View Full Version : Wish me luck!
19th Jul 2003, 07:30 AM
Or am I insane? :rolleyes:
Having shared my beautiful Pride (I would post up a photo but I don't have a scanner/digital camera) for 10 whole months (wow, that flew by!), I'm going to go and look at a horse tomorrow with a view to buying him!!
Ooooh, Lordy, it's scary! I know that I'm never going to have any spare cash again, ever, but is there anything else that other new owners can warn me about that they don't tell you in the Horse Owners' exam?
For those of you that are interested ;) , he's a 12yr old German warmblood cross, 16.2, bright bay, a good hack and nice jump (they called him a schoolmaster - does that mean he teaches you?! Pardon my ignorance...).
Pride is pushing 30 (no-one seems to know for sure how old she is!) and is a 15.2 thoroughbred cross who is slightly insane (frightened of just about everything except horses larger than her, who she will try and cross the road to bite!) and so forward going that I'm sure she thinks she's still about 6! (she certainly seems to think that all poles are six foot off the ground, the way she takes them! :eek: )
However, she's just come back from several months' convalescence, having pulled a tendon, and at the moment, in conjunction with the yard, I'm working her back up to fitness. She's still a mad loon (but she's my mad loon!) but has come back from her rest beginning to look her age and I'm really worried about stepping up the exercise from Walk because I don't want her to get injured again. She keeps trying to canter now, and she's only one week back from the field! I'm sure she's going to be fine, but she really does look like an 'old lady' now and the last thing I want to do is hurt her.
Anyway, I wasn't planning on buying a horse for at least another year, but Star looks pretty much perfect for me and next year nothing may be around when I'm ready to buy - having been lent a (headstrong) 5 year old while Pride was out of action, I know that I definitely need a 'transitional' age somewhere between the two of them!
Oh dear, I've rambled on like a mad thing - sorry to impose on you guys, I know I'm not a frequent poster (my state of ignorance means I don't really feel I can offer advice!) but I love coming on here and reading everyone's stories!
If anyone does have any hints or tips I'd be very grateful to hear them! (and how do I apologise to Pride if I do buy Star?!)
Cathy :D :D
19th Jul 2003, 02:26 PM
Wow, you must be excited!:) I was in nearly the same situation as you, last October. I was riding a 32 year old schoolmaster (yes, you're right - term for one that's been there, done that, and can keep you safe while teaching you to ride) who started to have problems with his feet. I hadn't planned to buy until about now, when I finished school, but the perfect horse came available and I took the plunge.
Are you taking someone with you, who knows your riding, to ride and evaluate the horse for you? My instructor did this for me, and knowing that she thought this was a good horse for me gave me a lot more confidence in my purchase. Also, can you get the horse on a 30 day trial? I couldn't, because my horse's old owner had to sell immediately due to finances. But, since he was a boarder at my lesson barn, and I already knew him pretty well, I didn't mind doing without one. Ditto with the vet check - I didn't do one, since he'd been around for a year and showed no problems. But I think they're a good idea.
Oh, yeah, one other thing I've learned, from going horse-shopping with other people. Ask in advance of your visit if the owner will ride it for you first!:) If s/he says no, depending on the reason, you may want to look elsewhere.
Good luck, and please let us know how it goes tomorrow!:)
19th Jul 2003, 02:31 PM
good luck, let us know how it goes, want to know every detail
20th Jul 2003, 07:33 PM
Well, just got back from looking at Star - oh, I'm in love!! :D
You asked for it, Liz, gory details following:
I was a bit surprised when I got there, as the dealer was really quite negative about him, saying he was a 'typical thoroughbred cross' (not like this was a good thing!) and 'well, you get what you pay for', he also said he thought 16.2 was too big for me to handle, and went on at length about how he took lots of care over matching a horse to an owner and 'if you were my sister I'd be unhappy about selling him to you' - eep! None of this improved my confidence any!
He then took us (me, OH, friend) over to the field he was in - my first thought was 'omg, he's skinny!' - the poor thing looked very thin, although his coat was glossy and he seemed happy enough. The dealer's assistant tacked him up (all with him standing there very calmly) and rode him first - he looked lovely, really nice paces, quite energetic despite the hot sun and his condition. And then it was my turn...
Well, he was certainly very strong, but fairly (not immediately!) responsive to me pulling him back. The trouble was, I was riding him in a field full of potholes, on quite a steep slope, so it was difficult to assess whether I'd have had less/more trouble stopping him on the flat. I'm used to riding a horse that goes like a bomb but is scared stiff of being out in front, so I've gotten quite lazy about applying the brakes - even if Pride bolts at something, I know she'll get half a nose ahead of the lead horse and stop dead, so I don't worry too much about it! His trot was nice and bouncy and his canter was lovely, slipped into it almost as soon as I applied my bum to the saddle - trouble was, with the ground underfoot being what it was, I didn't get to canter him 'properly' as - well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm not comfortable cantering downhill! - but what we did was very smooth.
