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Multiple ownership a red flag?

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    #21
    Originally posted by capalypinto View Post
    I am also wondering what is meant when told that a sales horse has a spook? I know that every horse has the potential to spook, but I am thinking if that is mentioned when describing the horse, it may be severe.
    Originally posted by capalypinto View Post
    The horse spooks many times when ridden in the ring and I think it has developed that habit since it doesn't seem genuinely fearful. I can tolerate some spookiness, but would rather not invest in a horse in which I have to ride defensively, always wondering, in the back of my mind, when or if the horse may explode.
    Yikes, the second quote is not at all what I would have thought if a seller told me a sales horse "has a spook." I would have thought more run-of-the-mill horse stuff, not bombproof but not a ticking time bomb either. I have owned and enjoyed horses I'd consider spooky, but none of them were that bad. Constant spooking is beyond what I'd consider enjoyable, and I too would worry about underlying health issues.
    Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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      #22
      Originally posted by capalypinto View Post
      Thank you for the feedback. I am also wondering what is meant when told that a sales horse has a spook? I know that every horse has the potential to spook, but I am thinking if that is mentioned when describing the horse, it may be severe. How challenging is it to desensitize a spooky horse and would you consider that a disqualifying characteristic in a potential purchase for an 3' AA rider ?
      As an aside, I applaud the seller for being upfront about this.

      Comment


        #23
        As an adult I’m MUCH happier to ride a horse that im told “has a spook” compared to “has a stop.” I am fine riding a spook. I can stick with it. But stopper is a NO GO for me. I can’t handle that kind of confidence killer! But spook can be something like - when he’s fresh he spooks at distractions (which my horse does) OR a- spooks at everything any time he sees it for the first time - I’m fine with the former, might pas on the latter. I think it depends on you, your tolerance, and confidence/comfort level.

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          Original Poster

          #24
          Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

          As an aside, I applaud the seller for being upfront about this.
          YES! I thanked her for her honesty about the horse.

          Comment


            #25
            Also appreciate the seller’s honesty. I think it is partly a matter of taste. Personally, I hate spooky horses. IMO (and others may differ) spooky horses are the cause of many serious accidents due to the unpredictability of the response. I personally won’t put up with it. However, on the flip side of the coin, sometimes a slight spookiness or general cautiousness of nature can be a trait that goes along with a very careful jump and/or a good sense of self preservation. If you are serious about showing in the AA hunters, I would tend to advise against a spooky horse.

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              Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
              Also appreciate the seller’s honesty. I think it is partly a matter of taste. Personally, I hate spooky horses. IMO (and others may differ) spooky horses are the cause of many serious accidents due to the unpredictability of the response. I personally won’t put up with it. However, on the flip side of the coin, sometimes a slight spookiness or general cautiousness of nature can be a trait that goes along with a very careful jump and/or a good sense of self preservation. If you are serious about showing in the AA hunters, I would tend to advise against a spooky horse.
              The unexpectedness and lack of warning makes it challenging. I used to own a horse that hated any horses coming up from behind him and would bolt out at full speed when it happened. It was nerve wracking to ride with other horses and I felt that I always had to keep his mind busy or he would get distracted and find a reason to spook. A horse that just finds reasons to spook seems like it may need to be kept busy to avoid distractions. I would always have to be on the defensive, ready to shorten reins or hang on for dear life at any moments notice. I definitely like a more forward, sensitive ride and am concerned that spookiness comes with that type of horse. Is that true? Any feedback appreciated. Can you get sensitive and sensible?

              Comment


                #27
                Originally posted by capalypinto View Post

                I definitely like a more forward, sensitive ride and am concerned that spookiness comes with that type of horse. Is that true? Any feedback appreciated. Can you get sensitive and sensible?
                Yes, you can! I really don’t think the two necessarily go together. I have examples of both in my barn right now actually. One of my TBs is sensitive/forward but hardly ever spooks, even at legitimately startling things. (A Welsh/TB pony I sold last year was the same, but even more bombproof. A family of turkeys exploded out of the grass next to her once and she just kept walking.) On the other hand, my (now retired) WB was lazy but spooky, with an expert duck and spin. (Though I still wouldn’t have described him as spooking “constantly.”)
                Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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                  #28
                  Keep in mind that spookiness can also be the result of management and the environment.

                  It’s fairly well known that ulcers can cause spookiness. Pain can cause spookiness.
                  Horses who are mentally busy are often spooky.

