Thursday, December 3, 2009

So you decided what you want to do with your horse, chosen a breed, set a budget and started looking... and looking... and looking...

You have learned how to refine your search, and yet the list on the monitor is still long. Now what? You refine it a bit more and try again.

Your criteria may include the breed, the age, the price, discipline and even the color. But within each of these you will still find quite the assortment of horses who vary from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Breeds- Pick a breed. Any breed. You will find horses of just about every shape to choose from. Narrow based - built like a tank, short - tall, long - short coupled, great feet - lousy feet. Sometimes you find a registered horse, big names on the papers, but built like Frankenhorse. Then there are grade horses who are about as perfectly built as it gets.

Age- you will find young horses who are as calm and quiet as the day is long and others in the same age group, who think everything is out to get them. Young horses who act much wiser than their years and older horses who are full of spirit and life.

Price- You can set a limit and yet still find a freebie. We have taken in a few freebies over the years, passed on others and know of three more at the moment. Some of our horses have come with price tags of everywhere from $250 to several thousand dollars. Whatever you feel the horse is worth, are comfortable paying and can afford- Congratulations on your new horse!

When looking through horse ads though, what are the warning signs that stand out to some and get no reaction from others? Seeing these things, what do they tell you? In the lower end of the price range you will be more likely to find horses who fall under the 'rescue' status. They are in rough shape and their eyes just scream "HELP ME!" when you look into them.

One thing that stands out to a lot of people is the hay belly. But then you also notice their ribs are showing. Most likely this is worms. Curable? In a lot of cases, yes. Cost? You can go the route of buying a few tubes at the feed store or online, or you can have the vet out to tube worm them and have an evaluation done on the level of infestation and type of worms you are dealing with.

Once this is dealt with and ruled out, the horse may begin to flourish again and pack the weight on with ease. Or not. Then what? Look at their teeth. Are there hooks, points, ridges or sharp spots, ulcerated areas on the tongue and inside of the mouth? If so, this can be handled by having the horses teeth floated. Some horses need to be sedated for this, while others are fine on their own. Prices vary according to your location and the quality of the person doing the work.

If the horse is thin when you looked at them, ask what they are being fed and how much. Sometimes it is a matter of not enough feed, or the right feed. Is it a mare that has just been weaned? Some mares just can't maintain weight while the foal is at their side, where others have no problem doing so. If kept in a herd situation, are they separated at feeding time? If your horse is the lowest on the pecking order, they will not likely get much to eat and it will show. Throwing and extra flake of hay and spacing them out can help fix this, but may not work in every situation.

The hooves also require a close look. Are they long and overgrown? Does the horse toe in or out? Do the hooves have a nice 'bell' shape to them or are they small and straight? Are they in proportion to the size of the horse they are under? Is the seller making a big deal about the "New Shoes" the horse is wearing? Could be because there was an all out battle to get them nailed on... Can the horse go barefoot or do they require shoes? Can they get by with front shoes only? If you have a horse wearing shoes but standing on hard packed ground, day in, day out and buying the horse means they will be moving to a stall with bedding and well groomed arenas with nice footing- you may be able to remove the shoes without issue. Then again, you may not.

The overall condition of the horse can tell you a few things. If they are thin, have the 'wormy belly' and their feet are long, chipped or haven't been trimmed in how long(?), it should raise a few flags and eyebrows, that the horse has not had routine care. A few dollars for wormer, a few extra dollars per bale for good hay, having their teeth checked and seen to once a year or more as needed- costs you far less to maintain the horse, than it will if you ignore everything and wait for it to all fall apart.

And believe me, when it falls apart, it FALLS APART! No amount of grooming will cover these things up, and sometimes the damages cannot be fixed.


  1. Also, be honest about what you are really looking for. That hot beautiful looking horse may not ever be happy being a trail horse. I hear a lot 'oh, I just want a trail horse.' A trail horse needs to know a lot of stuff, and a good trail horse is incredibly valuable. Aaaand first!

  2. Yeha for well trained trail horses, even if they are *cough, cough* redheadedmares.
    My girl may not know leg cues but her trail knowledge is incredible. One reason why I am sticking it out with her and praying we can learn new stuff.

