Friday, March 30, 2012

On The Other Hand...

I couldn't let you guys think I was going soft, in the head, belly or emotions.
Obviously Becky (Blog of) smelled weakness in the air like a shark on a blood trail, because she sent me this.
She got me good.
I cracked up.
My sarcasm started boiling and I had to admit...some things still absolutely, positively make me wonder how certain kinds of people can find their way out of a paper bag, much less into the land of horses.



Purebred Arabian Mare 


Date: 2012-03-29, 12:46PM PDT
Reply to: 


13 years old Chestnut. Purchased when she was three years old. However, a few weeks after purchasing her I had major spine surgery and a second spine surgery two years later. So I've never been able to ride her. She was green broke when we purchased her and has not been ridden in ten years. We lost her stable mate of ten years in July. Because of my spine surgeries I will not get another horse and I know she is lonely for another stable mate and will sell only to someone who has another horse/horses. Must go to a home where Natural Horsemanship is practiced. She needs Natural Horsemanship Training on the ground and in the saddle. Facilities must be approved by owner. I never got papers for her as I did not plan on breeding her nor showing her in Purebred competitions. She and our other Arabian were going to be used for trail riding. Well behaved in the stall, friendly, leads well. Please do not contact us if you do not use and practice Natural Horsemanship Training and Techniques. If interested, please call only between the hours of 9 am to 3:30 pm (CALLS WILL NOT BE EXCEPTED BEFORE OR AFTER THESE HOURS) or send E-mail address via this ad.



This ad is killing me. First off, I think this is a very cute mare.

Now lets get into it.

This is why I have a problem with people committing themselves to the concept of "forever horses."

Life doesn't always work that way.

You cannot tell me this woman didn't know,oh, let's say after her second surgery, she wasn't going to be toodling down the trail on a green broke horse any time soon. I'll bet her doctors shared that information. They do that, those dang doctors. They say stuff like, "You won't be able to ride."
It's part of the doctors code I do believe.

By doing a little bit of simple math (which believe me, is all I'm capable of) about the time the owner came out of her second surgery, this mare was five, at the very most, six-years-old.

She was still plenty young enough to be taken under a new owners wing and turned into a lovely companion.

Instead, she waited 10 frigging years to face the fact she had no business owning the horse.

Now she has a thirteen-year-old mare with some basic ground work and no time under saddle. The mare is living alone after spending most of her life with another horse and is probably not on her best behavior. My guess is her loneliness is making her a total pain in the ass.

Now she is ready to foist her problem onto somebody else.

She is going to cover her guilt for letting this horse down by putting all kinds of conditions on prospective buyers. She needs to prove how much she loves the horse you see.
She loves her so much she's going to insist the next owner behave as much like her as possible. Because that will justify her insistence that she LOVES her horse and NOBODY can possibly love her as much as she does. Which is why she didn't sell her when she had a chance of attracting a good home. Because her horses were her soul mates, her best friends, cuddly wuddly booger bears.

"I know she is lonely for another stable mate and will sell only to someone who has another horse/horses." 
Um, it didn't bother her to keep the horse alone for the past year.




"Must go to a home where Natural Horsemanship is practiced. She needs Natural Horsemanship Training on the ground and in the saddle."
Even though getting her started under saddle wasn't an issue for this woman until the horse was thirteen- years-old. And she's going to dictate how the horse is ridden and trained after she sells her? 
Good thinking, let's limit the buying pool even more than you already have.


"Facilities must be approved by owner."

No problem, just slap up some barb wire and you'll be good to go. I know I said I can live with barb wire. What I can't live with is somebody who uses it telling me she needs to approve my facilities. If I can let go of your barb wire, will I have to get a lecture on my stalls and turn out? You know that's how it will go. She'll need to prove she's not a total idiot by judging someone else's barn space.


I never got papers for her as I did not plan on breeding her nor showing her in Purebred competitions."

... and never considered, for even a second, that having the horse's papers might help sell her in the future. She didn't need them, so nobody was going to get them.

So yeah. I have to admit, I'm not Miss Sweetness n' Light with every approach to horse ownership. I can't tolerate personal ego replacing a horses needs, or self-justification getting in the way of finding a decent new home for a horse that's between a rock and a hard place through no fault of her own.

I guess, what's really pissing me off is, according to this ad, I am not qualified to own this thirteen-year-old, hasn't been ridden in ten years, anxious, lonely mare. If I did, she would be broke and riding down the trails in a year.Then I, who doesn't think I should be the only owner this horse ever has, would be able to sell her to her next good home. Heck, I'd even sell her to a NHer.  

Keep it up Becky. You keep me on my toes.










76 comments:

Kate said...

You know, I just not going to judge. It's a nice mare, needs a better situation and the owner is finally doing something about it. I agree that the conditions are not the easiest way to get the horse a new home, but they reflect the owner's anxiety about what will happen to a horse like this - understandable anxiety as there are lots of yahoos out there who could wreck this horse (and yes, some of them wear NH hats).

I'm just glad she's doing something now to help the horse out - she's not doing it "perfectly" or maybe even well, but she's doing it - give her some credit.

mugwump said...

I just can't. 10 years she's been letting that nice horse rot for the last 10 years. I don't believe the anxiety nonsense for one second. If she's anxious it's because she knows how wrong she is and is now making it harder for the horse to have a chance.Because trust me, this is the same kind of owner who weeps while she sells the horse in a sale, because nobody would buy her.

Nicole said...

Maybe you are being a little hard on this lady. If the pic is current, it appears the horse has been well cared for. No its not optimal for a horse to live alone, but I think that's why she's selling. Rather than sell immediately after the mare's companion died, she fed her all winter. I understand spring/summer can be a better time to try to sell a horse.

Is she being pretentious about requiring a NH home? Yes! But she may live in an area where NH are common? I don't know, but I do think she is trying (even if not at all perfectly) to find a good home for her horse.