                  I have one of these.
                  He lives outside 24/7 with free choice hay. This eliminates the summer spooks. In the winter he has a mild predictable spook if he’s alone.
                  When he was stalled 12-14 hrs/day he was explosive, unpredictable and would have scared most amateurs.

                  However, if it’s not something that you want to deal with at its worst, then don’t buy the horse.

                  Comment


                    #29
                    As you ask if the spook is a problem then yes it is. If you don't know what you are doing you will make the spook worse.

                    For them to mention it, it could be anything, but I am imagining a drop of the shoulder and spin.
                    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                    Comment


                      #30
                      I'm at the age that if someone tells me the horse has a spook, that means the horse is not for me. For a seller to tell you that, it most likely means it is a regular thing. Even my super quiet horse spooks occasionally. And it's a small spook, then she goes right back to work. Not problem, that is normal horse behavior. But a spooky horse where it is a regular thing, no thank you.

                      Comment


                        #31
                        I was the 5th owner for my 4 year old. 1st was the rescue she was born at. 2nd was a woman who bought her as a 2 year old so she could grown with the her grand daughter. Didn't work so a few months later she was sold to her 3rd owner who liked to train horses to a certain point and then move them on. 4th was a local H/J trainer who bought her for a pony hunter/lesson pony then realized she needs one person and someone to actually finish her and put the time into her. 5th is me.

                        I bought her at 4 knowing she had flipped frequently but not knowing the hows or whys outside of owner 4 and what she was able to tell me. I was able to track down owners 1 through 3 after I had owned her for a year.

                        My mare was moved around between students and potential buyers with owner 4 because of spookiness. She did have a habit of spooking randomly and was a terror at shows. All this was resolved by having one person who consistently worked with her and figured out her fears. I would evaluate each horse individually and determine if the spooking is worth it. If you have the option you can always try a lease for a few months with the horse. At that point you could see if the horse just needs a consistent person to trust or is having a pain reaction.

                        Comment


                          #32
                          Originally posted by capalypinto View Post

                          The unexpectedness and lack of warning makes it challenging. I used to own a horse that hated any horses coming up from behind him and would bolt out at full speed when it happened. It was nerve wracking to ride with other horses and I felt that I always had to keep his mind busy or he would get distracted and find a reason to spook. A horse that just finds reasons to spook seems like it may need to be kept busy to avoid distractions. I would always have to be on the defensive, ready to shorten reins or hang on for dear life at any moments notice. I definitely like a more forward, sensitive ride and am concerned that spookiness comes with that type of horse. Is that true? Any feedback appreciated. Can you get sensitive and sensible?
                          I think you can find sensitive and sensible, but it may be a longer search as I do find the more sensitive ones do tend to be a bit more observant. Whether that actually result in a spooking issue will depend on their training and temperament.

                          Speaking of sensible - how does this horse spook and what kind of program is it in? A horse that is ridden mostly by a more timid rider and spooks by primarily stopping or shifting his body away from the scary thing would still be worth consideration. Those types often just seem to need a more confident ride that doesn't really acknowledge/play into that game. A horse can quickly learn that spooking results in less work and effort if the rider's reaction is to stop pushing/take a walk break etc.

                          I would much less interested in dealing with a horse that has a more significant reaction - tries to leave, spins, etc. Just from a safety perspective, I'm an amateur and you can get caught out if the horse is in the habit of doing that on the regular, or just end up becoming tense waiting for the inevitable - which only serves to amplify the horse's concern!

                          Comment


                            #33
                            Originally posted by capalypinto View Post

                            The unexpectedness and lack of warning makes it challenging. I used to own a horse that hated any horses coming up from behind him and would bolt out at full speed when it happened. It was nerve wracking to ride with other horses and I felt that I always had to keep his mind busy or he would get distracted and find a reason to spook. A horse that just finds reasons to spook seems like it may need to be kept busy to avoid distractions. I would always have to be on the defensive, ready to shorten reins or hang on for dear life at any moments notice. I definitely like a more forward, sensitive ride and am concerned that spookiness comes with that type of horse. Is that true? Any feedback appreciated. Can you get sensitive and sensible?
                            All horses are sensitive.

                            All horses can feel a fly on their side, you don't need a harder aid than that.

                            What you need is a horse that understands what the aid means and a want to do what you want.

                            This comes down to training and timing. Have the right timing and praise, you will have a horse that works its heart out for you.

                            Use the incorrect timing and you will teach the horse the opposite of what you want. Even more if the rider thinks that whipping and punishment will get them far.

