Suitable for Pro or Amateur - define amateur for me please

DuckToller

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Bought a horse that was described as above. We are having some serious issues with the horse and feel that the horse is not suitable for 'amateurs'.

But a show jumping friend said she called anyone jumping 1.20m or less as an amateur. So where does that leave the rest of us? Total numpties?

Just wondering what others thought.
 

dafthoss

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I always had professional as some one who makes a living from horses and an amature as some one that has another source for their main income. By that definition a semi pro would be some one who makes some money from horses but not enough to live so has another job as well. Level you compete wouldnt really come in to it for me.
 

TrasaM

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Amateur = someone doing something for pleasure/hobby. Old meaning in sport was if you received no payment for your efforts. Does not mean that they are not good or are limited in ability in any way though. Maybe she's confusing it with novice.?
 

SpottedCat

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I always read those adverts to mean they are a horse for people who want to do something to a serious level - so they are quick, athletic horses for either a pro or an amateur who competes seriously - someone like Sarah-Jane for example. I see them as being the sort of horse you'd buy if you wanted to do more than Novice BE/Medium dressage/1.20 SJ. If I wanted a RC/low level aff horse then I'd be surprised if one marketed that way was what I wanted.
 

dieseldog

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I've always read 'amateur' on a horse advert to mean one that someone who works full time could get on at the weekend and have fun on at whatever level (usually stated in advert) that the horse is happy at. Non quirky, easy, hen's teeth type horse.
 

LEC

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I read adverts the same way as Spotted Cat. They need a firm system to produce them as they are talented and maybe sharp. They will take the piss if allowed and will not tolerate a random ad hoc approach.
 

SpottedCat

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I read adverts the same way as Spotted Cat. They need a firm system to produce them as they are talented and maybe sharp. They will take the piss if allowed and will not tolerate a random ad hoc approach.
This exactly. If something just said 'ideal amateur horse' without the pro bit then I'd assume it was as DD described but that it wouldn't be talented enough for a pro to be interested.
 

Santa_Claus

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ditto Lec and Spotted Cat.

If suitable for a pro in anyway its going to have a fair amount of talent and most likely be a bit sharp and will be aimed at those who want to compete at a fair level but maybe are not 100% perfect at setting up every stride etc and the horse will cope with that level of rider. They will not though look after any tom dick or harry and are therefore not a 'novice' ride.
 

DuckToller

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I've always read 'amateur' on a horse advert to mean one that someone who works full time could get on at the weekend and have fun on at whatever level (usually stated in advert) that the horse is happy at. Non quirky, easy, hen's teeth type horse.
This is more what I read into the advert, but I suspect that SpottedCat's definition is the actuality in this case.

We are indeed having a case of taking the piss, but not sure either daughter or I can deal with it.
 

TarrSteps

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For the purposes of advertising horses I can't see it has any possible legal definition.

In context of all the other information about the horse, I would read the term 'professional's horse' to mean the horse is talented but requires careful riding and management. 'Suitable for an amateur or professional' would suggest talented and as athletic and sensitive as that would apply, but on the less complicated end of the spectrum. It certainly wouldn't say it's a horse for someone who rides well below the level it's competing at though. If a horse was promoted as being primarily suitable for an amateur I'd probably guess not super talented and on the less sensitive end, although still in context for the job in hand - an amateur GP horse is still a GP horse!

As far as the horse having a problem, I don't think that particular phrase means much unless the seller specifically lied about the details. For instance, I wouldn't assume an amateur horse was not possibly spooky or strong or similar to a moderate degree unless I'd specifically had the conversation, especially if it had been/was being competed successfully by an amateur.

In this context it's also important to remember horses can be very situational and show behaviours in one environment but never in another. If the horse has been on a professional yard, say, even ridden by an amateur, I would not necessarily assume it would be exactly the same horse in a less managed program or even a very different program. Some pros actually forget this as pro yards tend to be run quite similarly, at least in the underlying ways, and people can forget the whole world isn't just like their little piece of it.

To go back to what I suspect is the underlying question, just having 'amateur' in the ad wouldn't really convey anything to me. I might assume the horse is not a complete fruit loop but given what many people seem to consider 'normal' behaviour from their horses I'm not even sure I'd say that much!
 