It is sad though that she is seemingly making it so hard for many to even consider her mare.

Becky said...

Awwww... now I feel special.

It's the rabid fanaticism combined with the barbed wire that really got me.

The first half of the ad is excuses---which, valid or not, don't change the situation. The second half of the ad is a list of criteria on how you have to be do everything JUST LIKE HER to even be considered to adopt the mare.

The only thing this ad tells us about the mare is that she is 13 years old, chestnut, not broken, well behaved (but only in the stall?), friendly, and leads well. Unfortunately, this ad is in an area crawling with really nice horses going for $1,000.

It's a shame, really, because the mare is an absolute cutie and obviously well cared for. If I were in the area I'd be sorely tempted.... except that I'd probably get yelled at for calling, because I don't practice NH techniques.

To tie it in to that last post, the problem is that this woman has created a gigantic St. Bernard who ONLY sits on the couch and eats out of her owner's ice cream bowl.... which is fine, because that's what she wants. But now she has to find her a home. And if you can't prove that you have a certificate showing you passed the "sit on the sofa and eat ice cream" class, then you better not even call, because your way of doing things is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

Mona Sterling said...

This reminds me of some shelters/dog rescues I know of that have all sorts of conditions. Despite the fact that I am a dog trainer, work in the natural pet industry, take my dog everywhere I go, I cannot adopt a dog from many shelters because I do not have a fenced yard. So, they'd rather the homeless dog not get a home than send it to one without a fenced yard. Sheesh.

redhorse said...

My first thought was, she's an adorable mare. My second thought was, I've met this woman (see comments of previous post}.

I had another thought in there between 1 and 2 that went something like: Becky should buy her, send her to Mugs for 6-12 months then ship her up to her new home in Oregon. I think everyone would be happy.

SweetPea said...

Redhorse, I'm in Oregon too... Wanna split time on her? I just have a soft spot for red-haired Ay-rabs :)

exes blue eyed devil said...

Mugwump, I think you might be the awesomest woman ever!

this is a genius post, and may I say the scope of your other posts indicates that you are a thoughtful, intelligent and experienced horse woman. Thanks for writing such a wonderful blog.

Peanut said...

Redhorse - that's the best idea! And if Mugs can't take her in for training, my mare's trainer is great and lives in the St. Helens,OR area. We know you want her Becky. :)

redhorse said...

Peanut and Sweet Pea,

Oh no, you're making me have more thoughts. This could somehow be written off as a cost of producing the blog, because of course we'd get umpteen zillion posts out of it from Mugs on training a 13 year old spoiled Arab mare. We could all scream and gnash our teeth at the clever, sadistic way she left us hanging at the end of every chapter.

Then we could give said rehabbed mare to Becky (along with a Middle-Eastern Princess costume) as a house warming present, and she could post the pictures on her blog and we would all go "ooh and ahh."

Don't make me think anymore, it's dangerous.

Becky said...

You guys are mean..... taunting me with great ideas like that. We all know I want her. What can I say? I admit it. I'm a big, fat horse slut. That's not really a shock to anyone, though. Waving an adorable, chunky little red arab mare in front of me is like dangling a supermodel in a bikini in front of a 15 year old boy, and then acting shocked when he thinks she's pretty.

As cute as she is, though, there are plenty of other horses for sale out there who don't come with crazy ex-owners. And I've made a solemn vow to the hubby (sad sniff) not to buy a horse for a year after moving. (sad, sad, sad sniff.)

On the other hand... Peanut, your horse trainer lives in the exact town I'm moving to. I don't suppose she does lessons, does she?

Becky said...

....Wait.... I get to wear one of those cool middle eastern costumes if I adopt the mare? Nobody told me that.

I might even be able to sell The Bean on it through that angle....


Of course, then I'd probably just end up pregnant again, and the mare would be back to being a backyard pet.

Nevermind. Abandon the plan.

mugwump said...

Um....Becky?
If you had volunteers training her for a year (NOT ME I'M RETIRED!!!) that would work out just about right...
And the posts would be fantastic...
then there's that whisper of a rumor that may or may not be going around about a clinic with Mugs and the Big K in Montana, the summer of 2013.

Peanut said...

Sorry to tease you Becky. You're right - there are plenty of horses already in Oregon that will be needing homes when you're ready.

I can't remember if my trainer lives in Scapoose or St. Helens, but he's near you. He gives clinics but not lessons per se. We can probably find someone you can take lessons from though!

Mugs - where in Montana? I have lots of family there, and I would love to see you and Big K give a clinic.

mugwump said...

What clinic?

mugwump said...

Sorry Peanut, I'm being rotten.
I'll know more after I go visit this fall. We're talking about a Mugwump Chronicles Bloggers only clinic.

Peanut said...

Hah! Looking forward to hearing more about the secret clinic someday...

LazyShamrock said...

Is it bad of me to think about the requirement for NH ONLY to mean that the horse has to have "those techniques" or would be dangerous?

Bif said...

I fall in the camp of: if they say you have to be NH, I run away! I don't want a NH'ed horse, because I have yet to see any that were better enough to make up for so many of the weird things they are are conditioned/trained to do.

A good trainer reads body language and uses body language. That is very different from some of the NH stuff; and most have been roundpennned to near injury anyway, it seems. But since the owner doesn't really ride, it hasn't shown up yet...

sheesh said...

Do people like this seller think that they're somehow going to stay in control of their horse after it's sold? Anyone could show up with their Carrot Stick(TM), buy the horse and then sell her in 2 months to a non-NH person. Then what?

deedee sonnyduo@yahoo.com said...

Okay Redhorse and gang,
I am a certified Parelli NHer. I could take your money, get the horse and deliver her to Mugs, or whomever you say. Oregon is closer.
I bet I am natural enough even to load her acceptably for this woman.
This is a damned cute horse.

deedee sonnyduo@yahoo.com said...