I asked about his condition when I came to a halt (having tried a bit of leg-yielding, which he responded to like a dream) and they said that he'd come to them as part exchange (the yard specialises in cobs, which may be why the dealer didn't really rate him?) in a very poor condition and he'd been put out to grass to build him up a bit - he'd been there a fortnight and apparently looked a lot better than when he'd arrived...
He's a really pretty boy, he looks lovely! He was incredibly patient and friendly, let me check him out all over without a quibble, followed us to the gate and along the fence (awww!) and, most amazingly (compared to every other horse I've ever ridden!) when I was sitting on him talking to the assistant about him, he didn't once try to snatch at the grass - if that'd been Pride she'd have pulled my arms out!
The suspicious part of me thinks that he was drugged - is any horse really that docile?! - but then he did some nice cantering, and had a great active trot and walk, so hopefully he really is that nice! When I went back to the dealer (he'd stayed outside the field) he was a lot more enthusiastic than beforehand (I dunno, maybe he thought I couldn't cope with him - little does he know I ride a 15.2h chestnut maniac through Epping Forest four times a week!) and after he had had a chat with my instructor (who was away that weekend, but had given me her mobile so I could let her know what was happening!) I put a small deposit down on him, to buy subject to the vet's report.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh! What am I doing?!:eek:
Peace, thanks so much for your lovely detailed reply - there's no trial, as such, but Star comes with a 14 day warranty and they said if he didn't suit they would hold my money to use against another horse. If nothing suitable then comes up within 2 months, I get my money back.
So now to await the vet's opinion.....
I'll let you know what happens!
20th Jul 2003, 08:55 PM
Goodluck with the vetting
20th Jul 2003, 08:58 PM
How exciting. Hope it works out!!! :)
20th Jul 2003, 09:32 PM
How exciting. If its not too far, go back and have another ride, and another look at him. Did you notice what bit he's ridden in, stuff like that. Good luck. L
20th Jul 2003, 11:51 PM
He sounds lovely!:) I've got my fingers crossed for you that he passes the vet check.:D Be sure and let us know how it comes out.
21st Jul 2003, 03:00 PM
The vet is booked for Thursday morning....
Star is over in deepest Surrey so it's too far to go back during the week, sadly. I've got a picture of him as a .jpeg - if someone could let me know how to put it into a message I'll post it up!
Thanks for all your good wishes, I'm just pretending to work now, while making a list of stuff I'm going to need to buy (and hoping my plastic can stand the strain!) - this is both scary and exciting!
25th Jul 2003, 01:59 PM
Star turned out to be not 12 but at least 17 and in pretty poor condition. He had an uneven pelvis and was very 'ouchy' (technical vet term?;)) in the saddle area - the vet said he thought I'd be lucky to find a saddle that fitted him due to the shape of his back. He also doubted that he'd put weight back on and, if he did, it might put too much strain on his legs!:eek:
Add to that very stiff hocks and some other problems and I had to say no - the vet said 'well, you'll get a few years out of him' which was not what I wanted at all - I want someone for life, not the odd year or two! It's a real shame, because he was adorable. If I had a spare field and money was no object I'd have bought him anyway!
But what really got to me was that after I'd told the dealer I didn't want to go any further (having paid him a non-refundable deposit!) he said fine, then half an hour later he texted me with a very snippy message along the lines of 'I hope whoever talked you out of buying him can find you a horse of similar quality for that price'.
Given that I'd had my own misgivings about Star's condition from the moment I'd laid eyes on him, I found this very insulting and extremely unprofessional. I'd said several times that price wasn't an issue, that I was looking for an older horse because I was used to riding an older horse and it was the age, the schoolmaster description and the type of horse Star was that interested me - this has really, really annoyed me!:mad:
Sorry to have ranted on at length, I suppose I'm upset that Star wasn't to be... at least I can keep on saving for when my dream horse does show up!
25th Jul 2003, 08:35 PM
I'm sorry it didn't work out. Did you challenge him about the 'non-refundable deposit' given that the horse was found by the vet to not be as described i.e. to be much older than described and unhealthy. Because he is a dealer/business, I think you could get the money back if you made mention of the 'Sale of Goods Act'. He won't want the trading standards around. Its very easy and it might make you feel better.
26th Jul 2003, 01:07 PM
I have met two warmbloods in the past few weeks. One looked rather skinny (not at all inproportion) yet I know it will be well looked after. The other rather plump round the belly and thin round the back end. Anyone know just how they are supposed to look.
I would imagine they should look like gelderlanders?
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