Buying sight unseen horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 08-28-2008, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Location: NW Ontario, Canada
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Buying sight unseen horses

I'm just wondering is anyone has bought a horse sight unseen and how did it go? Was is a good choice or bad for you?

My ex-barn instructor/boss bought one mare named Baby unseen and it turned out to be a Belgin/QH. More of the draft breed than the QH. But anyways, she changed the mare's name to Scotia and she was a great horse all-around. =]

Grooming - The fine art of brushing the dirt from one's horse and applying it to your own body.
wordstoasong is offline  
post #2 of 50 Old 08-29-2008, 12:38 AM
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Well i dont know how it works but i am about to sell my horse to someone buying him sight unseen. I am just worried about being scammed. I would love to hear the responses to this one and peoples experience for buying and selling horses sight unseen.
americancowgurl31391 is offline  
post #3 of 50 Old 08-29-2008, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by americancowgurl31391
Well i dont know how it works but i am about to sell my horse to someone buying him sight unseen. I am just worried about being scammed. I would love to hear the responses to this one and peoples experience for buying and selling horses sight unseen.
If you dont mind me asking how are they going to go about paying for the horse and how are they going to pick it up? There is a scam that is constantly going around that they send you a mail order check for way more then you are asking and you are to send X amount to the shipper BEFORE you cash the check...that IS a scam.

Otherwise we had a guy from Montana buy one of my horses. We had him wire the money to my bank and my bank then put it in my account (so he NEVER got my account number just the banks) I got charged like a $30 service charge. We had to have a vet come out to do a health check since he was going out of state (the buyer paid for it) and then a gal that hauls horses came, we gave her the appropriate paperwork, some hay, grain, she had a tank for his water...that way it would help with the stress level for the trip. She had a really nice big, trailer...she had farms that she stopped at every few hours to unload the horses (she had total of 4 when she picked up Boe) and then overnight stops.

The guy wanted him for his boys on the ranch, and I wasnt worried that he was going for slaughter or anything cause he paid way more then market price. I looked him up on AQHA and according to the paperwork he is still the owner. i emailed him a few months back too and he said that it was going great (so im taking his word for it).

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Angel_Leaguer is offline  
post #4 of 50 Old 08-29-2008, 12:37 PM
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bought one...WAS A HUUUUUUUGE MISTAKE!! I bought a horse from a dealer on to the guy about a dozen times on the phone...emailed back and forth with him 20ish times. My trainer called the guy and talked to him for over an hour. The horse came with a 100% health guarantee that the seller insisted he would honor. From every aspect the horse and seller seemed respectable. Bought the horse. He was supposed to be a 16 hh Dutch Warmblood cross that was 4 years old. Started in all his gaits and going well over ground poles. The seller arranged the shipping and we were all set...


Shipper rolls up on an August afternoon that was about 100 degrees with every single window on the trailer up...not one cracked. Opens the door and the stench from feces and urine nearly knocked me over. The horse backs out...he looks beaten down and obviously sick. First off the horse was barely 15 hh...and about 100 lb underweight and is clearly a quarter horse. The pictures and videos that I had been emailed...were clearly fakes or at some bizarre angle. The horse has thick snot coming out of both nostrils and is wheezing quite loudly. The shipper rips the halter off the horse and flys out of the driveway after throwing the coggins papers at me. So obviuosly I immediately call the seller...whose voicemail I get about 50 times. 3 days later...still can't reach the seller...I have to take the horse to the vet...put him on several antibiotics...and find out the horse is partially blind in one eye!! 3 weeks roll by...I have my lawyer call the seller...still can't be reached. Lawyer sends a certified letter to the seller saying that we will sue. No response. The lawyer tells me that if there is no response we have 2 options...drop it...or spend more money and time to go to Michigan (I live in Texas) and get local authorities, courts and lawyers involved. Turns out the 100% health guarantee is useless because it wasn't notorized. So basically I drop it because I was a college student at the time and couldn't afford the process. I kept the horse for 3 him well...broke him to saddle (oh yeah forgot to mention that he wasn't broke)...and sold him for 1/2 the price that I paid for him...not including vet bills.