Update:
I have all the NH gear (5 carrot sticks!)- this woman would swoon. Where is she?
If not me, I know a ton of NH folks who could pick this horse up and deliver her to one of you loving gals.
No round penning. No No No.
ANd this is an arab mare. Of course she is high spirited. Image her and rider in costume! Delicious!

scsarah said...

At this maybe happening secret clinic you could sell horse training stuff!......*grins impishly*.......LOLOLOLOLOL

KD said...

I would SO drive to Montana with my painted pony in 2013 for a special Mugwump/Big K clinic, but I just threw down for my daughter and me to go on The Red Rock Ride in the fall of 2013. (It's going to be awesome!)
http://www.redrockride.com

MichelleL said...

Not the mare's fault she is owned by an ididot.

I also think that if you fanned the cash in front of said IO's face there would be mutterings of "inpsections" and mumblings of "carrot sticks" but not a whole heck of a lot more than that.

She is cute. Hope she catches a good break and ends up with someone who knows what they are doing...even if they are into NH.

EvenSong said...

Let's see... Drive 8 miles north from home, hop on I-90, head east to the continental divide. Yeah. I'll start hoarding gas, I can make it to Montana by 2013.

HorsesAndTurbos said...

Wow...I just got offered two free paso finos...I am not a gaited person, but sounds similar. 17 year old mare, with papers, 8 year old gelding son, no papers because he is a gelding??? Never been separated...nice looking horses, but a) both untrained b) separation issues big time (mare tries to break out of stalls to get to the gelding) c) gelding seems to have fear issues d) I am not a gaited person e)could go to auction any time where they would be separated for the first time...guess how that will end up.

Do you hear my heart bleeding?

So far I have not had to take them...seems others are interested (whew!) but it the same thing...owners in their 80's and can't care for the horses any more.

People who *do not think ahead*.

My two horses are going to Mugs if something happens to me LOL!

Jackie

Val said...

Guess I need to start saving for a ticket to Montana...

The mare is really cute. Too bad she couldn't have found someone to ride her horse for her years ago, if she was just going to be a pasture ornament for the owner.

Seeing this spirited picture and hearing the story makes me even more grateful that my gelding came out of his solitary confinement with his mind and attitude intact. I bought him close to nine, but as a green bean who didn't know how to canter with a rider. Thankfully, he was kind and willing to take on a more "interactive" life than pasture puff.

I hope this mare will be as lucky with her future arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I normally like this blog and the horse commentary, but this post really annoyed me. First of all, of all the shitty backyard breeders and horse owners/sellers out there, just waiting to be critiqued, you choose to pick apart someone who has TAKEN GOOD CARE OF HER HORSE FOR 10 YEARS. You accuse her of "letting her horse rot" - well actually, if someone gets pleasure from watching their well-cared for horse then that horse is doing A GOOD JOB. Not the job you would have picked, but still a worthwhile and happy job. This woman has had spinal surgery and can't ride, and yet STILL feeds and cares for an expensive pet?! How many of you would do that?! She obviously wanted to provide a forever home, and for TEN YEARS she did just that without any of the normal horse perks that go with owning a horse. Perhaps she hasn't said, but maybe, JUST MAYBE, the reason she wants an NH home is because that was all she could do with her - NH groundwork. So, it would make sense for an NH horse without any riding skills to go to somewhere she would understand what's being asked and could build on it. 10 years of NH groundwork is still a reasonable amount of training. Maybe she's even putting all these considerations on because she's prepared to keep the horse unless the perfect home comes up. Does she say - quick sale needed? NO. There are NH people who don't actually ride their horses (I'm not saying this is good or bad, just that it is) so if she's already good at that kind of groundwork she's identified that as a suitable owner.
And don't bitch about the barbed wire, the top string isn't barbed, and most of us have already admitted at some point we use this. Sheesh, all you've done is this post is bitch about someone who cared for their horse DIFFERENTLY to the way you do - i.e. no riding, and some NH. Not someone who NEGLECTED or ABUSED their horse. Horses don't HAVE to be ridden - their lives are not unfulfilled if one of us doesn't sit on them. What's sad is that this woman who obviously loved her horses has recognised that she has to give her up. Forever homes don't always work out.
Please could you devote your skills and criticism to the many people who actually deserve it rather than bitching at someone who practised an alternative type of horse ownership and wants to see her horse go to someone who also does that.
If you had a great trail or dressage horse who couldn't jump because it had weak tendons or other leg issues that meant jumping was too hard on it, you would specify it needed to go to non-jumping home and no one would bitch at you for wanting to make sure that home didn't include jumping! Give her a break! Wow, I can't believe how angry this made me.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Just to add, for all we know the details of her spinal problems could have included some possibility of riding again. If I was badly injured but with the slimmest chance of riding again, I would keep my beautiful mare and every day I brush her and hug her and it would motivate me to carry on with the gruelling rehabilitation and physio that accompanies spinal injuries. Perhaps, eventually, I too would be forced to accept defeat and decide to sell her to a loving home which would do the same work she's used to. And then what, you'd shout at me for not giving her up sooner? What a bad horse owner that would make me...

mugwump said...

Dear Anon...you need a nap.

Anonymous said...

Not the original anon... The problem in my mind is that she did wrong by the horse by not ensuring it had the basic skills to be desirable should the unforeseen happen to her. I think horse owners are obligated to ensure their horses have adequate value to the general public to keep them safe if they get hit by a bus.

This isn't an almernative method of horse ownership. In the last 10 years, she could have even had someone (who does NH even) put 6 months on her and get her w/t/c and out on a trail or two.. 10 years in pasture doing groundwork is like letting your kid stay in kindergarten until they're 12. They may be happy, but it's not right by them.

mysanity said...

