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I bought the wrong horse. Now what?

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  • I bought the wrong horse. Now what?

    This is going to be long and possibly whiny, so I apologize in advance.

    In a nutshell, I bought the wrong horse at the wrong time and now I'm not really sure what to do. The horse I bought ended up being much greener than I had initially believed, and I have neither the funds nor the education to bring him along further. This is also a problem because I have been having trouble lately with riding fear unexpectedly resurfacing due to a bad jumping accident I had a few years ago. Because of this I don't really feel comfortable riding my new horse (not even on the flat) to the point where I don't want to ride him at all. To top it off, my horse has been developing very mild lameness/off-ness since he came home, and so far we haven't been able to pinpoint what it is.

    In my heart I know I should sell him, but I am not sure who would want a green horse of "nothing special" breeding or ability. Besides, he's not 100% sound and I would certainly not attempt to sell him until he was - if he ever is. I think I would be a lot more comfortable riding a smaller, older, schoolie-type but even taking lessons on such a horse is out of reach right now, as every extra dollar I have is going towards vet, chiro, massage, different saddles, etc., trying to figure out what could be causing my horse's issues.

    I know I made the wrong decision in buying him, and now I don't know what to do. I continually stress over this, and I'm becoming more miserable every day. I want to do right by my horse - he's a nice horse, tractable and friendly and hasn't ever been naughty or a jerk, but now that I've had him for a while I know that he just isn't the right fit for me.

    If you were me, what would you do?

  • #2
    List him here on the giveaways board. Tell people what you've tried, and that whoever is interested in taking him can talk to your vet. I think there is a good chance you will find him a home quickly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Post just what you wrote, and put him on the giveaways. If you're to the point where you won't get on him, then I think you know you should move him on to someone who can handle him.

      It's a very hard decision to let go, and do the right thing for the horse, and it sounds like you've invested a lot of money into him with all the chiro, saddle fit etc, but sometimes it's not about the money.

      If you're upfront about the off/on lameness and any other issues, then there always seems to be someone who will take a horse on. It may take some time, but there's a chance, and as harsh as it sounds, if he cannot be sold, rehomed or whatever, then you need to make a choice-- retiree board or euthanize.

      Comment


      • #4
        If I were you, I'd turn him out for the rest of the winter.

        Stop the chiro, massage, saddle fitting, blah blah blah. Maybe find some cheap pasture board if you can. Pocket the money you would be spending on all the extras. Get his feet done but that's it.

        Come spring, have him adjusted and see how sound he is. Hopefully he will have worked things out himself and you can use the money you saved over the winter to have a pro put a month or two on him and tune him up for resale.

        If he's still NQR at that point, you can try giving him away with full disclosure.
        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          It may not be warranted, but I am so worried that if I gave him away for free, he'd end up in a bad place or on his way to a slaughterhouse. What are your thoughts on asking a very low price, something that is just above meat price? I was thinking that if it comes to that, I could ask for slightly above meat price and then throw in all his tack, blankets, etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm with FG. Turn him out for the winter, preferably somewhere that he can move a lot. Make sure his diet is meeting his nutritional requirements and make sure his feet are properly trimmed (a crappy unbalanced trim can cause lameness).

            See what you have in the spring.

            You're not the first person to buy the wrong horse, and it's OK to give the horse away or sell him for very little (as in, way less than you paid/put into him). You do the best you can to find him a suitable home, and that is all you can do.
            Full-time bargain hunter.

            Comment


            • #7
              OR... you can try working out a good trade using whatever network of horse people you know... This is exactly what we did a while back when realizing a small little OTTB we bought, advertised as child safe and tested thoroughly under saddle---really was quite the spitfire and not suitable at all. Extreme buyer's remorse! Anyway, I advertised and called around, and answered other ads looking for a good trade and found one actually quite easily, which has now lasted 6 years and many successful show seasons!

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorry, it really sucks when things go like this and the best thing is to get out from under before the money stacks up worse, if you can. If you want to try to move the horse now it will be difficult.

