I do appreciate the helpful suggestions. He doesn't feed on sand - has built a wooden trough. Right off the bat I suggested splitting the hay into several spots.
Feeding oats for them is a big lovey dovey thing - so they are holding the buckets. I told them to get some tubs and just put their oats down and let them eat.
I have advised him to work with this colt outside of feeding time. Halter him , walk him, teach him some manners. Do the same with the others.
Keep the kids out of the corral at feeding time and supervise them at other times. (he doesn't like that idea as he thinks all the colts should tolerate being petted all the time)
This situation is a set up for disaster. People think foals are so cute and treat them like puppies. Unfortunately, because horses do not remotely think like dogs, all that "lovey-dovey" behavior from inexperienced people most often teaches aggression in young horses. And sadly, when young horses are spoiled it can be very difficult to undo that attitude. This is a REALLY difficult thing for new horse owners to understand. They don't understand the dynamic of why a colt or filly doesn't reciprocate lovingly when they spoil it, and they don't understand the seriousness of the situation until a couple of years later when they are faced with a 1200lb animal that bites, kicks and rears.
I DO sympathize with you, but I think the outcome you are experiencing was very predictable. Selling a weanling to a novice horse owner has such a low chance of ever working out well! I think your best bet is to just cut to the chase and take the horse back. You can't possibly chaperone them and teach them how to take care of and raise their young horses, and even if you tried it would be tremendously time consuming for you, and I'm sure you didn't factor hours and hours of your time into the purchase price. Also, the more involved you are, the more "your fault" it is when things don't work out. Plus, there are kids involved, and guess who will be blamed when the "aggressive" colt you sold them hurts one of the kids.
Bee Honey - I totally see what you are saying.. It is becoming more and more "my fault" every day of this purchase. I will see what he has to say today.
I would offer to buy him back before the situation goes even further south, somebody gets hurt, and your reputation takes a hit. If this guy is starting to blame you for his issues, then imagine what will happen if somebody gets hurt. You can't babysit this situation for the rest of your life, and weanlings get to be yearlings in a hurry.
I'm happy that you are staying involved in the situation, I can't imagine what would be going down if these people had NO guidence. Kudos to you for that! It speaks volumes to me about you as a breeder.
Recipe for a disaster all the way around. Please get the little buy back.
The only thing that is going to help these people handle the colts is competent, one on one personal instruction on a regular basis. DVDs are out there but worthless because they don't tell the folks the baby is likely to act like...a baby... be pushy, may rear or try to kick and it will scare them-newbies are not ready for that. They think they are like big dogs.
The problem is they won't pay for it and they are not going to listen. But they will make excuses for not doing as told and demonstrated and they will not be consistent when handling them as you must be working with youngsters.
The biggest death knell for this situation is the fact they have 3 rapidly maturing stud colts in a smallish pen. If they had stopped at ONE with an old gelding or no nonsense mare as a babysitter? It might have worked.
I don't think this is necessarily your fault if you only sold them the one weanling and assumed they would do better at caring for them. That's on them, not you.
But I'd dam sure take the colt back now. Only a matter of time before somebody gets knocked over or kicked. No need to ruin the colts future teaching him what he can get away with.
Honestly, what they are doing is like putting 10 year old boys together in a target rich environment and leaving them with no supervision...
Some people just have to learn the hard way. If his Dad really did break PMUs perhaps he thought he could as well. The problem is it is always the animals that pay the price for the human's ignorance. If he is really as nice as you say you or someone else knowledgeable should be able to get him back to his normal self with some careful handling after the guy gives up. Sounds like that is right around the corner.
Originally Posted by Memphis
I am not wanting to sound harsh and this is not directed at the OP.
What a load of horse crap. Any young animal benefits so much more when left with their mother. While it is true that they are nursing less often, they still need the nourishment it provides. The mental benefits alone are well worth keeping them together. Just because the writer a veterinarian it doesn't mean they know squat about horses.
If the man was/ is experienced in handling unbroke, young horses why would he even consider 3 weanlings as horses for his family? It might be his dad was doing all the handling and he was just helping and now he has no idea what to do. You said he wanted to sell the weanling, so why not buy him back before some one gets hurt? Children are drawn to the horses especially when they are young. I used to find my 5 year old out in the pasture with his arms around my weanling filly's neck, standing in front of her ( despite my telling him not to go in w/o me). I can bet one of his kids will get into that pen sooner or later.
Originally Posted by Memphis
I guess I can't figure out why ( if your so concerned) you haven't stepped in since things are going bad so fast.
I know Memphis...
... in real life so can attest she is a new user!
In fact, I would call her a friend of mine. So while I may be biased, I can let you know some facts about her. She has in the past driven hours to take back broodmares she had free-leased when she wasn't satisfied with their care. And she knew they would be two more mouths to feed - they were no use to her at that time. She is unfailingly honest when selling horses, breeds responsibly and has high standards of care.
So while she may have mis-judged this sale (and seems to be accepting responsibility for it) she is one of the good horse people out there. She IS one of the breeders you want to buy from. She stands behind her horses (as she is doing in this case) and will buy them back if necessary.
As an aside, her stallion is also out there doing well in the show ring as are his get!
