Horse hunting - sooo confused! What to do?!


& Harry!
Dec 24, 2003
Home Sweet Home! (Bucks)
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I sold Lady about 3 weeks ago & since then I have been looking for a new horse. I'm looking for something to take further than Lady & compete up to Pre Novice level eventing. I loved the first one I looked at & she seemed absolutely perfect, even after looking at some others, so I had her vetted but she failed both hind flexion tests before exercise & the vet thought her pelvis was out of line & her sacro-iliac joint was sore. Her owner has had his vet out, who found nothing wrong (what a surprise!) but he has given me the vets no so I can ring up & quiz him.

I looked at another one today who is lovely & totally fits the bill, except she's 14 and has the jumping experience of a 5 year old. She is very well schooled on the flat, has been shown to county level & I dont think it would be too long before I could attempt an elementary dressage test on her. She has a huge jump on her & is very honest - i popped her over both showjumps & xc fences & she jumped em all. I spoke to my instructor about her & she thinks I should seriously consider taking her on for a year or so for me to get some more competition experience.

I like both of them, though in an ideal world I'd have the first, but I cant afford to take on a horse with loads of problems, that might not stay sound for what I want to do - I went through too much with Lady & I cant face going through all of that again. Saying that, the age of the 2nd one does concern me a bit, although in all other respects shes great. I've got another couple lined up to go and see (& probably confuse things even more), but any help would be much appreciated :)


New Member
Jan 17, 2006
With the 14 year old, things to consider:

- re-sale price
- possibility of failing the vetting

- hasn't jumped much, which is a good thing at her age 'cause their joints don't tend to last well if they have jumped a lot in their lives
- is very well schooled, so you just have to train her to jump
- should be very used to shows and that sort of atmosphere, so more calm and sensible when you're nervous than a youngster would be.


New Member
Hi! It sounds like your chosen discipline is eventing and from some previous posts I' ve seen I feel that deep down maybe you're more keen on jumping than on dressage, is that right?
If this mare for some reason didn't work out jumping-wise, would you really be happy to stick with pure dressage (even if it's straight in at Elementary)? Or would you want to sell her on? Nothing wrong with either... you just need to decide what you want out of your next horse. Do you want to gain some more (competition) experience and then move on again or are you looking for a horse to keep for quite some time? 14 is not old at all if you want to stick with her (no matter how the jumping works out), but as previous poster said, re-sale value is likely to be affected by her age.
I'm not helping am I, just adding more questions. But I do believe you need to answer those questions honestly and then you'll know if a horse is likely to be The One for you. If your instructor knows you really well his or her opinion is probably one to take notice of too :)
Good luck , I hope you find the right horse for you soon.


New Member
Apr 30, 2005
I know it sounds hard, but as there are concerns regarding both I would walk away and keep looking.

I hold my hands up to making two bad decisions on two horses I bought, both times there were niggly issues in the back of my mind that I ignored and then they came back to haunt me. Both horses were sold on to wonderful homes but they weren't right for me.

The third time of looking I was so picky, people at the time probably thought I was over the top, but it worked out, I ended up with my perfect horse albeit almost 6 months of searching.

So don't lose heart keep looking :)


New Member
Nov 27, 2003
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I'm another one who would keep looking.

14 isn't old but I would want to see some kind of jumping experience at that age, even if it was only at RC level.

There are enough sound horses out there, don't go for one that already has problems!


Active Member
Oct 16, 2006
The Cotswolds
I can't believe that you didn't wait for me to win the lottery before you sold lady...

Can I just ask what vets you used? Did you use the one from Hartpury College? They have something of a 'reputation'...

Ms Kitty

I'd rather play Polo
Aug 19, 2006
Portsmouth, UK/Occasionally Finland
I'd keep looking as well. No point taking on a horse that already has a recognised problem and though 14 is not old per se, it is on the borderline of being too old for your purposes.

There are plenty horses out there, at least that is what I keep telling myself when I am faling to find one I like myself.. ;)


& Harry!
Dec 24, 2003
Home Sweet Home! (Bucks)
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Thanks for all your replies :) I think I've pretty much decided against the 14 year old for various reasons, but mainly because I spoke to its owner & found out it has had a tendon lesion, which my instructor doesnt think will be a problem, but its just another negative and considering my record with Lady, I'd like to start off with as unbroken a pony as possible!!!

I found a lovely 6 year old TB gelding the other day who im very interested in, so we shall see what happens there........

Lot - sorry I couldnt wait for you to win the lottery! The horse I had vetted was near home, so I used Peter Scott Dunn rather than the "Hartpury vets". I know they have a bit of a reputation - been there, got the t-shirt, though the vet based at Hartpury this year is much better & I wouldnt hesitate having her or the top vet at that practice to vet a horse for me. I dont know what the other vets are like there, but at least I know I can trust 2 of them!
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