Sunday, May 20, 2012

HELP! Buy/Don't Buy?

I have a pros and cons list for this horse where the pros far outweigh the cons already...but, what do you think?  Buy her or don't buy her?

  • ~9 years old
  • Arab,  probably 3/4 at least, but was likely crossed with a paint at some point considering her markings (one tiny crescent moon on her belly)
  • 14.2/14.3hh, I'm not entirely positive

She's healthy.  Some lady couldn't afford her any more and dropped her off with the trainer last fall.  He's had her all winter (horse market being what it is and people in this area not wanting Arabs - trainer specializes in working QH - you should see his studs...). I rode her for two days.  She's definitely my kind of horse.  She can lead, she can follow in the very back or middle, she can ride on her own, she can walk off on her own away from a group of horses and be okay with it.  She's forward on the trail.  She moves well up and down steep hills.  She's alert.  She didn't offer a rear or buck any time I rode her.  She willingly crosses streams, logs, and other obstacles.  She collects well over a jump.  She gives well to the bit.  She's going to a sale next weekend if I don't take her.

Oh, and she's IN HEAT right now, and despite two studs on the farm she isn't a complete witch!  (One even went on one of the trail rides with us - everyone behaved.)  Sure, she pins her ears and tossed a kick before I could recognize her warning signals towards a gelding, but after that I learned them and could warn her to behave before she acted.  She listened every time.

Somewhere in this mare's life someone obviously put a LOT of time and good work into her.

She's not expensive by any means.  $600 is his asking price and I wonder if I could talk him down?

A lady was interested and took her home, did tons of vet tests incurring a bill >$300 and then just up and returned her to the trainer with no reason.  That's the sketchiest part of her mysterious past life.

Lots of experienced and skilled horse people were there this weekend.  The lady who keeps Griffin was there.  Her friend who rides endurance was there.  Her friend who is a vet was there.  (And I reckon these are all my friends now, the number of things we've done together merits it.)  EVERYONE thinks I should buy her.  EVERYONE thinks she's the perfect horse for me right now.  The vet says she's built really well and sees nothing the matter other than a crack in her hind hoof that I would need to take care of sooner than later; a crack that she assures me the farrier D uses could fix in one session.

I'd likely keep her in shoes through the summer (and the race) as transitioning would be difficult to do AND successfully ride in the race.  We would do the 30-mile LD.  I would only have a month good conditioning on her, but she's capable, and its not like we'd be trying to win the damn thing.

I've played with the idea of having a second horse for weeks now and fumbled around with my finances to prove it could work.  The hardest part about it financially would be if she for some reason incurred some large medical bill (hopeful this doesn't happen) and the cost of moving two horses whenever I move on.  Its a big commitment and I'm scared.



  1. The only advice I could offer would be to expect something unexpected to come up with vet costs within the first year. If you put a little extra away in a special savings account each month, at least you'd have a buffer. And always be generous in your cost estimates - I often add an extra %20 contingency. Better safe than sorry - i.e not having the cash on hand in an emergency.

    But money aside - she's adorable! And 9 is a great age. If she's as easy going as she seems, could be a great match.

  2. 1) Finances - will her upkeep etc, make you horse poor? That's no fun either.
    2) If you rode her on the trails and she stayed sound I'd hazard a guess she's not going to pull up lame.
    3) Conformation looks good if a bit lacking in the hip. Balanced horse that fits you well.
    4) Don't buy her because she's cheap. If you close your eyes, can you imagine yourself riding her - living with her? Does she make your heart sing when you ride her? Pull a smile onto your face when you think of her?
    5) Is she suited physically and mentally for what you want to do with her? Will she enjoy her job?

    Think it through and follow your gut. Don't do something because someone tells you you should. Do it because you want to.

  3. If you really really like her, and think she's a horse that could make you extra happy do it. I bought Kolijah not even having a second job and the dogs. I've given up A LOT of stuff to have him and I've played with the idea of getting rid of him, but every time I do it I can't bare the thought. Where there's a will there's a way. And you are always able to sell her and probably make a little more on her if you realize your heart isn't in her... but it's got to be there.

  4. Besides everything Country Girl said there is time. Will you have time for a second horse to ride, care for. That's my reason for waiting for my 2nd horse. With school and work and Pippi now I don't have time to take on another horse. She is cute tho.

  5. She's got nice clean legs and a cute face, but there's something about her conformation that I just don't like. If you do decide to go with her, definitely have a pre-purchase done.

  6. Yeah, get her. Barring catastrophe, you can definitely get her fit for the 30, and after that you should be able to resell her for at least what you paid. I'd be much more cautious about taking on a hard-to-place horse, or an expensive horse - but you can find her a good endurance home if she doesn't work out with you for some reason.