Horse Buying/Selling Gripe Thread

I’ve noticed a recent uptick in CoTHers looking to buy or sell horses. I’m in the market and it is a zoo out there. Color me unsurprised, but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it. It just feels like it shouldn’t be that hard! Just today I’ve had:

  1. Teenager trying to flip an auction horse she bought a month ago for double the price-- somebody sent me a warning. I’d already passed on the horse.
  2. Woman who couldn’t send me videos of her horse because eight paragraphs about hosting her mother in law for Thanksgiving and how disappointed she was that her son wasn’t coming home from Big Name University. Unprompted. After one message.
  3. Lady, anyone with eyes can see that your horse is lame.
  4. The people who send you no less than five other available horses that don’t fit your needs after you politely declined the one they originally messaged you about (one of them is relentless! She’s still trying to sell me a pony I didn’t want a week ago and still don’t).
  5. Woman who sent me a video of her student/daughter/teenage girl falling off horse for sale. She also included a photo of the horse jumping over their paddock gate.

Not to mention the people who just can’t communicate over text or bother to read your ISO post. Fine. Gripe over (for now).


Personally we have had none of those issues or any problems purchasing horses since we deal with known breeders who produce well prepared stock.


Horse shopping is the worst, but #5 is kind of hilarious!


Oh lord, number two is my pet peeve. I can’t stand oversharing. I do NOT need to know the life story.

Number five is just funny. Stupidity knows no bounds, apparently!

So anyway, what are you looking for?


We have one to sell and I am dreading the process. EVERYONE who calls is an expert rider, which is proven false when they get on th BIG horse who visibly frightens them. Horse does nothing surprising, light on the bit like all of ours, but it walks SO FAST! They are unused to truly big moving horses in any gait. Not used to cooperative horse who tries to please. They are usually off in very short order or i am gIving a rIdina lesson to save the horse.

I am prepared for a long time selling her, just because it will take time to find a competent rider of a buyer, to suit the horse. She is green but willing, needs a steady program of handling/riding to bring her along to suit the buyer’s discipline. Horse is able to go in any direction, just needs the work put into her.

However I will need to wade thru lots of calls to find and encourage that buyer to make the trip out here to the “wilderness” of Michigan to actually ride her. And we are not even “up north” in the state! Ha ha Buyers can look at MANY MORE horses closer together, near them on the East Coast. It is very discouraging as a seller trying to present a really nice horse when we are “too far” to come see her. This despite good videos.

We don’t sell one very often and I dread the process. They only sell because they don’t fit our criteria for driving horses, which are pretty high! This one is too small to match the others, but not really small at 15.2H. If only she had made 16H to match the others, she would be here for life! No use here for a single driving horse.

We will eventually find her a good buyer, it will probably just take a long time. That buyer will be ecstatic to have found her, a “jewel in the rough” to have fun with for years to come. Our other buyers have all enjoyed having our horses in their lives!


I understand your frustration, but from the perspective of a buyer on a budget …. geography is a huge challenge. If a horse is farther than would be feasible in a day trip, it really is too far. By the time I factor in flights, motel for a night, renting a car, it’s easily $800-$1,000 and I lose the ability to get anything else done that weekend. With a low-fives budget, it makes no sense to devote that kind of effort to see one horse.


Bolded mine, because I know of a woman who was at her wit’s end trying to sell her pretty but temperamental, and not completely finished, rarely shown horse. She was asking twice what the horse was worth, which is the main reason why it wouldn’t sell. Her desperation tactic was to respond to just about every ISO she encountered, including people clearly looking for something that was not this horse.

If their ISO mentioned a jumper prospect, suddenly this horse was their dreamboat because on one particular Saturday it hopped over a few crossrails with a kid. If an ISO mentioned a horse that needed to be at least 16-hands, this horse was a “big 15.2.” ISO for a fancy mover? Yup, this horse (with a short, choppy stride). Stuff like that.

So on the one hand, ISO posts can help garner prospects and save some hunting time. Conversely, they can open up the maw of aggressive, high-pressure and often clueless sellers.


@Scaramouch Oh I totally understand about the budgeting! It is what it is, you can’t make money double itself by wishing! Ha ha That would be so nice to happen!

She will find a buyer eventually. We just lack riders with the skills and budget in our area for a horse like this. Out East she would sell fast with the bigger buyer market, her capabilities and (for there) quite reasonable price.

Buying is frustrating too, especially at the lower end.

There are a lot of scammers out there. There are also a lot of spur to go, yank to stop and don’t really know anything else type horses too.


