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Advice needed, dangerous horse on lease

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  • #61
    Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
    Bethe, I'm curious, why would you applaud this poster for "seeing this through"? I'm just not sure I see the virtue of a slightly overfaced adult amateur providing free training on a leased difficult green mare, at some risk to her own health and confidence. Would you personally work with and train a horse like this for free? Would you spend your hard earned money to send a green horse belonging to someone else to a professional trainer?

    Just speaking for myself, I'm perfectly capable of dealing with a mare like this, but if I were suddenly horseless and leased a mare that turned out to be like this, I'd send her back verrry quickly. I'm comfortable putting in the effort and taking risks on my own difficult young horses, but I wouldn't consider it reasonable for me to take on someone else's problem horse in a lease situation. That's just not how leases are supposed to work!

    It isn't reasonable ESPECIALLY when that person in question may not have the skills and instincts to deal with a tougher horse and could get hurt. I think that the OP is entitled to put a higher priority on her own safety and confidence above any obligation to retrain someone else's horse for free.
    While I agree with you, the deed is done, meaning if she sends mare back, she has to still pay for the mare's board. Granted, leasing a 5 year old as i mentioned, is not a good idea, I would not let any of my clients, who ride quite well and have me at their fingertips, to do that. I have a few just like this mare and one in particular has figured out I am the Queen and she is the Princess and she is 15!!!! However, she is spoiled rotten and this is how she turned out. Can't fix her completely but the behaviours are minimized. The original poster had a honeymoon period with this horse, as is often the case when someone buys or leases a new horse. She may be in over her head, then again, she may learn to grow a pair and step up to the plate. It's a lesson learned, the hard way. My fervent hope is she finds a good pro in her area to help her. I think the owner should have shown better judgement as to where and to whom the mare was leased. There should have been full disclosure and I for thinking it was minimal disclosure. The leasee may not have the skills, but the only way for her to get the skills is to deal with this. She came here asking questions because she realized she needed help. Yes, she is higher on the food chain than the horse and if she chooses to turn mare out in the field until owner returns, then that is her choice. It's free training essentially if she chooses to work with this mare, she has said mare has shown improvement with just her working with the mare....that is a good sign. I applaud her efforts! Would I take on a mare like this for "free?" Sometimes I will...owner pays all bills and trng is "free." Depends on the situation. Leases are not supposed to work this way as you said, but this one did....so no use crying over what was, work with how it is...and as I said, there is no shame if leasee chooses not to ride this mare again. People get themselves into trouble with a horse more often than not. Mistakes are made. People get hurt whether they are good at what they do nor not. Do I want to risk my life intentionally? Of course not. have run across 2 horses in my lifetime that truly were worth 35 cents a pound, the rest could be salvaged and have gone on to happier lives. We are all a product of our experiences, collectively we are all very wise, individually we are limited. She came to get help, and we all need an encouraging word. It never takes one person to make a horse, it is ALWAYS a community! I share your thoughts too, but it is up to the leasee to decide what she will and won't do with this horse. I think she should send her here to California! ;-) I do love to work with something like this.... ;-)
    Bethe Mounce
    Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
    Brentwood CA

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    • #62
      As a trainer of young horses, and having done this for a number of years, and no, I am not young and immortal, I have seen alot, I am a product of my experiences. I do not know it all, never will. This situation is dangerous, every horse situation is dangerous, some more than others. If you, the human, do not make it clear that you are the lead mare in the herd every moment, every second, you are around them, then you will lose and perhaps pay a dear price. They may be beautiful, every horse is, but they weigh a ton and their reaction happens so fast you don't see it coming. I am still alive, and I am old, to talk about all of this so I must have done something right! ;-) And I woke up this morning! ;-) My job is to let pookie know this is the line in the sand, period. If you cross me, God help you. Horses in a herd situation deliver discipline swiftly and viciously, and usually ONE time and the hierarchy is established. If that horse persists in testing me, well....his life is gonna be full of hard work because he will work for his "pay." I do not mean that in a cruel way at all. One must be fair and just. But I will not put up with a horse who runs me down, cow kicks when being saddled etc....I also have no fear. Horse knows that the moment he meets me. I ride my youngsters with the thought of what is he willing to give me today and how can I make it be better. when horse has gone well, I just get off, that is their reward. treats and all of that...sometimes are needed. You tailor the trng to fit the horse, you ride to fit the horse. You test me and you will find yourself flunking the test every single time. My pet peeve...those who stand in the middle of the arena, feet out of stirrups, reins sitting on the neck and yakking to their friends...that IS A tragedy waiting to happen no matter how well trained pookie is. yak OFF the horse and when he is back in his stall. I wish the leasee the very best, I hope she finds a good pro to help her learn something. We are all only reading what leasee writes, we are not there, we do not know this horse. If there is fault to be found, frankly, it's with the owner but we don't know that story either.......I hate to be so judgemental, I truly am not, just basing my opinions and comments on what I have read. I wish her the best and to stay safe and if putting her in a field is what keeps leasee safe, then there is no shame in that....learn how to fail well! ;-)
      Bethe Mounce
      Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
      https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
      Brentwood CA

      Comment


      • #63
        Sounds to me lke she never left the farm she came from or the environment she came from and it's showing. As per the turnout situation: we had one that did the same thing. We resulted to just putting the horse out by himself and letting him work it out: sweating, pacing, running the fence, etc. Eventually the tantrum subsided and he learned to deal with it. Putting him out with other horses wasn't an option because he, too, became herd bound and wouldnt leave his friends. If the horse isn't calming down on ace; then you're not admnistering enough. Giving her a little extra to keep her calm those first 2 days isn't going to hurt her. Try putting some hay out there to keep her occupied while she's out.

