How did you find your horse?

lauren123

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2007
2,916
974
113
East Yorkshire
I was thinking of Zannah thread and it made me wonder How did everyone end up with the horses they got?
For me, I had had a pony on part loan from 16-20 but it was 5 years. Broke my heart having to give her up. However I knew her owner would never sell her and I was too long for her.
So we went on the hunt for a horse of my own. I DIDNT want a TB as a first horse.
We looked at loads through the internet. Saw a number a rode a handful.
I was looking for something 16hh+ from 8 upwards.
1st horse was royal who was 16.hh ISH appeared calm, could pop a fence or anything! Took him home for a two week trial. He was spot on, came to the vetting... was found he had a grade 4 heart problem. So through tears I watched him go on the lorry to be returned... knowing as a dealer if the heart condition was correct then it would only be going one way for him. :(
2nd horse was a flashy black mare called Zi. A tbx clydes who had been used as a trotter. she was advertised as 10, vetting confirmed more 12. Was completely bomb proof. Good to ride. But hated standing still, though nothing I couldn't work with. Her 'fault' was when she was turned out she would go full pelt galloping around the field! However failed the vetting, something with her eye and her right hind. Also they didn't have a passport which set some alarm bells off!!
After this me and a friend did some proper searching one afternoon. Scrolling through Horsemart. We came across as very striking Chestnut with four white socks and a white blaze. However I straight away saw he was a TB and was like ' But he's a tb!!' My friend was like ' It can be. Just has to be the right one' So we rang up very soon after and the owner was like ' I have litrally just put his advert up!' We made a day to see him. Going to North Yorkshire seeing 3 horses within the day. I had done a night shift the night before and then riding three random horses!! My day that day was;
10am 16.3hh Chestnut tb
12:00 15.2hh bay mare tbX
14:00 16.1hh grey ISH

10:00 I am there, near leeds trying out this Big chestnut tb. Socks. We put a small cross pole and at first he refused though we tried again and he did it. Praised him. Hacked him solo. He was spot on. He seemed a very honest big boy. I got off him and straight away I said to my friend J ' He is the one. Can we have him now!?' ( There was someone coming to view at 13:00) She was like lets try the other 2 beforehand.
12:00 New little mare. She had a good pop and didn't refuse any jumps, hacked down a road with the cars going 40mph. However at only 15.2hh and fine she was too small for me. Though a lovely mare.
We had a break and McDonalds was calling!!!
14:00 We were at a racing yard in North Yorkshire. Riding this lovely grey mare. Took my leg fine. Already worked in a outline, popped a jump no issues. However I went to untack her , on her right hand side . Was about to go under her neck when my friend suddenly stopped me ' Lauren stay there a minute!!' "What? Why?" "Just stay there!" …"Okay now come out!" My friend told me when we got in the car ' If you had gone when you wanted to. She would have had you!' Then it was the pros and cons... I wanted the chestnut my friend wanted the grey. The chestnut was younger, good at hacking and jumping. The grey, slightly older, good at hacking and jumping. The grey already works in a outline, the chestnut doesn't.The chestnut slightly cheaper then the grey.. Then it came to the deal breaker.. my friend stated ' The biggest thing that is against the grey is she is mareish and prob too much for a first horse..' Deal done!
Sleep deprived, heading home at 16:10. I rang the owner, Sarah, I still remember the words ' Hi sarah It lauren. Erm.. We have decided that we would like to buy Socks... We loved him!!'' Then it was rushing to get a vet to vet him. We saw him on the Friday, vetting was the next weds, 09:00. We set off with trailer in tow at 07:45 to get to Leeds. He actually passed the vetting! Eyes, teeth, heart all fine. Flexion tests done, sound... Passed! I hugged J, Sarah, even the vet!! We then spent 20 minutes slowly getting him to load, no pressure. Drove home no issues...
19/06/2013
I turned 21 11 days later.
My mum and dad had always said if I wanted a horse of my own I would have to buy one myself. So I saved up, worked hard. I ideally wanted one before my 21st. So the horse would be my 21st birthday present from Me to Me :D
My present came early, by 11 days :D
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one of his advert photos
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joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
6,757
2,637
113
Cornwall
Mouse was a surprise birthday present from my boss's family. I didn't realise I was getting a pony, so I had no say in it :p but they chose well! He was only 16 months old so they didn't have much to go on, just picked him for his personality. Even at that age he had enough character for a horse three times his size!

