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

exracehorse

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24 December 2011
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I'm collecting my new horse this weekend. Originally wanted a well schooled been there done that type. After viewing numerous horses over the past 3 months, I viewed a larger than wanted young unschooled horse. He hadn't been ridden since October and had been stabled for weeks due to the wet fields. Despite this and the pouring rain, he was so chilled and laid back that I fell in love. Especially after having a nutty sharp tb. So for me on that day of viewing it was temprement and personality
 

Mike the Knight

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30 August 2007
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For me...
a) must hack out safely and nicely on its own
b) hunt well
c) not buck or rear
d) be very laid back at home
e) not be too spindly and precious due to all the hunting I do
f) load in a trailer no questions asked!!

And that's pretty much it. I have got the horse above at the moment - he cost me £750 because he failed the vet with a cataract. I wasn't worried about spending that on a horse that might go blind because when you hunt a lot, there is no telling what might happen to you or your horse the very next day. Its all very well them passing a 5 stage vetting but they could do a leg tomorrow. Saying that I did have him vetted hence how we found out about the eye!!! I can be fairly forgiving about things in a vetting if the horse is cheap and it can do the job I want it to.
 

AdorableAlice

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24 October 2011
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Conformation heads the list for me.

Correct conformation will enable the horse to avoid a lot of the problems that are listed on this thread

Temperament and outlook - again this will dictate behaviour and ability to be trainable and biddable.

The two put together will give an indication as to whether the horse is suitable for the job you have in mind for it.

For me everything else can be trained in or out if the confo and temperament is excellent. I also think if you have to look at the creature daily you need to like what is looking back at you, so a huge open and outward looking eye and expression is a must. I know you don't ride the head and expression is not relevant for success, just my personal choice.
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
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14 September 2006
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West Yorkshire
We only go and look at the ones which look to have good conformation in pictures/videos. Sis and I have different tastes in horses but we always choose them together. They always "choose" us, how that works I cannot explain, we have turned a few down on viewing for incorrect movement, but have turned down more because the did not appear to want to come home with us! It seems to work and we always keep ours for life, so they have to be right for us.
 

Mince Pie

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13 June 2011
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As long as the horse is sound, sensible and willing to work then I am not fussy about height (although wouldn't really want anything over 16.2 as I'm a short arse!), colour or gender.
 

Tern

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23 December 2012
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Gloucestershire
I don't and won't actively search for a height, age, colour or breed.

However.. anything hugely white or pure grey will be passed unless I think "wow" I can't deal with yellow horses.

1. Suitability - If I want an eventer it must have presence, movement and braveness to jump. If I want a hunter it must be brave, sure-footed and sturdy.

2. Pass a 2 stage vetting.

3. Vices - don't mind excitability bucks but no biting / kicking / rearers (never doing that again!) / weavers etc

4. Braveness - they have to be willing to do something "scary" without an extreme reaction. Ie. If I put a baby over it's first fillers I want it to have a look but still jump.. I don't want them to duck out, drop a shoulder and drop you onto the floor.

Breeding doesn't bother me, age doesn't bother me although I'd probably go max 10 for a competition horse.. height is anything above 15.2hh.

ETA: Being able to go into fairly busy traffic is a must. Bought my mare as not hacked on roads for 3 years. Expected her to be okay. Taken nearly 3 years to get her onto road safely - and one year of that was not going on road at all. (Seems to have worked!)
 

Flame_

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Soundness - pass a full 5 stage vetting for serious endurance
Health - no indications of any illnesses or allergies - unless disclosed and easily managed
Breed - arab of the pretty but not-too-leggy variety
Height - 14.2 - 15.1
Age - 3 to 6
Colour - Not grey
Gender - Really wanted a gelding because the mare thing of rushing on the way home really bugs me.
Attitude - Some, but not too much ;) I like horses that are forward thinking but aren't all that bold. I quite like having to give confidence and encouragement, I don't mind cautious and spooky, and I don't get on with obnoxious, bolshy types.
Ideally good in traffic but I usually end up buying horses with little to no traffic exposure and hoping for the best.

It took 4 months to find a a horse to tick those boxes but I have a lovely one now. :)
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
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31 December 2008
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Cambridge
Conformation heads the list for me.

Correct conformation will enable the horse to avoid a lot of the problems that are listed on this thread

Temperament and outlook - again this will dictate behaviour and ability to be trainable and biddable.
Can see how you got Ted ;) :D
 

pennandh

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22 November 2015
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239
Absolutely HAS to be sane, sound, and well-put-together - I won't compromise on those. If it rears, I won't touch it, because I ride mostly side-saddle and if it goes over backwards I'll go with it, but I don't mind the odd buck here and there. Kicking/biting is also a deal-breaker. Straight, ground-covering (but not high) action is a must, because that's how horses stay sound.

It needs to be at least six, because young horses don't have the muscle to carry a side-saddle, and I'd prefer to have something with a good record out hunting. 15.1-16.2hh is my target height (15.1hh for a lightweight cob; 15.2hh for a small hunter; 16.0-16.2hh for a lightweight hunter), but I'd consider something bigger (in height or in weight-carrying ability) if it was mannerly. I'd prefer not to buy something smaller because the family's current 13.1hh built-like-a-tank Highland (who will be in the family for life) is rather on the small side for me nowadays (we bought him when I was 9; I am now 20 and quite a lot taller).

