Friday, December 13, 2013

Sometimes I Can't Resist

Most of the time, I leave stupid alone. But then there are times when I just can't stand it. Eye roll. Shake head....go get more coffee.

Very gentle 2 year old sorrel colt - $1500 (Walsenburg co)

This little grade stud colt is one heck of a horse. He currently stands about 13hh but should mature to about 14.5hh. We are gelding him next week, just haven't gotten around to it yet. Never acted "study" at all. He has about 90 days training on him. Real quiet minded, has a soft mouth and is very naturally leaded. He's never ever offered to buck. Super gentle little colt!! Swung a rope off him a few times and drug a log off him also. Never actually roped off him but wouldn't be afraid to. Moved cows on him and he's real sure footed in all terrains. Crosses water great. Would make a great kids horse in another year or two!! Just a little green still for a beginner rider. 
Please call/text Jake with more questions. 

I have just one question for Jake. What the hell are you thinking?
As a general rule, if you're selling a 14.5 hh horse, you're not ready to be training.


  1. Well, of course you can't leave stupid alone. But you should. Who wants a stupid horse who never acted "study"? I like a nice, book-smart horse myself.

  2. This poor guy is obviously thinking, "I am surrounded by MORONS!"

  3. Oh my gosh - I put that in my horse advertising rant and then edited it out. Had to cut stuff; it was just too long. Seriously. The part about "don't be an idiot" was turning into an essay.

    Y'see, I had included the part about how a looooong time ago I told a knowledgable horse person that somebody had a 15.5 hand horse. So she quietly replied, "So... his horse is 16.1?" I'm not good with numbers but I should have known better. I was a kid who ate horse books for breakfast. That taught me to smarten up and understand what I'm talking about before I open my mouth.

    AT least back then when I was an ignorant kid I wasn't trying to pass myself off as a trainer.

    But I'm with Becky about a horse acting "study" because man, my life would be a lot easier if my horses would do some reading and research.

  4. What kills me (and what y'all are probably graceful enough to not talk about) is the thought that this is a two year old.

    If she thinks he's gonna grow another 6 inches, (Assuming she means 14.2 hands - I don't even wanna think about 15.1.) Why does she have TWO full sized adults on his back? Combine that with all the stuff he supposedly does and that tells me he was started too early. He still looks very juvenile.

    I'm okay with starting a 2 year old if the bulk of their growth is done and their knees are closed, but this boy looks like he's not even close to being fully cooked. He's two and this dumb chick has already taken 5-10 years off of his useable life. He may live to be 30, but I betcha he's arthritic as all get-out before he's 20.

    Why oh why are people in such a hurry to break their babies? They think it's such a bragging point that their baby was "fully broke" at 2. Really? Tell me that and you've just told me that you don't care about the long term health of your horse. AUGH!

  5. I'm coming out of lurk-dom to say, the really sad part about this ad....that picuture is taken at a certian colorado community college's horse training & management campus...that I think I am not as proud to have graduated from at this moment....since I am going to assume whoever posted the ad, also went there, and brought their colt. 14.5hh...*shakes head*

  6. Heather - My biggest beef is how young the horse is -- not being OK with starting two-year-olds is kind of a given around here.
    Becky M. - Argh!!!

  7. Whywhywhy do people look at a 2 year old and think "man, I need to get to riding him"?!?

    The dumba$$ walking horse people start 18-month olds all the time and brag how "broke" their 2 year olds are. Broke-n is more like it.

    My SO gives me nearly weekly hell about the fact I haven't started my (will be 3 in April) gelding because he is "going to be such a handful." Well, he IS speed bred but, he's a quite gangly 15 hands at the moment and looks too "baby" to start. (And, I've done everything EXCEPT ride him. He hauls, ponies, etc).

    This colt, by comparison, looks as mature as my yearlings. And they've put 90 days of semi-hard riding on him. W.T.F.

    Wonder if they've felt the need to shoe him, too?!?

  8. In the area where that college is at, starting 2 year olds is what everyone does. And they are usually put into fairly hard work at that point. All the colts at the college are 2 unless the owner just didn't get around to doing the paperwork to get them in that year. Quite a few stud colts come through too. Usually we had about 2-3 per semester. And students can bring their own colts to train, or have a friend train, which is what it seems this person did.

