Questions to ask when buying - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 03-24-2018, 05:42 AM
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You can ask all the questions you like, doesn't mean you are going to be told truthful answers.

I can ride a horse and it behaves beautifully purely because I have sorted out previous problems that he might well refer to with a new rider.

Golden Horse has offered the best advice, get a good trainer and get them to find the right horse for you.
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-24-2018, 07:57 PM
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DEFINITELY take an experienced person with you!!!! The first horse I went to look at would have hurt me, badly! I talked to the seller for a good hour on the phone and she made her horse sound like a golden unicorn. This was going to be THE perfect horse for me. Went to go take a look and test ride. Met at her house, then followed her to the farm she was boarding at. I looked the horse over, up down and under. As a vet tech, but newer to horses (had horses growing up) I knew what to look for. The sellers talking to me about how she can trot like this and neck reign like that. She told me that her farrier that shes used for years trimmed her feet extra short for "some" reason, so shes a bit tender. But she has no idea why he would trim her so short. She then asked if I wanted her to saddle the horse so I could ride. I said to her that I would like her to ride her first, just so she can show me how she is under saddle. She told me she cant ride because she has fibromyalgia. Then she let it slip that the horse hasnt been ridden in two years. I knew the minute she said that her trusted farrier trimmed the feet too short that this was NOT the horse for me. There were so many red flags! I told her to go ahead and saddle the horse, so I could see how she behaves. Im holding the lead because there was nothing to tie the horse to, when she reached under to grab the cinch, the horse bit me right in the middle of my chest! I hollered in shock and pain and told the lady what she just did. I told her that she might as well stop because this isnt the horse for me. THAT HORSE WOULD HAVE PROBABLY KILLED ME!!
I later saw a post on facebook about someone looking for a gentle kids horse for their little girl. This same lady commented about her wonderful kids horse. I PM'd the poster and warned her.
Please, please, please, follow the advise youre given here. If for ANY reason something the seller does or says makes you question whether or not the horse is right for you, then its probably not. Dont let a shiny golden unicorn inhibit your decision making!
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post #13 of 28 Old 03-24-2018, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lynabago View Post
Dont let a shiny golden unicorn inhibit your decision making!
Love the way you put that...so easy to be blinded by the light of a golden unicorn.
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post #14 of 28 Old 03-25-2018, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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You can ask all the questions you like, doesn't mean you are going to be told truthful answers.
This is one thing that really bothers me. I know the horse is being sold for a reason. Perfect horses do not normally just get sold. So why are they selling it? Most ads make them all out to be those "perfect unicorns" mentioned. I'm trying to figure out before I even go to look at the horse with a trainer or mentor, what can I ask to determine if that unicorn is really just a fire breathing dragon in disguise. I'm honestly thinking I would be ok with a nice tempered pasture pet, but the more I talk to DH about my upcoming riding lessons in July the more that may change. I'm already having issues with people, but to say I don't trust sellers, well, that would be an understatement haha.
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-25-2018, 09:45 PM
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. I'm already having issues with people, but to say I don't trust sellers, well, that would be an understatement haha.
None of us trust sellers....that is why we should have someone more experienced holding out hands.

BUT, BUT...

My trainer found me the perfect unicorn, in my Gibbs, he was being sold because he wasn't fast enough for ranch work. He suited me to the ground, and I struggled mightily when it became obvious that he didn't share my love of Western Dressage, should I sell him and let him work his magic with someone else who needed him? Sadly he passed before I had to make a decision, but he was a genuine horse, that would have been sold for a genuine reason.

AND.....he had never been advertised, like Fergie my current horse, he was offered to my trainer because the sellers didn't want to deal with the hassle of dealing with buyers. It makes the whole process easier you don't have to deal with strangers, you deal with one person you know and trust....can't push this enough.
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post #16 of 28 Old 03-26-2018, 04:12 AM
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Ask a kid.

I find that hanging around the yard where the horse is will inevitably draw any kids who ride there to me. I then gently mention the horse I want to buy and the kids spill the beans on any undesirable behavior. That obviously only works if there are kids around and if the horse I want to buy has been at that yard for a while. I find that kids have no filter and that they are easily impressed with and remember horse misbehavior.
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-26-2018, 07:45 AM
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None of us trust sellers....that is why we should have someone more experienced holding out hands.)
I cannot totally agree with you over this remark,

I would far far rather go to a dealer than to private sellers. For a start there are usually several horses to try in one visit. Secondly their reputation is made NOT on the good horses they sell but on the bad. Thirdly, a good dealer will always take a horse back and do a swap.

Living on an island adds at least another hour to a trip to the mainland, plus the added expense of ferry fares.

