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  • #21
    A long time ago I was offered a young warmblood for cheap as it had kicked and killed its breeder when he was trying to load him.

    I didn't buy the horse as I felt I would be uncomfortable owning a horse knowing it had killed someone regardless of fault. What if it kicked anyone else? Would I disclose the incident to a future owner? I don't know what happened to the horse in the end. It wasn't just about financial liability, it was also about morals.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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    • #22
      2 pony club kids swapped ponies to ride home. One was a good rider. One was a beginner. The good rider was at the point of not kicking the pony to go. The beginner got on the more advanced pony. Held the reins and kicked. The pony shot forward hit the bit, went up fell backwards and landed and killed the rider.

      The beginners Parents lost their child and wanted the pony put down as dangerous. Those who could ride knew that it was not the ponys fault.

      It divided the community.
      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

      Comment


      • #23
        I have also seen a rotational fall over stadium fences. It wasn't even a big fence (maybe 2'9). I was in a far ring and saw it, and the trainer and rider were alone, so I came up quickly. I was in time to see the trainer try to get my friend to sit up, despite clearly having a broken clavicle and repeating the same sentences over and over because of a head injury.

        I immediately called 911 and got my friend to stay still, and tried to keep her away. The trainer tried to convince me not to call 911.

        Needless to say, I didn't blame friends horse, but I refused to take another lesson with the trainer.

        My husband and I have talked about it, what we would do, considering we are both eventers. My old gelding who could be dangerous would have been put to sleep if it had been his fault (he struck me twice in the head rearing once, but there were extraneous circumstances). Our horses now, we would try to keep if we could mentally handle it.

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Thanks for the replies everyone- like I assumed it seems like there is no consensus and every scenario is specific. Interesting point bought up about potential liability and litigation.

          Unrelated to horses, but somewhat similar there was a house in my neighborhood that an elderly couple had been murdered in. House took ages to sell until a buyer came along that didn't care. Some years later that buyer rented it out but didn't disclose... It seemed a little shady to not disclose to renters.... and that's just an inanimate house, not even a living breathing animal. I can't imagine all the various scenarios that have occurred in the horse world.

          And of course as well all know- a horses history often doesn't go with it. I just tracked down the girl who now owns my equitation horse that had both splint surgery and colic surgery while we owned him. Of course that information didn't make its way to her, now 6 years and three owners later. Which is really sad since hes had colic issues and lameness issues which would have been helpful for the owners to know. I often wonder what other information is left out of a horses history.

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          • #25
            I knowingly bought a horse that attacked someone and bit him in the throat. Horse was a stallion at the time and mentally sensitive. I have varied accounts of what happened and got the thrush from the person he attacked ( years after I bought him). I did not care, I had known the horse for years and bought him 6 months after it happened. Horse was gelded and is literally a puppy dog. He worries easily and could be a problem in the wrong hands but he is truly my buddy. He has never been aggressive with me and is quite affectionate. Some horses just need a different handler. Gelding helps too

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            • #26
              The safest horse I've ever swung my leg over broke my neck.

              I was a teenager and badly misjudged a large oxer. Horse got tangled in the back rail and we both went down. I ended up fracturing my neck in the fall. The orthopedic surgeon told me that if the injury had been 1" in either direction I would've been paralyzed or worse. It took me a year to recover but I'm fine now (except for some minor arthritis). I still have the horse 18 years later. My parents recognized it wasn't his fault and leased him out vs. selling him while I was recovering.
              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
              My equine soulmate
              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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              • #27
                I know two who were involved in freak fatal accidents and they became school horses. I didn’t find out their histories until years later. Both were really great horses.

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                • #28
                  My barn owner fell off one of her horses and died, she had just fallen off him 3 months before and had broken her collar bone. She was older and needed a horse that stood still for mounting, and both times he spooked while she was getting on. A more agile rider without physical issues would have been fine.

