Friday, April 11, 2008

What A Bad Horse Dealer/Seller Might Do......

1) He/She may work the hell out of a green horse before the scheduled time you have set to view so that it's tired and quiet by the time you show up.

Advice: Show up earlier than scheduled. Also, leave to think about it and show up a second unexpected day and ask to see the horse that you are interested in.

2) He/She may "bute" or "banamine" a sore or lame horse to mask symptoms when showing you the horse.

Advice: Pre-purchase Vet exam. You choose the Vet.

3) Tell you the horse is younger than it really is.

Advice: Know what you're buying. Again, pre-purchase vet check.

4) Tell you this is a perfectly "kid-safe" horse. Their kids ride it all the time!

Advice: Find out what level a rider their child is. Use your gut. Pay attention to the horse's cues. You can tell a lot by watching things like "ears" and movements, how it leads, tacks up, etc..

5) He/She may tranquilize the horse before you come to see it.

Advice: Watch for this. A tranquilized horse may be slow to react. Have a droopy lower lip. Dull eyes. Again, show up a second time, unexpected and ask to see the horse.

6) He/She may tell you that there are others interested in the horse and it may not be there.

Advice: Think about that. Why are they so anxious to sell? Pressure to buy is never good.

Bottom line is you want to watch the horse being caught and led in. You want to watch it being tacked up and bridled and pay attention to the way this horse is behaving. You want to come back for a surprise visit. That will debunk any tricks that may be used on a scheduled visit. You want to see vet records and know why the person is selling. And most of all you want a Pre-purchase vet exam, vet of your choice before buying. And use your gut and head, not heart. Be patient, there's a lot of horses out there for sale.

If anyone wants to add something I may have missed, please feel free!


Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

If it is not easy to get away to see a horse, find a good trainer in the area or a horse appraiser. If they represent the buyer they usually are bonded. They can arrange for the vet exam and transportation. A trainer can ride the horse and evaluate it.

Grey Horse Matters said...

You covered a lot of good things to watch out for when buying a horse. The most important thing being is when you find a horse you would like to buy go for the pre-purchase exam. I really think you should always match a horse to the ability of the rider now, not what the rider will be sometime down the road. To me this is a very important safety feature for the rider and the horse. Good post.

Rising Rainbow said...

I make it a habit never to ride a horse I haven't seen ridden first. Just because someone says a horse is safe doesn't make it so.If I go to try out a horse and they're not willing to get on it firts, that's it for me, I head for the door.

Like all things, this rule is not absolute. I have a friend who rarely rides and is not comfortable getting on a horse she hasn't ridden, even if she owns that horse.(if you're wondering why she might have such a horse, think brood mare)

She recently sold a brood mare that had been shown by the previous owner but the mare hadn't been ridden the whole time my friend owned her. The buyers had that information from the first contact before they ever came to ride.

But she tells buyers that she doesn't ride before they ever come to look so they can make arrangements to have a trainer come and ride the horse or other arrangements. Her concern for everyone's safety is apparent

Midlife Mom said...

EXCELLENT advice!!! Excellent!!

photogchic said...

I know I was duped. I think Maddy was drugged when I rode her and the vet check was a wash because when I showed up a couple months later to do the promised video work for their ranch, the vet was "living" at the sellers house because her boyfriend kicked her out. I was nieve...and wore my heart on my sleeve and I was taken for a ride. I like the sellers even after all this and remain in contact. My goal is to someday show them what an amazing horse they sold me and come out better for it. My motto if I ever buy another horse..."the seller is the enemy....the seller is the enemy."

Mrs Mom said...

Oh now Callie, Horse Sellers would nevere LIE to a prospective Horse Buyer would they?

OK OK I know.. I know.... Bad Mrs Mom.. Bad bad bad...

Back to my cereal now so that I wont be such a smart alec.... ;)

Callie said...

Thanks all for adding to it. All very good things to remember as well, bringing a trainer, having the seller ride it first, etc. And sorry I didn't get to moderating comments last night, but work blocks me out of blogger.

Victoria Cummings said...

I actually leased Silk for a month before I bought her. If people are really concerned that their horse find a good home, they are usually willing to do that. After a month, you should be able to tell what's really going on with the horse

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I've had numbers 1 and 6 pulled on me, but I could see right through them. I felt so bad for this one little mare. By the time I arrived to ride her, she was dripping sweat from being ridden into the ground. When I mounted, the owners held both the reins and the stirrup. I told them I didn't need their help, but they insisted. It turned out that the cinch had cut into the mare's armpit and they knew she'd blow up if the saddle slid when I mounted. I wished they had just told me she had an injury (you couldn't see it unless she extended her front leg forward), because I would not have ridden her and put her under that stress.

