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What responsibility does a breeder have to point out conformation faults to a young horse buyer?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by jonem004 View Post

    From what I could see on the X-ray (definitely not an X-pert) there were some close joint spaces and the backward angle was acute enough that I thought I was looking at a hock for a second.
    Well, then that is a scary BATK that even a relatively ignorant horseperson should have seen as WTH

    Like, shame on the buyer for not having any kind of prepurchase done. Or, idk, actually LOOKING at the horse.
    This is what it all boils down to.

    But also shame on the breeder for selling an honest to goodness cull as a breeding animal.
    We call those backyard breeders
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • #22
      Originally posted by JB View Post
      In the dog breeding world, the best breeders sell "pet quality" animals who don't hold up to high breeding standards. The price is lower, of course, and I'm sure some of those buyers breed them anyway.
      I know this is a horse forum but... many dog breeders I know don't differentiate between 'pet' and 'show' quality with regards to price. One just doesn't always know how a puppy will mature (as with a horse). I bought a puppy that was supposed to be pick female of her litter and chosen by both breeder and another well respected breeder in the same city. She ended up with a very short back and paced unless I very careful with how I moved her. The knowledgeable breeder saw her a few years later and couldn't believe how she matured... what you have as a youngster can't always be predicted how that animal will grow up.
      When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post

        I know this is a horse forum but... many dog breeders I know don't differentiate between 'pet' and 'show' quality with regards to price. One just doesn't always know how a puppy will mature (as with a horse). I bought a puppy that was supposed to be pick female of her litter and chosen by both breeder and another well respected breeder in the same city. She ended up with a very short back and paced unless I very careful with how I moved her. The knowledgeable breeder saw her a few years later and couldn't believe how she matured... what you have as a youngster can't always be predicted how that animal will grow up.
        I totally get that. I know several dog breeders - neighbor breeds Dachsunds, bred Boxers, know several GSD breeders, and all of them discount prices on puppies they decide are not show quality. They are very VERY careful about who even their "pet quality" dogs go to, and the ones I know also have spay/neuter clauses in the contracts. Those are who I consider "the best". Of course there are no guarantees.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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        • #24
          JB while my last Border breeder did have a contract, no price difference on 'pet' vs 'show', wanted me to wait at least 2+ years to neuter, not co-owner on the AKC registration and a diligent 3 page questionnaire before I was even considered to get one of her pups.

          Mine (the dog, not the breeder ) is a definite non-conformation dog but he still has a nose most suitable for doing performance nose work

          When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by jonem004 View Post


            This is a hypothetical. I didn’t want to post the details of the FB fun, just if case someone involved frequents these boards. It was surrounding a conformation fault that either was not noticed (more likely) or not evident (less likely) when the buyer looked at the horse prior to purchase. It didn’t sound like any prepurchase vetting took place.

            My initial instinct what that horses are a buyer beware purchase, but there were enough, “Any reputable breeder...”, comments that I thought I’d check in and make sure my moral compass wasn’t misaligned.
            I would say the breeder has zero obligation in this regard. Intended use is something usually discussed with the vet you choose to do the PPE, no? And their role is to assess conformation, movement and any injuries / red flags that might make the horse unsuitable for its intended use, no? If the buyer didn’t get a PPE or have the assistance of a knowledgeable trainer who can assess conformation, then the buyer has nobody to blame but themselves.

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            • #26
              Would I be wrong in saying the any rider capable of obtaining an UL and looking for an UL dressage prospect knows enough about conformation to notice such flaws?

              Given more details about the scenario, I haven't seen a lot of serious UL riders on small, hairy, draft breeds of uncertain lineage as well.

              I suspect that the hairy filly will be capable of obtaining the levels the rider is capable of.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                Would I be wrong in saying the any rider capable of obtaining an UL and looking for an UL dressage prospect knows enough about conformation to notice such flaws?

                Given more details about the scenario, I haven't seen a lot of serious UL riders on small, hairy, draft breeds of uncertain lineage as well.

                I suspect that the hairy filly will be capable of obtaining the levels the rider is capable of.
                No
                Yep
                Exactly

                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                  Would I be wrong in saying the any rider capable of obtaining an UL and looking for an UL dressage prospect knows enough about conformation to notice such flaws?

                  Given more details about the scenario, I haven't seen a lot of serious UL riders on small, hairy, draft breeds of uncertain lineage as well.

                  I suspect that the hairy filly will be capable of obtaining the levels the rider is capable of.


                  Just to clarify, the UL horse was just a hypothetical. The actual filly bought was supposed to be a breed show and breeding animal. I won’t presume to know how the breed shows work, but if the buyer breeds an animal with a knee like that it would really be a shame.

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                  • #29
                    Sounds like a really unfortunate combination of a poor "breeder" and an ignorant buyer. But as was pointed out, some breeders are barn blind and some horses do well showing in breed shows in spite of fundamental conformation flaws. This is especially true in breeds that are newly, faddishly popular.

                    One friend had an eye-opening experience looking for a stallion for her mare. She was looking in a breed that had a big halter showing program, although she was looking for performance. Being open-minded, she considered a number of stallions. She was amazed and saddened by the number of stallions who had won major halter championships with poor leg conformation. She could understand overlooking long backs or different necksets, etc, but these were horses that had seriously crooked legs.(as in offset knees or extremely toed out, not preferring straighter hocks, etc)

                    BTW, IME dog breeders may or may not charge less for pet quality puppies and that often depends upon the pet market for those breed puppies. At least the ethical breeders do sell pet quality with limited registrations so their offspring cannot be registered.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by MsM View Post
                      Sounds like a really unfortunate combination of a poor "breeder" and an ignorant buyer. But as was pointed out, some breeders are barn blind and some horses do well showing in breed shows in spite of fundamental conformation flaws. This is especially true in breeds that are newly, faddishly popular.

