Part of the reason sellers may not take us seriously as buyers [Eeny, Report, Cultural (What can I say, it's an ongoing issue.)] is that we don’t futz around. Once we’ve seen enough to know this horse is not coming home with us, we make nice-nice noises and leave.
For the horse shopping visit last weekend [A/P], we spent perhaps 20 minutes at the barn. Most of those minutes were on the order of confirming our initial decision. As soon as I looked over his withers, I was 99% sure this was not the right horse. My eye level is exactly 16h. If I can look over the withers, the horse ain’t 16.1h, no matter what the ad says.
Still, I was willing to admit the possibility that he would change my mind. After all, Charisma was “this little, fat, black pony” the first time Mark Todd saw him. We watched our possible purchase walk, trot, canter, and jump one fence. Red flags fluttered. We said thank you. I didn’t ride the horse. I never put on my britches. What is the point of making the horse work or of disconveniencing owner any longer than necessary?
We’ve been doing this a while, longer than Possible Purchase plus his rider have been alive, by almost a factor of two, for each one of us. We have learned what we like. We might be right. We might be wrong. We are definitely decisive.
Horse evaluating is akin to chicken sexing. It’s a complicated mix of factors but do it long enough and you get mighty fast at it.
How long does it take you to size up a horse?
Am I going too fast & possibly missing a wunderkind?
Prior horse shopping posts.