Just bought a horse with many problems!

Last post 03-31-2012 3:00 PM by 653439. 18 replies.
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  • 05-26-2011 9:51 AM

    Just bought a horse with many problems!

    I just purchased a registered Quarter Horse who, supposedly, had been in training with a professional for about 3 years, was advertised as healthy and fit, and was being sold because the then-owner was looking for a horse who could perform activities this horse was unable to.  I couldn't ride him at the time because I was just getting over total knee-replacement surgery, but I did have my trainer ride him and the horse looked and acted fine, so I bought him.  After 3 weeks, my Doctor cleared me to ride and I was ready to begin a summer of trail-riding, some arena work and taking lessons to learn Western Pleasure.  However, when I tried to get on the horse, he bolted, tore the reins out of my trainer's hands and ran to other end of the arena.  I'm in my 60's, it's been 35 years since I've owned my own horse although I have kept up with riding over the years.  The horse acts like he is terrified of anyone gettin on his back, he rears and tries to take off even in lungeing.  In short, he's unrideable for me.  I've called the seller who tells me the horse didn't act like that when they had him, doesn't have a clue what's wrong and refuses to take the horse back. My trainer thinks the horse has been "beaten-up" and mistreated, and as my trainer has more than 50 years experience in training, showing and working with horses, I tend to believe what he's telling me.  We're using a snaffle bit, the horse has had a thorough vet check, shoes, feet are in good shape.  I'm at a loss of what to do.  Does anyone have any ideas?

  • 05-26-2011 11:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

     The horse was likely drugged when you bought it.  But you have a trainer and this is good.  Sounds like this poor horse just needs to learn that he CAN trust some people again, my heart goes out to the little guy.  I'd have trainer take him in round pen, if trainer has patience and compassion, and just start from the basics with him.  Perhaps once he learns he is in a friendlier place, he can relax.  Right now, he doesn't know you, doesn't know trainer, is not feeling so secure.



    Solaris -- 16 hh Appendix Quarter Horse = MY DREAM COME TRUE!
    We Are Flying Solo
  • 05-26-2011 2:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    Solaris:

     The horse was likely drugged when you bought it.  But you have a trainer and this is good.  Sounds like this poor horse just needs to learn that he CAN trust some people again, my heart goes out to the little guy.  I'd have trainer take him in round pen, if trainer has patience and compassion, and just start from the basics with him.  Perhaps once he learns he is in a friendlier place, he can relax.  Right now, he doesn't know you, doesn't know trainer, is not feeling so secure.

    Ditto that.

    I would also add to have an equine chiropractor look at him before anymore attempts at riding are done.  Chances are good that, at some point(s) in time, the horse has gotten its skeltal system out of whack.

    Have the trainer be double and triple sure the saddle is a good fit.  Sometimes one can start a horse in an saddle "that will do for now"; this does not sound like one of those times;  things are going to need to be perfect, once the horse gets his trust level back.

    There are still things you can do with the horse from the ground, to start the bonding process but let your trainer guide you along.  Feeding him full of treats would not be one of them, although a treat or two, here and there, won't hurt:)

  • 05-26-2011 3:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    If your trainer has some--or even better, a lot--of experience with natural horsemanship he will be able to help you and your horse bond so that the horse does not feel so "alone", as Solaris said. Especially if the horse has had a bad life before you, he needs to learn that you are the leader of your small herd of two, and he can rely on you to be his protector. He needs to know that you'll never ask him to do anything that he can't do, and that you are always there watching his back.

    If your trainer has no experience with NH, find a competent NH trainer to work with both your horse AND you. A good NH trainer will insist that you are involved in your horse's re-training: unless you understand why--and how--your horse has learned a new way of looking at the world, you won't know how to maintain and expect those new skills.

    I'm sure that your horse will appreciate the fact that you are asking questions, and you want to do your best to improve his outlook at life. Good job.
    Megan


    "The horse you get off is not the horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better."

    Anonymous




  • 05-26-2011 6:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    My two cents --

    Ask yourself if at your age you want to risk dealing with a potentially dangerous horse, or have a horse that you may never be able to ride.

    My mom is 67 and she worries about breaking a hip more than anything else when she rides, and she is very fit.  But, we don't bounce much as we get older, do we?

    A friend of a friend, in his 60's, fell off his beloved horse last weekend and died when a broken rib punctured his lung.  Can happen at any age of course, but, I'm just sayin'.Sad

    Many, many years ago, we got a gorgeous horse once from an auction.  Turned out, he had been drugged.  After a couple days, when the drugs wore off, he was a terrified mess.  He was supposed to be green broke and for us girls to finish his training.  Well no one could even get near him without him him rolling his eyes and trembling, sweating and fighting to escape.

    So, my mom took him over and started him slowly and properly.  After several weeks, he seemed to be going well.  My mom had taken him on several trail rides.  He had gone over strange objects and up and down stairs, all kinds of things.  Then one night in the arena, Mom cued him to canter and he just exploded!!  My mom ended up with a fractured vertebrae (the same injury that Christopher Reeve was paralyzed by).  Fortunately, my mom wasn't paralyzed, but, she had to quit her job as a mailman and it has definitely taken its toll on her health.

