To do tips while looking at a horse for sale

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To do tips while looking at a horse for sale

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    05-26-2013, 09:22 AM
Green Broke
To do tips while looking at a horse for sale

I'm in the process of looking for a new horse...of course I know to look at conformation ect.....but do any of you do or have heard of any "out of the box" techniques to test the horse's demeanor?

For example one person suggested taking an empty water bottle, placing some pebbles in it to make a rattling noise....shake it around the horse to watch its reaction. I've done this!!!! Very telling!!!!

What other techniques do all of you use?

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    05-26-2013, 09:43 AM
Green Broke
Always go early to a meeting.

If the person is lunging the horse before it can be ridden is not a good thing.

Ride the horse muiltiple times on different occasions to really make sure this is the horse for you.

Make sure to touch the horse everywhere to see if he is spooky.
    05-27-2013, 04:30 PM
Green Broke
Always go early to a meeting.
I always cringe when I hear this. A couple minutes early, ok. Please don't show up 30 minutes+ before an appointment, it can be really inconvenient. I have had people show up before I even get out there, show up while another horse was being shown, during farrier appointments, etc. People have lives, show respect.

Same with multiple visits. Going out to try a horse a few times, fine. Taking up hours and hours of a sellers time, not OK. I had a relatively inexpensive gelding up for sale. One buyer came out 4 times, staying over 2 hours per visit. That was more than 8 hours of my time. In the end, she felt he didn't extend quite enough naturally for the type of showing she did, a problem she could have noticed the first visit. If you have serious doubts about the horse, you should probably walk away instead of wasting the seller and your own time.

Go with an open mind, and really pay attention to how you feel about the seller and the horse. If you "smell something fishy" walk away. Usually people can pick up on someone who is dishonest.

Some sellers will tack up and warm up the horse for you. If that's not ok, specify to the seller what you expect. If you want to go see how easy the horse is to catch from the pasture, tell the seller.

For example one person suggested taking an empty water bottle, placing some pebbles in it to make a rattling noise....shake it around the horse to watch its reaction. I've done this!!!! Very telling!!!!
not sure what exactly its "telling" other than most horses will react to random, strange noises.

The best thing someone can do is to bring a knowledgeable person who has your best interests in mind. Often they can point out flaws you can't see, or give an objective perspective when you are 'in love'.
EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
    05-27-2013, 08:13 PM
Green Broke
Ah...yes...I DO want a reaction from the horse when I shake the bottle. I've used this idea with three different old stand by at home....she pricked her ears up and then was like....OK, it's nothing.

Second horse, pricked up his ears, snorted, but quickly settled down.

Third horse...told to be "NO HOLES found in this one!" Spooked, backed up and shied away. This told me he was possibly greener than the seller was admitting....and I found out this to be true in the end of initial evaluation.

For what I want and need, I need a horse who will look at something new, but will quickly settle themselves. I have no desire for a horse who will spook at something small like my rattling bottle.

I put my horses to the test when they live with me....I live in the country, and we experience a TON of various stimuli in our environmnet....for example, .today we experienced Amish buggies (very loud and rattle), traffic, gobbling turkeys, loose chickens, pigs racing to the fence to check out who we were, and various farming implements ....this was all within a half mile of where I keep my horse. My horse I was riding just looked and kept on going...... She had NEVER been on this road before, and therefore had never experienced these situatiations with me.

This next horse I buy needs to be capable of dealing with all these different things.....that is why I am asking for HELPFUL and unique ideas to test for telling reactions!

I always take a second person with me, for various reasons......even if they don't see things I don't..they can read the seller while I am busy reading the horse.Or......better yet......I have someone to talk out my thoughts, which is really important to me and how I make final decisions.
    05-27-2013, 08:18 PM
I am not so sure about your test. Honestly-I have my old guy who is a very quiet, safe wonderful horse(he is now a therapeutic horse, that is how good he is) but you cannot open a soda or beer can on his back......I did once. Probably could have "bombproofed" him to it, but never did. They all "spook" at something. Key is to know HOW they spook and that you can deal with it.
Palomine likes this.
    05-27-2013, 08:53 PM
Green Broke
Of course they all spook at something.....they are old girl pulls back when I spray one type of spray bottle, but not another...wierd....but my point is I am looking for some little tests that could possibly be used to see their temperment beyond the norm....

BTW...this shaker idea, which someone had mentioned to me, and I like, isn't the ONLY thing I do....goodness no.....but it's one of many....

I am wanting IDEAS....does anyone take an old raincoat with them and throw it up on the back of the horse? It's a realistic thing that happens.......

IDEAS....I'm looking for out of the box IDEAS that can expose temperaments.
    05-27-2013, 09:39 PM
Any of the things we expose them to when we do Trail Trials would work well, but I have to tell you, if you came to look at mine (who IS for sale) and you showed up rattling cans, opening umbrellas, throwing large kids balls at him (all ideas) I would probably show you the door. I guess it would be OK if you did it in the on test of riding him/testing him outside the barn as long as you told me you were going to do it.....And yes, the last lady who look at him I told to get off and leave. But I am picky that way.
Palomine likes this.
    05-27-2013, 09:53 PM
Green Broke
Gosh, I don't throw balls at even my own horses in the pasture, let alone someone else's, nor do I open umbrellas!

I guess, I should go with my own gut and know how and do things I know I do with my own horses, and what I've done in the past....I just thought people out there would have new ideas for me.

Thanks for your time!
    05-28-2013, 08:16 AM
Throwing kids balls is something they used when testing my guy for a therapy horse, since the do that when the kids are riding-they try to have the kid catch the ball.

Umbrellas are a pretty common obstacle on trail challenges, and is an easy "bombproofing" technique, as are mylar balloons, dragging things, dirt bikes, bicycles, strollers.......I was actually giving you ideas, but at the same time-doing it to your own horses as opposed to one you are looking at without letting the owner know......not OK. Ask first.
    05-28-2013, 08:56 AM
Green Broke
Wow! Those are interesting ideas! I'm going to look into the trail obstacles you mentioned.

I used to show trail classes....100 years ago....I remember having to drag bags of cans, milk bottles, etc. I think I remember one class had an umbrella...mailboxes, etc. I was FUN to practice with my QH. Forgot about those days until you mentioned it!

Thanks for your YES, I will always ask prior to doing something to someone else's horse!!

Have a good day!

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