Friday, August 27, 2010

Dealin' on Horses

I haven't been able to blog much lately as all my free time has gone to looking at horses. It's a tough life;) So, I have narrowed it down to about fifteen or so prospects!! Trust me, that is an impressively small number considering I started at a thousand or so. I am hoping to go and see a few of my favorites in the next couple days...that is after I've finished "dealing" on them. Yes, I am very serious about buying! I am pretty much done searching (I have my list and am going to deal on the ones I have already "found") I am finally starting to get pretty excited about the whole thing. All of the horse I have on my list, I hope, are really decent prospects for me. Now I just have to decide who to go deal on first and in what order I should go see them given the distances involved.

As for "dealing"... *big sigh*

The thing is that with the sheer volume of horses on the market right now, given the time of year and the price bracket i am looking in, I really feel that I'd be remiss in not doing my best to get the best horse I can for the best price. In order to do this I have assembled a list of horses that, on paper, work for me. They all meet the qualities on my "must have" list... which are...

Must be between 2-15 years old mare or gelding.
If Mare must be registered AQHA or APHA.
Must be over 1000 pounds (stocky short or taller/bigger bodied)
Must not have any distracting conformational qualities (no ewe neck, throat-latch-less-wonders, high tail sets, unbalanced body ratio etc.) I dont need pretty but I'd rather not have ugly.
Must have good, fair or large sized feet, good slope to the pastern, good bone, and shoulder angle.
Must travel sound.
Must TIE well to trailer and stand tied quietly.
Must be good in a herd (not a strong alpha).
Must be well started and reasonably quiet, not hot or flighty.
Must not be herd bound.
Now, I like to "deal" BEFORE going to see a horse, which to some people is ass backwards. My reasoning is this: When I go to see a horse the only objective I have is to see whether the seller truthfully represented the qualities of the horse and if I "connect" with that horse. If I find the horse as advertised and I feel that we will make good partners, I want to be able to express my feelings of excitement and show to seller how much appreciate all of the wonderful qualities of their horse. I want to say, "I love him. When can I pick him up!" If I havent already negotiated I feel the need to reserve my emotions and conceal my true affection for the animal because most often the seller will see an appreciation of the horse justification to firm up their price.
Occasionally a seller will be more negotiable on a horse when they see that it will go to a "good home" but in my experience I can convince a buyer of my good intentions and quality of home before seeing the horse.
The other issue I have with negotiating afterwards is that I find that I can not effectively negotiate on a horse after I have allowed myself to become sentimentally attached to. Right now I have a handful of horses that fit the bill but I also I have my favorites. I will start by negotiating on my favorite. But if they wont move to within a price I feel is fair then I will simply move on to my second favorite horse without feeling emotionally disappointed. The benefit to the seller in negotiating before hand is that they do not have to fear a buyer is wasting their time nor do they have to listen to a seller pick their horses to death in an effort to justify a lower price.
The bottom line is that if a seller is not comfortable dealing on a horse before viewing, that is fine. But as a result that horse will probably go to the bottom of my "horses to see" list.
Anyways, I think I have made up my mind on which horse I'd like to deal on first. She is an AQHA bay roan mare.... but then there is an APHA sorrel and white tobiano that is running a close second.... or maybe the palomino gelding should be second.... could be that sorrel gelding with the not-so-pretty face...
And that is how this horse crazed mind rolls...


  1. I'm like you. If I'm at the stage where I'm going to see the horse in person, I'm ready to buy if everything checks out. We also did our negotiating before going to see our last two horses and I think it was good for everyone involved. However I'll admit also that when a lady asked about buying about Page and started trying to deal before anything else, I was put off. Oh well!

  2. I can't wait to see what you have picked out, they sound beautiful, just by the colors!! Good luck and will be looking forward to your update!!

  3. Sounds like you have a plan, there souinds like some pretty good horses there and Im sure you will find a perfect match.

  4. Oooh - sounds like you have some good prospects - you'll have to keep us posted!

    I can't imagine having that many prospects to actually start seriously looking at. When I was looking 2 years ago, I would be lucky to find 2-3 that were worth a follow up...

    Smart idea to deal ahead of time and find out as much as you can first. I didn't do that with my first horse and really regret it. Lesson learned!

  5. very exciting, can't wait to see some pictures of the prospects!

  6. I too deal before physically looking. Rosie's previous owner was very very picky about where Rosie was moving. She told me that she'd already picked me based on how good Bonnie looked in all the pictures I shared with her and even dropped the price lower to account for the fact that I had to hire someone to haul her. It was a win for both of us!

    I can't wait to see which one you get!