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Struggling to sell horse

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  • #41
    Originally posted by polkadotedpony View Post

    Everyone here seems to be assuming that at 22 she is going to have the funds to guarantee this horse retirement for the next 10-15 years of its foreseeable life. That seems highly unrealistic unless she's an heiress. Shit happens, life changes, people lose ranches, get in accidents, get deployed, go through devastating financially crippling divorces, the list goes on.
    I only said it because the OP said she "felt guilty" about not riding him. I doubt the horse minds. I have a horse I could sell but don't. But I can afford to keep her and ride her or retire her.

    An important part of the horse selling project is coming to terms with why you are doing it. It's 100% ok to consider selling (or leasing, or giving away) a horse that is not a good fit for your needs. Be honest in your ads and do a background check on the prospective new owners.

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    • #42
      I've been following this thread for a little bit and I guess here is my input...

      Stop thinking that this horse has super hideous problems. He really doesn't.

      A lot of horses don't like to trail ride out alone. They're herd animals. No matter what Monty Roberts says, they know you're not a horse. Some horses are smart enough to know that when the wolves attack you're going to be completely worthless - they need a herd of horses to feel comfortable . When I've found horses that do hack out alone I've always been pleasantly surprised and appreciated them greatly knowing that this is often a hard developed or rare natural inclination.

      My gelding will hack out alone IF it's work. He won't amble through the woods but he will do happy trot or gallop sets through the woods. I don't know what his deal is. I've taken him on a big group trail ride before and we were both miserable. There was an incident on the trail and we had to gallop back alone for help and *that* he liked a lot.

      To the same point, a lot of horses don't like to arena ride. Both of my horses tolerate arena schooling as almost their entire career however, I notice that I have far more productive and forward rides when there is another horse in the ring with us. But honestly MOST of the horses in this world don't have high expectations placed upon them. I might be like... well this is terrible because my mare will refuse to half halt on my outside rein when she doesn't want to shoulder-in.... but the reality is the fact that this is even on the plate probably puts in her the top... what? 10-20% of horses?

      I guess my entire point here is that a horse that doesn't love the arena or solo trail rides is NOT a terrible horse. It doesn't make him unmarketable. It doesn't make him unusual. I feel like you're being the opposite of barn blind here which is a good thing but ultimately I think you might be overly pessimistic about the situation.

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      • #43
        And to build on what abrant said (that this isn't as big of an issue as one might think) it also sounds like he calms down and is otherwise willing after about 10-15 minutes of being ridden alone? That isn't that big of a deal either--there are A LOT of horses in the world that need some time at the beginning of a ride to get them focused and ready to work. That's why so many people lunge horses first. That type of horse isn't my style at all, but there are quite a few who wouldn't mind it or are used to it. A more confident rider who doesn't mind shenanigans might be able to push him through the sillies at the beginning and then enjoy him. And I firmly believe the more he does it, the better he is going to get. If he is consistently being ridden alone 4-5 times a week, by a rider that insists he continue until he is settled, any horse with half a brain is going to figure out it is easier to just get to work rather than play around.

        Or he might make a great trail horse for an adult who just wants a consistent trail horse to ride with friends and never plans to ride alone (someone at a boarding facility, for instance). If it is disclosed during the sale process that he can be difficult hacking out alone, he can still find a great owner.

        Heck, my tried and true beloved packer mare hates hacking out alone. She is as sane and sensible as they come, and I have done so much with her--but she doesn't like to trail ride alone. With other horses, hell yes, she loves it, but not alone. I can convince her to do little walks around the perimeter of the paddocks alone, but she will not go into the woods without a fight that I don't feel like having--I hack to relax, not to constantly argue with my horse about turning around and going home. While she's semi-retired now I still consider her the best horse ever and wouldn't part with her for any amount of money. It didn't bother me at all--whenever I wanted to trail ride, I just rode with other people. She's not herd bound at all--we ride alone in the arena, have gone to horse shows alone, etc and she doesn't care. She just doesn't want to be eaten by woods monsters, I guess.

        As far as your horse not liking arena work, well . . . too bad. We all have to do things we don't like to do (ie work) to earn our keep. You can't stop his new owner, if you decide to sell him, from riding him in the arena whenever they want to, so keep that in mind. Even if sold to a trail home he will likely be worked in a pen/arena/ring at some point.

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        • #44
          I lean both ways on this. On the one hand, it's probably OK to have a horse that doesn't ride. On the other, the kindest thing you can do for a horse is to make sure he's trained in the unhappy event that you're forced to part with him. IMO, keeping skills sharp is part of that.

          You never know. I think there's someone out there for every reasonably decent horse. The older daughter of my child's trainer has an OTTB that she used to gallop a few years ago and hasn't done much with since because he was a bit of a disaster with his original OTT career as a novice AA's eventer. She's afraid to sell him because of his perceived nervous quirks. Meanwhile, I absolutely adore him and would take him in a heartbeat. His quirks are endearing and he's actually pretty confident in his job . In other words, he's a goofy nervous, not a dangerous nervous. Sounds like your gelding would do fine in a home where he's in a small boarding barn with buddies around with someone who likes to trail ride or even low level fox hunt?

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          • #45
            Originally posted by Wildandfree View Post

            . He is a great cowhorse and when ridden out with others he is super fun and will jump, cross logs, cross streams & try his heart out for you but by himself he is a pile of nerves and it takes at least 20mins to get him relaxed and easy going by himself.
            This sounds like a good, saleable horse! Not everybody wants to trail ride alone. I would put him up for sale and just be honest right from the start in the ad. "Clark is a great cowhorse and when ridden out with others he is super fun and will jump, cross logs, cross streams & try his heart out for you. By himself he is a pile of nerves, so I do not recommend him as a solo trail horse."

            If he's fun in the arena and trail riding with friends, he will sell.



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