What do you look for in your horses?
We search all over the United States for horses and ponies with a certain disposition. Any horse can be trained to perform and ride a certain way, but it’s very difficult to change a horse’s disposition, they either have it or they don’t! Most of our horses are between 6 and 12 years old. We don’t specifically seek out certain colors or pedigrees, but those things do effect the prices.
What type of training do your horses have?
Most of our geldings are started on a ranch. They get many miles with wet saddle blankets and have a very solid foundation before they even come to us. We get the horses with the dispositions that we’re looking for that will make great family or beginner horses. Once they arrive here, we work them through a thorough desensitizing program which includes: tarps, flags, atv’s, on the road in traffic, water, loading & unloading, arena and round pen work, bareback, clippers, cross ties, and much more. We try and cover anything the horse might see in a busy family and barn setting. Some of these horses come in and breeze right through and test out immediately on the things we expect our horses to do, and some require differing levels of additional training. Of course if there are specific things you plan on doing with the horse, we will be happy to work on those while it’s waiting to ship. If there are specific things you would like to see video of that we haven’t already shown, just let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
What does the term Bombproof mean?
The term “Bombproof” is an old horseman’s term that originally started with military horses to describe the ones that weren’t bothered by the bombs. Over the years it’s evolved into a generic way to describe horses that are not overly reactive to various stimuli. We are not saying that you can literally drop a bomb beside a horse and not get a reaction from it. What we are saying is that we seek out horses with dispositions that predispose them to being less reactive, and then we work with those horses to further that attitude. We can’t expose a horse to every conceivable thing that they might encounter in life, but we can test how they react to new things and help to show them how to react. Horseback riding is the second most dangerous sport behind cheerleading (which our daughter does too!), and while we do every thing we can to minimize the risks, everyone that sits on a horse should realize that there is an inherent risk. Most states including Arkansas have enacted laws limiting liability on equine activities. A list of laws that states have enacted can be found here.
How long do you typically have a horse at your farm?
Each horse is unique and has different needs. Some horses arrive completely trained for what they are going to do, and others come in needing quite a bit of work. Some horses could be here for as little as a week, while others could be here for over a year. On average, most horses are here for 2-3 months. Each horse is evaluated when it arrives and given the amount of time necessary for us to feel comfortable putting our own kids on them and being able to guarantee them.
Once I've decided on a horse that I want, what is the process?
Once you’ve decided on a horse or pony, we have a Sale Agreement that we will email to you to sign and return. We prefer and most of our customers send a bank wire for payment. It’s just as easy and secure as a check, but it speeds the process along and allows us to get shipping scheduled faster rather than waiting on an out-of-state check to clear. Once we’ve received the payment, we will email you a sales receipt.
Why does your ad say that a horse is in my state?
We place ads and have sold horses in just about every state. Because of the way the horse websites work, there is no way to advertise a horse in Arkansas in another state other than to list it there. Without our advertising you would never even know we existed. We state clearly on our website and most of our ads where we are located, and it’s usually one of the first things we talk about on the phone.
Do most of your customers come to Arkansas and try the horses?
No, only about 5% of our customers actually fly or drive in to try our horses before they buy them. Because we do guarantee our horses, and shipping is included in our prices, most customers choose not to come here. Although we love it when customers come in, we have references all over the country that we are more than happy to let you talk to. We encourage customers who are close, or can, to come try the horses. Although we are very good at matching people with the right horses, it can help us to see and evaluate the rider’s skill level too.
Do I need to make an appointment to come see your horses?
Yes! Unfortunately due to our busy schedule with all of the horses as well as a lot of people that want to come “try” a few horses, we no longer schedule appointments without a 10% non-refundable deposit on the horse we’re asked to hold. Of course it can always be transferred to a different horse if you come and fall in love with someone else! It is also refundable in the unlikely event the horse you chose does not vet.
Will my kids be able to ride the horses like your kids?
We can’t guarantee that every horse will ride the same for every person, because we’re not only dealing with a horse, but also with riders with different levels of confidence, abilities and personalities. Everybody has their own opinion of what level their child is, and they are all based on different standards. We demonstrate in our videos how the horses can ride, but they are living breathing animals with minds of their own that have good days and bad days and need to be handled consistently and properly. More than anything else you can buy, with a horse there will be an adjustment and learning period to get used to it’s particular way of going. We are always available to give advice and help you work through any questions or problems that might arise, and we can even help you to find a good instructor or trainer in your area if you need additional help. Owning horses is really more of a lifestyle than a hobby, and it requires a commitment and dedication. Every horse is not going to be a match for you or your child’s personality, that’s why we offer our exchange program.
