Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Horse Shopping

There are two ways to find a cheap horse for yourself.  One is to buy a mature horse with the baggage that has made him into a cheap horse.  This is what I did with Nina.  These horses can get really cheap, depending on the baggage. 
The other is to buy a young horse and with Thoroughbreds that means that you have to hope that they will grow up into the athlete that you want.  And much of that growing process can be frightening in terms of the horse's later success.  And it can take a long time.
The horse we looked at yesterday is four years old and has good and bad.  On the bad side he is (hopefully) in the middle of a growth spurt.  His rear is straight everywhere from toe to croup.  It is also way up over his withers, making his back a long downhill slide.  His front end belongs to a different horse and is nice with good angles, a long shoulder set into a fair length upper arm.  The type of front that has a moderately good length of stride and the ability to fold up well over a jump.  His neck is of good length with a nicely set on head and nice throatlatch. 
He has a very baby head/face and no muscle which I am hoping means that he has still more growing to do.  If he grows enough for the front and rear to match he is going to be a very nice athletic looking horse.  If not...... that is the gamble.
He has a wonderful brain; calm, curious, willing but not a dead head. 
He is going to get vetted, I think he is going to be bought, he is a gamble, just like any other young horse, but that brain is worth a lot.
The trainer was what I expected, a twenty something trying to make it as a trainer without any help.  She has a couple of green horses, including this one.  I give her full strokes for not pushing this horse.  He does walk, trot, canter on a loose rein and not much else.  But he has been out on the trails and hauled to shows as a tourist to just look around.  She has not worked him hard because he appears to be growing, that is excellent. 
Here are a few pics from yesterday.


  1. Ozzy was free because of his baggage. After years of working with him, he has turned into my partner and buddy. I wouldn't trade him for the world. With that said... the next horse I get is going to be a young thing with a clean slate. LOL.

  2. I don't know those pictures make him look lovely. And it does sound like he has had a good solid start. I am curious how cheap is cheap, i.e. what does he cost?

  3. He's really cute looking. If hes four, he could still grow a lot. Bailey, the horse I used to part board, was purchased as a 15.3hh 4y/o TB x Percheron. He then grew into a 16.3 hand 7y/o. Even my little mare's grown almost 2 inches since I purchased her as a 5 y/o in February.

  4. He is beautiful! Easy to fall in love with! From all you describe - both the good and bad- I would vote "go for it," if the vet exam comes out well. I bet he'll grow into his height.

  5. Straight hind ends do not attract me, but I got my girl at 5 and she's grown two inches (from 15.3 to 16.1). She's eight now, so I think she's done growing, but I never expected any after I got her.

    You never know, I guess.

  6. Can you see or google older siblings, the dam or sire? Might give some clues and help you make a more educated gamble.

  7. He is not for me, he is for one of my students - with the big grin in the last pic. We have discussed the rear end issues and she is willing to take a chance. She is out of town but the seller has agreed to hold him until she gets back to vet him.
    He is a grandson of Cannonade and looks nothing like him. He has a full but younger sibling who looks just like him but younger doesn't help. The JC does not have a photo of his sire on the free site.
    He is cute and has a good mind, we will see how the vetting goes.

  8. Good luck with the search! It is fun and very rewarding, but can also be tedious. The smile says it all!
    And, thank you kindly for linking to my blog!

  9. I remember reading an article comparing the hind end conformation of 2 event horses. I believe it was stated that the horse with the straighter hind end would do better in dressage because he would be able to get his back legs under himself easier. I dunno.

    My TB sure grew between 4 and 6, both in height and muscle. I heard they get their brains at 6. I'll let ya know.

  10. Sounds like he's a good one. Hope the vet visit turns out okay for her. The girl looks delighted. If they are a good match and bond, that is the main thing, right?
    How old is a horse before it is mature? 6? 7? Just curious.
    He's a cutie pie, too, BTW. ;)

  11. Rita, I think they are technically considered mature at age 7. But different breeds and even different bloodlines within a breed mature at different rates. If you know the bloodline you can make an educated guess. I don't know much about his family. And yes, matching horse to rider is more important.


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