Buying horses and compromising on what you want.

poiuytrewq

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If you were looking to buy a horse, with the current prices/climate etc how much would be too much to compromise?
Im not really talking anything special and I fully know I’m not going to get perfection.
Im not ready to buy yet but always look at adverts to gauge an idea of what’s around at what price.
I saw one yesterday which I could actually go buy tomorrow if I wanted but it has 3 things that may or may not be deal breakers (even at the dirt cheap price)
I’ve not messaged or called because I think maybe all 3 combined are too much of a compromise even if they are lower end issues.
eg, one is that it has a pollen allergy but a fly rug prevents rubbing.... I read that as sweetitch which could be super mild and is a compromise I may make OR it could be a nightmare to keep on top of (horse had a hogged tail and mane 🤷‍♀️)
It needs a confident rider alone as can be nappy.... again this may or may not be a deal breaker. Does it need coaxing out of the yard or does it whip round and buck the entire hack for example?
How much compromise would be too much for you?
 

Cortez

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I would wait until you may not have to compromise. I'll never buy a sweetitch horse again, I've been managing several for over 10 years and it's heartbreaking and a nightmare, even if it's mild (can flare up at any stage). As a general rule I would always say "never buy a problem", but take into account that what may be a problem for someone else may not be for you. Certainly never buy two problems!
 

poiuytrewq

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I would wait until you may not have to compromise. I'll never buy a sweetitch horse again, I've been managing several for over 10 years and it's heartbreaking and a nightmare, even if it's mild (can flare up at any stage). As a general rule I would always say "never buy a problem", but take into account that what may be a problem for someone else may not be for you. Certainly never buy two problems!
No I have no intention of actually looking at this horse. It just made me wonder how much would be too much.
Doubtless I am going to have to compromise on something and in this case if it were just the napping I’d have phoned and asked details.
Shame because it was a sweet sounding horse.
 

Nicnac

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I agree with Cortez. I had two with SI and never again. One only developed after I moved horse to the UK. Having a napper isn't fun - can be mild to downright dangerous. I will not buy a horse with a declared problem bar a small healed splint for example or small surface scars as showing isn't my thing.
 

Lex2009

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I had to compromise when I bought my first horse I didn’t have a big budget . I bought a younger horse . My horse was never taught to go forward so was really dead to the leg and turn out to be way greener than I realize. I personally would not do that again.
 

Gloi

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If I can't find or afford what I want as an adult horse, I get what I want by buying a youngster that will become what I want in time. Fortunately I have always had the opposite experience to what Lex2009 just posted.
 

awelshandawarmblood

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If I can't find or afford what I want as an adult horse, I get what I want by buying a youngster that will become what I want in time. Fortunately I have always had the opposite experience to what Lex2009 just posted.
This! I bought my now 16 year old Welshie when I was 16 on my pub wages & had a very small budget but made him my own. I now have a 3yr old WB I bought as a yearling as I can do the same with him. I've had many a failed loan & a failed purchase inbetween. I won't compromise on loading, bad attitude, rearing & again like many others having had one with SI, never again. I'd get something younger & not inherit issues made by someone else, but be prepared incase they crop up along the way.
 

Toby_Zaphod

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Be concerned about a pollen allergy. I have a wonderful horse, his abilities in any sphere are fantastic. He has paces to die for, his jump is wonderful, he throws away his bag end & will jump 1.20m with no difficulty. He was going great then he started with head shaking & coughing. We reckon he's got a pollen allergy, he's been scoped by the vet & it has been confirmed. He needs nebulising daily (The machine is in excess of £800). We have him in a nose net when he's ridden & you never know how he will be from one day to the next. We love him dearly, when the pollen is over we can get some great work out of him but he was bought to take my daughter around big courses, this allergy has taken that away. For a large part of the year he's a paddock ornament, it's so sad,
 

CanteringCarrot

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Kind of describes my gelding, tbh. He has allergies, although his tree pollen allergies are quite low. We did allergy testing. Honestly, you wouldn't know he has allergies. When he lives out/in a stable with attached paddock, has good bedding (not dusty), and occasionally watered hay, not a cough to be heard. The occasional runny eye this summer since it is so dry and dusty though. Same with the itching. He itches in the summer unless he has a fly rug on and is thoroughly hosed if he sweats at all. Any dried sweat or prolonged exposure to insects without his fly sheet, and hes rubbing. So, that description could really vary. Could be Sweet Itch, could be something "minor" like my horse. However, mine has a full mane and tale, so somewhat obvious that he doesn't have SI. Allergies can be a real crapshoot too. I haven't used his nebulizer in...half a year or more. He's not bad to manage. Others need it almost daily.

I usually compromise on training to afford what I want. As in, I buy a just backed horse. Someone else has done the initial rides, and installed basic stop, go, and steer. That's an easy compromise for me.
 

milliepops

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like others I wouldn't want another itchy horse of any description, my first pony had sweet itch and although things have come on since then, it's still a horrible condition to manage.

