Buying a horse options - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By Foxhunter
  • 2 Post By horselovinguy
  • 2 Post By ACinATX
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-31-2020, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Buying a horse options

Sorry if this is posted in the wrong area.

My friend wants to buy a horse. She's narrowed it down to three. As a horse owner, I have opinions on this, but I want to get feedback because I want to be a good friend. This is her 2nd horse. Her first horse was a 25 year old steady eddy that died after a year of ownership due to freak farm accident.

Option 1: Younger horse, but impeccably trained. Fantastic conformation and bonus nice color. Registered. She would need lessons (because she needs them anyway) but the horse is a smooth ride, willing, respectful, and all around great. Price is very high. Horse is used to working with beginners and is forgiving. Horse is ridden 5 days a week and experienced.

Option 2: Still younger horse, but not registered. Not great conformation, but solid riding skills, but could use some work as the horse doesn't drive with the back end and is heavy on the front end. Very willing and patient horse, but not ridden consistently, but does know something. Price is reasonable, mid level. Probably could negotiate. But could require more work by a knowledgeable rider to correct the horse's way of travel.

Option 3: Beautiful young horse, registered, nice conformation, bonus color. Totally untrained. Nervous. Barely halter broke. Price is really low. No vet records.

I think, even though it's a bit expensive, she should go with option 1. She wants to go with Option 3 and train herself (she doesn't know how to train horses). I think Option 3 would be the most expensive in the long run, honestly, because she'd need 90 days off the bat as she will barely load in the trailer - but I am open to being wrong in my thinking. I haven't said much, but she wants me to give opinions. I am reaching out to the community to get an idea of what to say. I do think she should start with a well trained horse, but she's worried that she will spend all that money and, horses being horses, will get hurt or do something "horsey".

In my mind, I think she's putting her safety at risk with the know nothing horse.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-31-2020, 04:21 PM
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Fully agree that of the three only the first sounds somewhat suitable.

Bet there are many more experienced horses she could look at too.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-31-2020, 04:25 PM
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My opinion... Option #1

The rider is not experienced, so a school master horse who knows his job fully, is known to be trustworthy, a good babysitter and teacher and very tolerant, not taking advantage of ignorance is where she needs to go.
She has the opportunity of owning a horse she can truly learn from.
Schoolmasters know their job and teach riders how to ask, how to do and how to do it safely, right and correctly.
If she herself is not strong in fundamentals then taking on a baby who has no handling...with that little a training on the youngster you would be looking at 4 - 6 months of training for her to have a safe ride.
The youngster doesn't know how to lead...seriously!
Doesn't know anything and a beginner rider is of the opinion she will train it...she will ruin it and very possibly she will get seriously hurt in the process.
With so little training thinking this is also a very young horse, one not old enough to be ridden.
So what is your friend thinking she is going to do for the next year, two or three while baby grows and matures wanting to ride?
What is she going to expand her own knowledge on in lessons when she has no horse to practice on what she is taught...

Best horse of her current options is the first opinion.
Ride-able, sound, knows his stuff, will teach her and not kill her in her ignorance we all went through learning to be horsemen/women.
Schoolmasters can cost a bit of money, but what she will learn by the horse training her will be a savings compared to having to send either of the others out to a good trainer for months, many months and then her being taught by said trainer how to ride her horse...for many more months.
What you describe as the other horses I would safely venture to guess she will be spending thousands of dollars more just for the horses training to be finished and safe a ride for her.

She will have a riding horse from day one of ownership with horse #1, where with either of the others she will be paying months worth of training board to make a safe mount and still she will not know much more than she does now.
With both "greenies" are unknown how their brains are going to develop in attitude toward work and the atmosphere she wants to ride in....

Pay now or pay later x tenfold is what it sounds like...

Horse #1 would be my push for her to get.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-31-2020, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Pay now or pay later x tenfold is what it sounds like...
This was definitely my experience buying my green broke Pony. For his relatively low price, plus all of the money I put into training him, I could have bought a really well-trained horse and progressed a lot faster in my riding.

But... I get where she's coming from. First, her last horse died in a freak accident, so why spend so much money on another horse that could also die in a freak accident? Second, training horses is "fun" and "rewarding," even if you don't know what you're doing.

What I'm getting as is, even if we all agree that you have listed these horses in order of suitability, how will you convince her of that?
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-31-2020, 11:24 PM
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I 100% agree with you on the first option. Definitely the safest option AND the horse is still young, which is a big bonus. Good conformation doesn't guarantee soundness, but I'd tell her that it does decrease the risk of soundness issues related to bad conformation. She also won't have to worry about the horse knocking itself as much due to being green and imbalanced (tentative), nor about training misunderstandings gone wrong, such as freakouts during training that can happen due to ill preparedness or just not being able to react correctly to diffuse the situation. For example, the horse freaking out while tied and persistently pulling back until injury occurs.

Ideally, she absolutely should work along side a trainer with any option, especially the last two and absolutely with #3. Either way, the horse WILL be untrained by her. It really depends if the horse will take advantage of that scenario or not. I've seen school masters become terrors with beginner owners/riders and green horses take everything within stride, I've also seen the opposite. In that thought, I could see option 2 working alright if the horse is calm and tolerant in its mindset. The downside to #2, in my opinion, is that the conformation may increase risk of associated injury. The other downside is that this horse ALREADY has some areas that need retraining and/or improvement on, which she really can't do herself.

Option 3 ... She won't have the training to work with the horse efficiently and even if she acquired someone who does, this horse sounds nervous and needs consistency, which she cannot give at the moment. She would have to be within a training program ($$$), under a trainers supervision for this to even work remotely alright. Even then, there will be so many mistakes that she will have to fix down the road, whether training errors or behavioral/vices. The worst scenario obviously is that she will get hurt and/or the horse will get injured in the process.

I agree with ACinATX though, how will you convince your friend that option #1 is the most feasible in the long-run?
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-01-2020, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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I agree. The main issue is they are all gaited, and it's hard to find gaited horses here. Options are limited unless you want to ship, and I don't think buying a horse sight unseen is the way to go in this circumstance.

My thought is that she can at least start riding the first horse and decide she needs lessons. Plus the horse has a good foundation and if she is having problems a good trainer can bring the horse back to foundation, vs teaching the horse something completely and totally new. I am taking lessons this summer and I've been riding for a long time.

My other thought is though horse training is fun, in reality, it's a lot of work and takes a ton of time and resilience. She works a lot and I think over estimates how much time she will have to train. And then she might try to rush because she wants to ride. Or she will realize she's over her head and end up spending the money anyway for 90 days, which will put her up in price.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-02-2020, 12:20 PM
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I would go with Option 1 and if she wants, she could look into getting the horse insured.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-02-2020, 01:28 PM
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I'd say option 1 and if she has access to a solid trainer and wants to learn some training skills then option 2 could/might work.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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