Geez, as if she even knows what NH is!! I'ld go in and lie like a bitch to rescue that cute thing. Show up with a rope halter and carrot stick and I could be a certified trainer. The mare is dying for attention.

mysanity said...

May I ammend my comment to clarify, the mare needs to be able to leave the confines of the arena and GO. She may be getting attention, may even know games. But unless they are elderly or in rehab a horse needs to get out into the world, not an endless arena lap.

Rontuaru said...

I dunno. I have a totally different perspective. I was 100 % disabled from a spinal surgery that went horribly awry. I had to have several more operations. At the time, we owned three horses. (Two Arabs) I was told I couldn’t ride anymore, which I didn’t accept, but I knew my riding days were going to be hugely different if I could rehab my way back into it. My horse became a lawn ornament as I recovered and rehabbed... multiple times over several years. Fortunately, my horse was older and experienced so when I finally did ride it greatly reduced some of the inherent risk. I mean, if you’re going totally disregard medical advice then the least you can do is try to reduce some of the risk! I could have sold my mare, but my life had been horribly altered and she was the only positive force I had left. So yes, I was selfish and I kept her because she gave me hope, a goal to strive for. I spent lots of time just brushing and hanging out with her while everyone else was busy getting on with their normal lives. Unless you’ve had your fate totally and irrevocably altered by an event like this I doubt you could understand, but just try to imagine the pain, fear and frustration of having your life ripped to pieces. Please try to have a little empathy. I can imagine this woman held on to the hope that she’d ride again, in spite of her setbacks and hurdles. I know I did. We didn’t register our Arabians either. (Which a search back to the breeder can fix.) We only trail ride and we didn’t plan on ever selling our horses. For us, registration was (and still is) a frivolous expense for a piece of paper that collects dust. Fortunately, we never had to sell them, but if we did I’d probably look for someone who uses some NH. Why? Because most people interpret NH as a kinder, gentler approach and assume that’s a plus for the horse. (Not saying that it IS, just how I think many people want to interpret it.) And I’d want to see their farm if possible. Why? Because my horses are pets. Riding is our “hobby,” a recreation, not a business. Not being a horse dealer or trainer, we don't see multiple horses pass through here, and selling a horse isn't just part and parcel of horse ownership for us. Having to sell my horse is going to be a thoroughly traumatic experience. I haven’t developed that hardened, "just move ‘em down the road" mindset people who own many horse over the course of their lifetime have to have. So call me crazy, but I'm probably going to go a little overboard and try to micro-manage the sale. I tend to do that when I feel helpless and scared. Nobody has a crystal ball. If circumstances forced me to sell I know I’d be ridiculously overprotective about the outcome. Is that sane and rational? Probably not, but matters of the heart seldom are.

Whywudyabreedit said...

I graduate In December. I just may have a job and some $$ in time for a secret clinic! This is so cool =) Plus I have friends in Montana that have been begging me to visit. Two birds...

flyin'horse said...

My first thought after reading the ad was 'what a neurotic person, poor horse' but Rontuaru sort of put into words what was bugging me about most everyone's response; that everything is not so black and white, that there are two (or more!) sides to every story etc. It is a shame the gal didn't decide to find a new home for the horse years ago and good luck finding someone whom she will find worthy now. She may have to lower her expectations somewhat or keep the horse as a pet and get her a goat for a companion! One of my pet peeves are horses who stand in corrals the majority of their lives because people don't have the time or inclination to pay attention to them anymore. At least this cutie looks like she has some room to move and nice green grass. Could be worse.

mysanity said...

Rontauru, you bring a good perspective to the discussion. I was lucky that my back surgery had a quick recovery, but still 3 mo. My mare was available to a select few people if they wanted to trail ride.

I hope this mare finds someone who wants to give her a job. My Arab would get depressed if she was layed up and couldn't get out and about.

I feel bad for the seller, for me the bottom story line is giving the horse life skills. Just like kids.

mugwump said...

Ronotuaro - I am sorry for your difficulties. You do not know if my life has been shattered, once, twice, or a hundred times. Chastising someone whose history you don't know is pointless.
If I decided to pull my daughter out of kindergarten because I was housebound, because I was sad and lonely and felt better braiding her hair, it would be child abuse.
Especially if I then sent her out in the world with no education or life skills.
If I own a young, healthy, green horse when I am no longer able to ride I will sell it.
Then I will adopt an old cast-off, hug, and groom it all I want.
I will be at peace because I didn't trap my horses in my personal issues and will take joy in having room to adopt a horse that was of options.
I am not in the habit of speaking on subjects where I have no experience.

Snipe said...

To read some of these posts, you'd think that Mugs was the bad guy. I mean, how dare she suggest that training is important? I'd say that the owner is attached to the horse, but in a selfish way. Love would have made sure that this mare was trained, giving her a chance at a decent future. Heck, training would have even allowed the seller to ride her horse if the surgery and rehab had allowed it. That's what gets me - the horse wasn't even ready for the quiet trail-riding life that her owner planned.

The owner has enough pity for herself. Instead, I feel sorry for that mare, whose future is much more uncertain than it should have been.

Rontuaru said...

