Horse Shopping Common Courtesy

I have been hinting at the fact that I have been window shopping for, so to speak, baby horses. It is pretty amazing to me the things that sellers of horses will say or rather not say. I understand that as a seller you don’t have to disclose everything but if you know of something significant and do not disclose it… Well consider yourself shady mcshaderson. Annie is a cribber. I probably never would have considered buying her if I had known how aggressively she cribs before I bought her. It limits our boarding options and is also a health risk. I am glad that I do have her but I do feel that cribbing definitely falls in the “things you should disclose” category.Other things that I think should be disclosed are injuries or issues that will potentially cause future problems. For instance if you have a horse that gets annual injections don’t say the horse doesn’t need maintenance. Or if the horse has known OCD’s or had OCD surgery it is great if you share that…ย Most recently I am finding myself very frustrated by people that say something but then end up going back on their word. If I have my vet review your horses x-rays and we agree on a price and discuss further pre purchase steps I will be very blindsided when I get the dreaded message that you sold the horse not 12 hours after you basically told me it was as good as mine.Last but not least it is super bothersome when you ask about a horse and then explain that based on whatever information you received said horse isn’t a good fit for what you want. Please don’t harass me for weeks afterwards. I try to be as honest and upfront as possible but sometimes you run out of ways to politely say YOU CANT HAVE MY MONEY.
What about you guys? What are some horse shopping common courtesies (or lack thereofย ) that you have seen?

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26 Comments

  1. Horse shopping is the literal worst and I dread the day I might actually have to shop. Both my boys fell in my lap pretty much. Horse people are horrible and sellers will lie lie lie. Also, I agree cribbing is something you should disclose!! But its not a deal breaker to me at least. I know some amazing horses that crib. Yanks is an aggressive cribber, but its controlled with a collar. If its one hole loose or if it comes off though, he gone! Annoying, but controllable and not a deal breaker. Would’ve missed out on an awesome horse if I had discounted him for that. I’ve also never had trouble finding a barn and not one horse has ever learned it from him ๐Ÿ˜‰ But thats just my area I think, I know some barns are like NOO.

    1. I am very lucky that my current barn is very understanding but other barns that I’ve looked at have said no way. She is really aggressive though and can get her collar off if it isn’t legitimately choking her.

      I’m obviously glad I have her now but I probably won’t seek out any cribbers in the future. I was actually open to cribbing when I got her but she is worse than any cribber I’ve met.

  2. I’ve been lucky with horse shopping in that most of mine have just fallen into my lap. But I could write some horror stories about horse buyers ๐Ÿ˜‘ Regardless, on the rare occasions when I advertised mine for sale, I was as open and honest as possible. I don’t know how people sleep at night when they misrepresent horses… Ugh.

  3. Horse shopping was fairly easy this time when we purchased Fergie – we looked at 5 horses total at 3 different barns. I got back with the owners who we decided to pass on their horses and all were professional. I felt Fergie’s breeder was very upfront with us – gave me the contact info for the trainer who put some under saddle work on her. So no horror stories from me!

    As far as cribbing, our OTTB – Cheers- was an aggressive cribber. We knew this when we purchased him. One barn in KY said he couldn’t stay after 30 days. We personally would never knowingly purchase a cribberagain – Cheers final colic was determined to be due to cribbing.

  4. I tried a horse being sold as a hunter, who was comfortable up to 3′. The seller set the time and day for me to come try her. No jumps were set up, and she said we couldn’t set any up because they were having dressage lessons later that day. Major red flag.

  5. Yeah, when I bought Copper (at 11 months old…) they didn’t tell me about his plantar ligament tear. Their trainer, who I’ve been great friends with since, mentioned it a month after I bought him without knowing she was giving away her boss’ secret. :/ I figured he was so young, there was no reason to think he’d had a serious injury. Wompwomp. Grateful that over the last eight years it hasn’t flared up…until now. He gets injected Tuesday.

  6. Your last example is kind of blowing my mind — shopper says no but seller basically harasses shopper — yikes!

    I have been lucky when it comes to horse shopping so I don’t really have any horror stories. I do prefer having a horse on trial before purchase, which can be arranged in some cases but not always–you’d know if you had a cribber on your hands then at least.

