Greetings everyone! I'm glad I found this forum. And I apologize for the long "book" which will be my first post, but I have to tell you my story....
Personally, I have had zero experience with horses up until about 2 months ago. But thanks to my fiancee, that is quickly changing....
My fiancee is an experienced rider, and used to own a horse when she lived out on Oregon (w/ her Dad). She's been living in Delaware now for about 14 years, and misses her favorite animals. For a year now I've been slowly trying to find a way to get her back into horses, whether it was taking care of one at a boarding facility, paying for an hour trail ride for her, or just saying "hi" to some along the side of the road.
I had met and spoken with an owner of a farm who boards horses and gives lessons, and told her of my fiancee's story, and what I've been trying to do. She said that my fiancee could come over and help with the horses, and in exchange for her work, she'd be able to take a horse on a trail ride.... Which sounded good to me (and my fiancee).
A week later, I stopped by a different horse farm and met the owners of that. I had told them that my fiancee and I had stopped along the road one day to "talk" to a beautiful buckskin, but I wasn't sure who owned it. He told me that he owned that one as well. Long story short, I made arrangements with the owner to bring my fiancee by the next weekend to meet the buckskin, and we ended up meeting his foal, too!
Another plus to the whole thing was that the owners are moving next year, and are selling many of their horses. And since my fiancee absolutely fell in love with the buckskin, I want to try to buy him for her as a Christmas present. I'm both excited and scared all at the same time about this idea!!
The buckskin's name is "Ace" (I forget his full name), and he's actually a stallion. Which surprised my fiancee to hear because this horse is so unlike any stallion you've seen or read about or heard of. He's a sweet horse, very mellow and laid-back. He's friendly to all the horses, and has never kicked or bucked anyone or anything. He's just the most perfect horse my fiancee has seen (well, since her old one anyway).
Two weekends ago my fiancee got to ride Ace for a while. The owner wanted to see how they got along together, plus to give her some training since he's a gaited horse (a Tennessee Walking Horse). Well, they were perfect together! The owner was even impressed with them. To date, we've been around Ace maybe 4 times, and every time he took to us very well (especially when i'm taking pictures of him - he's always looking at me. LOL).
Now, for my dilema: I want to buy this horse for my fiancee (and myself) to ride whenever we want, and because my fiancee loves him so much. I also want to stud him out every now and then to recoup some of the purchase price (there's nothing wrong with that, right?).... but since I've never dealt with horses before, I'm scared to death!!!
We would most likely board him at the stables where he is now, so that nothing would change for him (vet, farrier, pasture, food, "friends", etc). He's very healthy and you can tell he's been well-kept and ridden regularly. The owner also has all his papers/registration and will transfer it all over to me. My fiancee will be responsible for the boarding fees. I'm currently looking into horse insurance for him, too. And I'd want to do a pre-purchase vet exam just to be sure....
I guess my questions to all of you expereinced people would be:
1. am I crazy, or am I getting in over my head here?
2. does the whole deal sound good to you?
3. what would YOU do if it were you in this position?
4. what are any other issues I need to think about?
5. [tons of other questions too numerous to post]....
Any general comments or questions or tips would be greatly appreciated. I guess I'm just a little too anxious and nervous about it because of the price tag involved, and the huge amount of time and dedication a horse demands of its owner. Although my fiancee will be my "expert" with many aspects of this new hobby.
Thanks to everyone in advance!
And thanks for letting me get this off my chest.