Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Here's horse #15 and her ad - I thought her description and photo warranted a phone call - I like her sturdy build.  She is double Impressive on the bottom side, but her look is balanced and what I can see of the feet looks pretty good.

I had a nice conversation with the owner.  She sounds like a really nice horse - good experience, including a lot of trail work, very calm and well-trained.  The owner is looking to get a paint and start to show paints.  The only behavior issues she has are clipping her ears is difficult - she came to the owner terrified of clippers and they've made a lot of progress - and she bucked once when in heat and crowded in an arena by other horses.  Neither of those bothers me much.  But the owner volunteered that she has a stifle problem - always has - on one side and tends to drag the toe although she warms up out of it.   This has make collecting her lope difficult.  Sigh . . .

So onwards.  I know a number of you think I shouldn't reject horse #2 just based on photos.  But I'm vacillating about whether to go see her.  I just don't like her look - she seems too delicate to me and not that well put together, although she's very pretty.  I'm wary of pretty - look where it got me last time.  It's time for some calls on horse #10, 11 and 12.


  1. If it doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't right. Go with your gut instinct, and you will likely save yourself grief down the road. I'm following this saga closely, as I plan to start looking for my next horse in late winter/early spring.

    Hoping to hear more about #12.

  2. Too bad, but I agree you should move on ,you have had enough trouble with ongoing "issues" of unsoundness for a lifetime

  3. I like those other 3 horses. That's sure a nice one pulling that calf. They mention in the ad he's been through one spring branding. That's pretty calm for his first time. Working on a loose rein like that is what we strive for. I know a lot of horses, like we ride, won't appreciate constant contact on the bit, even light and even with good hands. They would tolerate it all right, but they just wouldn't like it.

    Out here it's just too much work to tell a horse what to do every step. We really value thinking horses that pick their own footing (so we can keep our eyes on the cattle not on the treacherous ground, too scary for me sometimes to even want to know) and we only correct them if they are going severely off course. We have that luxury (and that necessity).

    I think that type of horse would make an excellent trail horse, maybe not quite as desirable in an arena. Just an old cowgirl's viewpoint, you know best what you're looking for.

  4. Hi Kate-

    Didn't comment yesterday on the in depth look at the paint mare, but I'm glad to hear you're leaning towards taking her out of contention.

    There were too many questions don't you think?! Sometimes the neat looking paints can't be distracting.

    The horse that boards with me is a very flashy chocolate paint. Everyone who has seen him raves about how beautiful he is. My farrier's comment was, "if you cut the head and neck off, I like the rest okay..."

    I'm enjoying following along with your search :)

  5. I think you should come down and adopt Manu. :)

    Horse shopping is not a process I enjoyed. It's so hard to really capture a horse in an ad, in a video, in a cell phone picture. And it's hard to capture so many elements of what you're looking for in words.

    I admire the disciplined approach you're taking, and can't wait to see the results of more in person visits.

  6. I'm assuming you probably already know to test for HYPP before buying an Impressive-bred horse.

    I think shopping for a horse via photos and email has to be so difficult. You never know if the photographs are really a true representation, or if people are telling the truth about training and personality. You are thorough, though -- I've been impressed with how careful and detached you've stayed, making sure you find the right horse for what you want!

  7. As for horse #2...meant to comment below. Her hind leg is very straight and if you look closely at that left front, the hoof is higher on the inside...either some bad trimming...which could lead to unsoundness, or conformation which might eventually lead to ringbone. But "could" and "might" are the operative words, so it's hard to say if it's worth the risk.

    Not keen either about chronic stifle issues. I've worked with that and you have to really be diligent in keeping the horse fit. Kind of a pain.

  8. Gosh Kate this search is keeping you busy, I'm following your progress but don't feel in any way qualified to comment as I'm not at all familiar with the QH conformation and they are so different to the horses I am familiar with. The necks are set on very low and the thought of collection is interesting but I imagine very comfortable for the trail. Good luck in your search it's very exciting!

  9. I may not be the best example, Kate, but I think the right horse will come along at the right time and you will know it.

    Good luck!

  10. You know what you want better than any of us, so if you don't think horse number 2 looks like something you'd want to own (too refined), then you might be wasting your time looking at her.

    I just didn't want her to be excluded based on some terrible photos from her owner. :)

  11. I'm not crazy about working with stifle issues. I might give this one a pass.

  12. Oh boy, I wouldn't touch stifle issues with a ten foot pole. They never really seem to go away, and end up impacting other joints, and the back, and the stride... on and on.

    If you've got a bad feeling about Horse #2, I agree with what others have said that you should go with your gut. If it were me, I'd have to go see her to reject her, but you are probably far more practical and sensible about these things than I would be. :)

  13. Kate I have to say I'm so impressed with your methodical approach to buying a horse. I tend to be so impulsive and get caught up with emotions and fall in love at first sight. I do tend to have a good gut instinct but have been wrong a few enjoying seeing what tickles your fancy though

  14. I would also be looking for EPSM/PSSM issues. While these can be treated with diet and regular exercise, if the condition was severe and not treated there could be lasting muscle damage.

    Dragging hinds (if it's a chronic way of moving you can see the hoof shaped by it) is a red flag for this (as well as other issues, as you know).


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