Surviving Horse Shopping

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Many years ago my friends ganged up on me.

It was an “intervention” of sorts.

They explained that they had formed a committee.

This committee would have to approve any potential boyfriends for me from then on.


I was just that good at picking winners.

After some laughs and more than a few margaritas, I decided they were right. And I let any new male friends know they would have to pass muster with “the committee” before we could get serious.

It was a pretty good running joke for a long time.

Though it wasn’t really a joke……………

Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.

But…..I really like his tattoos!!!!

My judgement with horses has been about as good as my choice of men over the years.

Why shouldn’t I get this one??!!

Which is

well……………..not good.

So after choosing the wrong horse,


I decided what I really needed to survive horse purchases was

a committee.

A group of trusted pros who could pass judgement on any potential horses.

After all, I am completely and totally afflicted with an illness I call 

New Horse Euphoria

That’s the illness where you fail to see the glaring problem because

“He’s sooooo pretty!!”
What you see…………….
What he really looks like…………..

I’ve known many people afflicted with this illness.

If only they had listened to some sage advice they could have avoided catastrophe.

Here’s one story.

Jane Doe wanted a dead broke quiet horse for her newbie (never ridden a horse before) husband.

She called a local horse trader who specialized in “quiet” trail horses. Said trader tells them she always lets the buyer catch and saddle the horse to see how they behave.

When they get to the farm, the potential husband’s horse is tied and saddled.

Many excuses are made as to why, and they send them off to ride where the horse spooks and looks at everything.

More excuses.

Jane Doe believes all the silly excuses and BUYS the horse!!!!

She shows up with the horse (and husband) at my place. Of course I don’t know any of the horse purchase story at that point. All I know is this is her husband’s new super safe trail horse. I ask if they want to join me on a trail ride, which they think is a great idea.

First they can’t catch the horse, IN A STALL.

Then, they can’t saddle the horse and it flips over during the entire saddling process.

By now I’m fairly certain riding is a bad idea, but they are sure he’s safe. The seller promised he was!
When the husband swings up on the horse, the new purchase turns into a sure-E-nuff, saddle bronc and bucks him straight off.

That’s when I notice the Devil’s Pitchfork brand on the horse’s shoulder. In certain circles that brand is put on horses that have KILLED people. Seriously.

There were so many alarm moments about that horse purchase if only they had gotten a little bit of professional help they could have avoided the entire very dangerous experience.

Of course……… it’s really just a matter of degrees.

There is always someone that has more knowledge and experience than you that could be consulted in these decisions.

I’ve bought my share of “winners”, when someone I knew said………………..You know…………..that might not be the right horse……………

So now I have a “committee”.

And they have to unanimously approve any future horses.

Don’t misunderstand. Getting such a diverse group of professionals to agree on anything isn’t easy……

So here’s a few guidelines I came up with.

If all you can think when you’re looking at the horse’s feet is, “My farrier is going to fire me as a client.”

You probably shouldn’t buy that horse.

If all you can think of when you’re riding the horse is, “My trainer is going to kill me.”

You probably shouldn’t buy that horse.

If your hunter/jumper friend keeps saying, “I don’t like how it jumps.”

You probably shouldn’t buy that horse.

When your dressage instructor keeps saying, “Well…..any horse can learn ‘the movements’ “

You probably shouldn’t buy that horse.

And finally, if your equine vet calls you after viewing the radiographs and all you hear on the phone is unintelligible screaming (which actually happened once…..)

You probably shouldn’t buy that horse.


More on the “Committee” and the New Pony coming up……………

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3 thoughts on “Surviving Horse Shopping

  1. jenj

    The purchase-by-committee option sounds pretty good. You'll have to let us know if it works!

    Unintelligible screaming by your vet? That sounds like another story all of it's own.

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