Buying a horse: thoughts and advice? :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-18-2014, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Buying a horse: thoughts and advice? :)

Hello! :)

I'm looking at getting my first horse. I am a confident rider and can walk/trot/canter/gallop/jump/break in horses and re-educate ex-racehorses. Unfortunately, I have never owned a horse and this is a new experience for me. :)

I am currently looking at buying a 5 year old Thoroughbred gelding. His owner said he is very quiet, loves jumping, doesn't get hot even if you leave him in a paddock for months, works in a frame and has a very sweet temperment. Although, he does windsuck out of boredom(paddocked alone). He did race for a small amount of time but was too slow so I was thinking it might actually be because of ulcers? What do you think?

He is priced at $350 and I was wondering what you think about him?







(sorry not the best photos, aha)

I am going to see him this upcoming Saturday and see if I like him. She said he just needs some love and attention and he will come around very nicely. I really like the sounds of him but I am going to get a vet check as a precaution.

So, what do you think of him? :)
Do you guys have any advice for somebody getting their first horse?
and I do have an adgistment for him, somewhere that he can be in a paddock with 4 other horses with grass 24/7 and a biscuit of hay per day. I will be hard feeding him a few times a week as well. :)

The feed I have in mind is:
~crushed lupins
~chaff (should i go with wheaten, oaten or lucrene/alfalfa?)
~hygain showtorque
~sunflower seeds
~and celery seeds

So what do you guys think? TIA. :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 03:17 AM
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Looks like a pretty boy... esp for a TB! Don't know where abouts you're from, but I see gum trees & the word 'lucerne... $350 for a 5yo horse who is going under saddle & has no health/soundness issues(windsucking not withstanding) is a pretty good price in this neck of the woods. Even for a TB Remember though, the cost of the horse is generally the cheapest part of owning one though. Aside from feed, agistment if you don't have your own property, there's regular farriery, equipment, the regular vet's stuff like shots, teeth, etc, as well as putting money away for an emergency fund.

I don't believe windsucking is due to boredom or such, but is due to gut probs, as you mention, ulcers for eg. Likely developed from his time as a racer. So I'd treat for ulcers, feed probios, extra magnesium, and ensure he's always got hay/grass. I'd also keep to low carb feed if you feel he needs extra - grain & molasses free for eg.

I'm a great believer in the importance of good nutrition for health & wellbeing. This starts with educating yourself about equine digestion & nutrition. It is a huge & often confusing subject though, so I suggest FeedXL.com as one good (Australian) program/service that can help take a lot of the confusion out of balancing diets & working out what prods/feeds may be most appropriate for your horse.

If he has adequate grazing, what's the one biscuit of hay for? Is this lucerne, for it's different nutrients, or is the grass too rich so you want him to have some low sugar hay to 'water it down' a little?

Why will you be hard feeding him? Why only a few times a week? If you're wanting him to gain weight(doesn't look like he particularly needs it), or think he needs more energy because he'll be in hard work, then you really need to feed at least once or twice daily, and especially if you can't feed at least that often, keep to ultra digestible & low carb feed. And small meals - only around 2-3kg max. If you're feeding for nutritional supplementation, then while it's still best to feed little & often, he will still get a fair bit of benefit if it's only every other day IMO.

Why lupins? Is it for extra energy, or nutritional content, that they will balance out what else he'll be getting? They're high in phosphorus & omega 6, among other stuff which could be problematic, depending on what else he's getting(for eg. horses usually get enough o6 in their diet, but short of o3, and these 2 need to be balanced). There's something else about legumes, inc clover, that's slipped my mind ATM(something about hormones maybe), that hopefully someone else will elaborate on.

Chaff; I'd avoid wheaten, but either of the others may be appropriate. Oaten can be high NSC(esp if it's got any oats in it), not too much in the way of nutrition though, so more a filler with extra energy. Lucerne is low sugar, high in energy, protein(so are lupins & showtorque), calcium, potassium & other stuff, which can all be good or bad(well, cept low sugar never bad IMO), depending on what the horse needs.

Showtorque; Is he going to be in hard work soon, that you feel the need for this sort of thing? If not, wouldn't bother. If so, I would personally choose a non-sweetfeed, high quality alternative, and pref. something that's low protein & o6, without the added legumes, esp if he's getting those elsewhere too, in lupins & lucerne. I'd also choose something that's a better 'ration balancer' than this, that will provide him with the nutrients he's missing in the rest of his diet. Or else add other nutritional supplementation. I also wouldn't feed something like this if I couldn't feed at least 2 small meals daily.

