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4 year old gelding not broke nor intended to be

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    4 year old gelding not broke nor intended to be


    I have a BR that has been with us since May. She has a 4 year old gelding that wasn't even halter broke. She is emotionally mixed up along with some back issues and financially insecure.
    With that being said.....
    I talked with her this evening because as a BO it concerns me that nothing is being done with this fellow. He is a nice (Unregistered) guy with a strong stubborn disposition. Since he has been here, we have taught him how to get haltered, lead, back, have his feet picked and lounge. (This was all done for free) Oh yeah, how to get a bathe. The reason being, I will not have an animal on my premises that is unsafe for anyone, especially the farrier, to be around. (The farrier thought the horse (after only 6 weeks here) was an alien from somewhere else because he behaved so well.) Amazing what a little training and routine will do. I asked her what her intentions were with this guy and she said (back in May) that she had always dreamed of owning and training her own horse. I made a schedule for her to follow and hence she has not done one iotta to follow it. She will come over, hang out and take him for a walk and graze him.
    Sure that sounds like a great life but my concern falls where she is financially strapped. What happens when say in 5 years and he is 9-10 years old and she needs to give him up? We all know what happens then. She said she will give him to a good home. I explained that it's hard enough to give away a broke horse to a good home yet alone one thats not even trained. So I asked her again, what are your intentions with this guy? She said she likes his conpanionship, he is her theropy, I thought this was a very selfish answer.
    I believe this is the worse kind of abuse possible. To take a very willing, sound horse and turn him into dog food possibilities.

    I need some feedback from all of you, pro or con, so I can print out the views of everyone. Sometimes, people listen to the majority. Maybe its none of my business but I feel responsible being the BO and watching this take place. Again, remember, her life is in turmoil and she doesn't even have an income to support this fellow.

    Thank you HELP

    Wow! That's a sticky wicket. Truthfully, you have done more with this horse than you were responsible for. I give you credit for doing it for your own safety--and that of the farrier--despite the owner. You are right that she is being very selfish in her reasoning to keep him. At least someone in this equation has some sense!! And as we all know, the longer he goes without training, the harder it will be down the road.

    You have gone above and beyond mapping out a training program. She is choosing not to follow it. I think you're at the point where you are going to have to give some tough love. You shouldn't be responsible for the training--particularly when she's not paying for it. At this point she's taking advantage of you and your good will. I think it's time for an ultimatum--and be prepared to follow through. She has a choice: she can either come out and stick with the training protocol you outlined (and make sure she knows what "sticking" entails--4-5 days a week (or whatever you deem appropriate)). OR you are happy to do it for her, but she will have to pay $X/session above and beyond the monthly board. Or if she can't commit to a full training plan herself, she can split it with you and do a couple days herself and have you do it a couple days. However, make it clear that this must be adhered to or she will have to leave. Make sure you give a set time limit--"if you haven't complied by the end of this month, you will have __ weeks to move your horse off the premises."

    Make sure it's also clear that this is on ongoing requirement while she is on your property. And if she doesn't comply--get tough, and if you have to ask her to leave, make sure she is gone by the time period you set. I think this is the only way you're going to get through to her. It's a heck of a lot easier to put the horse on a training program than have to go find somewhere else to go, arrange for trailering, etc.

    It may very well be that she doesn't have a clue HOW to train her horse and is embarrassed if you knew. You might offer a training session or recommend some books that will help. But I'd make sure to charge her SOMETHING for the training sessions. If you give them away, they don't have any value and will not be taken seriously.

    Good luck with this. And if you find that this is taking up your time, and her negligence may cause harm to someone who works for you, then it's in your best interest to get them out of your barn.


      It's not a good situation, however, since this person is obviously incapable of doing any more than she is doing and her perspective is quite skewed, the only chance this hapless animal has is some help from you. Maybe you should consider it as an opportunity to give back for the horse's sake and do as much training on him as you can since he will in the end be the beneficiary of whatever you can do. Maybe he was put in your hands for a reason, who can say? I think it's important in times like that to not be so concerned with being paid in cash as much as taking an opportunity to do something for all the right reasons and not worry about what it is worth as a monetary value. I think helping the animal supersedes all else. If you can find the time and have the skills, by all means get him going as much as possible. You will ultimately be rewarded. JMHO!


