09 December 2016

How to cheat a horse

How to cheat a horse.
Taken from Craigslist, 9 Dec 2016

The above ad was cut and pasted from Craigslist.

   The person selling the horse is, ironically, the same person who I pictured in a post  titled “Someone who rides worse than me”. In fact, the horse, "Vadar", is out of the chestnut Appaloosa mare being ridden in such a strange way in that post. 
(see 8/30/15 "Someone who rides worse than me."

   This woman bred her Appaloosa mare to an Appaloosa stallion, “Weydor’s Secret”. He apparently has some TB waaaaaaaay back in his pedigree, like fifth generation on the distaff side. (interestingly, that TB was First Secretary, Secretariat’s first foal. Secretariat was bred to an Appaloosa mare as a test for virility. I don’t believe the horse ever raced but he looked very much like his sire, but with spots.
 I don’t know if she owns/owned the stallion but she did own the mare and rode her at a dressage show last year.

 The gelding, “Vadar”, is 6 years old. He has had NO handling. They allowed him to run loose on their 5 acre property without any training whatsoever (something tells me it’s because they can’t catch him.). He is, in short, a feral horse, save for the fact that he’s always been behind fences and around humans.

   Vadar is not broken. He has never had shoes. In his entire life he’s been hoof trimmed four times. That’s once every 18 months. No shots other than a tetanus shot when he was gelded. This is irresponsible, as the bacteria/viruses for equine diseases (i.e strangles, Western Nile, etc)  are everywhere. You can’t see them or prevent them, so you vaccinate your horse against them.
  If and when Vadar goes to a new barn, he’s going to be exposed to them and has a good chance at catching one or more.  
   He’s never been inside a barn. He’s never been trailered. I bet my lunch he’s never been groomed much if at all. I bet, too, that he’s never had a blanket, which is okay, but still…there are so many things we do for a horse that we take for granted: medical attention, farrier, tack, grooming, clipping, bathing, etc. that will be utterly new and strange to him. True, all foals are born as innocent, but a foal is much easier to handle and train than a 16.1 HORSE.

   Now they want to sell him. The ad says he was bred ‘for dressage’ but are planning to enter him in “natural horsemanship’ in March. I wonder if they’ve told the trainer that this horse is as green as any mustang off the range. Every horse trainer I’ve ever met expects the horse to be at least manageable.

    The owner asks to “please don’t judge me until you meet the horse.”
Yet the questions arise: how in the world do they propose to transport the horse should someone buy him? They never trained him to be handled, they never taught him what a horse trailer is..and now they expect someone to come with a horse trailer and take him away?

  I can think of no better way to inspire unnecessary terror and immediately instill all sorts of problems with the horse than to force him into a trailer for the first time in his life, take him away from the only home he’s ever known, and then try and get him into a stall in a barn filled with strangers. If he gets out of the trailer without a blemish I will be surprised. I have heard of situation where a terrified horse attempted…and almost succeeded..in climbing out of trailer through a window. The horse did not survive.

   The seller, then, has totally abdicated responsibility to the horse’s well being. ANYTHING that the buyer does to the horse will not be on HER conscience.

  What these people (for there are two of them, husband and wife) are expecting is beyond me. I emailed her and asked the same question I posit regarding transport and  got an unprintable answer.

   How cruel they are. She says they’ve never neglected him, but they have. Neglect isn’t just failing to feed or water a horse. Neglect can be “benign”. How can he be a good equine citizen without training?

    If they truly had ‘planned’ for this horse to be a dressage horse, ignoring it for six years is NOT the way to do it. It is so easy to take a foal and teach it manners-how to lead, how to load, accepting a girth, a saddle, a bit, how to accept floating, sheath cleaning, farrier work, veterinary work. Foals are amazingly malleable as long as one handles it gently and patiently.  One needn’t actually back a horse to prepare it for riding. By two, a foal should be comfortable with tacking, grooming, handling, leading, loading, etc. A truly responsible horseman or breeder would do this because it’s the right thing to do. Teaching a horse to be a good citizen only increases its value.

   But no. They ‘let him grow’ into…a 16.1 mustang.  A relatively tame (I’m assuming) and pedigreed mustang, but nevertheless…a completely green, untrained horse. I can hear her saying, well, he hasn’t learned any bad habits. That may be so, but he hasn’t learned any good ones, either.

   I hope any sucker  person who is thinking of buying him. (he’s not on Dream Horse, which is telling all in itself) takes a good long look at what he or she is getting into. I know that, were I horse shopping, I wouldn’t give him a look. Not one. Not because I dislike him (although I won’t ever buy another Appy), no, it’s because I don’t want a feral horse. I want a horse that I can handle, load, lead, tack up, and RIDE right now.

   “Vadar” is a project horse, not a riding one.

1 comment:

Khutulan said...

One Response to How to cheat a horse

patrickandoats says:
10 December 16 at 12:13 am (Edit)

Such a shame, hopefully he finds an owner who wants a project and has the time to dedicate to him