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Discussion Starter #1
Would anyone be interested in helping me look for a second horse?

I live near Chicago, IL. I need an all around horse (I don't show, just pleasure ride) with some energy, not a dead head, that I can play around with english/western, small jumps, trot barrels and poles and occasional trail rides. I don't mind green broke, but I don't want a youngster JUST started under saddle. I'm nearly 6 ft so I would like a horse 15.2 or taller. Breed and color aren't important, but prefer non gaited horses. Preferably ages 8-13...possibly a tad younger depending on the horse and its training/disposition. I love geldings but wont put off looking at a nice mare. Wanting to stay in the $2000 range and not drive too far (3 hours each way max).

I went and looked at 4 horses so far and all have been let downs. One had AWFUL hooves, the other 3 were underweight and ridden into the ground and seemed kind of shut down and had no personality. Nowhere to really ride them on the property except around the yard trying to avoid trees and huge mudd puddles, so I didn't get a feel for what they would be like in an arena...kind of annoying. They could be really great horses but because they are underweight and they have no place for you to ride, they are being over looked. All had beautiful photos in their ad that must be from ages ago, comparing to the condition they are in now.

There is an appy that I'm DYING to look at, but I know I will fall in love with him. But a week ago when I was supposed to look at him he came up lame from being kicked in the shoulder or playing in pasture and it scared me off. The owner has been keeping constant contact with me since day one (over to weeks ago when I saw his ad) and updates me everyday. He is no longer lame and was just sore in his shoulder for 3 days and is working fine now. I would obviously get him vet checked before bringing him home if I liked him, but I'm scared I'll fall in love and he will end up having a problem. She has sent me many videos and photos and he just seems perfect. I'm trying to listen to my head and not my heart this time. Go check him out or pass him up?

Im ready to quit my search and cry in a corner, lol. I never knew it was so frustrating...I looked at 2 horses when I first got my current horse, the second being the one I came home with. I guess I just got lucky in my search the first time.
 

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I've never had to do horse shopping, seeing as I got a rescue that was completely free, but he came with a horrible amount of emotional baggage and was a total train wreck the first year I had him with all of the vet bills, training, supplements, and farrier bills. Have you tried Dreamhorse.com or Equinenow.com? Both are really great sites to check out. Dreamhorse.com tends to have more expensive and better trained horses on it than Equinenow.com , but both are useful tools in searching for a horse. Two friends of mine found fantastic horses on Dreamhorse.com and three found really great ones on Equinenow.com. Of course if I were you, I'd find a knowledgeable horse person with an eye for good conformation to come with me to assess the horse. I'd try and go see the Appy. He may be an amazing horse that is just right for you. You'll never know if you pass up the opportunity!
 

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Ah the woes of horse shopping... The only thing more frustrating is saddle shopping.

I was in the horse market a few months ago with nearly the same parameters as you. I wanted a trail experienced gelding 5-10 years old, except I'm shorter than you and like smaller horses so I didn't want anything much over 15h. However I did end up looking at a horse 16.2, a mare, a 14 yo, and a 3 yo. I passed on all for various reasons but you never know really what you are going to look at. The hardest part was actually communicating with the sellers - I'd say maybe a quarter of them replied to me and even less with more than vague answers. Along with the sites mentioned above try craigslist as well, I found many ads on there and more frequently than horse specific sites. There are other ones too if you just google "horses for sale in ____" also try breeders sites if there are breeds you are particularly interested in as many of those horses are not listed elsewhere. Even if they don't have horses listed you can still contact them and ask if they know anyone who does. You can also try rescues as most of them will take the horse back if it doesn't work out.

I feel your pain... And of course once you buy one, you'll find new ads for just what you were looking for!
 

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Go see the appy.
If you got booted, you'd be tender for a couple of days too.

If you like him, take someone else who knows you, and horses, along to make you be reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just texted the owner and asked if Id be able to come out next week to see him. She has a huge outdoor arena (with good footing so its not going to be a muddy mess), along with trail obstacles, to ride him in so it would be a much better experience than the others. I'm head over heels for him just seeing photos and videos and my mind keeps jumping back to him.

http://www.horseforum.com/horse-conformation-critique/9-year-old-appy-445210/
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I went and visited him wednesday and Im in LOVE. He is absolutely everything I have been looking for and more. We clicked and work very well together from what I can tell from our 45 min ride. My bf who knows nothing about horses overheard the owners talking while I rode and were saying how impressed they were ect (they described him as needing an experienced rider). With more regular riding he will be even better, he gets a bit distracted right now but nothing more than perked ears and staring. He has a solid w/t/c, side pass, turn on haunches/forehand, moves off of leg pressure, has a VERY solid woah (he will even do sliding stops...you have to make sure you have a good seat when asking him to woah or you will go flying lol), nearly nothing phases him. We went though trail obstacles that included a teeter totter, bridge with steps, steep hills with huge logs he had to hop over, a pit of soda cans, a pit of tarps, pool noodles ect the list goes on and on. I am head over heels for him.

I guess my gut feeling was right, but I still forced myself to look a few other horses because I knew I would really like him and didn't want to buy the first horse I looked at for fear I jumped into things too soon and didn't look around enough. I have to get my current horse moved before I can bring him home on a 2 week trial, and they said they will try to hold him for me until I get things figured out with my gelding. Before I bring him on the trial I will be having a vet do a PPE. I was thinking about setting up a time for the vet and meeting out there with the owners and bringing the trailer so if the vet clears him I can bring him on home rather than come back out (its almost a 3 hr drive) and if he doesn't pass I will sadly be going home with a broken heart and an empty trailer.
 

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Love his coloration! He looks like a sweetheart, and I will keep my fingers crossed for you that he will pass the vet check!
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