                            Horses that work their heart out for you are not slaves. They are your partner. If anything you turn into a slave for them.

                            Horses of all works of life end up here. Each one goes into my management. My Vinnie Girl was the type that shied if a jumper was moved. Even worse if a chair was moved. Taken off grain, fat as can be no shying at all.

                            I also had a horse that bolted out of troop drill when he heard hooves behind. We took time to train him that hooves behind were not scary and he settled.

                            Sim dopey and not sensitive. Hubby called him stubborn. Nope a horse that works his heart out for you. He will canter from a click. I hopped on and Sim told me that hubby was not giving into a forward hand, so Sim was hitting the bit when asked forward. Changed the rider, Sim now is a joy for hubby to ride as well. Hubby could not believe the difference.

                            Dodge an old school horse. The first ride legs meant absolutely nothing. Years of being kicked by beginners. He responds to them again now and everyone should have a Dodge, he rides to the experience of the rider. He gives hugs.

                            It is absolutely criminal that his name is Dodge as a girl found him in a Doggers yard. He just looked so sad she bought him, so he dodged a bullet. When they fed him up and got on him he was already trained. He became a husband horse and went to the riding school when the hubby gave up riding. He came here when lame He was on grain and so out of his brain that he reared when brought to the float. He cantered for 3 days when put in a paddock instead of a yard.

                            Off grain, fat as a fool even though a tb over 20 years old, has not reared since, self loads, not a lame step.

                            A trail ride horse came here a month ago. Girl kicking with spurs and calling him lazy. She was riding him in a stock saddle that didn't fit, as she didn't feel safe in the dressage saddle, as he was getting antsy.

                            He was not a lazy horse at all. He was a trail ride horse. He was taken off the oats and cracked corn grain.

                            After one month he comes when called. Leads at liberty. Stands to be groomed and tacked with no halter. Lunges in solid side reins, goes into walk with one click, trot with 2 clicks. Doesnt shy with the daily goings on at a farm and gale for e winds. His head is no longer horizontal above the wither. He is putting on weight, he is getting the correct muscle. His rider can ride him with no whip or spur and has been lunged in trot and canter with no stirrups on my horses in a dressage saddle.

                            I repeat. All horses are sensitive, it is up to the rider to ride with sensitivity, not call them stubborn and lazy. Change the rider and the horse will change. (Change the rider not change to another rider.)
                            It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                            Comment


                              #34
                              Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

                              All horses are sensitive.

                              All horses can feel a fly on their side, you don't need a harder aid than that.

                              What you need is a horse that understands what the aid means and a want to do what you want.

                              This comes down to training and timing. Have the right timing and praise, you will have a horse that works its heart out for you.

                              Use the incorrect timing and you will teach the horse the opposite of what you want. Even more if the rider thinks that whipping and punishment will get them far.

                              Horses that work their heart out for you are not slaves. They are your partner. If anything you turn into a slave for them.

                              Horses of all works of life end up here. Each one goes into my management. My Vinnie Girl was the type that shied if a jumper was moved. Even worse if a chair was moved. Taken off grain, fat as can be no shying at all.

                              I also had a horse that bolted out of troop drill when he heard hooves behind. We took time to train him that hooves behind were not scary and he settled.

                              Sim dopey and not sensitive. Hubby called him stubborn. Nope a horse that works his heart out for you. He will canter from a click. I hopped on and Sim told me that hubby was not giving into a forward hand, so Sim was hitting the bit when asked forward. Changed the rider, Sim now is a joy for hubby to ride as well. Hubby could not believe the difference.

                              Dodge an old school horse. The first ride legs meant absolutely nothing. Years of being kicked by beginners. He responds to them again now and everyone should have a Dodge, he rides to the experience of the rider. He gives hugs.

                              It is absolutely criminal that his name is Dodge as a girl found him in a Doggers yard. He just looked so sad she bought him, so he dodged a bullet. When they fed him up and got on him he was already trained. He became a husband horse and went to the riding school when the hubby gave up riding. He came here when lame He was on grain and so out of his brain that he reared when brought to the float. He cantered for 3 days when put in a paddock instead of a yard.

                              Off grain, fat as a fool even though a tb over 20 years old, has not reared since, self loads, not a lame step.

                              A trail ride horse came here a month ago. Girl kicking with spurs and calling him lazy. She was riding him in a stock saddle that didn't fit, as she didn't feel safe in the dressage saddle, as he was getting antsy.

