What is most important to you when looking for a new horse?

Wagtail

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So what do you look for in a horse? What really is unnegotiable, and what can you overlook? My priorities in order of importance are as follows (Those followed by (DB) are issues which if not to my standard, are a deal breaker). I am assuming the horse is sound, does the job I want it for or could be trained to, and within my price range.

1. Temperament and personality (DB)
2. Good limbs (DB)
3. Other conformation, including feet. (some issues here would be (DB))
4. Movement
5. Breeding
 

applecart14

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Solihull, West Mids
Nice temperment with kind eye DB
The colour, height, and sex I require (bay, liver chestnut or black, 17hh-17.2hh and gelding) DB
Has to pass the vetting (5 stage) DB
No vices DB
6-8 years of age
Whether the horse is within the winnings I wish to compete at i.e not won too much BSJA
 

Wagtail

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Nice temperment with kind eye DB
The colour, height, and sex I require (bay, liver chestnut or black, 17hh-17.2hh and gelding) DB
Has to pass the vetting (5 stage) DB
No vices DB
6-8 years of age
Whether the horse is within the winnings I wish to compete at i.e not won too much BSJA
Good point about the vetting.
 

ycbm

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1. Colour. Won't even look at a grey or heavily white coloured. DB

2. Price. I have a top limit and will not look at anything that is above that limit. DB

3. Temperament. Must have personality, and I'm done with known buckers and rearers at my age! DB

4. Potential - I must be able to make more of a horse of it than it is already. This is my main pleasure in riding, seeing how much I can teach them. DB

5. Sellability if we don't gel. DB unless the horse is really special to me in some way (I've bought two purely on colour!) Sellability will encompass good basic conformation too.

I'm not concerned about their breeding at all. One of mine I don't know. The other I know but it isn't in his passport and though I could get it updated, I'm not going to.

I don't ever vet.

Doesn't even have to be sound if it's a foot lameness that I think I can fix with barefoot (but meat money would be top price).
 

MargotC

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- Temperament is what I really "look" for at first. The horse has to suit me. Anything that "feels" wrong is a DB.
- The horse must pass a vetting. Also a DB if it doesn't. Along with this, very bad feet and a history of laminitis are also DBs.
- Separation anxiety is a DB.
- Vices. Depending on the full picture I am prepared to put up with some, not with others.

I have to admit conformation is not necessarily a DB for me as a happy hacker depending on the vetting, and on the horse's history eg. how has it stood up in work with said flaw.
 
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ycbm

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Oops, yes, crib biters and weavers are a deal breaker, I can't stand them.

Parrot mouth, probable deal breaker because of long term dental issues.

Over at the knee, back at the knee, bench knee, straight back legs, all deal breakers.

Plaiting in front, deal breaker. Wide behind, big question marks, probable deal breaker.
 
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Enfys

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11 December 2004
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#1. Breed, bloodline (I prefer Columbians to Puerto Ricans )
and must be a mare, preferably a dilute.
#2. Trained
#3. Gait
#4. Conformation.
#5. Temperament.

I prefer very pretty, very flashy horses, and I like dilutes, BUT for what I want of a horse now if they are trained, gait well and do the job then l really am not fussy anymore. My present horse seriously doesn't do people unless they have food or tack, she isn't the colour or size I would choose but she's a blast to ride and just what I need currently.
 
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equestriansports

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3 June 2014
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Must give confidence DB
Not strong into jumps but more a feeling of taking you there. DB
Good to hack alone DB
Preferably NOT a grey - already have a predominantly grey coloured and oh my gosh what I would do for him to be chestnut!
Have a good mind. Not necessarily clever, but something that can figure things out for themselves e.g stepping on the end of my leadrope won't kill me.
Cuddly! Mini Cob is such a grump, he likes cuddles but very rarely and only on his terms.
 

ihatework

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For me as a keeper - chemistry and gut feeling.
Impossible to explain, but if that is there then I'm more inclined to overlook many things that I would normally turn a horse down on!
I'm far more picky if I'm buying with half a mind to sell on
 

Annagain

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10 December 2008
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1. Temperament. I like a bit of personality but not a nutter and can't be doing with any nastiness.
2. Gelding - my yard is geldings only and I don't intend to move elsewhere.
3. Good to hack alone and in company - inc in heavy traffic.
4. NOT a grey or coloured with lots of white. (I even filter them out of my window shopping). 3 of my 4 horses have been grey, I've done my fair share.
5. Confidence giving over a fence - doesn't rush but nicely in front of the leg.
6. Sound and with conformation that will stand up to the job I want to do (riding club all rounder). Don't mind minor faults as long as they won't cause unsoundness down the line.

All the above are non negotiable. I'm getting too old for dealing with problems and would rather pay more for a horse I can trust and can get on and go rather than having to put too much working into. I know my limitations so don't want a world beater, just a nice dependable sort - more of a Robin than a Batman!

