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joannachristion 08-15-2009 04:03 PM

Advice on buying horses
I would like some advise on purchasing horses. For those that haven't seen my other posting, BrownChicken BrownCow StringBand and I are planning an all horse powered music tour through the South.
One thing we need to buy is a team to pull our wagon full of sounds equipment and instruments. I found a really nice sounding and looking team in Kentucky. Two Percheron/ Standard bred brothers, with harnesses for a good price. I talked to a local vet who knows the seller and he said this man is honest, is a good trainer and has nice horses (though he hasn't seen these 2 geldings himself). The seller says that they are mellow and steady and traffic safe. He thinks they will be great for what we need. My main concern is their age. They are 3 and 4 which seems really young to me, I'd really rather have something around 8-10 years old. But the price is great ($2500 w/ harnesses), and if they check out with the vet, than they may be a great team to have for years to come....
I'm working up in Alaska, but the guys from the band can go check them out before any money changes hands.
So I have a question about etiquette. The man says if we can put some money down, he'll hold the geldings for us until we are ready for them (early February). But what if one of them gets hurt between now and then? Should we try to set something up so that we get our money back for the hurt horse? Or is his offer to keep the horses (for only the cost of feed), so nice that I should just take my chances? Not sure. Also, I don't know the Tennessee/ Kentucky/ Alabama area, and maybe there is no reason to buy this early. Does anyone know if there are always a few good teams for sale year round in those parts? Ya, not sure if I should jump on this opportunity, or sit tight and take my chances of finding something in a few months...
Thanks for your help (in advance).

Spastic_Dove 08-15-2009 04:36 PM

I don't think any 3 or 4 year old is traffic safe or should be hauling a wagon full of sound equipment.

joannachristion 08-15-2009 06:08 PM

I know, that does seem awful young...
He says he's done 25 mile per day camping trips with them, but really how much experience can you have if you've only been around 3 years, and only pulling for maybe one, probably less.
You're right. I should hold out for a more experienced team. If they are still for sale in February when I get out there I can try them out then. It's just too risky buying such a young team, especially since I can't go try them out and put hands on them right now.
I want to start getting things put together, but I'll just have to trust that the right team will be available later.

Spastic_Dove 08-16-2009 12:54 PM

For something like that, you need a well broke, sane, and experienced horses. I have in my mind a carriage team that was traveling cross country like you guys were. They ended up being hit by a truck and I believe one of the horses was killed. Hopefully, you are taking back roads where there will be slower traffic and possibly more horse-friendly of an atmosphere, but it is important to understand what you are expecting of your horse. A 3-4 year old is in no way ready for such a thing. For me, the older and more experienced the better. As long as they are sound and up for such a trip, it will be a smarter decision.

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