"Chastising someone whose history you don't know is pointless." I couldn't agree more! But isn't that what the vast majority of people are doing here? (And FWIW, I wasn't saying "You" as in you, specifically. I wasn't chastising you.) I don't think keeping a lawn ornament is horse abuse. It might not be my personal choice, but if the animal is well cared for and fed, why should anyone care if the horse gets ridden or not? I had neighbors who kept two well cared for lawn ornaments for over 25 years. I didn't get it, but there's no denying those horses had great lives. They had plenty of food, vet & farrier care and lots of space to move around, graze and exercise. And they were loved beyond belief. Amazingly, there are a lot of people who just "like" having a horse in their back yard. So what? Mugs, your analogy about pulling a kid out of school is absurd: a horse is not a human. Besides, the horse was being sold because after losing it's pasture mate the owner felt it was too isolated. Now maybe if this lady was looking to get anther young, green horse to keep this mare company I'd think she was a little strange, but I think she's trying to do the right thing for her horse now that the picture's changed again. And it's not like this horse is freakin' wild. In spite of being incapacitated, the lady HAS trained it to the best of her ability. Can't anyone give her a few kudos for having done the best she can? I've seen plenty of adverts by people who don't give a rat's ass where their horse ends up. Trust, me they don't list detailed history or rehoming requirements. Some of these remarks are just plain mean, especially given none of you know this lady personally. I used to really look forward to reading this blog, but assumptions like so many being made here have given me reason pause. The world has enough people ranting and pontificating about how right they are and how wrong everyone else is.

flyin'horse said...

Golly there are some ruffled feathers here at the Mugwump Chronicles! I don't think anybody meant to offend... :D

Anonymous said...

Rontuaru

The issue is that this owner FAILED to provide this mare with any life skills.
A horse with no life skills is often considered to be a horse without value. We've all seen what can happen when something is considered worthless.

Many of us do earnestly hope that the horses we have will be with us until they die. Unfortunately, no one can predict the future. Any one of us could walk out the door tomorrow and meet with disaster.
So, responsibility entails that we provide everything that depends on us with as positive an outcome as possible.

Yes, this woman cared for this mare and she wants to find a good home for her... BUT.. she's screwed this mare by NOT providing her with life skills. Had I been this woman, even with hoping that I would one day ride again, I would have had training put on her and I would have found some nice kid to ride her and maybe do 4-H with her.
That way.. if I were able to ride again I would have a TRAINED horse ready for my gimpy, out-of-shape, rerider ass to get on. And if I had not been able to ride again.. I would have a TRAINED mare that would have much, much, much better options at finding a good home.

As for the neurotic "must be NH" shit. Ugh.
Will the home be kind, knowledgeable, feed her, tend to all her needs, treat her well, not BYB, and not dump her off just because they get bored? If those questions are a yes.. then I don't care if they use NH, commonsense, their own way, or Uncle Bobby Unicorn's Big Book of Candy and Horse Training.

Snipe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Snipe said...

In the interest of clarifying the point (and perhaps a little bit of argumentation), consider that the critics are reacting to the information provided in the ad. In fact, several assumptions are being made. For instance, how do we even know that the seller is a woman? How do we know that the seller trained the horse, either in NH or some other discipline, to the best of their ability or otherwise? The ad does not say those things. It does mention a strict list of non-negotiable requirements for the prospective owner, and the effect is very off-putting.

Contrast that with the Arabs in this ad. Copy and paste to your browser address to view.
http://fresno.craigslist.org/grd/2929802224.html
In case the link is broken, I'll copy the text just to give you an idea:
"None of these three are broke to ride and they do need an experienced handler because all have been pasture ornaments for a while. Not mean at all just lack of handling.
All are purebred Arabian and have registration papers or are eligible and come with transfer. Best offer on each or take all three. Need them gone ASAP I am having to pay someone else to feed for me and need to cut way back. If you are handy with a horse any of the three will make a good horse.

Delivery available

Trainer? If you are interested in taking a share of each horse to train and sell email me."

These three are cute Arabians with little handling. Remarkably similar situation, i.e. untrained horses, but a very different approach. Personally, I would be more inclined to deal with this person. It is much less hassle to deal with an accommodating seller versus a very micromanaging one.

No one is disputing that the mare has been well-fed and that her physical needs have been met. That being said, I'm not inclined to give someone kudos for feeding an animal and keeping it healthy. I don't congratulate husbands for not beating their wives, or parents for feeding and clothing their children. Besides, we're not talking about an abusive situation. We're talking about a nice horse that will have a hard time finding the "ideal" situation that the seller demands. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with that situation. After all, it is the horse that ultimately bears the consequences of her owner's decisions. That's what I find objectionable about this situation. That nice mare will remain lonely and restless until that "perfect" home comes along, and she may be waiting a long time through no fault of her own.

scsarah said...

Where I have a problem with the situation is this: The seller states the mare was bought as a three year old. Several weeks later the surgery happened.

Why buy a green broke Arab when you more than likely know your back is 'iffy'? The sellar had probably had been to doctors already and probably had the surgery scheduled (unless you were in an accident and this a surgery done when admitted into the ER).

She is a cute mare. And if the ad is true, at least she has not been ridden hard and put away wet constantly which can lead to soundness issues.

Throw her out with some mares for a few weeks and then let the training commence.

mugwump said...

Go Snipe!

Becky said...

Snipe, I think I just fell in love with you a little bit.

Also: Darnit, you're right. There *is* nothing in the ad to suggest the owner is female....I've been caught with my sexist hat on again! :(

And totally off topic, but: Ronto-aru.... I had completely forgotten about that book until I saw your name... thanks for bringing back good memories!

smazourek said...

This is exactly why I paid $400 to get my AQHA mare registered at 6 years old. This way if I die before she does someone could at least make a broodmare out of her. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

PS- I love red-headed arabians too...

Rontuaru said...

“The issue is that this owner FAILED to provide this mare with any life skills.”

Like what? How to read? Get a job? Do laundry? Write a resume? It’s HORSE.

“A horse with no life skills is often considered to be a horse without value.”

So a yearling or two year old has no value? A halter broke, friendly horse with decent stable manners is a horse with a good start. Age doesn’t even matter. I’m sure there are people would be more than happy to pick up the ball and run with it from there.

“We've all seen what can happen when something is considered worthless.”

