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The tack room

Come and give me a slap!

9 replies

TeenagersDriveMeMad · 20/10/2013 17:39

Bit of background: I've ridden for about 15 years, had 2 years off with the odd hack/ride on friends horses because I got bored with never being able to compete. Never owned, only loaned or shared, and was being paid to bring on 5 year-olds for a dressage yard for a year until I stopped riding.

I've been thinking about taking on a horse in April time and have been casually looking for something 15 - 16.3hh, gelding, 8 - 15 years, not a cob , with eventing experience. Had a budget of around £6k.

Until yesterday! I went up with a friend to their yard and mentioned to the YO (who has horses in for breaking) that I used to bring on youngsters. He watched me do some schooling with friends horse and asked if I'd mind getting on one of the 3 year-olds that he's currently breaking (3 weeks and 5 rides under saddle).

In a nutshell, she was perfect. Didn't put a foot wrong, has natural self carriage and an amazing walk. A little unbalanced in canter but responded to all aids instantly - better than some 'well schooled' horses that I've known.

BUT, she's 14.3hh, a mare, nearly 4, only just broken, and a cob x TB. I felt like I clicked with her though. YO has said I can come up and ride as often as I want, take her out competing etc, but she'll be going to the sales end of November.

I'd be mad to buy her, wouldn't I? She's so sweet and genuine, and I do have the time to offer, but she's nothing like I wanted! (She'll also struggle to fetch £500 at the sales going into winter)

Erm, a good talking to is required please.

OP posts:
miggy · 20/10/2013 18:53

why, sounds perfect :)
Sorry not helpful!
Why not loan her till the sales, gives you a chance to experience winter ownership, you can have fun with her and see if she really is the one for you and if so snap her up quick.
If you are not too heavy for her small ones are more fun, they are easy to put rugs on etc, eat less and less mud to remove!

lovebeansontoast · 20/10/2013 18:53

Sorry Teenagers, no talking to here. You might be mad to buy her, but you have only ridden her once, so how would you tell? I'd take YO up on her offer and ride her a few more times. Then if you've still clicked, think about what you could do with her. If that fits too, then buy her and breathe a hefty sigh of relief you won't be as broke as you thought you would be. Wink However, if eventing is the only thing you want to do, and that is really important to you, walk away.

Honestly though, you have a golden opportunity here to try her properly, check out her soundness etc before you consider buying. Grab it. If you turn her down without at least testing the "clicked" feeling, you could spend a very long time finding the perfect horse. You have the experience with youngsters, so it will be a different path, but could be a very exciting one.

Plus she's only rising four. She will grow, probably another inch or so, bringing her into your height range.Smile

snowpo · 20/10/2013 20:49

Couldn't you ask to loan over winter, you pay for livery. Then if you decide you don't want her YO could sell in her in Spring & get a bit more for her.

Definately reckon go with your gut though, I think you know when a horse is right for you. And why did you want a gelding particularly? Mares can be so fantastic.

TeenagersDriveMeMad · 20/10/2013 22:58

Thanks for the help, even if it's not quite the advice I was after Smile !

I'm going to keep riding and schooling her for a month and see if YO will loan her to me over the winter. The eventing isn't a massive thing at the moment - I was hoping to eventually get up to Novice, but BE90 or 100 would keep me quite happy. If I get her on loan there are some unaff dressage competitions not far from the yard so that could be a really good way of getting her out and about.

Eeeeeep. I think I've just talked myself into a horse with your help Grin . I'm going up the yard tomorrow to pull her mane and ride, we'll see if I can get her to work properly. No rush for anything; but start as you mean to go on.

snowpo - the one mare that I had on loan was absolutely lovely, bright as a button, bags of talent, but an absolute psychopath when she was in season. Regumate probably would've been a good idea in hindsight. Funnily enough though, if she came up for sale I'd buy her in a heartbeat.

OP posts:
Aeroaddict · 21/10/2013 10:10

It sounds like you've made the right decision. Good luck with her!

snowpo · 21/10/2013 16:14

Sounds like you are a mare person to me then if you'd have bought the other mare despite the issues!!
Very exciting, hope it all goes well.

Butkin · 21/10/2013 17:31

Sorry to be a pain but there is another side to the discussion.

It's a buyers market right now and 6,000 pounds would buy you something pretty special these days.

I always think - when offered horses/ponies (which we often are) - would I travel to see a horse like this and will it do the right job for me over the next few years? Buying the horse is such a small part of it. It is the looking after it which takes the financial and emotional toll.

If you can honestly say that if this pony was somewhere else you'd still buy it then fair enough. If not have a look on sites like Horsequest to see what else is about - you'd be amazed at the bargains to be had. Give yourself time and maybe get advice from other experts/instructors you know about it's potential.

backinthebox · 22/10/2013 00:28

Butkin is right about buying the horse being just a small part of the whole horse-owning journey. They are also right about not diving straight in here and checking out your other options.

OTOH, if this little horse makes you happy and you think she will do what you want her to, why not? Be aware that even though the owner has said you can compete her till she goes up for sale at the end of November, horses under the age of 4 are generally not allowed to compete in most shows under saddle.

And there is nothing wrong with a cob - my current little Irish cob, not much bigger or older than the horse you are asking about, is a bolder and more honest hunter than my old 17.3hh working hunter and master's horse! He's more likely to get you round a BE100 XC course, too (although he doesn't see the point in dressage - yet. He will, one day.) But if you really don't want a cob - don't buy a cob!

Pixel · 22/10/2013 14:28

Just wanted to agree with lovebeansontoast that she will probably be growing for a couple of years yet. I thought my cob would never stop! I was once reading a magazine article about Lynn Russell, (it caught my eye because she had a cob that is related to mine and there was a pic of it) and she was saying it didn't stop growing until it was 8 (which worried me a bit I can tell you Grin).

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