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WWYD - kid with unsellable horse

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Lori B View Post
    There is nothing I loathe more on this board (or more generally, in life) than those who approach each and every situation as if everyone in the world is a user, cheater, bad-faithed crazy person who wants to steal your money and ruin your life. If I actually approached every human interaction with that mindset, I would just slit my wrists and be done with it.

    It is possible to be careful and to try to be helpful.

    What would constitute the situation 'blowing up in the OP's face'? She's clear on the fact that she can't and won't take custody of this horse.

    The situation is already 'dramatic'. But offering information or talking to the trainer? Where's the harm in that?

    So many people on this board express gratitude for the assistance and education they were given as youngsters by trainers and mentors. When one has a chance to pay it forward, one should do so. Hunkering down, so as to avoid the slightest chance of 'drama', which is a 2012 weasel word for any stressful human interaction, is fine if you want to be that person. But thank heavens there are folks in the world who would like to live better than that, and be a better person than that.
    Then, there is this rare thing called common sense, that guides some lucky ones thru life, helping them do good where they can, avoiding questionable or dangerous situations other times.

    It is also called "there is a time to hold 'em, a time to fold 'em."

    I think that, for what the OP has explained, sad as that may be, this is one of those times to walk away from and let those involved keep working at what is best there with what they have.

    I would not say not doing any more here reflects badly on the OP or those suggesting caution?
    If someone comes with a real good way to help, the OP can always change her mind.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by Lori B View Post
      There is nothing I loathe more on this board (or more generally, in life) than those who approach each and every situation as if everyone in the world is a user, cheater, bad-faithed crazy person who wants to steal your money and ruin your life.
      And we haven't even gotten around to the Insurance Liability and the writing of the contract.

      I commend the OP for wanting to help. She has offered it up to a wide population of very resourceful and kind hearted horse people. You never know what good may come of it. It never hurts to ask. Cothers, suspicious, cynical old biddies that we are, have pulled off some pretty good deeds in our day.
      ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

      Comment


      • #23
        How could it blow up? Her barn mates already started chatting about how it was her ride that made the horse act this way. One area I lived in young riders did a lot of barn hopping and the gossip was epic and harmful to the trainers and barn owners in the area. It does happen.

        In addition the OP could get seriously hurt... and how will this girl's trainer feel about having someone else working with the horse and her potentially losing a client to another trainer? Probably not so hot. It is a tough situation the OP should IMO stay out of. That's all, doesn't mean I think anyone is a bad person.

        I am all about helping people. Another COTHer comes and rides my mare whenever she would like, can show her, whatever she wants for just the cost of her hauling and entry fees. She needed a trainer, I found her one. I met her through here, I far from think the worst of people and I pay it forward as much as I can. But I am not a pro, a pro has way more at stake IMO.

        OP... if you really want to help her, contact her parents and/or trainer and make sure you make it clear that they, not her, are your clients. If that is adhered to, maybe it can work. Who knows, up to you.

        Comment


        • #24
          I think it would be reasonable from one trainer to another to have a conversation. It sounds like current trainer wants to keep kid safe. Horse has issues, what they really are is hard to tell from just one ride. Perhaps current trainer might like to offload kid temporarily with OP so kid can get some confidence and rides in. Perhaps current trainer has ideas about the horse but simply can't execute them at this time.

          If the OP is having thoughts of giving a hand to a horse crazy kid (something that someone did for most of us at one time or another) then I think it's worth thinking about, talking about and sorting out.

          Maybe this isn't the time to go out of her way. Maybe it is. I just think back to when I was a horse nut 14 YO and how lucky I was that my mom "got it" and I had horses and I had opportunities. And I think about the high dollar trainer who I now realize, worked with me (for free) and coached me and helped me at shows because we couldn't afford her services, but she wanted to help a kid out. 20 some years later, I see what she did and it was very very kind.
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

          Comment


          • #25
            I think the only real possibility here is to find someone who DOES have a pasture where they can retire this horse, perhaps permanently, and who does not mind doing so.

            This one sounds to really be DONE and is likely in very bad pain somewhere (back, hocks, ulcers, chiropractic...who knows, but something is really wrong - most horses, most of the time, try to do what we ask...one that is acting this way has serious problems).

            And to answer your questoin about rearing...horses rear for all kinds of reasons. So, yes, it could be hock pain, or pain nearly anywhere else. Or ring sourness. Or, or, or...

