Sunday, November 2, 2008

Horse shopping!

For those of you who don't know, I have an addiction. I try to control this addiction by strict rules and conditions I place on myself in order to not have third party individuals, my friends, or family affected by the pull I have towards it. What is it? Horse shopping online. It has been well over six years now that I have felt the compulsion to peruse the various sites, to sit at my computer late at night, with the curtains drawn, hunched over my keyboard, and my eyes fixed intently on the screen as the horses click, click, click on by.

But do not worry. Society need not be effected. I have rules....

These things include:

-I do not contact sellers unless I am actually in the market to buy.

-I leave horses that I have "booked marked" in my favorites folder for two days before contacting the seller to allow myself time to consider if said horse is a genuine prospect.

-I always reply to a seller if they have taken the time to tell me about their horse, even if their "blue roan" is in fact a gray or their gorgeous mare is a post legged, ewe necked, freak of nature.

-I make a note on my list to ensure that I never contact the same seller twice (though it has happened a time or two).

-I do not tell my DB about any horse or even let it be known that I am looking until I have thoroughly researched a horse and am ready to go and look.

-I try to keep up with the house work, cooking, outside world things....all that take up valuable horse shopping time.

-If I am not "in the market" then I make sure I stay apprised "of the market" just in case at any given time I am forced at gun point to buy a horse in a 24 hour period. It could happen....

I keep a tight rein on myself but lately, in this time of economic peril, I am having trouble controlling myself. The deals! Oh, the deals!! *getting short of breath just thinking about it* Oh my! The well bred, well broke, beautiful sound horses going for pennies on the dollar! It is just too much for me! I wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, my mind racing through my favorites file, pulling images of the deals! Deals! Deals!! 2003 bay mare, papers loaded with famous cutting sires, sound, broke....$500!! 2004 Red Dun mare, with a good set of papers and 6 months cutting training, pretty, baby doll head, $1000!!! 2001 own daughter of top reining sire, beautiful, finished, money earning mare, $3500!!! My head swims, my pulse races and I my breath comes short! Oh the deals! I am like Tony freakin' Montana with a big bowl of white stuff on his desk. I am so frenzied, I cant see the tree for the forest. There are so many good deals, that I cant sort through them all. Which leads me to my next train of though...

My god! Those poor horses! In the United States there are estimated 9.2 million horses. It seems that about half of those are for sale right now. On one of my favorite sites,, there are over 50,000 horses for sale!!! That is on one single sight, all be it a popular one. On, as best as I can tell there are over 65,000 (though many may well be the same horses as on I cant tell you how many are on craigslist. Tens of thousands, I would say that confidently. In the past week 1796 horses have been added for sale to In a WEEK. 3597 on dreamhorse. It is that time of year. It is also that kind of economy. It has been that kind of hay season. Horse slaughter has been shut down in the US. All of these factors and a thousand more lead to one conclusion. There are going to be a hell of a lot of hungry horses out there this winter. My heart sinks to think of them all. So that when I think of the DEALS!!! Oh the deals! I have to remember what comes with them. So...Fuck the deals. Pardon my french. I am sorry, but seriously, who gives a shit about getting a wicked deal when there are thousands of horses out there who are going to starve this winter. Personally, I'd rather pay fair market value for a horse than see this kind of market, the kind were horses and animals suffer for our mistakes. I am in the "market" but I feel so disheartened with the stories I am hearing that I feel guilty for buying that $500 mare...or for thinking that I could get her for $250 because the owners are just so happy to get her gone to a good home, because at any price, nothing is selling.

I am in the market but I feel like I am taking advantage....I know that if I put out an ad for a well broke, papered AQHA mare with reining/cow bloodlines, under 10 years old, free to a GREAT home, I'd probably get more replies than I could handle. So do I go out and spend $3500 in the name of......good will? I am conflicted.


  1. Amen girl. I too fear for a lot of the horses out there, and wish with all my heart that there was more I could do for them.

    Good luck to you girl.

  2. Once again my heart swells when reading your unending compassion for your love of horses and their well being. I also know how much this overflows to the people around you, how you smile and say hello to the old men as you pass them them a hint of a kinder world. I know how much it pulls your heartstrings thinking of your late poppie, remembering the values that he helped instill in you.

    How you are able to sift through your feeling for what is right and wrong and stick to your beliefs I have always admired. So even though you may be paying well under the value or perhaps even receiving a horse for free, you need to remember it is with a remarkable heart of kindness and love that these people are looking for the best home for their cherished animal and will have such relief that it will be valued as much with you as it would be with them should they have been able to keep it.

    with love always MOM

  3. You feel that because you have conscious - you are a good horse person at heart. It's a good thing - It's a wonderful thing.

    Just know you can't save them all and by over paying on a horse you are not going set the "horse market" straight. The market is going to have to self-correct. unfortunately its going to do so at the horses expense. You can help buy giving a loving home with lots of feed and good care to whatever horse you get.

    Make a decision based on what's going to work-out best for you. The one that will make the best companion for you where you live doing the things you like to do.

    If you want to help out try shopping some rescue organizations. But if you don't feel like taking another chance on a damaged soul - no one would blame you.

    So just keep on shopping and make decision on what would work out best for you - not what's the better the deal and you'll be able to make a purchase with a clear head and light heart.

  4. Agreed, I feel for those starving poor horses too. Wish I had the land and money to take some in, but I'll stick to my two that I can afford and care for. And this is a shame. More and more are being left to starve.

  5. If I could retire on my lottery winnings (when I win ! :) my dream would be to just provide a retirement home for unwanted/old horses. Just put 'em in fields where they could live out their lives romping and being a horse.
    It is hard to resist the good deal...but it's one more mouth to feed. As it is, I can barely feed the one equine mouth I have!

  6. Girl-you just put into words what I have been feeling. I was just looking at the two whole pages of horses for sale in the Grand Junction Nickel, all the while snorting at the people who have weanlings and yearlings listed for $1000-$1500. I can't believe that they are so blind to what is happening that they think that anyone would ever call on babies priced that high. And then I stopped and thought about it and I almost cried. How very sad for all of those horses. I look at my own beautiful weanling and I realize that he is worth about $1 on the open market. I am so thankful that we don't actually have to get rid of any of our horses.

    But...I have seriously thought about looking around for a nice older, finished cutting horse for Megan to High School Cut on. I thought about running an ad offering to take care of one that someone couldn't sell and maybe didn't want to give away but didn't necessarily want to feed all winter. I don't think there is anything wrong with taking advantage of a great deal-because really, it's a great deal for the horse too and that is more important than the price tag attached.

  7. It is going to make us all crazy to think of these horses - these throw-away horses... We think of what they could be and we think of what is happening to them. We think that we could help ...

  8. Addiction - oh yes, I get that is phases quite regularly. The bad part is I have two, I don't need any more... And yes, I cannot believe the deals. If one was lucky enough to have 100 acres of good pasture with lots of fencing and some good riding areas, just think of all the talented and amazing horses that could be trained and all the little old ones that could finish their lives happily - and you could get them all free!

    For the sake of the horses, though, I wish it was almost impossible to buy any horse for less than, say, $3,000 and that even old horses were in demand for kids' mounts.