What exactly is fun about Horse Shopping?

For some of you that have known me awhile.
Or have kind of known me for awhile.
Or possibly have even just heard of me.
Yes, I am “Bad Eventer”
This is going to come as a pretty big shock.
Yeah, that’s what I said.
I hate it so much I start to ITCH when I think about it, and I get a sick feeling in my stomach like right before XC warm up.
I hate it so much I had a horse shopping NIGHT MARE last night. It was unbelievable.
You’re still shocked I know.
After all, how can anyone that has had as MANY horses as me – not LIKE to shop for them.
And no, I’m still not telling anyone how many horses I have. (That, after all would require counting them.)
So let’s think about why horse shopping just isn’t fun.
1. Horse Sellers are widely known to exaggerate, minimize, and outright lie about horses qualities, vices and achievements. (Not to mention their age, height, breed and bloodlines.)
“He jumps 4 feet!”  
      Yeah, in the air when he bucked the last 3 people off.
“He’s 16 hands!”
         Only if he’s standing on his hind legs.
“He’s 12 years old.”    
This age is magical, I’ve known (and possibly have owned) horses that were 12 for YEARS!!!
2. Riding a strange horse is always tough the first time. And typically when you are trying a horse for the first time you have many (sometimes VERY many) sets of eyes watching, judging,  and critiquing your performance. Today I had a full chorus of people watching. Important people. People that are GOOD at eventing!!! 
NO PRESSURE AT ALL!!! (More on that later!)
3. The Price.
The price is almost never firm. There is typically some “wiggle room”. I hate that.
I’ve known horses that were advertised for $15,000 and sold for $1800. In my eyes it makes me want to start at $1 and see where we wind up. The problem of course, is that sometimes you get thrown out for that………. But where do you start?
The most I’ll pay, is the least you’ll take!
The least I’ll take is the most you’ll pay!
It never quite works out.
4. The Vetting.
Do I need to talk much about how many bad pre-purchase exams have been done? And I’ve experienced them from both sides. I was selling a lovely mare that a big time University told the buyer was going blind, lost the sale. 15 years later the mare still had perfect vision. And I was sold a horse where the uber expensive vet was certain the horse was fine, and could be resold. Um…..no. Then there was the most tragic purchase of all. I had a ridiculously thorough ($$$$) prepurchase done on a perfectly healthy horse! And she tragically died shortly thereafter. I actually got the bill for the prepurchase after my absolutely healthy horse was already gone.
So just thinking about pre purchase exams makes me queasy.
5. The time frame.
Most horse purchase decisions are made within 24 hours.
It’s very much like getting married after the 1st date. “‘Till death do us part!”
As a friend told me about the movie Titanic, “How can this possibly end well?”
6. False Advertising
 I’ve become quite jaded after reading advertisement after advertisement. It’s not hard to verify show records. I was told just the other day a horse had never had a stop on cross country. It took me 30 seconds to see he’d had DOZENS, and to find photos of him ditching his rider at a liverpool in stadium, in VERY dramatic fashion. But the ad said, “Honest, Never Stops!”
I really do hate horse shopping. Seriously. Passionately.
But, I think I may have finally figured out how to survive the entire experience.
(to be continued…………………)

Share with:


3 thoughts on “What exactly is fun about Horse Shopping?

  1. jenj

    I'm with you on horse shopping. It's entertaining for the first horse or two, and then it just gets expensive and depressing. Hopefully you'll find a match soon!

  2. Slbaldwin

    I have yet to buy my own horse, actually I have yet to even OWN my own horse, but I get the shivers when i think about riding a strange horse in front of complete strangers. Also add on top of that not knowing if the horse you riding is a sweet and gentle horse like the owners described, or a bucking machine in disguise.

    Good luck!

    *New Reader*

  3. canreffy

    Seller claims horse is two going on three; photo screams horse is not even a year old (!) Same seller put Western saddle and curb bit on not-even-a-year-old horse; horse is still a nervous wreck six years later. Seller predicts horse will be a nice Racker; horse never took a gaited step in its life. Seller claims horse is Paso Fino X Kentucky Mountain Horse; horse is Spotted Saddle Horse. *Vet* says horse is fine; horse has collapsed fetlocks, which cause her pain and green rider much anguish. Seller says horse is great for trail riding and very calm; horse is barn sour to the max, and Reserpine wears off after three weeks. Ah, horse traders …

Leave a Reply