  9. Starting 2-year-old's is standard out here.
    It also leads to lots of health problems.
    It would be an interesting campaign to get the school accepting only 3-year-olds.

  10. I think the expression on this guy's face says it all.

  11. That poor boy. My 3 year old filly was very lightly started this summer, and by lightly I mean easy trail rides under 2 hours, and at most 5 minutes tops of any speed work at all. I mostly just want the basics of go and whoa to sink into her thick skull, let her take the winter off, and start her on longer trail rides in the spring, eventually by 6 or 7 have her ready to start training as an endurance mount.

    She still looks like a baby to me, even though she finally started to fill out this summer. But every 'horse person' I know around here seems to think I've wasted her by letting her grow up enough to carry me comfortably instead of just riding the piss out of her and literally breaking her before the end of her second summer.

    I'd like to have her around and sound when I retire. Unless she continues to play destructor and constantly tear down my fence every week. If I can't figure out how to make her respect the fence and just stay in it, then I may be forced to sell her. Anyone have any helpful hints as to how to accomplish that?

    Since she was born, she tears down hot fence like its nothing. I currently have a 5 mile bison fencer powering 200 feet of 1 inch hot tape in 2 strands on the inside of the paddock board fence. That doesn't stop her either. And I know its hot, I watched her bite it and make a face when it nailed her. And I may have accidentally zapped myself the other day as well... stupid pipe gate chain...

  12. Skittle - does she have company?

  13. Skittle, I prefer wire to tape because the tape filaments can be so easily broken. Also, try to ground it differently. If you ground it with rods try the double wire ground, and vise versa.

  14. Anon- We went to the tape because the deer were helping her to tear the fence down when it was wire, and she doesn't need help. And the section they're in for the winter was just completely redone with brand new tape last week.

    Mugs- Twister has company, she has the palomino mare that was here when she was born, Sandy, and a paint mare that I've had for a year now, Blossom.

    Twister is also the dominant mare, so she's not being chased through it, and I know she's not chasing the other 2 through it because they actually respect it.

    She isn't doing it because she's looking for food, because she'll do it right after I put in a fresh round bale. She isn't being chased by coyotes of bears.

    She will go through it if she decides she doesn't want to be caught, or if she's under any pressure at all from a person. Free lunging her at all results in torn down fence panels, pipe gates torn off buildings, and cemented fence posts pulled out of the ground. But she'll stand tied to whatever I tie her too, nice and quiet, while I fix her mess after the fact.

    Twister also constantly picks on Blossom. She'll charge 2 or 300 yards across the pasture in the summer to push Blossom away from where she is grazing. She'll push Blossom away from the hay bale just because she can. She won't let either of the other two anywhere near me in the pasture, I have to lock her in a stall and then go catch the other horse I want if I want to do it without fear of getting run over because Twister shoves them away from me. And getting Twister out of my space is a crap shoot at best. She's been handled consistently by me since birth, and handled the same as the other 2, but its hit or miss if she'll respond to me or just destroy stuff.

  15. Mugs, I figured we were kinda taking the "too young to start thing" for granted, but I just had to put it out there anyhow. I'm cruddy at reading between the lines. ;-)

    The more I look at that ad, the more irritated I get. I've got a 5 month old 3/4 Andalusian 1/4 AQHA (Iberian Warmblood to you, Becky :-) )and my plan for her is to not ask anything more than to let me lead her on the ground and play with her feet until she's at least 2. Then we'll start ground driving and getting her ready for her first ride at 3 - if she's mentally and physically ready.

    On some level, I can understand wanting to get started - I cannot wait to see how my Pixel will be to ride. But I also want her to be my riding partner as long as possible so I'm going to wait until she's physically ready before we get to the next step.

    What's an extra year or two when you're talking about a potential useful lifetime of 25 years when you do it right?

    I just want to BEYOTCH-SLAP that woman! As I said - the more I read that ad, the more irritated I get.