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I wasn't actually looking for a horse when I heard about Annie. My old boss in Portugal had her on livery (she'd arrived as a foal, not long after I left) and the owners had asked her if she would help them find someone to re-home her to. K sent me a message saying "I'm trying to find a home for this lovely little 5-year-old and I thought she'd be right up your street". At the time I had Mouse in work and was also bringing on 3 young New Forests, so with 4 ponies to work (mostly on my days off) I wouldn't have had time for something else to ride as well, and I said no. 6 months down the line I had sold two of the New Forests and found a rider for Mouse, so had a bit more free time, and when K casually slipped into conversation that Annie was still looking for a home, I started to have a re-think! I wanted to visit my friends in Portugal anyway, so I went down to visit for a week and got to know Annie while I was there.
Well I fell in love didn't I! I rode her every day, on my first day we did a 5-hour ride with a stop at a restaurant for lunch, we went on a couple of other hacks, we also did a little bit of flatwork (which was very basic at the time as she'd really only hacked out thus far), and I popped her over her first jumps. She was green but honest and willing and a quick learner and I thought she was just the bee's knees! So I said I'd have her... and there was my second free pony :cool:

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I have now had Mouse for almost 8 years, and Annie for 5. I don't know where the time goes!
 
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Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
405
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I had never owned a horse, just had a new forestxarab mare on loan for 6 months when I was about 35. Gorgeous to ride and look at but a total b**** on the ground. Did not bond with her one bit. Had a short break and husband and I decided we could afford to get my own. Went to see Ramsey at 7am, as when I phoned about him, the girl who owned him said she had someone coming at 9, but she liked me over the phone better! He was only 4, dark dappled grey, with long black stockings and mane and tail. Walked backwards round the field with me, and I loved him! Bought him on the spot, and we learned together for the next 20 years. With Hogan, I had actually fallen for a beautiful coloured cob mare, but the owner gave me the run around when I was trying to go and see her. Ended up travelling to Reading to see Hogan one evening. Couldn't ride him, as he had no tack, and hadn't been ridden for 2 years, but caught him, walked and trotted him in hand, and was smitten. Had him transported here by a company, and the first thing she said when she arrived was that he'd been amazing, not a peep on the journey. Walked him down to the field, he wandered over to the fence to say hi to the other two, dropped his head and grazed. Don't anyone ever tell me that fate isn't real - I was waiting for my two boys, and they were waiting for me.15537112440405326410057145192195.jpg The day I got Ramsey.
15537122240906809225574919792529.jpg the day I got Hogan.
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,346
3,027
113
Yorkshire
I part loaned a Clydesdale x for a year, as part of my 'preparation' for getting my own horse (I was in my 40s and this was to be my first horse, although not for lack of trying when I was a pony mad kid :p ). My loan was fab and I was fond of him but I always knew I wanted a different type of horse when I got my own. When it was time, I started looking for horses aged between 7 and 10, with a bit of experience, safe and steady types suitable for a novice. I answered an ad for just one such horse - she had been sold but somehow I got talked into going to see another horse they had for sale - a 4 year old, just broken, grey Arab colt. I've still no idea how I was persuaded! I went with just my non-horsey OH to see him, because I definitely wasn't going to buy the first horse that I saw straight away, and if I really liked him I was going to go back with an RI or someone more experienced. Met him, fell in love, watched him ridden, had a go myself, he was obviously trying so hard to please I just loved him and all reason flew out of the window. Even OH was totally smitten. Ended up rushing to the nearest cash machine and using all our cards to get together the money for a deposit so he couldn't go anywhere else. He was gelded before I brought him home so it was a few weeks later that he finally came to me. For some reason the gods were very kind to me - it could have gone so badly wrong, but as it happens he was just perfect for me. Being on a very supportive yard run by experienced folks helped massively too! He's 13 now and even though his health isn't great I wouldn't swap him for the world.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,846
10,163
113
38
Suffolk, UK
My current ones; I brought Jess as wanted a youngster to bring on and compete because Bo was so unpredictable at shows. Scoured the country and found her in South Wales, my ex wasn't very impressed when I told him we were diverting to look at a horse on our way (from Norfolk) to Brighton, not quite on route but he endulged me :D that was in 2004, I picked her up 3 weeks later.
Hank came from a Facebook plea, I'd lost Bo suddenly leaving Jess alone so I posted asking if any of my friends had a small gelding I could borrow, Hank was at a friend's rescue centre in Kent so we went and got him that weekend, 6 years on he's still here.
Dan came last year, I wanted a pony for my pony :cool: found an ad on Facebook for 3 mini's being sold, went to look with the trailer in tow and brought him home that day :)
 