        Originally posted by swmets View Post
        You have gone above and beyond mapping out a training program. She is choosing not to follow it.
        It's her prerogative.
        At this point she's taking advantage of you and your good will. I think it's time for an ultimatum--and be prepared to follow through. She has a choice: she can either come out and stick with the training protocol you outlined
        On what grounds?

        However, make it clear that this must be adhered to or she will have to leave.
        On what grounds?
        Make sure it's also clear that this is on ongoing requirement while she is on your property. And if she doesn't comply--get tough, and if you have to ask her to leave, make sure she is gone by the time period you set.
        On what grounds does a BO have to invent new boarding requirements that clearly were not part of any original boarding agreement?

        And what's a BR?
        Visit my barefoot blog:
        "I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but I'm intercontinental when I eat French toast" ~ Beastie Boys


          Original Poster

          Pros and cons

          Look out I am with you also. I'm not looking for quotes though, I'm looking for feedback. What grounds only opens me up for more discussion. Give some input, pros and cons. No worries here, I'm very reasonable. Would you buy or take a green unbroke 10 year old to keep at your farm because this is where it's heading. I'm not saying to make a show horse out of him but come on, shelters are putting down dogs every day that aren't trained. (Just simple training like peeing outside instead of in the house.) What are your suggestions or feedback pertaining to your comments. I feel this situation is abuse. Longterm to the horse. It's like bringing children into the world without any guidance. Our streets are full of them. Our animal shelters are full of abused, neglected horse this guy is neither, WHY HAVE HIM END UP THERE?


            Lookout, in theory I agree with you that it's the horse owner's prerogative as to whether or not to follow the prescribed training program. But if I were in Delores-New York's shoes, I don't think I'd want that horse in my barn. The owner has not been responsible enough to teach the horse even the most basic manners/lessons to be in a boarding situation that is safe for the BO and her employees. That's just flat-out dangerous, IMO. Thankfully Delores-NY was smart enough to spend the time to make this horse manageable. Many other BOs might not have bothered.

            Rather than guessing intentions, I will turn it back to Delores-NY: Is your main concern about this horse's lack of training, or is it that it just kills you to see a perfectly healthy, young, lovely horse spending his existence as a lawn ornament?

            In the end, this is Delores-NY's boarding business. If she's not comfortable with the situation, which I'm guessing may be the case since she posted the question, then she should listen to her gut and do what she thinks is the best for her business, her employees/contractors and for the horse. She is being paid to provide a service. If his lack of training affects her business negatively, then she has every right to request/require compliance with a training schedule or ask the person to leave, if she so chooses. She rules the kingdom; she makes the rules. And if you don't like the rules, don't board there!


              In the grand scheme of things, I agree that a horse should have a job, and that the ability to do its job well is what usually keeps it out of a can.

              On the other hand, it is her horse. So my advice is, MYOB.
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                Originally posted by Deloris - New York View Post
                Would you buy or take a green unbroke 10 year old to keep at your farm because this is where it's heading.
                You don't have a 10 year old unbroke horse. You are boarding a 4 year old horse whose owner needs some help. If you want to help her...and obviously you already have and do...then help her.
                But since she is clueless, your worries about what will happen to this horse in the future are clouding what is going on right now. You say she is financially she paying board?
                If she is paying board then you can offer to help, give suggestions, map out a all kinds of good things...but it is not your horse, it belongs to her and unless she is not paying board and you are going to put a lien on the horse you don't, IMO, have any right to demand anything of her other that that she is not abusive to the animal on your property.
                And while I agree that letting him get older without proper training is irresponsible, it is a long way from abuse.
                Perhaps he really IS her therapy. Perhaps just visiting him is keeping her life sane at the moment.
                If she is able to pay board and able to pay a little for training and you want to pursue your charity training, then I would set up some training sessions for her, at a minimal charge, make an appointment, make it firm, get her to commit to ONE training session.

