This will be the first in a series of evaluating the horse, including evaluating conformation.
Over the course of 30 years of training horses, I have been asked on numerous occasions to evaluate horses for potential clients as well as current clients. Most of the time they have found the horse on through an ad online or in the paper. I find that when the seller places those ads they very often use terms that will help sell the horse.
Today, I am going to talk about one term that is used that I absolutely hate, and that term is 'bomb proof'!
So what does that mean?
Well, that means that the horse will not spook at anything or blow up.....EVER!
Let me be the first to break it to you, there is no such thing. Every horse has a point at which they will 'blow up' at something. It may be something as insignificant as a gopher running underneath them (I have had that happen) or something like a truck horn. There is no way to tell what is going to set a horse off. I have had times where I can feel the horse tense up underneath me before they are going to explode and there have been times that there was no warning.
Remember, what the horse is like at his current home before you buy them may be somewhat different than what they are like when you take them home. Just like they may be quiet at home, they can be a different horse at a show or competition.
When I am asked to evaluate the horse for a buyer, the first thing I want to do is call the seller and ask them a lot of questions. Sometimes, I have to ask questions that I know they may not like, but they have to be asked before we go look at the horse. If the ad says the horse is ' bomb proof', then I will ask them flat out what it is they feel is 'bomb proof'.
Once I have established what the seller is trying to say, I will then either tell the buyer that we will go look at the horse or we will look elsewhere.
If we decide that we are going to look at the horse, I am going to want to see the horse ridden and I am going to want to ride him.
When I ask to see the seller ride him, I am going to want to see them walk, trot and lope/canter and back. The reason I am going to want to see the horse back, is so I can see if the horse is willing to give to the bit without going up. I am also going to want to see if that horse knows any lateral aids.
Then when I get on the horse, I am also going to ask for the walk, trot, lope/canter. I am also going to push the horses buttons by pulling on him and bumping them with my legs a little to see how he will react. I am also going to see what kind of 'whoa' the horse has. That is just something that is going to have to be done. If there are cattle, I will ask if I can take the horse on cattle, if the horse is a reiner, I will ask for the elements of a pattern, etc.
After all that is done, I will go stand in the center of the ring to see how and if the horse relaxes after he works or if he acts like he is stressed out.
If at that point, I feel that the horse may have some potential, we will then work on taking the horse on trial, though I realize that is not always an option that the seller will be willing to discuss, the majority of the time most sellers are willing to do so if the buyer is willing to leave a deposit. We will only do so, if we are serious about purchasing the horse. We will also have our vet out to evaluate the horse at the buyers expense.
If the seller is willing to do so, then that will allow me to try the horse in a new and different environment to see how he handles that situation.
It is so important that when buying a new horse, that you know where the horse came from and who trained the horse. Call the person that originally trained the horse and ask them about him, if at all possible, go see that trainer work. Doing the research before you purchase your new horse can prevent headaches later on!
Update on the Morgan story
7 years ago