Sunday, September 19, 2010

Horse Comparison: Two Paints

Now for some fun - in part to distract me from Maisie's impending departure to Tennessee in about a week, which I'm pretty distressed about - I'm going to miss my sweet snuff-a-whuff mare a great deal.

I'm going to do a series of posts comparing two horses offered at on-line horse sales sites for you to comment on. These are ones that I've selected because they appeal to me. Look at the pictures, read the adds and give me your thoughts - good points, bad points, questions to ask. Keep in mind what I've said my requirements are in this post. Before I go to see any of these horses, I'm going to have a detailed conversation with the seller and also ask for confirmation shots on level ground with no saddle - both sides, front and back so I can see all four legs and feet and how the horse is put together overall - and also close-ups of each foot from the side and also from the bottom. Some of the on-line adds are pretty deficient in the photo department. Once you've had a chance to comment, I'll let you know what my thoughts are on each horse. I'll tag all these posts, as well as the original one, with "horse search" so we can keep track of them.

So, with no further ado, here is horse #1, with his ad:

And here is horse #2, with her ad:

In the case of these horses, keep in mind that my knowledge/biases on paint bloodlines is just about zero.

And one other note - a number of you have made good suggestions on other breeds/types for me to look at, including smaller drafts and draft crosses. For the moment I've ruled them out, as well as other good breeds such as Morgans, because our rich pasture grazing can be hard for a horse that is an easy keeper to take - although of course any horse, of any breed, can be insulin resistant or have trouble keeping weight down.

I'm also considering a couple of "mystery horses" that have been suggested to me directly, but I'm not at liberty to discuss those at this point.


  1. I personally like the mare. She is built well, seems like she has lots of skills and judging from the pictures posted on DreamHorse, she is a good western show prospect. =) I can't really say an opinion on the gelding because there aren't very many pictures, and I, like you, know little to none about paint horse bloodlines. =D

  2. I like the looks of the gelding a lot better, although I don't think he's conformationally perfect in his hind legs. There isn't a lot of info on him, but he has gone camping and that's a plus in my book.

    The mare sounds like she's been mostly ridden around the farm, with just a little real trail experience. Her front hooves may be very upright, and I think she's landing toe first in the riding picture.

    Too little info on both of them. I would also want hoof photos. I've known a lot of paints with bad feet. But that could be bloodline related, and I don't know squat about bloodlines...

  3. I like the look of the first one! Have to say, it has an interested look, "Whats going on here?" Thats a horse, that would go places.

  4. Under doctor's orders for six months ("no riding") recovering from rotator cuff surgery gave me time to read books and study pictures on horse conformation. I am in awe of those who look at a horse and can tell from a still shot if a horse can "track up," an important quality in dressage. I like features of both horses pictured above, though neither picture is a good "conformation" shot. I'm a sucker for a good neck and throat-latch connection because if there is a thick throat latch, you cannot have a horse "on the bit." SO ... I think the mare has a slightly better neck. Hard to tell from the gelding. I too would like to see the FEET, and while I can't tell because of the mare's markings on her butt, I'm wondering if her hips are uneven. I like the gelding's body but agree about his back legs being a bit posty.

  5. I'm liking the gelding more but of course more pics and info would help. I'm not a big fan of white hooves, which the mare has, possibly the gelding too, though it's hard to tell. The mare looks to have less bone even though there is only around 50lbs diff in weight, shrug.
    Yep, more info required but both horses are lovely and you are a good rider which is an asset. That will bring out the best in either horse.

  6. Well, I can see I have the right kind of horses, even if the geography doesn't work!
    You're right to want way more photos: it's hard to tell from those angled front shots. Can't really judge their neck/shoulders or the mare's hip and legs. It does seem like the gelding has good bone, but his cannons seem a little long, and the right hind looks a little odd to me.
    And TBD is right--Paint markings can distort the appearance of conformation some, if you don't know how to look past them.
    Nothing spectacular up close in either pedigree (I'm not that good on bloodlines, even though I bred Paints--but if I don't recognize anybody, they must be fairly run-of-the-mill). But for what you're looking for, it's not that big an issue.
    Both horses have kind eyes, and appear to have an easy way of going in the ridden shots. Personality and attitude are the biggies for me. (And you can't judge that from a picture!)

  7. Neither ad really gives a lot of detail, so I think we'd need more information and conformation shots to really be able to offer you good advice. Right now, though, I like the black and white mare -- I like her lighter build, and I think I'm also partly influenced by having a picture of her being ridden. Maybe with more pictures I'll change my mind.

    You might also see if the sellers can shoot short videos for you so you can see how the horses move at each gait.

    Just a quick comment on white feet -- I have heard the myths about white feet, and I suspect that's what they are, myths. Panama has white feet all the way around and he has awesome feet, strong and sound without shoes. I think the quality of their hooves probably has more to do with genetics than color.