Callie said...

The lease thing is a good idea!

NuzMuz, that's just sad, poor mare.

Anne said...

Take the horse home with you for a week, although my vet says that some drugs won't wear off in a week.

I'm not as sold on pre-purchase exams as I once was. For one thing, EVERYTHING flunks. For another, there are times you can get away without it. For instance, when we got our daughter's Greatest Pony Ever, it was from a riding school with a good reputation. The pony had been used there for weekly lessons for six years. I figured she could go a couple more years. The people who bought her from us didn't get her vet checked either, and they foxhunted her all season. With all this mileage, she's probably got as many things wrong with her as I do and would probably flunk. But so far at least two girls have loved her and learned to ride on her, and there's another one dying for her present owner to outgrow her so she can buy her. My experience is that I end up spending so much on vet exam after vet exam on wonderful horses who flunk that soon I'm broke and still looking for a horse....

I also don't spend a lot on horses. If I were buying Big Ticket horses, you betcha I'd have them turned inside out and examined.

Kathy C said...

Great post Callie.

I'm trying to sell one of ours right now, and I'm being brutally honest with people who inquire. It's what I expect. That's why I still own him, and will likely NOT find someone to buy him. But, that's okay too.

Callie said...

When I sold Dakota and had people inquire, I was brutally honest as well. One person was looking for their grandkids and I straight up told them, no way, this is not a horse for grandkids. Dakota required a strong leader, more likely a man and needed work and miles. He had no health issues and utimately went to the right home.

Joan said...

Just popped in to say HELLO and hope you are well! I love your pictures.

Transylvanian horseman said...

Another trick to make a horse docile is to deny him water for 24 hours. In Romania one smelt the horse's breath to see whether alcohol had been added to his feed!

In the UK I've been advised to have a vet take and store a blood sample which can be analysed for doping in the event of later suspicion.

Whenever possible I'd have a vet examine a horse before purchase. However I'd want to be sure in my own mind that the horse was suitable in all other respects first. I might also ask the farrier privately for an opinion. The feet and lower legs are the most common cause of lameness, and a horse that won't stand to be shod is a nuisance.

Another questions to think about is how the horse behaves with traffic.

I've bought around two dozen horses over the past few years. The ones that went wrong (three in total) weren't suitable because I was in a hurry (I needed extra horses urgently) and went against intuition. Two had odd actions and didn't ride well, but at least sold on as draught horses. Another proved to be a kicker (which I would have discovered during a trial period), and she was sold on too.

Anonymous said...

I grew up riding neighbors horses, so never had to figure out if they were suitable to buy.

Last year I wanted my children to learn to ride and bought a very beautiful large pony that I thought would be great for my kids.

She passed vet check no problem. I was thrilled, because I rode her and she was perfectly obedient.

Well, she was only good for experiences riders. She was horrible for my kids. Wouldn't go. Tried to bite their feet when they'd nudge her to walk. She took total advantage of a beginner rider, and just would not do anything without me having her on a lead line. NOt my idea of fun at all. :o(

She started nipping and biting and just a nasty little bratt. She was great with adults but was awful with children. She just knew she was bigger than they were and knew they didn't know what they were doing with her.

I paid a lot of money for her because she knew some dressage and went english (which we ride) as well as western. Won the few shows she had been in and just thought she'd be a great 4-H/pony club mount for my children once they learned a bit.

Seller told me she wasn't afraid of anything and loved trail riding. Wrong. She was afraid of absolutely everything. It was just no fun to ride her, although she was lovely to look at when she was in the pasture or all tacked up.

Lesson learned. Next time I will put my KIDS on the kids horse I am buying. Duh!

We sold her after one year to a trainer. She's working on her few bad habits and will sell her to a more experienced rider when the right match comes along. I sold her for $3,000 less than I paid for her. OH well. Lesson learned. :o(

Thanks for the great least. Very informative.

Callie said...

All good added advice, everybody, and experiences to learn from. Than-you!

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

I agree with Anne, on some horses a pre-purchase exame will turn you away from a great horse. There is no such thing as a perfect horse. You have to consider age and what you will be doing with it. I found 2 perfect horses for a friend, the vet said possible start of navicular so she didn't want them. As often as she rode they would have been fine with a little bute if they were sore. Another friend took them both and started them on supplements and his daughter uses them for lessons. He is a farrier and he wasn't worried about the one horses feet. They still have them.