Buying a horse that's right for you. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 219 Old 06-09-2011, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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I agree with your post, but the people who need it are the people who aren't likely to see it - or to evaluate a horse when buying.

I got into horses at 50. If I had to do it over again, I'd hire a good trainer, have her watch me ride, then give her a budget and pay her to find a good horse. And that is tougher than it sounds, since A) a horse can be very different around one environment, or be like my mare, who is a sweetheart 9 times out of 10, but on that 10th time , and B) sellers lie. Not all sellers, but a lot.

Sometimes it isn't the seller's fault, in the sense that a horse might be great with an experienced rider and behave beautifully, but will take advantage of a new rider.

To make matters worse, you have horses like my gelding. With someone who has ridden a year or so, he's great. With a brand new rider AND me standing near watching, he keeps an ear on me and behaves according to my expectations. With a new rider and no one around, he administers a riding test - not violent, but he'll disobey and see if the new rider corrects him. If not, he'll then do what he wants.

So if I rode a horse in front of its owner, I NOW would check to see if it is paying attention to its owner. If he keeps an ear on the owner, then I'm probably not seeing the real horse.

Like most who take up riding and buy a horse as an adult, I didn't appreciate the complexities of a horse's personality - or owner's! Looking back, when someone is selling a horse that was used for endurance racing, then left unridden for a year, certain phrases jump out as warning signs: "racing" and "unridden".

And while it is possible to get a good horse who was "donated to charity", I'd add that to the list of things a beginner shouldn't want to hear. 3 of the 4 horses I've owned were donated to raise money for a charity, and 2 of those 3 have, WITH PROFESSIONAL TRAINING, turned into very good horses. Just remember to add $2000 in training to the asking price!

And the third? She's in my backyard now. The trainer we've worked with will be here in 30 minutes for a session of training me to train her. I still have soreness in my hip from a bolt/tumble 2.5 years ago. And I adore her. She is the horse that made me want to ride, and has forced me to take lessons, read books, pick people's brains, hire a trainer...she was one of the worst possible horses a beginner could buy. She is 10 now, and at our current rate...well, if I'm not killed or crippled, then we ought to have things worked out by the time she is 15.

And yet, when I was buying her, she behaved fine for my youngest daughter - who now refuses to ride her for any reason!

Like I said, if I had to do it over again, I'd hire a good trainer, have her watch me ride, then give her a budget and pay her to find a good horse. And then hope she was honest, and a little bit lucky.
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post #22 of 219 Old 06-09-2011, 12:04 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
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Hope you don't mind Smrobs. I emailed this to some friends who either have horses or who want to buy. I figured they'd all find it useful. Good job yet again!
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post #23 of 219 Old 06-11-2011, 08:15 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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smrobs, your new thread is so very much needed and I do so hope those who should read all of it do so. However, as someone else said those who need to read and learn from it are the least likely to read and learn from it.
I would, in this case like to be so very mistaken.

As you said there have been about 3 posters who have taken on horses beyond their level of experience or knowledge. Horses do not recognize us humans as such, but as two-legged animals. Horses do not know the concept of being pals or buddies liken to the dog-human relationships.

With my 58 years of experience with horses I have found I can still learn something new about them.

Last edited by candandy49; 06-11-2011 at 08:20 AM. Reason: add text
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post #24 of 219 Old 06-12-2011, 06:45 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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I've just posted "have I got the wrong horse" - think this answers it!!!
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post #25 of 219 Old 06-12-2011, 07:26 AM
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Bravo! Very well said. Well deserving of a sticky!!!!

I see entirely too many first time horse owners that have black stallion syndrome and jump in way over their heads. Here's a couple more thoughts to add...

-Don't buy a horse that the current owner isn't willing to ride first.

-Watching the RFD channel or a couple dvd's does not make a person qualified to train.

-the old adage "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" only applies to things not horse!
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post #26 of 219 Old 06-15-2011, 06:58 PM
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Excellent post.

As somebody who started with horses in her mid-40's and initially got in over her head, I wish this was required reading for everyone who's thinking of buying a horse. If it could save one person from learning the hard way, it's worth it.
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post #27 of 219 Old 06-15-2011, 09:24 PM
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VERY good thread smrobs!! Love it!!

I also LOVE that little kid and his horse!! Way too awesome! I've watched it about 6 times now..

I am Sparkly Meanie Doodie Head and I approve this message!
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post #28 of 219 Old 06-15-2011, 10:24 PM
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How did I miss this the past few days?! Excellent post.
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post #29 of 219 Old 06-16-2011, 01:04 AM
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Lovely post and I wish I would have been able to read this three years ago when I got a 2 year old as a 13 year old girl who had just started riding again.

Can I just say though...the little boy?
C-U-T-E!
The way he rode and said "yes m'mam"? Gah, too adorable. Also, when they asked him who taught him to ride and he was like "Mom, uhh.. Dad.." I wonder if Pops was waving his hands off camera XD
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post #30 of 219 Old 06-16-2011, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ontario Canada
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Thanks for the pointers. I've been looking at Rocky Mountain horses and been trying to decide between 4 yr. Olds with professional training (2 mos.) or a 13 yr. Old. One problem I can see is that the 13 yr.old was only gelded 3 yrs. Ago. He's fine with the horses he's been with but I don't know what he'll be like with new friends. He's ridden regularly and has a solid gait so I at least feel that I can handle him. BTW, I'm a novice. KC
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