Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Horse shopping...

Bow is looking to buy a horse. So far she has had 2 good prospects fail the vet check. Apparently this horse buying business is a lot more detailed than I had first thought. After all, I don't actually buy horses... they just kinda show up in my life and expect me to start feeding them.

You gotta problem with that?

(for those of you who don't follow the blog regularly, this is Goodwin. he is now fat and happy after having been rescued from a round pen that held no food... and probably hadn't held food in a while. unfortunately for me, he is also growing up while he's growing out)

Anywho... back to horse buying.

Bow has been very diligent about trying to find the best horse for her needs. She even did a detailed spreadsheet that involved assigning values to traits based on how important those traits are. And still she is horseless. How is this possible?

She's looking at a nice Quarab this weekend and I went with her to look at a cute Appy last weekend. The Appy has promise, but is a tad narrow (even by my standards... and I ride a fence rail AKA Flash).

But this search for a horse got me to wondering... if I was to actually go out and buy a horse what would I buy? I'm pretty sure I would stick with Arabs (I love them) or perhaps I would go with a Morab. Either way, I would want a horse that can be versatile but also do endurance, since that is my first love.

I decided to scope out Craigslist and see if there were any potential candidates...

14 year old unregistered (of course) Arab mare
Holy crap there is a whole lot of ugly going on here. Plus, look at those rear legs. I'm pretty sure that the pasterns aren't supposed to drag on the ground. I think I'll pass...

Morab Mare (no age or registration listed)
Is it just me? Or do the front end and the back end belong on different horses? Plus, not sure if it's just the angle or what but those back legs look funky. And not in a good way...

Approx. 16 year old Arab gelding
First of all, this horse looks a lot older than 16. Check out that sway back. Plus, you don't see many Arabs that look like they are a limo. And as an added bonus this poor gelding is super skinny. Great. Another hard keeper. Um, no thanks...

4 year old Arab filly
OK... this one isn't too bad. Her feet are a smidge small for the rest of her, but if they are sound then I can live with that. However in the ad the seller mentions that she was shown halter (oh boy, so no brain left) and that she is impatient (another real selling point... not) and that you can "kinda" do her feet. Um... who needs the headache?

I guess it's a good thing that I'm not actually looking for a new horse. Because it's tough to spot the diamonds in the rough. And there is a lot of rough out there...


  1. Heh. I can't believe I'm an inspiration for an entire blog post.

    Yeah, horse-shopping sucks. At first, I thought it might be kind of fun to try out different horses and get a feel for what's out there, but unfortunately, whenever I find one that seems to be sane, the right age, the right build, etc., it's apparently lame on at least one foot. Ugh. Here's hoping one of the contenders I have now will work out, eh?

  2. I have high hopes for the Quarab :)

  3. I'm casually keeping an eye out for sale prospects and some of the horses I see out there make me cringe.

  4. No kidding!! It's a good thing that they find me and that I don't have to go looking. Sheesh...

  5. Failed vet check how? There's not a saddle horse alive that will pass a "flex test" yet so many vets convince people horses who fail it are defective.

  6. Not exactly sure of the details, Hill... I'll have to find out.

  7. Hill, the first one had ringbone, definitely a no go. The second one, the vet said would be okay for light trail riding a couple times a week (which is what he WAS being used for), but I want to work my way up to endurance, and want to be able to rider harder/farther/longer/more than that, so that particular horse was a no go for ME. For a different rider, for a different purpose, the might have "passed." Both horses, the vet said they were lame even prior to the flexion tests. I don't get the impression that this vet relies on flexion tests alone as indicators of lameness or lack thereof, but as part of the picture, especially to determine which joint is the problem in a given limb.

  8. SweetPea, you're also not including all the two-year-olds that are perfect kid horses, unbroke 7-year-olds, broodmares that have never done anything else, and of course the ubiquitous 25-year-olds and/or foundered horses that people don't want to feed anymore, so they want someone ELSE to take them as a pasture pet. :-)

  9. It's amazing how much you run across all that. Sometimes I just want to kick people...

  10. I've been lucky that the horses I've actually gone to look at have been relatively normal, and the owners have been honest, just got unlucky with the vet checks. And yes, I do think the sellers were honest, but just didn't see the lameness any more than I did. But there is certainly a LOT to wade through on Craigslist.