                      One friend had an eye-opening experience looking for a stallion for her mare. She was looking in a breed that had a big halter showing program, although she was looking for performance. Being open-minded, she considered a number of stallions. She was amazed and saddened by the number of stallions who had won major halter championships with poor leg conformation. She could understand overlooking long backs or different necksets, etc, but these were horses that had seriously crooked legs.(as in offset knees or extremely toed out, not preferring straighter hocks, etc)

                      BTW, IME dog breeders may or may not charge less for pet quality puppies and that often depends upon the pet market for those breed puppies. At least the ethical breeders do sell pet quality with limited registrations so their offspring cannot be registered.
                      Agreed. There are three different issues here/in this scenario. First, what responsibility does the breeder have to the potential buyer? Second what responsibility does that buyer have in regards to being self-informed or consulting those more informed prior to the decision to buy? Third is the responsibility of the breeder to the breed/registry and the horse itself? A responsible breeder does their best to sell their horses into homes where they have a good chance of fulfilling the goals intended and being well cared for. A responsible breeder of a breed does their best to produce livestock that lives up to the breed standard as well as doing their best to insure that individuals that don't meet the mark are sold/kept in situations where their genes don't (or are far less likely) re-enter the gene pool. An individual who is purchasing livestock for the purpose of breeding and representing a breed has just as much responsibility to do their research and become knowledgeable or rely on trusted, informed resources to help guide them in picking SOUND and well conformed choices for that endeavor. It sounds like the scenario is one where two fools parted and one got 'richer' on the other but no one is more guilty than the other or bears more responsibility than the other imo.

                      Having been well entrenched in a breed, there are ways to 'handle' this situation but financial recourse in this sale as it's described is likely a fairy tale. If the breeder is truly a responsible breeder and cares about what could be blamed on their breeding program they would be wiser to make an exchange even if it's waiting for the next generation; but, then the buyer should do their part in becoming better informed/better educated understanding the genetics being used by the breeder to make sure they don't get something better conformed but still just as likely, capable of throwing undesired traits should they elect to breed such a prospect. Sounds more like the unwillingness or lack of such understanding will not only perpetuate the backyard breeder gene pool but it will increase by one.
                      Ranch of Last Resort

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                      • #31
                        Sounds like a backyard breeder to me. That is why you should always buy from a reputable breeder. And if you aren't knowledgeable enough on conformation, bring someone else along and above all else GET A PPE!!!!

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                        • #32
                          I'd like to see a photo of the "newly popular small hairy draft" not the animal in question, but one of the breed.
                          I haven't heard of such a thing.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by skydy View Post
                            I'd like to see a photo of the "newly popular small hairy draft" not the animal in question, but one of the breed.
                            I haven't heard of such a thing.
                            Cob? Icelandic? Gypsy Vanner? I’m curious too!

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by BigMama1 View Post

                              Cob? Icelandic? Gypsy Vanner? I’m curious too!
                              Gypsy Vanner. We have an Icelandic breeder in the area but I don’t think her market is local. Nice little horses though!

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by jonem004 View Post

                                I believe the filly was a yearling. Bought from a friend, having been seen in a pen once with other horses, while drinking wine. Filly was purchased as a show and breeding animal, but a few days after receiving the horse the buyer noticed she was back at the knee. Had vet out then to take X-rays and it didn’t look good in there.
                                Not much of a friend!

                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                                • #36
                                  This is a good lesson for anyone who would consider choosing to buy a horse that is loose in a herd situation, with no PPE and while drinking wine. Not that I can imagine that set of circumstances occurring very frequently.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                    This is a good lesson for anyone who would consider choosing to buy a horse that is loose in a herd situation, with no PPE and while drinking wine. Not that I can imagine that set of circumstances occurring very frequently.

                                    Oh gosh I hope not!!

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                                    • #38
                                      I don't expect a breeder to have to say: Well, his neck set is a bit low, but he's a yearling, so he'll grow out of it. Or: He is downhill at the moment, but he's in a growth phase. That sort of thing is up to me to observe and decide on. HOWever, if I'm buying long distance or off a video and I specifically ask the breeder: "Are his legs straight w/o deviation or blemishes?" and the breeder fails to disclose a huge splint or bench knees, you better believe we're going to have a problem. Yes, I do also ask for video/pix of these areas, but let's face it, if the horse is hairy/squirrelly or area is not well lit, you could potentially hide problems. I've never had an issue where someone was intentionally shady. I try not to buy from people like that. ;-)

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                                      • #39
                                        Honestly, people have to do their due diligence no matter what they intend to purchase.

                                        The scenario that the OP described was a complete failure of the buyer, apparently an adult, to use their brain and follow basic procedures where buying a horse, especially a breeding animal, is concerned.

                                        The world cannot be expected hold your hand when you decide to buy a horse or any other animal in this manner. (viewing in a herd, no PPE, while drinking wine.)

                                        It is unfortunate that people will sell what should be a cull, as a breeding animal. It is equally unfortunate that people who are buying an animal for breeding choose to be ignorant as well.

                                        Seems like a case of dumb and dumber.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by jonem004 View Post

                                          Gypsy Vanner. We have an Icelandic breeder in the area but I don’t think her market is local. Nice little horses though!
                                          I suspected Gypsy Vanner. Lots of hot messes within that "breed". In the UK they're just called hairy spotted cobs.

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