Monday, August 3, 2009

The Buying Game

Or more like The Crying Game ...

Lately I've been having a hard time focusing on my writing and art...or any other responsibilities... like housework and cooking.... What have I been doing instead? Why spending an inordinate amount of time looking at horses for sale online of course!.... (and I don't think I'm the only one who's been having this problem *COUGH Melanie COUGH* )

HorseID: 1427731 PROUDEST CHIZEL - PhotoID: 440720 -  2009-10-08 Days Left: 66

It has been almost 10 months since I've had a horse at home and in those ten months I've only ridden a handful of times. I cant believe it has been that long! Where does the time go? Needless to say I am getting crazy, itchy, obsessive about riding again.

But I find myself in the same position I have so many times before. Coming back after a "layoff".

HorseID: 1426434 Master Me Mister - PhotoID: 440322 -  2009-10-06 Days Left: 64

How many of you find it really "weird" to ride someone else's horse? Especially a horse that is so much different than the one you usually ride?

Like going from a little wee cutting horse to a huge, round Warmblood, it can feel a little when you are used to being in a low sports car and all the sudden you're driving a big jacked up truck... (there I go with my car/horse analogies again ;-)

Well when you haven't been riding, at all, it is really hard to just jump right back in to the swing of things again and be able to get a good feel for some strange horse. To compound the problem after a lay-off I am always really rusty...mentally I know where my feet/hands should be but they just dont go there subconsciously anymore.

And then the double whammy....

The owner/seller/leaser of that strange horse (that I really dont trust because I never trust horse sellers ...especially when they say "Oh no! He never bucks/spooks/bolts/rears!".... which I think is a fair position for me to take because I've been on plenty of so-called-horses that have in fact, bucked/spooked/bolted/reared much to the "surprise" of the seller who "cant believe he/she did that!" )....where was I? Oh yes, this seller is watching me...judging me...or worst of all, instructing me!

HorseID: 1434889 Quixotes Pin Ball - PhotoID: 445693 -  2009-10-27 Days Left: 85

(8 yr old cutting mare $5500)

Which is great! I'm are riding some strange horse around some strange field, worried that the owner is thinking "this girl cant ride worth a shit" and all the while I'm muttering to myself, "damn, I cant ride worth a shit" and then I'm suppose to be trying to figure out whether I want to fork over my hard earned cash (okay, maybe I didn't work hard for it but DB did!) to buy this horse.... who at that moment I really don't feel comfortable on because he like totally feels weird...

(16 yr old, done a little of everything gelding $3500)

And while I am busy trying to not look like an ass, keeping my heels down- hands up, ass in the saddle, "sit back!", get a feel, watch where I am going, catch signs of lameness, keep an eye on potential hazards/horse-eating monsters, I cant stop thinking...."Oh my God, if she tells me "just pick up the reins and he'll drop his head" one more time I'm going to scream because I'm picking up the reins and he's not dropping his head.... you freakin' weirdo with the weird horse! And now she wants me to school her horse? Just get after him she says? Yah, and he wont blow right? I'll just go ahead and take your word for it!"

Did anyone fallow that?!?! Bless your heart if you did.

The bottom line is...

Buying horses is fun when you do it online... but it's really stressful to do in real life. Especially when you've been off for so long that your confidence/ sub-conscience skills, balance, and feel are more than a little rusty....

Which is why I've been looking for a lease horse. Something I can get out on a few days a week to ride and get back into the rhythm of things before actually looking to buy (maybe). I miss and love horses. I miss and love riding. But I hate trying to find the right horse to buy or lease.

(14 yr. old dead broke gelding $1500)

*whew* Thanks for that. I feel much better.


  1. I think leasing brings it's own drama too. I had a ton of drama with the horse I leased that ended up being the one the BO let everyone ride (and therefore ruin). That horse turned cinchy and into a biter until he became one person's horse again.

    I thought I'd enjoy buying a horse more than I did, but it's like looking at an animal shelter for a new puppy. You can't get the lost ones out of your mind, even when you have made your choice.

  2. I agree with Breathe about leasing, it does bring along it's own stressors. What about just getting back into riding with lessons to strengthen your skills. I also know a lot of barns that will give lessons to people who do a few days of work or something of that nature.

    I hope you find the horse you want. I like the last horse personally, I think it might be a good match for you and your experience and be a good partner. The first horse is gorgeous but ooohhh that barbed wire scares me

  3. Breathe- Thanks for your advice... the problem with lessons is that taking more than one a week can get too expensive and to get back "with it" I need a lot more riding than that. I'm cant "work off" the extra riding for various reasons..... So that is not really an option. Leasing is a pain in the ass, I hate it, but it is an ends to a means.

    Sidetracked- I really like that last gelding but am confused (not offended) by your last comment about that older gelding matching my experience level. While I apprecaite a horse like that, I'm not sure I want a dead-head... I enjoy a horse with a lot of feel and some excess energy...and can handle both.