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Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
8,087
5,179
113
There are some lovely stories here :)
Belle was at a small dealers yard where I went to try a couple of other horses, I didn’t want a mare, I didn’t want anything older than about 12 and I definitely did not want a Haflinger! I had heard they were bolshy and rude, opinionated and unwilling so when I arrived to try the other horses I was adamant I wasn’t interested in her, despite my non horsey husband going all gooey over her, men are suckers for a pretty face :rolleyes:
Anyway, I tried the one I had my eye on and it didn’t feel right to me, so tried the other two, both lovely horses , all geldings, all within my capabilities and the right sort of size and age but I didn’t kind of click with any of them. The dealer suggested I try Belle while I was there and so I reluctantly gave her a go, to be honest the second my bum hit the saddle she just felt right, following putting her through her paces in the school and a short hack around the local village I was and still am completely smitten.
She can have her opinionated moments but she is never ever rude, she was a bit bolshy for about three days when I got her home but we soon came to an understanding of what was considered acceptable by me, she makes me laugh every single day and I love her to bits, even if just sometimes she gets threatened with the glue factory, she’s given me my confidence back and we’ve had a lot of fun together but most of all we just click.
Oh and 7 years later I swear she can read my mind, not bad considering she was everything I didn’t want really.
 
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No_Angel

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2003
15,210
798
113
Ireland
I was looking for a stallion to put to my girl, and found one I liked but he was a little too tall, whilst I was googling him I found an ad for mare who was in foal to him and for sale, I liked her she was just my sort but I wanted a foal to bring on.
I found a stallion for my girl, took her to meet him but unfortunately there was no foal. On the day I was due to go collect her from the stud I was looking at horse for sale ads and saw the mare I saw before that I liked had foaled, and they were both for sale. Phoned up and went to view them and the rest is history, that was my girl Kiki :D She's 11 now, how time flies!
 

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Ruskii

Well-Known Member
Jun 21, 2000
6,192
709
113
UK
Wanted adverts.

First one I put a wanted advert on a local website, I was offered two to three horses - then I still remember the day I read an email before my husband got home, she had offered a trial from her yard too. I immediately called the ladies number and got chatting, she told me where he was and when she could meet me. I offered for her to come and meet our other horse and see where he would be living, not necessary she said, I like the sound of things so just come up on X day. So as soon as OH got home that afternoon, I pushed him out the door again to go see him, the light was fading but it turns out he was only 10 mins from me and I had been driving past his field every day for the last year without seeing him. Him being the nosey sort came over straight away to say hello, OH snapped a picture and said hello to him, I still have that picture on a frame in the house, I liked him straight away but refused to even stroke his face in case I liked him, but then the owner upon seeing me decided that we wouldn't be suited or whatever. :rolleyes:

Saw him a few days later, tried him, loved him. Left a deposit and arranged for the vetting, he passed and came home to me a week later, I was like a cat on a hot tin roof that morning waiting for the news, OH was there at the vetting so I knew it would be sound.

The pony, again was a wanted advert. I only wanted a companion but a pony that was used to children around them, she was from a local FB wanted advert. I agreed to meet the owner, she invited me out to meet pony, all went well. She then came to view the yard to see where pony would live and to meet my horse, all was good and pony was delivered a fortnight later. She's been here since and will stay for a long time I think at least until mini Ruskii outgrows her - she's only on loan but still very much part of the family and loved by us all - even when she escapes out of the electric fence :mad:. She's taught me that ponies really are SO much smarter than horses.
 