                              He was not a lazy horse at all. He was a trail ride horse. He was taken off the oats and cracked corn grain.

                              After one month he comes when called. Leads at liberty. Stands to be groomed and tacked with no halter. Lunges in solid side reins, goes into walk with one click, trot with 2 clicks. Doesnt shy with the daily goings on at a farm and gale for e winds. His head is no longer horizontal above the wither. He is putting on weight, he is getting the correct muscle. His rider can ride him with no whip or spur and has been lunged in trot and canter with no stirrups on my horses in a dressage saddle.

                              I repeat. All horses are sensitive, it is up to the rider to ride with sensitivity, not call them stubborn and lazy. Change the rider and the horse will change. (Change the rider not change to another rider.)
                              Oh please. No. Some horses are forward and don't need a lot of leg. Some horses need a lot of encouragement to go forward. Each horse is different. Just changing the rider doesn't suddenly make a horse become more or less forward. That is a mindset. It has nothing to do with whether they react to flies. Yes. They feel the leg just fine but it doesn't mean that they will ever become super responsive and quick off the leg. Or become less sensitive leg/seat.
                              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                              Comment


                                #35
                                Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post

                                Oh please. No. Some horses are forward and don't need a lot of leg. Some horses need a lot of encouragement to go forward. Each horse is different. Just changing the rider doesn't suddenly make a horse become more or less forward. That is a mindset. It has nothing to do with whether they react to flies. Yes. They feel the leg just fine but it doesn't mean that they will ever become super responsive and quick off the leg. Or become less sensitive leg/seat.
                                I never said it was overnight. Change a rider that is on a horse that trained yes the reaction from the horse is immediate.

                                On a horse that is untrained then it needs training. If you have a horse that needs to be pushed to go, you reach it to go with legs off. If you have a forward horse that you cant put legs on, you teach it to go with legs on.

                                The horse needs to understand what you want and what the aid means.

                                It is the same as speaking English to a German person. Yelling at them in English doees not make them under stand English any more than whispering to them.

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

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post

                                  Oh please. No. Some horses are forward and don't need a lot of leg. Some horses need a lot of encouragement to go forward. Each horse is different. Just changing the rider doesn't suddenly make a horse become more or less forward. That is a mindset. It has nothing to do with whether they react to flies. Yes. They feel the leg just fine but it doesn't mean that they will ever become super responsive and quick off the leg. Or become less sensitive leg/seat.
                                  I was spending time at my coach's barn this spring. Always a revelation to see how the horses went for the beginners, the intermediates, and my coach herself. Unrecognizable in some cases.

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by staceymc View Post
                                    The spookiness thing would really depend for me. Mine will jump fire (has done Derby Finals, Devon, etc. and done them well). But if he's fresh??? Spooks at everything. Trot too close to a jump? Picks up all 4 hooves and moves over. That Yeti drink cup that moved 6 feet down the rail from yesterday? Monster. The cat that lives in the indoor ring? Never seen it before and it will eat me. These antics just make me laugh.

                                    But as an A/O if I had one that was terribly spooky to jumps, and it was consistent and every new course/jump/trip was a risk of a big spook or a stop because we're staring at the jump like it's a black hole? Hard pass.
                                    This👆. My A/O hunter can be spooky but it is not at the jumps. He will occasionally spook at stuff outside the ring so I am very aware of surroundings and make sure to talk to him and keep the inside bend. It still happens every once in a while but worth it for the jumps.

                                    So it depends but if they are saying upfront that he has a spook, probably a red flag

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      Good for the seller for saying upfront that the horse isn't perfect.

                                      Why the horse spooks, and what it does when it happens is most important if you're inclined to pursue this. I have one steady-eddie horse (he's brought 3 kids from cross-rail through children's hunters) who tends to be very sound-sensitive when he's fresh. Like grab the bit and run if something happens behind him. Never dangerous, but unsettling. My current other is spooky at pretty much anything (wet spots in the ring, even), but only if he doesn't think you're watching out for bogeymen. Once you let him know that you're in charge, he relaxes and will pretty much march through fire. But it's taken a couple of years to de-stress him and make him something not scary to ride (doesn't help that he's 18hh and athletic). So, however talented he is, not something I'd sell without a caveat.

                                      It's all in what journey you're willing to take. In my experience, if you're willing to listen to the horse and put in the time, there aren't many that don't work out. But sometimes it take a lot of time.

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