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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys... I'm not sure where this goes, but it mainly ties into training so I'm going to put it here.

There is a 5 year old standard bred mare I'm interested in for $300. I have a gelding quarter horse that is 7 from cutting lines, short legs, super laid back... Never had him in front of a cow though. I'm looking for something that has the possibilities of being a bit more versatile than my quarter horse. I'm not sure what kind of things I'd like to get into yet, I still really consider myself a beginner. I do, however, have an awesome trainer I work with every week.

So, yesterday we went on a pretty long trail ride... they called it bushwhacking. We didn't follow any kind of semblance of a trail. If there was a creek, we were going to pass it, if there was a jump, they were going over it, etc. I rode the standard bred I'm looking at. She's also like 16.2, and I'm used to my 14.3-15 hh quarter horse. She had a super smooth trot, neck reined fairly well, responded to direct rein much better, refused absolutely nothing. Really steep hill? No problem. Creek? She wanted to play in it when we stopped. On the ground she is a sweetheart. Gives her feet with no problem. Didn't blink when I tossed the saddle on her, didn't spook at anything.

These are my concerns with her. She's very buddy sour. She does not like watching horses walk away from her. I held her back when two ahead of me started loping their horses, she stayed for me, but she started tossing her head and pawing the ground. She's also a kicker if one gets too close to her butt that she doesn't like. Well, she doesn't actually kick, but she lifts her leg and pins her ears and I have no doubt she would follow through if the horse behind didn't listen.

The guy that has her right now says she also doesn't like arenas. He tried to take her in to run her though barrels and I guess she backed right out. He said it's because she's so herd sour. This guy really cowboys his horses, always wears spurs, etc. He said he had never ridden the mare without spurs so he didn't know if she would listen to me or not. She was very responsive to my leg, but she doesn't know me from Adam, and if her horse friends were leaving she did not like it one bit. And for clarification, I have no issue with spurs when used correctly. I own my pair of spurs. His were pretty severe and he didn't roll them, he pretty much used them like they weren't even on his foot if that makes sense. Just kicked like he would have without spurs on.

Also, I was told she is not papered because she wasn't raced because there was something wrong with her knees?

I was told that she had kicking issues when she was younger as well.

I'm going to have my trainer on her this coming week (she actually worked with this particular horse as a yearling) and get her opinion, then I'm trying her out again on another trail ride in two weeks. In the mean time, I wanted to get opinions from you guys.

She didn't rear, listened, but definitely showed she was agitated. I also didn't like the pawing. She does it when she's frustrated, bored... She pawed a few times during the ride and once afterwards when she was tied and trying to get at grass.

Are these issues my trainer and I can work through? Also, the racing thing concerns me. Does anyone know anything about standard bred racing? Would her knees be bad enough to keep her from doing any kind of eventing in the future? Should I give her a chance or should I pass? I really like this mare, I like her personality, but I don't want to get in over my head.

tl;dr

I'm looking for a versatile horse, she has some training issues and -possibly- knee issues. Can this be worked around or should I move on?

For specifics, I'm not looking to do barrels or reining or western timed events. I'd like to try some trail classes, and I'd like to try my hand at jumping. Not professionally, but for fun. Her knees concern me for this reason. The guy that has her now said he's tried to jump her but she usually refuses. On the trail there was a spot she jumped over for me, but I wasn't expecting it at all from what he said about the jumping. I expected her to walk over it. It was super small and she has legs for days.

Anyway, my main concerns are the herd sour problems and her knees. She also loads and backs really well. She doesn't seem to have a dominance issue with people, I'm just worried that she will be so concerned about the other horses she will completely ignore me on her back.

I checked her knees while I was there before I got on, they weren't hot, she didn't mind me messing with them and lifting her legs. If my trainer hadn't told me they didn't race her because of her knees I would have had no idea. I also checked her legs afterwards and they were not hot or sore.

Could some of these things be from the treatment she gets from her current owner and are they fixable?

Sorry it's so long, guys. I'm trying to include everything so I can get as an informed opinion as possible. I know it's essentially going to boil down to my trainer and I, but I would like to get as many takes on this as I can.