Age, size and breed would be more negotiable, although by nature of the sort I want I wouldn't go looking for anything younger than 6. The more I think about it, they more open I become to an older horse. My 2 are both 20 and are great. *touches wood*. I wouldn't get one that old, again because of what I'd like to do, but I'd consider a 12-15 year old I think.
 

SecretAgentBilly

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If I were to look for a new horse now, the first would be temperament and low maintenance - I want a horse that I can leave for a week/two weeks and then get back on without taking my life into my own hands! Also something non stressy which keeps weight on well. Then I'd look for potential, even if I couldn't afford a 'ready made' horse I'd like something easily trainable with a nice jump and who I could take out to different places without them going mental. Like other posters, age breed and size would be secondary factors, as long as they have alright conformation that isn't going to hinder them massively everything else I could work with!
 

PorkChop

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Has to have a kind eye and an attractive head that I will look forward to looking at every day :D

Big ears are a positive, have found they indicate a kind temperament ime :)

Tbh I don't have any other deal breakers, more preferences :)
 

Auslander

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Berkshire
1- Big powerful rhythmical movement, exceptional hindleg
2- Natural outline
3- Short, strong back and good shoulder
4 -Big personality
5- Mannerly
6- Vet magnet app disabled

Current horse has most of the above, although 6 has been intermittently activated!
 

Luci07

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Dorking
First for me..good confirmation and a straight mover. We don't proceed unless I like it stood up and trotted away.
Good paces, I like something that isn't too earth bound but am not hunting for the next Valegro
Temperament
Record - of the age that I don't want to start all over again with a youngster.

Gelding/mare/colour are irrelevant to me
Breeding is of interest as I have seen many traits passed on

And yes, just pass a full 5* vetting!
 

PolarSkye

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7 July 2010
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1. Weight carrier
2. Temperament - kind but lots of personality - I like 'em fun and full on
3. No obvious conformation flaws . . . good shoulder, nice and compact (no long backs), good feet, not "upright", no cow or sickle hocks, pasterns not too long, not over at the knee or too camped out behind, neck set on well . . . nothing that makes you worry overly much about weakness - have had too many vets bills
4. Not too much feather - looks pretty, but hides a multitude of ailments . . . mites, mud fever, etc. plus I'm a bit OCD
5. Gender no problem - stallion, mare, gelding - as long as it has manners and I have somewhere appropriate to keep it, I don't care
6. Any colour . . . as Mark Rashid says, a good horse is never a bad colour
7. Isn't a nappy so-and-so that doesn't hack, turnout or do anything by itself EVER . . . also isn't unbelievably insecure and needy . . .
8. Will turn out with anything - mare, gelding, sociopath, etc. with no bother . . . is generally well behaved in horsey company and reads other horses well (thereby reducing the risk of field injuries)
9. No sarcoids or melanomas, no sweet itch

I'm not too fussy ;).

P
 
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RoyalSapphire

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4 May 2014
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Must give confidence DB
Not strong into jumps but more a feeling of taking you there. DB
Good to hack alone DB
Preferably NOT a grey - already have a predominantly grey coloured and oh my gosh what I would do for him to be chestnut!
Have a good mind. Not necessarily clever, but something that can figure things out for themselves e.g stepping on the end of my leadrope won't kill me.
Cuddly! Mini Cob is such a grump, he likes cuddles but very rarely and only on his terms.
clever isnt all its cracked up to be my cob is far too clever its annoying! she figures out if she get her head under the bailing twine and pulls it snaps n shes free, most gates - actually most things, fences, a bench even (her being a heavy strong cob) break underpresure, or being sat/rubed on lol, shes stronger, whips arnt scary n if u put them down n she gets it they easily break when being stud on/munched ;), workings boring i might just stop n never move again!!, "i want to go home no"" "im big ur small im hungy ur not strong - whats that stick even supposed to do?" and basically anything she doesnt want to do she figures a way out how to not do it or in foods case do it!!
 

Tiarella

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warwickshire
After having a big long list when I was searching for my new horse and nothing fitting the bill, I shortened my list to a few key points....still couldn't find anything. So I went with

1) sound

And bought a 4yo grey Connemara - not what I wanted st all. But he is wonderful, and I am smitten :)
 

skint1

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11 February 2010
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Temperament- has to put up with being handled and ridden by a well meaning numpty (me) with good cheer, not test me too much as I am a softy and I don't want to have to keep on enforcing boundaries either on the ground or under saddle. Would be good if it would hack alone but not a deal breaker

Weight carrier- have lost a lot but still not small bird, also must be at least 14.3

Must not be green- I do not ride well enough to do justice to a green horse

Generally in good health- As I tend to prefer an older horse who is ready for a quieter life I don't mind some wear and tear but there are a few things that would be a deal breaker for me

Gender and Colour don't matter to me as long as we are a good fit I am happy!
 

