Bargain basement horses

ruthb

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Hello,

I'm a reporter writing a feature for Horse Magazine about people who bought their horses really, really cheap ... and they worked out brilliantly.

As the very proud owner of a £400 horse whose worth millions to me (and has her share of rosettes, even though I'm a useless rider and no help) this is a subject close to my heart ...

Its meant to be an upbeat story, and I would LOVE to hear from anyone who has spent less than £1,000 on their horse and lived to tell the tale! Want to know what happened to them, and what their advice would be to other owners.

Will look forward to reading posts, and if you could either send me a message or give me a call on 07881 621934 I'd be eternally grateful. All I'd need would be a very quick chat over the phone - and your horse can have its moment of glory in Horse!

Thank you so much for reading.
Ruthx
 

jhoward

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i have a mare, that was actually bought unseen off this forum take off value of rugs travel etc she was less than 1k. she was a problem horse in every way bucks rears, kicks bites, you name it this mare done it.. BUT had a bsja record.

shes went out on loan and got a tendon injury but is now fixed and on the road to going back to jumping,

any good to you?
 

daisybe33

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I've got a free one i'm sure will be a superstar!! (she's only 3 but I'm aiming for the BYEH classes with her next year)

She's very green but has a fantastic attitude and is stunning so fingers crossed.

My advice would be to go in with your eyes open. They are free/cheap for a reason but with a little understanding , patience and a realistic attitude some of them can be turned around xx
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vickyhd

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I bought my horse (a pure lipizzaner) for £150 as a two year old.

He is beautiful, moves well and is a lovely, easy horse to have around. Has not been lame in ten years (touch wood!). He has won dozens of showing classes and championships, does a reasonable dressage test and jumps. Oh yes, he's really cheap to keep too!

Bargain of a lifetime I reckon - he was a fraction of the price of his saddle!!
 

langside

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not sure if this is usefull but...
we got my old lady for £1150 when she was 14 which included tack and rugs ect
she was bought as something to let me go to ponyclub camp and do a few things over summer with no further expectations whilst my babie horse recovered from injury
we got her and the next day she went to camp she hadnt been rode in over a year and was that fat that her sides touched the stable door frame when walkin in we thought if she could last camp she'd probably last the summer
needless to say she was fab during the whole week and at the end came away with soooo many prizes and my instructor for the week told us told us she'd miss judged her and wanted her for herself by the end of the week.

six years down the line my bargin pone has exceeded our expectations beyond belief
in this time she's qualifed and took me to bluechip championships for sj and dres, scope and bsja festivals, amateur champs , pony club championships, tetrathlon championships, qualified for a 1*, BE novices/jrns and very nearly got on to the jrn team (2nd reserve) and been the most amazing hunter that jumps everything and does anything asked of her

sadly she got injured over a year ago and is slowly coming back into work really now shes 20 she should retire but she just enjoys being worked so much and still kicks teh door and spins around her stable when the lorry starts up
as you said shes worth so much more to us than money and really was our bargin especially due the partnership we formed
 

Keltic

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I got given a16yo Chestnut TB mare that i had on loan for a while as no one wanted her!
Bless her she is very forward going but a fab hack and you could go anywhere on her and she never turned a hair!!
Took her veteran showing and she thought she was racing again, when everyone was walking we jogged sidewards, when everyone trotted we cantered sidewards and when everyone cantered we went into orbit!!! At that point we were asked to leave the ring!!
Even now at the age of 29 and fully retired she still gets over excited, just this weekend I kept her in to keep my other company as was going to a show, in the morning she was that excited she couldnt eat her breakfast she wanted to go to a party!! It took me 3 atempts to get her head collar off when turning her out!!
She is priceless in my opinion ive had hours of fun on her and think she deserves the very best retirement, she has not been ridden for over 5yrs now after suffering a stroke, not that you would ever know it! When ive taken her for a little wander round doing ride and lead off my cob she tries to start a race!!
 

vetsbestfriend

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Hi

Both of my horses only cost me £650 each.

The first one Denby was a bolshy dominant 6 year old when I got him who did not care who/what was in his way, he went through it/them to get what he wanted. When he was delivered to me, he dragged the 2 adults leading him off the box across the yard. During the early years having him many people told me to sell him and get myself another horse because he was so difficult.