Originally Posted by Memphis
These people have no business raising young horses. Raising a foal should be left to those with the experience to do so. It is very easy to ruin a horse forever by raising it improperly.
Sorry, I would try to get the horse back, this sounds like a disaster of a home.
This as well... any experienced horse person knows this is a bad idea - you OP knew it was a bad idea! For some reason Dad didn't think it was a bad idea - and my guess that is because he DIDN'T KNOW it was a bad idea - learning his lesson the hard way here.
Originally Posted by candyappy
Take the horse back before they ruin it even more.
The colt is a registered Paint with running blood on the bottom and working cow on the top. He is growing quickly.
I am involved heavily in this sale and have been since day one.
I have been out to their place and I have been on the phone with him every day several times a day.
I am prepared to take the colt back but I am also prepared to help if they decide to keep him. As a breeder we walk a fine line between pleasing people and caring about our horses and if I thought they were neglecting or abusing him I would have been there in a heartbeat and handed them their money and took the colt. They have been doing some things right and some things wrong.
If they (husband especially) can wrap his head around the fact that colts are not kids playthings I think this can still go well.
His goal is to raise well adjusted horses for his family but his foundation of knowledge on how to get there isn't strong.
Its very easy to judge other horse owners on the internet as morons and idiots without knowing them in person. I have done the same thing and I still on occasion get very frustrated with some stories. The thing is being critical and rude seldom helps these people. I still remember being a newbie and even going to tack stores was intimidating because people always treated me with a condescending attitude. I worked very hard to erase my newbie status and be worthy of having horses and I believe I am there though there is plenty more to learn.
I do regret this sale but here I am now and I have to wait some stuff out. There are many things sitting on the line - the colts health, a friendship, and a reputation. They do plan on gelding all three but obviously they will want to make sure the colitis is completely cleared as no point in stressing him further.
in the meantime I have appreciated the helpful suggestions on both the colitis and the aggression. :)
Well, I do not know what to tell you about handling the aggression, because it sounds like the new owners are not willing to take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation. I would recommend:
NO MORE holding the buckets at feeding time
NO MORE feeding all of the colts out of the same trough – let them have their own feed and space
NO MORE kids in the pen – kids can be around the colts when the colts are out of the pen, restrained and being handled
Bring in an adult horse babysitter type to teach the younins some manners
Personally, I would take this colt and put him in a stall or a private pen for feeding time. I would keep a horse in the stall next to him so that the colt does not feel isolated, but at the same time not threatened. The first week or so I would just let him chill out and eat, and RELAX. Heck, until his medical conditions improve I would just let him eat and relax. Handle him while moving from pasture to pen but that’s it.
Once the medical conditions are under control, and the colt is feeling more comfortable, THEN start handling more, and asking for respect at feeding time. Again, away from the others, in a stall that is preferably the colt feels is a “safe place”.
Once the colt is healthy, and comfortable in his new environment, THEN I would start working on the behavior – with quiet consistent, empathetic handling – this is the part that takes YEARS to learn.
No kids around the colt until colt is healthy, has been handled for a few weeks or months and has learned manners.
Right now this colt is stressed to the max, mentally and physically – My goal would be to make his life as least stressful as possible.
Group feedings, kids handling, being bonked in the head with buckets etc is not going to turn this colt around.
OP - If they are feeling this strongly about him "being sold", why not just go ahead offer to buy him back? Your later posts seem to imply that he's not decided and that you would be pushing him if you offered. Or maybe I missed something?
Originally Posted by Memphis
To quote him " Just letting you know that we can't tolerate this behavior around the kids and will have to get rid of him if keeps it up".
I certainly suggested to let him recover physically and advised the same things you are regarding feeding and handling.
Waiting for him to make up his mind.
So I got the message last night.. The colt has stopped charging the owner but is still pinning its ears at dinnertime and unsafe around the kinds.. Apparently he is super sweet for everything else but they want me to take him back as they can't risk the kids around him. His thoughts are I winter him and then he can try sell him in the spring. I am not interested in that unless he wants to pay me board. The colt comes back - I am done connecting over the colt - he will be mine.
They paid 1250 for this colt. Free delivery to an hour away.
Colt required $140 in meds probably due to stress more then worms but regardless.
The deposit was 500 to hold him in May.
I need to order more hay.
I think it would be fair to tell him I will give him $800 and we are done. Basically he loses his deposit, the trailering is no longer free and I cover the vet bill.
4 hours worth of trailering is at least 100 in gas.
Its not my fault he was dumb enough to get three colts with three kids and then realize after the fact he might have overdid it.:eek: Not after a million conversations with me. He almost ended up with 4 which I worked very hard to change his mind on.
Sounds like a good plan, with the colt coming out the winner.
Originally Posted by Memphis
I think your offer is very generous. I wouldn't give them anything. I imagine some competent handling will get him on the right track quickly.
OP, I'm glad you are going to get him back.
I think he'll do better with you.
:yes: I agree. You sound like a good home OP.
Originally Posted by threedogpack
I think the buyers had all of the best intentions. Sounds like they made many provisions to provide a good home (nice paddock etc), but I am sure you know.. raising a baby isn't for everyone, especially those that are new to horse keeping.