Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shopping for A New Horse

I've been looking for a replacement horse for Champ since the beginning of this year.  It had been almost ten years since I'd gone out shopping for a new horse and that horse hadn't been for me, it had been for our daughter.

Last summer I had decided to find a horse for my friends to ride so they could join Champ and I.  I met Poco at the barn where I used to board.  Guess you could say he had come to me; I hadn't gone out looking for him.  This has left me as green as grass on this adventure.

I've ridden Poco this last year.  He is exactly what I was looking for.  His kind spirit and gentle ways helped me mend my broken heart and get through the loss of Champ.  Yet, I still wanted to have two saddle horses to share with my family and friends.  So the search began.

As I've gotten older I find I feel stronger about what I want in a horse as well as what I don't want in a horse.  I am not up to a rodeo every time I ride.  I know I'm a Type A rider, thinking, talking and moving quickly.  I need a Type B horse that calmly takes it all in and doesn't flinch.

Then there was what I planned to do with my new horse.  There are so many things I wanted to do today and try tomorrow.  But the reality is what I want to try tomorow and what I want to do today are two different things.  So I narrowed it down.

I knew I needed a list to help me stay on track with this purchase.  Here is what I came up with:

1.  A Type B horse.  Steady, quiet and calm.  A horse I can pull out of the pasture and ride even though he's been sitting idle for a period of time (noting ground work is always part of my ride).

2.  No taller than 15.2 hands.  Champ had been 16.3 hands.  I would like a smaller horse.  Face it, at 50+ I don't get on as easy as I used to.

3.  A Gelding.  I have always preferred Geldings and I live next to a breeding farm.

4.  A horse that has had miles of trails and been exposed to cows.  I kinda cheated by combining these into one line item but that's the background I'm looking for.  I figured that if I ever wanted to do any schooling shows I could set that as one of those tomorrow goals.  But today I want to be able to join my friends when they go out on the trails or to weekend sorting events.

5.  Sound and between 12 and 18 years of age.  My new horse must pass a pre-purchase exam with flying colors.  I also want a horse that's had some age on him but also has a few years left.

I also know that I'm an emotional sucker for any horse and would throw those above items out the window at the blink of an eye, so I enlisted the help of my friend/trainer (I call her my "Frainer"), Rachel. She knows my skill level, what will work for me and what won't.  I knew she'd keep me focused and help insure I got what would work best for me.

So off we went looking for horses only to find that they were either misrepresented or sold before we could get to them.  Each time that happened I'd step back and regroup for a few weeks or even months.

I was in one of those regroup stages recently.  I'd had coffee with a friend and told her I was going to hold off on my search until the fall.  But upon arriving home there I was back up on Dreamhorse.  A new listing called my attention.  Hmmmm, this horse sounded exactly like what I was looking for.

He was local and the next day in thunder, lightning and pouring down rain, I met the owner and her horse, Bob.  The following day Rachel, my daughter (who has been interested in this event) and I were back to ride him.  We were impressed.

I asked if the owner would agree to let me try Bob out at my place.  We discussed EHV-1 and I assured her that Bob would be separated from my horses (for everybody's safety) and wouldn't leave my place. 

A few days later Bob arrived.  Here he is checking out my horses across the gate:

Will Bob be "the one"?  Stay tuned.


  1. Good luck to you and Bob. Would be great if you two are made for each other.

  2. Best wishes with your horse search. Hope you find the perfect one. Hunting for a horse is like BOB-bing for never know if you're going to get the rotten, wormy apple or the crisp, sweet apple.


  3. Eeee I'm so excited for you. Please update us when you can. I really hope he works out for you. Can we have details? Age, height, breed, history, experience, etc? :D

  4. Having just gotten back into horses, I have finished the search, try & buy of 3 equines. It's quite the roller coaster!! I, like you, would sometimes say- I am going to put this down for awhile!! And then, like you, I was back on Dreamhorse because I just couldn't stop myself.
    I just finished the 30 day trial on my last horse purchase; my little herd is fully up to speed now and I'm done horse shopping!! My wish list for my last horse was a lot like yours - I ended up with a fjord. She is a SHE however (!!), when I too had wanted all geldings. But she's great and I am not regretting it. If you want to see pics of her or any of my choices (all from Dreamhorse), pop over to blog where I have posted pics.
    I look forward to following your journey of adding to your horsie family. Hopefully Bob's the one!!

  5. Nice post! The word "Frainer" cracked me up :) you are smart to shop with one.

    The type of horse you are looking for seems to be in demand. Best of luck as you search for a new riding partner. Can't wait to hear more!

  6. I just spent a lot of time and effort into a horse search and ended up with two QH geldings - both chestnuts - very different horses. Hope he works out for you!

  7. Great shopping list! I had a similar list and I was SO thankful and fortunate that I had a Frainer to help me make the right decision. I have my fingers and toes crossed that Bob meets your expectations!

  8. I wish you lots of luck. I know what it is like to have that horse your looking for. I was lucky in that I got TWO of them. AND One is a gelding.....They do not come along very often.