The second one Smarty was an unbroken ugly duckling 4 year old TB when I got him, very nervous and react to the slightest movement/sound.

Both horses I spent a lot of time developing a relationship with them and was able to build trust which in turn improved the behaviour. I wouldn't say that they are 100% all of the time but compared to what they were, they are 1000 times better.

I have won and been placed in dressage, show jumping and showing with the pair of them and would not swap them for all the money in the world despite all the problems and hurdles on the way.

If someone else found themselves in the same position of buying a bargain horse, I would thoroughly recommend it but give the advice that you need a lot of patience and time but you will get there in the end. It is very rewarding turning either a scared or 'no one else would take them on' horse around and giving them a chance.
 

SJB33

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I've had my horse for 15 years now, my mum and dad bought her for me for £750 after I begged and begged. We'd previously had her on loan and I just couldn't bear to let her go.

For years she was willful and naughty and I never really managed to do much with her, she would only jump when she wanted to and wouldn't ever load once I'd got her ready for a show.

Then she finally decided to mature (a little bit) at about 21 years old and we did our first one day event.

I'm not the bravest of souls and she doesn't have the best jump so we decided to try something else.

I've been showing with the veteran horse society for the last couple of years and she's been fab. We've just qualified for the regional finals with a goal to get to Olympia this year at the ripe old age of 26. She's not the most amazing mover and there's much posher horses out there but to me she's just fantastic and I wouldnt' swap her for the world.
 

Cop-Pop

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My horse cost me £400 as a 2 year old - it's been a long road for both of us but I wouldn't be without her for the world. My pony cost £50 and I love her to bits - we're trying to qualify for HOYs this year
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milliepops

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It's not quite the same, but mine costs me £60 a year, loaned from a rescue charity. I wanted a 16hh TB gelding, but ended up with a 15hh cob x WB mare as we got on so well. She couldn't canter round the school or jump a stick when I took her on but she's turned out to be my perfect horse. We now compete at BE Novice and BE Elementary.

I loved reading the posts above - there's a lot to be said for bargain basement horses
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Fransurrey

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I first met Henry as a 2yr old, in 1994. He was bought from the sales by my A level Chemistry teacher as an ungelded, practically unhandled colt. Needless to say his kids lost interest quickly and he was sold to my friend for £50. He was gelded at 3, then lightly backed at 4, but my friend is too big to do anything else and he was used as a lead rein occasionally for the family kiddies. He went on loan 2 or 3 times over the next couple of years, but he always came back as they couldn't handle him. During this time I was at Uni. I rode him a few times during the holidays, but never considered him a 'serious ride', although I thought the world of him and preferred him to her other pony, an Arab X.

In 1999, I had moved to the SE and was looking for a loan horse of around 15hh, but was unsuccessful, so I put it on hold. About the same time my friend had also moved to the SE and on 29th January, 2000, I got a crisis call whilst I was having a Saturday afternoon tipple in Dartford. She'd apparently arranged for both ponies to come down to the SE, one on loan to someone at her yard and Henry to the riding school next door. When she was half-way down, she'd called them to be told that they didn't want him anymore and she couldn't take him there, hence the phone call to me!

Within 5 mins I'd arranged with the yard I'd looked at the previous summer to have a stable prepared and I called her back, to say he could come to me. Her box kept breaking down, so we arranged that she would try to get to Dartford the next day, a Sunday, only that fell apart when her box broke down to the point she had to get recovered back to Woking, as her start point was the closest. So, on the evening of the 30th, my YO collected him. When we got there, I discovered that the riding school hadn't even allowed him off the box, so he'd been in there from around 7am the previous day to 8pm next day. He walked straight onto the new box (I'm still amazed at that) and settled quickly at my new yard.

After 3 yrs, I did hand over £200, to 'seal the deal', as it were, as I was terrified by then that if we fell out, my friend's Mum would demand him back (she had paid the £50 initially).

He's still my number one pony, now and most definitely 'the one'. At 12hh, hardly what I was looking for, but I think 9yrs says a lot, although a couple of months after taking him on, I really wondered if I'd done the right thing. He had no idea of schooling/basic aids, nipped when led, bucked for England and tried to bolt if anything bigger than a fiesta or a road bike went passed. Oh and he wouldn't be caught and napped badly leaving the yard, too. No-one believes me, now, he's so good!

How's that for a romantic story?
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