  3. well said , and a good list. One of the tough things Is riding the prospective horse if it is a saddle horse , where how long etc. Many places will just let you try ther horse out in a round pen, and insurance issues prevent much more than that . I was pleasantly surprised by a "horse trader" I knew , said to come out for a trial on the horse , we took a 2.5 hour trail ride , crossed raods and creeks the whole shebang. Yup I bought the horse he was a great little dude , a bit hot for trails but we did OK !

  4. Trying out a horse... Since it doesn't so much relate to grooming, but is essential when considering buying, it does bear the time to address it.

    Three things to keep in mind are 1) show up a touch early, 2) go at least twice and 3) have the owner ride first.

    Show up a bit early so you aren't late to catch the action of the horse being caught, saddled, worked into the ground and then tied until you arrive...

    Considering you are on the same level- both you and the prospective horse- Go at least twice to ride the horse. Maybe they had an off day the first time. Maybe you were the one with the off day. Consider a 3rd ride perhaps, but don't use the seller or horse as your own private riding stable.

    Having the owner ride first may give you some insight as to the issues the owner is having. Maybe they come from the rider, instead of the horse.

    When we went to see Tess, her rider was inadvertantly 'checking' her before each jump, hanging on her and either ahead or behind the motion of the horse.
    Check = refusals
    Hanging on the reins = getting a bit racy and hot, head up, hollowed back and losing control.
    Being ahead or behind the motion of the horse made it look like she was having to really work at it to post.

    It was all easily remedied under different hands.

  5. Kestrel- Also, be honest about what you are really looking for.

    And where your interest lay. I know of one horse currently available because the owners interests have changed. The horse could very likely do the job and be the best horse they have, but instead they put him/her up for sale. Makes you wonder...

  6. I was just looking for sturdy and nice. And reasonably priced. He ended up being free, so the small amount I had saved went to floating, sheath cleaning, a much needed trim, first month of training, and my tack.

    He has what I think is called "bone." I did not want too tall, after the fall (which was off a Percheron, BTW), but he was sturdy. Thick legs and big feet.

    He also passed my nice test. He had been pretty much ignored for months, and let 3 of us walk right up, halter him, and take him away from his food. I will never buy a horse I have to chase down.

    I also paid for the pre-purchase exam even though he was free. The result? A little spooky for his age, rude, and "pretty sound." Worked for me!

  7. LOVE IT!!!..What are you looking for...Oh the list. With my age and "issues" I really want a packer. yes I am the EVIL one who doesn't like the red heads (might be talked into a liver chestnut) but as Jennifer told me...YOU (finger jab at me) do NOT shop for color. And it's true..I've been horse shopping on and off for years. Last time I was about to put offer on table is was a scruffy big boned chestnut. Until he bucked owner off b/c he was in pain. Ummmm....yeah....NO BUCKERS.

    I really need/want a horse that can HONESTLY sit in the pasture for M-R. I ride F, Sa & Su. He/she has to be able to W/T/C and jump (honestly) 2'3".

    You know how hard that is in my area? I've helped friends shop, we have one really nice horse trader who has been honest. Unfortunetly I need something that is AT LEAST 16h. They never have that.

    I have tried a 15.2-.3h and they just don't take up my leg and it's uncomfortable for me. Now since finding out I've blown another disc and some major bone loss--not sure if real riding is in my future.

    Kestrel..Trail riding...OMG...our 26 yr still bolts at deer. Has been a trail horse for 23 yrs. I think he just does it but with his mind who the heck knows.'re like me. I'm more then willing to take a 'free' horse and have no issues putting money into them. I mean it's bills you'd pay regardless.

    CNJ..I know I rambled...someone mentioned they were at a barn they would have turned their nose up at..I hope with my comments earlier I wasn't mistaken. I would love a barn like they described. Healthy horses, fat senior citizens..there is a great barn like that but it's over an hour from me. Her facilities are a tad run down but the horses gleam!

  8. Oh for trial runs..Normal here is 7 days. Current trainer makes it 30 days!!! LOVE that idea and no one flinches at her when she asks.

    One question...does anyone pull blood for drug test? Like for sedatives?? I've wanted to suggest to friends but wasn't sure if it would have been offensive.

  9. I do not do the trial thing. Why?
    Horse breaks its leg?
    Horse gets run through fence?
    Horse colics?
    Or, somebody burns 70% of their body with what they called flyspray?
    No. I absolutely encourage people to have a pre-purchase exam. And for some reason, no one ever does.

    If, you come and try my horse and you immediately put them into a canter regardless of footing or surface? My horse is not leaving with you.