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by CHT View Post
              I hate horse shopping.

              Went to look at a horse with a client on request.

              Horse was unsuitable. Kid was told by coach not to ride her horse, so no one to show her to us, so I got on. I could not get horse to move forward. Horse was bunched up, pinning ears and shaking head at so much as a cluck. Horse had a history of rearing (hence why kid not riding), so I didn't want to push it, and hoped by just sitting on horse she would relax, but she did not. Hardly breathed the 10 minutes I was sitting on her. I was really at a loss, but this was obviously not a horse we wanted. Felt bad leaving horse on that, but would have felt worse being flipped over on.

              Kid wouldn't stop calling/texting client last night. Just wants horse gone and doesn't know what to do. Blamed horse's behaviour on my doing the girth up an extra hole, and that I did this and that wrong according to her barnmates. Kid is 14. Only one parent, and that parent does not want to deal with horse and wasn't even there when we tried horse. Kid seems lovely, but timid.

              I feel horrible for kid. She is pretty much alone on resolving what to do with this horse. No finances. Coach can't ride due to an injury.

              I can't use this horse. Even if I could fix the issue, I couldn't sell a horse with a known rearing issue unless I had it a long time, and that seems pointless as the horse would be useless in my program and to me.

              I want to help the kid, as someone once helped me out of a similar situation.

              Ideas?
              Did you lunge( or free lunge, round pen, anything?? etc..) this horse before you mounted it? did it move out freely when you weren't on it's back? The fact that nobody is riding this horse might be the cause of it's attitude when you got on. Some are pretty good at bluffing, rider gets off and a pattern quickly develops. What caused the rearing issues in the past?

              I guess if nothing else maybe you could find her a coach/ trainer who can actually earn the money they are paying them? This poor kid needs help and if you can't ride the horse maybe you know someone who can help her.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                Some info;

                -Kid has only been at current barn since fall. Has only taken a few lessons from current coach. Not really a tight relationship. She isn't in the coach's "program". Coach not there for trials. NO ADULT was involved on seller's side. How can that not make someone a little sad/concerned?
                - Kid didn't even think to ask coach to ride the horse until we mentionned it, but apprently coach hurt so can't ride. Not sure anyone but kid has been on horse for last 2 years.
                - Kid bought horse on the advice from someone more experienced.THorse as 5 and rideable when she bought it, but not sure how trained. Old barn was really loose with rules, and I doubt this kid had much for structured help, but I did take from it that the main advice was that horse's behaviour was just testing her and that she needed to be tougher with horse. Kid is not the type to be tough and had a few scary incidents at old barn.
                - Kid mostly rides english, but used to trail ride close to weekly in the summer at old barn. Some "fun" gymkhana, now in "dressage" lessons. Doubt horse has consistent work. No harsh bit, saddle seems to fit, and horse appears well looked after.
                - Kid does not have my contact number. Did ask me if I would do training on horse when I was there, but I declined. I did pass on a number of someone who would travel to their barn (their barn much cheaper than anything else around with an indoor).
                - Kid needed to make sense of an adult telling her the horse was unsafe, so likely had to blame me for making horse angry. I can't blame a kid for that...she is just trying to cope.
                - Parent wants ZERO involvement in selling horse. Doubt he will pay to retire a horse kid can't ride. They aren't rolling in the money. Doubt current coach really wants her name overly attached to horse either.
                - Kid NOT planning to get another horse. Plans to sell, and then take lessons.

                I just cannot imagine leaving a 14 year old to make the kind of decisions this kid is being left to make on her own, but I can't fault current coach for not wanting to be overly involved either.

                Current plan is to talk to DH about it, and see if he can think of something. Then talk to her "coach" to make sure not stepping on toes, then talk to kid AND parent about ideas.

                Of course I need ideas first...
                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                Comment


                • #28
                  Sounds like a very fixable problem to me. Horse was at least well started, sold as a probably green 5 year old to a very unskilled rider who did not have the ability to be the boss and deal with control issues that always come up. Gradually horse gets upper hand, scares rider, gets ridden less and less and you are where you are now. I applaud you for wanting to help, she needs it and so does the horse, who I think is nowhere near done or unfixable ( if the situation is true to your info).

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    She's probably not as timid as you think, if she's calling/texting your client and blaming you for her horse's behaviour. That sounds pretty bold. She actually must be pretty resourceful if she has managed to buy and board her mare for 2 years without an adult more involved.

