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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of possibly buying my first horse. I have leased a horse(was not the best fit for me) and I have looked and tried about 6 others. They were either not the best fit or in one case the owner was very dishonest. As a beginner...I am looking for an older, steady horse that has a lot of miles on the trails. I am not looking at breed but at the horse. I am not yet a super confident rider and I take and will continue to take lessons. Getting to my question...I once again think I may have found a horse. It is a 15 yr old very quiet TWH. I know nothing about gaited horses as he was the first I have ridden. The gait really caught me by surprise and the fact that when you pull back on the reins he goes faster. This I can learn...
I am going back this weekend twice...Once to spend some time on the ground with him and the other day to go on a trail ride. When I took him out with the owner before we rode in her pasture and down a road. Her horse was spooky with the traffic. Mine did not flinch at the cars, her horse or my nerves.
Back to my question...how many times do you generally go out and ride the horse before you make an offer and get a vet check? In the perfect world I would go a lot but than I would be a complete pain. I know some people buy the horse the same day. I am not experienced enough or comfortable doing something like that.
The pros....the owner is well known among some of my girlfriend's friends and highly thought of. It is known that if she says a horse is safe and sound then it is. He is small and quiet and seems like a wonderful confidence builder for me....
Thanks for any thoughts....
 

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TWHs are great trail horses, but may not be the best choice if you're planning to ride with trotting breeds: a Walker's running walk is considerably faster than the average trot, and you'll be leaving your nongaited friends in the dust and will probably end up stopping and waiting for them.

His going faster when rein pressure is applied is odd.

Have you had or are you planning to have an experienced impartial friend or instructor along to see this horse?
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I think it's always smart to go out more then once, first appearances can be deceiving! All the horses I have had I took on trial to make sure it worked. I also went out with my trainers for all but 2 (they still worked out perfectly) if you don't have a trainer take someone who is very experienced who can see things you can't, maybe push them a little further to see their reaction. Are you planning on having a vet check?. This is something I would highly recomend. You don't need x rays but a general once over is always worth the money. Your want your first horse to take you as far as they can, it to be a good fun experience and safe.

Sounds like a nice horse, but I'd learn more about gauged horses to make sure you want all that comes it them. I don't know anything about gaited horses but I would want to be well educated on what it is exactly I am getting in the horse :)

Good luck, would love to see pictures!
 

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We are shopping around for our umptienth horse and it never gets easier!
We've seen 8 so far and three others were sold before we could get out
to see them. In the past I've put down deposits on some that way they are "held"
until I make my final decision. It eats into my budget, but the other day
I didn't do it and I could KICK myself right now, the gelding was sold two
hours after I went and checked him out. It's good to see them as often as
possible. I like to ride them on a nice day and then see them again on windy
off days and judge between the two rides.
One of my problems is that I can ride just about any horse, then I get them home
and say CRUD, I'm the only one here who can! Taking a second pair of eyes and,
especially ones that have seen you sittin comfortable is always priceless. But,
remember that you'll have to listen to their advice and take it as only that. I missed out on the gelding because my husband was just in a bad mood that day and didn't want to horse shop, he said no, then I got home could have pounded him! Remember, it's Christmas and horses seem to be priced higher right now and are flying off the shelves!
Good luck!
 

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What I've found is that even though it is Christmas, buyers are still looking at having to carry the horse over the winter so buying has slowed down in my area.

I agree completely about taking another set of eyes with you who can evaluated the horse alone, as well as the horse and you together. I also agree that you need to consider who you are riding with and their horses. I ride a Paint while my riding partners ride QHs. They are comparable in their speed but a gaited horse can be a whole lot faster and impossible to ride together with us.

If you haven't tried the horse in different situations, I would certainly do that. Take him out alone to see if he gets barn or buddy sour. Have him cross water or any other obstacle you can find. You want to simulate the type of trails and the type of riding you will likely do when you get him home.

Although I never do, some sellers will let you take the horse on a trial period of anywhere from a week to a month. You will pay for the horse but if he doesn't work out, then as long as you return him in the same condition as when he left, you money is refunded.
 