    Being honest is an absolute. We don't subscribe to the adage of throw enough shit against the wall and something has got to stick.

    I do believe in people trying a horse I am selling several times before making the purchase.

    And people who talk about just showing up with no notice?
    Or, early?
    The no notice is just rude. Early?
    Cool. You may have to follow me around for awhile while I do other things though.
    I hate having my schedule messed with.

    If, I could have one sign it would read, Just Having The Purchase Price Does NOT Guarantee The Sale.

    That is another thing that irritates me.
    People who come with attitude. I am never desperate to sell a horse.
    Desperation to buy or sell is where so much goes bad.

    And why do people with $500 budgets always call on $5000 horses?

    And here is another one. Do NOT bring a supposed trainer to talk down the price.
    Quickest way to piss off a seller is have a professional shit talk their horse, on their own property, all to impress their client with their knowledge.*eyeroll*

    Courtesy is something that should be extended by all parties.

    C3D I have a friend in TX who may have some lines on what you might be looking for.
    And she is the real deal. A knowledgable horsewoman.

    And yes Kestrel a good trail horse IS incredibly valuable!

    NCC I am confused. I thought Riddler was a boy???

  10. ha ha ha, I broke all my own rules with my new guy. But it's working out.

    I had the IDEAL purchasing situation with my red mare. I took lessons on her for months - her owner did one of those reduced board exchanges. Then the owner got pregnant and couldn't afford TWO horses, so she put Vandy up for sale, and we ended up getting her for 1/4 the original asking price because the seller was more than happy with her going home with me, having gotten to know our family quite well. Also that was about as much as my family was able to pay, so it worked out awesome. Talk about knowing what you're getting!!

    We'd clicked well and she really helped me get my confidence back after my first rebellious pony, who bucked every time you made her canter and scraped me off on every single object she could find.

    During the years I owned her, she only half-kick-bucked ONCE, when a stallion came around a corner a little too fast on a trail ride & got up in her butt.

    So it IS awesome to have a trial period, but I can also understand why a seller might be reluctant. I guess I'd love an arrangement where the prospective buyer could come out a couple times a week for a month (supervised of course), but every situation's different.

    There's a great line in a great short story that went something like: "Smith might not sell you that horse, but he might just up and give him to you."

  11. Oh..CNJ..I did finally send you a bay! hee hee.

    I like the 7 day trial. One horse went DEAD LAME on me on day 3. Stopped riding him immediately and sent him home. Oh I'd also Xray'd him etc b/c I did love him.

    BUT..I can see how some folks don't want it. Dena..actually..not in any postition to buy at this point until I can get some of the health put to bed (pushing up Daisy's) hee hee..

  12. "Smith might not sell you that horse, but he might just up and give him to you."

    CP you nailed it. Exactly...

    C3D buy a horse? Just because I don't have any free horses doesn;t mean I do not have friends who don't lol.
    Silly girl.
    Might cost you some baked goods when you are ready though.
    It is amazing what some folks will do for a little sugar.

  13. Sugar? Add chocolate and I'm there!
    I really encourage anyone looking at one of my horses to come out to my place to ride under supervision. That gives me a chance to see if they are suited, and to make sure the new owner understands exactly where the horse is as far as cues and training. And I get to see whether I think they'll be a good match for one of the kids!
    I got burned badly by a tryout situation, so would never go that route again. I insist on a vet exam though, it saves a lot of trouble, and welcome them to show up with their trainer. That's also a test! If the trainer is a jerk I don't want my horse going there. People who show up to disrespect your horse are usually not the people who deserve a good horse.
    I've also been the trainer called in though, and it's just frightening how many sellers want a fortune for a horse with major problems.

  14. The short story is part of a collection by Canadian author Paul St. Pierre called "Smith and Other Events." SOOO good.

    I think that novices MUST take a trainer along - too many shady sellers out there who will stick a newbie with a green, unsound or rank horse.

    But the trainer needs to act PROFESSIONAL. And since professionalism on the whole is becoming scarce everywhere you go, good luck with that...