As far as monetary limit, I don't want to go above $300. I'm not looking for a professional horse, and I also have money set aside for teeth floating and check up.

I'll include a picture of her as well. Thank you so much for anyone that stuck with this and that offers their opinions!

I'll try and get some conformation shots of her this coming week.

Also, there was a horse that was freaking out and rearing and she didn't react at all. But she did NOT like it if a horse took off in front of her. She also really wanted to be in the front of the line, or in second place. She didn't like being in the back.
 

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Pass. And yes, I read it all.

There will be plenty more whose personality you like just as much that dont have the issues that you say concern you. HOWEVER, I would bet that any horse within that price range is going to have some sort of problem...Behavioral, health, or otherwise.

Glad to hear your trainer is going to take a look before you purchase, I'm sure they'll be able to give you better advise than anyone on here since they will actually be working with the horse.

Good Luck!
 

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She sounds pretty level headed for a $300 horse. I would ask for copies of previous x-rays and documentation about her knees. She would also have to have a major vet check by an equine vet, not a country bumpkin. Oh, if there are any problems with her knees you won't be jumping. So keep that in mind.
As for the training issues, are you up for them? 100% in love with this horse? Are you willing to spend money for further training if you can't sort her out? If she is only anxious in a herd setting that can be wore out of her. Have you taken her out on your own? I would do this before going any further. Sure she did OK in a group, but you don't want to or can't handle her alone there might be a problem. Consistent trail riding and work will do wonders for her. My gelding would crash through trees and brush waaayyyy out of control trying to get in front. So I sent him off for a while to get some of the energy out of him, he now follows without much of a problem after only one month of refresher and two months of me working with him. Not a deal breaker if she is only tossing her head. Sounds like you are on your way to becoming an intermediate rider if you can hold her back!
As for the arena thing, I'm sure she just needs some groundwork in one. Your trainer should be able to lounge her and free lounge, problem solved.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
 

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I would take a chance on her! She is very pretty and the kicking and being buddy sour is fixable . I used to a
Own a 11 year old standard bred mare that was off the track and had knee problems on both front legs. I jumped her, Barrelraced her, & rode her on trails. No problems and never lame. I would take her if I were you:)
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I disagree. For $300?!?!? The "herd sour" is fixable. Mostly you can tie her for long periods by herself, work with her on the ground without friends around and have her depend solely on YOU. I like how she handles all of the other stuff well. RE; the knees, get a Vet check. THIS would be the only reason I'd say no to her.
Many horses have bad manners when another horse rides up on them--your trainer can fix that AND the arena manners, as well. Often you can prompt a kick and spur the horse foreward therfore engaging the hind end and preventing the kick from happening. After a number of training sessions they'll quit.
If she's sound, you probably have a driving horse to boot. SB breeding is an industry like the TB indsutry and lots of horses get trained, don't race fast enough, then get sold. It sounds as if somebody has spent some quality time breaking her to saddle.
I'd reconsider her. I tried a SB gelding a few years ago but he'd been "retired" (though 13yo) too long. He certainly didn't handle outside like this mare does. I sold him to an Amish man and now he has a good job to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I disagree. For $300?!?!? The "herd sour" is fixable. Mostly you can tie her for long periods by herself, work with her on the ground without friends around and have her depend solely on YOU. I like how she handles all of the other stuff well. RE; the knees, get a Vet check. THIS would be the only reason I'd say no to her.
Many horses have bad manners when another horse rides up on them--your trainer can fix that AND the arena manners, as well. Often you can prompt a kick and spur the horse foreward therfore engaging the hind end and preventing the kick from happening. After a number of training sessions they'll quit.
If she's sound, you probably have a driving horse to boot. SB breeding is an industry like the TB indsutry and lots of horses get trained, don't race fast enough, then get sold. It sounds as if somebody has spent some quality time breaking her to saddle.
I'd reconsider her. I tried a SB gelding a few years ago but he'd been "retired" (though 13yo) too long. He certainly didn't handle outside like this mare does. I sold him to an Amish man and now he has a good job to do.
Hey guys thanks for the quick responses! I have to run out to the barn and work with my QH, but before I go I wanted to comment on this. Yeah, I was surprised she was so cheap. He would have taken less for her but I thought his asking price was more than fair.

