The naive friend-buying-a-horse - update post 118

Oh my. Not holding my breath for a good outcome. I had a friend who bought her first horse about 2 years ago. First ones she showed me online were very fancy (saddleseat style) Morgans who looked very pretty but maybe not suitable for her goals.

Luckily she ended up buying a cute Morgan mare at a local barn with a trainer who had bred her. The mare isn’t exactly what she wants now (often your first horse isn’t) but she’s had fun, stayed safe and now has a better idea of what to buy next, when the horse market settles down a bit. More importantly, she had a complete history on the horse, had the chance to try her and vet her out before the purchase.

It’s very easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a pretty face and I hope your friend finds that the horse she bought is truly a good trail horse and is safe and healthy.


LOL TheBigEasy, I am waiting on tenterhooks to hear the continuation of this story. I have to admit I would have told her no way I am getting involved. Too much to go wrong, and I am not jeopardizing my truck and trailer. Plus, your friend doesn’t sound like she has many redeeming qualities…just wants to look fancy and have all the matchy “stuff?” Bleh.
Tell her the “stuff” includes a 75K rig to go pick up her new steed.


What a tragic story. Why is it that when inexperienced/ignorant/stupid people (take your pick) get around horses, it is always the horses that suffer. This made me so sad.


We need an update!!! (And photos, if possible!)


At least these folks have the means to provide for their incoming equine. And the horse has been handled by people. Both huge pluses. It could be worse.
mmmmmm… I had to leave behind a couple of mustang groups. BLM will send a horse to anyone with 25 dollars and 6’ fence and a hoop shelter. No need to have horse experience, no need to have money for hay, and lots lots of people do not… and they bring home wildings. Truly heartbreaking to follow along in their stories. Sickening really.


My co-worker’s teenage son is a rider who does my current discipline (eventing) so I’ve offered a little advice here and there but mostly bitten my tongue because mom is the decider and they’re divorced.

Horse #1 is a large pony that he had been leasing for a while and outgrew ability-wise almost as soon as they bought it, surprise surprise.

Horse #2 is a green youngster who turned out to be a confirmed rearer. Co-worker showed me a photo of horse in terrifying hi-ho-Silver pose, standing all the way up with the kid hugging its neck. I literally gasped out loud. The “trainer” posts the pics on FB with LOL emojis because I guess she thinks it’s funny? The whole situation is upsetting. I told my co-worker I wouldn’t ride that horse myself and certainly wouldn’t put my kid on him if I had one. I’d heard there was some improvement but most recently the horse is back at a cowboy for more training and the kid is discovering how many bad, defensive habits he developed while riding it. With the money they’ve put into board and training on that thing they probably could have bought something safe. Ugh.


Horse in trailer. Last 50 miles to the barn. Update when I get home in two hours!!!


Anxiously awaiting :sweat_smile:

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Looks at clock, 2 hours have passed!


Can I get her number to buy the horse when the honeymoon is over in 6 weeks?


Ok!!! I’m back!! So sorry for the delayed update. Literally just got home. 17 hours on the road.

Haul all the way down to southern Kentucky. Beautiful country…
Pull up to this amazing looking farm. Kinda place a lot of us here would drool over. Lovely big barn, nice neat home, set on at least 50 acres of rolling pasture. Well fenced. At least 30 horses grazing in the pasture.

Pull in, and a young gentleman greets us. Friendly fellow who “yes ma’am’d” us between spats of chew spit. Older gentleman who looked to be about 90 in desperate need of dental work kept his distance.

Completely up front that they’re horse traders, and have been so for three generations on this amazing land.

Barn is large, stalls are clean, bedding is deep. The horses look to be in decent weight and health. Tack neatly stored. Hay mow full with nice looking bales.

Bring us to the mystery mare stall. Pretty pretty horse, but needs groceries. Not emaciated by any means, but needs some more meat on her bones. He’s only had her for 4 months, and claims to have bought her in Michigan from an Amish farm. Allegedly a Morgan x Friesian, but this mare is rather fine boned. I’m kinda scratching my head at the Morgan claim - but whatever - my girlfriend is immediately in love.
I look her over for the basics. I’m no pro - but not my first day either. Nothing glaringly wrong with the horse. Feet are neat and front shod. Eyes are bright, teeth match the age. She’s a little long backed, but whatever, girlfriend has already bought her. No going back now.

They were a little worried about the ramp on my trailer - said she’s never loaded with a ramp. I’m prepared for the worst loading her - had all the tricks and strategies in the back of my mind.

Walks right in the trailer. First time. Stands quietly.

Chit chat with the old horse trader a bit - actually really came to like the man! Talked about the insane horse prices, shook hands and took off.

I have a camera inside my trailer to watch the horses en route. Hauled beautifully. Nibbled hay.

9 hours later we pull into the new barn. The TajMahal compared to my boarding facility and the nicest owners who waited up for us.

Unloaded easily and hand walked her for 20 minutes in the indoor. Small talked with these delightful owners - who if there facility wasn’t an hour from me - I’d consider moving to!

Seems to be a reasonably intelligent horse. Seller claims she has no vices.

I reiterated to my friend when we left in the morning how I thought she was nuts for doing it this way - and all the things that could go wrong. But at least today, everything went right.

Exhausted so that’s the short story.
Going to give the mare a few days before anyone gets on her back - so things could still go horribly awry, but dang, she may have gotten incredibly lucky…because zero skill or knowledge led her to choose this horse.


Thanks so much for the update! So happy it went well. When you get a chance, we would love to hear how things go when she’s ridden. And maybe a photo if you get a chance?

You’re a good friend. Now go get some sleep!


At least your part went smoothly!!! Thanks for updating


A few of the greatest horses I knew were “Morgan somethings” passed through the Amish. I hope your friend has gotten one of them. With consistent training, sounds like she will be a very nice riding horse.


I LOVE. A morgan cross!!! So glad everything went well


Or I wonder if it could be a standardbred? Some of the black ones can have a little bit of the friesian look, depending on their build and level of hairiness.


I wonder if she’s a freisan saddlebred cross since you say she’s rather fine-boned. Those seem to becoming popular now


What a relief! She sure paid enough for the mare, so I hope it works out nicely.

do they not cross copious amounts of Saddlebred in with Morgans these days?

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The first horse she bid on went for 20k. This auction actually finished sub 7k. Considering horse prices these days…she may have found a bargain. Time will still yet tell.