  7. To be fair, I’ve never shopped for a very expensive horse. So I knew that I would probably have some issues crop up with them. I’ll include both horses I’ve owned as adults.
    Joker: Had a rearing problem. Owner disclosed it and flat out said that when he reared, she got off of him. To also be fair, he was built extremely uphill and just liked to pop off of his front end. That didn’t make it any easier to deal with because he would pop up at times or flat out refuse to move. Thankfully he got better and had not done that for several months when I sold him, but I still cautioned that it had been a problem in the past.

    Dexter: He wasn’t broke. So any issues that cropped up, they wouldn’t have known about. They answered everything I asked. However, they did tell me he was ready to start being ridden and when I left him in training with them, the excuses continued as to why they weren’t riding him and he ended up getting only 4 or 5 rides in 30 days.

    I also have a friend that buys and sells a ton of horses. I don’t feel like she is ever 100% honest, so I would be unlikely to buy a horse from her, even though I have known her for years. I feel like often times when you buy any sell a ton of horses, you learn you can’t be 100% honest or you probably will not sell them. I don’t agree with that mentality, but it seems like that’s how it goes sometimes.

    1. One of my really good friends was selling her horse and I cringed at her dishonesty. Like I knew the horse personally and her ad was so over exaggerated it was ridiculous. For example, she had been to two SCHOOLING shows only and placed well, at a schooling show, and the ad read “Never places out of top two at shows”…..really? c’mon now. I HATE that.

  8. i was pretty disappointed to learn my new horse weaves and feel like that should have been disclosed. tho it’s been easily controlled by conscientious stalling choices so i guess it’s possible the adoption facility (who only had him for about a week) didn’t actually know? they were very up front about his actual medical history tho, which is arguably more important than sharing vices.

    another horse i looked at, the seller disclosed some soundness / maintenance issues but then seemed very defensive and incredulous that people would consider it a deal breaker for what she felt was a very special 4 year old (that already had soundness / maintenance needs…). sorry lady, not interested, but thanks for the honesty!

    1. Yeah… soundness issues at 4 before a horse has even done anything really is an issue…

      I guess it’s possible they didn’t know. I know some people that use lots of toys for weavers – hopefully you can keep it managed ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. What everyone else said…most fell in my lap more or less, but that didn’t save me from some of the crappiest luck when it came to soundness issues due things including old splints, bad farrier, tendons made of spaghetti noodles and the dreaded navicular (even with extensive ppes). When I looked for my upper level guy the search was loooong, but I was pretty picky about what I wanted, the splint was a know Leaving now potential issue and Lady Luck was not in my favor long term. I don’t know that I’ll own again for a long time after the roller coaster owning horses has been for me but I expect to be lease shopping in a few months and will once again be picky because my time and money right now are limited for this crazy sport ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. That is terrible, I can’t believe someone would hound you after you decided to pass on their horse. Or not tell you about something like cribbing… Geez. (Though personally I wouldn’t pass on a cribber, my first horse was a very aggressive cribber too, collars and enrichment didn’t work at all, but he thankfully never had health issues due to it. It just annoyed me to death, lol.) Though I must say selling horses is way worse. But I would always disclose serious things because if that person is going to pass because of that problem, then they’re obviously not the right fit. Plus I wouldn’t want to get a bad reputation!

  11. Obviously the lying thing is annoying. I’ve never had a seller harass me, but I have had a buyer harass me. I didn’t sell Dijon to this woman and she called to berate me for that. Then I saw her at Dover and she specifically came over to berate me again. I had to tell her to f*ck off.

  12. Uh yeah, cribbing definitely should have been disclosed. I am lucky that I purchased my baby horse from the breeder, who also happens to be a good friend and trainer that I trust and respect immensely, or else…. probably would have nearly been the death of me.

    I think a good “return policy” is a nice courtesy, although probably not too common. To me it means that you are honest and confident in your horse and their character. I can also see how someone might take advantage of that as well.

  13. I feel your pain. Horse shopping blows. For all I know, Siggy could’ve had a history of colic that no one told me about…

  14. The hardest thing I’ve dealt with is barn blindness… some people just can’t look at the horse they love and see what really there. But with my two baby horses I bought them without meeting them in person and somehow it all turned out alright! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. The commission I paid my trainer to find a horse for me was worth every single penny haha. I hear so many horror stories and while I love window shopping as much as the next person, any purchase I do will be through my trainer simply because she does this sort of thing for a living. I sent her SO many ads that sounded glorious and she knew how to read between the lines to figure out which ones were actually worth pursuing. And then of course she found Frankie independently of any of my searches. So yeah, definitely worth the “finder’s fee” for her to handle the process from start to finish so I didn’t have to deal with any shady mofos.