There is a 5 year old standard bred mare I'm interested in for $300. I have a gelding quarter horse that is 7 from cutting lines, short legs, super laid back... Never had him in front of a cow though. I'm looking for something that has the possibilities of being a bit more versatile than my quarter horse. I'm not sure what kind of things I'd like to get into yet, I still really consider myself a beginner. I do, however, have an awesome trainer I work with every week.
So, yesterday we went on a pretty long trail ride... they called it bushwhacking. We didn't follow any kind of semblance of a trail. If there was a creek, we were going to pass it, if there was a jump, they were going over it, etc. I rode the standard bred I'm looking at. She's also like 16.2, and I'm used to my 14.3-15 hh quarter horse. She had a super smooth trot, neck reined fairly well, responded to direct rein much better, refused absolutely nothing. Really steep hill? No problem. Creek? She wanted to play in it when we stopped. On the ground she is a sweetheart. Gives her feet with no problem. Didn't blink when I tossed the saddle on her, didn't spook at anything.
These are my concerns with her. She's very buddy sour. She does not like watching horses walk away from her. I held her back when two ahead of me started loping their horses, she stayed for me, but she started tossing her head and pawing the ground. She's also a kicker if one gets too close to her butt that she doesn't like. Well, she doesn't actually kick, but she lifts her leg and pins her ears and I have no doubt she would follow through if the horse behind didn't listen.
The guy that has her right now says she also doesn't like arenas. He tried to take her in to run her though barrels and I guess she backed right out. He said it's because she's so herd sour. This guy really cowboys his horses, always wears spurs, etc. He said he had never ridden the mare without spurs so he didn't know if she would listen to me or not. She was very responsive to my leg, but she doesn't know me from Adam, and if her horse friends were leaving she did not like it one bit. And for clarification, I have no issue with spurs when used correctly. I own my pair of spurs. His were pretty severe and he didn't roll them, he pretty much used them like they weren't even on his foot if that makes sense. Just kicked like he would have without spurs on.
Also, I was told she is not papered because she wasn't raced because there was something wrong with her knees?
I was told that she had kicking issues when she was younger as well.
I'm going to have my trainer on her this coming week (she actually worked with this particular horse as a yearling) and get her opinion, then I'm trying her out again on another trail ride in two weeks. In the mean time, I wanted to get opinions from you guys.
She didn't rear, listened, but definitely showed she was agitated. I also didn't like the pawing. She does it when she's frustrated, bored... She pawed a few times during the ride and once afterwards when she was tied and trying to get at grass.
Are these issues my trainer and I can work through? Also, the racing thing concerns me. Does anyone know anything about standard bred racing? Would her knees be bad enough to keep her from doing any kind of eventing in the future? Should I give her a chance or should I pass? I really like this mare, I like her personality, but I don't want to get in over my head.
I'm looking for a versatile horse, she has some training issues and -possibly- knee issues. Can this be worked around or should I move on?
For specifics, I'm not looking to do barrels or reining or western timed events. I'd like to try some trail classes, and I'd like to try my hand at jumping. Not professionally, but for fun. Her knees concern me for this reason. The guy that has her now said he's tried to jump her but she usually refuses. On the trail there was a spot she jumped over for me, but I wasn't expecting it at all from what he said about the jumping. I expected her to walk over it. It was super small and she has legs for days.
Anyway, my main concerns are the herd sour problems and her knees. She also loads and backs really well. She doesn't seem to have a dominance issue with people, I'm just worried that she will be so concerned about the other horses she will completely ignore me on her back.
I checked her knees while I was there before I got on, they weren't hot, she didn't mind me messing with them and lifting her legs. If my trainer hadn't told me they didn't race her because of her knees I would have had no idea. I also checked her legs afterwards and they were not hot or sore.
Could some of these things be from the treatment she gets from her current owner and are they fixable?
Sorry it's so long, guys. I'm trying to include everything so I can get as an informed opinion as possible. I know it's essentially going to boil down to my trainer and I, but I would like to get as many takes on this as I can.
As far as monetary limit, I don't want to go above $300. I'm not looking for a professional horse, and I also have money set aside for teeth floating and check up.
I'll include a picture of her as well. Thank you so much for anyone that stuck with this and that offers their opinions!
I'll try and get some conformation shots of her this coming week.
Also, there was a horse that was freaking out and rearing and she didn't react at all. But she did NOT like it if a horse took off in front of her. She also really wanted to be in the front of the line, or in second place. She didn't like being in the back.