I've compromised on just about everything else, I haven't ever really had the horse I'd have chosen since I was a child, but then I have just picked up the waifs and strays thus far:
bad attitude
poor training
handling problems
tendon injuries
wonky bodies
bad feet
wrong size and type, you name it

I'm so excited for my homebred, she is exactly as ordered :p

If i had a healthy budget I wouldn't want to compromise on things that affected the horse physically or mentally, but i'd overlook minor training things.
 

Circe2

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Say I was looking for a warmblood, to be able to ride up to med/ad med, 16hh+, gelding, 7 - 13yo, sound, well mannered, no vices, hacks alone + in company. Dream colour maybe dapple grey, black, dark brown, can ideally pop over a jump, ideally from some decent dressage lineage. Say for 10 - 35k depending on its training.

I would compromise on:
-Straight away: jumping, colour (obviously!), lineage, movements (albeit needs to have the basics - happy to sacrifice all lateral movements, as those are easily/rewardingly taught!)
- Age: would go -1 (6yo) / + 5 (18yo - but would need to make up for its age in schooling level)
- Breed (as long as it carries itself well in the school) - would happily settle for WB cross, sports horse, TB, larger pony, cob, draft etc
- Height (up or down, but obviously needs to be able to carry me comfortably. I don’t mind a very big horse)
- Sex (though no stallions!)
- Vices/manners - I can handle some light cribbing/wind sucking, door knocking, slight pacing etc
- Soundness - I would compromise on tie-backs, some splints, some history of injury which does not affect performance, any scar, missing eyes (loved a one-eyed pony in my childhood!).. if it’s minor and can be lived with/easily treated/managed I’d take it

What I would not compromise on:
- Soundness: Chronic expensively managed issues, anything untreatable that is also disruptive
- conformation issues that make schooling difficult/painful
- Aggression/dangerous habits/vices towards people or other horses
- huge amounts of separation angst when hacking alone/left in field/stables/trailer etc
- under 6 or over 18yos
- too small for me (no section A, B or C ponies)
- stallions (because of where I’d keep it)
 

spacefaer

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There are few things I will compromise on. I know what we like and there is no point in looking at or buying a horse that doesn't tick at least 90% of the boxes.

We've compromised some things in the past and have ended up selling the horse on. Those things have been height, age and gender.
What we would never compromise on is temperament and soundness.
 

mule

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I got a herd bound napper who wouldn't hack alone. (I like hacking) Was worth it though because he came right with patience. He is amusing with it too.
 

JJS

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When I was buying Mary, I wanted a safe, sane, and sound all-rounder, who was well-behaved, an easy keeper (so cob type or native) and had some miles on the clock. My preference was for a mare, ideally between 14hh and 15.2hh, although I was hoping for something on the smaller end of that so I didn’t have as far to fall (my previous gelding had really knocked my confidence). Unfortunately, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to tick all of those boxes with my £1,500 budget.

Age was the first thing I was willing to compromise on. I knew I didn’t want a horse in its late teens or older, as I already had an OAP PPID pony and a seven-year-old retiree, so I wanted to increase my chances of it staying in work for a good while. However, my ideal age range (nine to 14ish) was out of budget, so I realised I’d have to look for something younger. I was also willing to compromise on size to some extent.

In the end, I found Mary, who was under budget and ticked most of my boxes. She was a lot younger and greener than ideal (four and very recently broken), but I could already tell she had the temperament and potential to grow into what I wanted. I was right, and I’ve never once regretted buying her, even if there were some initial baby issues we had to work through - she’s a complete and utterly delight 🙂
 

ihatework

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How much I compromise really does depend on how heavily I fall for the horse and how much it is. If you really really like the horse it’s funny how easy it is to forgive stuff that would be a deal breaker on something else.

Last horse I purchased was a huge big young boat with a front end that didn’t match the bum, sarcoids, tricky to shoe and a rather worried mannerism.

But once I had sat on him I knew he would do anything for you. And he was cheap 🤣
 

Ambers Echo

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If I can't find or afford what I want as an adult horse, I get what I want by buying a youngster that will become what I want in time. Fortunately I have always had the opposite experience to what Lex2009 just posted.
This is what I've generally done x
 

Cowpony

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I'd never have any expectations about gender, colour or breed. I am short with short legs so height/width are crucial. Behaviour, ability and health are important too and I'd never knowingly buy a horse with a health problem. That means I might have to try a lot more and wait longer, but the right one will come along eventually.
 

oldie48

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TBH I think every horse/pony has been a compromise in one way or another perhaps because I'd like perfection but settle for something I think I'll get on with and that I can afford. I then spend the next 6-12 months finding out what they are really like as opposed to what I think I've bought and then decide if it's something I can deal with. I won't buy a horse that is ugly or that "looks wrong" to me, it also has to move well but not necessarily extragavantly, I also need something that is well mannered and has been properly educated, after that I am fairly open. Actually I think I'm quite fussy but have never tried at more than two horses before buying but I do ask a lot of questions before going to view and go back more than once.
 

