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Foot in mouth- went to look a horse- funny but LONG!!

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  • Foot in mouth- went to look a horse- funny but LONG!!

    Long story happened on the way to West Orange...

    So my friend A is looking for a horse, casually. She wants a super easy, amatuer friendly horse. Issue: She is 5' 11" and ALL leg. If she is going to buy, she wants a horse she honestly fits. She rides dressage and trails, and is on a tight budget.

    We saw an ad for a 17 hand 8 year old TB gelding in West Orange NJ. Now for those of you non-jersey people- west orange is the city. The very urban, dense, non agrarian city. But apparently the county has a preserve with a farm, rental horses, pony rides, and boarding. I've seen county run barns with public stuff, they generally suck. In addition to being overpriced. /rant

    The horse has some videos on youtube we dissect first- horse is being held back too much, goes crooked, needs to go with more pace and a better rider who will help him, not just sit there. We knew the horse had no mouth and would have a big step that A would have to ask for.

    After some back and forth when the horse had a injury on his face, then the owner had to reschedule again, FINALLY we arrived to see the horse. Although first we sat in the driveway playing count the safety concerns: horse tied by its bit to a tractor, sharp wires in the turnout field, etc etc.
    But these folks just board there, I was trying hard NOT to judge.

    Owner is tiny- 5'1" or so. Her mom who occasionally rides the horse is also short, but round -I figure if horse can handle armature mom, should have a good temperament etc. We ask if he was turned out- yes for half a day today.

    Owner: "But he is so calm, never bucked or reared with a rider. He's so calm for a TB, usually they are lunatics! We love him, he's so easy and beautiful, we want him to go to the best home..."

    Horse grumps quite a bit during girthing, is shiny and well groomed, but skinny, no topline, huge old blemish on hind leg, and some weird bumps between the back of the saddle and the croup. Short tail too. Nice straight legs, looong cannon bones, good feet, upright shoulder. He's 16.2 or so. I measure against my friend A standing next to the horse. If she can see over the horse, it ain;t 17H!!

    Owner puts on bells boots- we ask if the horse interferes- "No." Then why the bell boots? "To protect him..." (From.... what??)

    Horse is not showing ANY personality at this point, just stands like a statue, no fussing but also no interest - this is a bustling lesson barn with tons of people and us tacking him up.

    Owner gets out bridle- it has brass and silver.. decorations? all over it We're not talking swarovski- it looked more like harness horse decorations. Weird. D ring mullen mouth. Horse resists bridling for a few moments before taking it.

    Owner mounts and walks the horse around. He has a nice free walk, big overstep. Trot is not as nice- any time she touches his face he fusses, and he's sucked back, not marching at all. Canter is a huge stride, but crooked and still won't take contact and seems sucked back.

    Owner tells us he can jump anything, "2'6', 2"9 courses, 8 foot, whatever."
    Oh, really? a 2'9" course? Because from the videos and today, this horse doesn't know how to jump an outside line, let alone any other related fences.

    Hopped over a few fences (2'), super nice knees, but his jump is all up, not forward, so he hangs in the air and has a weird landing. Owner says he does his changes, but does not demonstrate, horse chooses the wrong lead once or twice and they do a simple change. The whole ride horse just looks like he needs to GO FORWARD, inside leg, outside rein, half halt, contact, produce the energy with the leg and channel it with hands and seat! But I am not the owner. Or the buyer. And A. already knows EXACTLY what I think from the videos.

    So far no big deal- horse looks ok to the two of us, so she decides to do a test ride. Test ride plan: just give him his head and see what he wants to do, and then possibly use some aids. Maybe hop a cross rail if she can get a flowing forward canter out of him.

    A did not bring her own saddle, as it is fairly narrow and she expected it would never fit a 17h (ha ha) fit- with a topline- horse. Much fussing is made to find long enough stirrups for A. (She really is all leg, I am terribly jealous!)

    A. Puts on her safety vest. At this point I begin to wonder if she should sign a liability release? But owner says nothing so we just go along with it.

    A asks if she should carry her crop.

    Owners: "You don't need it."
    A: "OK, but will it bother him if I carry it?"
    Owner: "You don't need a crop"
    At this point I'm annoyed- why can't she carry it, even if she doesn't NEED it?

