Thoughts on this horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on this horse?

I said I wouldn't get a second horse until our barn is finished but.... this ad popped up. Have responded to it and I see potential in this horse.

For those who don't know, we own a 16 yr old Arab who is highly trained and has a lovely temperament, but can be a little forward for my daughter, especially at the canter. He is also spooky on trails, though we're hoping that will improve with time. We want to get a second horse which will be primarily a companion horse for Harley and a safe trail horse for beginners. This horse would not have to be a polished horse with a lot of buttons, just rock-solid on the trails. And because the horses will kept on our property, it needs to have a good, quiet temperament. We are working with a coach so if need be, we can work on some things, but I'd like to have a good, bombproof horse that my daughter can canter on and that can hopefully have a calming influence on our hot-headed Harley.

Here is a link to the ad: French Canadian/Morgan horse | horses, ponies for sale | Annapolis Valley | Kijiji

This mare is about 5 hours away in another province, but she's so cheap that I don't mind trailering her here. She's older, but that's fine with me too. Owner says she's perfect on trails and people she rides with are always asking her to lead because she never spooks or hesitates to go through anything. She says she puts her 4 year old on her to go trail riding and doesn't worry at all.

She also sent me a video of her canter which I can't attach here... but it's a lovely, slow canter. A little kid is riding her and her feet aren't even in the stirrups. Appears healthy, and is an easy keeper.

So she is not the prettiest horse, but keep in mind that this time, we are prioritizing level-headedness over looks. Would you drive the five hours to go see her?
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post #2 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 10:56 AM
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Hmm...those pictures are pretty useless (hello big rolling belly! :)). I'm not sure if they'd be enough for me to want to drive that far. You said you got a video from the seller, so maybe that gave you a better idea of what she looks like.

I am admittedly a devoted Morgan lover and their temperaments make them great family-friendly choices. To generalize, they're easy keepers, have good feet, and are good choices for children and smaller adults because of their smaller size. They are, however, prone to Cushings as the get up into their 20s (I am going through this right now with my own mare)- and sounds like this girl is entering the age where it MIGHT be something you have to manage. But again, these are all generalizations, and you have to look at the individual in front of you.

So...would I go look? I probably wouldn't because I have a great selection close by, but I think you've said in the past that there's not too much choice in your immediate area, so it could be worth a drive. From the description, I agree she sounds promising.
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post #3 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Hmm...those pictures are pretty useless (hello big rolling belly! :)). I'm not sure if they'd be enough for me to want to drive that far. You said you got a video from the seller, so maybe that gave you a better idea of what she looks like.

I am admittedly a devoted Morgan lover and their temperaments make them great family-friendly choices. To generalize, they're easy keepers, have good feet, and are good choices for children and smaller adults because of their smaller size. They are, however, prone to Cushings as the get up into their 20s (I am going through this right now with my own mare)- and sounds like this girl is entering the age where it MIGHT be something you have to manage. But again, these are all generalizations, and you have to look at the individual in front of you.

So...would I go look? I probably wouldn't because I have a great selection close by, but I think you've said in the past that there's not too much choice in your immediate area, so it could be worth a drive. From the description, I agree she sounds promising.
Thanks. I've asked the seller a bunch more questions. She hasn't responded to all of them, but instead, showed me a video. I have pretty specific questions about whether this mare is ok around cars and ATVs, even dogs on the trail. It's only been an hour so I suppose I should give her time to respond. But she needs to be forthcoming with information if I'm going to drive 5 hours.

Good to know about pre-disposition to Cushings. I'd have her vetted, but not sure I'd go as far as blood tests. That's what you need to test for Cushings isn't it? I'd have to find out how quickly we could get results. It's not the cost I object to, it's the logistics of organizing all that from 5 hours away. Also there are a lot of hits on this ad... everyone around here is looking for a kid-safe pony. But I agree, there isn't a lot to go on. The video was very short and showed her cantering in a straight line, but it was a very nice, balanced, gentle canter. Or lope, I guess, because she is in Western gear.
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post #4 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 11:19 AM
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I just drove 6 1/2 hours to see a horse that I had corresponded with the owner for over a week. When I got there the horse was not 100% as described but still matched all of my criteria. We haggled over price and I got what I think was an excellent deal. In the long run 5 hours trip (one way) is really not that far if the horse seems to meet your needs. Not all of us have horses close by that fit our wants or needs. I say get more recent pics ask her to release all recent vet info and go to see her. Let your daughter play a part in the search and test ride. Go knowing that you may come home without a horse. IMO it is always worth the extra time to go and see them no matter how far away.

I will second the comments about Morgan horses. I owned a morgan/paint mare for 23 years. She was as steady as they come - but very smart. She started having health issues in her mid 20's - nothing too serious and still ridable. She lived to be 28 and had to be put down due to acute founder that I nor my vet could find a reason for. I would clone that horse and ride her again if I could.