Sunflower seeds are also high in o6 fatty acid, so given the rest especially, and that he's got grass to graze, wouldn't be feeling the need for more of that. Alternatively, flax/linseed is rich in o3, so would be an appropriate additive. **Vegetable oils are fragile & go off quickly, lose their nutrients & turn to transfats with heat processing, so I buy whole linseed & grind it daily for feed. If you buy oil, make sure it's cold pressed & stored in a lightproof container in the cool.

Don't know what the celery seeds are for?
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 03:42 AM
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If he's a windsucker just make sure he ALWAYS has hay or grass incase it is down to ulcers, maybe give him gastroguard if you can with some chaff (personally I use fast fibre but don't know if that's available in the US?), and I'd just give a handful and then let him free access to a vitamin and mineral lick.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 05:00 AM
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He seems nice enough but I wouldn't go near a windsucker. If you're in Australia as you seem to be there are loads of nice cheap TBs around without that vice. Even if it doesn't cause you issues it will affect resale and some Agistment places won't even have them!

Barring that though he seems nice :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 09:51 AM
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That is actually how much I bought my Arab for here in the States. I lucked out on her; she's taught me a LOT. But I made one mistake with her, I didn't try out other horses for sale, I just bought the first one I fell in love with. Make sure you try out other horses before you go all in. Go see him, and then try out another horse as well. As for the wind sucking, as long as it's not too dangerous to him, and damaging to the property, I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure he has buddies, and is out on turnout quite a bit.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-20-2014, 11:43 AM
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I would never turn down a horse just because he windsucks or cribs. I have one that does both but only when stressed or bored.
It has never had any effect on his health and he has never done damage to his stall.
And yes, turn out and hay in the stall does help minimize this vice.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-21-2014, 02:56 PM
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Glad to hear you're getting a vetting. Personally I think that's the most important part thing when getting a new horse. Try not to fall in love before the vet has seen him (I know it's hard!). Speaking as someone with two horses bought straight off the track, it is possible that racing can cause some issues in their legs but so can conformation etc so don't worry too much about the racing. The last horse I got also did terribly on the track and I was quite happy about :) Also mention the wind sucking to the vet. Luckily he is young so maybe it's a habit that he can kick... Just let your stable yard know too because some horses copy wind sucking so they might be picky about paddocks and that. Thoroughbreds are lovely horses so I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with him if you decide to buy him. It's also really cool (and sometimes challenging) buying younger horses because you get to train them pretty much from the start. Good luck and enjoy your first horse! p.s it's possible to find his racing results and breeding lines online if you have his racing name
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-25-2014, 06:17 PM
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I think OTTBs are lovely choices. That being said, as a 5 year old, that includes at least 4 years in race training. In itself, that can easily be troublesome for a horse. So just make super sure that you have a full vetting done and have a trainer/coach come with you to see him because if he's even a little bit off now, it is most likely an underlying problem and won't be good news if you want to be jumping, etc. Especially for that price, I would assume something's up. It might be worth spending more to get a nicer, sound horse in the long run.
My horse is an OTTB that I got as a 5 year old, and I would like to say that at this point I am happy with him and myself and we are having a good time 90% of the time. If I said it was easy, I would be a liar. Honestly, bringing him along for 2 years has been the hardest thing I have had to do in my life. Now that I look back on it, it would have been much easier to get a 5 year old that was less spooky with a lot more training under him for not a whole lot more and I could have enjoyed the last few years more, in the terms of advancing myself in jumping height and pinning better at shows. In another couple years, I know though that I will be happy with the choice that I made! Thoroughbreds are the most amazing horses I have ever ridden!
Best of luck xx
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-26-2014, 02:06 PM
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The angles of the photos aren't great. I am big at looking at confirmation before wasting time trying out the horse. It'll give you a good indication how they will fair as they age as well as how they will hold up in the discipline of your choosing over time.

Let the horse choose YOU. He may look nice and even ride nice, but you need chemistry as well. My Warmblood that I purchased two months ago chose me. There was a group of us and the owner lead him out and he immediately went up to me and kissed my face. He's amazing and I'm glad I didn't pass him up. I wasn't looking for a horse though and was window shopping on craigslist, but after seeing his ad, a nagging voice told me to go see him. I don't regret it, even though my bank account does, lol!

My mom and I both have the sixth sense about horses. The craziest thing she ever did (which was uncharacteristic) was she bought a horse sight unseen from a newspaper ad (not even a photo), we had him for almost fifteen years before he passed. He was her favorite, and we have his obnoxious half sister lol.
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