                    You did give her the name of someone who she can contact to help, if she wants. That sounds like you did the appropriate thing.

                    OP: You said someone once helped you out of a similar situation. What did they do in that case?

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      You guys must be much better people than I am. I can empathize with the girl's predicament but I wouldn't touch this situation with a 10 foot pole.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        CandyAppy, horse was longed with saddle on at walk/trot before I got on. Fine on longe, albeit perhaps not super forward and maybe a little hitchy behind. Ring is small. It was only 10 days or so since the "incident" that left the kid not riding horse.

                        Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                        She's probably not as timid as you think, if she's calling/texting your client and blaming you for her horse's behaviour. That sounds pretty bold. She actually must be pretty resourceful if she has managed to buy and board her mare for 2 years without an adult more involved.

                        You did give her the name of someone who she can contact to help, if she wants. That sounds like you did the appropriate thing.

                        OP: You said someone once helped you out of a similar situation. What did they do in that case?
                        I think when she first got horse she had two parents. Now just one.

                        My similar situation: Had my coach find me a horse. I was 14 and had to pay for my own horse, so small budget. Found me a 3.5 year old TB that seemed great. Before he even stepped off the trailer found out he had been rejected by THREE trainers as unsafe...but the fourth knew how to drug. Owner thought a little girl could love him enough to fix him. Rare the week I didn't come off (horse bucked) and my trainer wouldn't get on him (bad back). I still tried showing and clinicking. It was NG. Finally woke up to the idea of selling him when I took a clinic with Mac Cone. He was the first to say "WTF is a kid doing on this horse?" But how to sell a horse that was dangerous...so a breeder/trainer who had nothing to do with me (but my coach sometimes taught at her barn) offered to take my horse in part trade for a 3 year old WB cross. A conformational misfit and short...but became the best darn horse I EVER owned. I am sure the $$ I paid was close to what her horse was worth, but taking my horse off my hands was priceless. She told me she sent him to a "boy up north who could handle him and would just trail ride". Really she gave him 30 days to smarten up with her trainer, and then canned him when he showed zero improvement....I found out 4 years later. It was the right thing to do with this horse, but no way then 16 year old me could have done that. (ok, so now I am crying)

                        So thanks lee, for doing what needed to be done and helping me find a horse that could move me ahead.

                        But this horse isn't ready for the knackers I don't think.
                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by CHT View Post
                          I do not want to stick my neck out if that means potentially damaging my reputation or injurying myself. I have an issue with my nervous system and can't really feel my right leg or feet...so riding is complicated enough...much less the ones that may need quick reflexes.

                          So far I have given her the number of a trainer I respect that will go to her location, but not sure if she made the call, or even has the money to do that.

                          The barn is closish, but COLD. I cannot take cold anymore due to above mentionned issues.

                          It may be my pay it forward moment...but only if I have a solution. I do not have a field to stick horsey in.

                          GoForGallop, I am not sure horse is in pain. Maybe hocks, but nothing stood out as horrible. Legs clean. Back was ok, teeth done by a good vet in summer. feet nice. muscles symetrical. Horse didn't move while mounting, pin ears when girthed, or fuss with mouth. Horse just felt DONE. If it is soreness (ulcers maybe?), it is nothing obvious. Would a horse with sore hocks be a rearer?

                          Horse put to sleep or sold for food. Not a good answer, but, sometimes.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I looked at a similar horse once for a friend. The Horse did almost exactly what you are indicating. Another friend later purchased "said" horse and it was deemed in A LOT of pain. If you do end up with this horse perhaps you could have him evaluated by a very good lameness vet. Lameness isn't always as evident as you might think.

                            ime,

                            KH

                            Ps. The friends horses ended up doing awesome after treatments for pain!!
                            Strange how much you've got to know Before you know how little you know. Anonymous

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                              There is nothing I loathe more on this board (or more generally, in life) than those who approach each and every situation as if everyone in the world is a user, cheater, bad-faithed crazy person who wants to steal your money and ruin your life. If I actually approached every human interaction with that mindset, I would just slit my wrists and be done with it.

                              It is possible to be careful and to try to be helpful.

                              What would constitute the situation 'blowing up in the OP's face'? She's clear on the fact that she can't and won't take custody of this horse.

                              The situation is already 'dramatic'. But offering information or talking to the trainer? Where's the harm in that?

