I am a petite adult amateur (5'1", 105 lbs, 37 yo) looking for my first horse. I am an intermediate rider with several years of dressage training and hunter/jumper before that. I am currently half-leasing a horse but otherwise have always been a lesson rider. The horse I buy will be my only horse, and I hope to keep him/her for the rest of his/her natural life, so a horse with good movement, a fun work ethic and the potential to move up the levels in dressage would be nice but that said I am not gunning to win at Grand Prix. I would like to compete in local open dressage shows and in some Arab sporthorse classes but am not a "serious show home." I plan to do some cross-training and would like a horse who would be comfortable going on trail rides at least occasionally; I even have some interest in (very low level) eventing. No soundness issues or vices please.
Stellar temperament is a must -- I am not a beginner but I also don't want to have to be THAT alert all the time, and it would be great if non-horsey husband or future children could hop on this horse occasionally too. Personality plus is also a must -- outgoing, curious, friendly, interactive, eager to work with you -- I am a dog person (have three Border Collies) and am also looking for a giant pet. I plan to do a lot of clicker training and fun ground stuff outside of riding (toys, playing fetch, free lunging, whatever). If the horse has some groundwork issues (like not wanting his ears messed with, etc.) that does not bother me because I feel comfortable with dealing with those types of things as long as the horse actually likes people.
I would probably be a bad match for a greenie and want something that has enough miles to be rideable by me immediately and not have to go into full-time professional training upon purchase. I have a trainer and will be taking regular dressage lessons, so I will have supervision. The horse's training does not have to be in dressage, and if you have something that is already trained in say, hunter pleasure but really isn't that into it and would enjoy a discipline change that is fine, keeping in mind that I am looking for dressage movement and re-trainability. Pretty is great but I don't care if the horse would never place at a show for looks (no weird conformation issues though please). My budget is not large. I am looking for a horse who is mature but not old (isn't everyone?). I am very committed to my animals and can provide excellent references.
To boil it down, my preferences are:
- gelding preferred, but won't turn down the right mare (no "marish" tendencies, etc.)
- 14.2-15.3 hands
- 5-10 years of age but am a bit flexible for the right horse
- dressage movement and temperament (i.e., doesn't hate flat work)
- going well under saddle
- stellar temperament and exceptional personality please
- target price range ~$5000 (because I want to stay married)
- located in or near the Pacific Northwest
The horse must be located within driving distance of Eugene, OR. I cannot consider horses that I can't meet beforehand and don't have the budget to travel far to look at horses.
I am new here but post under the same username at the COTH forums. Any leads would be appreciated.
Thanks very much, Melanie