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How do you ever buy a horse???
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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 21:30

Admittedly, we haven't been trying ALL that long, but SO disheartened. It's been hard to get anyone to consider is as potential buyers. It's our first horse, for my daughter. She is only 12 years old, but is 5'9" already. She is currently on 15.3hh and so we are looking at 16hh to buy. She has been riding for 8 years and has had a share/part loan previously.

Eventually we found one that was advertised as a confidence giver/for novice to progress. Did 8 hour round trip. Horse took off with her in gallop and dumped her on the floor!

Have had promising text conversations about a few others, but then ghosted mid-conversation. Sounds like internet dating!!

I am not sure what we should even be looking for anymore...'family horse'? We have established that we want a 'safe ride'. But she definitely doesn't want a plod. She wants to do EVERYTHING! Which is why we want to buy. So she has freedom to hack, go to shows. She like jumping, and interested in dressage and liberty work also. Would we be daft to look at something a bit 'green', that she can school/train with direction of instructor??

We will be using assisted/part livery at least until we are more confident). I have experience, but from years ago, so not confident yet, to go DIY

Anyway, what was my point???..how long does it generally take to find a horse? Any tips/advice?

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Letitrain · 15/08/2017 21:34

It takes as long as it takes. I've found the best time to buy has been at the worst time of year weather wise - everyone wants to ride now, but come winter there will be more around. Always better to under horse than over horse yourself for a first horse - something been there done that and got the t shirt and definitely not a green youngster.

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Therealslimshady1 · 15/08/2017 21:36

Contacts, can you ask her riding instructor?

Then go and see horses. Trust noone (they all lie!) And get any potential horse vetted.

It is never easy. How much did you know about the horse that took off in a gallop?

Best thing is to buy through or with someone who has bought lots of horses, a novice buyer is likely to get shafted, sadly.

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 21:50

Do people lie skin??? WHY???

I asked all the questions I could think of. I have a knowledgeable friend (instructor/own yard)helping me, but it was too far to go, to ask anyone to come.

The owner rode the horse beautifuully. I think she had been riding her so long, she GENUINELY thought she was suitable for a novice (not that my daughter is really novice. She isn't brave, but she has ridden x-show jumpers/race horses. Not particularly enjoyed it, but won the lesson!)

Am considering paying a lot more than I planned to and buying through a trader/trainer specifically for nervous/novice. Just REALLY don't want to end up buying something which will destroy her confidence

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Mrspig86 · 15/08/2017 21:58

Hello. The most genuine people I have bought ponies and horses from in the past have been via the Pony Club. It might be worth getting in touch with the secretary of your nearest few branches because they often have a newsletter or hold details of horses up for sale. It is nice because you see them with different children as they outgrow them. And also their history and reputation is usually well known. Good luck Smile

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:06

Thanks mrspig, I will try that

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:08

Oh! Except they won't be 16hh will they?...maybe a 15.2hh?

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Backinthebox · 15/08/2017 22:08

Tbh if I had a 16hh horse for sale and you rang to ask about it for your 12 yo daughter I'd probably not consider you seriously. My own daughter has just come back from Pony Club camp where the age spread was 9-13 yos and no one was on anything bigger than 14.2hh. There's many a good reason for this - a 12 yo can be tall, but won't have the strength to manage anything but a very well schooled and gentle horse. Kids that age tend to not weigh much anyway and most ponies would be quite capable of carrying them. You'd find it much easier to find a decent 14.2hh that is schooled up for children, knows the score and is ready to go - they've been to Pony Club and done all the different kinds of competition, SJing, dressage, XC, etc and they are used to it all.

As for buying a green horse to train up - hell no! A novice first-time owning child on a young green horse is asking for trouble. If you are fixated by the idea of having a horse rather than a pony, it sounds as though you are looking for a riding club all rounder. It's harder to find a good one of these than it is a PC pony because people don't grow out of them and they tend to remain in the same home. A good RC all rounder has almost certainly been made over many years by an owner who goes to lessons, shows, etc. You're asking if your DD could do that and I'd say most kids would probably be much happier enjoying something they can go out on now rather than patiently preparing a horse for what they want to do.

The only way to find a horse is to get out there and look at them. You shouldn't need to look beyond a couple of hours driving to find a decent one - all of mine have been found within a 2 hr drive of home. Your DD is just going to have to get on them and ride them - if people ghost you part way through a sale, it's not because they don't want to sell the horse, it's more likely that they won't put a child looking for her first horse on theirs for a good reason. My own horse (15.2hh) is a calm, gentle easy ride and I have offered him for Pony Club for a friend's 12 yo DD who I know has the ability to ride him, but I've seen him make mincemeat of many a less experienced rider. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with my horse!

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:12

She is 65kg. She is bigger and stronger than me. Honestly, she is on 15.2hh now. The only reason her feet aren't dragging the floor, is because the horse is so ROUND.

She's still growing and all her aunties are 6foot+....I don't want to buy her a pony for her to bond with. And, then have to sell it within a couple of years

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Backinthebox · 15/08/2017 22:14

Just read you latest post - there's a Pony Club ponies for sale fb page which only advertises ponies that are checkable with the PC branch they've been with most recently, so you can talk to instructors and ask what they are like in various situations. It's a good way of finding out what a pony is like before you go off to view it. And yes, you'll find it's mostly ponies, because most people who know about kids and riding would keep even a leggy 12yo on a pony until they have more experience, knowledge, skill and core strength before putting them on a horse. You have to be knowledgable or lucky to find a horse that will calmly carry out all the different activities a child will want it to do while they figure out which bits of riding they like best.

