Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to REALLY Buy a Horse

Lately I feel like I've been told things that I should have looked for or asked before buying Smash which, now after it's too late, explain moments when she's up or mare-ish. So for all of you out there who are considering buying a horse here are a few tips your instructor might not point out when horse shopping:


Whorls and Cowlicks are apparently the Astrology signs for horses. If a cowlick is centered, above the eye line, below the eye line, off center, or a horse has more than one tells you about their temperament. There are also many schools of thought about it, too. Lots of books, articles, and personal opinions. 

This article has a bunch of great information regarding whorls/swirls/cowlicks and reference books if you choose to get super educated about it. 

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Smash's whorl is off center which, according to theory, means she is 'spirited' and I'd have to agree with that assessment. If only I had known to check for whorl placement before purchasing her!

Horse Butt: Rider Butt

No, this is not an SAT exam question but rather a ratio system I have devised. I think the rider's butt should be approximately 1/3 the size of your horse's butt. This ratio allows you to know you are appropriately sized and weighted for your horse. If your butt is 2/3 the size of your horse's - you're too big and should consider a larger horse. Here are a few examples:

As you can see here, even though my butt is covered by a costume, it sits in the middle third of Smash's butt. 

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This here is a great example of how this guy's butt is more than 1/3 the size of his horse's and should consider a larger horse (never mind the fact that his legs are barely off the ground)

Here is my Mom (Hi, Mom!) and a horse she used to ride. They have great butt proportion, too.

Let's face it, nothing is more uncomfortable than watching someone ride a horse that makes their butt look big (no one wants to hear their butt is as big as a horse's!). Horse showing is not all about looks, but we all know the more confident we look on our horse the better we ride. 

Like Horse Like Owner

It's argued that most humans resemble their pets in one way or another. Some are looks, some are personality, and some are both. While I like to think I look more human-like and less horse-like I do think this statement is true for me and Smash. When assessing potential horses, be ready to be humbled that whichever horse you end up really falling in love with probably resembles you in some way, shape, or form.

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As you can see, even celebrities can resemble horses.
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And not always in a good way...

The same goes for us non-celebrities:
In this photo with Satchmo, a willing culprit, I am ecstatic and he seems embarrassed. We got along pretty well for a little over 2 years but he was not 'the one'. 

Contrary, in this photo with Smash from a few years ago, Smash and I have the exact same expression. 

I've also had to come to terms with the fact that I, too, like to be Queen Bee (Smash is in charge of the herd at the farm right now), I can be rather cranky and sometimes b*tchy when things don't go my way (although I refrain from kicking other people), and I love apples. On the opposite side of personalities, Smash and I share the same determination to be great, have a great work ethic and know when to get down to business, and can appreciate and trust one another when we are in trouble/need help.

This is a photo of my first horse, Monty. He and I shared many different qualities like stubbornness, a sense of humor, and we were always game to try something new. He, unlike Smash, loved affection and taught me patience and ALWAYS made me laugh. He was a true comedian!  He was my rock for a few years and a great horse. He even smiled a little in this photo.

None of these tips will be considered a high priority by your instructor or someone helping you find a horse with a certain ability and I think you should take them with a grain of salt - however, thinking about these tips won't hurt, either. It's a fun way to think about horse shopping and if you're going to spend a few thousand dollars on essentially a pet, why not make it as fun and enjoyable as possible :) Go forth and find that horsey soul mate!

1 comment:

Liz said...

Cracked me up! Love the comparisons of owner to horse. So, now (if I EVER buy a horse) I know what to look for in and how to find my Forever Companion!

P.S. Love the picture of my butt, too!