LEC

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I had a horse who was definitely an amateur horse but would try it on if allowed. He was safe but would push the boundaries. When he moves to a new place he is an absolute nightmare. I wrote a massive long email to his new owner so she could deal with him as he has a large settling in period where he is very insecure until he settles.
 

christine48

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Difficult one as there are some very good amateurs out there. I have a 5 yr old which I would describe as suitable for a pro or amateur.
The reason that I defined her that way is she has a lot of ability and a good record in dressage, SJ and eventing and could go a reasonable way in any discipline. However she is quiet, bombproof in traffic, easy to ride and handle and you could safely put a child on her.
That's what I'd define as suitable for a pro or amateur.
 

ecrozier

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Interesting. I personally would be wary of something advertised as suitable for a pro or an amateur. I wouldn't think I was up to the level required for that really.... Eg
My 6 year old is plenty scopey enough to go up the grades sj or dressage, but to me he is not a pros horse, he would do really well with a good amateur I'm sure but I don't think he would thrive in a pro atmosphere and also probably wouldn't be quick/sharp enough for most pros to want to produce - ideal therefore for me as I need him to be a bit forgiving and not overly need me to be right every time!
I would expect one advertised as the op describes to be very talented, possibly quirky to some degree and more suitable for the top end amateurs, as an HHO example the likes of S_J, Saratoga, people like that really...
Maybe if you could describe what the horse is doing though people might be able to help?
 

DuckToller

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I think TarrSteps speaks a lot of sense and I have that sinking feeling that perhaps I was naive in thinking suitable for pro or amateur meant relatively straightforward.

Mare has been ridden by a good pro, then sold to a relative novice, jumped at local unaffiliated level, then gone back to pro's yard on sales livery, where daughter and I showed up to buy a horse suitable for Pony Club.

Not on here to sort horse, just wondering was I naive, expecting too much, or slightly taken in. Or as TarrSteps has said, horse needs more of a pro set-up so pro person not really thinking of the average person.
 

MissTyc

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I always read those adverts to mean they are a horse for people who want to do something to a serious level - so they are quick, athletic horses for either a pro or an amateur who competes seriously - someone like Sarah-Jane for example. I see them as being the sort of horse you'd buy if you wanted to do more than Novice BE/Medium dressage/1.20 SJ. If I wanted a RC/low level aff horse then I'd be surprised if one marketed that way was what I wanted.
^Same from me.
Horse advertised for "pro or amateur" would make me think serious horse for a competitive rider!
 

Tiffany

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Have you spoken to the seller and explained the problems you are having. I'm sure if they are genuine they'll want to help rather than him being passed on again.

What exactly is he doing and how long have you had him?
 

cavalo branco

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Surely if you and your daughter viewed the horse as being suitable for Pony Club then the seller has a responsibility to sell something fit for purpose, regardless of how the original advert was worded.:confused::confused:

I think the "pro/amateur" sentence could be interpreted in many different ways but the seller saw your daughter ride (presumably?) and therefore that is the critical issue - IMO anyway.
 

DuckToller

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It's very tricky, I can't work out if they were somewhat economical with the truth when selling, or whether horse was really so straightforward when they had it and is now trying it on.

But had such a horrid hack today that I think I want out, even at a loss. Some things are not meant to be perhaps.

Had the horse 4 months, but not sure I want to go into details on here.
 

dieseldog

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How long did they have it for? The fact that they sent it back to a Pro to sell, with all the cost involved in that would to me mean they didn't get on with it :(

Hope it works out for you.
 

DuckToller

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It all seemed to add up at the time - the reasons why horse was back at pro yard, but when things start to unravel you read more into it and question your own judgement. I do tend to hear what I want to hear when I buy - this one ticked so many boxes, and started off well too.

It's the second disappointment in two years. Ho hum, horses for courses, or pro's in this case!

Think they had it for around 2 years, was at another pro yard before.
 
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TarrSteps

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Without knowing any details, I'd say what I'd say to anyone in a similar situation - you need to get your own professional advice, preferably a regular instructor or someone you feel will he straight with you but have your best interests at heart.

Regardless of how you proceed re the sale and possible return (you are likely out of warranty unfortunately :( ) or resale of the horse, it sounds like you could benefit from an objective assessment of the situation and some advice on how to proceed.

And I would agree, don't put the details on line, unless you are sure you want to keep the horse and work through the issues.
 

