Thursday, March 1, 2012

Buyer Etiquette and Responsibility

Picture: (Screen Capture from "Sliding On Top Performance Horses" Website)

I really like this write up in Sliding On Top Performance Horses website. Anyone planning on buying a horse, or sending their horse into training should read and understand this...I think all their comments about buying a horse are spot on, but I particularly like their comments (see highlights below) in regards to what to expect -or not expect-when bringing a horse home from a trainer...

Comments? Personal insights? Feedback? What do you think??

Buyers have an obligation to represent honestly their skill level and intentions. Buyers who don’t take the time and trouble to learn good horsemanship ruin good horses quickly.  Remember no horse is ever “finished.” They are sensitive creatures that continue to learn new behaviors throughout their lives.  A novice horse person will “undo” professional training in a matter of minutes. At Sliding On Top Performance Horses we don't want to sell you an unsuitable horse. Help us help you with accurate representation of your riding limits, experience and goals. If a horse’s price is more than you want to spend, ask whether it’s negotiable before you make an appointment. If the answer is no, there's no point wasting each others time. The turnover rate for sales horses at Sliding On Top Performance Horses is very rapid due to the pricing structure. Please wait to inquire until you are ready to acquire a horse rather than just beginning to shop. Otherwise inquisition is pointless and the horses you inquire about will likely be sold before you have a chance to see or consider them. If you need to sell your existing horse before acquiring a new one, please address that issue first. If you are serious about one of our horses consider putting a deposit to hold or buy yourself first right of refusal to avoid the heartache of finding out your ideal horse has sold out from under you. This seems to happen way too often and can be heartbreaking for the seller too if the more appropriate or worthy prospective owner misses their chance. Another important realization is that our horse prices can increase every month in direct proportion to the cost of full care, training and competition. Expect that the horse will perform better for the professional trainer it has bonded to than will be the case with you. Subtle differences in riding technique produce very different responses from the horse.  It may just be a matter of time and a little professional help before you and your new horse become a team, do not expect it immediately, they are live animals.


  1. Really good advice! Much is said about the seller's responsibility; not so much about the buyer's. This addresses that.
    I've had both kinds of buyers - those that represent their skill level honestly and those that don't. Although I can assess this myself when they ride, it's much more difficult to match a horse to a rider who believes he is more exerienced than he/she is.
    It's true that an inexperienced rider will not get the same results as the trainer but, unless that rider is abusive, I don't think he will "undo" the training. I like to say they "meet in the middle" - the horse's level drops but the rider's level rises. Then, with coaching and experience they both rise together to a more advanced level.
    I wonder if buyers feel responsibility to sellers, the responsibilty to care for and cherish a horse trained with love and respect? Again, I've had those that do and the odd one that didn't. That hurt...

  2. Thanks for the comment, Sharon!I think you hit on a key point...
    "then, with coaching and experience they both rise together to a more advanced level."
    To me this is so key-It seems to me that in many circumstances, a buyer will see the results that a trainer has produced in their horse, and go home and expect to be able to replicate it...When this doesn't happen. it becomes the trainers "fault".. Or similarly, when they go to a show, and expect to get the horse to perform to the same level as the trainer..That coaching piece is so critical-but so often overlooked...Just my observation over the last 10 years or so...

  3. I find the biggest problem is that most if not all people cannot be honest about their skill level and expect to jump on and turn the "key" and win....people need to get real...I get frustrated seeing good horses go down hill all because someone "thinks" they can ride...professionals are that for a reason..they have honed their skills to the upmost degree..remember that when purchasing and please be honest about your skill level...just because you may ride everyday does not mean your skill level is top notch...