View Full Version : Horse buying and selling

05-06-11, 05:35 PM
What makes people go to look at a horse, attempt riding it, find it too difficult and not suitable, but buy it anyway because they like it's type :confused:

And what makes sellers be prepared to sell to a person who appears totally unsuitable, because they have the right colored money, all the while saying they are fussy that the horse goes to the 'right' home :confused:

Legally, you are required to ensure it is suitable for the purpose for which it is purchased. So you can sell it to whomever you want, but you can also be required to take back the horse and return the money if found not to be open and ethical in your dealings :rolleyes:

Does no one care that if they sell to the wrong person their horses will go from pillar to post and have an uncertain future?

05-06-11, 08:44 PM
Actually I cant see how anyone can see another person ride a strange horse and make an accurate assestment as to whether the horse will suit or not. I believe it is impossible.

I have seen a rider who "seemed" perfect for a horse- and who once they owned the actual horse showed a brutal and agressive approach to riding and proved to be totally unsuitable for such a sensitive horse. The seller could only go by what she witnessed first hand- she could not predict what the rider was like in her own environment!

I have also seen people ride a horse and admit they are not up to riding it- but they fell in love with the horse and were desperate to buy it. The did buy; and get lessons and go on to form wonderful partnerships as the horse was their "dream horse" they put in 200% to get the whole picture right.

My point is how do you suggest that you correctly place a horse and on what do you base your judgement? Theory is wonderful, but putting it into practice is another..

05-06-11, 08:47 PM
Great post L

05-06-11, 10:01 PM
You can't possibly forsee all circumstances, but a basic lack of skill compatibility between horse and rider is fairly easy to see.
There will always be exceptions to the rule, but by and large, the number of totally unsuitable combinations that end up going swimmingly is low. The end results can be seen at markets every week, at pony clubs, hrcav clubs, in the sale ads, the small claims court, and all the people that swallow their pride and cop a loss of thousands of dollars, because they would rather keep a very expensive lawn mower than appear foolish.
Those rare few that work out have usually expended considerable time and expense to get there.:)

05-06-11, 11:36 PM
I guess sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
We bought our stallion on a sudden wild impulse, and found out later that he had a bad reputation as a lout. But that was because his previous owner handled him badly, and had no empathy for him. Far from "killing me" (as predicted by some people we knew, but who kept their dire predictions to themselves) he ended up the most wonderful purchase.... delightful affectionate temperament, absolute gentleman, never put a foot wrong, gave me back my confidence when I lost my nerve, and won heaps in the show ring, both led and under saddle. He won hearts wherever he went, and he sired my soulmate Nicolette.

If we hadn't made that mad impulse buy, back in 1985, we'd have missed out on so many really good things in life. We had him for 24 years, bless him.

06-06-11, 09:37 AM
Well, I looked at a horse on the weekend that was very difficult to ride, had not been trained for the purpose I was looking for - but I liked it's type.
Now I'm thinking about buying it - why? Well, there were a few moments of fabulous in amongst the crap and I challenge anyone who has ridden for years to turn away from serious talent when they feel it underneath them.
The bad bits were not the worst I've ridden, the horse was priced accordingly.
What I saw was an owner who had been a formidable horseperson but had lost her nerve and passion and wanted to sell a lovely but difficult horse.
Horse buying is a gamble. At the moment I'm weighing up how this particular horse's problems would be overcome and whether I'm up for a challenge in the hope that a few moments of fabulous could become a whole lot more. Before I saw this horse I would have sworn that I did not want a challenge at this time in my life, in fact my last horse was sold because of this but he didn't have one tenth of this horse's brilliance. And that's the mystery of horses - when you own a special one you will go without just about anything, get up at ungodly hours and do whatever it takes to bring it to its full potential. The one I sold has gone to a home who felt exactly that way about him and I really wouldn't have sold him unless I was confindent of the buyer - I was selling because I wanted to not because I had to.
Dallygirl, why so negative? Horses don't mind being expensive lawnmowers and what's so bad about them ending up at pony clubs and hrcav clubs? As long as they're fed, cared for and in company, they're doing alright.

