How did you "find" your trail horse? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 42 Old 08-02-2012, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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I was offered a lovely five year old gelding for free. That made me a bit suspicious. I asked the trainer that worked with my horse to check him out. She went by said that he was ok on the ground. She loaded him up and took him to her place. When she saddled him up to ride he was ok for a short while. Then she discovered that he was more of a bronc than a saddle horse. She advised me not to take him. Not taking that horse cost me $100. Taking him might have cost me a hospital bill or worse. Getting and expert to ride him was the best thing that I ever did.
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post #32 of 42 Old 08-02-2012, 07:02 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 3,391
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because I got Biscuit from someone that road in our group I was able to check him out. He was actually on lots of our rides - I just never noticed him really. One ride he dropped in the water three times while Esther was riding him (not his owner!) and several of the people we rode with had rode Biscuit numerous times. I tried him out on a trail ride first. I said at the time he was a piece of cake to ride. He did bust out and gallop instead of canter when asked. That ride gave me alot of information about him.

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post #33 of 42 Old 08-03-2012, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seminole, OK
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I got my Dancer from a girl I worked with. The girl had to move out of state, and couldn't take Dancer with her. The girl had tried for months to sell Dancer, but had had no offers (I can understand why, too!). One day, just before the girl moved, I was talking to her at work, and she said she was going to just have to leave her on the property and hope someone took care of her. (Property had not sold, either, so it was going into foreclosure.) I got Dancer for a song - sight unseen.

First time I saw Dancer, the girl got on her to show me what she could do. Dancer tossed her head over hindside. I figured I'd take her anyway, something told me I wasn't seeing all there was to see.

Had a trainer friend do a quick evaluation of Dancer after I had had her for a couple of years (long story). I had worked with Dancer on the ground, but am old and fat, so I wanted someone else's opinion. Trainer wasn't feeling well that day, so we attached a lunge line to Dancer's halter, and I climbed aboard her myself. No problem whatsoever! Trainer pronounced Dancer dead broke, and she's been my trail buddy ever since - stubborn moments and all - I never claimed she was perfect...

And Celeste - I think I'll keep my doctor. Me getting back into the saddle at my age was HIS idea! He would also like my hubby, who had a stroke many years ago, to ride, too. Doctor said it would help him rebuild his core strength and improve his balance. That's assuming he's riding a reasonably safe horse, of course!
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post #34 of 42 Old 08-12-2012, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Central NY
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My boys both just kind of found me. It's the way I have been blessed with my best horses. For me the times when I went looking I ended up with the wrong horses for me. I guess the horses are better at picking me than I am at picking them. My OTTB was a horse a that a friend was having a really hard time getting to work for her and asked me to help with some ground work and maybe a little other training. We just clicked from day one. She finally saw how well we got along and asked if I wanted him...OF COURSE!

My mustang fell into my lap from a guy who just didn't want a horse's a long story but I wasn't looking for another horse that's for sure. Agreeing to take him on was the best thing I have ever done! He's the joy of my life and my perfect angel.

I don't know if this helps but for me when I stopped looking and just let them come to me it worked out so much better.

Good luck and happy trails.

"I believe before we can expect our horse to offer the best of themselves, we must first find a way to be able to give the best of ourselves to them.' Mark Rashid
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post #35 of 42 Old 08-12-2012, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 278
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Originally Posted by HagonNag View Post
I'm asking because I'll be replacing Mr. Big Stuff this year and it's been ages since I've gone looking for a new horse. I'll be looking for quiet, safe and basically a confidence builder. I'm way too old for any excitement.
Well, you can just never tell where "that special horse" may come from....

Right about the time I began looking, my wife and a friend were at a trainer/instructor's farm visiting and looking at horses and asked if a particular horse was available for sale. While that horse was not for sale, they found out that his brother might be.

They checked him out (out in the pasture) and were immediately very pleased with his quiet, friendly manner and we agreed that I would go see him and maybe have a ride the next weekend.

I'm thankful to report that he turned out to be exactly what I was looking for and we made the deal right after that first test ride!

You just never know... a horse walks into a bar and the bar tender says "why the long face?"...
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post #36 of 42 Old 08-12-2012, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,224
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Consider looking for a riding mare that has been used as a broodmare for a few years. Our Paint breeder had a mare ("Angel") that had been shown and used in team penning for years that they bought to use as a broodmare. She had a couple foals for them and when we were looking for a very calm horse for my wife, we decided to look at her. She hadn't been ridden in a long time, but she was a dream to ride from the first time...neck reined, soft in the mouth, seat, and leg, and knew all the cues. Since they had already more than recouped their investment in her, we got her for a very nice price. She's still (now 18) the horse to take out if you want a 'go anywhere, do anything' ride where you can just sit back, trust your horse, and don't have to think. As close to bombproof as you can get and has cruise control and auto-pilot.