  4. I'm at the same space as you are Chelsi. I'm dying to ride but *erhm*, uh, placed myself in a situation where riding my own horse is not viable for a little while yet. I too tossed around the lease card but worried about being judged. After all - I know I'm out of shape and my "feel" will be off. So my solution is to do the 1 lesson per week for the winter - in an unfamiliar discipline (jumping) to help me regain confidence and "feel", which I'll follow up next summer with some lesson's in a familiar discipline (cutting).

    I know my riding drought has an end in sight as eventually I'll be able to ride my own horse again. I just need something to tide me over - I'll do any fine tuning once I'm back on my familiar ride.

    I truly feel you pain! Good luck! Whatever you decide to do is the right thing as long as it's right for you. :)

  5. Hello???? Hello???? Is this Online Horse Shopper's Anonymous???? Anyone there???? Teeheehee!!!
    At least we have each other, right???? Good grief, what have we become???? :)

    And as for leasing, I am giving that up. Why?? Because of everything you just covered in this post. :)
    I can make it a few more weeks, right??? Right???

    The problem for me is that school starts in about one month, so my level of committment goes way down. I can always ride Bo by myself-and I have plenty of times-but that is not as much fun as having a partner....

  6. PS-I just did a sister post to this one. :)

  7. I think for now you're probably better off with a lease for a while until you get back into the swing of things.

    On the other stirrup, if you really want your own horse, go for it. You only go round once and you might as well do what you want and what makes you happy. This ain't a dress rehearsal it's for real.

    You might feel better about riding if I told you I hadn't ridden for almost a year(knee replacement) and when I got on Dusty(still pretty green and opinionated) it felt good. So even if I didn't do a lot, I did it. What do you care what anyone thinks of your riding just get out there and have fun. I've been riding for a few months now and we've been on trails and she's starting to listen better, it all takes time, but it's fun while your up there.

  8. Sounds like you haven't had good luck with leases either. I never really thought of a horse being leased to multiple people I guess. I always thought it would just be to one, MAYBE 2. I would wonder if you couldn't find someone around who is a little tight on money, but with a nice horse that you can't offer to share the cost of for unlimited (or agreed upon arrangments) riding. I know, we can all dream, can't we? lol

    You know, I've had my horse now for 7 years and she's been ridable for a little over one. I still get funny about people watching me ride and even when I haven't rode in just a week, I start getting butterflies in my stomache about what could possibly happen or what she'll pull next. lol Heck, I even feel funny riding our other horse that hubby and kids usually ride because I don't ride her regularly! And other people's horses? Yeah. I don't like that either for the same reasons you listed. They start instructing you like you don't know anything what you're doing. Ok, but in the same sense, people also train their horses with different cues and things. Like the lifting of the reins to drop heads, (and being spur trained) etc. I could be completely wrong, but I don't think all horses do that. Lift the reins on our old horse and she does absolutely nothing. But she's basically a push button horse, except for some little marish attitude occassionally. So I feel everything that you are saying.

    I hope you find something good to get you back up and riding soon. Whether it be a lease or your very own.

  9. Just to be the devil's advocate (the job pays so well), I think you should get a horse of your own. Life is short.

    I also think you should look at Standardbreds >G< and there's one at Greener Pastures in Langely BC that just might suit you:

    tee hee.

  10. Then there's someone like me who hasn't ridden for 7 months because of injuries caused by my own horse, but I don't feel comfortable getting back on my own horse because of fear, lack of confidance and not being able to trust my horse...or possibly any other horse.

    So, I feel a little of what you're experiencing.

    You know any horse can buck, rear, matter what anyone says. They can react differently with different people.
    Baby Doll has never bucked with me and she rarely spooked...but when she did spook...she spooked BIG.

    When folks have tried her out I do tell them that she has never bucked with ME. I don't feel like that is being dishonest because it is true, right?


  11. Oh...and why don't those people posting pics of their horses for sale, choose better photos?

    That one horse up top has a rock growing out of it's back. Looks like he's deformed.
    And the other horse has a dog hernia. lol! (Or maybe it's a mishapen p*nis?) lol!


  12. To clarify about the "older" gelding. to me, a horse who enters their teens is in their prime. Their over the baby stage, they have hopefully had lots of miles and some half way decent training and are ready to be a fun and willing partner. I assumed that you didn't want a big project that you had to commit large amounts of time or money into just to make him or her fun and safe to ride. It seemed like you want to get on and do things and not just work on the horses issues.

    My Possum just turned 14 and he is a blast. I would say that he is "dead" broke. he is fun, I can do anything with him and he's a great and willing partner. We gallop, jump, trail ride, do parades and anything else I want to do. By no means is he slow or dull, but he's kinda figured out the world a little. It makes for fun and enjoyable rides and not always having to be in "trainer mode". Hope this clears it up some.

  13. I wanted to add as well, that the price is right at 1,500 as long as he is sound