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I went and looked at a horse for the first time ever. We've finally got a place big enough to have horses at home, so I finally get to go horse shopping :D.

I was so excited to look at a horse that might actually become mine. The following is a really long description of what I found instead (I'm writing about my frustration here, to spare my poor non horsey husband from my repeated venting :wink:).

I went to look at a mare today and was very disappointed. She was advertised as bomb proof, and she definitely acted the part. But she was so dull and blank. I started wondering if she was drugged, but when they put her away and went to get her some hay she perked up a little and even whinnied.

I think it may be that she was just putting up with the people stuff to get to what she really wanted (food). She was calm, but she exuded an attitude of not really caring what was happening to her or around her - like she knows her job, but she's just tolerating all the stupid stuff us humans want to put her through.

Now it also could be she was very uncomfortable, seeing as the owner has definitely been lax in the basic care department. They got her back in December and have never gotten her feet done - and she is in shoes so she has no way to naturally wear her hooves down. She was tripping every once in a while at the walk and she looked stiff in back.

I tried picking her hooves and after digging way down, I caught the tell tale smell of thrush. When I made a that smells bad sound, the lady casually said, "Oh she probably just has a little thrush." :shock: Her hooves were packed - you'd think if you were selling a horse, you'd have picked her hooves before someone came at a scheduled time to see her. Then again, I could believe the owner has never picked that mares hooves.

I told her I'd like to look at the mare again once her feet get done (she told me she's calling a farrier tomorrow :roll:) - I'm trying to give the mare the benefit of the doubt, everyone can have a bad day, and once her feet feel better she might be more energetic (plus my kids loved her). If this weren't my first horse, and I was up for a gamble, I'd have offered the owner $500 cash on the spot (the asking price is $1500 - no way she's selling for that in her current condition) just to get her out of there.

The worst part was that while the owner was claiming not to have the money for a farrier (or worming, or vaccinations) for the mare, she was also telling me about her other horse she has at a trainer. It was like he was her golden boy who got all the money, and the mare was stuck with the crumbs.

Kudos to anyone who made it this far. Here's a couple pictures, since it's always more fun to get to see pictures :D.


 

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I understand the Golden boy thing. Cowboy's the home favorite - but everyone still gets loves and care... maybe she's strapped because of her golden boy?

Cute mare, looks nice and solid n__n
 

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The mare does look like she is falling asleep in the second picture..... but perhaps you caught her with her eyes closed.... I was always told to set a time to see the horse and then show up an hour early to see if the sellers are sneaking anything- like running the horse to death before they ride it or something like that.... it may sound rude to some, but if they have nothing to hide, then it should not be a problem..... good luck :)
 

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but if they have nothing to hide, then it should not be a problem..... good luck
Unless they have lives and errands to do, or if they're at work. I know if I showed up and someone had been lingering around my property with no one on it, I'd be ticked. That's a liability.
 

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Almost,

She also looks a little underweight and wormy. Hard to tell from the photo, but she also looks to have very, very little muscle, particularly over her hind end.

If she has limited turn out, that could explain it, but back or hind end issues/discomfort could also explain it and the fact that she's a dead head.

I think she's be quite attractive cleaned up and in shape, but the big question is, what will she *act* like once she feels good? I have a friend who frequently buys backyardigans, brings them home, feeds thems, worms them, shoes them, puts them on joint supplements and in general treats them like show horses - the behavior changes are amazing once they're leading the good life.

If you otherwise like her, and you're up for a gamble, I'd offer the $500.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Almost,

She also looks a little underweight and wormy. Hard to tell from the photo, but she also looks to have very, very little muscle, particularly over her hind end.

If she has limited turn out, that could explain it, but back or hind end issues/discomfort could also explain it and the fact that she's a dead head.

I think she's be quite attractive cleaned up and in shape, but the big question is, what will she *act* like once she feels good?
I hadn't even thought of the possible behavior changes if she started feeling good - if she got pushy or aggressive that might be hard for me to deal with.

Assuming the owner was telling the truth (I know that's a big assumption when buying a horse :wink:), she doesn't know anything about this mare's background, other than she was a lesson horse and the lady she bought her from had a 10 year old on her. They don't even know how she trailers because they had her delivered. They didn't get a vet check, and haven't had any professional look at her since they got her in December.

