05-03-2013, 06:00 AM
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From someone who had a very limited budget, in a very over priced horse world, patience is the key.
Don't rush it.
I had one horse I set my heart on sold from underneath me after I was hooking up the trailer to attend the PPE and bring him home.
Another one failed a PPE after I had (and paid for) xrays.. in the long run I was glad I paid for the xrays even though it took 400 out of my meager budget.
I tried 11 horses in total. In the end I bought something I hadn't even planned on.. a 3yo stallion fresh broke. Found him in a dusty little barn, hadn't been ridden much and had nothing over three weeks. I had been to try another horse out and the chemistry just wasn't there.
I rode him once, and knew he was the one. I then expressed my interest, checked his passport details, took a video and shared it on here and with others who all appreciated I had found a diamond in the rough for what I want to do- dressage.
I was lucky, I didn't take my trainer with me and a week later he flew through the PPE and I brought him home. I paid €3700. The vet priced him at €8000 and since gelding and beefing up most people on my new yard assume I paid over €10k.
I hit the jackpot; I have a lovely gelding, turned four who is willing in his work, has the mind and the talent and is a joy to be around.
But that is because I told myself I was not going to rush in to it and settle for second best. I wasn't going to let my heart rule my head and take on another welfare case like before.
My advice? Use common sense. Turn up, ask to groom the horse yourself so you can get a feel of how the horse is around people, any bad habits... but also.. pick feet out, run your hands down the back to see if the horse flinches, check genital area for any sign of infection etc.
Ask the owner to work the horse before you get on and film it on your phone. If you can't upload it here, you can take it to your trainer.
Get your dad to film when you get on.
If there is no chemistry, thank the owner and walk away.
If you REALLY like the horse, check the papers, hose the horse off, ask to see free schooled movement (and film again!) and mooch with said horse. Ask to take it back to the box/field so you can see if its calm.
And most importantly... if you like the horse that much, go up a second time with your trainer. You may have to pay for her time but it will be worth it.
If you ask a list as long as your arm of questions, sellers think they're on to you as a novice and will sell the horse as a Prix St George prospect. Even if you are nervous as hell, go in like you know what you are talking about and filter out the bs they will try to feed you about this amazing horse and take it as it is!
Best of luck :)