DabDab

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Well I generally buy youngsters, so I am compromising on the fact that they might develop SI, or sarcoids, or be completely unsuitable for what I want them for either physically or mentally.

Arty was almost nothing but compromises when we bought her, the poor little ugly duckling that she was. She was too small, really rather fugly, had terrible feet and a massive umbilical hernia that hadn't been rectified as a foal. After falling ill not long after we bought her she also developed a stinking vicious attitude to top it all off.
But now she is hands down best horse I've ever owned.
 

poiuytrewq

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How much I compromise really does depend on how heavily I fall for the horse and how much it is. If you really really like the horse it’s funny how easy it is to forgive stuff that would be a deal breaker on something else.

Last horse I purchased was a huge big young boat with a front end that didn’t match the bum, sarcoids, tricky to shoe and a rather worried mannerism.

But once I had sat on him I knew he would do anything for you. And he was cheap 🤣
This is exactly why I haven’t enquired further and am not going to look at it.... 😂
 

scats

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I don’t think I could compromise with sweet itch, it can be such a horribly stressful condition to manage. The napping wouldn’t bother me. I’ve purchased horrendous nappers when it comes to solo hacking and sorted them all out into being happy to go alone. It can require a fair bit of time, commitment and a good seat to do that though, so I understand it’s not for everyone. As someone who hacks alone all the time, it surprises me how many horses aren’t taught to go alone, but I suppose that nowadays most people like to hack in numbers for safety/company etc.
 

mini barnes

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Be concerned about a pollen allergy. I have a wonderful horse, his abilities in any sphere are fantastic. He has paces to die for, his jump is wonderful, he throws away his bag end & will jump 1.20m with no difficulty. He was going great then he started with head shaking & coughing. We reckon he's got a pollen allergy, he's been scoped by the vet & it has been confirmed. He needs nebulising daily (The machine is in excess of £800). We have him in a nose net when he's ridden & you never know how he will be from one day to the next. We love him dearly, when the pollen is over we can get some great work out of him but he was bought to take my daughter around big courses, this allergy has taken that away. For a large part of the year he's a paddock ornament, it's so sad,
Took the words right out of my mouth - I actually said so sad as I read that. Sorry x
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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I bought my coblet pony (profile pic) after eighteen months of fruitless searching; having been told a load of fables and myths about various horses I'd been to view, and two I'd fallen in love with having failed vettings.

I said I "didn't want" a mare, pony, trad cob, one with feathers, youngster, coloured.

Yep, you guessed it, its what I got. Best parting of £900 I ever made.
 

lannerch

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I bought a sweetitch pone , he was a horse of a life time took me novice Eventing . His sweetitch was the reason I could afford him , if he hadn’t had it he would have been way out of my budget so I never minded it.
It was managed with a sweetitch rug and fly repellent. Would certainly buy him again.
 

SO1

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When I bought my new forest 13 years ago I compromised on breed and age. I really wanted a Connie but they were a lot more than I could afford at the time. I also wanted an older more experienced pony but just could not find anything in my price range. I did not want to spend over £3,000 which was a reasonable amount of money 13 years ago. So I ended up with a 5 year old new forest. He is now 18, he has not been particularly easy but I have managed to do a variety of activities including some big county shows which I never dreamed I would do. I am a pretty rubbish rider and fairly nervous and I really was not looking for a youngster but some friends encouraged me to look a few younger ponies.

If I was doing it again I would also compromise on height and look at some smaller ponies I was only looking at 14h plus. My pony was on the market as 14.1 but he is actually more like 13.3 and could probably measure in as 13.2. I would not compromise on any medical issues and I would definitely want a pony confident hacking out on its own, mine can be a bit of a wuss sometimes. He is a bit of looker and quite a classy pony but I would compromise on that as well and I would compromise on jumping ability and schooling as long they were safe. My pony is a good jumper but he can get really excited and buck. He has not reached his full potential with me due to my incompetence and I could probably done with a slightly less opinionated and intelligent pony but I love him very dearly and hopefully we have many years left of activities together. He started doing the veteran Olympia classes and has done remarkably well.
 

Cinnamontoast

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I think I would wait, tbh. The market is bonkers. I’ve just seen a mate buy a 4 year old with no record and a (minor) health issue for double what I think it”s worth. Obviously, any horse is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it, but this time last year, for the same price, I could have had a 6 year old amazing warmblood.

If you can hold off, I think it’ll be worth waiting.

even if there were some initial baby issues we had to work through - she’s a complete and utterly delight 🙂
Brilliant understatement! 🤣

In more ways than one 🤣

Best bogoff ever!
I just love the insouciance! I mean, a lot of people might see that as a bit of a huge issue! Brilliant! 😂
 
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