                I agree with the poster who said she is probably, among other things, embarrassed to tell you that she doesn't have a clue. You said the horse wasn't even halter broken, now he is and she takes him for walks. I would bet that she didn't know how to halter break him and didn't know how to ask for help, or couldn't afford it.
                Take it another baby step WITH her and see what happens.
                Or do nothing.....but don't demand that she train way or the highway doesn't solve many problems.

                Good luck with this.
                Nina's Story
                Epona Comm on FB


                  If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you can't help people who don't want to change. So don't even waste your time, because you'll just end up frustrated.

                  Also, not to be rude, but it's really none of your business what she does with her horse. There's no rule that says every horse has to be trained and every owner has to ride. Some people just want to keep horses as pets, and as long as they're paying the bills, they have every right to do so.

                  That said, the horse has to be safe for you to handle, too. In my experience, a lot of boarders bring their wild P.O.S. horses to a barn and just expect the barn crew to deal with it. A lot of times you can work on it a little each day (in a way that doesn't interrupt your daily chores) and just git 'er done. If the horse is really bad, tell her she can either hire a trainer to make the horse safe for you, or pay you X amount to train it yourself. Once the horse is safe to lead from stall to paddock, you're done.

                  As a BO, you are a business manager, not a mentor for wayward adults. As long as the horse has food, water, and shelter, you're doing your job. It's really not up to you to force a training angenda on your boarders. On the other hand, it is very wise to limit the amount of batsh*t crazy in your barn. If this lady does weird stuff, kick her out. She will only continue to disrupt you and your other boarders.


                    Original Poster

                    Swmets thank you for your reply. I guess both apply to me. It does bother me because after being in the bus. as long as I have and being around other BO, I know where this is leading. How much do you spend for your horse, I know what it costs to take care of my 3. She doesn't even have the funds to take care of herself yet alone another pet.
                    Let me tell you a short story about her pets.....

                    The Second week she was boarding here she brought her dog. He also doesn't listen to her, well he attached my dog, a lab, on my property. Bite him right in the face and we had to get him inside and out stitches. That's the type of personallity she is. Easily walked on. You should see the horse walk all over here. She is a greenie which makes it even worse. After she has been here we have to retrain again. He almost hurt my daughter (15) because he gets away with it with owner. So I guess both bother me. I have to catch myself from saying rude things like: please don't let him do that or #### get after him. He's a 1100 lb. animal that has no manners. He's a liability. Oh and she was asked to leave the last barn she boarded at because he wasn't behaving and she couldn't control him!!!!!!! The barn where she bought him from went out of bus. and the lady was a quaack!! So there is more than meets the eye going on here. But all in all they are both very nice and need some feedback. I was hoping to print these off to give her some perspective in the matter.

                    Again, concerned and confused


                      My understanding is that through your generosity the horse now has the basic ground manners and is thus not a danger for the normal barn routine. She wouldn't be the first one to own a horse and never ride it. I appreciate your concerns for what might happen down the road, but that's a concern for every horse, isn't it? Down the road possibilities for this horse include being someone else's lawn ornament, companion for another horse, or perhaps blood donor herd member for a vet school, as examples.

                      As a horse owner, she's within her rights to not train the horse. As a barn owner, you have the right to decide whether you want that horse to stay with you.

                      Trying to put myself in your shoes, there are two ideas that occur to me if the opportunity presents itself, on the order of 'helpful suggestions.' Might she consider board sharing with someone who might be willing to train the horse, or pay to have it trained? She'd possibly be helping out some other nice horse person with tight finances (maybe a 4-Her or Pony Clubber?), and still have full access to walk/graze/get her much needed therapy with her horse. Is there a college nearby, with an equestrian program, that might be willing to take the horse for a semester as a schooling project?


                        You believe this is "the worst kind of abuse possible"?! It sounds like you've lost perspective here.

                        It's nice that you've taught the horse some basics, but the horse belongs to someone else. And this person comes and pays attention to her horse, walks him and grazes him. Combined with good turnout and nutrition, that's a lot of horses' idea of heaven! You say she doesn't have an income to support her horse, but is she paying her board?