    Anyway, I've become a bit of a wimp now that I'm in my 40's.  I'm so nervous about falling off.  Though I did buy an unridden 3 yr old myself a couple years agoConfused.  Training has gone slower, because I am a nervous rider now, but, he's coming along.  I have fallen off once, but, it was in the arena and didn't really hurt at all.  But, some days all I can think about is falling off and hitting the fence, hitting the road, hitting a tree.  My mind is very active in creating potential disaster.

    If you aren't a wimp like me, start back at the basics with him.  You have a trainer, which is great.  So, take your time and hopefully he'll get to know you and trust you.

    Good luck.  I hope he becomes a horse you can enjoy and he'll be a happier horse too if he isn't scared all the time.

    PS:  Did you get the name of the professional who trained him.  Maybe you could contact them for some insight.

    PPS:  I'm sorry about the dire thoughts I have.  Just worried about you getting hurtBig Smile

    Gailforce -- Another old lady rediscovering her inner cowgirl.
  • 05-26-2011 7:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    Hi I read your reply and what you described about the drugged horse sounds like mine.  My trainer also thinks he may have been drugged when we saw him and my trainer rode him.  My horse, too, rolls his eyes so they are half white-he looks terrified!  As far as contacting the other trainer, he was the one who was riding him when we went to look at the horse, and I was concerned then in the way he was riding the horse-seemed almost abusive, and he is good friends with the person who sold me the horse.  The seller's trainer is also supposed to have won numerous awards in the AQHA circuit.  I think both the seller and his trainer drugged the horse-a couple of great guys!  I am considering selling the horse as I think it's going to be too much of a challenge for me to try to re-train him, even with the help of my trainer, but I also think it will be very difficult to sell a horse who acts like this one.  And all I wanted was a quiet, calm horse to ride on the trails and learn Western Pleasure.  

  • 05-26-2011 9:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    Suzy Hannus:
    I just purchased a registered Quarter Horse who, supposedly, had been in training with a professional for about 3 years, was advertised as healthy and fit, and was being sold because the then-owner was looking for a horse who could perform activities this horse was unable to...
    It doesn't sound like that horse was able to perform ANY activities. It sounds like he may have had 3 weeks training rather than 3 years.

    A lot of additional questions come to mind but knowing any more about this horse and plugging in what he needs at this point will not help your present problem. However it happened, you got the wrong horse. At your age do you really want to invest more time and money into this horse, even for chiropractic treatments and some REAL professional training, to eventually try to get back on him? I'm sure your trust and confidence has been shaken. I don't see a good outcome if you press on with this horse.

     My advice would be to present and sell him honestly to someone looking for a training project. Cut your losses and move on with your search with a good lesson learned behind you. ~FH
  • 05-27-2011 4:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    FloridaHorseman:
    Suzy Hannus:
    I just purchased a registered Quarter Horse who, supposedly, had been in training with a professional for about 3 years, was advertised as healthy and fit, and was being sold because the then-owner was looking for a horse who could perform activities this horse was unable to...
    It doesn't sound like that horse was able to perform ANY activities. It sounds like he may have had 3 weeks training rather than 3 years.

    A lot of additional questions come to mind but knowing any more about this horse and plugging in what he needs at this point will not help your present problem. However it happened, you got the wrong horse. At your age do you really want to invest more time and money into this horse, even for chiropractic treatments and some REAL professional training, to eventually try to get back on him? I'm sure your trust and confidence has been shaken. I don't see a good outcome if you press on with this horse.

     My advice would be to present and sell him honestly to someone looking for a training project. Cut your losses and move on with your search with a good lesson learned behind you. ~FH

    I'm going to have to ditto FH here.  

    On another note, I'm not trying to dog on your "trainer" but if he's got 50 years experience.  He should have been able to spot the fact the horse was drugged.  I would hesitate to say that if the horse had minor problems.  But it sounds like this horse has  MAJOR issues and that the trainer should have been able to spot.  

    I myself managed to buy a drugged horse my first time out.  I was 17 and got totally snowed.  I also didn't have an experienced, trusted horseman with me when I bought her either.  16 years, a few broken bones, and her spending prolly 12 of those 16 years as a pasture ornament it all worked out.  To do over again, I would ship that horse down the road so fast it made everyones head spin.  There are WAY to many nice horses out there to risk broken bones/death with a horse that wigged out.  


