What to focus on?
It's a western trained arab. She does trail and possibly endurance but (like me) once she has a horse it is never sold so I don't want her stuck with a white elephant she can't ride and won't sell (She's already got one of those) She lost her 36 year old this past summer and horses like him are hard (very hard) to find. If you find one it won't be for sale.
The horse will be fussed over so 'must' be affectionate, take baths without objection, have ears handled and in general prefer the company of humans, no spook issues.
All my previous purchases have been impulse buys (horse picked me) and I've been very lucky in that respect. No lameness, price was reasonable, and horse(s) would cross fire if I asked.
Prior to schedualing a PPE.
Is it out of line to ask the owner of the dam what health issues she has ever had?
Ask the farrier that workes on him how the horse is to work around?
It is so NOT out of line and these should be questions you ought to ask!
If the owner is reluctant to share the mare's vet record with you, walk away.
If the owner is reluctant to share the name and phone number of the farrier for you to ask questions regarding any issues with her hooves/attitude or any other questions, walk away.
Prior to scheduling a PPE, you should go visit and try this horse.
Ask the owner to show you the horse in the stall, in the aisle while being groomed, at the lunge line, walking outside and around the property, being ridden by the owner and then your friend can hop on if wanted.
Ask if there are trails around where you could actually try the horse there.
Ask about loading, bathing, clipping, any related issues with vet handling, the attitude the horse while being fed.
Ask about her attitude with other horses while being ridden, on the trailer, in a herd or what happen if the horse goes out alone.
Is there any trainer involved? Who it is, what have been done so far and could you have a talk with said trainer about the horse?
What should the horse eat to stay that way? (A friend of mine had sold a nice quiet TB to someone. Said person started feeding the TB high sugar feed...and the horse became the devil in person!)
What is the usual training schedule for that horse? Beeing ridden 2-3-4 times a week? or once a week? A quiet horse used to be trained hard 5 times a week won't stay nice if only trail ridden once a week.
What is the usual turn out schedule for that horse? 24/7/365 days? or 2 hours per day or ? Again, a quiet horse used to be out most days might not stay psychologically healthy if then kept in a stall 20hrs per day.
These are just questions. If you don't like the answers, walk away! If the owner doesn't want to answer, walk away!
Buy a horse that already do what you want to do with it.
Another thing that I personally do when I purchase a horse that most people don't is get a blood draw. Check the horse out via it's blood levels and see what it is lacking or if ill. If the blood work comes back good then you have a normal blood work for the horse if it ever does get sick to compare it to.
Another thing is go there unannounced to see the horse if you can to see how it reacts and etc.
I have found that good horse owners do is give you a 14 or 30 day trial after the vet check and donot use their vet. Use a non-interested party.
Maybe you can lease horse on site for a few weeks to test it if you are iffy about it.
Confused, you want to ask the owner of the dam about the dams health records??? Is the owner of the dam of this horse also the seller? Or a 3rd party somewhere off the property?
If the sale horse is already mature, broke and trained? Never heard of wanting to go for the dam's vet records. Especially if it's not owned by the seller, they don't have to tell you anything and probably won't. You can't bypass them and go to a vet either, they won't release records without owner consent.
But it's fair game to ask the owner/seller about the sale horse's vet and farrier history.
But all that fades in importance until friend actually goes and rides the horse to see if they click or not.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Pa-eternally laboring in the infinite creative and sustentative work of the universe
Some good points, some not.
Showing up unannounced to anyones barn is not respectful. If you feel you need to sneak around to see a horse, you are looking at the wrong horse -- and dealing with the wrong people.
Asking for a trial period might get you a flat out NO, which is what I would respond with ...if this is one of your priorities,state that ahead before setting an appt.
Many people who have horses for sale arent interested in leasing for weeks which takes a horse off the market, however, most will accomodate you coming to visit and ride as often (within reason) as it takes to assess a horse properly.
Just go ride, as if you were at home, -- a nice trail ride... start there. If the horse is comfortable and reasonably compatable, then: ask for a 2nd appt to see consistancy. If this horse wow's you, then ask for a 2nd appt anyway.
I've gone to buy horses myself and with friends maybe a whopping five times in my lifetime and we have never kept with the list we made up, for one reason or another. Sometimes you get there and you just know you need to leave. Or stay.
I would prefer to get an opportunity to catch the horse in the pasture, bring it in, groom, pick feet, bridle and saddle, then have the owner show it off and WTC both ways before I got on, but you don't always get that, sometimes sellers are selling a nice horse and have it all tuned up when you get there and other times they haven't got any tack for the horse they are trying to sell! Or any place to ride except the barn aisle or the pasture or the driveway so you don't get the horse's real reaction to where you want to go and do.
When we looked at the pony he was owned by a farrier so it was almost a joke to ask if he was good for the farrier - I asked how he was for other people and I'd picked his feet and had a little attitude. They were pretty honest about him being sort of a giant, untutored pet, I asked specific questions about what cues they used to canter etc and they couldn't tell me, I asked about his training and they told me he'd been started by a pro but couldn't remember the name, asked (actually they volunteered) about his breeding but of course they had lost the paperwork too and couldn't remember the names .
