Trying a horse only once - opinions please! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Trying a horse only once - opinions please!


I would really love your opinions on this topic...

Do you think you can make a decision about buying a horse when you only tried the horse once?

I am not an experienced rider at all and tried my mare 3 times before finally making the decision. Of course her previous owner told me she was sensitive to any cue - verbal, legs as well as hands. Of course I said I would go gentle... But "sensitive" is relative and I never even knew a horse could be that sensitive. All went well until I asked her to trot. I used it all - verbal, hands and legs and I went trotting through the air!!! Second time was much better and third time I got the hang of it and I enjoyed riding her so much, I took her home.

A lady came to try out our Friesian gelding for sale this morning. Again, I told her to be VERY gentle, our trainer (the same one who I bought my mare from) trains them to react to verbal cues. No need for hand or legs. I even rode him before she did. She seemed 'n bit nervous so I attached the lead rope and made it around the ring three times while I lead her, asking her if she's comfortable every few minutes. All went well and she said she was ready to ride on her own. She walked fine and then said she is going to ask him to trot. She gave legs... hard and fast. The horse pulled away quickly on a canter, the rider barely hanging on. She got off and said immediately he is not the one for her.

I feel like she didn't give it a fair chance and said she should calm down and try again another time, he really is not a bad horse. She refused and even said "good luck selling this horse."

Do you think you can make a decision that quickly?
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post #2 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 07:09 AM
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I know that I can make a decision that quickly when it comes to passing over a horse that quickly. However, in this case I think the woman's biggest mistake was that she didn't follow your instructions on how to cue the horse.

As a beginner, I do not want an overly sensitive horse that comes with a million buttons. I don't always have perfect riding position and if I bend my wrist, I don't want the horse to go off spinning like a reining horse or something. Or if I accidentally flex my calves I don't want the horse to take off at the speed of light. It's pretty easy for me to recognize when the horse is above my skill level. I passed on a horse that showed me that after one lap of side passing around the barn LOL.
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post #3 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 07:32 AM
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I think in most cases trying a horse once is enough, especially when you decide not to buy.
When I was horse shopping, I went out to see quite a few horses and most of the time it was pretty clear from the moment I interacted or got on the horse that this was not going to work out. No point in wasting the seller's and my time by coming again.
In the situation you are describing, if I were the buyer and you had asked me to come again after I clearly said no, I would think you are really desparate to sell the horse.
I think second visits are reserved for really serious interest only.

Again, when I bought my gelding I saw all I needed to see at the first visit, so I put down a deposit right away without a second visit.

My horse is sensitive too. The seller said that before I came to try him there was a 14 yr old girl who tried him out. Same thing happened - she was too rough, the horse went forward quickly and she barely held on. Except in that case the mother said they were still interested and wanted to give it another try, but the seller refused to sell them the horse.
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Last edited by Regula; 02-05-2016 at 07:38 AM.
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 07:58 AM
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1. I've bought horses without riding them but I've been riding my entire life.

2. Be thankful that woman didn't buy your horse. If she can't follow simple instructions to trial ride a horse, she would have had him ruined in less than a month.

It all worked out for the best so don't feel bad

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 #5 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 08:11 AM
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walkinthewalk is right. This wasn't the right horse for this person. Not because there's something wrong with the horse, but because she didn't listen to you.

When we were horse-shopping, we would go visit the horse once by ourselves and the second time, if we felt it was worth it, we would bring along our coach. Yet when we went to see the horse we ended up buying, coach couldn't come (he was two hours away) so we had to rely on videos we took while we rode him. It also helped that the seller spent about 3 hours with us going over EVERYTHING and actually had their daughter's coach on site to tell my daughter how to ride this horse. They even did a mini-lesson with her that included w/t/c and some jumping. He is also very sensitive. He is really for my daughter, who has been riding for years, but I wanted a horse I could ride too and the first couple of times I rode him, I kept forgetting and clucking AND using my leg to trot, which would lead to a rocket-fueled trot! Now I know better and LOVE the fact that he responds to the slightest cues. My daughter told me the other day that she only has to think of trotting and he trots :) . This is an asset in the show ring. But I consider myself a beginner rider and I had no trouble figuring this out. I don't think a really sensitive horse is a problem for a beginner, but the beginner has to be willing to be taught the correct cues. This one wasn't so it's just as well she didn't buy him.
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 08:31 AM
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I'm sure she got scared. This wasn't the horse for her but the horse should be able to have cues other than verbal. You ride with your seat and legs to get some refinement.
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:20 PM
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It was not the right horse for her, she knew that very quickly. I need to be able to ride a horse that tolerates leg and rein as well. I ride dressage and the very basics of it is forward from the leg and acceptance of contact. I put those on my babies with groundwork and in their first months under saddle.
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post #8 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:23 PM
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If I wasn't up to riding that sensitive horse, then I wouldn't try it a 2nd time either. Not only that, but as the seller, I'd have been P*SSED that she got all heavy legged and didn't follow directions and then DARED to blame the horse. You dodged a bullet.

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post #9 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Heleen Strydom View Post
Do you think you can make a decision about buying a horse when you only tried the horse once?

I'm thinking she did your horse a favor by passing on him.
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If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #10 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
I'm sure she got scared. This wasn't the horse for her but the horse should be able to have cues other than verbal. You ride with your seat and legs to get some refinement.
I agree, I would hate a voice trained horse, because voice is not encouraged in the ring! So I would not want to buy your horse, and would not of tried it again.

I don't think that any bullets were dodged, this horse and rider are not suited, that's all, and it is perfectly reasonable to decide that on ride one.

My own mare is more sensitive than anything else I have ridden, but I also knew on ride one that I could learn to ride her, and more importantly I WANTED to

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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