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Discussion Starter #1
So, here's the situation: I have been offered a free horse. As we all know a horse is never truely free but there is no inital cost for me to take her over. It would be a matter of picking up the bill for her board/feed/etc. I have been riding her for a few months now and am starting to get attached to her. She is 14yrs old and sound/healthy as of today. She can be a bit of a challenge to ride but in a good way that keeps me learning and on my toes.

Here's where I need a smack in the head. My brain is telling me to take the horse that I am familiar with. There is nothing wrong with her and she is already a part of the barn so she has her own stall and schedule. But, I can't help but look at horses for sale. A part of me wants to buy a younger horse with better conformation, breeding, and training. I found three awesome horses for sale in my area right around the $2500 mark. This is obviously quite the commitment on my part so I am trying to see the situation from all angles. What would you do in my place?
 

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My first question would be, will a new horse do for you what the current one doesn't/can't? Then ...... is the difference worth $2,500 and the challenge/unknown of a different horse? Lastly will that $2,500 be better spent in getting your current ride to where you want him to be?

You know what you've got, you don't always know what you are getting. (But the hunt is fun!)
 

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My first question would be, will a new horse do for you what the current one doesn't/can't? Then ...... is the difference worth $2,500 and the challenge/unknown of a different horse? Lastly will that $2,500 be better spent in getting your current ride to where you want him to be?

You know what you've got, you don't always know what you are getting. (But the hunt is fun!)
That's a very good point. Right now my biggest frustration is that my current horse isn't the best on trails. I am already trying to 'despook' her so to speak. I find myself looking at horses that have more trail experience and are better looking. But in the end aesthetics shouldn't be the main reason to buy a horse. My biggest fear is spending that amount of money and ending up with a horse that isn't what I thought it was. But, the petty side of me has this ideal horse in mind.
 

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No horse is perfect - even Secretariat had problems. It took me a long time to find my current trail horse (Hollywood). He has the training, looks, and trail savvy I was looking for but he can be a little spooky. There is always a trade off. It comes down to what you can live with!
 

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Its up to you how you feel about this horse really,and depending what you want to do and if this horse is capable etc. But if youve become attatched to him and like riding him and hes able to do what you want with him then why not keep him :)
 

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You said your horse isn't very good on trails. How is this horse on trails? You also said this horse is a challenge to ride, and you are trying to de-spook your horse. Maybe take this one and have a friend ride your horse a lot on trails. Your horse might learn from this horse that everything is not trying to kill it and turn into a better trail horse, while this horse becomes easier to ride. Later on down the road I bet you could find someone that really wants a horse but doesn't have much money to buy one, then you could return the favor and help someone out. Why spend $2500 on the unknown if you have something to work with already?
 

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Well, why dont you go try out the horses that are for sale. Then you will be able to compare them to the one you are currently riding. That way, you can make the best decision becuase you know how each horse actually rides.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You guys all bring up great points! I am definitely going to take a step back and continue working with the free horse. There are always going to be great horses available. It's just too much fun shopping and dreaming. *sigh*
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you guys feel 14yrs old for a Thoroughbred cross is old? Most of what I have read and seen says that Thoroughbreds tend to live to roughly 20yrs old and crosses being slightly longer. I was thinking that if I am going to invest the money into owning that maybe getting a QH/Arab cross that is a bit younger (7 yrs old) might be the way to go. Or am I just over analyzing? The other side of the argument is that having an experienced 14yr old probably fits my level of expertise better. Oh the questions swirling around my head never cease. lol
 

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i dont think 14 is old at all. it also really depends on the horses past though..
 

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i dont think 14 is old at all. it also really depends on the horses past though..
My understanding is that she was found emaciated and abandoned in a pasture when she was roughly two years old. Since then she has had atleast 3 owners. She is being well taken care of in her current situation and has been with them for almost two years. From their experience with her she has been sound and healthy. She has a ton of spunk but I have concerns about her long term. But, the flip side is that I may not know what type of history the others horses have experienced and here I do.
 

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Lisa I get the feeling that you have not gone out and bought a horse before.

You've got one known quantity standing in front of you and it is free but you are thinking of going out and choosing from who knows how many horses, one that you think might suit you, as and when you have got it home and it is used to you. And you have paid for it.

We Brits have a saying "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" - now you can
take that to mean anything you want.

If you can agree to give the freebie back if you don't get on, then it has to be a good deal.

But welcome to the Horse World - this won't be the first difficult decision you have to make.

B G
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Lisa I get the feeling that you have not gone out and bought a horse before.

You've got one known quantity standing in front of you and it is free but you are thinking of going out and choosing from who knows how many horses, one that you think might suit you, as and when you have got it home and it is used to you. And you have paid for it.

We Brits have a saying "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" - now you can
take that to mean anything you want.

If you can agree to give the freebie back if you don't get on, then it has to be a good deal.

But welcome to the Horse World - this won't be the first difficult decision you have to make.

B G
You are absolutely correct Barry. This would be my first horse purchase ever. The family has already said that part of me taking on the free horse would mean that if I ever decided I no longer wanted her that she would come back to them. They weren't outright looking to get rid of her but we kind of stumbled into a connection. The "Never look a gift horse in the mouth." comment certainly hit home. I have a feeling I am doing just that with my second guessing of the situation.
 

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You are absolutely correct Barry. This would be my first horse purchase ever. The family has already said that part of me taking on the free horse would mean that if I ever decided I no longer wanted her that she would come back to them. They weren't outright looking to get rid of her but we kind of stumbled into a connection. The "Never look a gift horse in the mouth." comment certainly hit home. I have a feeling I am doing just that with my second guessing of the situation.
Understandable. All other things aside, and if you had to buy the horse you were offered, would you?

Another think to consider is that the time of the year is such that many good horses are not even on the market right now. Work with the horse you were given but now with a different mindset. You are now working with your horse, not working a horse that belongs to someone else. After a month with that thinking, you can reassess that horse and decide to keep him or give him back. In the mean while, more horses will come to the market and the ones you are looking at may even go down in price.

Don't over think it.:D
 

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The way to look at it is this:
What are your goals?
If you simply want a trail horse then 14 years isnt too bad because in 4 years the horse will be 18 but still able to do trail.
Now if you wanted to jump, your level would increase while your horse's decreases, thus, you would surpass your horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
iridehorses: I think you are correct. I am totally over thinking the situation.


The way to look at it is this:
What are your goals?
If you simply want a trail horse then 14 years isnt too bad because in 4 years the horse will be 18 but still able to do trail.
Now if you wanted to jump, your level would increase while your horse's decreases, thus, you would surpass your horse.

I just ride for pleasure. No competing so trail and leisure rides work perfectly for me. :)
 

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The way to look at it is this:
What are your goals?
If you simply want a trail horse then 14 years isnt too bad because in 4 years the horse will be 18 but still able to do trail.
Now if you wanted to jump, your level would increase while your horse's decreases, thus, you would surpass your horse.

Yes, age doesn't really matter unless you want to jump big. I ride a horse that turned 37 TODAY (happy birthday Fireglo!) and he still goes out on trails. The vet has thoroughly looked at him and he says that it is actualy better for him to be ridden a few times a week! So I wouldn't be discouraged too much by her age. I would base it more off of her health. You will be the one paying for the vet so you want a horse that is very healthy. Good luck with either choice you take​
 
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