I’m in the market for a horse to show locally and on the A circuit. I found a gelding that appears to fit the bill. He’s quiet and kind both on the ground and under saddle. He’s only an hour from our barn and seems to be the right amount of horse for me. However, there are a couple of items that I think may be red flags and just want some opinions.
The horse is 10 years old and homebred. He’s been at the same home (hunter/jumper barn on local show circuit) his entire life. Would you consider this a red flag? Is it strange that in 10 years a client hasn’t fallen in love and scooped him up? Is this a sign they may be hiding some issues?
They don’t allow trials. I’m a little uneasy with the concept that he’s always been in the same place and we’re not able to see how he does at our barn before purchasing. I know trials are becoming a thing of the past, but could this be a red flag?
He has done some local shows, not a ton, and nothing in the past year. He’s registered with USEF, but hasn’t competed at rated shows so his horse report is empty; thus, I have to trust the owner that he’s shown locally and done okay in that setting. I’m not looking to see that he wins everything, I just want reassurance that he safe, or at least manageable, in the show setting.
My concern is that he’s not going to be the same horse away from home. I’ve been in this situation before and it didn’t work out. I’m hesitant to buy something without a trial but understand that trials are rare now due to liability, etc.
Am I overthinking the correlation between 1-3 or are these valid concerns? Has anyone had a similar situation? Looking for some insight/advice. Thanks!