So a recent thread on the COTH forum got me thinking- What is on your “No List” when buying a horse? What faults can you absolutely not look past? Wha,t during a PPE, makes you stop and pass on the horse?
Keep in mind- standards change with budget. I was working with a small budget and wanting a very tall horse, so I was willing to overlook some things. If my budget had been a lot higher (think 20-40k) then I would definitely not be so forgiving of some things. My main must haves were 16.3 plus hands, some natural hunter movement, sane with little to no “crazy”, and not older then 10 but really preferring much younger. All for 4 figures.
I did quite a bit of horse shopping before Rio, and vetted 2 before him, so I have a pretty good feel for what I want and what I cannot overlook, so here is my list:
- No crazies. Nothing with a tendency to buck/rear/or bolt for no obvious reason.
- No chronic spookers. If you are ridden in the same arena every day, and every day you spook at the same corner of the arena, I do not want you.
- No stifle lesions, no kissing spine. Some stuff on the vetting is ok, but not in the stifles. As long as my vet felt the horse would stay sound jumping with some maintenance, I was willing to overlook things. I am ok with joint injections to keep a horse comfortable and an Adequan/Pentosan regimen.
- No chronically bad feet requiring tons of special shoeing, pads, wedges, etc. Hoof supplement? Fine. The occasional special-ish shoeing- Ok, but nothing extreme.
- Absolutely nothing smaller then 16.3. This is not a vanity thing- You guys have seen my long legs on Rio, and he is a solid 17.3.
That is basically it! I had no real training requirements. Rio had no jumping experience when I got him. Training-wise I would have been open to any horse that was at least under saddle. Conformation-wise, he is not perfect. Some people don’t like his eye. He is a bit base narrow behind. He has a slight roach back. But for me, he checked all the boxes and is my dream horse, so I make no apologies for being a bit picky and having a tight budget. I really dislike when people act like you should be happy with anything if your budget is small, because that is so far from the truth. If you are patient, and willing to dig a little deeper, you can find that horse that is perfect for you and get what works for you.
So spill, what are your deal breakers???