    And then I shoved my foot so far up my mouth I tasted the sweat on the back of my knee.
    I said: "George Morris always says to ride with a crop AND spurs."
    And I get the look of death from the owner. I become invisible.



    A gets on the horse. Walks a few steps, then horse begins to jig. Then trot. She's just SITTING there, and he even canters a few strides.

    A. tries to calm him down- he;s not spooking or bolting outright, but ANY touch of the leg, even hanging on his side, sets him off. And he has no idea about contact so she can't half halt. It's just her leg laying quietly on his sides that he objects to- owners leg is barely below the saddle flap.

    3 minutes later A. hops off. Enough is enough.

    We help quickly untack the horse - he's quite sweaty with only 15 minutes of work, so out of shape. A. offers him the carrots she brough- he barely nibbles at one of them- very un engaged with people.

    We think a good chiropractor could help this horse, but at this point i am still Claude Rains, so I say nothing to the owner. Poor horse needs a professional or advanced rider, but isn't really talented enough to interest that level of rider. Sounds like he's good on trails though...

    Thanks the owner for her time (although owner is now on her cell and cannot even bother to say goodbye).

    Summary
    Weird urban barn, horse shorter then advertised, horse temperament not as advertised, no concern for safety, and I am a precedent citing blithering blathering rude idiot.
    Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Penthilisea View Post
    Weird urban barn, horse shorter then advertised, horse temperament not as advertised, no concern for safety, and I am a precedent citing blithering blathering rude idiot.
    Hmmm - shorter than advertised, temperament not as advertised. Sounds like horse shoppin'!
    A proud friend of bar.ka.

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    • #3
      Sounds like a strange/only-in-the-horseworld situation

      I hate to agree witht the seller - but - I would not let someone get on my horse with a bat and/or spurs if I never needed to use them either. If the horse does not need them, the horse does not need them. Period. Too much of a risk of someone getting on who does not know how to use them and either the rider or horse gets hurt.

      Shame on the owner for not requiring a release though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ulcers? He sounds like a nice diamond in the rough to me...with ulcers and maybe come chiro work too. Maybe you guys should reconsider upgrading his home!

        I have been horse shoping with friends that makes this look like a walk in the park, lol.
        There are stars in the Southern sky and if ever you decide you should go there is a taste of time sweetened honey.

        Comment


        • #5
          hmmm, my Irish horse was the same when I got him...lay a leg on him and we were off to the races. In about 5 months with correct riding. I have a brave horse who could care less what I do to him. You never know....

          Comment


          • #6
            There's a perfect match posted on CL here in Nashville... does she want to ship one?!
            Big Idea Eventing

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh there was a free standardbred that was 17 hands being sent around via email...though wasn't broke. lol. but it's a standardbred!

              If i can find the email would you like it? (It's in jersey somewhere)
              www.rivendellhorsefarm.com/tackpage.html

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for the replies, all.
                FYI she is not looking to ship, wants a broke broke broke horse, no rush to buy Basically she wants a horse she COULD carry a bat on, even if it wasn't needed. Carry- not use.
                The horse just wasn't as advertised- not for an amatuer, and certainly not for one with long legs!

                I agree though, ULCERS crossed my mind too. He would be a good upgrade if anyone if else is looking I will send you the info via PM
                Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know you meant well, OP and I know that you were already upset by things that you had seen awry, but I have to agree with the sellers a bit here. I would not let someone on my horse with a bat and spurs unless I was sure they knew how to use them. Why would you even want to carry a bat if you didn't need one? (That's a real question, not trying to be a smart ass.)

                  And **Putting on major flame suit here** I disagree with GM (if this is actually something he preaches)... I do not think every horse/every ride requires spurs and a bat. If you had said that to me, the trial ride would have never happened at all. Sorry to be harsh, but at least you have admitted to sticking your foot in your mouth. I applaud you for that.
                  Last edited by drmgncolor; Jul. 31, 2009, 10:30 AM.
                  Dreaming in Color

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The horse was fine for the owner but not fine for your friend? Not seeing what the big deal was, the horse was too much for your friend.

                    I also would not let anyone ride my horse with a crop or spurs unless I knew them and their riding.