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure! But you believe any green or unfinished horse is worthless? I could find 200 horses with better pedigrees and years of training that will get sold for slaughter next week. Worth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Fortunately not everyone thinks like you.

“Had I been this woman, even with hoping that I would one day ride again, I would have had training put on her”

That’s assuming she had the finances to do so. Most people who are significantly disabled don’t have money to spend on training a horse they can’t ride. She fed it, cared for it. Maybe that’s as deep as her pockets could go? And remember, she had two horses in her care until recently.

“and I would have found some nice kid to ride her and maybe do 4-H with her.”

That’s you. You don’t know squat about her neighborhood or liability situation. I don’t let anyone, especially kids, handle my horses because I’d get my butt sued royally AND my homeowners would drop me like a lead balloon if they got hurt.

“That way.. if I were able to ride again I would have a TRAINED horse ready for my gimpy, out-of-shape, rerider ass to get on.”

Wow. You just have a mean, unsympathetic judgmental streak in you and I’m gonna have to guess you’ve never heard the saying: There, but for the grace of God ....

“And if I had not been able to ride again.. I would have a TRAINED mare that would have much, much, much better options at finding a good home.”

Right. And I’m guessing this person had her plate full and that wasn’t her main priority.

“For instance, how do we even know that the seller is a woman?”

Mugs IDd her as “this woman” in her OP. I figured she ought to know since she posted the ad. She copied the ad, but not the owner’s ID info, probably for a reason. ;)

“How do we know that the seller trained the horse, either in NH or some other discipline, to the best of their ability or otherwise?”

We don’t know any more than the ad states: she was “green broke”, (indicates she was bought with some level of beginner training) “purchased when she was three years old,” and “has not been ridden in ten years.” We can assume therefore, that the horse WAS green broke, probably to ride, since she says she hasn’t been backed in 10 years. She also says she’s “Well behaved in the stall, friendly, leads well.” Again, we can probably assume that this horse has been handled enough since being bought to be a well-behaved backyard pet. I think it’s fair enough to say the horse isn’t a wild danger to anyone who comes near it today.

“It does mention a strict list of non-negotiable requirements for the prospective owner, and the effect is very off-putting.”


Well, maybe off-putting to people who have preconceived ideas about how a horse should be trained. Fair enough. Everyone’s entitled to be as close-minded about how to train their horse as they want. (Kinda like calling the kettle black, tho) But what if a buyer without a lot of training information or experience wants this horse as a project? Is asking them to try a specific method so God-awful wrong ... especially if you believe in that method yourself? Who knows? Maybe that would actually help that person get the ball rolling. It’s not like a buyer is obligated to use a specific program once the horse is theirs. (rolls eyes)

Becky said...

"It’s not like a buyer is obligated to use a specific program once the horse is theirs."

Unfortunately, there is an obligation. The current owner has been VERY clear on that point. In fact, she kind of bashed us over the head with it.

Giving your word to the owner that you will respect her wishes and then doing the complete opposite.... well, it's something that might be considered, but only if you felt the horse's situation merited it.

If there's nothing wrong with the horse's situation, as you seem to be arguing, then there is no reason to lie.

Regardless of life circumstances, even you seem to agree: training this horse wasn't a priority in this woman's life. Life happened. It sucks - we're not arguing that.

The thing is, now someone else needs to come along and fix this mess - because, honestly, a 13 year old project horse that isn't broke is a mess. As much as we all love horses, and as much as they tug at their heart strings... yes, horses have a worth. A well-trained, national champion horse has more worth than a green broke two year old. An ugly, wormy yearling is basically worthless. Give me twenty minutes on Craigslist and I can find one they're giving away for free... As a living being its life is worth something, but from an economic standpoint, it's worthless.

This mare is adorable, I love her legs, the way she seems to move, and the way she's put together. She's got a great little head, and there's something about her expression I like.

She's also worthless. Why would anyone take a barely started horse in its teens when they could get a younger one? Even more important.... why would anyone want to wade through a bunch of crazy rules to rescue a worthless horse?

This lady failed to protect her mare by giving her adequate training. I think her crazy rules are her way of trying to make up for that, but unfortunately, it's not helping her mare. She's created a situation where, if she's not adopted by someone with knowledge or money to get a good trainer, the mare stands a very real chance of one day going to slaughter. Mugs touched on this in her "Reining Torn Apart" post - Schmersal may have been ripping at that horse's face, but that mare he was on has a much lower chance of ever ending up being run through auction than this fat, untouched horse. So which situation is worse?

Ugh, I need to go look at pictures of baby unicorns. Now I'm all frustrated and depressed.

Rontuaru said...

Yanno, if you can't handle working with an unfinished horse then by all means take a pass. But you're not going to convince me or anyone with a little gumption that this horse is a "total mess" just because it's not finished. For all we know this mare might be the right buyer's dream. Who cares how the seller wants it trained? Once you have the bill of sale that's your call to make. What's the former owner gonna do, stalk you and read you the riot act if you don't do things her way? I highly doubt it. (And if I really thought she might, I'd take a pass too, but that's not the horses fault!) There are plenty of nutty dog and cat rescue groups that try to impose all sorts of goofy pre and post-purchase rules. If their rules irk me then I don't shop with them, but I don't go all bitchy and accusatory on them because our opinions differ about what's best for an animal. I think their intentions are good and if I don't want to play by their rules then I keep looking. I'm aware of the slaughter situation in my neck of the woods and there's plenty of well trained, perfectly functional equines who end up there. It's really not a matter of training or lack thereof, but often just the luck of the draw.

falcone32647 said...

bravo, Rontuaru

you've said much better why I haven't sold my horse. In 2003 my family agreed I would stay with my Dad (24/7) until the end of the school year when my sis and her hubby would move in and take over his care. In Jan. 2010, he passed away.
I cannot TELL you how much shit I took, to "get rid of those useless nags that are costing us money (*THEY* never paid one damned dime for my horse or my Dad)
When the Aide (God bless and keep them) would stay with my Dad, I would go home and soak up horse to cope for the next however long. My neighbor (God bless her) kept an eye on him in his 10 acre pasture while he "rotted" waiting on me.