I generally prefer mares to geldings, but I'd have either (nowhere to keep a stallion), and I'd really like a dark solid colour, but I'd take a grey if it ticked the boxes and we clicked (I wouldn't have a coloured horse because the only ones I like are traditional cobs, and I don't want a horse with full feather because it's all clay round here and feathered legs are so prone to mud-fever on clay).

Plus, obviously, I need to be able to actually afford the horse in question. That's quite important.
 

muddy_grey

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15 October 2007
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1,503
Location
Kent
Confo
Athleticism/Jump
Keen and sharp looking

All 3 are DB, I generally buy 3yo so see them free jump

Not too big
Temperament
Decent breeding
Pretty

Preferences, but would look past for the right horse.
 

rowan666

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12 February 2012
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cheshire
must have *that thing* about them that you just cant put your finger on but but you know you have to have them and be in budget other than that I'm always massively flexible from total nut jobs to old ex riding school plods!
 

PolarSkye

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7 July 2010
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I also think if you have to look at the creature daily you need to like what is looking back at you, so a huge open and outward looking eye and expression is a must. I know you don't ride the head and expression is not relevant for success, just my personal choice.
Agree with everything you said about conformation . . . but this - this ticks my boxes too.

P
 

zaminda

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26 August 2008
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Somerset
I must like it. I have never sold a horse, so they are going to be around a very long time.
Must move well.
I don't like heavy horses, so nothing thick set.
I prefer un broken, but must be nice to be around, even if lacking patience, I don't want something that will walk up to you and kick you because it can.
Must have a willing attitude, and be good with its feet, if it has seen the farrier. This is especially relevant if coming from a pro yard, as the only horse I have come across who wouldn't pick up its feet after being on a pro yard (and this was broken and riding) has turned out to have some serious issues.
Must interact well with other horses.
 

Llee94

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1 October 2014
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Devon
The main thing for me is that I feel safe on it - I ride an awful lot and I don't want to dread it.
The next most important thing is soundness.
Temperament isn't the be all and end all, as long as they are willing to work then I don't have a problem with something that is grumpy.
Again I am not fussed about colour, sex, size or overly worried about conformation. As long as it has no glaringly obvious problems then they are okay with me.
Everything else can be worked on really. I bought my competition mare, who had only been hacked 12 times and never schooled, on the fact she jumped a 5 bar gate at 6 months old and when ridden was very willing to learn. I wanted a 16.2hh plus gelding tb/wb type for eventing with low level experience with the talent to move up the grades and I ended up getting a just broken in 15.3hh cob x mare with HUGE feet who I fell in love with the moment I rode her.
 

windand rain

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25 November 2012
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Registration papers are a must up to date and accurate
Conformation
temperament and movement
The "I like you"
Female
All the above are absolutely essential as we show in hand and ridden natives

colour, price, history are interesting but not a priority but they do have to be value for money. Age is an interesting one as up to now I either have bred my own or bought weanlings not sure if I am up for foal wrestling anymore as I am gtting a bit old for it
 
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W. Yorks
I will only look at hrses which are described as good in trafffic. Our hacking has to include roads, some with very heavy lorries and farm traffic, I can't be doing with horses which can't cope under those conditions.
Then I want a mare, because all our others are mares and I don't like mixed herds. After that, personality. I want to buy a horse that I get on well with.
 

Pigeon

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4 July 2012
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If I was looking now? Soundness. Then a good, easy temperament. Bordering on dobbin-y. Anything else isn't a priority.

Pip I got solely because of the pretty face, so whether I'd actually heed that advice is anyone's guess. ;)
 

Casey76

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16 July 2011
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Alsace, France
Full papers, preferably DNA tested, with no white markings
Calm confident attitude with a bit of character (nothing switched off or loopy)
Excellent conformation and under 15.2
Preferably mountain bred with a leg in each corner
No vices or stereotypies
Preferably with calm canter pre-installed, though would be willing to overlook inability to get legs in the right order for the right horse.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
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12,794
When surfing the net

Colour
height
sex
ability
age
temperament /vices

when I go to view

easy to catch /tack up /groom
sound
kind eye
behaves when ridden
behaves in the trial
mental note of any blemishes
has potential for what I want to do with her
good to load
good to lead/catch
 
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Stockers

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10 October 2015
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It must have a nice head - not necessarily pretty - smart or workmanlike is fine - but something pleasing to the eye. If I like the head I'll look closer.
 

MagicMelon

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6 November 2004
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North East Scotland
Temperament is very important, although obviously I'd only go and see horses that matched what I was looking for with regard to height and age range, type etc. I don't care much for how well its bred, attitude and temp more important. Obviously needs to have 4 legs and nothing odd. Otherwise I'm pretty flexible with regard to how much or how little the horse has been trained.

The only type I'm generally put off viewing is chestnuts and warmbloods... I do seem to be attracted to greys for some reason though!
 
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