  16. Ok, I'm going to defend the horse height. It used to drive me nuts, but I've decided it is completely legit when written that way. You need to read it as 14 and a half, not fourteen five. See with the decimal point there it is a fraction of a hand, and half a hand is 2 inches. Now written 14-5 or 14 5 would be wrong and while I know the decimal is typically used with a 0-3. I'm trying to be a nicer, gentler kind of person. As for the rest of the ad, SIGH.

  17. The people I board with are reiners, and they have a coming 2 year old baby by Electric Code who they put a saddle on for a couple of weeks last month. It's all about the futurities. :(

    That said, he is one hunk of a baby and he did really well. The trainer worked him about 15 minutes in a small round pen for a few days, then took him into the full indoor ring.

    There's a youtube video of the last ride before they put him back to cogitate. I'm pretty sure he's in a bosal but it's hard to tell, the video isn't that great - it could be a snaffle.

    It's actually pretty darned cute, he's a smart little guy and very good minded. But I don't intend to expose the trainer to all kinds of abuse about riding babies, especially since I kind of agree with it. Conflicted are us. :(

  18. Yes but as a horse enthusiast, I don't like the dumbing down of our special language. I particularly don't like "right and left" instead of "near and off".

  19. So 14.1 becomes 14.25? If you can work out what a hand is then you should put in the extra effort to understand about inches. It really isn't difficult and it costs as much effort to write 14.2 as 14.5 and more to write 14.25 instead of 14.1. I'd understand it if it was particularly complicated but its only 3 numbers!

  20. So 14.1 becomes 14.25? If you can work out what a hand is then you should put in the extra effort to understand about inches. It really isn't difficult and it costs as much effort to write 14.2 as 14.5 and more to write 14.25 instead of 14.1. I'd understand it if it was particularly complicated but its only 3 numbers!

  21. Amy,

    I don't think it's about the math. We can all do the math. The problem here is more than that. First "14.5" is an ambiguous number. Does she mean that the horse is "fourteen and a half" hands, or does she mean that the horse is "15.1" hands. She's mixing scales. If she wants to talk about inches, then she needs to tell us that the horse is 58 inches (or maybe 4'10"). Or she needs to tell us that the horse is 14.2 hands. That takes out the confusion.

    That said, there's a secondary problem here. This person is trying to pass herself off as a horse trainer while demonstrating an inability to use the language of horses properly. She also has clearly demonstrated poor judgement and/or lack of knowledge of equine anatomy because I don't know of a reputable trainer that would put two fully grown adults on a clearly juvenile Colt and use that as a sales photo.

    For a professional horse trainers, putting together a good marketing package for a sale horse is part of the business. This woman is clearly NOT a professional, but is trying to pass herself off as one. She is an affront to all those true horse professionals that work hard to do the right thing by their horses and themselves.

    This add is like reading a DEALER ad for a car that said something like: This car has a big engine with six of those round thingies in it and four new rubber wheels.

    I wouldn't buy a car from a dealer that wrote an ad like that - clearly that person knows nothing about cars. Why would you buy a horse from a horse "pro" that clearly doesn't know anything about horses?

    Sorry to ramble. This ad is still irritating me.... :-)

  22. I just want to throw this out there because when I read it, it blew my mind. Starting young horses may not be as physically detrimental as we assume, based on this interesting, long term Australian horse racing study. (I unfortunately can't link to the actual study because the one I have requires a password):

    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I'm still not a fan of starting young horses but it's as much about mental maturity as physical. This study of course, does not negate the idiocy of the seller(s). There is a lot of stupid happening here. It appears they should know better and they have access to information but are not choosing to use it.

  23. Heather - I was agreeing with you - I realise on reflection that it could be taken either way! I was saying that if you can't master the fact there are 4 inches in a hand then you shouldn't be responsible for an animal as complicated as a horse. 14.5 is no 'easier' than 14.2 to write or say so why not get it right?

    Maybe they should just stick to plants?

  24. Marsha -

    That article was an interesting read. I was thinking how nice it would be to read the methodology behind the study. I know that there are many differences in training regimes and the skill of the trainer in identifying the capabilities of each horse.

    And then I remembered - I am still taking an evening class at the uni I got my degree from this year so I still have access to the EVJ. I will see if I can track the paper down and report back. Would anyone else like to read the original article?

