Thursday, September 5, 2013

Contender Number One

I have not gone out and looked at this horse yet, but my trainer sent me pictures and I talked to the person who he is currently with.

Meet Licorice.  He's a 9 or 10 year old gelding of undetermined breeding.  He's been at the current barn for 6 years and the trainer LOVES him.  If she had the money, she said she would buy him herself.  He's currently being half leased by a 9 year old.

According to the trainer, Licorice has the personality of a warmblood.  His ground manners are lacking, not out of spite but out of 'not paying attention'.  Her example was that if he sees grass, he will try to drag you over to it because he just doesn't think about the person on the end of the rope.  She used the word 'dumb' numerous times.  But she meant it as a compliment when it came to being able to do just about 'whatever' with him.

Downsides:
He hasn't done dressage and is a 'slow mover'.
She said he spooks at unexpected noises.  His spooks consist of throwing his head up and scooting out into the canter.  She said he spooks about twice a month.
He has a capped knee from banging the door, but it doesn't cause him problems.
Not great ground manners.

Upsides:
He's only 9 or 10 so he is a good, solid age.
He goes out on trails alone.
My trainer knows his trainer and they are close enough that I could do multiple rides and probably lease him for a month at the barn he's at or take him out on trail rides etc.


Again, I have not looked at this horse in person yet but I am trying to make sure that I make ALL initial decisions with my head and not my heart.  The part that bothers me is the spook part.  A horse that spooks twice a month at his home barn, spooks twice a month too often for me.  I KNOW that all horses spook, but I want the horse that if/when it does spook it comes as a 'Wow, I didn't know he had it in him." surprise.  Not that I want a scary spook surprise, but I've ridden Quarter Horses that spooky just wasn't in their vocabulary.

So, what do you think?  Am I being overly sensitive about the 'spooky' part or am I being sensible about what I REALLY want this time?



15 comments:

  1. I think you're better off knowing HOW they spook, rather than saying you want one that doesn't spook. Fetti's spooks have mostly settled into 'big ears, one/two concerned steps' with the occasional Big Spook leaping forwards into 2-3 canter strides, after which her brain returns and she's controllable again.

    Some horses plant when they spook - rather than running, they don't move. It sounds to me like that might be a more comfortable spook for you to ride? Two of the other Haffies are pretty much like this, more inclined to kinda jump in place and plant their feet when something happens, without the need to bolt off into a fast spook.

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  2. You have spent a lot of time learning what you don't want in a horse. Don't settle. There are so many good horses out there! How clear are you on which factors are must haves and which are bonus? I won't even go look at a horse that does not meet my must-have list.

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  3. Don't settle. If they say he "spooks twice a month" to me that means he spooks more than that. I'm also a cynic.

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  4. When I was looking at horses, I was always looking for any reason at all to disqualify them. If there are reasons to disqualify a horse, do it - there are always more, lots more. He sounds from the description like he might be a "dull spooked" - checked out most of the time from having learned to tune people out (that would go with the bad ground manners) but reactive underneath.

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  5. OK let's try that one more time - "dull spook er" - darn spell checker!

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  6. I completely agree with Kate on this one. Dull spooker. Definitely. After suspending an almost year long search, I promise you that another horse will come along. Also, time will give you more perspective. I happened to find a great lease horse and I'm learning a great deal on him. This learning has also changed my idea of the horse I think I want. 6 months ago I was very close to buying a safe draft cross mare, but it fell through. I look back now and I'm glad I didn't buy that horse because she would have fallen short of my (new) goals and confidence. Take your time. When you find "the one" I think you will know.

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  7. I agree with the others - there are so many horses out there. Take your time - get exactly what you want.

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  8. PASS. He spooks and had terrible ground manners and is a crap mover. What's to like? That he's dumb. No thanks. You are selling your girl because of 2 of these reasons. Keep looking.

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  9. PASS. He spooks and had terrible ground manners and is a crap mover. What's to like? That he's dumb. No thanks. You are selling your girl because of 2 of these reasons. Keep looking.

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  10. PASS. He spooks and had terrible ground manners and is a crap mover. What's to like? That he's dumb. No thanks. You are selling your girl because of 2 of these reasons. Keep looking.

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  11. Is this a lease contender or a buy contender? I wouldn't buy him straight off myself BUT to play devil's advocate, a couple of spooks and lack of leg responsiveness sounds like 'needs more schooling' rather than 'bad horse'. He could be a great little horse with more training, who knows? Maybe that's why your trainer likes him.

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  12. I agree with everyone - take your time.

    Do some looking on your own too, with list of qualities you want in a horse handy. Your trainer can always go with you to check out any possibilities that make it past the first cut.

    Around here, there is a commission involved in horse sales, and therefore a built-in incentive to recommend them. Just something to be aware of. :D

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  13. Pass on this one. You can do way better

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