Horse Shopping Update

Horse Shopping Update

I don’t really know how to write about horse shopping. What’s a less than ideal match for me might be the perfect horse for someone else. I’m not about to post all the pictures and videos and internet-stalking I find on the prospects here on the blog. That’s not fair to the seller, and ultimately the horse. If I write or share something careless, it could hurt their chances of ending up in a good situation.

So how do you write an update with no firm details and no media? First, the high-level overview:

  1. This market is nuts.
  2. I’m in the early stages of, “I’m never gonna find a pony!” stage.

That being said, I would like to share a little about the prospects we’ve passed on. So to do that, I will be describing them as very-not-horsey animals.

The Kudu

Photo © Kent Wang

I didn’t actually meet the Kudu myself. It was a few hours away at a Kudu showing facility doing fancy Kudu things. But my trainer happened to be there with reinforcements, and they checked out the Kudu for me. This creature had the best brain ever. So much to love about the Kudu. We had known about it for a while, but at first watching the Kudu on video didn’t exactly spark joy for me. After hearing how great the brain was, I was a lot more interested. But ultimately the Kudu had some price fluctuations, and ultimately decided to continue looking. This one is going to make someone really happy though.

The Brontosaurus

Photo © Matt Brown

When I saw the ad for the Brontosaurus, I was immediately in love. On paper, it was absolutely everything I was looking for. Already having missed out on two seemingly perfect creatures in my price range that went on trial in less than 24 hours before I could even think about traveling to see them, we didn’t want to delay on Bronty. So trainer and I hopped on a plane the next day to see it.

Bronty was beautiful, tall and at a very “what you see is what you get” dinosaur training facility, which I love. It was a great size with comfortable gaits. But there were a few things about it that triggered some horsey PTSD for me. Things a different rider would not care about at all, but for whatever reason they bothered me. Still, we decided to go back the next day to try Bronty again, because I really wanted this to be the one. But my heart wasn’t in it. When my trainer hopped on the beautiful dino again, we both agreed it wasn’t the one.

The Swan

Photo © Raphael Quinet

Ugh, this one still stings a little. The Swan could have easily been a black swan, because I had no idea it existed. When we flew to see the Brontosaurus, the swan was an extra creature we figured would be educational to sit on. Then we both fell in love. On paper, I would have never wanted the swan (which goes to show you how wild this process really is). It used to swim in super fancy ponds and there are photos of it all over the internet zipping and swooping over huge obstacles. Meeting the swan, we were overcome with kindness and a willing attitude. It was a little older than I wanted but came with so much knowledge and experience. When I said “Hey I’m with you, let’s do this” the swan replied, “Good. Let’s fly.”

I took a million pictures of it. Watched all the videos over and over again on the way home on the plane. But, you know this story has to end differently than I wanted it to. When the vet looked the swan over, they found something that not only currently bothered it a bit but one of those “not if, but when” situations. Still, I tried to offer a lease-purchase at a price I was comfortable gambling with. I knew they wouldn’t take it, and they didn’t.

So that’s where we are. I know I’m not patient, and I know the market is nuts, so I give myself pep talks a lot. Mostly they are, “You are so lucky to be able to do this” and “You haven’t been looking long. It’s too early to despair.”

I wouldn’t categorize my feelings as despair, but it’s a hard process in a hard market and I am so desperately ready to find ‘the one.’ Until then, the search continues.

11 thoughts on “Horse Shopping Update

  1. Ugh. I remember doing this when I was shopping and bought Paige. My budget was very different, so vet checks weren’t a priority to me at that point, so I can’t imagine falling in love and then having to save myself future heartbreak by walking away but I can definitely sympathize with the process and how it makes you crazy. I hope you find something that makes you feel the way the swan did but with more long term optimism.

  2. I know the process sucks when you’re in the middle of it but we’re all rooting for you to find that perfect next partner! Tangentially related, I appreciate the hell out of how you’re choosing to write about the process, after seeing how some other people post about their horse shopping journey in a way that left a really bad taste in my mouth (and would have made me LIVID as a seller if they’d written about my horse). Sending you all the jingles and good vibes for some great new prospects to try so basically like the swan, but one that vets!

  3. Horse shopping drove me as crazy as horse selling, it took me 5 months and the market wasn’t nearly as crazy. So many frustrated tears… why do we do this again? lol

  4. Excellent way to thread the needle. While I would enjoy hearing about more of the wild & exotic animals out there, I hope the next post is that you found a horse.

  5. It really is crazy out there right now. I know how hard it is to be patient, especially when you’re horseless, but it’s worth it to wait for the right one. I hope said “one” finds you soon though!

  6. Horse shopping is a roller coaster of emotions from both sides of the deal. Here’s hoping your unicorn shows up soon!

  7. The horse market is bonkers right now!! My recent horse shopping experience was full of so many emotions (Excited!! Why can’t I find a single horse in my generous to me budget!! Why are all these people buying them sight unseen online before I can go try them!!). It seems like it was just yesterday I was going through the same thing! I also tried to be really careful on my blog about what I posted and was super careful to not ever post anything negative about the horses I passed (because I agree, they were all great horses, just not right for me).

    It was such a relief to finally work with a reasonable and nice seller, and perhaps because being a vet the PPE is so important to me, I almost skipped ahead to that step before I really even got to know them under saddle.

    Good luck, the right horse is out there!

  8. I love that you’re using your head *and* your heart here. So many horses are perfect on paper… but if he doesn’t make your heart sing when you’re on him, what’s the point? That perfect-for-you pone is out there!

  9. I’ve never actually horse-shopped before. All of my horses literally fall onto my property.

    1) Princess P I knew for a while, and she had some habits that concerned others but not me, she is an orphan and came w/ orphan issues. She was the breeders “daughter” (breeder is a good friend of mine) and breeder felt better having her stay close-by on a life-lease to me because P and I got along.

    2) W was from same breeder as P – was bought as a weanling and then neglected for 5 years then given back to the breeder because she was “dangerous” (not actually but their dangerous and mine are different, apparently). I fell in love with her but I wasn’t looking for another horse. Nobody wanted W because of her neglect-related behavior issues. Breeder saw the look on my face and dropped her off at my place. The rest is history (and said horse is now BROKE, SWEET and FUN!)

    3) I was looking for a pony for my kids to ride. My best friend’s childhood pony needed a soft place to land. He has been with me for years now, lol!!!

    4) Needed 2 ponies now and another of my best friends ponies needed a job – her kids outgrew said pony because they are a family of giants and my family are all shrimps. Now pony lives with me! lol

    The point being, when the time is right, it will happen!

  10. I’ve owned and ridden horses for 45 years and I’ve learned the best ones are like the loves of our lives. They happen sometimes when we least expect it. But you have to remain open to the possibility. My newest horse is a grey gelding. I specifically looked for him as my 2 best horses were grey geldings. As this may be my last horse I wanted to recreate the magic. He is the best horse ever and has yet to do even one bad thing, but I found he has navicular syndrome, of course discovered after the purchase. But I have no regrets and I’ll manage his condition so we can continue riding, and I’ll keep him forever. I’m glad I found him as his prospects with someone else may have been different if you know what I mean. He looked sad when I found him (at a horse trader ranch that had found him at an auction) but now he is happy and so am I.
    Best of luck in your search!!

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