Friday, March 12, 2010

The horse I think I should love + update- more on Willy

I found a gelding today that I think would make a sound prospect for many riders. He isn't, to the best of my knowledge, killer well bred or totally finished out in a specific discipline but he moves beautifully, freely and with a nice frame and he appears quiet, sound and very well broke.

I am going to be a little presumptuous here and suggest that Willy is the kind of horse that we women should buy the first time around but often dont... not until we've over indulged our "Flicka Syndrome" one time to many and have come to appreciate a safe steady Eddie (or Willy)... to for go all of that wild fire and romance for a consistent, safe and enjoyable companion.

I dont find the prospect of buying this gelding necessarily exciting... but he is the kind of horse that would be smart to look at!

Willy's ad says that he is a 12-year-old, APHA gelding, 15.2HH tall with experience in reining, cows, clinics and as a schooling horse. He hauls, ties, clips, bathes and has placed in shows. The ad claims his video will tell the story and I believe it does.

I could take Willy today and show him at some level of reining, Western Pleasure, Trail, Cattle Penning or throw a rope off of him and then throw an English saddle on him and show him on the flat or try some dressage. He really could be a Jack of all trades.

I think he's priced well at $4500us.

(FYI- I dont know the owners of Willy and havent actually sent them this post (but will). I cant say if Willy really is a good prospect or not but he is the kind of horse I'd personally travel to see. Willy is in NW Washington.)

I left the following comment (or I should say, a less articulate version of this comment) on Story's All Gear No Skill blog in an effort to offer my advice on the subject of giving up a good horse who just isnt working for it's rider. Also, my opinion on how we, as horse lovers, are often inexplicably drawn towards certain horses, a "love at first sight" phenomenon, even though that horse isnt necessarily the best fit.

My comment....

"I am a hopeless romantic who leads with her heart and has bought many horse after "falling in love" at first sight (or even at first sight of their ad!) On paper a few of those horses even worked on paper too but in end many caused me a lot of heartache when I was forced to sell them because they were not a good fit. What I had to learn was to respect good, solid horses and to have faith that, given enough time, I will fall in love with any horse, especially one who make me happy and helps me follow my dreams.

It is SOOO unemotional sounding (and I am anything but) to say that you should only buy a horse that fits your needs on paper...
.... While I want to instantly fall in love, (when I first meet my future horse) I know now that it is more important that the horse works for me and that she be sweet and willing....
... I know that it is possible to find both at the same time (because I've had it happen) but I had to learn to stop leading with my heart. Think of it as falling in love with that friend you've known for ages, the one who's always been there for you but you never felt romantic towards until one day something changes."

Dont hold me to it or anything but I think that when I go to buy my next horse I'll try really hard to focus first on whole "respect" thing and not put so much stock in my level of attraction towards a certain prospect.

It's much easier to sell a horse that does everything you need but who you dont love than to sell a horse that you love but who doesnt do anything you need.


  1. I grew up riding huntseat in the North, but am now married and live in the South. The horses of my past were all long and lean, but around here they are mostly short and squat. My husband bought me a horse several years ago (my first of many) and I chose with my heart. I ended up with a gorgeous, sweet TWH that was nice and tall and completely wrong for me *grin* (his toon is my avatar). We were blessed to be able to keep him, however, and I ended up creating a web page to to help folks correctly choose a horse to match both themselves and their needs :o)

  2. You're so right. I have definitely learned from my first experience, though not enough to sell my angst-ridden first love. He's still getting better.

  3. When I went on the various websites to search for a horse, I kept setting the filters to things like: Age (3-5) and Temperament (1-7). When considering horses the second time around, interesting that the filter suddenly changed to: Age (5-15) and Temperament (1-2). Time to realize that I'm just not HalfPassGal

    It sure has been nice to have such a great community to pull words of wisdom from as I struggle to find balance between heart and reason!

  4. wow he is fabulous! How much is a horse like that selling for? He's beautiful, moves great, and you can tell his owners put a lot of time into his training! Great family horse! Sign me up! :-)

  5. It's much easier to sell a horse that does everything you need but who you dont love (The previous owner of the horse I just bought, who never even bonded enough to her to even give her a name)than to sell a horse that you love but who doesnt do anything you need (That would be me selling my previous horse, Baby Doll. I still miss her even though I now realize she was totally the wrong horse for me)

    Good post.