Needless to say...I will never buy a horse sight unseen again.
hotreddun is offline  
post #5 of 50 Old 08-30-2008, 09:45 PM
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My old trainer bought one sight unseen and it was a bigg mistake. Well actually I can't say that I thought it was. The mare was nothing like what we were told. Amber was 300lbs underweight, had severe ulcers, her feet hadn't been done in years, her teeth had never been done. Basicly she was nothing like the fat, happy yearling my trainer had left in CA 7 years before. Now she was skinny, sick and terrified of people. She was also completly ruined under saddle. It took three months but I eventually gained her trust and we became inseperable. But I was never able to completly fix her undersaddle. She was perfect tackless, we had many gallops around the field tackless, but I don't think she ever could have been fixed undersaddle. She was too badly damaged. But sadly she colicked and had to be put down. twisted her gut. it ruptured. she held on for 5 hours after that before they discovered that she was septic and put her down.
But I don't know if I could say never buy a horse sight unseen, because if we had seen Amb we never would have bought her. But if we hadn't bought her she would have died of starvation.
I am a believer that every horse comes into your life for a reason. Every horse comes into our lives to teach you something. I feel like if you decide to buy a horse sight unseen that it was meant to be that way. You were meant to learn a lesson from that horse, weather the lesson is good or bad. =/
You can think I'm crazy. haha Don't feel bad. =P
Pinocchios Girl is offline  
post #6 of 50 Old 09-01-2008, 04:18 PM
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I found my first horse, Gigi, on She was a beautiful 4 y/o QH. I emailed the people, got more pics and info about her. Talked to the owners on the phone and set up a deal for them to deliver her and all for $400. They said she was green broke...they had been on her a few times without any problems.....yeah right!! When Gigi got to our home, she came out of the trailer bleeding on her legs and face because she went nuts in the trailer. We worked with her for a couple months. She was really flighty and spooked at just about everything! My hubby thought he was brave enough to try to ride her.....twice! lol And each time, he only lasted about 2 seconds. The second time she almost threw him into a fence. We decided she was too much for us, so we took a big loss and sold her for $165.
I did learn a few things from this though....
Carrie is offline  
post #7 of 50 Old 09-10-2008, 03:14 PM
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I would highly advise you against it. As many of you know, i was going to be selling Dude to this lady who supposably lived in Iowa. Well to make a long story short, the check was fake and she/he was trying to get the $8000 and my horse.
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post #8 of 50 Old 09-10-2008, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by americancowgurl31391
I would highly advise you against it. As many of you know, i was going to be selling Dude to this lady who supposably lived in Iowa. Well to make a long story short, the check was fake and she/he was trying to get the $8000 and my horse.
i knew it sounded funny.
Gingerrrrr is offline  
post #9 of 50 Old 09-20-2008, 05:03 PM
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I think if you were to do something like that, get videos of the horse and loads of pics, vet check (from a vet YOU choose), maybe find a horse appraiser from that area to go check the horse, etc. I bought one sight unseen, but I got to pick it up, so if i hadn't liked it I would have asked for my money back (they were honest people). Be very very careful! A lot of times, these people just get away with it. It would be worth it to find a horse in your area, or drive/fly to go see this horse.
valleychick2121 is offline  
post #10 of 50 Old 09-28-2008, 11:02 AM
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I've done it and I would do it again.

I bought Allegro site unseen in March and things went perfectly. I found him on and spoke to his owner many times and got tons of photos of him. I wasn't able to pay what they originally wanted for him, so they reduced the price for me even though they had someone willing to pay what they wanted because they thought I would give him the best home.

I even found a hauler online and they were amazing! They had an awesome rig and Allegro was the only horse on the trip. They monitored his food and water intake, gave him electrolytes to ensure that he would drink, and watched him on their video camera while they were driving. They spent an hour and a half talking with his previous owner before the trip and spent about the same with me after they had unloaded my boy. They could have easily just took their money and left - especially as it was 1am - but they stayed to see that he got settled.

I still stay in touch with Allegro's previous owners and the haulers too. I really lucked out in my situation and I know it could have turned out bad, but sometimes you just gotta go with your gut.

I've bought dogs sight unseen as well - even had one shipped over from Poland - which could have turned out really bad. I keep in touch with the breeder too.

Really it's a 50/50 type thing where it could go either way. I say go with your instincts. If you feel bad or have doubts about the situation, then don't do it. If I hadn't trusted, I wouldn't have ended up with Allegro and my life just wouldn't have been the same.
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