  15. I've always taken my trainer, when she was preggers took another rider. This is what I'd do when shopping
    1) have the horse brought in but I'd tack up
    2) have current owner/trainer warm up and put horse thru paces
    3) have my trainer ride horse
    4) I'd get on and see what I thought

    NOW b/c of my confidence issues...I trust JB (new trainer) to find me something when I'm ready. Worst part about all this is EVERYONE who sees me says "'ve got a natural leg and balance" Ummmm....I just puked all over myself from panic attack..YEAH I got balance baby! baking is going to be on Dec 13th..for those of you who want fudge/cookies..PM me. I will send you stuff! Love to bake..bring on the orders :D

  16. I have a question..If you were boarding your horse. You find out barn owners are taking horses and weighing them w/o your permission. Would you be upset?
    My take is I'm seeing red. I'm very protective of my horses and I'm not a big fan of people messing with them w/o my permission. Am I over reacting..Oh this is the reaction of all the boarders.

  17. CD3 are thaey removing the horses from the property?
    why are they weighing them?
    sounds a little wierd at best

  18. nope not removing them from property, they have a scale on site. Barn owner said "it's my place and I can do what I want"

    It's very weird..I mean hey we are getting into winter, we have a lot of senior citizens (ex-4 star eventers)..OK..but they aren't your horses.

    there is a new worker at the barn..he's a big talker..he disabled the scale so you have to go to him to be able to use it..I guess it was his bright idea to weigh the horses monthly. Not many of the boarders are out on that isn't sitting well pick a day when you KNOW no one will be out????

    I don't know I just get a bad vibe but don't know if I'm over reacting b/c I'm pretty defensive about my horses (of course I don't have anything there but referred friends there b/c of Event trainer)

  19. Get a load of this!!!! They are closing work b/c Houston is having flurries!!!

  20. CP breaking her own rules? Falls of chair... Me too. In a huge way on a few different horses.

    Most we have known the owner, gone on the word of a friend, heard of through a friend or somehow known of any issues or circumstances which brought the horse to us.

    If you ever have a bad feeling about the horse though, don't pass it off. Take it as a warning sign of things to come...

    That goes for sellers too. We had one man show up about a gelding we had for sale. Super sweet horsie tried to go over the front of the stall and eat him alive. Total WTF!?!? moment.

    'Buyer' just brushes it off and says, "We'll have to work on that."

    Um, no you won't. No sale.

  21. CD3, heading out to work now (late day) 10-15 cm of snow over night and ??? accumulating today. business as usual , its gotta be pretty bad to shut us down. I am moving to Houston , or Arizona ,or ...

  22. Only bad thing about winters here is the multitude of cloudy days. We usually get one or maybe two "big" showfalls (over 2") every winter, not a big deal.

    And DAMN it gets dark early..... "Civil Twilight" ends at 5:50 pm today. Thank god my office is an old bedroom of a Victorian house, so I've got two big windows.....

  23. It's been 'chilly' here.

    59 degrees outside at the moment. I know it's not exactly cold to some of you, but considering we live in heart of the convection oven the other 8 months of the year...

    And for those of you who don't know, it can get down into the low 30's and even high 20's at night. Freeze warnings and busted water lines do happen in the desert.

  24. Dena, I know "just dropping in" is generally rude. But that is how the owner caught Cleve Wells abusing Slow Lopin Scotch.

    Unfortunately, horse buying is still "buyer beware." So, yes, I'd break my own rules and show up early. I want to see if they have to twitch the horse to tack him up, or drug him, etc etc.

    The ones who are as honest as the day is long should not feel insulted; it's not their fault!

    And I'd love to follow them around as they do the chores. You learn a lot that way. (And I'd probably lend a hand.)


  25. Crazy3D...what area are you located in, and how tall are you?

  26. HP- she's just outside Houston and around 6'. Gotta horse in mind?

  27. "Dena, I know "just dropping in" is generally rude. But that is how the owner caught Cleve Wells abusing Slow Lopin Scotch."

    They OWNED the horse. They had the right to show up pretty much whenever they wanted as far as I am concerned.
    I do not run a public training or boarding barn.

    *And while, I do not dismiss C. Wells from responsibility as it was his barn and his employee.
    I was unaware that he was the one physically abusing the horse.*

    I am talking about the I do not know you from Adam buyers.
    And if, you show up 1-2 hours early I might be at the store, or any other number of places.
    And if, I come home to a stranger wandering my property and messing with the horses?
    Well, let's just say that it will depend on the day.:)

    My days of paying for the sins of others are long over.
    Bring a vet. Do a blood panel for chems and toxins.
    I am cool with that.

    My only point was simple courtesy and truthfulness on the part of both seller and buyer should not be too much to ask for.

