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Horse Buying/Selling Gripe Thread

Or the responses “don’t buy, rescue!” and then a link to a variety of gross backyard “rescues” available horses link, all yearlings straight out of the killpen, track etc, when my ISO was for a trained, not fancy but safe childrens hunter with local record and confirmed changes a must.


I believe I am in the low end of many people’s budgets… the last two we purchased (2019 and 2022) were $3000 each as they were undesirable colors for the breeder who preferred colorful stock. (that might have changed in their minds as both purchases went on to win World Championships in a very competitive division)

The most ever paid was for Mulligan at $4000

Even the first horse we bought from a know breeder in Kentucky in 1991 was $3000 (which would be about $6500 in today’s dollars)

Forgot Lexie, she was free… given to my daughter after Sock’s accident … Lexie was part of the breeder/trainer’s stock that had not grown into the size that they work with (she is 14h when they prefer 16h plus)… a pasture horse for her first five years, never saddled until this June, showed in August at a large regional dressage show taking firsts in her four classes


I ALWAYS look at the seller’s Facebook profile. It’s so revealing. Even if it’s dreamhorse or something else, if the name is there I’m looking them up. Sometimes I won’t contact a seller just for political reasons— not who I want to be giving my money to :rofl:


I recently saw an ad for a medium pony that “jumps a 10” and the only visual documentation of said pony is a blurry screen shot from a video where, yes, the pony is high over the jump, but it has obviously left from a mile away off of 3 legs. No video. No proof that it is a fantastic mover as also stated in the ad.

My favorite part of this is that people don’t seem to understand how easy it is to find information with social media. If I have questions about an ad that seems too good to be true, it can be very easy to go find the horse’s real name and look up its USEF record and any videos that might be out there. The pony above, it took me all of 10 minutes to go to the poster’s Facebook page, find the pony’s real name, and look up its USEF results.


Or someone who posts lots of rants about how people always cheat them and can’t be trusted.:upside_down_face:


Agree with @Sarah616 - love the claims in ads not backed up by even a photo of said claim, much less video.

I have a horse casually for sale the low-medium price bracket, and my observation so far is that 1) people ask for videos and don’t even watch them, 2) there is no reward for being an open book, and 3) no one wants to pay for training and a show record, or at least thinks training should also mean dead-beginner broke trail horse too.

But this is why I’m starting early with the very casual thing instead of waiting until I’m more pressed to sell. So far everyone who’s contacted me has been cordial and non-crazy though, so that’s something. :slight_smile:

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Tried to sell one this summer (glad we kept him he’s pretty awesome)

Listed everything out in the ad and still had people asking the same question. Or is this 4 (turning 5) year old horse was beginner friendly.

As someone who was looking to buy or lease two months ago, I ultimately ended up leasing because of the amount of green beans (<30 days restarted from the track) going for 20k+. Sure, they were popping over impressive fences but on almost all of them it looked like the rider was fighting for their lives. And no, none of their pedigrees were impressive enough to justify the $$.

As someone restarting their own riding journey, I would die on some of those horses I saw videos of LOL

I’m in a relatively “chill” market too - Middle TN. Can’t imagine the larger city markets.


I have to ask. Did the horse jump it in good form?

I suspect I know the answer, but I’m very curious anyway.


Speaking as someone who has absolutely no credentials for judging jumper prospects, I’d say I was impressed. Its knees were tucked up very neatly. That’s all that matters, right? (That reminds me-- people who send me their hunters and jumpers on my dressage horse ISO, get lost.)


Every horse is either beginner safe or “best suited to a professional.” We’re all supposed to believe there’s no middle ground.

This week I also saw a young rider post a hunters prospect ISO where she alluded to her budget by mentioning multiple times that she was still in school, aka, looking for a project or someone who desperately needed to sell. Half the replies were links to BigEq. Are we really so delusional as horse people to think that a college student has >$50k to spend on a horse? Or are we assuming that this girl’s pockets are lined with mommy and daddy’s money?


Have always suspected that certain sellers don’t care that people look them up on the internet. Knowing that those people won’t be calling after they see what there is to see.

That seller does not want a customer who will look them up on the internet. They want a customer who will never look them up on the internet. The customers self-select themselves, and only the naive will call – perfect, for that seller. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :slight_smile:


I have a friend that trains for a college up there, she may be interested in another horse, can you pm me info?

Many people like me are looking for reasonably well-trained, already under saddle horses to buy. We don’t have or don’t want the option of paying, waiting, and then backing a horse when it’s old enough. So, how much did it cost you/your daughters to feed, trim hooves, pay for shots/vet bills before your/their horses were under saddle and not considered dead-green?

I’ve never started a horse. I have, however, taken an already WELL-trained horse (Morgans) and introduced them to new things (going bareback, ski-joring, jumping, wearing costumes, etc.) but only because the basics were solid.


I fell in love with my 17-hand OTTB’s walk. Khan overstrided 12" during his “regular” walk. As far as breed, though, I found that my personality and his didn’t really mesh. So, for me, I went back to Morgans after him.

My criteria with them have ALWAYS been a good walk. (I hate dawdling.) The next Morgan (after Khan) overstrided 8", although he stood only 15.0 1/2 hands. The next two, also, had/have that good walk. My current horse (grade Morgan) is only 14.3 hands, the smallest horse I have ever owned, but she is built like a brickhouse and feels MUCH bigger. (While riding along a rode, a car stopped to look at her, and the driver commented “how BIG” she is.)

Just curious, is your green mare a breed? I am not looking, not asking for price, just wondering because she doesn’t fit what you want size-wise for a driving horse. Just being nosy here.

I did a DNA test through the American Morgan Horse Association. If my mare had papers that had been lost, or she had come from registered parents, she would probably have been trained to drive as a youngster. Since I don’t know, I’m not willing to take the chance of putting any vehicle behind her—I just thought that maybe I would try driving in ‘my old age.’

Your post got my attention because I live in western Michigan. I spent two years trying to find a foundation/Lippett Morgan nearby after I put down my Really Well-Bred gelding down due to cancer. My search was not successful, as most of the horses that met my criteria were too young and too far away for me to consider. I took a chance on my mare because she looked like an “old-fashioned” Morgan, there were/are several “color” Morgan horse breeders in this state and Indiana, and, of course, I could do a DNA pull on her.

Well, I’ve been rambling so I guess I’ll stop here.

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Saw this and thought of y’all LOL

Link to TikTok


Humor a dummy who’s somehow never really needed to look up anything on USEF… can I look up a person? As a way of vetting a seller? I know this doesn’t stop them from lying to you, but perhaps one way to know if they’re honest.

Also, for fun: Seller advertises project horse and sends along pictures and papers. There’s a “paper trail” of horse on YouTube and Facebook. Great breeding on the papers, none of which was mentioned in the ad-- red flag or not?

What price point are you dealing with? If at a lower point, may be the seller truly doesn’t know anything about papers/breeding.

Yes, as long as you have a USEF membership you can look them up, as long as they are also a USEF member. However, it’s only really going to give you horses they own and a rider report on that person - results from any usef shows they’ve done. You can also search through suspensions if you are worried about that.

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