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
15,365
4,984
113
Oh my, too many to choose!!! But I think buying Albi was my most interesting story - certainly in terms of luck and timing. I'd seen him advertised on a coloured horses sale site but for some reason I didn't message straight away. However, over a few days I kept being drawn back to the ad. He looked so striking and pretty, I actually just assumed that he'd already be sold but that they just hadn't taken down the ad. It was a Sunday morning, Dom was watching a morning live F1 broadcast and I was bored so I decided to send the ole "is your colt still for sale?" text. Not expecting to hear back, I got a very quick reply saying "yes" so I rang straightaway. Turns out that he HAD been "sold", in that he'd been reserved - but just a mere 30 minutes before I rang, the other interested party had rung her to say that they weren't allowed a colt on their yard, so they had pulled out. So if I had rung or messaged any time sooner, I may have got the "sold" reply and that would probably have been the end of that! So I asked a few questions, one being confirmation of his age (ad said 11 months but you never know how long it's been posted) and she confirmed he WAS 11 months and then added "I think his birthday is 11th June". Well, to be that was a sign..... because MY birthday is the 11th June!!!! I arranged to go and see him that afternoon and the rest is history!

For the record, she had got his birthday slightly wrong.... his passport said 15th June. But by then I was smitten so I didn't care!

With Gracie, she was advertised on FB and I liked her ad and pic. So I did the worst thing.... bought the first one I saw, from a dealer.... AND a mare!!!! But my God, was she a lucky find!!!! My horse of a lifetime.
 
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Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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Oh my, too many to choose!!! But I think buying Albi was my most interesting story - certainly in terms of luck and timing. I'd seen him advertised on a coloured horses sale site but for some reason I didn't message straight away. However, over a few days I kept being drawn back to the ad. He looked so striking and pretty, I actually just assumed that he'd already be sold but that they just hadn't taken down the ad. It was a Sunday morning, Dom was watching a morning live F1 broadcast and I was bored so I decided to send the ole "is your colt still for sale?" text. Not expecting to hear back, I got a very quick reply saying "yes" so I rang straightaway. Turns out that he HAD been "sold", in that he'd been reserved - but just a mere 30 minutes before I rang, the other interested party had rung her to say that they weren't allowed a colt on their yard, so they had pulled out. So if I had rung or messaged any time sooner, I may have got the "sold" reply and that would probably have been the end of that! So I asked a few questions, one being confirmation of his age (ad said 11 months but you never know how long it's been posted) and she confirmed he WAS 11 months and then added "I think his birthday is 11th June". Well, to be that was a sign..... because MY birthday is the 11th June!!!! I arranged to go and see him that afternoon and the rest is history!

For the record, she had got his birthday slightly wrong.... his passport said 15th June. But by then I was smitten so I didn't care!

With Gracie, she was advertised on FB and I liked her ad and pic. So I did the worst thing.... bought the first one I saw, from a dealer.... AND a mare!!!! But my God, was she a lucky find!!!! My horse of a lifetime.
Both mine bought as first ones I saw - get you completely - couldn't have done better if I'd searched for a year!
 

eventerbabe

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
15,006
436
83
Toby was a swap at a dealers for a lunatic horse we'd bought through private sale. It was either keep the lunatic or take the scruffy just backed cob. Best decision ever as 23 years later he's still with me and really hope he'll be fit to teach my upcoming new arrival to ride.

Kez was purchased from his breeder as was my highland Louisa. I don't have the patience to sort out the mistakes of others so now only tend to buy from breeders or unspoilt youngsters I can bring on and back myself.
 
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Dolly gray

New Member
Apr 3, 2018
29
20
3
71
My present mare Dolly is a permanent loan from her breeder a very good friend after my last mare and I decided we really didn't get on.Always had Arabs or part bred(This one was the best) Dolly is Welsh cob mostly had been used as a brood mare but broken to ride and drive love her to bits kind and gentle but got a bit of go in her.
 