                        It sounds like the horse has good manners and is content. If that's the case, then I don't see any abuse. I also don't see that how this woman cares for her horse is any of your business, unless it's in your boarding agreement that a horse has to be in work.

                        The horse is four. I remember hearing Walter Zettl talk about how he didn't like to start horses till that age -- and he didn't like to canter them under saddle until six. He thought that helped them stay sound.

                        In terms of what will happen to this horse in five years, who knows? Stuff happens to horses all the time, at any age. Will the horse have a good future? Who's to say? Is he more likely or less likely to be injured if he's in work? And if he is injured, will he end up in a good home or not? It's all uncertain. But most horses I've seen injured, physically and mentally, have been injured because of work under saddle.

                        In terms of people's selfishness as it regards horses, I think most horses would opt out of bit and bridle and stall -- and would never have us on their backs -- if we gave them the option.
                        The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


                          Originally posted by Deloris - New York View Post
                          The Second week she was boarding here she brought her dog. He also doesn't listen to her, well he attached my dog, a lab, on my property. Bite him right in the face and we had to get him inside and out stitches.:
                          And let me guess ... she didn't even offer to pay for the veterinary care? I hope she hasn't been stupid enough to bring her dog again after that.

                          My crystal ball seems to be agreeing with yours: Nothing good is going to come to this poor horse if nothing changes. Sounds like it could be dangerous--and it is too bad that down the road she's probably going to be stuck with a horse she can't provide for OR get rid of due to lack of training. Yeah, he's only 4 now and you're doing your best to do the best you can for him. But the owner sounds like a mess. In the end, whatever you decide, don't get caught up in the drama. It's easy to do, and it doesn't help you, the owner or the horse.


                            If she doesn't have the skill to train the horse herself, then she really isn't in a position to do anything else with him at the moment. It's great that you have helped her and put some quality ground training on him for free, but until she decides that the horse needs another job, then he'll just continue to be a pasture pet and her "pal."

                            If she's financially strapped, she could lease him to a young "up-and-comer" who wants to be a trainer, so part board could be paid and the horse trained for free, but you might have a hard time finding someone like to that to work with the horse.

                            I don't know, I can understand her situation and I also understand your arguments. I would just take confidence in the fact that you helped put ground work on him and he has shown a "trainable" attitude. At least he might not be hard to train for someone looking for a project horse if/when the current owner needs to sell.
                            "To be an equestrian in the classical sense is not just to be a rider.
                            It is a position in life." --Charles de Kunffy


                              Originally posted by easyrider View Post
                              You believe this is "the worst kind of abuse possible"?! It sounds like you've lost perspective here.
                              Easyrider, I can see how you could take this the way you have. But in reading Deloris-NY's post again, I think she was trying to say that because the owner is not training this horse and faced with the real possibility of not being able to continue to care for it down the road, he may become one of the many "unwanted" horses in this country and be destined for slaughter (if that's even an option at that point--but that's a whole other thread). And THAT is what I believe she deems the worst abuse possible--a perfectly healthy horse destined to be served on a European table as stek du cheval. (Not the fact that he is not being trained.) Personally, I can't think of too many people who would want to take on an older unbroke horse--I see enough broke horses no one wants.


                                Swmets -- Thanks for trying to clarify, but I actually did get it. And I still think that letting a horse be a horse is not abusive, much less the worst kind of abuse possible. And I'm not sure that it necessarily predicts a dire future for that horse.

                                I agree that a 10 year old unstarted horse could have a problem finding a good home. A 10 year old horse with a riding-related injury could also have a problem finding a good home. Neither potential outcome is a reason to ride or not ride this particular horse. I think that predicting this sound, four year old horse's future is as ridiculous as predicting any sound four year old horse's future.

                                If (and that's a big if) five years from now, the horse is still unstarted, perhaps he'll be the most sought after companion horse around. Does he have a worse future than the horse who's been ridden from the time he's two or three and becomes an injured fourteen year old with maintenance issues? I'm sorry, I just don't buy into how bad this situation really is for this horse.
                                The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


                                  Original Poster

                                  Let me clarify...