                If you can't, my vote is for cheap turn-out/ time off. Time does fix quite a few NQR issues. I have a Welsh pony that was not right with a hind leg, looked very arthritic in the hip, which at his age was maybe a given - one yr later he's moving like a spring chicken again, perfectly even and the big impulsion back 100%.
                Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agree with the advice to turn him out. Another option if he's sound in the spring is to do a free lease with someone who's not afraid of him. It doesn't sound like he's done anything horrible, just that you are not confident (and I can empathize with that!).

                  As to the asking $$ to avoid slaughter I have to say it is a bugaboo of mine -- I have been given horses because I'm a great home . . . in this sort of situation I won't pay money simply to prove to you I won't send your horse on to slaughter. You should be able to get comfortable with that in other ways (check references, visit my farm, read all my posts on COTH etc etc etc). But that's just me.
                  https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
                  Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/
                  www.PeonyVodka.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It doesn't sound like he's a high dollar horse.......

                    What are your thoughts on asking a very low price, something that is just above meat price?
                    The reality is, in this market you won't get any money for him.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CoconutHorse33 View Post
                      It may not be warranted, but I am so worried that if I gave him away for free, he'd end up in a bad place or on his way to a slaughterhouse. What are your thoughts on asking a very low price, something that is just above meat price? I was thinking that if it comes to that, I could ask for slightly above meat price and then throw in all his tack, blankets, etc.
                      Asking people to pay 'just above meat price' is inviting the very sort of people you don't want to have him to stand in line.

                      Putting him on the coth giveaways gives you control over the type of people you consider. There are thousands of people on this board, and you can do alot of research on someone before you start in person interviews. You have a higher percentage of advanced, knowlegable horse people on this board than out in the ratty world of $500.00 for a lame horse.

                      On the give aways, you can take your time, like all winter, and find just the right person, instead of feeling you need to take a satisfactory person with cash in hand.

                      I am concerned why you are afraid of him if he is nice, well behaved and not a jerk.

                      If you care about this horse, do him a favor and turn him out, as was suggested, for the winter, save your money, and tidy him up for sale in the spring, sound. Give him the chance to get sound before you hand him off to someone with less patience or insight than you.

                      That's my feeling.
                      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pony grandma View Post
                        I have a Welsh pony that was not right with a hind leg, looked very arthritic in the hip, which at his age was maybe a given - one yr later he's moving like a spring chicken again, perfectly even and the big impulsion back 100%.
                        Gotta say, sounds just like me. I had a hip issue so painful I thought, its the cancer, its a hip fracture, who knew, couldn't find anything wrong, and being on my feet in the hospital all day everyday didn't help, but I rested as much as possible and after about a year, it just got better. I probably had torn something. It was slow, because I was using it, but eventually it just got better.

                        I say give him a break and give him away sound in the spring. What ever you do, I wouldn't move him away now. Give him the break.
                        Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                          If I were you, I'd turn him out for the rest of the winter.

                          Stop the chiro, massage, saddle fitting, blah blah blah. Maybe find some cheap pasture board if you can. Pocket the money you would be spending on all the extras. Get his feet done but that's it.

                          Come spring, have him adjusted and see how sound he is. Hopefully he will have worked things out himself and you can use the money you saved over the winter to have a pro put a month or two on him and tune him up for resale.

                          If he's still NQR at that point, you can try giving him away with full disclosure.
                          Exactly. In a few months, maybe try to find someone that wants a horse to ride a few times a week, and see what you have then. Make sure a rider/trainer is totally different than yours, as sometimes horses dust don't work with a particular program.

                          I know a horse that was purchased for $25,000. Soon thereafter, he began to have green behavior issues, and on and off lameness issues that the vets could not figure out. He was given away, and under a different program, he was 100%, an easy ride, and loving his new life.

                          Can you get help from his previous trainer? He was obviously a different horse under that program - one that you felt was right for you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Asking a couple hundred for him will do less to ensure a good home than just giving him away but doing some legwork on your end. I agree with the others who say to post him on the giveaway board or through other networks. You can require references (be sure to check them!).

                            You didn't mention but do you have a trainer or instructor? Do you know anyone involved with pony club? It also never hurts to talk to the vet/farrier/feed guy...you never know if they know of someone looking for what you've got. Put the feelers out. There are gutsy kids on budgets who would take on a project as long as he's not dangerous, and especially if he's free.

