Hi OP! You say you are looking for a hunter or eq horse. Here is the problem I ran into while looking at horses in Europe. There are lots of horses all over Europe that can jump 1.2 meters very competitively. There are a bunch that can jump 1.3 and 1.35 meters very competitively. The problem is they don’t jump pretty by our standards. There are a lot of ugly horses who are lousy movers, and even more who jump with their knees pointing down at the ground. And the crazy thing is that a lot of the Europeans I spoke to, off the beaten path, PREFER that knees down style to our round hunter style.
The most “huntery” type horses I saw in Europe were KWPN horses in the Netherlands and some random thoroughbred looking Selle Francais horses in the South of France. The Dutch horses are very expensive over there, too. The sophisticated breeders know what they have (see: Stal something who had Tori Colvin riding their horses on videos). The French horses were hunterish, but why would I buy a thoroughbred over there when I can buy a thoroughbred over here?
My company has an office in Budapest, and the Hungarian horses were dirt cheap, but not as many Hungarians speak English well, and learning anything at all in their language is impossible. It’s a weird language that has nothing in common with any other language I have ever tried to learn.
I was not super impressed with anything I saw in Czech republic, but the people we visited have just heard about what a hunter is, and they were convinced that everything they had that was pretty and slow was a world class hunter. Not.
Seriously, if I was looking for a safe, 8 year old 1.2 meter jumper, I could have brought home 100 priced at 15,000 Euros or less. But like I said up there, they weren’t all pretty, they generally were not good hunter movers, and they jumped weird. But anybody and their brother could have walked in the ring tomorrow on any one of them and put in a good jumper round.
I did not go to Sweden. I have been told that there are lovely horses in Sweden and the people are very honest and speak great English. It was suggested to me by a German agent that the best horse for the money all over Europe are horses that are aging out of the young jumper classes and aren’t going to have the scope to go any higher. A lot of owners are cutting those basically finished horses loose and starting over with a new young horse. A German agent also told me that the farther you get from Germany, there are a lot of forgiving horses, because they don’t have the caliber of “German man” rider giving them a perfect trip every time. I did watch some videos of horses in Poland and Czech Republic, and there were frankly frightening distances the horses were put into, and they jumped right out of it without batting an eye, or holding a grudge. If you are not a perfect seer of distances, it might be nice to have a horse that has proven he will keep going even if you put him in an impossible situation.
I personally didn’t go look at any horses being ridden in the video by a really good male rider for a similar reason. I’m not really good and I’m not a man. I’m not strong enough to hold onto one that wants to run off, and don’t have the length of leg and quality of seat to stay with one that would jump me out of the saddle. I only looked at horses being ridden by women about my size.[/QUOTE]
I have to ask, did you have an agent or an experienced trainer helping you??