses' maintenance costs will be, I know. Money has been budgeted and put aside. I am looking for a pleasure horse and trail horse, though some (several/many) years from now I would like to get into endurance.

Gelding 1: A 6yo Dun QH, very personable, looking to bond with a person and well trained. He's a little cow-hocked, but sound barefoot and an easy keeper. He gets a little prancy when he's anxious and is looking for direction. Very responsive and good transitions. Comfortable trot.

Gelding 2: A 8yo black QH, well trained (western), nearly fell asleep on a trail ride going out, but very eager to get back to the barn. He was fine with being restrained, but would walk as quickly as I'd let him. Good whoa and in good condition. He got a little goosey when I mixed it up and asked him to do some dressage type stuff, but remained responsive and didn't forget his brakes.

Gelding 3: A 15yo appendix type gelding, kept his head despite a long trot in wide open spaces and didn't try to take off or speed up. He didn't catch up from pasture easily and is fairly thin in a herd-fed/round bale situation. He's low on the pecking order and has some bite wounds and scrapes. He is very attentive to his rider and knows how to go faster or slower without breaking into another gait. Taller than the other two. No papers.

Part of my problem is that I like all three of them. How do I choose which one?
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 04:22 PM
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If I was you, I'd go w/ option 2. Middle age, just getting his mind, but lots of time left. Should be easy to transfer into most any discipline without having to completely retrain everything.

~*~Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. - Cowboy saying~*~
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 04:34 PM
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My only advice is to avoid a bulky muscled type horse if you want an endurance mount. I've seen quite a few horses go down (muscle cramps) at my rides. It's not pretty. I only mention it because a couple of your choices are quarter horses. Not saying that a quarter horse cannot do endurance... It's just the opposite of what they have been bred for... So you might want to take build into consideration if endurance is your goal.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 04:41 PM
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Just from reading, I would go with the last one.The first one sounds like he could have more energy, the second not enough and the third reads to be right in between ;) You want a horse that has the go when you want it and the whoa when you want it.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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The horse I am buying now is not a horse I expect to do endurance with, otherwise QH types would not be my prime suspects. :) This horse's job is to be a good solid, safe, sane horse to teach me about riding and owning my own horse rather than playing with other people's horses as I have been for so long. We'll hopefully get some nice long trail rides in, but nothing competitive or high speed.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 04:52 PM
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Based on your descriptions, I would go with the 1st choice.
You said she's personable which means you've already sort of clicked with her.
She's an easy keeper and willing, plus her trot is comfortable which you will be thankful for on an endurance ride.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 05:11 PM
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Ask 10 people for 10 different opinions. I'd go back, rest-ride each one again, also spend a couple of hours with each regarding ground work, ground manners, stable work, hoof care, will it allow you to touch his bum to test whether it accepts taking temperature, etc. and just see which of the horse also responds best to you - and to which of the three you respond best and have then a better chance to bond with more easily.

In the end, I don't think anyone of us here can replace what will have to make your decision: Your own gut feeling :)

Good luck with your new horse and steed ! Looking forward to read who you went for - and to see pictures ;)
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-23-2011, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Three different days and three different front-runners in my mental race. Hopefully a good night's sleep will help me out since these three have all passed my test of being able to see myself with them, unlike several others I rejected for one reason or another. I really do think I could do well going with any of them. Hopefully I can take a second look at them later this week, maybe a different day's light will help me choose too.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-24-2011, 09:43 AM
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Call me crazy, but right now is the perfect time to lease a horse. While it won't be yours its a good way to become an owner without the full commitment.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-24-2011, 11:00 AM
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Have a pre-purchase exam done on each of them. Discussion with the vet may help you decide

Sometimes I wrestle with my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle.
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