Clancy said...

Rontauru, first Anonymous and Falcon32647, thank you for providing a different perspective.

As far as I can see, the functionalism with which horses seem so often to be regarded is one of the reasons so many end up at slaughter. If breeders respected them more there would not be so many more born than there are homes for, if owners respected them more they wouldn't be passed on like old cars when people want a new model. I suppose I can understand the need for some of that where people need their horses to make a living (actually working cattle, etc), but when they ride them purely for recreation, and say they love them, and then sell them on because not winning at shows or want a younger prettier one... It is not an attitude I understand.

Anonymous said...

First anonymous back again. I realise I'm a little late here, but I just wanted to add a couple of things. Rontuaru - how fantastic that you are recovering (have fully recovered I hope?) from your spinal surgeries, going from 100% disabled to being able to ride again is a physical and mental achievement I'd imagine very few people on here can even conceive of, I know I can't.

I think that the issue here is that because this woman hasn't actually abused or neglected her horse, just chosen a different way of ownership that obviously jars with a lot of other people's ideas of ownership, that circumstances (much of which we do not know) are going to play a key part in what decisions she made and thus our judgement of her. Mugs - totally, we can't chastise you when we don't know your history, so perhaps extend a similar courtesy to someone who hasn't actually done anything cruel to their animal and may have a gazillion valid reasons for doing what she did. Perhaps she was an amazing rider and trainer, perhaps she actually rescued this little mare herself and felt responsibility to her when her surgery happened (which, remember, could have simply been routine but went wrong). Who knows.
What we do know is that slaughter houses are full of better horses with more time and effort put into them that this one - so it is always a gamble. There are people actively abusing and neglecting their horses. Let's get off our high horses and stop criticizing in those cases where there's been no actual injury and where someone's circumstances might actually matter, to those cases where no one actually has a goddamned valid excuse to leave their horse to die entangled in a fence. To name just one recent example. This post has inspired so much controversy because it reveals just what we each think "horses" to be about, and nobody likes their principles to be criticized - and they are so fundamental to us that no one is going to change those based on someone's blog comments.
And just as an aside, Snipe, those 3 horses for sale - best offer - I wonder if someone might make a best offer just to see if they can make more at a slaughter house. Can and does happen - how's that owner going to prevent that when she needs her horses gone asap?!
Finally, my mare was late broke, I backed her myself at 6 and she's my forever horse. I'm not going to trade her in if I get injured. I also feel a hell of a lot safer on her little green back than I do on other "professionally broken and handled" horses that love to bolt, buck, rear, and smush you when you lead them. While I'm sure mugs and others can produce a properly trained animal, there's lots of people who don't. I don't always believe trainers "add value" to a horse, they can just as easily create problems the next owner has to fix, or another reason a horse gets consigned to slaughter. This case really isn't clear cut and the criticism generated is simply a reflection on "my way is the right way", which is sad when we should be targeting people who genuinely are cruel to horses, or opening a reasoned discussion with different perspectives, and not just having a bitch for the sake of it.

mugwump said...

OK guys - just because this subject irritates me so...

If you own a young, sound, healthy animal AND YOU DON'T RIDE IT FOR TEN YEARS you have done the horse a HUGE DISSERVICE.

I don't care if you're am amputee with Parkinson's and a full time caretaker to a houseful of old age pensioners.

If that young green horse is now middle aged and hasn't been ridden FOR TEN YEARS and now you want to sell it, you have screwed that horse over.

There are many well trained horses out there going to slaughter. I heard that one used as justification to NOT RIDE THE MARE. Are you high?
If the horses with some background aren't making it can't you see what you've done to this mare?

YOU HAVE SCREWED HER OVER.

You guys keep talking about your "forever horses."

Obviously this mare is nobody's forever horse , because SHE IS FOR SALE.ON CRAIG'S LIST.

Get off my high horse? My own personal, sound, well-trained, hopefully forever horse? I don't have to, because if life goes wrong, like, you know, 10 years or so of cancer, I know my horses are highly desirable, saleable animals.
Don't hand me that "because you're a trainer" crap. I wasn't always.But each horse I have had pass through my hands left me a better animal than when we started together. I RODE THEM.I LEARNED. When I was in a place where I couldn't ride, the only horse I had was an old lame mare.I kept her until she died 20 years later. She was there for me when I couldn't ride.
I sure as hell didn't hang onto my young, well trained (NOT GREEN)horses, because I didn't have a way to keep them going. They went to homes that had wanted them for quite a while, well researched homes, to people I knew, who paid a good price, BECAUSE THEY WERE HORSES PEOPLE WOULD WANT.
So I think I will stay on my high horse, thank you very much. If I fall off her I know she will land in a decent place and have a chance at life.
Because I have people who want her - because she is well trained and I don't scorn the value of her papers and bloodlines. There are
arrangements for her care and where she will go. I update them regularly.
You will not find her on CL, 13 years old and not ridden for 10 years.
BECAUSE I DON'T SCREW MY HORSES OVER.

redhorse said...

Mugs, agreed, a thousand times over.
What really upsets me about this mare's predicament, is that she could clearly be a very desirable horse. She could be the embodiment of the Princess horse, with a rider in beautiful costumes, she could be an endurance horse, a youth horse, cart horse, or just a trail horse. She is breathtakingly beautiful and capable of having a horse/human relationship.

She isn't any of those things because of the choices her owner made. She has good reasons for wanting to sell the horse now, but she's made it so much more difficult because of what she's done in the past.

