Unicorn Hunters

ISO: A 6-8 year old fancy thoroughbred (OTTB okay) with something special to their look (dapple grey, bay with four white socks, chestnut with a big chrome face, etc…). Sound and sane with an amateur friendly mind. Currently jumping 3-3’6 courses, has competed through Novice level eventing with dressage scores in the low 20s but is just as happy to hack out on a solo trail ride.

Sounds like a fun horse, huh?

But I’m not made of money and I have a pretty limited budget. It’s more than I had to spend on Dandy when I bought him, but less than what I sold him for. With our move and me being out of a job and still paying our syndication fees on Dandy, it’s just not smart to spend all of that on a new horse. Being an adult and making adult decisions really blows sometimes.

Still, I don’t really need a unicorn. I do need something sane who isn’t going to give me the trouble I had with Dandy. This is what is important to me, and what I’m willing to compromise on:

  1. Sound and sane is non-negotiable. I know you can’t always tell with a young horse and things can change but I do not want to get into trouble with another OTTB. Dandy was kind of a tricky case because you will not meet a sweeter horse on the ground. He is so friendly and so nice. It’s just when asked to really work that things get hard.
    I also know that soundness is relative. However, there are lots of OTTBs that come of the track completely sound and I want my next horse to be sound at least when I buy it. I lucked out that I never really had issues with Dandy’s soundness. He did have a few days here and there where he was off due to doing something silly in his pasture but it was never work related and never lasted long (or required expensive vet bills).
  2. The youngest prospect I want is 4 but I’m willing to look at older horses provided the maintenance isn’t too much (see the sound portion is above). I know I can handle a fresh restart (Dandy has not been the first horse I’ve started and backed) but I also wouldn’t mind not having to do that. Ideally, I’d love to find a lightly restarted horse who we already know the mind of and who is ready to go.
  3. I’m willing to compromise on color and sex. I’ve had mares and geldings and I’ve liked both. No preference there. As for color, of course I’d love something super flashy and fancy but really, I just want to enjoy looking at my horse. Eric linked me to a horse the other day and even though her confirmation was beautiful and she fit in my price range, I did not like her blaze at all. Something just really threw me off. Pass. But I did see a completely plain dark bay shortly after and fell in love with his face.
  4. And I’ll definitely compromise on the 10 jump. I just need a horse who is willing to work and is amateur friendly. I’d love low 20 (or under!) dressage scores but if it means I’m going to be working with a hot head, I don’t want it.

Now that I’m in GA and starting to get settled in, I’ve also started to look at horses and have sent my first two inquiries. I’m super excited and super nervous at the same time. Still have to find a barn and a trainer, but hopefully everything will come together as I need it to.

16 thoughts on “Unicorn Hunters

  1. Good luck! Sometimes the universe just sets things up for us. I also think lightly restarted will be a bit easier for you, as horses fresh off the track often “bloom” in their personality as they get out of their strictly regimented lives, as I’m sure you know. Fingers crossed for you. 😀

  2. Good luck! I’m in VA but I always know horses for sale around the southeast. Feel free to hit me up on Facebook (Jess Clawson–we probably have mutual friends).

    Mo hadn’t been restarted under saddle when I bought him. I adore him, but some days are better than others. I could hardly get him to move at first, and now he has days when he’s quite hot. Gotta take the bitter with the sweet with green horses.

  3. You’ll find something! You might Facebook stalk Patricia Morissette. She is an eventer who moved to Georgia and frequently re-starts and sells nice thoroughbreds off the track.

  4. Exciting!!

    Hopefully you can find something perfect for you!! Ideally something that’s going so you can keep the confidence building 🙂

  5. I have contacts in NC and if you want me to ask around I certainly can. Granted they’re more HJ folks, but still couldn’t hurt!

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