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looking for a new horse

I am also looking for a new horse. In my case it will be my second one though. I had my first one 23 yrs. I did everything right - almost. Try to make sure the person selling is NOT a "horse trader". That was the only thing I would have done differently. Finding the right horse as other replies have indicated can take awhile. All I can say is "you will know the one when you find him/her" The minute my horse walked out of the barn I knew she was the one. For 23 yrs she proved me right every day. I miss her terribly! Happy hunting. TB Lover
 

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I would try to get a trial period, initially at your place. If seller balks, see if the horse can be trailered away from its home, to a park or trail somewhere nearby. See how it does on neutral ground. Do a drive by and look at it in the pasture the next day, see if it is limping. This is from someone that has come home with a drugged horse, and another time a horse with arthritis the seller concealed. Sounds like you have good intel on this seller so I would be quite as onguard. I would like to get it on a ride alone without her around once. It all depends on price. My current horse was a bit nutty, but he was a young healthy 9yo walker gelding That despite his spookiness didnt throw me off and let me ride him around and up and down the road. Price was $500. For that I just paid it, I figured worse case I can do some ground work fatten him up and sell him to a trainer or somebody more experienced than me. If he'd a been a couple thousand dollars I would have done a bit more testing and would have rode him over a couple days and tried to get a week trial with him at my place. I havent had a problem getting those a few times, but the sellers were friends or friends of friends, might not go over on complete strangers.
Interestingly enough, the horses I did all the checking and blood tests, and 2 week trials, and vet checks turned out bad, and my 500 dollar nut case I just brought home no questions asked has really turned into a super great guy,,,,,, sooo forget everything I just said.
 

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The last horse I bought I rode a few times-in a large arena as there was no one to go out on the trails with. She met my first four criteria-1.Mare, 2.Small, 3. Gaited, although she didn't gait much during the trial rides. 4. Bay. I like fancy looking horses, but the "plain, brown wrapper" seems to work best for me. Once I got her home she became a gaiting fool, & no one else has ridden her in 4 years now. Like FG, I can ride just about anything. One previous horse I looked at-when I saw her-I thought-No way is that horse coming home w/me-but she lived here for 17 years-& then it was a freak accident that took her. It's always different,but the "flashy" horses ,(palamino, buckskin,dappled grey) just didn't work out for me. Wishing you luck in your search, this is a great place for critiques if you can post a picture.
 

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I tried the horse I bought three times before buying. Once doing his normal 'job,' once asking him to do something outside of his comfort zone, and once with a bit of both in addition to doing his catching, grooming and tacking up. I also know the person I bought him from, why the horse was for sale, and that he was not trying to 'pull' anything over on me, so it was pretty safe not to have a trial period. Had the situation been different, a trial period would definitely be something I asked for, though not getting one might not be a deal breaker depending on everything else. For me, after three times, I know if I like the horse or not, and what their issues are likely to be, so there's not much point in anything more. You're never going to know everything about the horse without owning him for a while, and maybe not even then.

I am suspicious of flashy colored horses. It seems like so many flashy colored horses are bought and sold on the basis of color rather than brains or training, and would make sure to double and triple check the horse's skills if they're pretty. Maybe that's just me being cynical though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok...so I have ridden this horse three times in three different places
1) The owner's pasture(by myself)
2) Down a dirt road with a few cars going by(that is the most I would be riding in traffic
3) on a trail with a very big whistling wind, patches of ice that were making creaking noises, other horses passing, two seperate walkers with dogs.

He never flinched on any three rides. I was pretty nervous when I was out of her pasture as I had recently ridden a horse that spooked and bolted a couple times and I was thrown pretty bad so now I need to build back up my confidence in outdoor unenclosed places. I am sure he sensed that I was nervous and the only thing he did was walk even slower.
He has excellent ground manners
His owner is well known from a big twh group in Michigan and well thought of.
She is not a dealer. She had bought this horse for her husband when his horse passed away but this horse is a bit too small and slow for him.

I have a vet coming out on Wednesday.
The horse is 15 1/2 and seems as solid as they come. He is 14.3
He is very pacey for a twh but that is also because I have never ridden a gaited horse and need to learn how to collect up and gait. I will be taking lessons. HOnestly, I did not want him for his gait but for his temperment.

I think I will have my first horse if he gets the green light from the vet.
 

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How exciting!! Hope he checks out! Love the bit about the trail ride, how awesome, sounds like a perfect gentelman. Pictures????

Exhausted now and heading home from horse shopping all day myself! Found 1 contender out of 5, good thing is the man who owns him promised to buy him back if he didn't work out. I think that's a pretty good intdication, and I'm getting it in writing!!
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This sounds like a very good horse. In your situation, though, the more tests the better. Ask the owner (as long as they're honest) whether she thinks that you're really a good match.
I would ride the horse as much as you need to until you feel comfortable, unless the owner causes problems. As a new rider, if you're feeling any doubts about the horse, you should listen to them, although I think this horse sounds like a good catch and it seems more like your doubt is more nerves- it's a big deal, getting a horse, even bigger when it's your first and you're a new rider.
Also, get some horsey friends to come with you when you visit the horse to check you both out, and get their opinions. They're a neutral source, unlike the owner, biased towards selling the horse, and you, who's biased towards not getting it, as you're nervous about it.
 
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