    The whole helping with chores thing? Might just earn brownie

  28. HNDL- Not many people I have dealt with are insulted when a buyer shows up a little early. Five, ten minutes, half hour, no big deal. They can wait it out and use the time to have a quick look at the facility- hay look good? Other horses up to weight and happy? Stalls clean? Good signs.

    Unannounced? That would be more likely to set off a few folks. If the horse is at a boarding facility, the seller may not even be there yet. On the sellers property? Maybe they had to run into town or run errands...

    Demanding on top of that- probably get you shown the gate and a "Get the hell off my property!" to boot. May even get a well placed boot too...

    However, in the case of SLS and Cleaver Wells, the horse was in training which is a different situation. The owner has every right to show up unannounced and check on their horse. Same at our place and many others. Not granted this right? I would keep looking.

    If the buyer shows up a little early and the seller is in the process of working the horse down, sedating the horse, running the horse in to be caught, etc. That is grounds enough to walk away and keep looking.

    If anyone decides to stay and look at that horse or another they may also have for sale- you are a brave or crazy person. Or maybe you feel you are upgrading the horse from the whole situation. Kudos to you in that case!

    If you do decide to buy- I would certainly encourage a vet check and have the vet pull blood to start. You can never be too cautious when it's your money, safety and considerably your life at risk.

  29. And if you're the trainer riding for your client who wants the horse reallyreally bad, beware of the phrase 'This horse is soo forward!'

    Show up, horse is dripping, nervous and exhausted, ammies love it's color though. Sigh. I know what this is going to turn out like, but clients are determined and I know that if I don't ride they'll buy the psycho. Get on, ask horse to stand, poor beast goes frantic and almost goes over on me. I spent rest of ride (minutes!) looking for a safe place to get off...I felt so sorry for the horse, but you could see that it was going to take monumental work to turn it around and there were health issues.

    Seller was furious, thought she had a sale. She goes to auctions, picks up horses and resells them as quickly as possible. Brutal.

  30. Kestral- Funny you say that. Sorta. I was just thinking to add-

    If you are working with a trainer or have one in mind you intend to work with- take them along to look at the horse.

    Make sure they can deal with or handle any training issues the horse may have. Get a time frame for how long the issues will take to be resolved and price of board and training for that time.

    Otherwise, you could be paying the bills for a couple of months until you find someone willing to take on the challenges the horse presents.

  31. Dena, I put "horse" on my Christmas list. If I can get my worrywort husband to be ok w/the idea of me riding again...I'm hitting you up for those names. until then I'm "out of saddle" ;) wink wink

  32. hee hee I put "HORSE" on the top of my list for the past 15 years.... finally worked :P Total serendipity.

    Are horse people any more superstitious than other folks? Or do most of us suffer from potential-itis?

    And I'm looking right at Kestrel's advice about being honest about what you're really looking for. You have to be honest with yourSELF first of all. Otherwise you are headed for the hospital sooner or later, or too scared to ride your own horse, because he's too much for you.

    Parents who over-horse their kids should be arrested. I saw my share of that last year in 4-H... and when they ask your advice, don't say "sell it and get your kid something he can actually RIDE" because they will immediately shut you out and never ever listen to ANY advice, ever.

    Of course that doesn't solve the real problem.... *sigh*

    I think you could make a bundle as a trainer/dealer specializing in fancy prancy - but BROKE - ponies.

    No one around here does that....

  33. CP- we have a few of those around here, but everyones idea of broke is different. Just like their idea of experience, knowledge, skill level... I know, preaching to the choir.

    The 4H, overhorsed, "don't say sell" thing. It's no diffeent here. I so do not get that! Why intentionally put your kid in danger to satisfy your own shortcomings and ego? If the kid gets hurt, the horse gets blamed. No making sense of the nonsense.

  34. Well Crazy3D, you blew my plan with the 6'. lol If you were 5'9" or shorter, it would have worked. lol

    Tanky quarter mare, packer forever. Kind. Polite on the ground. Goes Eng and WEstern, ex cutting horse.

    I'll have to revise my search. lol

  35. Okay, I got one for ya. Kind of concerned. New student. Nice girl. Wants a horse. Finds a horse on...wait for it...Craigslist. Says nothing to me, nothing to my other student that is her friend. Enters into a lease on an Arab mare. Here, let me get you an address for the Craigslist ad.