        If she's on any high energy/high sweet feed diet. Get her off of it and start feeding something plain. Extra energy is not going to help her settle in.

        The horse we had this same issue with ended up living outside for a few days 24/7 and then all of the time (as long as the weather was OK). He ate his grain and hay outside and he learned. He wasn't secluded from other horses: there was someone always within view but he idn't have a turn out buddy.

        The aggressiveness sounds like there is a serious misunderstanding on who is the alpha in this situation. ground work is in order. I'm not much of a fan of naturual horsemanship but I swear by round pen free lunging to get a horse to become submissive. It works and it sounds like that type of work would benefit this mare in a major way. It doesn't require a tremendous amount of skill; you just need to study the basics and put her in the round pen with the mentality that YOU are the boss and you run the situation.

        I'm not a fan of all out hauling off and wacking a horse but when there are horses who are clearly acting with dangerous intent; I have no problem going off the deep end once in awhile. Sometimes; some horses need that. They are HERD animals and if you expect respect that you need to assert yourself in all ways possible if it gets to that point. It sounds like you've reached that point.

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        • #64
          OP, the HO wants you to pay board for the rest of your signed lease or until another lessee is found? If the latter is true, who is responsible for getting the horse re-leased while the HO is out of the country?
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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          • #65
            Call me a skeptic but seems to me that there was a reason this mare was 1) for free lease and 2) there is a clause in the contract stating lessee needs to continue to pay for horse's board until end of contract or until another lessee is found. The horse is simply not a suitable animal for the OP and as such they should waste any money on doing diagnostics, treating for ulcers etc on a horse they are free leasing & really needs to go back to the owner NOW having said that perhaps, the Op could have a vet check the horse to see if ulcers or some other condition is present - and if so - that could be grounds to terminate the contract as hopefully something like managing or maintaining long term condition might not be in the contract.. if so the OP has really got to learn to review lease contract. There should always be some kind of terminatino agreement in the contract - what would happen if the horse got ringbone or navicular or some serious injury- are you having to keep the horse forever?

            I would also tell the owner that you are moving the horse to a less expensive boarding facility - that might rattle the owner; unless its specified that you have to keep the horse at that facility (sometimes lessors require that horse be leased under XYZ trainer) and if that's the case get your BO or trainer involved to help get you out from under this night-MARE.. Good luck and let us know what happens.

            Comment


            • #66
              I've never heard of a clause of having to pay the board no matter what. Both parties get a 30 day trial period and also can walk at any time with one month notice. But that's just me, I've leased 6 horses before buying and all worked out for the most part.
              I'm not sure why the owner can't make arrangements out of the country, unless somewhere in say the outback or wilds of alaksa most places DO have phones, internet, etc. Not your horse, not your problem. I think you are being "had", sorry.

              Comment


              • #67
                I bet she will be fine undersaddle. DO NOT BUY INTO THE RUMMOR MILL. I bet a young athletic mare did some interesting things undersaddle. Hello...most are NOT born broke. But to people not used to young and green...they lable that as dangerous...and so the rummors begin. I've gotten a few of my BEST and actually easiest horses who had horrible reputations. One....a family bought a 4 year old OTTB for their 14 year old daughter as her move up horse from ponies. He put her in the hospital...he had a HORRIBLE reputation when I went to look at him. I bought him, and he proved to be one of the BEST OTTBs ever. Moved up from his first event to running prelim (3'6") with me in his first season. I had to spend a couple of months undoing the damage the kid did...but it was just too much horse for her.

                Is she too much horse for you....perhaps, and if so....move on fast before you cause her more damage. But by the description...this is NOT a "dangerous" horse but one that you do need to have some smarts in handling. Put her on Regumate. NOW. She will be worse in early spring. Treat her for ulcers. Watch the sugar in her diet. And give her a JOB. But she is a FIGHTER. Mares like this are more like stallions. You do not pick a fight head on....you do not discipline them like you would a gelding. They will come right back at you. They do often respond to positive more than negative. Everything is about avoiding the fight before the fight starts....being quick to nip things. If you give her an INCH she will go for that mile and you will be fight to regain the ground you lost for a while.

