10 August 2016

When one horse for sale is really two.

   I recently saw the following ad on Craig's List. I have dedacted the contact information as I don't know if what I am doing is legal or not. Besides, I don't want these folks figuring out who I am.

   In addition, I have left in all misspellings and grammatical errors. This one isn't as bad as some I've seen on Craigslist, but it is fairly typical. I will try to insert it in the original font but that, too, may not work:

For Sale:  Gentle Giant, 17 hand Appaloosa cross gelding. $1500 No papers. Zeke has been there done that. Done it all. Sort cattle, trail riding, packing, western showmanship equitation. Big babysitter. Put your 2 year old kid on him no problem. Great for beginners. No vices, big dog personality, baths, shoes, UTD on shots. Trailers great he is point and shoot. No spook.
It is true he is just coming off ingury but heals fast and should be good for whatever you want to do with him. Tons of potental. 18 years old lots of life still in him. He needs a job to do and we are getting out of horses.
Zeke comes with everything. Newer saddle bridle, grooming,  pasture buddy, blankets and cooler. $1500 cash takes him home. Need gone ASAP.

   Sorry, folks, but it didn't work. Blogger doesn't like to switch fonts. Just take my word for it, I'd cut and pasted the ad from Craig's List in their font and it came through in mine. 

   Anyway, if you're a speed reader, slow down and read it again. I have seen over the years that folks do not read the craigslist ads, no matter how clearly you word it. They just don't read it. This, I'm sure, is what the seller of Zeke is counting on.

   Did you catch it?

   This is not an ad for a horse. This is an ad for TWO horses. One is named "Zeke". The other...well, the pasture buddy is another horse.
   I called the seller, not because I wanted the horse (no way) but to ask her what did she mean by "pasture buddy"? What is this pasture buddy? What, a goat?
No, the pasture buddy is a full grown horse. He is 25 years old. Blind in one eye. Cannot be ridden. Is on ''meds", whatever those might be. He's the sweetest thing, just a doll baby, won tons of ribbons on 'the gaming circuit'. Gentle as a lamb.  He and Zeke are (this isn't how the seller pronounced it, but I don't mispell purposefully) inseparable. He's just a pasture buddy. He's free. Can't I  understand that? They don't want Zeke to be lonely, nor the pasture buddy. They've been buds for ten years.  Zeke is this incredible horse, I mean super. There isn't a better horse on the planet. He's a bargain, he's a sacrifice at 1500 bucks. He is worth  much much more but a good home was more important than money, know what I mean? Newer saddle, all that stuff, they can meet today with me if I want. Maybe they'll cut it down to $1200. There's illness in the family, they have to get out of the horse business. He needs to be gone as soon as possible. (that phrase, 'needs gone' just grinds my ass.)

    So I'm getting a bargain?? Two horses for the price of one?  The second horse is a 'thing',  included with the accoutrements, like tack and grooming tools?

   Whoa. That's no bargain. That's getting two horses. There's no such thing as a 'free' horse. No matter the purchase price, the second horse costs just as much as the first. Board for TWO. Farrier for TWO. Vets for TWO. Hay, feed, shots, pasture, for two.  

  That, I'm sure, is part of their problem. 

   Why didn't she advertise it as two horses, one free, one for sale. She didn't tell me the truth. I gathered it just from one conversation, through intuition (as her story changed three times while I talked to her.) This is a woman who is desperately trying to unload the second horse. He can't be ridden and needs doctoring, so he's pretty much unsellable-and expensive. Years ago, he  and Zeke would have probably gone to the auction (and probably on to the meat man), but that's no longer legal in the US. So he can't be sold. 

   Maybe they tried to, but I bet the thing is that Zeke is herd bound.

That's no crime in and of itself- herd bound horses probably make good pack horses, for instance. Herd boundedness (sic) is natural equine behavior, honestly. It's how horses live in the wild.
 I wouldn't ever have a herd bound horse, but there are folks who have no problems with it. But the seller should state this.  

    And, despite her subterfuge, I cannot believe she'd just have the horse(s) put down, not for no reason. I don't know a veterinarian that will put down a healthy animal solely because the owner no longer wants it. 
    To give her a little credit, she hasn't dumped the horse(s), like so often happened right after the Crash of 2008, when horses were being dumped in the thousands because the owners had lost their homes.

   She mentioned that they'd sold Zeke (for a lot more money)  and then "had to go get him back" because the new owner 'abused him' and 'that's how he got hurt".  She kept assuring me that he'd be good to go in 'just a few weeks'. 

   It just irritated me that this woman knew enough about human nature to know (well, as natural as reading ads on Craigslist can be considered) that most people don't read, and knew that if she could get a sucker in to look at Zeke, she might just pull off getting rid of both horses at once. Yet, she couldn't-or refuses- to see how galling her gig is. It's rude. It's being 'clever'. It's chutzpah.
She is counting on the average horse shopper to be stupid. Or perhaps she wants a kid to fall in love with the horse and demand it no matter the consequences.
   Her story changed three times while I was talking to her. They were getting out of horses. Did that mean they had more than just the two, or had had a bunch and these were the last? I don't know. But then there was 'illness in the family', then it was they took the horse back because the new owner abused him. I bet the new owner-if there truly was one,  said, no thanks, I don't want two horses, just one; managed to get Zeke home only to find him insane, or lame, or un-useable without his buddy, and returned the horse. 

   I mentioned that she might want to put the horse(s) on Dream Horse. Maybe someone out there DOES want two horses, one unusable and one almost healed up. But I wasn't surprised when she scoffed and said Dream Horse wanted too much money to advertise him. Besides there were 'too many people just wanted to look and not buy.' So...she wants a fool to come in, fork over the money and get these  horses off her hands.

   So, as is always the case, Caveat Emptor. 

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