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Feawen

Active Member
Jan 12, 2012
204
49
28
D, our 25 year old retired horse, was on the livery yard where my pony was kept 20 years ago. My Mum had been looking for a horse for herself for a while, with the idea of picking something sensible I could eventually share with her, that I would grow into as I outgrew my pony.

After trying various horses, and a couple of spectacular failed vettings, D’s owners quietly said he would be coming up for sale and were we interested. We knew he was sound and healthy, and decided after our poor experiences with sellers we’d rather have a horse we knew, quirks and all.

Sooo…we bought a 5 yo 16.2 warmblood who napped, bucked, spooked, had little respect for anyone on the ground or under saddle, couldn’t be clipped, caught, lunged or loaded, and who escaped during the vetting trot-up after pulling the groom over and dragging him along the floor on his back across the yard. The vet said he couldn’t find anything physically wrong with the horse, and I think he tried quite hard, because he followed up with “Are you sure you want that one?”

He was flipping hard work, sometimes dangerous, and took years to fully come good. He taught me some harsh but effective lessons in feel and tact before I started to work out how to ride him, then some gentler ones about how generous horses can be if you invite rather than demand.

Here he is playing at a Trec clinic last autumn. He is only ridden very lightly these days, the odd walk out etc, and my plan was to take him through the exercises and obstacles in hand then perhaps hop on for 10mins to walk through them at the end. D felt that a collected canter was a more appropriate pace for Trec.

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Please excuse my position – the combination of the rather large barrel D has developed in his twilight years and the bareback pad I’m riding in tends to encourage a chair seat.

Sadly D has never been the right horse for my mum, so although he wasn’t intended for me he quickly became my horse. Mum found her own horse eventually, but that’s another story.
 
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Feawen

Active Member
Jan 12, 2012
204
49
28
Sorry to double-post, but I wanted to say I have enjoyed reading all the stories about how forum members found their horses, from those who knew exactly what they wanted to those of us who started out with an unlikely prospect who is now much-loved :)
 
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HorseCrazyGirl

New Member
Apr 12, 2019
5
2
3
13
my mustang star is quite a long story!
basically, i've been riding since i was 4 and we had a welsh section A mare called Smartie. She was so gentle and affectionate but i soon grew too big for her. i needed a horse that's quite quick and a good challlenge for me. we looked at thouroughbreds and arabs and all sorts but none were quite right. We were driving back from a yard where we had just veiwed a beuatiful chestnut thouroughbred that we turned down because he just didn't feel right and had quite bouncy paces. we were driving past a field when we noticed a horse box dumped at the edge of a forest. it was really old and looked abandoned. we decided to investigate so we could call the council if it needed moving. i heard a noise from inside and managed (with the help of my parents) to open and pull down the ramp and there she was. skin and bone and hidden under an old duvet, tied up and abandoned. we called the authorities and whw and managed to get her out. she was taken to the nearest rescue centre and gradually nursed back to health. one of the people who helped get her out kept us updated with pics and posts about her recovery and journey. i said to my mum after she was taken away "that's the one" so as soon as she was ready we rehomed her. she is the most gorgeous thing ever and i love her to bits!!!
 
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Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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my mustang star is quite a long story!
basically, i've been riding since i was 4 and we had a welsh section A mare called Smartie. She was so gentle and affectionate but i soon grew too big for her. i needed a horse that's quite quick and a good challlenge for me. we looked at thouroughbreds and arabs and all sorts but none were quite right. We were driving back from a yard where we had just veiwed a beuatiful chestnut thouroughbred that we turned down because he just didn't feel right and had quite bouncy paces. we were driving past a field when we noticed a horse box dumped at the edge of a forest. it was really old and looked abandoned. we decided to investigate so we could call the council if it needed moving. i heard a noise from inside and managed (with the help of my parents) to open and pull down the ramp and there she was. skin and bone and hidden under an old duvet, tied up and abandoned. we called the authorities and whw and managed to get her out. she was taken to the nearest rescue centre and gradually nursed back to health. one of the people who helped get her out kept us updated with pics and posts about her recovery and journey. i said to my mum after she was taken away "that's the one" so as soon as she was ready we rehomed her. she is the most gorgeous thing ever and i love her to bits!!!
Lovely story and lucky horse. People who mistreat animals like that leave me boiling :mad: