Irish horse imports - experiences?

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15 April 2021
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As per the title really.. What are people's experiences with buying horses from Ireland to the UK either unseen or seen?
Any issues? If so tell me :p
I've just bought an irish sports horse unseen, he's an absolute gentleman, fit and healthy however very nervous. Just curious to know others' experiences.
 

Michen

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Generally honest but green as grass. Some people on here have had bad experiences but the people I know in real life who’ve bought from there have had good. So long as your not expecting a finished, polished horse.
 

Jellymoon

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Do you mean, what do people think of the dealers yard, Irish Horse Imports?
Or do you mean importing horses from Ireland in general?
The former, I have no experience of so cannot comment.

The latter, I have bought two unseen from Ireland, one 6 yr old and one 3yr old. The ridden horse was a bit of a nutcase with physical issues, but the unbacked 3 yr old was lovely and ended up being a really nice horse. I don’t think I would buy unseen again though. I don’t regret it, but I’m more risk averse now I’m older, and can’t afford to take punts like that anymore!
 

Mrs Jingle

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I've just bought an irish sports horse unseen, he's an absolute gentleman, fit and healthy however very nervous.
I am having trouble visualising a horse who is an absolute gentleman but also very nervous? Is this the seller's description or something you have noticed yourself on videos of the horse? Or the vetting vet's opinion? I just feel that if an Irish dealer is selling you a horse unseen, and they are describing it as 'very nervous' that rarely means what you might expect in the Uk believe me lol! Personally I would not entertain it at what ever price with that description.
 

maya2008

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I know of two cases where people bought a young ridden horse who looked lovely at first but soon went permanently lame - started too young, too many issues to fix. Both lovely natured horses who’d cost a reasonable amount in the first place. I also know of one where the horse had been started badly and had behavioural issues for a long time as a result.

Equally, I have known of cases that worked out really well - I think it is the same as in the UK - buyer beware, there are amazing horses out there...
 
Joined
15 April 2021
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I am having trouble visualising a horse who is an absolute gentleman but also very nervous? Is this the seller's description or something you have noticed yourself on videos of the horse? Or the vetting vet's opinion? I just feel that if an Irish dealer is selling you a horse unseen, and they are describing it as 'very nervous' that rarely means what you might expect in the Uk believe me lol! Personally I would not entertain it at what ever price with that description.
So I've already bought the horse unseen and he's here with me in the UK. Hes a gentleman as in hes very gentle and cuddly, lovely manners, doesnt put a hoof wrong, practically lunges himself etc.. however when it comes to new things for example the first time we picked up his feet, first time fly mask, first time with bridle and saddle and first time ridden etc he proved extremely nervous till he 'remembered what to do ' then was fine..
 

Mrs Jingle

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As you already have him and this nervousness is only showing since he arrived then hopefully it is just him settling into a new home after a long (and very often) uncomfortable journey.

If he is normally an easy and relaxed sort then I cant see any reason why he won't revert to his normal temperament and laid back disposition, same as any new horse really, Irish or Mongolian or whatever. Good luck with him :)
 

LegOn

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14 September 2010
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What percentage of Draught is in him if he is a ISH? Draughts can be notorious big wusses! He could have had a fly mask on a 100 times but someone new puts on it and they swear they havent seen it before in their life!

Plus dont forget that any horse who has just had his whole world changed, new people, new place, new smells, new fly masks, new people touching him - might just need a minute to adjust and check himself! My half Draught is a dote but also can be an idiot at the same time, he is a sensitive sod!! Especially when stuff in his life changes like new staff on the yard etc so just be patient, sounds like a lovely boy!
 

Leandy

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I've never done this and would personally never buy unseen. I can't help feeling though that in these situations, to an extent, you get what you pay for. If you are looking at higher end horses from reputable yards with a commensurate price tag and get a full vetting, having had full and proper discussion with the vendor about exactly what you want and having studied videos etc fully and done your homework then you stand a good chance of a good outcome. If you are expecting a bargain at the cheaper end and don't put the effort in yourself to ensure you are well matched, then you takes your chance. So I'd suspect that people's experiences will vary.
 

HayleyUK

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I bought a pony, seen, in Ireland Dec 2020. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

I flew in, saw a few private sales, a few at a yard, picked my pony and flew home.

Generally, they’re a bit greener than you’d expect here for the same descriptions - for example backed and ridden away means exactly that - sat on, and trotted down a lane - as opposed to WTC in the school.

Mine was 5, well produced for sale, but we did need to do some unpicking of the flatwork to establish some basic concepts.

I couldn’t be more pleased with her though, she’s exactly what they said and has been amazing.
 
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