Let's Be Honest
Pony Due Diligence
Written by Caitlin Creel
(c) Caitlin Creel
Have you ever seen that meme about having a friend who can find a guy on social media with only his first name? That’s me. I’m talking top level FBI investigation, also read stalking, skills. So, when it comes to looking up information about a new horse, I am allllll over that.
I feel that as a responsible horse buyer, it’s imperative to do some deep diving due diligence (say that 10x fast!). If not, you could find yourself in a terrible situation with a horse that doesn’t work for you and very well might not work for someone else either. I think most of us could attest to being on the wrong end of a bad horse deal and just wishing you had a bit more information about the horse before biting the bullet and buying it.
My favorite horse stalking tools to use are ClipMyHorse, FEI, Youtube, Instagram, and occasionally HorseTelex if I’m feeling nerdy about the breeding! But, if I can’t find all the information I am looking for there, I definitely dig deeper until I do. I’m talking random Vimeo videos, Facebook posts, and off the cuff horse result sites that come up on the second and third page of your google search!
For me, it’s all about putting together the story of the horse. Where have they been, what have they done, and is it consistent with what I have been told. Of course, you can’t always answer every one of those questions, but to be able to understand a horse that you’ve probably spent a maximum of thirty minutes with just a little bit more can only be beneficial!
I think as amateurs, we often fall into the trap of thinking, “my trainer knows best,” so we don’t want to get too involved. That is definitely not a wrong thought, but sometimes important information is missed, and we get so wrapped up about an awesome trial that we just want to get the deal done as quick as possible so we can start riding our new pony!
I am fortunate to not only have a trainer who is just as committed to this process as I am but who is also very open to hearing my opinions when it comes to buying a new horse. We maintain an extremely open conversation about what we find on the horse, and even if we both love it in the trial, we make ourselves take the time to thoroughly process all the information we can find before committing.
(c) Caitlin Creel
Just recently with my horse Double Duchess KC, we absolutely loved her after the trial. She was everything that we were looking for, and we were super excited about the possibility of adding her to the family. However, during our deep dive, we found some pretty shocking videos. I’m talking rails down, circles, crashing through jumps kind of videos. Definitely not what you want to see when you are ready to throw the horse on the trailer and take her home with you! But, that only helped us make a wiser choice. We took a step back, made our best judgments on the situation she was in during the videos, and decided to ask the seller to show her once for us so we could see her in the ring one more time before making our decision. Luckily for me, she jumped right around no problem just as she did during my trial, so in the end, the videos were a fluke situation. But, it just made us that more confident of the horse we were getting when she finally made it over to us in the great US of A!
Horse shopping is such a fun time, but don’t forget that it’s a significant investment, and just how all major business decisions are only made after some hardcore due diligence, horses are just as important! Take responsibility for your success and become the best FBI Investigator you can be!
Hey, while you’re at it, check and see if that pony is on PonyApp… you just might be able to find all the answers to your questions in one easy place;)