                              So many people on this board express gratitude for the assistance and education they were given as youngsters by trainers and mentors. When one has a chance to pay it forward, one should do so. Hunkering down, so as to avoid the slightest chance of 'drama', which is a 2012 weasel word for any stressful human interaction, is fine if you want to be that person. But thank heavens there are folks in the world who would like to live better than that, and be a better person than that.
                              ^^THIS

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                i applaud the OP for thinking about sticking her neck out, and for proceeding carefully about it rather than just acting on impulse. I actually don't see "Disaster!" written all over this one. From the info given, chances seem decent that the mare could be salvaged. My mare Brio was in a similar situation before I got her-- very young inexperienced rider on 4yo horse. Horse scared her, she got timid, horse behavior got worse, she got more timid, and horse became unrideable for the kid. My first couple of rides, Brio would not go forward without being really pissy, and yes she got light in the front several times in protest. Once she learned forward means forward, and I worked on hills to muscle up her topline, those problems disappeared. I agree that a committed, repetitive rearer is scary but I'm not sure we really know that is the case with this mare.

                                For me to get involved though, the owner would absolutely need to be willing to give the horse away and just be happy with the fact that she's out from under boarding costs. If she insists on a sale, when the horse needs vet work and retraining just to make her rideable (with uncertain outcome), then I'd walk away. Bottom line, the kid needs to acknowledge that she needs HELP and needs to accept that someone taking the horse off her hands is indeed help. If she feels like she's being screwed over because the horse is worth xxxx, then yeah, any transaction would prob end badly because she doesn't know the reality. Sucks that she doesn't seem to have enough adult wisdom and support in her life.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  OP: I loff Mac. He is such a straight shooter. You were very lucky to have the ending you did. I can certainly understand how you want to pay it forward now.

                                  I really feel for the young lady. I hope everything works out.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Sounds like the program, demands changed both w/ horse & rider from summer activity to a focus, direct ride of dressage. Everyone wants to please, but can not nor wants to anymore., thus pressure at many levels

                                    Negative barn, coach and program....

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Haven't read all the posts as I'm on my phone, sorry I this has been touched in already.

                                      I can sympathize with your want to help, however I think you should keep on walking! The fact that it's a 14 year old facilitating the sale speaks volumes to me. Either the coach doesn't want her name attached to this horse, or, the teenager and parents are not following coache's advice. This is a problem situation and horse requires some retraining and physical work up. All of which costs money! And at the end of the day there are no guarantees this horse will get turned around. If I were in their position, I'd say give it away or send to auction. Cut your losses and move on!

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Wow, Sherwood Acres. So distancing oneself to theoretically protect one's reputation is a better choice than helping a kid who is trying to get out of a horse handling situation that is dangerous?

                                        It's entirely possible that OP can assist the young owner without spending any $$.

                                        And what losses does she have to cut? Her net investment to date: she took a client to look at the horse, and sat on it, and deemed it to much of an unknown / potential bad actor to put her client on. She is now brainstorming to think of way to help kid address this tough situation.

                                        How about, the fact that it's a 14 year old facilitating the sale does speak volumes: about the other adults on the scene -- the not particularly helpful trainer, absent father, non-assisting mother. What it tells me about the young owner is that at least she knows she's in over her head. The ones I wouldn't want to help are those who can't understand they are about to get hurt.

                                        As a side note: as a person who has used trainers, guess which one I will hire: the one who is generous with their expertise to someone who really needs help, or someone who can't be bothered?

                                        There is more than one kind of reputation, and more than one way of thinking about it.
                                        I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                        I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I had to check to make sure of where you were, as I was contacted about a similar situation recently! I passed, and gave them another name (she ASKED me to refer her to these problem cases, but eventually she's going to tell me to stop!) Poor kids, poor horses. Makes me go out and hug my DD's large pony every day again - he is a freaking saint, but still loads of fun. What every kid should have instead, and he didn't cost me a ton, either. She DID have a couple of mildly unsuitable leases along the way, but that's why they were leases - basically trials with options. One was borderline dangerous and we dumped her like a hot potato. But then I've been doing this for a long time - I see all these parents getting into horses and I feel SO sorry for them. They have to rely on trainers who I wouldn't trust with my goat for guidance. Even if they don't MEAN to steer them wrong they really don't know how to match the kids with a suitable mount.

                                          Comment

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