He goes to the sale barn a lot, most horses are going for about $25 around here. I wish I was joking.
 

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Wow, everyone expects a lot from a $300 horse. I agree with Corporal. The only reason not to get her would be her knees. If the knees are okay, she sounds like a great horse for $300.

I paid $500 for a Fox Trotter that was 15 years old and can be nervous riding alone/barn sour. I feel like I stole her! Great horse, and at that price you can work through some small things.

It actually sounds like she has the makings of a great trail horse. The buddy sour, nervous stuff can be worked through with plenty of trail miles. I usually feel like when you first start riding a horse you are getting their worst, because the are the most insecure and you two don't know each other. They always seem to get better with mileage (in my limited experience anyway).

I guess I would ask myself, are the faults things you can live with? Odds are they will get better, but are any of them deal breakers for you?

Again, the knee issue would be my main concern. And gosh, she's 5 years old. I would love to find a decent young trail horse for $300. I can't even get a month of training for that.

PS. Maybe I have been riding crappy horses, but every horse I have had (except for one) will get agitated/nervous, jiggy, excited, whatever when the rest of the group canters away from them. Isn't that pretty typical? Sure, perfect ones won't, but I bet 80% of the horses on the planet would. It's just herd instinct.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, everyone expects a lot from a $300 horse. I agree with Corporal. The only reason not to get her would be her knees. If the knees are okay, she sounds like a great horse for $300.

I paid $500 for a Fox Trotter that was 15 years old and can be nervous riding alone/barn sour. I feel like I stole her! Great horse, and at that price you can work through some small things.

It actually sounds like she has the makings of a great trail horse. The buddy sour, nervous stuff can be worked through with plenty of trail miles. I usually feel like when you first start riding a horse you are getting their worst, because the are the most insecure and you two don't know each other. They always seem to get better with mileage (in my limited experience anyway).

I guess I would ask myself, are the faults things you can live with? Odds are they will get better, but are any of them deal breakers for you?

Again, the knee issue would be my main concern. And gosh, she's 5 years old. I would love to find a decent young trail horse for $300. I can't even get a month of training for that.

PS. Maybe I have been riding crappy horses, but every horse I have had (except for one) will get agitated/nervous, jiggy, excited, whatever when the rest of the group canters away from them. Isn't that pretty typical? Sure, perfect ones won't, but I bet 80% of the horses on the planet would. It's just herd instinct.
I feel the exact same way. To me it seems like they are minor issues and could be worked through, I just didn't want to get too much horse for my ability level so I wanted to get some opinions from you guys. :)

I love her and I want to get her... and honestly, if it were a money issue, I can go to the sale barn and pick up a horse for $25, but I wouldn't know anything about it at all. As least this way I know the vices to begin with.

I just wanted a variety of opinions because I don't want to be blinded, so to speak, because I really like her.

I also really want a horse I can work with and with my trainer, I don't want a horse that is dead broke and bomb proof, I just don't have any experience with herd sour horses, and I didn't know if it was a correctable issue. So I want to have some issues to work through, but not so bad that I'm in over my head, if that makes sense.

On an unrelated note, my gelding is doing so well! He is picking up the half pass beautifully. Just had to gush a bit, he did so well today. I only worked with him for like 15 minutes because he was worked so hard yesterday. He just learned the half pass yesterday, and is doing it every time I ask now. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also wanted to add he has ridden her in several parades with children so I know she's not spooky.
 

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Funny, my friend and I were laughing over this yesterday: "I love those people who sell cheap horses because they don't have the time!"

^^ In regards to your post, if you have the TIME, ENERGY, KNOWLEDGE (and/or your trainer) and DISCIPLINE to put this little (lol, "little" over a 16.2 hh SB.) lady to work, then why not? Other than the knees, which will definitely need a vet check, she sounds awesome. She just needs some work to concentrate on as well as a refresher in training. As it says in one of the stickies: "Obedience is NOT an option." -- She'll overcome the buddy sour as soon as she fully picks you up as the Lead Mare. :)

Good luck with your decision!
 

