Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Exercise in Futility

Sometimes, horse owners really piss me off!

I have always been totally upfront and honest about horses I have for sale. I tell the good, the bad, and the ugly. There have been MANY times that prospective buyers have walked away, but hey, at least they had all the facts up front!

I just got back from a three day trip to the Seattle area. A gal over there had a nice, BROKE, paint gelding that she wanted to trade for Jazzy. This gelding was dead broke, easy, blah, blah, blah…

So I load this mare that has been rarely hauled, is nervous in the trailer, for a 5 hour drive on day one, 2 two hour drives on day two, and 5 hours back home on day three. The mare was stressed, but for the most part, she did very well for a rarely hauled, green broke 7 yr old.

So I get to work with this BROKE gelding. I dropped his halter to put on his bridle and he steps into me and over me, heading God knows where. I squawked at him, got him stopped, and then got the bridle on him. She says, “What happened?” I told her and she says, “He’s never done that.”

So now he’s got the bridle on. The bit is a Myler, level one, 3 piece snaffle with 3 inch shank. Very soft. The gelding is still trying to walk off, so I stop him. He hauls back and rears like I just hauled back on his mouth. I yelled, “HEY!” She says, “What happened?” I told her and she says, “He’s never done that.” Hmmm….seems like a pattern starting here.

So I climb on him. He’s not nearly as broke in the face as I expected for a 16 yr old BROKE ex-showhorse, but hey, he’s been laid off for a few weeks. (In my opinion, he shouldn’t be THAT rusty.) Anyway, he’s got a decent headset, arched his neck and was SLOW… and off. He felt off, but I couldn’t tell where. It took a LOT of motion and action in the saddle to get him moving into a trot. It was slow, but it felt funny.

But he didn’t do anything bad, so I had Mike get on him and trot him. He LOOKED off, but I couldn’t tell where. The more we rode him, the more resistant to trotting he became. She says, “What’s going on?” I told her “He’s off”, and she says, “He’s never been off before.” After an hour, this horse was hard to get into a WALK. Either she doesn’t know what a lame horse looks like, or she doesn’t know what the TRUTH is…

She offered to give me spurs. We declined. Neither Mike nor I own spurs, have never used spurs, and it would have been a disaster in the making for us to put them on. I opted instead for a little “poppy stick” that I use sometimes for motivation. I tapped him, which he ignored. I got more insistent, which he ignored. I popped him a good one, which he kicked out at and pinned his ears. At this point, I got off and led him back to the trailer and stripped my tack.

She came riding over on Jazzy. She says, “What happened?” I told her and she says, “He’s never done that.”

I’m thinking “Of course not.” But I said instead, “We’re going to pass. There is something wrong with him. He needs to see a lameness vet.”

She said, “He’s just lazy.”

I’ve been on a lazy horse before. He was LAZY! I was exhaust after 30 minutes. BUT…he was consistently lazy. This guy… he started out lazy but willing, and got progressively more resistant as time passed. Probably because the bute was wearing off… I mean after all, we got lost and were over an hour late.

We came away with a very bad taste in our mouths. We were angry that she thought we were stupid and tried to shuck a lame horse over onto us. I still don’t know what is wrong with this gelding. But I do know that he is in pain. And his owner is an ASSHAT!


2toads2luv said...

Sorry, but any owner that isn't completely comfortable selling their horse with a 30, 60, 90 day, you name it, trial period, is shady.

I had a girlfriend that was less than a beginner, as in, needed help getting the halter on right. She was interested in this 16 h throughbred who was being sold as "energetic". I told her to be sure and only take him if she could try him out first.

Well, the seller wasn't intersted in that, and my friend bought him anyways because "he was so nice", wihtout ever riding him.

FFS. She called me in tears, and cried even harder when I was able to ride him. I reminded her I had been riding my WHOLE LIFE, it wasn't coincidence I was able to get results out of him.

She sold him for less than half of what she paid for him. Lesson learned hard.

I ONLY sell with a trial period first, and first option to buy back, to people I know will call me if they really do need to sell.

That sucks you had to spend all the time and $$ dealing with some asshat!

Karen V said...

I'm a little upset about the time.(I did get to spend some time with a friend - we stayed with her while we were over there). I'm a LOT upset about the gas money. (I could have bought a ton of hay)

BUT...I should point out that there is a bright side.

We found out a LOT about our mare. Either we didn't see it before or we weren't paying attention. With all the hauling, and stress this mare was not used to, Jazzy did NOTHING wrong or bad. She acted like her little green self, but she TRIED. That gave me faith that with a little invested money in training, she WILL be a nice horse and we shouldn't give up on her yet.

I'm REALLY pissed that the other gal wasn't honest.

If your friend is still looking for a NICE horse, I've got one... Dobbs is for sale and he'd make a very nice beginner horse. You can e-mail me privately if you want to...

2toads2luv said...

This was several years ago. Besides, I wouldn't sell her a horse... She needed to spend some time with a trainer, read some- ok, a lot- of books, watch hours of videos...

That's great to hear that Jazzy was such a good girl. You can train a horse to walk, trot, and lope on cue, but you can't train the smarts. Sounds like she has the smarts.

Sometimes you just have to get out of your routine to see things in a new light!