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WWYD - kid with unsellable horse

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  • WWYD - kid with unsellable horse

    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.

    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    How close are they?

    How much do you want to stick your neck out?

    Is this your "pay it forward" moment? Do you want it to be?
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      I bet that poor horse is in a lot of pain somewhere.

      Sucky situation, but her coach should be helping her in this situation, not some random stranger.

      Perhaps send her a list of rescues to call, to see if anyone has a spot. Quite frankly, it's unlikely that they do. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable suggesting this to someone else's 14 year old, but get the trainer on the phone and suggest that if they aren't going to take the time to work out the physical issues with the horse, then have it put down. Or perhaps, very carefully and with a good contract, see if there is someone out there who wants the horse, as a giveaway. But not many people like to mess with horses who rear, so I'm not sure there's anyone out there for this horse....particularly coming into winter.


      • Original Poster

        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?
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


        • #5
          Many questions..

          What is the background/training of the horse (for what purpose are they advertising the horse as suitable)? Is it a young horse, perhaps mishandled?

          In my mind,if the child has a good "coach" then this situation should not exist. (Is coach hurt due to riding this horse)?

          What breed ? Exellent conformation?

          I applaud your desire to help. Much depends on the quality of the horse and the asking price.

          Re-sale at this point in time is unthinkable, however if the horse has many good qualities about it , it may be worth a try by a sympathetic pro..


          • #6
            Why does this kid have this horse in the first place? Did it develop this issue under her ownership or did it have it before she bought it? And if it did, why on earth did a kid end up with it in the first place? I know kids end up with unsuitable matches far too often, and coaches can't control their clients decisions, but it would be interesting to know some background. Maybe that would give you a clue as to what your options are? Kudos to you for wanting to help her-hopefully the COTH braintrust can help with some ideas.


            • #7
              It seems like to really be able to help, you need a lot of information of this horse - and since you have no connection to kid other than as a potential buyer's trainer, asking about all that information might be seen as interference. Esp as kid's a minor. I imagine you'd have to reach out to kid's coach first, and that could be dicey if the coach is the reason kid ended up with an unsuitable horse in the first place.
              Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


              • #8
                As much as I understand you wanting to help this kid I have a feeling this will end up being one of those "no good deed goes unpunished" situations. I can foresee a thread in about 6 weeks where it all has gone bad and you were just trying to help. So, I guess unless you want to buy the horse and deal with it yourself I think I would walk away. I think you should be applauded for wanting to help, but I can't imagine it ending well..


                • #9
                  First of all, COMPLETELY inappropriate for a 14 yo to be contacting you at all, much less blaming you for issues and essentially "flaming" you for supposedly tacking the horse up incorrectly.

                  Secondly, can you contact the parent or coach and a. inform them of the contact, b. give them your feeling about the horse, which the coach is already aware of, and c. tell them to have the child stop contacting you.

                  This is not your problem, you did not purchase this horse for the child, you did not cause the issues the horse currently has, and you are not purchasing this horse for yourself. Your involvement with the problem ended when you handed the reins back and said "no thanks."
                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                  • #10
                    I agree with TheJenners, she is already showing a very unprofessional demeanor (yes she is young but that is just very inappropriate to contact your client and blame you for her horse's behavior and essentially beg them to buy it)... this will only snowball.

                    Also... already everything you did is wrong, she will blame you if the horse does not improve and be unlikely to give credit if it does. Sorry but it doesn't sound like a good idea.

                    If you are feeling generous call her trainer with some ideas but I would have no more contact with the 14yo.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by magicteetango View Post
                      I agree with TheJenners, she is already showing a very unprofessional demeanor (yes she is young but that is just very inappropriate to contact your client and blame you for her horse's behavior and essentially beg them to buy it)... this will only snowball.

                      Also... already everything you did is wrong, she will blame you if the horse does not improve and be unlikely to give credit if it does. Sorry but it doesn't sound like a good idea.

                      If you are feeling generous call her trainer with some ideas but I would have no more contact with the 14yo.
                      In all fairness....14yo don't fire on all synapses.....


                      • #12
                        CHT, you seem like a decent person per your posts, and I think it is awesome you feel for the kid in this scenario. Sounds sad, parents uninvolved, kid with a really and truly dangerous horse.

                        I would not be getting on the thing again, that is for sure. I wouldn't have gotten on it at all in the first place, with a history of rearing, but I know you are a pro and thus that is what you guys do. But.... russian roulette!