                  I had difficulty placing him as some people wanted to have him put down. I ended up sending him back to his original owner.
                  http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                  • #29
                    my trainer had an accident that landed in the hospital in a coma for weeks with a brain bleed. she still cant really ride beyond flatwork. nobody knows what really happened, trainer cant remember groom was getting a different horse inside and asst was in the tackroom. all we know is they were just flatting in a circle. he never had a history of bad behavior or dangerous. he was 7? i think out of a super well known GP stallion from a big showjumping breeder in europe with many siblings in high level SJ
                    was sold within a 2 months to a different show home saw him go a few times at wef over the last 2 years does the 1.15 classes with an amatuer lady still doesnt seem to have a spook, will take rails and not blink about it. i think he was sold with a discount though and disclourse

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                    • #30
                      When it's not the horse's fault, usually there's some effort to not disclose the horse's identity. I've seen it happen with pros with their own catastrophic accidents that didn't result in death, but I also was at a barn of 40+ boarders who came together and pledged not to name the horse to ANYONE when a teenager had a riding accident and died. It was very clearly not the horse's fault, he actually did everything he could have done right, but the trainer had put them in an unsafe position and the trainer was named to the media. That horse was sold and I do believe the owner disclosed it to the buyer once it was clear they were serious, but not everyone would have. There was no adjustment to price, but the buyer did change the horse's name just in case.

                      When it's the horses fault, major discount and disclosure in the contract.

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                      • #31
                        Someone local died falling off at a show. It was just a freak thing, not the horse’s fault. She was a capable rider and he was a kind, appropriate horse— it was just bad luck all around.

                        No one seemed that interested in buying the horse. I saw him for sale at a quasi-local quasi-bad-news dealer and inquired. They had changed his name and I was not told about the accident. I assume he was sold without disclosure to someone unaware of the accident.
                        ~Veronica
                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                        • #32
                          I don't even think it takes a freak accident where someone dies.

                          I owned a horse that kicked the shit out of me Day 1 at new boarding barn. We'd had terrible weather and nothing but hand walks for weeks and my spicy TB was not having it. Trainer semi-politely told me that she did not want to work with my horse. As she was the only HJ trainer there, and the barn required you to be associated with a trainer to *ride in the rings*, I had to move my horse. Next barn had already heard the story somehow. I ended up selling the mare and took a huge hit $$ wise.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Jax View Post
                            There's been a few horses around here that were involved with freak deadly accidents. One spooked and kicked the girl's mother in the chest while putting on a blanket, one young stallion that reared in a stall with the young trainer/breeder, and one young horse who leaned into a vet while tranquilized and fell on him. All horrible and tragic deaths involving knowledgeable horse people, all arguably preventable but situations we've all found ourselves in.

                            The first two were from when I was a teenager so I'm not totally clear on details but I think I recall that the first one was owned by the daughter for many years to come, though she slowly dropped out of riding (can't blame her). The young stallion was part of a family breeding operation, which they continued after the daughter's death, and I believe they gelded and sent the horse away for training and sale with a contact. The one that fell on the vet (the vet was paralyzed for a year or so, and then died from complications) has stayed with the family and shows locally, and it's very rarely talked about since it was such a freak accident (even more so than the other two, IMO).

                            In all the cases my perception has been that people were incredibly sad but also acknowledged that these were risks that experienced people had taken, and not the fault of the horse. None of these were horses I ever handled myself, but even just hearing about them made me a bit more careful around my own.
                            Did the blanket one happen in BC? I think I remember hearing all about it and meeting the horse that did it. Tragicly sad.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              IMO it's actually not an insensitive question at all. It's very sensitive to the fallout of a fatal incident onto the future of the horse. (or near-fatal)

                              One sad thing about horse accidents that are fatal to a human is that even a horse that was obstreperous or aggressive is just an animal behaving instinctually with very limited understanding of their own actions, and probably no understanding that someone died.

                              While I can't say about the horse market specifically, it is definitely true that if a tragic, unexpected death is associated with a real estate property, it is unlikely ever to sell at full market value, even 25+ years later. These are known as "stigmatized properties" and it's a real estate term you can internet search. The more publicity there was around a high-profile case, the more stigma attaches and the longer the stigma will last, even across generations.

                              The stigma is due to the memories and feelings associated with the property, not the level of fault (the house didn't murder anyone). An owner who lives there may not feel a stigma at all, but that doesn't matter to the public.

                              I can easily see how this would pertain to horses as well. Even if the horse had no real fault, every sight of the horse triggers the reaction "that's the horse that ... ". The people around the horse on a daily basis may get past the mental reminder, but everyone else's memories (and mouths) will be triggered at the sight of the horse.

                              The sight of something stigmatized triggers gossip and speculation which perpetuates and spreads the stigma. It's human nature and unfortunately can't be prevented.

