The horse we WANT vs the horse we NEED

Jess Land Ramblings…..

Been a while since I got a yarn on and what better time than a lazy Sunday afternoon 💁🏽‍♀️ How many times have you written a wish list of what you are shopping for in a horse and then ended up buying something that doesn’t particularly fit the brief you set out and ends up being the horse you needed anyway! I think it can be so easy when horse shopping to close your windows and really limit what you are looking for. Yes there will be some things on there that need to be non negotiable but a lot of the time I think we get carried away at adding so many points to the list that we rule out a lot of horses that really would tick the boxes regardless. Throw out any thoughts on colour – does it really matter that much? Breed – how many posts do you see saying no TB’s when frankly reading the rest of their post they’d probably be the perfect option. Consider your options and take each horse as an individual rather than ruling a whole section out. Age – are you really not going to buy a horse a couple of years older or younger than your ideal if it ticks every other box? Height – do you really need a 17hh horse when you’re 5,3 and built like a stick figure!? By all means it’s what you feel comfortable on too but be flexible on height if you can afford to be. Experience – sometimes that one with all the mileage also comes with baggage compared to the willing, straightforward youngster that’s ticking all the boxes but lacks a couple of shows compared to your ideal. If you have the help available consider your options and vice versa if your super nervous and have no confidence buy the old been around the block. Don’t spend your whole time scared out of your wits on a baby because it looked pretty, talented and made you go wow.Vetting – yes we want to start with a horse that’s fundamentally sound but if you want a low key happy hack to ride once a month does it really need to fly a 5 stage vetting? I’m not saying take a massive risk on an unsound donkey but serviceably sound is very much a thing and so many people bypass a horse that would be very easily manageable for what they want to do. Cost – the more you are prepared to spend the fussier you can be! It sucks yes but it’s the harsh reality. If you have a wish list a mile long be prepared to pay good dollars for one that ticks those boxes and if you have a small amount of pennies to spend be prepared to look outside the box! Ability – let’s be honest how many of us are world beater riders? I’m certainly not and I don’t shop for the horses suitable for it. Be realistic on what you actually need from your horse. There’s no point buying a super sharp and reactive mount ready to take on the top of the world if your ambitions are to cruise round 80cm and enjoy a relaxing ride. You’ll spend your whole time pulling your hair out and wishing you’d got that cruisey one that did exactly what you needed but lacked the WOW. Trust me I’ve had it and I’m not sure I always wanted it 😂 sometimes it’s nice to not feel like your horse is going to explode underneath you when all you want to do is hack up the laneway! I think my favourite example of throwing my wish list out the window was the purchase of my super star Emilio MSH who I genuinely owe my whole career too 💁🏽‍♀️ I was shopping for a 4/5yr old Mare to produce for jumping, wanted something that was fairly straightforward and just going to be a nice sound horse to produce and then sell. So what did I buy!? A 10yr old bucker that had never been to a show, was put together like a jigsaw puzzle, was anything but straightforward and still lives in my paddock today 🫢😂 I think most of my friends thought I’d lost the plot when Milo appeared thanks to a nudge from my coach at the time but he is still hands down the best horse I’ve ever brought! He wasn’t easy, he wasn’t particularly sound, he didn’t tick a single item on my list and he took me from having jumped a handful of 1.20m rounds to being super competitive at 1.30-1.40m level, competing in series classes and having the kind of fun I’ve been struggling to replace since! I’ve had my fair share of bad purchases prior and since and funnily enough most of those ended up being ones that ticked the boxes I’d written out 🤷🏽‍♀️ Horses can be soul destroying and I like to joke they ruin us financially, mentally and physically more often than not but do yourself a favour and be open to more options when you’re next looking! If you’ve got a good story about the horse you ended up with that didn’t tick your boxes and you brought anyway add it to the comments below ⬇️, or comment on our Facebook page. We always find it so interesting the horses that catch people by surprise!


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