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post #37 of 42 Old 08-13-2012, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 558
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Well, I sort of hesitate to admit how I found my trail mare, except it is a lesson on how NOT to do it!! . After 40 years with no horses, I started looking for a trail horse. I used to train jumpers and had helped many people find horses, so I knew what to do. Even though I knew not to go by color alone, I decided I might as well look for the colors I wanted, and one would eventually come along. I was in no hurry. Yeah, right.

I started looking on craigslist and all of the horse sights for a palomino or buckskin from 5 -10 years old, who was pretty much trail broke, and in my price range. My husband, who had broken and raised many young horses, was after me to get a young horse so we could train it. I wasn't convinced - the ground looks a lot harder at 59 than it did at 20.

After perusing the ads continually for about a week without finding anything exciting, I finally a palomino fillys for sale. She was very close to where I lived, so I decided, what the heck - I'll go look at her - what can it hurt? I certainly wasn't going to buy the first one that came along!!! .

Long story short - we showed up, watched the filly lunge and bought her. No vet check and didn't ride her and didn't even saddle her up. There was just something about her that both my husband and I fell for. We knew within 30 seconds that she ws 'THE ONE".

From the time we looked at her to the time she was delivered, the whole process took an hour and a half. SHe stepped out of the trailer at my daughter's house, looked around, nuzzled me and started to graze. She never acted spooky or upset and from the beginnnig would run to meet us when she saw us.

As she is only 2, I have only ridden her at a walk on short trail rides about 30 times, and she has been absolutely perfect. Doesn't spook at ANYTHING, calm and will go anywhere you point her. She ties to perfection, and will pony anything and remain calm. SHe 's a dream and I really give the person we purchased her from credit for how he trained her.

The only time she actually got upset was when my daughter's stupid dog jumped on her back for a ledge above us. We BOTH jumped, buut she calmed down faster than I did! LOL.

We will see what the future holds- I know it won't be all smooth sailing, but she is definitely my heart horse (We have gotten a vet check on her since - she's perfectly healthy and has beautiful strong hooves). Anyway, that is DEFINITELY how NOT to do it, but we were lucky. Good luck to you in finding your perfect horse!!
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post #38 of 42 Old 08-18-2012, 12:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southwest Ranches, FL
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My trail horse was my harness racer and a few of us rode him under saddle during his sulky training. Since he was soooo used to all the action and noise at the racetrack, he is a calm boy on the trails. When he retired from racing at 7, he then became my trail horse.
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post #39 of 42 Old 08-22-2012, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ohio
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I just sold my mare after she gave me a concussion and kept bucking everyone off, after moving farms. I decided it wasnít worth risking getting hurt again. I was looking around at ads, but the plan was to save up and spend about $1,000 dollars on one, at the time I only had $300 to spend on a horse. When I saw an ad that caught my eye and I couldnít say away from, but she was for $600. I talked my dad into letting me call about her and we both agreed we wanted to look at her. She didnít ride like they explained, but something hit us. We offer $500, and agreed to pick her up Easter day. We are glad with looked at her because she is something else. My dad says he hasnít seen me bond and enjoy an horse like I do with her since we sold our old Standardbred Mare.

Extreme Trail Rider and Barrel Racer.
King - 11 year old Tennessee Walker Gelding
Sassie- 7 Year old Appaloosa Mare
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post #40 of 42 Old 08-22-2012, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: left of center
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Mine (who also has some reining training now) came to me through a local "word of mouth" network. He was 5 at the time and have never done ANYTHING but trails. THe lady I bought him from used him for her visitors who were beginners to ride. Perfect, and still is, until you make demands and actually ask him to do something. He has a tendency to be a bit stubborn. However-I will say that all the $$ I have spent in training him to also ride well in a ring has been worth its weight in gold. The trainers really push him, piss him off, and he remains safe. The worst he will ever do is not go forward until you insist. Knowing how safe he is has really boosted my confidence for sure. Nothing like having trainers tell you he will never excel at ring work, but he is VERY safe. At my age-that is the bottom line. He tries at reining, does ok, but I can put a monkey on him on the trails and trust he will do just fine.
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