                              Even if a prospective buyer doesn't view the property or the horse as the cause of the tragedy, they may not want to deal with the stigma of everyone they know (and don't know) asking them about it. Over and over. Indefinitely. It never ends and it gets old.

                              Sometimes there is an attempt to disassociate a stigmatized property from the tragedy by changing the house number. Sometimes the community will cooperate by changing the street name as well, to try to deflect drive-by lookey-loos (who continue to drive by for years and years). However, in this day and age the internet tracks and publicizes the address changes, so that's become futile in high-profile cases.

                              That's sort of the equivalent of changing the horse's show name to deflect those memory triggers. But, there is always someone in the local horse community who recognizes the horse in spite of the name change. If they are talky about it, soon everyone else will know as well. I can imagine that the old 500 mile rule would help with the horse, along with the name change (that is, avoiding a horse's local reputation by moving it 500+ miles away).

                              And again, this has nothing to do with fault or even the factual details of what happened (which are usually lacking). It is about memories, feelings and gossip being triggered by associations with a death.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I once boarded at a barn where the owner had a small breeding operation. The year before I was there she had hired someone to clip all of her young horses before shipping them south for training for the winter. One of the horses kicked the lady clipping, she hit her head on an open stall, cracked her skull open, and died instantly. Lots of things happen when you try to clip a young horse for the first time and no one really knows what happened. Maybe the clippers got hot or the cord hit the horse funny and it wasn't entirely a freak accident, but prospective buyers really ought to be informed of things like that. Horses have plenty of different reactions to clippers but launching people across the barn is something I'd certainly like to know about. Plus it doesn't mean anything about what the horse is like under saddle.

                                The owner of the farm would not tell anyone who the horse was or even acknowledge that someone had died on her property. We found out when one of the neighbors asked if "the horse who killed that lady" was still there and then hopped on Google and found out what happened. The new trainer that had been hired to ride her horses and I were able to narrow down who the horse was to two possibilities [with a strong gut feeling it was the plain bay]. But the owner wouldn't even tell the next person she hired to clip her horses who to watch out for, so they were all drugged heavily at the trainer's expense.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  A woman I know succumbed to injuries two months after a bad fall. The story was that the horse was known to need a turn out before being ridden but that step was skipped that day at the woman’s direction, and he bucked her off. I don’t know if the horse was ever ridden again, but when I moved to the barn a year later, there was the horse. Her husband kept him and continues to fund his retirement.
                                  A helmet saved my life.

                                  2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by autumnmoment View Post

                                    Did the blanket one happen in BC? I think I remember hearing all about it and meeting the horse that did it. Tragicly sad.
                                    Yes, all three (four) incidents I mentioned were in BC. That one happened in the early 2000's, maybe 2005 or so?

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post
                                      I once boarded at a barn where the owner had a small breeding operation. The year before I was there she had hired someone to clip all of her young horses before shipping them south for training for the winter. One of the horses kicked the lady clipping, she hit her head on an open stall, cracked her skull open, and died instantly. Lots of things happen when you try to clip a young horse for the first time and no one really knows what happened. Maybe the clippers got hot or the cord hit the horse funny and it wasn't entirely a freak accident, but prospective buyers really ought to be informed of things like that. Horses have plenty of different reactions to clippers but launching people across the barn is something I'd certainly like to know about. Plus it doesn't mean anything about what the horse is like under saddle.

                                      The owner of the farm would not tell anyone who the horse was or even acknowledge that someone had died on her property. We found out when one of the neighbors asked if "the horse who killed that lady" was still there and then hopped on Google and found out what happened. The new trainer that had been hired to ride her horses and I were able to narrow down who the horse was to two possibilities [with a strong gut feeling it was the plain bay]. But the owner wouldn't even tell the next person she hired to clip her horses who to watch out for, so they were all drugged heavily at the trainer's expense.
                                      I own a horse that will launch you over clippers, sometimes even drugged. It never occured to me to NOT warn people that he's risky even drugged. And I don't let anyone clip him unless I know them and know they'll take that concern seriously. I had one trainer insist it must just be a handling problem. Had the vet sedate him, trainer still got launched halfway down the barn aisle. I can get a bridle path, and he'll let me get his legs as long as I'm holding up the one I'm clipping. I refuse to clip him if anyone else has a horse in the cross ties, and always make sure I have a second person there in case of emergency.
                                      Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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