Musings on horse buying and adverts...(9 Posts)
First of all, let me say right here, I am not buying a horse. I just like to look and dream (ride once a week at a riding school, very much a novice). No time, insufficient money atm. Right, that's that out the way
However on the dream front, I sometimes spend a little time browsing horses for sale. If I were looking properly, I'd be looking for a horse who's happy to be ridden in a riding school and perhaps be sane enough to take out of gentle hacks on the farm land round my riding school. I never seem to see horses like this - the ads always talk about how well a horse jumps, what competitions they've done, ready to advance to next level of dressage or whatever.
I think I probably look in the wrong places (i.e. whatever Google throws at me). So, my musing - where are all these lovely sane happy-to-just-ride horses sold? They must be out there, because lots of people must just ride for pleasure rather than enter comps etc. And I ride 3 of them at my riding school (though one of them, I know was bought at a sale, where the YO was bidding against the knacker - best money he's ever spent, he said, as the horse is a lovely chap).
IME you need to look at the "has beens". Older, teenage horses, or ones that have had an injury which limits their activity. Or, as your friend found, knackers yard.
Most people who want a happy-to-just-ride horse go down the lease or loan route. Less money, less responsibility, less likelihood of being left with an oldie no one wants if you need to sell. What you are looking for doesn't need your own horse you need to care fore 7 days a week, you can easily get a couple of hacks a week and a lesson in a local school for the same money.
As I said, lots of owners have horses that can no longer compete for whatever reason, but don't want to sell so loan instead.
The thing about riding school horses is that they invariably change character once they stop being riding school horses. The 'good' ones know their job, are used to the lesson plan and are used to a relatively large work load. However, once they go into private ownership they can become quite different beasts!
Agree, i once bought an ex riding school horse. Apparently it had been in a field for 6m cos they couldn't get a saddle on her, and she "hated being ridden".
Turns out she was just clever, and needed very clear instructions. With lots of novices on top she wasn't sure what they were telling her to do so just stopped doing anything. Even with me i had to be very slow and patient, i could feel the panic rising until she clicked what was being asked..
Once in a private yard with experienced people she turned into a great little novice eventer, then a happy hacker for many years.
While we are on the subject of 'riding school horses for sale', beware of Horsemart adverts that claim (for example) 'five year old mare, bombproof, has been used in our riding school'. If it's five and a cob, it's probably been backed five minutes ago and walked round their school twice..
Try local facebook groups - lots of horses for sale, some seem ok.
Preloved is a good place for your browsing. You could work towards a part loan to hack in the meantime
Look for horses referred to as "Happy hackers".
I would never buy a horse from a riding school. It's either been worked really hard and is heading for serious illness or injury. Or it's been sold on because its totally unsuitable for novice riders and is really difficult to ride or has some serious behavioural problems.
My daughters loan was bought from the market for £40 as a crazy youngster!
Hes now the perfect LR pony, does kids parties, and is an educated pony and does his own performance at events. Hes also gorgeous and to die for!
Owner says best £40 she ever spent, hes perfect.
My auntie always taught me, beeston market and happy hackers, and anything described as bomb proof.....isnt usually.
Fb has a lot of pages for sales and gives you a bit more scope and info about the seller too
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