                For example. Turning her butt to you in the stall....Find a treat...everytime you go to get her out of the stall, call her until she faces you and give her a treat. You will not fix that issue by smacking her. My current mare is similar...if you startle her at all...she will kick your head off. Her response is Kill it first and ask questions later. I make sure she knows I'm near her, behind her etc. But if I picked up a stick and went after her for kicking (I did once) she will just start kicking and fighting harder. This same more difficult aspect...is what will cause her to give me 110% in a competition when you get it working for you. It is a VERY common trait in some VERY good horses....but it requires you to think and be smarter than them all the time.
                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                Comment


                • #68
                  I think many are missing the obvious reason a nice horse was available and has to have board paid for the entire term no matter what... the owner is OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

                  If you were out of the country for a length of time, would you write a lease that allowed the lessor to return the horse while you were away? Probably not, because then you'd have to scramble to make arrangements long distance.
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #69
                    Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                    And give her a JOB. But she is a FIGHTER. Mares like this are more like stallions. You do not pick a fight head on....you do not discipline them like you would a gelding. They will come right back at you. They do often respond to positive more than negative. Everything is about avoiding the fight before the fight starts....being quick to nip things. If you give her an INCH she will go for that mile and you will be fight to regain the ground you lost for a while.

                    For example. Turning her butt to you in the stall....Find a treat...everytime you go to get her out of the stall, call her until she faces you and give her a treat. You will not fix that issue by smacking her. My current mare is similar...if you startle her at all...she will kick your head off. Her response is Kill it first and ask questions later. I make sure she knows I'm near her, behind her etc. But if I picked up a stick and went after her for kicking (I did once) she will just start kicking and fighting harder.
                    This is exactly my situation! I have noticed prevention with her works wonders, and light but firm corrections get positive reactions. Whereas my gelding will respond to the little smacks to put him back in line. I have stopped doing anything with this mare in her stall. Not to say forever, but for now the only thing I do in her stall is make her wait for me to put the hay or feed tub down and even then she waits a bit until I "allow" her to commence eating.


                    Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
                    Call me a skeptic but seems to me that there was a reason this mare was 1) for free lease and 2) there is a clause in the contract stating lessee needs to continue to pay for horse's board until end of contract or until another lessee is found. if so the OP has really got to learn to review lease contract. There should always be some kind of terminatino agreement in the contract - what would happen if the horse got ringbone or navicular or some serious injury- are you having to keep the horse forever?
                    I found out the mare was initially a paid lease. When I tried the mare I was a bit flabbergasted and commented that she could be charging a lease fee. Owner's response was that her main concern was to find the mare a good home while she's away. I did know that there were many people that tried the mare but the owner stated she was particular in who she wanted her to go to. And I believed it, as I was thoroughly vetted! I did ask to have the condition of paying for board changed and possibly taken out. Her reasoning was that it was her only protection for me to not randomly terminate the lease and leave the her scrambling while out of the country. I'll chalk this part up to lesson learned and put my foot down, if I ever encounter this again, to put a clause that is mutually agreeable.


                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                    OP, the HO wants you to pay board for the rest of your signed lease or until another lessee is found? If the latter is true, who is responsible for getting the horse re-leased while the HO is out of the country?
                    Until a new lessee is found. Owner's previous coach was to be responsible, but after talking to her she informed me she is out of the horse business and does not want anything to do with this situation. She was surprised I was calling as she said she had told the owner she wanted no involvement should anything come up. Before the lease started, owner and I discussed my coach finding a new lessee, but she preferred her coach. I guess that would have to be re-evaluated should that be the route I choose.


                    Originally posted by Bethe Mounce View Post
                    She may be in over her head, then again, she may learn to grow a pair and step up to the plate. It's a lesson learned, the hard way. My fervent hope is she finds a good pro in her area to help her. The leasee may not have the skills, but the only way for her to get the skills is to deal with this. She came here asking questions because she realized she needed help. It's free training essentially if she chooses to work with this mare, she has said mare has shown improvement with just her working with the mare....that is a good sign. I applaud her efforts!
                    Thank you! I'm moving forward with the mindset that I know what this mare is capable of both good and bad. I love her on her good days and I think we make a good team when we were riding consistantly. I can learn a lot from this situation and while I have no aspirations to be a trainer (at the moment ) I am always looking to improve my skills; everyone has to start somewhere! I'd also like to know that in the future, if I ever come across a steal of deal of a horse with a bad rep, that maybe I could take it on. Having said that, with this particular horse, I will not be sending her off for training as I don't think that onus is on me, nor spending money on diagnostics! I will continue to lesson with my coach.


                    To those inquiring, she does not get any sweet feeds, she always has hay available, her AM and PM meals consist of HiFat HiFiber with a top dress of Finishing Touch. The barn I have been looking into moving her to has been informed of how she can act and they are comfortable with it. I'm thinking about trying her back on individual t/o and letting her tantrum out until she's ok. If she were my horse, I would have done this from the beginning but since she's not I didn't feel the need to risk a potential accident.


                    Geez! I think that's all I wanted to respond to lol... There's not much more I can say in regards to the present situation. Many thanks again to all the helpful replies! I will keep you all updated on how things progress from here

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