How do you select a horse to be your partner?
About 1 year after I adopted Bohemian, I started to make some decisions about future horses I would have years down the road.
For example, I decided that my next horse would already be trained in eventing, jumping, or dressage. As much as I love Bohemian and wish that it worked out for us, there is a valid case against OTTBs (by SprinklerBandit, one of my fav bloggers). OTTBs are not green horses - most have excellent training - but learning a new job can be challenging at times, and there's no guarantee they'll end up being suitable for you or what you want to do.
At this point in my horsey life, I am looking to find the right partner. So how do I do that? By having a clear idea of the qualities I'm looking for, and deciding what is non-negotiable and what is a preference.
Here's the list of considerations I've come up with - do you have any others to suggest?
- Height & Conformation
- Price & Purchase Terms
- Breed & Breeding
- Temperament & Personality
- Level of Training & Experience in Chosen Discipline
- Show/Competition Experience & Record
- Goals (what you want to do, and when you want to do it)
- Health, Soundness, Injuries & Vet-Check
- Vices, Feed, Stable Management/Lifestyle concerns
- Evaluation Ride (by self, friend, or trainer)
- Registered with breed or discipline associations
- Reputation or referral by friends or trainers
- Je ne sais quois? aka X-factor
Hannah is a lovely mare and so far everything is going great, but nothing is official at this point and I'm committed to finding the right partner, whether or not it is her. Thank you in advance for comments and suggestions!!