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:15

Regarding ghosting; the FIRST thing I say is my daughter's age. So, it's not that which is putting them off MID conversation

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Backinthebox · 15/08/2017 22:23

We keep crossing posts. You sound like a family of bigger than average people then! It's going to be tougher for you than you might want to hear. Decent allrounders sell fast and aren't cheap. It's coming up to the start of the hunting season and there are plenty of nice horses that will calmly stand at a meet, jump a decent sized fence and look after you out there, but they go quickly. I have several adult friends who are on the lookout for just that kind of thing, but struggling to find one as everyone wants a nice easy horse. I would be looking within a smaller radius and taking someone knowledgable with you to every viewing. Dealers will tend to sell you something that will do the job as the reputable ones want to maintain their good reputation. There are a few very good looking 15.2hhs that have come up in the last day or 2 on FB - I'm on the lookout for a horse for my friend who has been looking for over 5 months now. 15.2hh is too small for her (she is larger than your daughter, both in height and weight) but will do your DD nicely for a few years. One of the problems with a being a child and riding is that you do grow out of horses. It's better to keep a child slightly underhorsed though and have them more capable of riding it than to overhorse them and hope they grow into it before they lose their confidence.

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Sparrowlegs248 · 15/08/2017 22:24

I would agree that if I were selling a 16hh horse I would really not consider a 12 yr old. There will be many smaller horses of a suitable size. It's the build and conformation that are the deciding factor really, rather than height.

Definitely don't buy something green or needing to be brought on. Disaster waiting to happen.

Pony club members will have ponies and horses of all sizes so don't let that put you off, though a well established Pc pony or horse is likely to be many pounds!

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:37

Ok. I am listening. I can't stress enough how adult she is, body wise. But she doesn't have adult confidence, that is true. She's not a 'nervous' rider. But just doesn't really believe in herself, in everything, not just riding. In that way, that kids can!

We will pay more attention to the 15hh. And I will make my peace with spending more and probably try a dealer. Someone is calling me back tomorrow

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Therealslimshady1 · 15/08/2017 22:41

DH and I are around 6ft, and have ridden mainly 15h, a 16h is nice but not necessary

You can let out the stirrups a bit

But I have only done a bit of hacking and am used to polo ponies (long story) so my experience is irrelevant to you

But really not sure about a 16hander being essential

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Eve · 15/08/2017 22:41

pony club classifieds.

Championships are next week and lots sell after this as gong to uni and mum doesn't want to be stuck looking after the horse. Will be lots in the 16h market as uni sales pick up

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MeltorPeltor · 15/08/2017 22:41

Put a wanted ad of the PC website, ask in your local tack shops, speak to the local PC DC.

Don't buy something green. Maybe look at something a bit older. Don't go and see any horses without the instructor, the fact a horse 'took off in gallop' with your daughter makes me think she's more novice than you think she is, this is no way me insulting you or your daughter but I've seen it lots of times (I used to work in the industry) and so many times what the (novice) parents think the child should have, what the child thinks they should have and what the instructor thinks should be bought are three very different equines, maybe have a word with the instructor when your daughter isn't there and get her honest opinion.

Out of interest, what is your budget? What sort of thing is your daughter looking to do? PC? Hunting? Fun rides? Show jumping? What sort of level, is she happy doing 70cm or does she want to affiliate?

When I was horse shopping it lasted 5 days before my horse found me, word of mouth, someone knew I was looking and they knew of a horse that would suit. We've been together ever since and I could never replace her (and I'm the same height as your daughter and my horse isn't even a horse, she's a pony, keep your mind open on height)

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:43

Really slim, that is useful to know

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MeltorPeltor · 15/08/2017 22:46

She's not a 'nervous' rider. But just doesn't really believe in herself,

I would say she is a nervous/cautious rider, no harm in it but I would make it clear to sellers that your daughter can get nervous, there is absolutely no harm in admitting half a tonne of horse intimidates you from time to time. Always under sell your abilities (or in this case, your daughters)

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WellErrr · 15/08/2017 22:48

BHSAI here.

A 12 year old does not 'need' a 16 hander. By your description 15.2 would be fine.

Don't go for anything green.

Don't travel more than 2 hours. You'll just waste your time and fuel.

Try find something through contacts.

What county are you in? What's your budget?

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BeepBeepMOVE · 15/08/2017 22:50

I would be looking at a fat cob for a first horse if she's not hugely confident. Sounds like she needs something fun and safe to mess around on than something challenging that needs bringing on.

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:52

meltor, yeah, I think we have misjudged what we are looking for. Although I don't expect a 'confidence builder' to be that unforgiving tbh

I don't want to recoil from that last experience and end up too far the other way. There has to be a happy medium between plod and bullet

But talking this through, I think more plod, huh

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:55

Oh, this has been good
She is on a 15.2 fat cob now. I realise I thought we needed to buy something just will 'last a while'...I was trying to future proof my spending, like buying an oversized school jumper

(And, I can get on a fat cob too)

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GrandMasterFlash · 15/08/2017 22:57

I'm embarrassed now to say what original budget was (£2k)

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WellErrr · 15/08/2017 22:59

You'll get a fat cob for £2k if you're lucky. And it sounds like a fat cob is what you need.
Anything else at that price will have ishoos or be too green/lame.

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WellErrr · 15/08/2017 23:01

I thought we needed to buy something just will 'last a while'...I was trying to future proof my spending, like buying an oversized school jumper

You wouldn't believe how many parents do this. Puts the kids off forever and usually damages the relationship with the parents. Makes my heart sink as an instructor.

Parents buy green/flashy horse.

Kid is terrified. Refuses to ride eventually.

Parent screeches at child 'don't you know what this is costing me!? YOU wanted the facking horse and now you won't ride it' etc etc.

And repeat.

So I'm glad you've realised it before! Grin

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