                        You know all this... a horse like that is difficult to give away in this economy. I don't foresee a great future for it, unless someone wants to sink 6-12 months into addressing any potential physical problems, having it re-started under saddle, etc.

                        From one bleeding heart to another, back away. I took on a horse like this about 7 years ago and it was a subsequent 2 years of hell.

                        Tell the kid you sympathize, they need to talk to their parent and a BO or the trainer. Even if trainer is injured and can't ride it, I am sure he/she can advise the kid on how to "get rid" of horse, even if that means it needs to be put down. Can YOU reach out to the trainer/pro involved? From one colleague to another sort of thing... That's probably as involved as I'd get...
                        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                        • #13
                          To posters who are busting on the 14 year old for being unprofessional -- really? Really? A kid who can't get any adult or professional help, who is clearly desperate not to be in this difficult spot, and your focus is on her lack of professionalism? Of course the teen is wrong to take the approach she did, but there's so much else going on that needs to be addressed, the imperfect manners of the kid is not exactly where I would start.

                          Kudos to OP for wishing that she could help address a bad situation. I would certainly wonder ulcers, right off the bat. Removing pain from an equation can change a horse's behavior 100%. But it's impossible to know from here what is the entire story, or what has and hasn't been tried already to address the situation.

                          If kid's coach can't ride, then maybe you can help her coach find one who can help evaluate the situation (with FULL disclosure, gratis). Scoping for ulcers costs money, but isn't it better than euthanizing without at least investigating this possibility?
                          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                          • #14
                            Can you pm me where this horse is as we have some kids looking for horses and don't want to end up with one that rears!
                            Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


                            • #15
                              I think you misread the OP, TheJenners.

                              Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                              First of all, COMPLETELY inappropriate for a 14 yo to be contacting you at all,

                              tell them to have the child stop contacting you.
                              The child (horse owner) did not contact CHT.

                              Originally posted by CHT View Post

                              Kid wouldn't stop calling/texting client last night.
                              From the OP, the kid was contacting the *client*, not CHT, the client's trainer, or that's how I read it.

                              Is that correct, CHT? The kid was contacting the prospective purchaser?

                              I agree with GoForAGallop, it sounds like a pain issue, either past or present. Maybe a spine issue...?

                              I don't know any ideas for you, CHT, but it sounds like this horse might need to be a giveaway if someone willing to take on a project can be found. What is the horse's general worth if he did NOT have the rearing problem? 1K? 3K? 10K?


                              • #16
                                If you really wanted to help, I would, when I contact the kid's trainer, not the kid or the parents, the trainer, to let the trainer know what the kid is doing/saying, I might suggest the trainer look at or treat for ulcers, just in case that is the horse's problem, possibly and easier fix than lots of vet diagnostics. However, it would be a brief, suggestion thrown out to them on the way saying goodbye.

                                Other than that, don't get in volved would be my advice.
                                My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                                • #17
                                  In regards to the horse. Sounds like he/she needs a mental break. Is there anyway that it can find a home that will chuck it out for the winter, then bring it back slowly in the spring? In a non-rushed way, filling in the gaps along the way and addressing any pain issues. If the horse continues to be a problem, can't settle, keeps rearing, it needs to be PTS and done.

                                  Where are you located? Sounds like a Minion kind of challenge.

                                  In regards to the 14 year old. The kid sounds like she's in a panic. She's 14. With an unsupportive parent, a horse that she can't ride, and a trainer who can't/won't help her. If you treated her in the way that I'm guessing you did, since you're posting looking for help for a horse that you really have nothing invested into, then she knows that you or your client may be her only hope for help. I'm not surprised that she's grasping at those straws.

                                  Can you guide her to the answer (ie turning the horse out for the winter) then can you help her (or find her help to) re-start the horse in the spring?


                                  • #18
                                    Sorry if I sound harsh but I feel like this could really blow up in the OP's face, I feel sympathy for the girl for sure. But she has a trainer and she has parents. They need to be taking care of this for her and her own trainer should be helping her out with it.

                                    When I was 14 I can honestly say I would never have done that, unless perhaps the client was also a teen she felt she had gotten close to? But then again my parents and trainer would not have had a 14yo facilitating the sale either.

                                    I apologize if I seem critical but I do feel like due to the owner's age and situation it could get very dramatic and really backfire. Doesn't make her a bad kid, it just makes it what it is.


                                    • #19
                                      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.
                                      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                                      • #20
                                        You are not Jesus.

                                        You cannot Save her.

                                        Accept it and move on.
                                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
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