Horse Shopping

Olivia   January 18, 2016   20 Comments on Horse Shopping

While possibly more enjoyable than saddle shopping, horse shopping is really such a PITA. Parts of the horse world are a good decade behind in internet technology. You see a horse listed for sale online. There’s no picture because they wouldn’t cough up the $5-$20 for a picture even though they’re selling the horse for thousands. So you google around and find random youtube videos or pictures of the horse. Or you look at some trainer/sale barn’s website that looks like it was made in geocities 20 years ago.

Seriously, if you want to sell a horse, could you just freaking post pictures and details about the damned horse? And for cod’s sake, don’t make me call you. I am of a generation that does not want to make phone calls. Like, for any reason.

I want to email/text you or look at information online. I do not want to call you. I especially do not want to call you and when you ask me how much I know about Arabian breeding and I say, “not that much,” you say, “well, let me back up then and start at the beginning.” And by beginning you mean 5,000 years ago in Asia working your way up to the effects that WWII had on the Polish Arabian.

I really just wanted you to tell me why the horse was 8 and only started under saddle, but I suppose you answered that in a round about way.

Finally, I know you’re busy. I’ve run barns; I know it’s a ton of work. I’ve sold horses before; I know it’s annoying. But I’m a working professional. Your average buyer (at my price range) is probably a working professional and not a stay at home rich person. I’m going to want to meet you on the weekend. And since you’re almost 3 hours away from me and I have to do morning feeding, I cannot get to you before noon. Not unless I get up at 6am. And I don’t want to get up at 6am on a Saturday. I’m the customer here. If you demand that I must get to you before 11am, I’m just going to cancel on you.

Finally, when I show up to look at your horse for sale, can you please actually be there. Don’t have me meet with your assistant trainer who doesn’t know that much about this particular horse. If I have to pull up the ad on my phone to look up details while I’m standing at your barn because the assistant doesn’t know the answers, I’m not impressed. If the assistant only knows the one set of tack for the horse and isn’t able to get different tack – e.g. I’d like to try the horse in an English saddle instead of western because I ride english and I have seen it in such a saddle in the pictures – I’m not impressed.

Not how I want to evaluate jumping ability

I’ve bought 6 horses in the last 5 years (and sold 3 of them) so I’ve been through this before. And every time I go in thinking it’ll be better this time. But it never is. Anyone else have any good horse buying horror stories?

I’ll post tomorrow about the horses we did manage to look at. We may need to expand our reach and look in other states though. If anyone knows of any horses for sale, we’re looking for a horse for my husband to do mostly endurance, but also a little low jumping with. Musts: 15hh+, 5-9 yrs old, Arabian or Arabian cross, sound and will pass pre-purchase, and sane. Would like/but not required: 15.2hh-16hh, gelding, broke to ride, not a chestnut. If it’s in CA, that’d be even better, but we’ll travel for a good horse.

20 thoughts on “Horse Shopping

  1. TeresaA

    I hear you about all your peeves. I cannot believe how little effort people want to put into selling. My other pet peeve is not to put a price on the ad. That irritates me no end.

    Good luck with the horse shopping!

  2. Checkmark115

    Dude I hope I find all my horses the way I found B…from a friend on the internet haha. Horse shopping is TERRIBLE. I've sold several horses too and I hate it just as much from the sellers perspective as well.

  3. Megan

    If you haven't already, try Beaulieu Arabians down in Morgan Hill. I'm not sure what they have currently (she's expanding with other breeds now), but they come highly recommended 🙂 I can get you the trainer's email address if you want (no website, most horses sell by word of mouth), my email is regentanzer at gmail.

  4. Olivia

    I know. Selling sucks too. People always flaking or asking you stupid questions like would this horse be good for my small child when the ad specifically says not suitable for kids.

  5. Olivia

    Thanks. I emailed you. I've talked to a few word of mouth recommendations and so far they've all had 3yrs and under or 14.3hh and under. I am following every lead I can though.

  6. Stephanie

    "Or you look at some trainer/sale barn's website that looks like it was made in geocities 20 years ago." PREACH SISTER!

    I am most definitely not actively looking for a horse, but I often browse Craigslist and various horse sale groups on FB for fun. I am APPALLED at how many people have awful pictures, awful descriptions, and dreadful websites. Come on, y'all, it's 2016!!

    Good luck on the search!

  7. L.Williams

    I really thought long and hard before listing my horse for sale on what I wanted to include and how I was going to go about it. I'm really hoping not many people call to ask me questions but email (so far only calls, why?! I am so awkward on the phone!)

  8. lytha

    I feel your pain. If you like, you can check my blog for the pain *sobs*. Strangely, many ads here say "Phone calls only please, no email!" and I'm not comfortable calling because of the accent thing. My big issue lately is sick/lame horses for sale, advertised healthy, and I'm the one who has to find independent vets (not their own) and schedule PPE, then again, then again, fail, fail..And just last night after paying for two PPEs and labwork, the seller won't knock down the price after our efforts and $ got the horse healthy again.

    I also have some great horror stories about selling my first horse this Summer. No more screaming 3 year olds on my sketchy Arabian, I learned that the hard way.

  9. emma

    while the 12yr old inside me daydreams about when i can *finally* start shopping for a horse of my very own (squee!!!), the realist adult is pretty grateful that those days are still far ahead of me. it doesn't sound… great. especially given how many horror stories i've heard about straight up lies and deceptions and manipulations…

    anyway tho, sounds like a horse that fits your description will be super cool, can't wait to see what you find! we've got scads of nice sporty arabians here in MD (thanks to the breeding program that produced my mare), but somehow i suspect that's a little too far to travel lol

  10. jenj

    Horse shopping is for sure the worst. If you're advertising a horse that does x, y, and z and such-and-such a level, I damn sure want to see pictures and video of it doing x, y, and z. If you only have a blurry pic taken of said horse out in the pasture, I'm not going to believe that it does anything you say it will. Seriously, people, it's not that hard!

  11. Olivia

    I don't let anyone under 18 ride my horses period. I've had plenty of people look elsewhere when I'm selling because of that and I don't care. Yeah, I didn't even get into the lying and cheating and all of the soundness issues. I'm sure that'll crop up if we ever actually find a horse we want to move forward with.

  12. Olivia

    The distance isn't actually the problem. For the right horse we'd go to MD. I even have family in MD. The lies and manipulations are they're own post really. I haven't even gotten to that stage as we can't find many horses to even go look at.

  13. Olivia

    It's really not. I should do a post on how I advertised my horses for sale. Tons of pics, honest descriptions, videos, everything.

  14. Figure

    A thought: maybe try putting the word out to Becky Hart/her barn? They've got lots of endurance connections and I would guess if they don't have some sale horses there, they'd know of some. (Whether they fit the criteria is a whole different question, but..)

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