The Road to Buying a Cutting Horse: Finding One

I'm back in the saddle, I have been scouring Alberta (and even the states!) for my next horse. It's definitely bittersweet, given the loss of my beloved 3 year old Bunny, but it's something I need to do for my sanity. 

Quite quickly on in the search I found one horse that I thought really fit the bill. The seller claimed that he was a 5 y/o professionally trained and owned his entire life by a well-known Cutting horse trainer in these parts. The horse, who had a pretty fancy set of papers, had apparently been to two small futurities, and didn't make the finals, so the trainer/owner sold him off. I rode him and really liked him, the price was right - quite a bit lower than my budget. He needed a bit of work, but felt like a horse I could definitely have some fun on. I even did a vet check, but when I received the papers and transfers, something seemed off. The aforementioned original trainer/owner's names weren't on the papers. It wasn't a major red flag, but since he was suppose to have owned the horse since conception, it seemed a little fishy. I decided to call the trainer/owner who said, in fact, the horse had been trained by another well-known Cutting horse trainer up North, but had only lasted around 4-6 months. He flunked out of the horse-show world, and was sold to a ranch to be a cowboy horse. The cowboys felt he was a tad small, and called the trainer/owner, who bought him as a turn-back horse, and a cowboy horse. When I asked if the horse had ever been shown, the trainer/owner chuckled softly and said, "only if you count turning back for our show horses." Either the seller had lied to me, or had been lied too along the way, but his response was less than kind towards me, claiming I didn't know how trainers worked, and so I opted out of that little deal quite quickly. He was a nice little horse though, it's too bad. Definitely learned something with that little transaction about horse traders.

From there, I posted an ad on two well circulated Facebook horse buy/sell pages and got TONS of responses the same day. 

The ad stated, "ISO: Cutting Horse. Trying to get a feel for what is out there - looking for something I can potentially show, but would be willing to look at started younger stock as well. Have worked for trainers in the past. Due to unfortunately losing a three year old I had purchased earlier this year, my budget is limited at around $10,000 CAD. Can provide an excellent home, as well as references. Feel free to PM me :)"

I definitely had my hands full sorting through the messages and contacting people... people don't really like to read the ads, do they? I received a lot of messages regarding unstarted horses... no thanks, not right now. I received a few Appaloosa's, and although I didn't specify breed, I'm not looking for an Appaloosa at this time. I politely stated that, and had one guy tell me, rather rudely, "Your loss, you need to not be so picky and biased. The bloodlines are there - if you knew anything, you'd see that." I don't like buying horses from meanie-pants people, thank you very much. I had some people who meant well, "I have a horse that has 30 days training and goes back to Peppy San Badger", but missed the mark on what I was looking for. I had some people try to send me on wild goose chases, "I used to work for a guy, that had a cool stud, but I don't know if he's been ridden for awhile, or is for sale, but you should call him." Thankfully though, I had some people who had horses I was definitely more than willing to go look at it.

On the docket for me to try out thus far:
- A 5 y/o gelding, professionally started as a 3 year old, ridden as a 4/5 year old by a successful Non-pro, limited showing. Came in third in her class in the winter series. 
- A 6 y/o mare, professionally started and shown as a 3 year old, bought as a 4 year old by a Non-pro getting into cutting, shown since then, consistent horse who takes care of her rider. When everything clicks, she marks 72-73's.
- A 11 y/o mare, limited showing throughout her lifetime, consistent baby-sitter type cutter, has been shown successfully by a trainer, people getting into cutting, and in the High School rodeo cutting. When showing, marks 72-73's.
- A 5 y/o gelding with $11k in winnings but was sold out of Texas due to bad cribbing, now with a Non-Pro who showed him, doesn't want to sell him, but needs to due to just having a baby. Located in the States.
- One lady who has a 3 y/o mare who is in professional trainer, a 4 y/o that was shown at the Supreme, but didn't make the finals and hasn't shown since, a 5 y/o that is a bit of a project horse and an 11 y/o babysitter type cutter who can apparently teach you how to cut.
- A 14 y/o gelding who was campaigned for the 2,000 LR last year, very successful horse (over 33k in winnings). Located in the States.

Stay tuned to see what horses I get to try, like, etc. & if you know of anyone selling a cutting horse - Holla at yo girl! ;)


  1. I feel your pain with the responses to your Facebook ad, I had the same thing, and no, thet sure don't pay attention to the ad do they? Just want to sell you what they have even if it's the polar opposite of what you asked for.
    One word of advice- don't even bother to look at the cribber. It will drive you nuts, and they aren't generally as healthy as a horse that doesn't crib- both physically and mentally. THere are enugh good ones out there that don't have that vice.

    1. Thanks for the advice - I think your right in saying that. I've been reading up on it, and there is also evidence they have more ulcers and gastro issues than other horses - not something I'm looking for in a show horse.

  2. Well good luck to you its not an easy thing, specially since the good horses never get listed. I got my horse through a trainer and Im not sure Id go another way Im not good enough and would probly pick way more horse than I need.

    1. Not easy at all! Unfortunately none of the trainers I've talked to have horses that are priced in my budget. So I can't go that route. I have found a couple backyard gems (I think) nothing that is 100% perfect but something I can learn on.

  3. Sounds like you have some good horses to see! Try to enjoy the process, it's exciting to pick a new partner :) Although the facebooks crazies/peanut gallery are super annoying.

    1. Yeah it has been exciting! I've never really "picked" a horse per se, I've always known them previous too so it's definitely different


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