I had several dealers - one in particular, that I would use to find me horses and ponies. I would call him and say what I was looking for, the standard of the rider and wait for him to call me. When he did, usually a couple of weeks later, he would have two or three of the right stamp for me to look at and try.

More than once he said he had something worth the trip and then the next day ask for a bit of time with it because it wasn't 100% in traffic or on another, hated pigs.

When I went to try them only once did I ask him if a horse was traffic proof. He had me ride down the road whilst he 'attacked' me in the rattling cattle truck and then a tractor. Frightened the heck out of me but the horse never batted an eyelid.

I never once returned a horse to him.
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-26-2018, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by findinghappy View Post
This is one thing that really bothers me. I know the horse is being sold for a reason. Perfect horses do not normally just get sold. So why are they selling it? Most ads make them all out to be those "perfect unicorns" mentioned. I'm trying to figure out before I even go to look at the horse with a trainer or mentor, what can I ask to determine if that unicorn is really just a fire breathing dragon in disguise. I'm honestly thinking I would be ok with a nice tempered pasture pet, but the more I talk to DH about my upcoming riding lessons in July the more that may change. I'm already having issues with people, but to say I don't trust sellers, well, that would be an understatement haha.
I've bought two horses in the last three years. We lucked out on one, not so much on the other (but decided to keep her and restart her from the ground). Ask a ton of questions. You have a lot of great suggestions above. But also, ask why they are selling the horse. If the seller is reluctant to answer each and every one, forget about this horse, and move on. If you are satisfied with the answers, ride the horse. Not just once, but at least twice, on different days, and in different scenarios (ie, one trail ride, one ride in an arena). Bring someone with you on at least one of those rides. Get the owner to ride the horse first, then you get on. Maybe get your trainer to ride it too. A horse that one person thinks is great may not suit your needs. I rode a horse that was bombproof and beginner-safe, and found her boring as heck.

The PPE is great, but do ask the seller if the horse has had any health issues that they are aware of, and have a detailed contract for the purchase that includes such wording, asking for the seller to detail any health issues. This will protect you somewhat if they're lying, and more importantly, they'll be less likely to lie in writing than verbally. Do a trial if you can, or ask about a buy-back period (this is what we did with our first horse - we had two weeks to decide if we were keeping him). The buy-back contract can have a clause saying that if the horse is injured during the buy-back period, it is no longer returnable. All this stuff is hard to prove, but it goes a long way towards making both parties feel more secure. If they won't do a trial, ask to ride the horse again, and again. Visit the horse when they aren't expecting you. Arrive half an hour early.

Even if you are ok with not riding (though you seem unsure about this), make sure the horse is easy to handle. Ask to catch him in the field yourself, or at least watch someone doing so. Lead the horse around the property so see what his manners are like. Groom him, pick his feet, tack him up. Is he a biter? a kicker? Does he have any vices?

Good luck!
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post #19 of 28 Old 03-26-2018, 11:56 AM
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"Ask a kid.

I find that hanging around the yard where the horse is will inevitably draw any kids who ride there to me. I then gently mention the horse I want to buy and the kids spill the beans on any undesirable behavior. That obviously only works if there are kids around and if the horse I want to buy has been at that yard for a while. I find that kids have no filter and that they are easily impressed with and remember horse misbehavior."

One of the mares we have a friend told us about because he would see her out in the pasture as nothing more than a bag of bones. I had him ask if they would consider selling and was told to drop by any time to see her. She was supposedly a hard keeper and the daughter was not interested in riding so they did not need her. I bought her just to get her out of that situation and intended to sell her once I had fed her up. One of my students that trail rides with them had an entirely different story to tell. I didn't hear it until after I bought her. She isn't a hard keeper - she was purposefully starved. She supposedly had a nasty habit of bucking any of the family that rode her off and she charged people. Well of course she did. Her equipment was ill fitting and the bit too harsh for their hands. They wore spurs and used them and the man beat her. She is an entirely different horse for us but it has taken years to get her where she is now.
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post #20 of 28 Old 03-26-2018, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
I cannot totally agree with you over this remark,

I would far far rather go to a dealer than to private sellers. For a start there are usually several horses to try in one visit. Secondly their reputation is made NOT on the good horses they sell but on the bad. Thirdly, a good dealer will always take a horse back and do a swap.


.
But in a way you are agreeing...the OP is talking about private sellers, and the fact that you would rather go to a good dealer tells me you agree.

I agree with you that a good dealer is a great person to work with, if the OP could find one who is trustworthy, then it can be a great way to buy. I used to help at a RDA group, based at a trekking centre, that was also a dealers yard. He was great to buy from, tried to find you the right horse, and bonus for the OP, just one person to cope with, rather than having to contact multiple sellers.
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