Horse Shopping: proceed at own risk

It’s amazing what you can do via the wonders of the internet! I’m two months into serious horse shopping, and I’ve looked at hundreds of horses. It’s a good thing there isn’t a BUY NOW button or I might have impulse bought one by now in a fit of late night shopping.

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Pictures, videos, emails back and forth! In person, well, since these horses are scattered all over the country, I’ve only actually ridden a few. Sad to report, they often don’t look nearly as nice in person as they did in the pictures.

I’ve become a sophisticated analyzer of video.

AHA! Did you notice they never showed the left lead canter? There’s a reason for that. Did you notice all the cuts in that video? There’s a reason for that: they are taking out all the mistakes and problems. Did you notice they tilted the camera to make the horse look uphill? You think I can’t tell what you’re doing? Do you think I’m stupid? Apparently. Well, I’m not (quite that stupid). Believe me, sellers: uncut video is MUCH more impressive, even if it has a few little mistakes.

I have a Pre Purchase Exam coming up on a wonderful prospect, and yesterday my trainer reminded me, “you ARE going to run blood on her, right?” Well, yes, but I’m not really concerned about this horse having been drugged.

“Oh,” she says, “I always have the vet pull blood on the horse right after I test ride it in case they drugged it. You should have done that.”

Wow, I never thought of that. Too late for that. All these horses I’ve bought over the years, and the only drugging I thought about was someone giving them painkillers to get them through the vet check looking more sound than they actually are. I never thought of drugging to make them more rideable.

But of course people do that! Just, hopefully, not to me. In the past, my vet would always pull blood for the “Tox screen” and hold it for a year “just in case you need it.” The implication was that if the horse went nuts and was not the horse I thought I bought, we could test the blood and see if it had been drugged. Fine. But I never thought of testing it the day I rode it. Mind blown.

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I guess I’m a lamb among wolves. And yet of course not all sellers are like that. Some of them really are like me! Straightforward, wanting the right match for their horse, telling you everything about the horse, having, well, a “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” approach to buying and selling horses. Yes, I would like to buy a horse from me. My horses are always up to date on everything and I’ll tell you everything that has happened to them and any little quirks they have. I want you to be safe and happy and I really, really want my horse to be safe and happy with his or her next owner.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 12.17.55 PMHere’s hoping this lovely prospect mare is just what I think she is, and that my next article can be about my new horse…