Trying a horse only once - opinions please! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Canada
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I agree with the others. When I was horse shopping I would not waste my time (or the seller's) with a second visit if I knew it wasn't the horse for me.

On a side note, I have also done the unthinkable and bought a horse sight unseen. But we aren't talking thousands of dollars; this horse was meant to be a pasture mate for my riding horse...and he has turned out to be perfect (and i believe his destination would have been far more worse if I hadn't bought him).

As for this woman, she got scared and instead of taking any amount of blame for her own riding, it is easier to blame you & your horse. You will sell your horse to someone else who has the sense to take directions.
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post #12 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 11:48 AM
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Don't take it personally. Many, many riders, even the ones who have been at it a while lack the ability to read a horse and ride accordingly. Many just jump on and ride every horse exactly the same way every time because they never realized that all horses are individual beings with their own likes, dislikes and quirks.

Be glad she didn't buy him anyway-that's an unforgiving type of rider and she'd have your horse ruined in no time, then sell him- all the while saying that it's his fault!
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 11:55 AM
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She definitely did you a favour.

She was clearly rude to have ignored your advice on how to cue your horse and it's frustrating to think that she blamed it on the horse when the horse wasn't at fault but, honestly, when you know, you know. That goes both directions. I've bought and sold a few horses over the years and I rarely needed more than one visit to decide yes or no on a horse. They either caught me or they didn't. That being said, when I sold my Friesian X mare, the lady came to view her three or four times. I even let her go have a lesson with the coach at the barn (whom I trusted implicitly) without me even being there so she could really get a feel for whether or not she felt she could manage that mare.

The first time the lady came to see the mare, she was coming off of 3-4 months of total rest, no work, due to some severe hoof issues that needed remedial shoeing. I had ridden her once in a round pen beforehand, as I had moved her to a facility with only the bare necessities to save costs while she was rehabbing. Prior to that she had received 3 months of high level dressage training but ... she was only 4 so still an energy ball with a baby brain.

I rode the mare first but it was windy and she threw in a crow hop or two. I was able to calm her down and get her going half decent but there was no footing, the pen was tiny and between the pent up energy and the wind ... it didn't go well. The lady didn't want to get on and I asked her one more time if she wanted to get up while I held on to the reins and just walked with her. She had driven 3 hours to see my horse so she agreed. She did end up walking on her own but she seemed nervous and I thought I'd never hear from that lady again. I had mentally written it off but still offered to let her know when I moved the mare back to a proper facility and had her going again. Later that day, the lady called insisting she wanted to see the mare again and made me promise to call when she was ready.

I still didn't believe she was interested, but I did my due diligence and called when we were back in business. The lady came out the next weekend for another ride. She was a little braver in the indoor arena and my horse's behaviour was back to her usual gentle, steady state but the lady still seemed super uncomfortable and nervous. I wasn't sure I liked the match but the lady wanted to come out AGAIN. That's when I said you go ahead. Take her for a lesson and see if you can manage her on your own and see what you think. She did. Twice. Bought the mare for full asking price and hasn't had a lick of trouble with her since.

Some people need to work up the courage to really experience everything a horse can offer. Personally, I usually know if I'm interested from the second I lay hands on a horse. Don't know what it is ... I just know. Yes or no. Just like that. If that lady wasn't looking for a sensitive horse, it makes sense that she walked right away. Just because you were willing to retry a sensitive horse who turned out to be good for you doesn't mean everyone wants to.
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:04 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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I buy most of my horses from sales and quite often never sit on them before I buy them but I'm not a beginner.
If I was going with someone to give an opinion on a horse then I'd suggest a second visit only if the horse went well for them the first time and they wanted to give it a more in depth trial on things they couldn't do with it the first time - for instance if you want to ride a horse on the roads then you need to see how it is in traffic or how it rides on its own, if you want a trail horse then you should ask to take the horse out of the riding ring, if its supposed to compete then you want to see it actually doing that
If I take a novice person to see a horse then I expect that horse to be already solid under a beginner rider - a horse that's too sharp, too sensitive to the cues or not trained to the standard cues would IMO not be one I'd recommend for that type of rider and because I like horses I sell to go to a good home where they'll be loved and hopefully stay a long time I wouldn't sell a horse to someone I thought would have problems riding it because it wasn't the right fit for them
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:07 PM
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Location: Florida
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Like most people here, it's usually much more clear when you know a horse is NOT the right one. When I was horse hunting again, I can't even count all the horses I went to look at, and each one was a completely different experience. Here's some bad ones I've had:

