Monday, March 10, 2014

Online Horse Shopping is Like Online Dating

Monday March 10 2014

Have you ever used an online dating service where the person you're interested in isn't quite what he or she advertised? (I haven't, but I've heard things.)

Have you ever gone horse shopping online and found the horse isn't quite what he or she is advertised? (I haven't, but I've heard things.)

He says he's 6' 4" and slender, healthy, family values, good looking, good job, good income, outdoorsy, handy at everything. Attached photo is, well, handsome - tall, buff but not overdone, taken in the outdoors where he sure looks at home, a photo that rather takes your breath away and makes you take that chance and hop in the car and go meet him at the cafe across town for coffee.

Ad says the equine is a bay 6-year-old gelding, 15.2 hands, sound, well-broke, good bloodlines, very athletic, makes a good fill in the blank prospect, is personable and willing. The photo attached is, well, handsome - taken out on the trail under saddle in the perfect collected trot on a loose rein, a photo that rather takes your breath away and makes you take that chance and hitch up the trailer and drive across country to meet him and pick him up and bring him home to your barn.

When you get to the cafe, well, Mr Possibly Perfect is neither handsome nor tall nor slim (the only thing slim are his manners); is unemployed; lives outdoors because his on-again-off-again girlfriend just kicked him out again; gets annoyed because you aren't stacked (even though you didn't advertise that you were) and that you don't pick up the tab for his $12 9-shot expresso that he finished in one gulp.

When you get to this new barn across the country, well, Mr Equine Possibly Perfect is at least 3 inches shorter then advertised; 9 years old at the least if you're lucky; a chestnut; fat and out of shape and as far from athletic as a banana slug; is short-strided and rough as all get out; and barn sour to boot when you try taking him outside the arena as he swishes his tail and pins his ears at everything you ask of him, which is really just going forward and turning in circles, because he doesn't have a "Whoa" gear, then gets annoyed that you don't give him a bucket of grain afterwards for putting up with you.

Every once in a while, you get lucky, and you find the human or horse to be a fantastic specimen beyond what was advertised, and you live happily ever after.

But, not so often.

P.S. That's The Dude up top, but he wasn't and isn't for sale! I just wanted to show a goooood lookin' horse.


  1. Yes to both.

    And as it turned out, both the Right Guy and the Right Horse showed up in my life when I wasnt seeking either one.

    Coincidence? Yeah, no.

  2. I do look at online horses but have never actually gone to see one. The guy you pictured is very handsome.

    Funny post, enjoyed reading it.

  3. Awesome post! I laughed until I cried..been there done that :D

  4. I look at horses online, in the "not too far away and not too expensive" section. I'm amazed how many horses are out there, ten years old and just learning to go under saddle. What have they been doing all this time?
    As to online dating, I've never tried it but if I do, Farmer's will be my first stop.

  5. Ha, ha, great description of the hazards of online dating/horse buying. I don't have any personal experience, but I've heard things, too!

  6. I've never done any online dating or horsing around either. Now I probably never will.

  7. Traveled over 3 hours down to Maryland years ago to see some potential dressage horses...all over 16 h....yeah, right. They were scruffy Appaloosas and just barely 15 h. Granted, it was winter, so the scruffy part may not be fair, but the size was.

    We lucked out later with a random address to find a farm with some amazing quality TB's where I finally ended up getting a wonderful horse.

  8. Funny but true comparison. I recently sold my old pickup after writing a drop-dead honest ad. Had several lookers who told me how exaggerated other ads were--as if someone was going to buy sight unseen.