She's been very quiet for the owner since she got her, but that could stem from feeling lousy for a lot longer than December. I told my husband, if we were better set up and I had more experience, I'd have tried to buy her on the spot, and he wasn't surprised a bit - he said he already knows I like to rescue dogs :lol:.

Thanks for the input everyone :D.
 

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I can't see her photos. I will have to look when I get home. As for the thrush, it's winter. When I go to look at a horse I want to pick the hooves and groom then and tack them myself. I also want to see them caught out in the field or wherever they are. I don't feel comfortable when they've been caught and groomed. What if the owner is hiding something?

December to now isn't THAT long to not have the hooves done, it's long but not horribly. I would look at her again I think.....
 

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I agreÉ. If you liked her, I'd take second look. And as far as the horse not having her feet done since Dec, I agree too that in winter that is not all that long either. I'd look past that.
I'd contact the owner back and say you want a second look. BUT you want to catch her, groom her etc. She denies that request walk on, if she she says no problem...great.
Also just beacuse she looked like she was "tolerating" handling doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy the handling. Some horses just aren't all cuddly and alert to things around them.
If you and your family liked her, take another look and offer what you think is fair. If you get her home, and she turns out to be too much horse for you then you can always resell..but I highly doubt that she will turn from dead quiet to physhco mare lol..
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They have not had her very long. Will they tell you the name of who they bought her from? Maybe you can call the previous owner and get more details about her.
 

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Is she registered? What is she?
 

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Almost there,
PLEASE don't set your heart on this horse. Look again, but be very willing to walk away. The tripping is a big red flag for me.

I bought a horse 14 months ago. He was very quiet. I rode him on two different occassions, and had someone else get on. He tripped very slightly once. He was easy to catch, quiet in the cross ties, but was not in great shape. His coat wasn't shiny, and he had many cuts. The person selling him said the other horses had beat him up. She had not given him his shots since she owned him. She did not give me very good background information on him until after I had loaded him.

It took me three rides to figure out that this very quiet horse was very sick with EPM. It has taken one full year for this horse's immune system to heal. It was expensive to treat him with drugs. He has lingering nerve damage.

After one year of turn out, no riding, good nutrition (no grain), drugs, supplements, and vet bills, he is feeling great. So great that he has a lot of energy to burn, is spooky, and not quite what I had bargained for. He now needs slow short rides to start to strengthen his muscles. It will be a year before he is up to long trail rides, if we can desensitize him.

There are many better quality horses for you to purchase. Many cost less than her asking price. Keep looking, and don't rule out an older horse for your first horse. Go for one that is in better shape, and that you have a better idea of his real character. Yes, it is a lot of work and time to look for a good horse.
 

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I would also be very hesitant to purchase a horse in this condition as a first family horse. I took in a percheron in his late 20's that was underweight, arthritic, and in overall poor condition. He was very laid back and quiet when he first came home, but was progressively more difficult to handle as he put weight on and felt better. I finally had to let him go to someone who was more capable of handling him. There are plenty of people out there that are capable of rehabing a horse and working with them if their personality changes. I would strongly suggest that you look for a horse that will fit into your life seamlessly, without any doubts or questions.
 

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AlmostThere,
one other thing...when you have the horse vetted, have the vet pull a blood sample for drug testing. They don't have to do the test, they can just freeze the blood. If you run into problems within a few weeks, you have a sample to work with. A vetting did not save me from EPM, but it could save you from many other woes.

Don't consider a horse in poor condition without getting it vetted. If the owner won't agree to the vetting, RUN quickly and far away.
 

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How old is she? She is a doll! I want to take her home and put some groceries in her and hug her and kiss her and love her....

I wish I could see her back better, is she high withered? Sway back?

She is a doll. I can see why you want to look at her one more time before walking away.

It's possible they aced her. It's possible she's in poor health (although she doesnt really look like she's in poor health to me) She looks low on muscle tone. It's also possible that she's just that quiet. It's so hard to tell and the part that would make me most nervous is that these people have only had her for a few months....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How old is she? She is a doll! I want to take her home and put some groceries in her and hug her and kiss her and love her....

