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Buy a new horse with me!

Hello friends! If you’ve seen me posting, y’all know that I am (at last) in the market for a new horse. I recently posted about all ~the goods~ you need for a horse but, since I have the week off, am wondering if y’all want to help me purchase, too!

I was approved by New Vocations just in the time for the holidays, which I am stoked about (while my boyfriend is like, “Oh a new horse?”). I’m looking for my next equine partner to join me in Austin TX for some low-level eventing (perhaps), show-jumping, some fox hunting, and general horsing about. While I’ll be contacting the trainers, I’m looking for a horse that’s brave and has clean enough legs to not give me an anxiety attack! Age, color, and sex don’t matter!

So dream with me and join me on exploring my current New Ventures faves:
Convict: https://www.horseadoption.com/horse_detail/334
Resiliency: https://www.horseadoption.com/horse_detail/350

And my other fave boys:
Unbelievable Story: https://aftertheraces.org/adoptablehorses/unbelievable-story-rrp-eligible/
Nose Job: https://aftertheraces.org/adoptablehorses/nose-job-nosey/

Honestly really stuck between Convict and Unbelievable Story

I am not the best judge of confirmation but based on the photos, I love Resiliency. He looks balanced and gorgeous to me and I like that little dab of Ribot in his dam line – not that it is enough to mean anything; I just like Ribot.

Convict is very nice but his back feet look weird to me, really short. Is that an issue? They look weirdly small.

Unbelievable Story has that ewe neck which may respond to conditioning. Also, his hind legs look awfully straight to me. He looks somehow a little uncomfortable in those shots, but the glowing reports about his personality and the fact that he came out clean in his exams makes me question whether he might be a good choice.

I would say no to Nosey because of his cellulitis history, tieback surgery, the pasture accidents which limit his use, and his very short muscular neck. On the positive side, at least you can see he is not a hard keeper and his body is very balanced looking, although my first glance wondered if his hind legs are set back a bit; I think that impression is wrong and he is fine. What a nice shoulder and straight front legs!

I am guessing that his registered name is Nose Job, based on 2012 year of birth and sire. If that is him, love the pedigree with the Private Account and Hoist the Flag. He sounds like a lovely horse personality-wise.

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The below is all just my personal opinion.

There’s something going on in unbelievable story’s back end, his pelvis looks like it has a bit of a twist. Look at the shot from behind, he’s standing square but his hips are not even. The left hip and tuber sacrale is noticeably lower than those on the right. There is more muscle development over the right hip and wastage over the left so there’s possibly a compensation there. His tail looks kind of corked to one side. In the video of him under saddle he’s ridden largely on the right rein so you can’t really assess how he moves on the left rein which would probably be the more difficult direction for him. In every canter photo he’s chosen to canter on the right lead even when it appears he’s going left. He’s also incredibly straight through the stifle and hock. I’d steer well clear of this one, I think that nearside hind has issues that would be more visible on the left rein.

Nosey has a nice big bottom but those long pasterns on his front feet will be a weakness particularly as you’re wanting to jump him, one day they will probably give out. He trots with a bit of a daisy cutter type movement, I wonder what the injury was and what they saw on his xrays. Shame as he looks sweet.

Convict is cute but whether removed knee fragments can cause ongoing issues or make them unsuitable for jumping I don’t know.

All of these horses have problems of varying severity, whether they’re dealbreakers or not is up to you. Yes they’re all cheap horses but if you have no space for retiring a horse if/when it goes unsound, or no $$ for lameness workup, the purchase price doesn’t really matter as you’ll be stuck with a horse you can’t find a home for. Me personally I wouldn’t take an possibly-unsound horse even if I was given it free but that’s because I have nowhere to retire them so I won’t take on the risk.

Resiliency if it were me, I’d want his back xrayed to look at whether he has kissing spine or not, and his feet to see if the bad angles have caused any arthritic changes. If they’re clean he’d probably be my pick out of the list.

This is all honestly super helpful. The only other one I’m considering is this guy:

For comparison’s sake this might more clearly visualise the hips. Perhaps it’s just uneveness from being ridden unevenly but my gut opinion would be there’s something happening in there that will significantly affect his performance under saddle. The horse on the right, the centre of his tuber sacrale is pointed right up to the sky, 12 oclock. The horse on the left is pointed off more at 11oclock, and the differences in muscle symmetry is clear.

Following it down to the ground, his right hind hoof is an inch higher than his left. Whether he’s holding it up off the ground or it’s taller, I can’t tell from the pic, but there’s a great deal of crookedness in that horse. It’s just my personal opinion though so take it with a grain of salt!


Have you ever considered a Standardbred? I adopted a SB from New Vocations last winter and he is pretty cool. He is sound after racing 243 times, and nothing bothers him. He doesn’t spook and has excellent ground manners.

He spent some time lunging and figuring out trot and canter and the plan is for my trainer to do some dressage shows with him this summer. I don’t jump but I know SBs can be excellent jumpers, and there are quite a few of them that fox hunt.

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I’m certainly not against them @RatWrangler! To be fully transparent I’d have to learn a little bit more about the breed. NV had a gorgeous Standardbred that was just adopted who I had my eye on but I’m definitely watching their site!

@leesa1 viewing those photos side by side was certainly enlightening. I appreciate you giving your personal opinion, it was legitimately eye-opening. I think sometimes I find myself won over by the idea of a horse (“Omg he has one eye! I love him!”) and need to force myself to think a little bit more critically about what I’d be using them for. Besides, as you mentioned, I don’t have an endless vault of money at this point in my life to be dropping all the time. I really do appreciate your insight, and I’m def going to keep a really close eye on After the Races and New Vocations websites to find a good partner for myself.

I spent some time grooming SB racehorses after I got out of college and got to like them. They are usually tough as nails physically, and very sensible–less hot and excitable than some TBs can be.
One of the things to look for is a horse that trots and canters at liberty even if they raced at the pace. There is a trainer named Brody Leversha who has a ton of videos on YouTube about retraining SBs.
Their big drawback for some people is that they don’t have the prettiest heads. That doesn’t really concern me, and I think they’re a huge untapped resource.

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Not to dissuade you from a “straight rescue”, but since you’re in Austin - a girl I grew up around (her brother was my age) has a OTTB restart program in DFW. She’s an eventer by trade, but had a calling to get TBs off the track and restarted and into good homes.

It may be another option, I don’t think her horses are terribly expensive and I know the horses she has all find homes fairly quickly (so less time sitting and having prices increase) - but it might allow you to test ride a few that would check all of your boxes AND you would have at least a little more background knowledge that the horse would probably stand up to their intended career since they’re usually under saddle and have been popped over a few fences.

Good luck!

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Based on almost nothing, I really like Convict. He has a very kind eye, especially in that first photo. I’m also just a sucker for a blood bay.

Out of the ones you posted, I like Resiliency the best. Good luck OP!

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I would bide my time, wait until a horse really catches your eye and you know that is the one you really want to check out.
Then hope it is ok and if not, go back to waiting for another unicorn.

Right now, it seems that you are not sure, just taking one because you want a/another horse, which may work, or not quite after all be what you want.

Honestly, I think you’re about right. I’m an impatient person by nature, and finally getting approved has me feeling a little bit antsy. Right now, I’m thoroughly enjoying shopping around and intend on taking my time!