    Beginner rider. Nice girl. Thinks the WP mare I got for the 11 year old beginner is forward and spunky. Then asks my older student, "Do you think horspoor will be able to work with her. She's kind of sensitive and flighty." At which point my older student is trying not to laugh. She said, "Oh, that's what horspoor specializes in. She likes them." The older student is going to be soooo sore after her next lesson. lol

  36. HP you crack me up! Funny...

    So, very soft spoken man calls me on yellow horse.
    For his 14 year old daughter.
    Do I think they would suit?
    How could I possibly know?
    Ask some questions. Like the answers.
    Tells me she is working with a trainer. I say, "Beautiful can I ask who and would you be willing to have her call me?"
    We both agree that it is necessary to make the whole horse experience as safe as possible.
    After my Nazi speech about safety.
    Here's the thing. I could have rode this horse at 14. Probably better than I do at 43.
    Would I just put someone elses 14 year old on this horse?
    Not without having determined to the best of my ability that the 14 in question had the ability.
    Still waiting to hear from that trainer.:)
    I find that I say, no, far more than I say, well see.
    I have never yet had a horse tacked and ready to go before a customer comes. Nor, have I ever ridden one down earlier in the day.
    I don't believe I have ever even taken one in to knock the mud off before a customer comes.
    Leaving them in the herd and seeing whether or not the potential customer can stay on track when presented with so many choices has proven interesting.
    And to be honest, it enables me to send the Sunday free riders on their way so much quicker.
    You know if they are doing the pee pee dance while you move real slow?
    Because they are just so eager to ride, ride, ride?
    See ya...

    Jeez, I am kind of a bitch huh? Not really. I have just never let a supposed customer make the rules on my place with my horses.
    I think people sometimes forget they are a guest.

    CnJ can you do a piece aboput proper etiquette when shopping for a horse?
    CP said a mouthful about trainers should act professional.

  37. Dena, Does that Arab mare look a little beyond begginer to you? The woman professes to be looking for the perfect home with 'confident, experienced, gentle riders'??? But is willing to let this beginner rider take her? What the hell. Maybe the student doesn't realize she's a beginner? She took lesson for a couple months from another trainer.

  38. HP here are my thoughts. In the ring.
    Kind of closer to the ground at 14.2.
    And it probably could have been much much
    And the ad kind of quietly says this is what I would like but as I am looking for a new horse hey I'm open.
    Cute horse though.

  39. HP-was at the Dr yesterday and I'm now 5'11" almost 5'10" Give me another year and I might be small enough! Still have the 36" inseam. Just love having bad genetics! grrrrr...

  40. C3D, I hear ya! Buying pants is a pain!

  41. This is very OT, and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I have a question.

    Since I only ride my horse 2-3 times a week, I am considering part leasing him to a very nice lady at my barn (although I do always intend to ride more). I would not have considered leasing him at all, but she mentioned that she was looking for a horse to ride a couple of times a week.

    She is older than me (in her 60s?) and her mare, which she takes VERY good care of, is too old to ride and has some health problems. It sounds like she misses riding, and her mare is her last horse, presumably due to her age.

    I would ask her to take a lesson with my instructor to see how she rides, and would have a contract (with very specific conditions). My instructor has said that my gelding would be the perfect lesson horse, as he is very calm, takes care of his rider, and does not freak out when other horses go nuts in the arena.

    He can be both pushy and spooky on the ground and I would not want him to knock her over (her mare knocked her down one day).

    What do you all think? I will have had him for a year next month. Will it confuse him to have another rider? And this might sound ridiculous, but I am kind of afraid I will be jealous if they bond! What if he likes her better than me?

    On the other hand, he would get more work, she would be very nice to him, and half my board (which is insanely cheap) would get paid.

    BTW, I had a very nice lesson today. He was a little more forward than usual for me, so we got some decent walking, and I practiced turns using only my leg and walked over poles (which used to terrify me). I even got over it quickly when he spooked (sometimes he trips and scares himself - dumb horse).


  42. "My only point was simple courtesy and truthfulness on the part of both seller and buyer should not be too much to ask for."

    I'm with you on that one. And I confess I was thinking of a public boarding barn when I wrote. My whole horsey background has been at public barns.

    I wouldn't drop in at a private place without making sure it was OK. The ghost of my dear grandmother would scold me before I even turned into the driveway!

    "The whole helping with chores thing? Might just earn brownie"

    That's one reason why I'd do it - also to show that I'm not an ignoramus.