I wish I could see her back better, is she high withered? Sway back?

She is a doll. I can see why you want to look at her one more time before walking away.

It's possible they aced her. It's possible she's in poor health (although she doesnt really look like she's in poor health to me) She looks low on muscle tone. It's also possible that she's just that quiet. It's so hard to tell and the part that would make me most nervous is that these people have only had her for a few months....
The mare is supposed to be 14 years old, 15 hands high, and an unregistered quarter horse. She is sway backed. I was really thrown by that when I first saw her in person, because I've seen pictures on ads for older horses that looked much better than she does.

I figure take anything I learned from the current owner with a grain of salt. She struck me as very unknowledgeable, and assuming she is trying to be upfront with me, she may have been taken advantage of by the previous owner.

If the owner actually gets her feet fixed (they were pretty long), then I'll try to get better pictures when I go out again.

EPMhorse: Thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad your guy is doing so much better. I definitely wont buy any horse without getting a PPE first. I know I don't know enough yet to take that kind of chance. I'm not in love with this mare, she seemed very blank and distant when I met her. I'll go back for a second look, but I kind of hope someone else buys her so I'll be off the hook.
 

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That definately does not look like a 14 year old horse. I was thinking more like late 20s when I looked at the pics.
I've definately seen some aced horse's perk up and whinny for food, so that doesn't necessarily mean she wasn't drugged. She certainly does look like a doll. I might consider her if they would allow a trial period on her. Otherwise I'd probably pass on her, who knows what she will act like when shes actually feeling good and is healthy again.
 

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What are you hoping to do with her? As a first horse, assuming you can get her feet fixed up without big problems, it sounds like she would make a greaty first horse. I really like her. I think she's really cute and her temper, as I said above, would make her a really ideal first horse and tho she could use a little more groceries, she looks great.

When looking at her pictures tho, the reason they are selling her...is her age? if she is indeed a QH, that would(to me) explain why she is so laid back. I absolutely LOVE Qhs for that reason, but I also wonder if she is older than what they are telling you.

If you are interested in her, I would drop the price down by at least half and explain to them it's due to the bad shape of her feet. I would get someone who can read her teeth, preferably a vet, to come out and take a look.

I really like her, but taking a bigger look around at other horses might help you make a decision. If there is nothing else around that matches what you want, then calling those people back to see if she sold might be a good idea.

Good Luck
 

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That definately does not look like a 14 year old horse. I was thinking more like late 20s when I looked at the pics.
From her behavior and demeanor I was thinking the same thing about her age. I've seen ads for early twenties horses that say something like, "May be 22 but acts like 12". Here I was thinking if this girl is really 14, it's more like "May be 14, but acts like 24."
 

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I wouldn't buy a skinny horse if I were you. My sister purchased a horse that was so broke and calm, he would load from the side door of the trailer. They even demonstrated it for us. He was great being ridden, just so calm, not bothered by anything and would go anywhere you pointed his nose. He was just what we were looking for (being beginners and all). All he needed was some groceries. We fattened him up alright...had him looking gorgeous. Not only did his looks change, though, so did his personality. He didn't put his head down anymore while we rode and go wherever we put his nose....he threw his head, rared, bucked and was just generally jumpy and high strung. After that, although we felt sorry for the poor skinny ones, we didn't even consider a horse that was really underweight. It can be hard to do when they seem so sweet and pitiful, but you need a horse you can really enjoy. I wouldn't even go back if I were you...if that was the horse for you, then you would have felt a lot better than you did about it. Keep looking! You may have to look at a bunch before you find the right horse. If you have the experience we had in buying a horse, you will find that a lot of people are just down right liars when they are advertising a horse. Just keep weeding through them until you find the right one.
 

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My only fear is the quick turn around on this horse, they've only had her for a few months. I think the price is high, I'd go with M2G's suggestion and offer about half if you went for her.

As for her behavior as a 14 year old QH......
My 26 year old behaves like a 4 year old, my 14 year old behaves like a 6 year old...my 4 year old behaves like a 10 year old... my 10 year old behaves like a 20 year old...
 
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