Goldenstar

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Athletism that's the first thing I like a horse that comes off the ground and jumps with energy even if it's raggy and needs training DB and I like beautiful smart looking horses who move well
Not coloured .
Equal with that is sharpness and temperament I like fast thinking horses I buy horses with quirks but I won't work with lazy slow thinking horses DB
I like straight movers but will forgive minor imperfections .
Good back conformation even if the horse is weak ATM .
Don't care if it's never hacked
Don't care if it's never seen traffic
These are things I would rather teach my self .
Don't care if their as mad as a box of frogs .
Don't mind If they have been through the mill a bit .
And the question I always ask will I want to hack this horse out in the rain , I hate hacking if it's yes to that their in .
 

paddi22

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clever face with a kind eye.
that its a self confident horse that looks proud
athletic and brave
likes to work with you
 

Asha

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Cheshire
If I'm buying a youngster under 4 , they have to have good confirmation, proven dam line, proven sire and movement/ athletism and temperament and preferably flashy looking

If I'm buying for me to ride, then First and foremost is temperament, easy going, chilled out nice all rounder , cuddly too., basically non of the above matter.
 

marmalade76

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24 April 2009
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Location
Gloucestershire
Temperament/personality (DB)
It must load and travel well (DB)
Must be good to clip (DB) - re this and the above - I need to be able to do everything on my own because most of the time I have to do everything on my own! If it wasn't good/easy to load and travel, we'd never go anywhere and if it wasn't good to clip, I'd have to put up with a mammoth every winter!

Good conformation and of reasonable quality.
Although it does not have to be pretty, I have to like the look of it - you know how you look at a horse, and decide almost straight away whether you like it or not? That.
 

rachk89

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1. Movement - DB if its not what I want.
2. Conformation - DB if major flaws.
3. Must not be prone to craziness, random or otherwise - DB if its nuts, I dont want to be killed.
4. Personality - I actually like stubborn mares. I like my current geldings cheekiness too, so I dont mind quirkiness. Would be a DB if boring though.

That would be about it. I probably would prefer not to have another grey, or at least if its grey it must love to stay clean. I was demanding when I was looking for a horse that it must be a mare as I just trusted mares more as I have never fallen off one. But I do love my gelding so would have another now.
 

Micropony

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1. Temperament, I.e. a nice person, kind, not too stressy, rideable, trainable, safe, and I don't like anything too sharp (by which I mean completely out of proportion reactions), although it's got to have a bit of something about it.
2. Must have good feet.
3. No other non-trivial conformation faults, and must be sound and healthy. I am not a good enough rider to relish the challenge of overcoming avoidable barriers put in place by mother nature, and don't want to be dealing with the vet bills if at all possible.
4. Movement - not so big and flashy I can't sit on it, but must be straight and correct.
5. Must like people and be cuddly in the stable (or be prepared to put up with being subjected to the sort of soppiness that's more appropriate from a small pony mad girl than a middle aged woman). Must have the sort of coat that feels nice when you stroke it.
6. Temperament.
7. Not big on feathers.

Wouldn't bother me if it didn't hack alone, but it must either be okay with traffic or able to become so - could cope with something that just wasn't used to busy roads but not something with a confirmed issue. Wouldn't bother me if it didn't turn out with others. Wouldn't overly bother me if it wasn't good to clip.

Dislike coloured horses, too lazy for a grey, generally prefer the look of horses without lots of white markings, but if it was otherwise lovely I could probably get over that sort of thing.

Can you tell I'm an amateur one horse owner?
 

Orca

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13 November 2015
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I've decided whether shape, size and conformation are good enough before I've even been to view, so following that (unless something wrong becomes apparent on viewing), it's

1. That they pick me.
a) Character
b) Presence
c) Movement (often goes hand in hand with b!)

The above are all DBs. There's something they either have or don't have and if they don't, the spark isn't there. If the spark isn't there, it's not going to work.

My mare, despite having an extraordinary mistrust of humans, on meeting me, rested her head in my chest as if she had known me forever and stood there, gently leaning, as if it were the first time she'd enjoyed sanctuary in her life. Yet, I tried to find fault (i.e. be critical and not fall for her within that split second of meeting her!). Then she showed me her character, her presence and her floaty paces. I still tried to stand back but she ticked all my boxes and more and besides, there was no fighting that instant familiarity between us. I brought her home and she's perfect. Sweet, kind, trusting and bonded to me in a way I hadn't expected to experience again since losing my last mare.

Essentially, I go a lot more on instinct and whimsy than I was brought up to do :D
 

kassieg

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25 November 2013
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When looking on adverts first things I look for
Height
Age
Suitability for job inc confirmation
Breeding
History

When looking in flesh
Confirmation
Temperament
Soundness & full body check
Jump (loose)
Movement

I've put them in that order because if they don't pass any of them I won't keep looking to check the 1s below.

Looking for an eventer I put jump before movement as I have to see something in their jump that's bold & brave then I could forgive slightly plainer movement because with that & a good trainable attitude you can still produce a nice correct test
 
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