I Know We Have Been Down This Road Before
Hopefully back when I was lesson horse searching you picked up a few tricks and tips then. Since this whole COVID-19 thing began I have spent a lot of times browsing ads for horses for sale. Well, I shouldn’t say that I have been looking at horses for sale ads on the regular since I was a little kid that wanted a horse of my own.
Be Honest With Yourself
In order to find the right horse, one you will be happy with, you have to be honest with your self about your riding goals. If you don’t know what you want to do with your horse, you will just be running around looking for a needle in a haystack. Or even worse, some tiny little thing you have never seen before in a haystack! There are tons of horses out there, many fish in the sea as the civilian(non-horse people of the world) would say.
Are you a relaxed rider looking for a trail partner? Are you a parent buying a horse for your child moving up off a pony? Do you have competitive goals? If so what disciplines?
Color Is Not A Factor In This
Yes, I get it, we all have our dream horses in our minds that have certain colors or markings. For one thing, if we only shop by color we are eliminating the number of prospects that we will find to look at. And secondly, the old horseman’s saying of no good horse is ever a bad color is a rule to live by when horse shopping. Pretty much all the time.
In fact, when I’m horse shopping for myself or a student, I try to look at every horse as if it was a bay with no markings. Blazes, chrome, paint markings, and Appaloosa spots can sometimes blind us of what is underneath. We need to examine the horse’s conformation and movement. His temperament and how he reacts in different situations. If we are so focused on the color it is easy for an inexperienced horse shopper to be blinded by what the horse actually is underneath all that flashiness.
So, one more time to make it clear, NO GOOD HORSE IS EVER A BAD COLOR!
Will You Have Help Evaluating Prospects?
Do you have a trainer or instructor that you will be able to consult with? Good trainers want to see their students on appropriate mounts and should be open to helping with horse shopping. Whether they find prospects for you to try and you go and try them together. Or you do the searching and then bring the potential horses to your trainer to look through and pick potential prospects.
Depending on the situation and trainer, they may charge for this service. It is totally worth it. You will have a happy trainer when they agree that the horse you purchase is a great match for you. Otherwise, it leads to frustration for trainer, horse, and rider if the combination of the three is inappropriate or doesn’t work well together.
“My Trainer Is Working For Me, So They Should Like Any Horse I Like”…Um, No!
That is absolutely right they are! You are hiring them for their guidance and expertise selecting prospects that would be best for you. That does not mean that if their opinion differs from yours that they are doing anything wrong. You asked for their opinion and help so they give it to you honestly. That was what we wanted in the first place right? The goal is that they want to help you find a horse that is safe for you and appropriate to help you reach your goals. If you involved your trainer in the search, to begin with, it was because you valued their expertise and their knowledge of your riding and what you need. Honest communication and discussion is the best way to make sure that rider and trainer are on the same page. First, identify exactly what you are looking for in a prospect. Secondly, on evaluating the individual horses you try.
Getting upset or angry with your trainer if they have a different opinion on your partnership with a prospective horse will not help the situation. Remember, you asked them for help because of their experience!
It is okay to be disappointed if for some reason you really like a horse and your trainer doesn’t. It happens! Talk about it and figure out where to go from there.
Don’t Be In A Hurry!
Try to be patient. It may take a while to find your perfect match. When you do you will be glad you waited instead of letting your excitement get the best of you and buying the first horse you see.
You can learn a lot when horse shopping. If you take your time and compare prospects as you go along it will help you figure out specific qualities that you really like, and others you really don’t. This will get you one step closer to finding the perfect horse.
To Sum It All Up…
- Be honest with yourself about your riding abilities and riding goals, it’s the only way you will find the perfect equine partner.
- A GOOD HORSE IS NEVER A BAD COLOR
- Ask your trainer or maybe an experienced rider friend to help in your search
- Communicate- Speak honestly and openly with your trainer or whoever is helping you so you can understand their opinions on the different prospects
- Remember, your trainer or whoever is helping you is just trying to find you the right horse so don’t be disappointed if you have a difference of opinion, just talk about it!
- Be patient! Taking time to really find the perfect match is well worth the wait!
Coming Up Next
Questions to determine the answers to before you start horse shopping!!