06-06-11, 09:58 AM
Horsesforcourses, not negative, just frustrated. I would say there is a minimum of 2 people a week either want training for a horse that is just unsuitable, to sell a horse that they can't ride for prospective buyers, or are wanting information on what to do as they have purchased a horse they just can't ride. Yesterday, another THREE and witnessed another unsuitable purchase.

While the horse doesn't mind being an expensive lawn mower, none of the people have been happy about losing the money. For a lot, the loss of confidence kills their enjoyment of the sport. For many, it was the only available money they had to buy a horse. Some have sought recourse (succesfully) through Consumer Affairs, others are too embarrassed. Also, unfortunately, most horses don't get to ultimately live out their lives in comfort being lawnmowers, as many people just don't have the room or money to do that for extended periods of time. Every week at markets, horses people can't handle go through, either to get recycled back through dealers, or go for meat.
In most cases both buyer and seller could have prevented the situation by being more realistic / honest at the point of sale.

It is also not fair on horses. Many horses, with a capable handler, would go onto a great life. But after learning bad habits and behavior with inexperienced riders / handlers, many are labelled as 'rogue' horses and treated accordingly.

Your situation is not the type I am talking about. It is one thing to take on a horse different to what you are looking for or with 'issues', if you have the capabilities to work through them.
It is quite different people buying horses they just are too inexperienced to ride and / or handle.:)

06-06-11, 10:06 AM
I have also seen people ride a horse and admit they are not up to riding it- but they fell in love with the horse and were desperate to buy it. The did buy; and get lessons and go on to form wonderful partnerships as the horse was their "dream horse" they put in 200% to get the whole picture right..

That was me and Ellie - I owned her for 3 years and learning to trot on her was a highlight of my life. I will remember it always as well as the joy of having her part of my family and she still is ... she is now owned by my "honorary daughter" and I still get to see her occasionally. She was not in work when bought, forward moving, pretty alpha and not that easy for an older and not as fit beginner but it worked! The brilliant and patient instructor helped :-)

06-06-11, 10:23 AM
I think responsibility rests on both parts. As a buyer you need to be honest in your own ability to handle, ride and put your ego aside. Getting caught up in the excitement of what could be and what you will do all can change once you get the actual horse home and own it.
I chose a particular horse based on my knowledge, confidence and lifestyle. I passed on one gorgeous horse that I really 'wanted' but he was an active dressage horse. Even though the buyer said he would easily slot into a 'trail riding' horse, I had thought 'oh yes maybe I will get into dressage down the track' but in reality it wasn't fair to the horse, he had huge huge huge ability and would have been a waste to come to me. It turned out he was too much horse for me and was sold just as I made my choice to buy him. (things happen for a reason) and the right one was waiting for me. I was also fortunate enough that the previous owner/seller has the well being of her horse as a priority and had offered constant ongoing support. We keep in touch regularly and she is coming for a visit.
On the other side of the coin, a lady where I agist, who I would also class as being in a similar boat to me but purchased a warmblood. (silly on her part because warmblood probably too much horse for a novice. (i know there is the exception) Turns out he went crazy to the point of not being able to go near, constantly haltered. The breeder knew he had a 'condition' similar to his father, brother and sister. SO Why as a breeder would you breed from a stallion knowing it has a 'condition' that is likely to be passed on.

06-06-11, 10:27 AM
I understand what your saying Dallygirl - maybe your mixing with the wrong people! I have come across inexperienced people over horsing themselves from time to time but most of the horse people I know are very clear about what they will and won't ride and don't muck around getting a trainer's help. Maybe it's living in a rural area?
Kevarose - your home would have to be the horse's definition of heaven, pure kindness and good will. Every photo you have ever posted of your horses shows them living in your splendid care - lucky, lucky horses!!!

06-06-11, 10:55 AM
Thank you HfC. There have been so many joys for me. Seeing little Lachie come on now as a youngster I bred is an enormous joy. I think he will be stunning riding pony. Never planned to have him trained to the level he is at even now (and there are no plans to move him from the trainer) and he is not coming home as I can see how what he is doing is exactly what he needs, and the trainer is not greedy, so he can just stay there and learn. His herd, a knowledgeable trainer and a soft handed experienced young rider that he likes is simply magic. One day there will be tears when he is sold.