TarrSteps

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Interesting. I personally would be wary of something advertised as suitable for a pro or an amateur. I wouldn't think I was up to the level required for that really.... Eg
My 6 year old is plenty scopey enough to go up the grades sj or dressage, but to me he is not a pros horse, he would do really well with a good amateur I'm sure but I don't think he would thrive in a pro atmosphere and also probably wouldn't be quick/sharp enough for most pros to want to produce - ideal therefore for me as I need him to be a bit forgiving and not overly need me to be right every time!
I would expect one advertised as the op describes to be very talented, possibly quirky to some degree and more suitable for the top end amateurs, as an HHO example the likes of S_J, Saratoga, people like that really...
Maybe if you could describe what the horse is doing though people might be able to help?
See, now I would say your horse is EXACTLY the sort that would truthfully fit that description, in that he's scopey enough to be of interest to professionals but a "nice guy" and has been successfully produced by an amateur to this point. From a professional point of view, if he didn't have it to go all the way then he's the type that could probably drop down again relatively easily. Of course, like all things with horses it would only be conjecture!

I would not take that to mean, though, that he never has silly moments or pushes the boundaries and that, being athletic, his expression might be beyond what a more novice rider felt able to deal with.

From the little that's been said though, it sounds like the OP horse is older and been sold on the confirmed ability to do a specific job, so not quite the same.

As a note, my PERSONAL feeling is anything with "professional" anywhere in the description is not something I'd look at for a child, almost on principle. Not because I don't know many horses that have gone from pros to kids successfully but because of what people mean when they put that in ads here. Interestingly, I would not have the same reservations in North America, where the system for competition horses is different and most people looking at competition horses would have their own pro who would assess the horse for the individual rider and would also be heavily invested in making the right match as he/she would be responsible for picking up the pieces if it didn't work out!
 

Goldenstar

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Without knowing any details, I'd say what I'd say to anyone in a similar situation - you need to get your own professional advice, preferably a regular instructor or someone you feel will he straight with you but have your best interests at heart.

Regardless of how you proceed re the sale and possible return (you are likely out of warranty unfortunately :( ) or resale of the horse, it sounds like you could benefit from an objective assessment of the situation and some advice on how to proceed.

And I would agree, don't put the details on line, unless you are sure you want to keep the horse and work through the issues.
This is excellent advice I hope you get sorted ,some objective advice is the place to start.
 

rockysmum

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If I saw a horse advertised as suitable for pro/amateur I would assume it was a serious competition horse. I wouldn't expect it to do anything else, unless they advertised that it did.

People I know who have bought that sort of horse dont really care whether it will hack out, good in traffic etc.

I wouldn't expect it to be a pony club, have a go at anything horse. I also would expect a buyer to want it to compete, in whatever it did.

Completely different from the usual good in traffic etc etc etc.

I personally would never even ring about such a horse.

Funny how we read the same adverts and see different things in them.
 

ecrozier

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Lol maybe you are right Tarrsteps - it is so interesting how people read different things from the same advert text isn't it.
I guess maybe the distinction should be between novice / amateur / professional? As in, taking my horse as an example, perhaps he would not be suitable for a novice but mate would suit either an amateur or a pro, certainly as a pro's ride to add value and resell as a schoolmaster. but he probably would take the mickey with someone novice/nervous.
I think maybe what would be of more interest to me in a horse's history is whether it was initially produced by a pro or relative amateur. I am not precise/accurate enough I don't think to get a good tune out of something that has been taught exacting aids!
 

DuckToller

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Just to clarify, although I said daughter and PC, we are both adults, and she has ridden at 1.10 - 1.15m level (PC goes up to 1.15 at Areas) but we don't do BSJA although had hoped to affiliate with the horse.

We haven't asked the horse to attend a rally or go xc or anything it has not already done, we have asked it to hack (told it did), school (obviously would expect that) and jump, and we have lessons with professional instructors, one of which taught the previous owner.
 

ecrozier

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It's a tough one. I guess the fact that the horse had been competed at a lower level by a RC type person would have suggested it had the temperament to do that, but was it liveried with a pro and only ridden by owner at weekends or something? Equally we have people in our RC who have previously ridden to a very good level and now for various reasons (family, loss of confidence, demanding career) compete around the 3' level but would obviously be more like the riders a pro's horse would be used to than some others, if that makes sense?
 
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