I am going to go check out an 11 year old paint mare tomorrow. She was originally trained for barrel racing (which I'm planning on doing with her) but hasn't done it since she's been with her current owner. She has had her for a couple years and used her mainly for pleasure riding, trails ect. She hasn't been ridden in about a year, aside from a little walk outside 2 weeks ago, because the owner has a back injury. So she will need a refresher. She sounds perfect and is BEAUTIFUL! I am soooooooo excited, I've been losing sleep lol. If things work out, which I'm hoping they do, this will be my first horse. I'm beyond excited!
What should I make sure to ask about the horse...
I've asked about her feet and she goes barefoot.
I've asked about her trailering and she doesn't mind it.
She isn't spooky...will walk over and under tarps and is not afraid of plastic bags.
She doesn't have any soundness issues.
She doesn't have any bad habits such as cribbing, bucking, kicking, biting, or rearing.
She gets along with other horses and animals.
She has put children on her and walked them around with no problem.
She is a little weary of going to far from the barn and other horses...but that isn't a huge problem for me.
I still have to ask about vaccines and coggins...it slipped my mind
I see soundness is probably not an issue, but having been around horses far longer than dogs, I would want her vetted. For example, a friend who took over a free lease on a very nice warmblood mare, knowing she had an old fetlock bone chip, now has to return her to the breeder because the old injury was actually more serious than had been previously diagnosed. Think major surgery which may or may not be successful. Thankfully the mare can live out her life at the breeder's farm.
Anyway, think about having her flexed and possibly xrayed for any possible hidden issues such as navicular syndrome. Do they have her papers? HyPP is a genetic issue for horses with Impressive bloodlines. Basically you want a baseline health assessment and know if there are issues you can live with (some arthritis) vs. those you can't.
Other than that, good luck and enjoy the journey!
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2nd the getting her vetted - x-rays, the whole deal.
Don't take anyone's word on her temperament. I'm assuming you are going to ride her tomorrow. Get there early so you can watch them groom and tack her up. The groom's attitude around her may tell you a lot. Even better if you can convince them to let you groom and/or tack her up yourself.
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Thank you for your post! You've got a good list going.
I'm sure that you are a lot younger than I am...but when I buy a horse, I like to watch the owner groom, pick up their feet, tack up, and RIDE for me, before I get into the saddle. If they don't want to get on the horse, then I'm a little leery. At times, I've hired a trainer to go with me to ride and assess the horse.
I'm with stealthq---arrive early! I've even gone a few hours early, and want to take a halter out to the pasture or stall, myself, and see if I can catch the horse. A vet check, even with friends, is essential. It protects you both and your friendship. Does this horse have any papers? Does the owner own the horse free and clear? Bill of sale? Has this horse had shoes before? Can you pick up all four feet easily? How about bridling? Good with ears? How about the worming program? Can you talk to the barrel racing trainer and get a recommendation?
Just a few ideas. Best to you, Michelle!
I've run into the most crooked, deceitful people in the horse business. You would not believe some of the straight-up, bald-faced lies you get told with a smile that says that butter would not melt in the seller's (or their agent's) mouth. It's sometimes even worse if you act through agents because not infrequently they are working for their own benefit and care nothing for you. Then you have to watch for the agents making a deal under the table that cheats both buyer AND seller in addition to the usual crap that the buyers try to pull.
ETA: The ridiculous thing is that agents/trainers would sell so many more horses if they were honest and had a reputation for honesty. People would want to buy from them, and would be happy with their purchase because the horse would be as represented.
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I would test this out carefully before I made a decision ... it may be more of a problem than you think ...
Best wishes, I hope it works out for you. ... I miss my old horse very much !
I will definitely see how bad she is about it. I'm assuming its just because she hasn't been riden for a while, and doesn't really have the confidence she use to when she was being riden and worked with daily...I guess I'll find out! I'll be leaving here in about 2 hours to go meet her. I'm SO excited! If everything goes well, I will arrange another day to go out and have a vet check her out for me.
Wish me luck!
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