Buying A Horse

Free: Unqualified love, a willing attitude

Soloman_sm_003Update (06/22/2012): Soloman found a home!

A long-time client of ours needs to pursue upcoming important professional ventures, and reluctantly, needs to curtail his horse activities for the time-being. His steed, Soloman, is available free to a good home that includes a lot of pasture time, hay as needed, shelter, running water, perhaps another horse friend, and an owner committed to regular, light riding. Because of Soloman’s recovering soft-tissue injury, his owner believes Soloman is not a candidate for high-impact, competitive riding. A pasture is important, as it will keep Soloman moving and strengthen him.

Soloman is an experienced trail horse, fully trained at all gaits, probably once knew how to do Western Showmanship, is good with the veterinarian and farrier. He is 20 years old, a big, registered black Quarter Horse. For the right person, Soloman promises to provide nickered greetings after a long day, a willing attitude, psychotherapy as needed, unqualified love, the added security of an experienced mount, and fun on easy footing.

Call Richard at: (970) 222-8311


Legends of Ranching Sale: A time for goodbyes and tears

“It’s going to be awful to say goodbye. There will be tears. But I’m excited for him to go to a home and get to do something.”

- Lorraine Johnston


Our very own Hobbes got his start at the CSU Legends of Ranching Sale, and what a happy adventure it has been! (Click on the link above for the full story on the Legends of Ranching Sale.)

(Karin Livingston is the author of the horse novel Winning Bet, available in hard copy and on the Kindle.)

Read also: Buying a horse: 14 questions you should ask


Wonderful thing on the way to the barn

Winning Bet front cover - Will Bonnie be sent to the slaughterhouse? - Available through AmazonWe have a new young client, and I ran into her and her father walking down one of our lanes to see their new horse the other day. These are exciting days when people begin their journey with $5.99 Flat Shipping
a new horse. They are especially exciting when that person is a young person. Horses light up children. In the middle of her glow, our young client turned to me and said, “Oh, by the way, I just read Winning Bet for like, the 11th time. It’s awesome! I love it!” Psychic income: You can't beat it - and it's tax-free!

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Buying a horse: 14 questions you should ask

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Hobbes, the Quarter Horse gelding purchased at Colorado State University's 2010 Legends of Ranching Sale, pauses on our suburban Poudre River trail.
Hobbes, purchased at the CSU Legends of Ranching Sale, continues to amaze us. Pairing Gregg, an owner new to horses, with a three-year-old was a gamble, but the other day, our suburban Poudre River bike trail proved no problem for this young Quarter Horse gelding.

Hobbes calmly and safely navigated cyclists, strollers, roller-bladers, pedestrians, wood and cement bridges, as well as a tree-root infested water obstacle. In the arena, he has mastered canter pickups, leg yields, and is working up to spins. Hobbes also spent an entire day recently herding cattle at a friend’s Wyoming ranch!

I credit much of Gregg’s success to the following:

  • Round-penning before riding
  • Using an experienced horse as a buddy
  • Being open to the voice of experience
  • Regular workouts for horse AND rider
  • Wearing a helmet. Yes, there have been a couple spills after we broke the workout routine, and it was cold, windy and close to dinner.

Stay tuned as we continue to work with this amazing horse!

Hobbes' purchase: Some rules were made to be broken
Buying a horse: 14 questions you should ask

(Karin Livingston was a career 4-H leader specializing in horses, and is the author of the young adult horse novel, Winning Bet. You can subscribe to this blog ad-free on your e-reader.)

Buying a horse: 14 questions you should ask

The ever-helpful economy never seems to know what it's going to do these days, but if your life is relatively stable, this is a great time for your latest adventure -- buying a horse. Prices have never been better. (Parents, if you're thinking of buying a horse for your child, beware: There are some things you need to ask first.)

I've had some memorable moments shopping for horses. I once declared a prospect “toed out”, only to have my big mouth hit the grapevine. The horse’s irate owner called to say “that horse does NOT toe out”.

My personal favorite is the owner who whipped out a pistol and pulled the trigger as we stared, dumbfounded, at a possible mount for my daughter. The owner grinned and said, “See, bullet proof!” (The gun was loaded with blanks.) Seriously though, if you’re buying a horse, always take an expert, get a vet check, and phone ahead with these questions (Click the "questions" link for a printable page.)When I picked up my first horse, she flipped over backward as we novices tried to force her into the trailer with ropes and a whip. Then there was the lady who sank her spurs into my prospect. As he leaped away, she noted this horse’s great side-passing skills.

  1. Why is the horse for sale?
  2. Does the horse have any vices? (i.e., cribbing, biting, trailer shyness)
  3. How much has the horse been ridden during the past year?
  4. Who has ridden the horse the most — trainer, amateur, youth?
  5. How easy is the horse to handle after being turned out for a while and not ridden?
  6. What kind of equipment has been used?
  7. How much training has the horse received and in what areas?
  8. Where has the horse been stalled?
  9. What type of concentrates and roughage does the horse eat and what is its feeding schedule?
  10. What kind of health has the horse had during the past year?
  11. Has the horse ever had any colic episodes? Lameness?
  12. How often is the horse de-wormed and shod?
  13. How often has the horse been away from home and what is his behavior in different surroundings?
  14. How does the horse react when being shod, clipped or de-wormed?

(Karin Livingston is a career 4-H leader specializing in horses, and the author of the young-adult horse novel, Winning Bet, available in hard copy and on the Amazon Kindle.)