                    I think this is a bit judgy judgemental.
                    Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
                    https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know... I would roll my eyes at someone if I told them my horse does not go with a whip and spurs and I got a "BUT George Morris SAYS too!". He didn't work out and that sucks but this really doesn't sound like a misadvertised horse from hell some some I've seen. I don't mean to pick apart your rant, but did you stick him for his height? Seeing over a horse doesn't really determine their height if they have tall withers. I couldn't tell if you were upset with only a half day turnout, but I got that from your post a little. That's more than many horses get and if a horse can't act properly on half a day turnout there's something wrong- apparently since he just stood dead in the cross ties he was fine. I would much rather a horse stand there well behaved and bored then look at every single thing bug eyed that walks by. I don't know... just found your post very judgmental without great reason. I don't think they lied really.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Never had a horse that I had to ride with a bat and I've never worn a set of spurs. I guess I've been lucky but my horses don't seem to balk, they're very forward and pretty much behaved. Well, except the new gal, Dolly, and I am thinking about riding with a bat for her.
                        I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                        Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Considering the horse was jiggy when she got on him there was probably a good reason for no spurs/stick. I ride/sell ottb's and I really prefer if new riders don't carry a stick and spurs. Yes, I ride every horse with both but often tb's are very sensitive to new styles of riding and if someone rides differently than me it can cause a reaction from the horse so why make the situation worse by adding them.

                          I ride a ton of Tb's but on my first few rides or if I went to try a strange horse I would NEVER have my spurs on or be carrying a stick. I treat every horse like a blank slate and tend to add as I go not start like they know something. If you treat them like they know nothing you are bound to be happy if they do know a bit instead of the other way around

                          I think that horse actually sounds fairly interesting to me not that I am shopping. I don't know the price range but if he is that willing somebody could transform him into a pretty cool horse.

                          My mom recently bought a $1k Tb in NJ that is 16.3 h and exactly as you describe. He doesn't know much of anything but is willing to try. When shopping for a bargain that is all that I ask for. Tons of horses could use a chiropractor but most of the time good dressage can fix a ton of body issues.
                          http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hmm, if some of the details weren't different... I would swear I tried this horse
                            ~Veronica
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                            http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The horse my mom ended up buying is named Oak Ridge Tom he is a work in progress but I kinda like him. Vx- possible same horse you tried?
                              http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                The key here is that the horse was NOT amatuer suited. An amatuer suited horse will tolerate a rider CARRYING a bat (and I mean carrying, like up across the thigh, not in the almost hitting dropped position)

                                I totally agree that what I said was SO very WRONG- out of place, rude, and odd. I am still kicking myself, you all can laugh at me, with me.
                                Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Didn't try him Jleegriffith but I called on him and he was already sold. They sent me some EYE POPPING photos of another sale horse and then I was too scared to go there

                                  It all ended up fine because I am very happy with the horsey I ended up with
                                  ~Veronica
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Jleegriffith View Post
                                    The horse my mom ended up buying is named Oak Ridge Tom he is a work in progress but I kinda like him. Vx- possible same horse you tried?
                                    Glad to hear you bought Tom. Must have been fairly recently as I saw him not too long ago. He is a nice horse needs a job.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Slightly different scenario... but on the subject of saying the wrong thing: My neighbour came up with a great line that we say when we see horses that aren't as advertised (really, really, not as advertised) and the owners are gushing all over them.

                                      "Well! He just takes my breath away!"

                                      Whoever you're horse shopping with knows exactly what you mean. And now there's less chance of sticking foot in mouth.
                                      Blugal

                                      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would ask the same question as the OP. I had a horse that we were evaluating for the camp I worked for a while back. He was doing fine with another rider, and then I got on with a short crop since I was going to jump him and he went berserk (calmed down when I dropped the whip, but not very fast). Turns out that when previous owner/donator was called, to let her know how his evaluation went, that she knew he had a thing about whips. It would have been nice for us to know that.

                                        I always try to ask someone before I get on their horse if the horse is used to spurs and/or a crop, so that I can be prepared for the horse's response. Any horse should be okay with being ridden with a crop and spurs. Just because you wear them doesn't mean you use them. I used to ride my very hot TB mare with a dressage whip every ride just to get her over her reactiveness to it. IMHO a horse that won't tolerate a rider carrying a whip is also the one that you can get into big trouble if someone hands you something, or you have to pick up something and carry it on the trail. Just my $0.02 worth.
                                        ~ Kimberlee
                                        www.SpunkyDiva.com

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