What to look for when purchasing a 2 year old? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-26-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
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What to look for when purchasing a 2 year old?


I'm looking to purchase a 2-3 year old in the next month or so. I have purchased mature/trained horses before, but never a youngster. I am preferring to train/back the horse myself so I'm not worried about if they're good with clippers, bathing, etc. I am planning to train the horse to be an English pleasure horse, jumping if they're suitable for it. I'm not concerned about breed, registration or color. I am mainly looking for a sound, well tempered horse that I can work with and would keep forever (not looking to flip horse). I'm also not looking to pay a lot ($500 max), so I don't expect to find a perfect horse for that price, just a good fit for me. I also have no interest in showing, just pleasure riding.

These are the things I am planning to look for, please revise or add anything you think I'm missing.
-conformation: I was in 4-H so I know the basics for conformation (planning to watch the horse walk/trot away and to me to watch feet movement, and also standing conformation on leg/feet correctness)
-soundness: planning to watch the horse move through their gaits and watch for any favouring or bobbing of head (I know this will be unpopular, but because I'm just looking for a generic riding partner and am not paying very much, I am not planning to have a pre-purchase vet check. I've actually never had a vet check done on any of my 4 previous horses and had no issues, I think it also makes a difference that I don't plan to show or ride intensely)
-check how they move off pressure
-see if they load in trailer
-check if head shy or nervous around certain areas
-lift/handle feet
-contact trainer/farrier/vet (with permission) if applicable
-general temperament (shy/curious, fidgety/standing quietly, low/high set head, alert but not tense)
-flexiom test??? never heard of this until recently, is this something that should be done?

Those are the things I checked on every other horse I've purchased and also rode them, but with a youngster I can't think of anything else to add at the moment. If you have anything to add please let me know!
klkavich is offline  
post #2 of 3 Old 07-26-2013, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Neither here nor there
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If possible see the parents if they are on site. Young horses can look awkward and sometimes gangly. If the parents are available to view, then taking a look at them may help give you an idea of the way your young horse will look as an adult.

A general adage is that "tops may come together, but bottoms don't" which means the legs you see as a two year old likely will not change much so if the legs are bad don't expect them to get too much better, but things like being mildly butt high or having a scrawny neck may improve with age and growth.
Tryst is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 07-27-2013, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Tryst, thank you very much for that info!!
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klkavich is offline  

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