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Go for it. She's $300, and she seems like a sweet beastie:)

The "buddy sour" thing can be fixed – spend a lot of time with her and just build some trust, and she'll stop worrying about it :D

And no wonder she's "arena sour–" if all she's ever done in an arena is run barrels, then it hasn't been a pleasant experience. Just taking her in to an arena with a buddy and letting her relax and bop about should get her used to it and give her a positive experience. Or maybe turning her out in an arena with a relaxed friend could help her work out her issues with it on her own.

If this guy who rides her says she usually "refuses," it's because he's most obviously going about it wrong and riding incorrectly.

I'm sure that most of these issues bud from her current treatment and owner, and with some TLC and training, she should be fine!

:)
 
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I'd check out the possible knee issues... And if she gets the all clear, snatch her up before someone else does!
Being a bit buddy and arena sour are pretty minor issues, like others have said... Not hard to fix. Anyway, if she's an angel on the ground AND on the trail, I'd say she is well worth the fixing.



She's a pretty girl, btw!
Good luck and keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok update everyone! I just spoke to my trainer and she said as a yearling she was tied in at the knee and her knees were underdeveloped, and they didn't race her for that reason.

I need to get some conformation shots of her.

I'm researching this right now, is it possible to outgrow those faults and how bad are they?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What about occasional jumps on a trail? No go?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Or novice jumps?
 

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I agree with most and I would pass on her..my main reason being her knees..i wouldn't even consider jumping her if there's any issues with her knees. And, yes, she may not show any problems now...but what about when she's older and gets arthritis is her knees...this will become an expensive issue you will have to deal with. And her not liking being in the back of the pack..some horses are just like that and can be worked out. She is pretty, but I am more concerned for you about her knees. That's not something I would take a chance on. There are many other horses out there that don't have any health issues that you can get a hold of that are resonably inexpensive.
 

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I disagree. For $300?!?!? The "herd sour" is fixable. Mostly you can tie her for long periods by herself, work with her on the ground without friends around and have her depend solely on YOU. I like how she handles all of the other stuff well. RE; the knees, get a Vet check. THIS would be the only reason I'd say no to her.
Many horses have bad manners when another horse rides up on them--your trainer can fix that AND the arena manners, as well. Often you can prompt a kick and spur the horse foreward therfore engaging the hind end and preventing the kick from happening. After a number of training sessions they'll quit.
If she's sound, you probably have a driving horse to boot. SB breeding is an industry like the TB indsutry and lots of horses get trained, don't race fast enough, then get sold. It sounds as if somebody has spent some quality time breaking her to saddle.
I'd reconsider her. I tried a SB gelding a few years ago but he'd been "retired" (though 13yo) too long. He certainly didn't handle outside like this mare does. I sold him to an Amish man and now he has a good job to do.
Agree with all this...my only question is the canter. Some Standardbreds can not/do not "canter". Have you asked for a canter? If not do not buy her until you do, otherwise her issues can be fixed with good training but DO have the vet look (Xray) her knees. The non-racing due to her knees sounds weird.
 

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Personally I would pass. If you want to do jumping in the future and she has "bad knees" I wouldn't buy her... unless you get a VET check her out and have the VET give her the ok. It sounds like she was good on the trail for you, and the buddy sour thing can be worked on. However, the guy said she was much worse in the ring. If you are going to try her out again, make sure you ride her in the ring to see what you would really be dealing with, so you are comfortable handling it. She is really cute, and working through her problems she has the potential to be a fantastic horse for you (as long as you either decide not to jump, or get a vet ok to do so)
 

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Personally I would pass. If you want to do jumping in the future and she has "bad knees" I wouldn't buy her... unless you get a VET check her out and have the VET give her the ok. It sounds like she was good on the trail for you, and the buddy sour thing can be worked on. However, the guy said she was much worse in the ring. If you are going to try her out again, make sure you ride her in the ring to see what you would really be dealing with, so you are comfortable handling it. She is really cute, and working through her problems she has the potential to be a fantastic horse for you (as long as you either decide not to jump, or get a vet ok to do so)
I talked to my trainer and she said as a yearling they decided not to risk racing her because she is tied in at the knee and her knees were underdeveloped. How big of an issue is this?
 
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