He didn't have a current Coggins and we didn't go pick him up until they produced one, his vax record was nonexistant, sort of like any horse you get from the auction houses and I didn't even bother to ask who their vet was by that time. DH loaded him fine on the stock trailer, he rode fine, he was a real jerk for the first few months here till we got his ground manners better but he's still a mouthy brat, but they weren't dishonest about that either.
I personally would have skipped buying him, just too much little horse 'tude, not a sweetheart at all although he is getting better, sort of. DH fell in love with the idea and thought he could work with him, he's not un horsey at all, but he just didn't have the time and I couldn't talk him out of it, so my advice is to be straighforward with your friend without being excessively negative or positive. Discuss any dealbreakers that she might have and be clear about them.
Pony was so cheap we did a vetting after the fact, more of a here he is, he needs shots, deal than a real PPE, but he wasn't planned to be a show horse or a competition horse, just company for the old guy and light trail riding. He was in good flesh, feet were good, bright, alert, opiniated in a pony way and quite the easy keeper, we asked about his diet as well and they were quite honest through the whole deal.
We did go home and sleep on it - I was hoping DH would see the light but . . . and then the next issue was the owner failing to produce the coggins, but maybe he wanted to make sure we really wanted his little problem child that he couldn't afford to keep any more.
Good luck - take your time, there'll be someone out there for your friend sooner or later.
As a breeder, buyer and seller of my own horses and other people's horses I would say your friend or anyone really has to put in perspective all the time involved in this process on both ends-buyer and seller.
I have sold a lot of horses and never once has anyone asked for the dam's health records-this includes my own babies and I own the dam and sire of all my babies. A dam's health in no way guarantees anything of her offspring. I tell everything I know of the horse-good and bad, the food the eat, quirks, level of training/handling they have and so forth. If the horse sells, I tell the buyer it will all be put in writing, contract form, so there's no "he said, she said".
There are horse sellers who are going to simply lie through their teeth to sell a horse, just like a car, a dog you name it. It is your or your friend's responsibilty to go in with OPEN eyes and OBSERVE everything.
If you go, with an appointment, to a barn to look at a horse RUN YOUR HANDS OVER THE HORSE, look at horse's eyes, look at their teeth, Touch their ears, scratch their belly and see what the horse does, feel down their legs, ask the horse to back up..... See if they are mouthy, stand quietly, how they are tacked up. Start with the basics.
I always watch a horse move free and show those I have or do sell go free-in the ring. Not only am I looking a movement, lameness etc, I am waiting to see if 1. the horse knows anything and 2. listens to the owner/handler.
I can go on and on and the OP is welcome to PM me. While "you" are a buyer you still should be reasonable in time expectations and realistic of what your budget can buy, your abilities, riding and handling a horse, the horse's abilities and if this is the right horse for you-or your friend.
Horse was 13 (older than I was expecting) so Dam's vet records are a non issue, at that age anything that was going to have cropped up would have by now.
Seller was honest about the horse being dog aggressive and not doing well in large groups of horses (such as in a large endurance ride) The larger group thing I think can be built up to in low key settings, the dog thing well dogs aren't allowed on the stable grounds and I'd rather have a dog aggressive horse than one that spooks at them. Example Pitbull vs dog aggressive horse - dog will lose. OTOH Pit vs fearful horse horse goes through fence or gets bit to pieces.
The seller has had the horse since he was 4 months old, Shared name of farrier and vets without a blink.
Horse is a sweetheart, affectionate, tall for his breed 15.2-16hh or so (no stick so guess-timating). I took a couple of incredibly bad pics but they wouldn't upload to the computer from the chip so may have to find a cable to download. (forget the cable here is a link: http://forums.arabianbreeders.net/to...tered-gelding/)
Horse will have to go from pasture life to in out stall living in a pipe corral I'm not sure how well he would cope with that.
No, he didn't come home with us this time. No, he wasn't ridden it was just a from the ground evaluation(Friends does (Whisper) 'Parelli'), He had good ground manners and was clueless as to the lead rope shaking but he didn't get annoyed at the rope just seemed confused by it. Figured out by the end of the evaluation that it means 'back up'. Seller does Clinton Anderson so I felt out of the loop there -( I train by 5"x7" white flash cards but different strokes.)
The tree next door was getting it's limbs cut off and he spooked at that but he was careful not to run over friend.
I think the seller may offer friend a 30 day trial since this is a word of mouth sale and a good home is more important than the price -which is low.
My personal gut feeling - no one keeps a dreadful horse for 13 years. If I were not already over my horse limit I would have bought him myself.
My friend is recovering from knee surgery the second one on the same knee and may have been put off by the 'not doing well in large groups=horse was taken(while on previous trial) to an endurance ride and was spooked by a fast moving band of paso finos and had a meltdown/did a 180 (perhaps with bolt) dumped the rider and horse came back.
Would have been something to work on if it were me but friend might be justifiably cautious because of knee. Horse would be perfect for me but I'm not her and no one welcomes a third knee surgery.
Pasture pets spook. A good owner doesn't throw a horse into a situation like that without working up to it slowly.