I think I've said before, I could be in a place similar to this woman. I'm older and not as sound as I used to be, and I have a younger horse. I think this is his last year of being called green, I just rode him for the first time this year, and he behaved like a broke horse, which is weird, because he seemed green the last time I rode last fall. But anyway, I still have a barrel/racing/ college student/cowgirl coming out to ride him a couple times a week because I want to know that I could sell him to a good home if I needed to. Someone else can handle him, saddle him, ride him, and they don't have to use any particular brand of training or tack. So, thanks for reminding me of that.

mugwump said...

redhorse - you get it. thank you.

Peanut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peanut said...

Thank you mugs and redhorse for the great posts!

I too am a middle-aged woman with a 'green' horse. She was saved from a Wa feedlot, and I'm pretty sure she would have ended up back there if she had fallen into the wrong hands. I had a professional trainer start her, and when I realized later that I was in over my head, she went back to the trainer again and made a huge change.

She is still not a horse that anyone can ride, but we're working on it, and I see continual progress toward her feeling better about life and her place in it. My other mare is retired, but I am working on my will to provide for my mares should something happen to me.

wyofaith said...

I just wanted to say this: Her keeping this mare as a pasture pet was fine. UNTIL she wanted to sell her. No one can fault someone keeping a horse around because it brings them joy. UNTIL they have to try and sell that same horse. Then yes, it is worthless. The chances of finding someone who just wants a pasture pet or that wants to pay the expense of finally finding that thing some training are super slim.
We cannot garantee our horses a forever home. We all WANT too, but we can't. We just don't know what will happen down the road.
She absolutely is doing this horse a disservice by selling it without any usable skills. Period. I don't care how sad her story is, she's still trying to dump her horse on Craigslist.

Becky said...

Wyofaith--- YES - that's what I kept trying to say, but somehow it came out all wrong when I wrote it. Thank you!

Half Dozen Farm said...

I'm late to the party (as usual), but must say that I can definitely see both sides to this story.

I can totally understand what Mugs is saying about giving the horse enough training and skills to be able to land on its feet if the unforeseen happens. I agree that this horse drew a short straw on owners--but definitely not the shortest straw!

I can also see how this owner perhaps is looking for an ideal home for this horse, perhaps knowing full well that she screwed up but can't really do anything about it now. I personally have "tested the waters" with an ad for an old pony we had who was just pasture sound. My circumstances had changed so that I could no longer keep her, and if I could have found the perfect companion home for her, that would have been great. Since I didn't, I had her put down. So, I can't fault this lady for testing the waters to see if the "perfect" home is out there for her horse's (or her own emotional) situation.

I have to admit that I haven't ridden in two years. My youngest daughter (5 yo now), had a serious health problem 2 years ago that meant I went from riding 3-4 days a week down to zilch. I haven't sold my horse yet and have no plans to. I don't think she minds being a pet. :)

I do have plans to start riding with my mom on the weekends this year, as soon as the ground dries out. And I make absolutely sure that my mare is well handled and remembers her manners. I had to take her to the emergency vet clinic just last Friday when I arrived home to find her dead lame. Loaded her into the trailer for the first time in 2 years with absolutely no fuss, and the vet must have said at least 5 times during the visit what a nice, quiet, well-mannered horse she was, especially for an OTTB! She stood stock still for xrays, bandaging, etc. and was the model patient. Made me smile. :)

My rescued pony is going to a trainer to be driven this spring, even though I probably won't have time to drive him much, at least he will know something.

I think we all have different levels of commitment and levels of involvement with our horses and no one wants to be painted as a "bad" owner, especially when we all work our butts off to make sure they are safe, fed, healthy, etc.

So, I guess I'm a mugwump on this issue! LOL! I wouldn't answer her ad only because she sounds like a nutcase. She should try to tone it down a bit, and just weed people out when they come out to see the horse. She will know the right person, and so will the horse!

Half Dozen Farm said...

I'm late to the party (as usual), but must say that I can definitely see both sides to this story.

I can totally understand what Mugs is saying about giving the horse enough training and skills to be able to land on its feet if the unforeseen happens. I agree that this horse drew a short straw on owners--but definitely not the shortest straw!

I can also see how this owner perhaps is looking for an ideal home for this horse, perhaps knowing full well that she screwed up but can't really do anything about it now. I personally have "tested the waters" with an ad for an old pony we had who was just pasture sound. My circumstances had changed so that I could no longer keep her, and if I could have found the perfect companion home for her, that would have been great. Since I didn't, I had her put down. So, I can't fault this lady for testing the waters to see if the "perfect" home is out there for her horse's (or her own emotional) situation.

I have to admit that I haven't ridden in two years. My youngest daughter (5 yo now), had a serious health problem 2 years ago that meant I went from riding 3-4 days a week down to zilch. I haven't sold my horse yet and have no plans to. I don't think she minds being a pet. :)

I do have plans to start riding with my mom on the weekends this year, as soon as the ground dries out. And I make absolutely sure that my mare is well handled and remembers her manners. I had to take her to the emergency vet clinic just last Friday when I arrived home to find her dead lame. Loaded her into the trailer for the first time in 2 years with absolutely no fuss, and the vet must have said at least 5 times during the visit what a nice, quiet, well-mannered horse she was, especially for an OTTB! She stood stock still for xrays, bandaging, etc. and was the model patient. Made me smile. :)

My rescued pony is going to a trainer to be driven this spring, even though I probably won't have time to drive him much, at least he will know something.

I think we all have different levels of commitment and levels of involvement with our horses and no one wants to be painted as a "bad" owner, especially when we all work our butts off to make sure they are safe, fed, healthy, etc.

So, I guess I'm a mugwump on this issue! LOL! I wouldn't answer her ad only because she sounds like a nutcase. She should try to tone it down a bit, and just weed people out when they come out to see the horse. She will know the right person, and so will the horse!

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