Fatcat wrote:Xanthoria wrote:Fatcat I bought my current horse from the breeder and yes - it was a lovely experience, until it wasn't. I did buy a 6 month old colt so the wait to ride was VERY long - mistake #1. The other mistake was buying a horse who ended up having PSSM and shivers. If I had waited till he was at least 3 I would have known and bought another horse. Mistake #3 was buying a horse I was told should jump well, with no proof. So I am stuck with an unsellable 6 yr old who really isn't a jumper.
I have been talking to a couple breeders. But in the USA it's very rare to find one who will freejump a 3 yr old over much more than 2' which tells me nothing.
When you look at how jumpers/eventers are marketed in the UK/EU vs US it's startling. In the UK/EU they all show a photo of the horse jumping. If unstarted, freejumping. In the US, you see a cute head shot, flatwork, or a bad conformation pic. "Top level eventing prospect!" - video shows a very ordinary horse slowly jogging over one 2' high fence. They want $25k. Get real.
It's little wonder then that an 8 yr old with Prelim experience in the US is $50k, but in the UK it's $15-20k...
Yes, I've had a horse with PSSM, it was a nightmare. Can you find a breeder who's is producing 3-4yos under saddle from proven jumping parents? That was my thinking--parents that perform = offspring with stable minds and sturdy conformation.
I think the tough thing is that a lot of breeders are selling their best stock early--yearlings and even weanlings. By the time you get to the 3-4 yos, there is often not much left. And for jumping it's tricky because a lot of those, even with jumping bloodlines and great parents, may not actually have the skill or the bravery or the desire needed for an eventer. And it can be hard to test that until you can see them really free jump or be started under saddle. There are some barns in the US that will send a 3 yo through a proper jump chute, but the problem is that a lot of people don't know how ot properly set a horse up for a jump chute, so anything over 2' is a mess regardless of the horse.