    "I have never yet had a horse tacked and ready to go before a customer comes."

    Yes. If someone did that for me, I'd just un-tack and start over. Maybe they were just trying to save time, but I want to see the horse's ground manners, thangyaveramuch.

    But it'll be a long time before I buy another horse. It'll be around the time I win the lottery...


  43. OK, if you come across a buyer who doesn't know how to ride, send them this link:

    WARNING: genuinely weirdly hilarious

  44. NHM- have I complained yet of hijacks? *Tosses the keys* A new rider, might be a little interesting at first, the horse can size us up before we get the gate opened and their halter on. They are seldom wrong in their judgements.

    A lesson with the trainer would be a good thing. Maybe already knows of her riding ability? Contracts are always a good thing when done right. Keeps everyone on the same page, everything fair and can offer a level of protection should things turn sour.

    As far as the pushy & spooky ground manners, they are all capable of going there. The handlers confidence level can have an effect on this. If the horse considers you his leader, he will become less pushy as he will not get away with it. Some try it once and give up- others test you constantly. Can I do this? Can I do this? Can I do this?

    He can also become less spooky, as you are not bothered by the horseasaurous Rex in the corner so why should it raise his concern? Mom's nervous, I better be on my toes and have my guard up.

    My pony stallion is perfect example of this at shows. If I get rattled, he acts like a twit! If I am not 'on my game' he's not doing any more than necessary. If I just let it all go, focus on the class and let him do his job, he's letter perfect, stands like a statue, behaves like a gentleman and comes out the gate with a ribbon telling everyone how well I behaved. Gotta love it.

  45. It is my OCD Ruthie. I figure if I take the time to do it right I should not have to do it again anytime soon.

    Public Barns? How have you ever survived that?
    Naw...There are some good barns.

    I just gave up on finding one when I showed up where I had boarded some to get a head start on training in the indoor, and some woman comes up to me and says, OMG my husband tried your horse and he just loves him!
    And there was the little issue of the BOs using my feed supplies and hell, I even paid for shavings for the whole barn. That was a surprise.

    In the time it took me to load the trailer to leave my hay supply dropped from 2200lbs. to 800lbs..
    I am telling you that dude was quick.

    Public barns scare me.ROLMBO

  46. NHM: Is there a way you can watch the lesson also? That way you can see if you like the way they work together.

    Love a friend of mine but within 30 sec of her being on Ean..I pulled her off. She bugged the hell out of him. She was fine on every other horse she rode.

    It will be pretty instant if the don't gel. On the ground Ean had no issues with my friend. Put her in the saddle whole nother story

  47. Just an evil thought process here.
    If you take your trainer with you to look at horses, do not introduce trainer as trainer, unless seller already knows the trainer, of course.

    Sellers, the unscrupulous ones, are very different with people they perceive as newbies.
    Act like you know nothing. You'll maybe glean more that way.

    what everybody said, too:)

  48. Dena- those things and a few others I have experienced! Finding my horses' halter on another stall or even on the horse. My lead halfway across the farm or even broken in half. Brushes? You had brushes? Really? And a hoof pick?

    Grain for the whole barns use. Grass hay is there for any and every colicy horse, no matter if you paid for it, your horse NEEDS it and you put it IN your damn horse trailer because everyone else just takes it as needed anyways! Speaking of trailers...

    GL- yep, good points on the not to be stated as a trainer. It works well for us women when walking in to an autoparts store. The thingy looks broke and the dohicky looks a bit, well, I don't know. Just not right. How do I fix it and what does it cost? *tee hee*giggle*hair flip toss-complete*.

    Maybe this could be a whole post in and of itself? I know we have all been there at some point. Off to fire up the 'puter and put down the iPhone... After I finish the bread. Italian bread recipe. So far it is proving to be light and easy to work with. Hope the taste is more than expected.

  49. An awesome no-knead bread recipe:

    I usually add a splash of olive oil for texture and a teaspoon of sugar.

    And I skip that stage where it rests for 10 mins. Doesn't seem to make a difference. Bake it in my giant Pampered Chef stoneware bowl, with a stoneware cookie sheet on top.

    Just like Panera!

    So far I like my public barn. Everybody gets the same feed and hay, and folks keep the supplements by the horses' stalls. No problems yet except I once found my horse with his halter on in his stall. It's a very old leather halter, but still. Said something to the BO & it hasn't happened again....