I was a bit spoiled in the buying process with Ryon. I bought him from a lady who was keeping him in her backyard with her thoroughbreds just outside of Dallas. She trailered him to our barn for the trial and then my vet, who happened to be her neighbor, did the prepurchase exam. A few minor issues were looked at more carefully, with some price negotiation. Ryon was finally brought home in January 2014 when I was on an overseas business trip and appeared, like magic, for me in his stall.
Not so much with this process. I swear, buying a horse is like Goldilocks trying to find food and a place to nap. The criteria you can have is endless. Not too young, not too old. Not too many starts on the track but not too much training off of it. Not too small, and I’m also partial to bays. And THEN we get to the examination of conformation photos and all available video. Oh, and of course price.
After a few false starts, including a royalty racehorse who abscessed right when I submitted my application and a lady who wouldn’t let us pick our own vet for the prepurchase exam, I found a cute little mare in Michigan - of all places. Literally 15 minutes down the street from B’s parents’ house. She’s four years old, has had 19 starts, sound on the track (just slow) and off, and has been let down for three months. Her pedigree has More Than Ready and Wild Again, and you can definitely see their imprinting in her pictures. What really drew me in, out of the sale group she was in, was her very kind eye in the sale photos.
However, since we purchased her sight unseen - and at this point she’s still sight unseen -, I’m relying on photos/videos as well as the fully comprehensive prepurchase exam. We ordered blood samples, twenty (!!) x-rays, the full shebang, which is rough on the bank account. The final result from the vet who examined her was a very quiet, very calm mare who has no soundness issues but has a negative palmar angle on the front right foot, common in off the track thoroughbreds. At this point, my trainer pumped the brakes HARD. I already have one who has problems with his front right and the last thing we need is another. However each of the vets / farriers we spoke to said it can be corrected with proper trimming and shoeing. That and testimony from the seller that she’s never been lame (and track records that don’t indicate as such).
The rigamarole that we’ve gone through with getting her to our barn has been ridiculous and unbelievable, but as of now, I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have her on a trailer and on her way to Texas before the end of the week! It’s going to be a world of change for her, going from snow and grey skies to 60 degree weather and sun. We’ve also oddly been experiencing some strange ladybug infestation. B, Ryon, and I were swarmed by them this weekend out on the trail. Most likely she’ll arrive when I’m still in Michigan - switching places - but I cannot wait to meet her!