  8. The pictures could be better but for me I'd pick #2 the mare. She is nice and clean front and back (though a side view would be handy to get a look at her hocks, hips and shoulders). But she is a more graceful, athletic looking horse - more the kind of horse I'd want for myself.

    The 1st guy isn't a bad horse for the $ but he's a little straight behind and not a build I'd like for my purposes, though he'd be a solid guy and plenty horse for trails, pleasure, low level stuff, etc.

  9. I think, given the limited info and photos, that the mare would be the better choice. The gelding looks like he'd be a rough ride. More photos and videos may tell a better story.

  10. Kate...with the information and photos I have seen so far, I would vote for the mare. Her look and the way she carries herself seems right up you alley....but who knows. Keep us posted.

  11. Not good conformation pics of either one. I cannot tell about the mare's shoulder or much about her hind end. The saddle covers too much of the gelding. He looks a little straight in the hind end to me, but the mare may be a little close behind.

    Now, here's the rub. We went to see a horse to buy one time. He was GORGEOUS. From all I could see his conformation was great. Then we watched him move--short strided and a 16h horse that looked like a Shetland Pony.

    As far as I am concerned the best way to judge a horse is in the flesh, watching him/her move and then, above all else riding. Disposition is another matter--that you may not be able to tell in one ride, so there you have to trust a bit in the training an experience--which the gelding seems to have more of.

    ---this from someone who adopted two horses off the Internet, sight unseen--but my criteria were "four legs, a mane and a tail" *LOL*

  12. The colour of the gelding is very appealing to me. I personally have never liked black horses (even if it's black and white). Two blue eyes not so much. I think he's a little straight in the shoulder but not too bad a bum. I can't really tell much else from the photo except I think I would prefer his hocks to be a little lower. He kind of looks like a cowboy type horse. My husband likes those Zan Par Bar horses but not everyone gets along with them. But that's a ways back on the pedigree. A 2 on temperament is good as long as it's not a lazy 2.

    For the mare: the 3/4 view hides a multitude of sins. It's hard to tell anything, straightness of legs, shoulder, withers. I can't even venture to guess except to say pretty face. Maybe it's her best feature. Not too much white is good (you know I ride a paint and I think that the more white an animal has the more easily bothered, hyper, or what ever you want to call it, they are). She is better represented for sure (so clean). She is moving very balanced and sweet looking in the 2nd photo.

    Dang, this is fun. Good prices I'd say. Just my 2 cents.

  13. I prefer the mare, but her colouring is way more appealing for me, so I could be biased :D

  14. The gelding isn't too bad. His LS joint is a bit far back which might make collection hard for him. I also wouldn't buy that horse without getting straight on views from the front and back. He looks like he toes in on the left fore and might be bowlegged behind.

    I can't tell squat from the pictures of the mare except that she has a sweet expression. I'd look closely at the hind feet to see why they point forward- is the farrier doing that or her stifles?

  15. I like the gelding a lot better, but there's no substitute for meeting them in person.

  16. The pictures really aren't good enough to analyze conformation on either of them. The angle of the picture of the mare hides to much and the gelding the saddle is covering up like half the horse! I like the fact that there is at least a riding picture of the mare. I will say I like her expression as well. I know nothing about paint bloodlines so I didn't even look at the pedigrees. My comment is sooooo helpful, lol!

  17. I have to say that the gelding's face initially turned me off, and the mare is so pretty. Later, though, I looked again at the photos, and I thought he had a sweet, gentle look about him. Also, her ad mentions that she would be better for an intermediate rider. Why? You are more than an intermediate rider, of course, but why did they say that? She is gorgeous though in those photos. Kate, keep in mind, I am no expert about these things! I go from my gut - aesthetics are so subjective anyhow, but I have to be honest - I study photos more than bloodlines.

  18. At a glance, (my computer is being silly and I diodn't get to see the ads) I would vote the mare. this is based soley on the one pic mind you ,but the gelding looks like a rough ride, probably solid and a good horse , but for pleasure trail riding?

  19. I prefer the mare, (but of course I do prefer a mer) but I also prefer the toby patterns, not just for looks but all the tobys I have had are nice horses, dont know much about overos, but of course there can be nice ones of those too I suppose.
    I guess more information is really needed and ask if you can go see them if they aresnt too far away cause you want to know perdonality on the ground as well as the saddle.

  20. I like "hot rod" because of his camping experience but I leave it to others to weigh in on confirmation.

  21. The gelding's bloodlines are going to be more marketable for resale, although he's got a few holes in his pedigree. Here is his great-grandsire:

    If you are seriously considering either one, I'd ask for video to evaluate their movement. They are both fairly plainly bred and nothing in particular that says they should be great movers. Not that they couldn't be, which is why I'd ask for video :)

  22. I am just now joining in on the fun of comparing these horses. I have to backtrack of course because my own horse is a pin at. I love the second one simply because it is so darn eye-catching. Who doesn't love a paint with the big ole shield in front and such a beautiful bearing??? I vote for that one!!


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