Good luck.
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post #5 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carshon View Post
I just drove 6 1/2 hours to see a horse that I had corresponded with the owner for over a week. When I got there the horse was not 100% as described but still matched all of my criteria. We haggled over price and I got what I think was an excellent deal. In the long run 5 hours trip (one way) is really not that far if the horse seems to meet your needs. Not all of us have horses close by that fit our wants or needs. I say get more recent pics ask her to release all recent vet info and go to see her. Let your daughter play a part in the search and test ride. Go knowing that you may come home without a horse. IMO it is always worth the extra time to go and see them no matter how far away.

I will second the comments about Morgan horses. I owned a morgan/paint mare for 23 years. She was as steady as they come - but very smart. She started having health issues in her mid 20's - nothing too serious and still ridable. She lived to be 28 and had to be put down due to acute founder that I nor my vet could find a reason for. I would clone that horse and ride her again if I could.

Good luck.
Thanks! Canadian horses are also reputed to be very level-headed. However, the only one I ever met was nuts. Hopefully he wasn't representative of the breed. Overall, they are a hardy, easy horse to keep and have a stocky build.

I'm willing to drive the 5 hours... may or may not bring my daughter along. I may have to do when she's in school. My feeling is this horse will not last long at that price. And after about 3 emails, the seller has gone quiet. Maybe just busy doing something else. Maybe she'll respond later. But anyone who is not forthcoming with information gets scratched off my list pretty quickly. Maybe I'll ask for a phone number so I can call her tonight. Some people just don't like email that much. Or maybe this one is just not meant to be...
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post #6 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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New info: horse is very dominant with other horses. Will kick them to put them in their place. Harley has been pushed around so much, I hesitate to put him in that situation. But he does know how to be submissive and seems to get along better with mares than geldings.
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post #7 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 02:15 PM
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1. I am also a huge fan of Morgan's. My granddad raised Welsh/Morgan's, my cousin and I broke them to ride and drive, and he had a waiting list of parents who wanted them for their children.

2. Yes they are on the Predisposed list for metabolic issues. Those metabolic issues run rampant in Tennessee Walkers and I blame that on the Foundarion Mare of Record, Maggie Marshall ----------- who was a Morgan, lol

2.1. That brings me to the part of the ad that says, easy keeper hay only. That may or may not mean the horse has already had a laminitis attack.

My TWH, Rusty, is basically on a hay only diet because he is an easy keeper and I have already dealt with two metabolic horses. I wouldn't have understood the necessity for a hay only diet for Rusty, had it not been for the other two.

I would ask if who or what prompted them to put her on a hay only diet.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #8 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
1. I am also a huge fan of Morgan's. My granddad raised Welsh/Morgan's, my cousin and I broke them to ride and drive, and he had a waiting list of parents who wanted them for their children.

2. Yes they are on the Predisposed list for metabolic issues. Those metabolic issues run rampant in Tennessee Walkers and I blame that on the Foundarion Mare of Record, Maggie Marshall ----------- who was a Morgan, lol

2.1. That brings me to the part of the ad that says, easy keeper hay only. That may or may not mean the horse has already had a laminitis attack.

My TWH, Rusty, is basically on a hay only diet because he is an easy keeper and I have already dealt with two metabolic horses. I wouldn't have understood the necessity for a hay only diet for Rusty, had it not been for the other two.

I would ask if who or what prompted them to put her on a hay only diet.
Good point walk! Will ask that question. I would put her on a pellet + hay diet, but would like to know if she has metabolic issues.

Got home after being out for meetings and she had responded to my other emails. She said when she initially bought her, the mare would bite when tacked up so they got a saddle fitter out and discovered her saddle was much too narrow. After that, she claims she was a different horse. Will throw the saddle in (a Western saddle, but I can go either way) for 200$. I said fine. I don't really care about the money, but feel it's a good sign that they bothered to have the saddle fitter out.

Also, the seller says she looked at the calendar and realized the mare is actually 20, will be 21 at the end of May. She is barefoot and has no soundness issues she's aware of. Due for her vaccines at the end of May (so this is good - means she's been vaccinated regularly so far). I am asking when she was last seen by the vet and whether I could talk to the vet and have access to vet records.

21 years old means maybe five good years? Maybe more if she doesn't have any health issues? I might be able to live with that.
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post #9 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 06:04 PM
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Seems like a lot of money to me, for a 20 year old horse (then again, I live in the states so I guess currency exchange might make it seem higher?)


Also, I'm sure we all appreciate that picture verifying that she is, indeed, a mare
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post #10 of 303 Old 04-21-2016, 06:09 PM
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That is a lot of money for a horse that old if you ask me, especially since the owner is now admitting some bad traits. I'd be worried about her nature if she was biting due to the saddle. I think a better-tempered horse would show their pain more kindly. I realize the horse was in pain, but just pinning ears, moving away, etc. would be better than actually biting. She seems to have an awful lot of issues and is pretty far away.

Around here, you can get good trail horses that are much younger for less, especially grade horses.
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