  25. Whups! Sorry Amy! I misread your post. My bad.

    Still irritated by that ad....

    I have to admit, I'm a little skeptical of the article and would like to read it. I'd like to know more about the study group. Race horses are selected (accidentally or purposefully) to mature quickly because, if they don't, their legs fail and they're put down before they can reproduce. Also, on average, race horses are shorter-lived than other horses. So if your cohort consists of mostly fast maturing, short lived animals, you're not going to see significant damage from starting them younger.

    If they used non racing-bred horses in the study, that would certainly make it more interesting....

  26. Right. I have found, and read, the study.

    The specific wording is:

    "No evidence was found to
    support the view that racing 2-year-old Thoroughbreds in Australia
    increases the risk of retirement from racing."

    This study only looked at thoroughbred racehorses. There was no data on why horses stopped racing. There was no consideration on the number of horses bred who did not race. Only horses that started racing were included.

    There was a big sample size - 117,088 horses across 10 years. It was true that horses who were started later were more likely to have shorter careers but again, no data as to why they retired.

    My take on it is simple. Experienced trainers don't tend to take unraced 3 year olds so do those ones end up with rubbish trainers? Experienced trainers do bring horses on in such a way as to maximise their potential and make sure they reach the track. Careful conditioning programs are a big part of this. And then these 3 year olds often have to race against other 3 year olds who will have already been racing for a year. Of course they are going to find it hard and will always lag behind so likely to be retired early.

    Weak horses don't make the track - what is the point in paying for something that isn't going to do well? These ones never enter the study.

    And the big thing - none of these horses are followed after their racing career is over. With a mean racing career length of 23 months (across all 3 'sexes') there is a lot of life left after that.

    So - starting 2 year olds in an industry designed around the starting of 2 year olds means that 2 year olds have the longest racing career. Right.

    But no data on how the horse holds up in their second career whether it be big name stallion, broodmare or someone's favourite riding horse.

    So its not really that useful. The author agrees that it does not really shed light on whether 2 year olds should raced.

  27. Hrmm.... Yeah, As you said, the study seems pretty much worthless. Poo.

  28. On darn, Amy. I was hoping it was going to be a better study. It had potential with the sample size and the length of time. Alright than, we need a university vet with an endowment to do a study for us! Thanks for looking that up.

  29. Well, I can tell you that with more than a decade of professional farriery and nearly four decades as the child of a horse professional under my belt, raced horses, or any horse that performs in futurity-type events, has a shorter performing life and a shorter life span overall.

    I don't care about your auntie's champion reiner that lived to 30 without a crick of arthritis, I'm talking overall as a trend, this is what I see. It just frickin' breaks 'em. It breaks 'em.

    It is neither normal nor OK for horses under the age of ten to be taking joint supplements or injections. It's a sign that someone used up that horse's potential before it was even in it's prime.

    This is a major peeve of mine. Sorry to rant here, but...

    I cannot tell you how many times I've advised folks to give them two more years now and you'll get ten later! It's true!

  30. Skittle, check out HotCote polymer coated electric fence wire. It has a break strength of 1600 pounds. Easy to put up, nice to look at, and darn near unbreakable. We sleep better at night knowing that our horses will still be in their paddocks when we get up in the morning. No more chasing a black horse down the road at midnight on a moonless night.

  31. GrimmsHairyTails, thank you, I'll look into that! Hopefully it'd hold long enough to convince her to not try to run through it to get away from the shock.

  32. 4 or 5 is when I like then ready to ride. The seem to break in easier. Mine has never bucked or done anything in the breaking process.

  33. Skittle: you may check into Electrobraid also. That's what I use for me escape artist ponies and they respect it. And if you accidentally hit it you will absolutely know it! My guess is that your fence is not grounded well enough. It should hit HARD. No "I may have touched it." The last time I touched mine, I felt the electricity go thru my heart and my arm was tingly and kind of numb for at least an hour. And it hurt like HELL! Go to the Electrobraid website and download their free installation instructions. Read the part about installing a proper grounding system and use that on your current fencing. Then get a fence tester because you won't want to touch it to check if it's hitting. Good luck! (This is Half Dozen Farm -too lazy to login)