                            I disagree with those who say turn him out. In a year, you will have done nothing to increase your confidence, he will have recieved no training, and you will both be in the same boat, just a year older. It *may* help with the NQR issues, but you have too many other issues with this horse. There is the wrong horse/rider combo that can be fixed with proper training (i.e., if the match is only a little "wrong" and at least one partner is bold/brave/willing/flexible/determined to make it work) and then there is the wrong horse/rider combo that is fixed by changing partners. You are in that 2nd group. The sooner you can move on, the better. And truth be told, even if you start networking to give him to the right home now, it may well take you until spring, so he could end with the time off anyway just in the interim.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                              If I were you, I'd turn him out for the rest of the winter.

                              Stop the chiro, massage, saddle fitting, blah blah blah. Maybe find some cheap pasture board if you can. Pocket the money you would be spending on all the extras. Get his feet done but that's it.

                              Come spring, have him adjusted and see how sound he is. Hopefully he will have worked things out himself and you can use the money you saved over the winter to have a pro put a month or two on him and tune him up for resale.

                              If he's still NQR at that point, you can try giving him away with full disclosure.
                              I agree with this too. Goodness, no point at all in continuing to spend money on adjustments and massage if it's not producing results (esp since you don't have a diagnosis so it's unknown whether any of that even could be helpful in his case); or on buying different saddles just to try. One well-fitted saddle should tell you if it's a saddle problem or not, and paying a good fitter once is cheaper than getting multiple saddles and still not having an answer.
                              Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                meaty ogre, I don't think they meant to turn him out for a year - I think just the winter. I would also agree with that.

                                OP, maybe you can find someone to free lease him in the Spring. I agree that the giveaways here are great - just DO check the vet references and any others that you can get. So many people ask for them but never check them.

                                Good luck!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                                  Asking people to pay 'just above meat price' is inviting the very sort of people you don't want to have him to stand in line.


                                  I am concerned why you are afraid of him if he is nice, well behaved and not a jerk.
                                  Good advice, makes sense to me. I should probably clarify that I'm not afraid of him, per se. He's well-behaved and has never so much as offered a kick. It's just that I know that he's green, and that rattles me because I don't feel educated or well equipped enough to communicate with him well under saddle. The uneasiness I feel with his greenness is probably a psychological thing on my part. My bad accident was on a green horse and I seem to have subconsciously associated "unsafe" with "green".

                                  I did take a few lessons on him with an instructor, but they didn't go so well. Between his training level and my general uneasiness (which hinders my learning and riding ability BIG time), it was difficult to accomplish anything worthwhile.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Turn him out. Time may fix what you have not been able to.

                                    When I say that I mean, out. 24/7, blankets if necessary, trim, feed, deworm. Thats it. No grooming, no "checking to see of he's better now. Commit to a time frame and then reevaluate with a good trainer.

                                    Good luck!
                                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                    ---
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hey, I bought that same horse!

                                      I turned him out for a long rest, and the lameness seemed to go away. He was still too green for me, so I got a trainer to work with him and I got an instructor to work with me.

                                      It took three years, but FINALLY he and I became a really good team. For a couple of months.

                                      Then he went three-legged lame. We were finally able to diagnose the cause, and he'll never be able to carry a rider again.

                                      He's pasture sound. And he's cute. Want another so you'll have a matched pair?

                                      Srsly. Try and find him a good home now, while there's some hope he'll come sound again! If you wait, you may have a pasture ornament for life.
                                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I guess that I'd want a diagnosis for the lameness first. Besides fixing him in various ways, have you had a traditional DVM lameness exam?

                                        If the vet is stumped and wants expensive pictures, *then* you can turn him out cheaply and see if time fixes the NQR.

                                        But anyone who wants to ride him-- and would be a credible recipient of your free horse-- will want to know about the lameness. But the rest of it doesn't make him bad for everyone-- just not the horse for you right here, right now.

                                        Just what has made him lame and the prognosis will really change what you have and what you can offer as a giveaway. If he'll only be a pasture pet, for example, you need to look for a different kind of owner than you would with a riding horse.

                                        The general advice to stop putting money in and start finding a way to get out from under this particular horse is good. But you might ask how much the "turn out all winter" versus "lameness exam" options cost.

                                        Best of luck to you!
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

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