I’m extremely casually in the market, for something young. But a few days ago, I saw an advertisement for a steady Childrens Hunter that anyone can ride. The horse was cute so I watched the video. The horse let out a MASSIVE buck right in front of the camera on course at a horse show.

I mean, I guess anyone can ride it. Just doesn’t necessarily mean everyone can stay on!

The worst part about this market right now is it’s hot, and that means everyone thinks they have some sort of majikal animal worth way more than it is. The amount of adverts for teenage horses with no training, no papers, and they want 10k+ (and they are posting them on the jumper prospect facebook pages……) is astounding.
But it will cool down a bit. Probably in January.


Re: 2., this frustrates me to no end dealing with any horse person. Just be concise. This is a business transaction. I don’t want to hear your life history, or even paragraphs and paragraphs about cute stuff the horse has or has not done. The opposite (serial-killer like short when can u come see, no other info, even when asked) baffles me well.


I had a woman approach me about buying Bo (my cute pony-looking OTTB) for her daughter right before I was moving myself and three horses across country, so I was open to considering it. Bo was still greenish off the track at the time, but so easy-going that I had lent her out for a 12-y-o to take lessons on.

On the test ride, I got on first to show her off, and for some reason she had a freak-out about 60 seconds in and dumped me for the first time ever. By the time I was dusting myself off, mom and daughter were speed-walking back to the Beemer. They all but teleported out of that parking lot. :rofl:

I’m just thankful no one was videoing that ride, but I can’t even imagine using an image like that as a sales tool. :flushed:


This drives me crazy!! The people who act bothered and get short with you when I ask questions about the horse. Apologies that you gave me no info to begin with! It’s like they don’t want to sell the horse at all!! Or they’re terrible at texting, but they don’t suggest a phone call!


I suspect you are in a different price bracket.


and the super close up of the cutest nose…

Really super movement but I can’t possibly send you a video!


Years ago, a friend was selling her horse because her deadbeat husband was consistently out of work and she hadn’t yet figured out that the smart move would have been to dump him and keep the horse.
Any road, people came to see him, liked him but had other horses to look at.
Returned a second time, and after owner rode him, kid hopped on and rode around a course.
Horse threw in a happy buck on landing after a fence, and kid went off.
Owner figured that was game over, but parents asked what she wanted for a deposit pending PPE.
They figured if he’d done that, he wasn’t drugged.
It seems that their previous “trainer” had maintained the kid’s pony on ace.


Seriously, some people don’t take no for an answer. Especially when the horse has already been advertised in the group for weeks. There’s a reason the horse isn’t selling, but I can’t tell you what it is, only that it doesn’t fit my ISO post. Sometimes it doesn’t even fit the theme of the group. Why are you advertising your 15 year old PoA in a young warmblood sales group? I’ve had to be rude— someone offered me a three year lease on a 3 year old DHH for 10k/year. I declined and she wouldn’t stop sending me video after video. I finally said, “I’m not interested in paying to train someone else’s horse.” BTDT. I was surprised she didn’t cuss me out, she was so pushy.

Or, they send you something suitable, you pass, and they send ten other horses that don’t fit at all? I just stop replying.

@DarkHorse1 Young upper level dressage prospect on a small budget, at least for this market. Less than 16 hh, love Lusitanos, but they’re so expensive here and I have a connection in Spain, so could import if my budget stretches next year. I adore mares and would be happy with a smaller warmblood mare, too. Have been looking seriously for a couple months and have not made it past one phone call with a seller yet. Trainer is convinced I will luck into a unicorn but she’s been telling me this for years and no unicorn has appeared yet.

Some people also assume they’re selling to an idiot.


Basic business communication is an underappreciated art!

I do think some sellers have a weird, ambivalent attitude about selling (like when people get really belligerent that their horse isn’t suitable for the prospective buyer).


The picture of the horse evacuating the pasture was the real shocker to me. So is it going to do that at my place?


Funny you should mention that behavior!

Rosie, my original chestnut mare, came to me as a 5-month-old weanling. For the first four nights at my boarding barn, Baby Rosie soared over the paddock gate where she was living with a run-in stall. The BO came out every morning and found her outside the field, hanging out by the Arabian gelding next door who was serving as her new babysitter. Did I mention she was a tiny APHA weanling, not even a leggy TB or warmblood? :rofl:

Again, like Bo decanting me into the arena footing, this isn’t the behavior I would choose to promote in a sale ad, lol! It makes you wonder what kind of personal details the seller shares about THEMSELVES on social media.