Horse Shopping, What I Am Looking For


Awareness of the outside world. NYT: Got a Covid Booster? You Probably Won’t Need Another for a Long Time, Mandavilli, Feb. 21, 2022.

The first question horse sellers ask is “What are you looking for?” I never know how to answer. Experience? It depends. Breed? It depends. Price? It depends.

Here’s an email Husband sent to a seller. (Lightly edited because I can’t help myself.)

We are looking for a Saddlebred sport horse that will be able to do Novice eventing and local jumpers. Doesn’t have to do novice now, but should have the potential. 5-6 years to 10-12 years old okay. Prefer geldings, but the right mare would be okay.  Hoping to stay around 10K. If it drives, that would be a plus. 

Have complicated horses now. Looking for uncomplicated, straightforward to ride. Rider is experienced, just not interested in a lot of drama.  More whoa than go preferred (she can usually get them to go).   

We recognize that this horse may not exist. New to the Saddlebred sport horse world. Seen lots of ‘Saddlebred isn’t fancy enough to make it in the show ring so lets make it a Sport Horse.’ Would like something suitable to the jumping world.


Nailed it.


Update. I have been advised against making “Not fancy enough for … ” statements in print. This was not my opinion. This is the opinion we have seen from sellers. Happens in every breed/discipline. Horse is not suitable for the main focus of the breed/discipline, so folks try to find it a home doing something else. The thing is, we all admire the same attitude. The athletic, willing horse who can do X is also going to be good at not-X. YMMV

Who knows, I may have made it worse.

Update on the update. Have seen this on more than one occasion in the jumping world. Horse can’t jump, lets sell it as a dressage horse. No, no, no. That’s not how dressage works. Again, YMMV.

One more thought. The Sport Horse as catch-all-category was more prevalent the last time we were looking. ASB Sport is coming into its own. Seen some nice ASB Sport Horses out there this time around. [Show Stalking]

I’ll stop now.


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