I don't have much experience on a horse, will I be safe?
Safety is our main goal. We try and help people minimize their risks in what is normally considered a dangerous activity. While our horses are among the safest out there from the standpoint of ground manners, being desensitized to certain stimuli, and disposition, they still are large animals with a mind of their own. Horse ownership involves a lot of responsibility on the part of the owner. For example, not knowing how to properly lead a horse could result in getting a foot stepped on, or cantering without developing good balance first could result in a fall, standing behind a horse is never a good idea and you could get kicked if a horse is kicking at another horse or startled. Any horse is capable of hurting someone, by owning and riding horses, you should know that you are assuming some risks. We are not guaranteeing that you won’t get hurt on one of our horses. Even a solid dependable horse can buck on rare occasions, any horse can bite, and any horse can kick in certain circumstances. These are all things that can come from their natural, instinctual desire for self-preservation. You MUST do your part to educate yourself and be a responsible horse owner and rider too.
I've seen horses that are cheaper, why are yours more expensive?
Our horses are generally not the least expensive horses you can find, but they’re definitely one of the best values! We pay more for our horses and they are proven before they even make it to our program. We are one of the only places in the country where you can buy a horse that comes with a meaningful guarantee. Although some auction horses will come with a guarantee of being sound, there are a lot of interpretations of the word “sound”. Most auctions define sound as: not limping, sight in both eyes, and no cribbing. Many horses are drugged at the auctions to quiet them, many may have other issues that we would consider an unsoundness or vice like cribbing, weaving, biting, refusing to load, etc that others would not consider an unsoundness. Also it’s really easy to make a horse appear more trained than it actually is in a small sale ring. Not that a good horse can’t be found at a sale barn, but even someone with the best eye and a lot of experience can be fooled. Most of our customers just aren’t willing to the take the chance for themselves and their families safety on an auction horse. We have several horses every year that for various reasons we don’t feel will ever be suitable for our customers, and we actually just give them away to people. Our guarantee covers anything, if you happen to get a horse that doesn’t get along with your horses, or even if you just don’t like the color, we are happy to exchange it, we just don’t give refunds. We welcome vet exams, blood tests, and invite anyone to come in and try a horse with a deposit. Also keep in mind that our prices include shipping to anywhere in the continental US. Additionally, our horses also are shipped with a new leather halter and a lead rope.
How long does it take to get my horse, and who brings it?
A general rule of thumb, we ask for two weeks. Many times we can get the horse to you in a week depending on where you live, but we’ve found that it’s much better not to raise expectations and have someone disappointed. States that are to the east and west of us are on higher traffic route for the transports and almost always fall within the two week window. States directly to the north and south of us like lower Louisiana, Minnesota, the Dakota’s, could take up to three weeks. We contract with professional transports, most of the companies we have worked with many times in the past. Prior to shipping we have a normal process to get your horse ready to ship. We have to obtain a health certificate from our vet, which can take a few days, before the horse can leave. During this time we prepare your horse for shipping with Probios and electrolytes, it’s also moved to a private paddock or stall, and will be groomed before leaving. We take pictures of all of the horses before they leave and once they are on the truck you will be notified and provided with the drivers contact information.
What if the horse just doesn't work out for me?
We try and do our very best at matching the horse and rider on the front end, but there are those rare instances where for whatever reason things don’t work out. One of the most common reasons for a horse not working out is other horses. Adding a horse with other horses, mares or geldings, can sometimes change the dynamics and personalities of the horses. Many times we can help you work through those issues, but sometimes it necessitates making a change. In the event that you do have to make a change within the first 30 days, we will work with you and can help find transports at the best prices for you.
What do you think about buying from an auction?
Unfortunately auctions are one of the main reasons the horse industry has gained such a bad reputation. You have to be very careful in spotting the deceptions and cheating that goes on at auctions. Auctioneers are notorious for taking phantom bids to run buyers and prices up, and often times phone bidders are taken advantage of because the sellers and auction houses will know you’re maximum bid and run the prices up, in some cases tens of thousands of dollars over the actual real bids. If you do decide to roll the dice on a horse from an auction keep in mind that the guarantees are often very limited covering basic things like eyesight, obvious lameness, vices such as cribbing, and typically you have a very short period of time, 24-48 hours to make a claim. So if you’re shipping a horse to your home the period will have likely already passed by the time you receive the horse. So unless you’re an experienced buyer and are willing to take the risks both financially and with your safety we highly caution you about buying from a typical auction.