    If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your wife told you to. (author unknown)
  • 05-27-2011 10:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    Suzy Hannus:
    I am considering selling the horse as I think it's going to be too much of a challenge for me to try to re-train him, even with the help of my trainer, but I also think it will be very difficult to sell a horse who acts like this one.  And all I wanted was a quiet, calm horse to ride on the trails and learn Western Pleasure.  

    i was politely trying to be optomistic with my feedback.  told you my fears, but, then said "best of luck if you decide to keep him".....but, sell him!! or give him away.

    if he's unsellable, i'm sorry, but do the kind thing and pay to have him put down.  i'm sorry, that seems so cruel.  i love animals to death and i am the first one to rescue the unwanted.  and i kind of choke typing this, but i think it is the cruel truth.

    there are so many horses that need homes and so many horses being rescued from awful situations that if this horse is really dicey, you may be doing him a favor by putting him down.  because if the option is bad homes, auctions, starvation, meatman.......well, that would be prolonged sadness and cruelty too, right?

    the drugged horse i told about was just sent back to auction after he hurt my mom so bad. i was just young and he didn't belong to us. the owner of him was mortified at what happened to my mom and we never saw the horse again after that day.

    but, what happened to him? he was gorgeous (we named him robert redford!) chestnut arab with 4 white stockings and a white blaze and a flaxen mane and tail. picture perfect. but, his mind was probably gone. so, unless someone with lots acres and no desire to ride him took him home, his life was probably dismal.  i could cry to think about it.

    but, you didn't cause the problem, you only ended up with the problem.  as was said before, be honest about what he is and try to find him a new home.  but, if you and your trainer do spend some time with him and learn more, if it doesn't look good, be fair to the horse and don't send him along to a future of potentially more pain and who knows what.

    okay, i said it......my heart breaks for you being in this situation, when you just wanted a nice horse to ride and enjoy, but, do what is best for you, cuz you can't risk yourself and hopefully you can do what is best for this horse.

    i wish you the best of luck in your decision.

    --gail

    Gailforce -- Another old lady rediscovering her inner cowgirl.
  • 05-28-2011 6:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    Agree with this poster.  If between you and your trainer, you can't settle him down enough to prove he's trainable and would make a good project horse for someone who is willing to work thorugh his issues, then it would be best to put him down.  Also you could see if your state's vet school would be willing to take him as a donation.  A friend on another board had a very nicely bred warmblood gelding who was just mentally wired wrong.  After several years of trying and several trainers, vet checks and tack fittings, she couldn't get him past a very basic level of training, he was becoming dangerous.  So dangerous she didn't want to sell him and risk having someone get hurt or kill by him.  So she donated him to her local vet school.  The school had a student who needed to perform a certain operation on a horse before the student could get their diploma.  The operation was performed and afterward the horse was put down.  I'd think that they used the body for educating other students too.  Also you could donate him to a zoo or wildlife park for feeding meat eaters.  One note though, if you donate to a zoo or wildlife park, the horse can not be put down by injection. 

    Spotted Pony

  • 05-28-2011 9:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    Yes, I agree, if it appears that the horse's mind is "gone", do the kind thing and put him down. But, give him a chance to prove that his mind is not gone, just damaged by cruel treatment. You may have seen some glimmers of hope from him already: if so, you might be able to sell him as a "project" horse, as FH suggested. Even so, be careful about to whom you sell him, or he'll wind up in the same unkind situation from which you took him

    If nobody wants a project horse, Spot's suggestion to donate him to a vet school is a good one. Not only will they be kind to him until his end, I think they pay for all of the details like cremation. They might even come get him. A game farm or zoo will just shoot him, and who knows how they'd treat him before they kill him.

    Putting him down sounds cruel. but remember that horses have no concept of death. They're not going to die while thinking, "You're killing me!" They just slip into an easy sleep.

    For your horse's sake, I hope you can find a good home for him, either an actual home or an ethereal one. Good luck.

    Megan


    "The horse you get off is not the horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better."

    Anonymous




  • 07-10-2011 11:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    I'm furious to think someone would drug a horse in order to sell him.  My gosh, how dangerous!  I am absolutely unexperienced  in the ways of training, equine mental health issues etc., so this question may sound odd.  Is it possible to treat the horse pharmacologically while retraining?  I'm a nurse and know that people with mental health issues often receive counseling and therapy much better while taking specific-for-their-condition medications.  Just wondering.

    You can never have too many sunflowers.
  • 07-10-2011 12:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    kristilyn1963:
    I'm furious to think someone would drug a horse in order to sell him.

    it happens all the time.  i guess that's why if you say someone is a 'real horsetrader' it's not a compliment Sad

    Gailforce -- Another old lady rediscovering her inner cowgirl.
  • 07-10-2011 12:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

     Unfortunately, kristi, no, drugs will not help the horse at this point.  What he needs is time and an experienced set of hands.  Most likely, he can come around, but it will not be easy or quick and the emotional investment is high.  I am so sorry that you have ended up in this situation and I am sorry for this little horse as well.



    Solaris -- 16 hh Appendix Quarter Horse = MY DREAM COME TRUE!
    We Are Flying Solo
  • 07-10-2011 12:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Just bought a horse with many problems!

    I think you should contact the previous owner and since he claims that the horse has 3yrs. of training see if the horse will let him ride him or even get near him.  But also when ever your working with him and starts acting up try a couple of times more then just plain ignore him and let him come to you instead of you going to him.  Also get another horse and pet him and ride him where the trouble horse can see you.  Maybe once he sees that your not going to hurt anything he might let you pet him.  Also turn the other horse out in the same field as the trouble horse.
      Hope my advice helps.

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