                                  Let me clarify, she is a greenie and yes I have offered to help her train her horse for free. She wants to have him trained but never goes with the program. No she hasn't paid her board she bartered her board. She didn't even know to have his teeth done. didn't know to get vac. shots (rabies being required) had no coggins (nor heard of it) when trailered. She has asked me to take the mats out of his stall and not bed him down (because she read it was more natural). This horse is destined to go to auction. And yes this disturbs me. She has just enough time and money to do him real harm. I have three horses myself but have only ridden 5X's this year. Need more hours in the day. But I still give them some quality time and I know if I were to give them away, due to their training I could. She has willed this horse to me in event that she can't support him anymore or something happens to her. In a nice way I told her I couldn't accept another mouth to feed.

                                  How much does it take to adequately take care of a horse? Lets ask the question to The posts that don't see any harm in this. This person is already going through bankruptsy and already told me she cannot afford him. So that is not a question.

                                  I'm not saying he has to work to be unabused but gosh work with me to make him safer to handle. Let's put our money were our mouths are, "who wants to take him" let me know so she can will him to you. BR (boarder). Oh and BTW he "cribs".


                                    if she not paid for his baord and lodgings and you havent the time or cant afford him
                                    then you have to sell the horse as in a lieu

                                    and thats it why put up with a person thats green and doesnt listen

                                    its not good for the horse for you or for her -- so put the horse up for sale


                                      Hmm sounds like a worry to me too. Could you suggest that she give him (or sell him at a reasonable price) to a keen person to have him broken in and care for him in return that she can still come to the barn and see him a couple of times a week for her therapy? Seems sad for the horse not to be able to lead a useful life but he is her horse.... Doesn't sound like she will be able to keep the horse anyway if she's going through bankruptcy. She'll have to sell him won't she?


                                        AHHH, this is the same whacko that didn't want you to bed the stall?? Now it makes more sense. Honestly, I think you should just tell her she has to leave by Nov. You already know that she is a nutcase, she has come into your house uninvited and made coffee in YOUR kitchen for pete's sake!! Get rid of her. I know you feel bad for the horse, but as you go on with your boarding business, you are going to come into contact with many many people who don't care properly for their horses, at least not to yours and my standards. If you want to run a rescue, go ahead and get your 501(c)3 papers and run a rescue. If you want to run a business and stay in business, you need to weed out the riffraff for your own piece of mind.

                                        Seriously though, if you tried to get her charged with abuse, you'd get laughed off the planet by the animal control officers. Lots of owners have horses who are nothing more than pasture pets. (I have a couple myself, just because I can ). Get rid of the whacko and quit worrying yourself into a frenzy. That's the only way you're going to remedy the situation with this nut. I know when I was a BM, I had one lady who was a typical hoarder. She was up to ten horses at one point. She couldn't afford to pay the board on them, let alone vet and farrier care. I did call the ACO to ask for advice, but what they told me was that the horses are not required to have veterinary care unless they are ill or injured, same with the farrier, until it gets to the point that the horses are lame, which didn't happen during the time they were with me. Furthermore, because the horses were not on her property, but on ours, ultimately, the care they received was up to myself and the BO. WE were the ones who would get charged for animal abuse if it got bad enough to report. We couldn't just stop feeding them because the board wasn't paid, nor could we legally call the vet or farrier and then charge her for it. The only option would be to raise her board enough to cover the bills and make it part of her boarding contract. Obviously, since she couldn't pay the board at the regular rate, raising it was not a realistic option. So, hard as it was and as awful as I felt for the horses, we had to ask her to leave. That was a several years ago and since then I know of at least three other barns that she has been kicked out of. I lost track of them after the third barn, no one seems to know where they ended up. But my life goes on and I learned a lot about setting up contracts since then. Now it is in the contract that vaccinations and regular farrier care are required and that if the owner doesn't do it, I will have my own vet and farrier take care of it and add the charges to the board. Everything is set in stone from the get-go and if they don't like the contract, they are free to board elsewhere. So far I've had no problems.