1) Was a beautiful draft, very well trained. Good experience with the horse and the owners, but when I rode him, he just had too much forward momentum I felt unsafe on him. He was the biggest horse I'd ever seen in person, and I'm a short 5'2". I needed a stool just to brush him. I mean... he was lovely. But I knew it wouldn't work out.

2) A cute paint. I was already uneasy when I got there because he was already tacked up when I arrived. That's a pretty big red flag. I asked the owner to get on first, and he bucked and crowhopped and had a really choppy trot. I still got on him anyways but I knew it wasn't right. Never went back.

3) Another draft, a beautiful one. I liked the owners a lot, but again, when I arrived she was already tacked up and someone was getting on her. ALL SHE DID WAS WALK AROUND THE ARENA. And the owner wanted me to buy her RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Literally. She didn't even trot or canter. She walked her around once and the dude was like...asking me to buy her. I was thinking is this guy serious? He didn't even want to let me ride her, but still wanted me to buy her. Also, I was 90% sure the horse was drugged from the way it was acting and that's probably why she only walked her. I got out of there pretty quickly.

And then finally, I found the right boy for me. And I only tried him once, so I definitely think it's possible to buy the right horse only riding them once.

This time, the owner walked with me to get the horse and let ME lead him, groom him, and tack him up. That already was a good sign. She got on him first, and rode him correctly showing off his gaits and his skills (Leg yielding and sidepassing, etc.) Showed me how he stands still for mounting, etc. Then I got on him and rode him. She told me about his history, and other things about him. I already knew he was for me. Then I was able to untack him and put him back in his pasture. The owner did everything right in helping my decision to buy this horse, and I ended up buying him, so I'd say it was a success :)
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:18 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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I don't think it was odd for her to pass after one ride, at all. I'm glad she was smart enough to realize he wasn't the right horse for her instead of coming back multiple times and wasting everyone's time. I do think her comment about "Good luck selling this horse" was a little uncalled-for, but smeh. Just because he didn't work for her doesn't mean he won't work for someone.

It could have been worse.

I had a nice older couple who stayed at my hotel last night. They'd come up to look at a horse that someone I happen to know has for sale. The lady didn't even ride the horse. He LIPPED her a few times while she was petting him and she said "This horse is NOT as advertised" and stormed off. The seller told her that he was mouthy because her son had been feeding him too many treats (valid excuse, as some horses do become very mouthy when hand-fed), but the lady was hearing none of it. Now, granted, the seller is known around here for being a wheeling-dealing horse trader who will tell you anything to sell a horse, but still...I wouldn't discount a horse just because he was a little mouthy. Especially if he was everything else you wanted, as this lady claimed he was.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #17 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 12:20 PM
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There are many situations where "I can guarantee this horse is trained but I can't guarantee you can ride it" comes into play.
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-05-2016, 03:37 PM
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And if this lady was familiar with Friesians at all many are not sensitive and hard to get forward. So she may have wanted a more sedate horse
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-06-2016, 04:31 AM
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I have, on many occasions, gone to see an advertised horse, walked into the barn, taken one look and said thanks but no thanks, just not what I am looking for.

Subject to vet, I will make up my mind there and then. A good horse will always sell and often sell fast so often no chance of going back time and time again.

There is nothing worse than time wasters, people who say they are interested and want to come back again and again. This buyer wasn't one.
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post #20 of 24 Old 02-06-2016, 10:32 AM
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All my experiences with horses I didn't come back to see were left at one visit.

One was dying and had no teeth.
One had abscesses and was extremely barn sour.
And the last was too big of a charity case to take home.

I get your situation though, because when I picked out my colt, although I didn't ride him, we had a few scares. My first time meeting him he reared on the lead and flipped over onto his back. I chalked it up to the fact he wasn't halter broke. To me it sounds like this lady did you and this horse a favour.
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