  6. I'm in love with Willy just from that video. Also, this is probably one of the most honest videos I've seen in a while. I mean, you GET to see them clipping his ears without a twitch! He's backed up what he's selling you by showing you. That makes a difference!

    Honestly, I'd probably trade Maddie for Willy any day. I prefer geldings and Maddie isn't what I need nor are we bonded much.

    I know! You should totally buy Willy, Chelsi! And then I'll trade you Maddie! She's pretty and won't do anything dirty. Too short for me to not look silly riding though and maybe a wee much for my little ones to ride.

  7. I agree about the video, oregonsunshine! I had asked on my blog what to do when the horse that looks like your match is very far away and making multiple visits over time just isn't practical. A video like this can go a very long way. This one is simply amazing.

  8. Oh do I ever agree!! Having rode enough young horses I have a full and complete appreciation for anything I can just hop on and ride. Something trustworthy - and that's all I'm interested in these days.

  9. I'm struggling with this right now, even though the actual purchase is still a long way off and I'm fully aware of what I should be looking for. Perhaps ironically, the horse in my life that I shouldn't love is named Willi. Maybe I can take your post as a sign that he really would be good for me, lol ;) See, we can justify anything.

  10. Fun video, what a nice horse. Seems very mellow and willing. Reminds me a little of My Boy in his laid-back temperament, except my horse might need a twitch to clip ears, LOL!
    I think that would make a great horse for someone, it's a shame he's been sitting up for 6 mos. at a time in his prime!

  11. I would take him in a heart beat! I LOVE HIM!! My kids would rock some 4H on that horse!! And you can vacuum him!! What a good boy! I wish I had room for one more. We have 18 here...ugh....But what a good boy.

  12. I watched the whole video and think he is a really good boy and has a great temperament - he exhibits the temperament and brokeness I would recommend for a beginner. And you are so right about the "Flicka" syndrome - but try as I might, despite my experience, I have been unable to talk many first time horse buyers out of doing that. It seems alot of people just have to go through that.

    For the longest time I didn't get to choose what horse I got so I think I was spared the "Flicka effect" in someways. I am always drawn towards horses of certain color but as you already know I rarely end up with them. Buy the time I was buying horses for myself I KNEW what I wanted and it wasn't a color.

    (I know you didn't ask for everyone's opinion - but I can't help myself - its just my first thoughts when I watched the video)

    Now on Willy - while he is a good mover, he lopes on his front end more than I'd like to see - even for an open show horse for Western Pleasure. Based on his conformation I believe this is because the rider is pulling him down a little much and not driving from behind - I noticed that when he got his head up a little and his nose in a more natural position he loped better....but may never be capable of a real "slow" true lope on a drape (not hoppy WP crab lope but just a nice slow and true WP lope).

    Which may be way they say he leans towards English. Which is just fine. He has a pretty trot that reaches out there nicely. But I could see where he lefts his hocks out behind him when not being driven (even in the round pen) - this is very common and not a vice, it just mean you need to use your legs on him.

    Also I am not a huge fan of his tail set (a tad high) and a judge won't be either - however that "shouldn't" make a HUGE impact on your placings (I don't know if this matters for reining as its not my area of expertise)but its always up the judge's discretion, blah blah blah. The tail is not his fault and it doesn't mean anything bad, he just talks with this tail - Stretch did this too though not to that extent.

    If you do take a look at this horse please be sure to pre-vet him and run a good set of X-Rays on the "front end"'s worth the cost for peace of mind in the long run.

    This horse would make a solid open / 4-H show competitor. In the hands he should be cleaning up at those shows. And he certainly has the temperament to try out new events and disciplines and that is such a neat quality in a horse.

    Since I am me - I would want to see him in person and would request to see him ridden and then ride and handle him myself during the SAME day I would have the vet check done to be certain he is not in anyway drugged. Since temperament is key here - that is the approach I would take.

    I am not tearing him apart here I really really like him - i am just being honest.

  13. meant to say in the "right hands"

  14. Stephanie- your review is bang on in a lot of points but I think for the kind of rider that he'd suit those things wouldnt be an issue. I think he'd be great for a re-rider who wants to do a bunch of local events. He doenst move just like a WP horse or just like a hunter or reiner or anything super specific but he has a pretty way of going that would get into and through local classes without looking out of place.