It has become very dangerous to buy from Professional Riders’, Coaches, Olympic People, EA Officials and others. To many of them have been found to not do the right thing
It’s a sad Day when one has to say that but 2017 saw People ripped off by dozens of Professional Equestrian Australia Coaches and Olympic Representatives. Don’t You be one!!
DON’T BUY AT AUCTIONS. You have only a 10% CHANCE OF a genuine Horse!!!
Possibly save $$ and Years
I appologize for the length of this and it could run for 100 Pages.
Things are getting worse and the Internet has driven the flush of ‘Crooked Horse Dealers’ around the Country where every ‘Scum Bag’ can get a quid…your quid!!!! Go here the latest Online tactics
March, 2012 She was 5 in this Vid and I see she has just had her 2nd Foal.
This is written for those entering the Industry
The purchase of your first horse will be probably the most crucial decision that you will make in your riding career.
A substantial percentage of the general horse community handle the truth a little carelessly shall we say, when they sell horses. There are outright crooks and then the many others who will tell the white lie or simply omit to tell you the negative.
The following is information and hard lessons learnt over 40 years, being a Government assessor for Consumer Affairs, Consultant and Court witness. It is information designed and aimed at the amateur or those entering the Industry.
CATEGORIES OF RIDERS.
There are five categories of riders and there are also five categories of horses. Lucky for us!!
1. Learner Rider
2. Novice Rider
3. Average Rider
4. Good Rider
5. Excellent Rider.
The trick is to buy the horse that fits your category.
LEARNER RIDER HORSE
Normally bombproof or as close to it that they come. (Incidentally, there are no bombproof horses.) The ‘Learner Rider horse’ normally has a bad mouth and this is one area that most amateur advisors’ do not understand. ‘Learner Rider Horses’ by their description have Learner Riders’ on them all of the time. Learner Riders’ have bad hands and this gives the horses they ride, bad mouths. I have ridden and purchased hundreds of them and the fact that they have bad mouths does not preclude them from being good Learner horses. They all can be tuned up and given new brake pads later by professional riders.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Try to lease or get the horse on trial.
- Always consult experts in the Industry. Have them assess the short list of horses that you have located and that you think may suit you.
- It is advisable to get a Veterinary examination prior to buying the horse, however, this may be economically unviable on horses under $1,000.
- Your expert should have an idea if the horse has been drugged to mask bad behavior. In a gelding, a tell tale sign is the penis being dropped out of the sheath and in a mare, a droopy bottom lip. Ask your Vet to take a blood sample.
- Question the seller on the history, breeding, soundness, past veterinary history, vices, quietness, what ability rider does the horse suit, who has been riding it, what ability are they and floatability.
never trust a riding test in the horses own arena, yard or paddock. Horses feel comfortable there. They are comfortable with everything around them.
- Have your professional ride the horse off the property and in traffic if possible. That rider should put the horse through as many paces and tests as possible in an effort to expose any suspect areas. This should include galloping the horse both away and towards home and pull it up prior to reaching its destination, riding it past the entrance gate a number of times.
THE CROOKS IN THE HORSE INDUSTRY
DRUGS & VETS
The Drugs of choice are varied but their are many used so where do they get these S4 prescription based Medicines? How come they always have an unlimited supply of them? Well they get them from Veterinary Officers of course and that means that there are not enough controls out there to stop the illegal use of them. No self Regulation of their Industry otherwise it wouldn’t be happening in plague proportions.
THE EFA Who is controlling the activities of the Coaches out there? There is a thing called the ‘Code of Ethics’ that is held dear within the EFA and Coaches are often reminded of their responsibilities by written word here and there and I noted with interest a couple of weeks ago when Mrs. HP received advice about her selection to the State Dressage Squad, that a big deal was made about the chosen people upholding the ‘Code of Ethics’ within the Industry, however, in reality, these lofty ideals are not always working and certainly not being Policed.
Because of my involvement with assisting Lawyers and others in matters involving Horselaw, I see a lot but unfortunately I cannot talk about most of it on my site. It is certainly not diminishing however. In the past, I have related some of these where they have mostly involved the small players in the Industry, individual Horse owners or back yard Horse Dealers. It is with disappointment though that tonight I have to warn you about some of the Professionals, Trainers’, Riders, EFA Coaches and even ‘household names’ within the Industry who fund their chosen fields of excellence by ripping people off with their Crookery. Olympic Medalists and World Equestrian Games Representatives can and have been just as Crooked.!!
These are the worst kind of Crooks because they are really ‘fraudsters’ who have won the Trust of their victims and then raid their pocket books by deceptive practices where they use their learned skills to cover defects in horses at point of sale or use one or more Drugs amongst a plethora of them, to mask hidden Veterinary issues in horses being sold in the knowledge that down the track, the horse will not make the grade but time would have moved on far enough whereby the Purchaser is reticent to act as they tend to blame themselves. In reality, these people are common thieves who really are sneaking in through your Bedroom windows during the night and stealing out of your purse. They are dead set thieves.
Their victims are often young up and coming Riders’ who are rising up through the ranks and therefore on the desperate lookout of good horses and are all at their most vulnerable state because they look up to their Icons and will believe anything they say. They cannot wait for the Pro to close the deal and are not remotely interested in the details because it is the experience of buying from those they worship that is often good enough in itself. The damage that this does to the Horse Industry is immense of course because it seriously sets back and jades the innocent youngsters and often financially cripples the Parents who are out their working their asses off to fund the dreams of their child. They too are most vulnerably.
So Boys and Girls, if you think you can trust ALL of your Idols, your EFA Coaches or even your Vets’ to do the right thing by you, all of the time, you are sadly mistaken. Read my Lips, beware!!!!!
So what have I heard this week? Oh yes, the Founded Horse being sold to New Zealand, the completely unsound Horse being that full of Drugs at the Horse of the Year that it was only marginally unsound but now for sale for over $10,000 (congratulations to the future Buyer) and the $30,000 OTTB because it won a few hack ribbons with a Crooked Pro on Board who probably had bribed the Crooked Judges. The $17,000 horse that is unsound, the $250,000 unsound horse being sold to Europe by one of our Representatives and the $21,000 horse that is also unsound, the Vet who acted for the Purchaser but who was having an ‘each way bet’ and another Vet who was supposed to be acting for the Purchaser but who acted for the Vendor and who wrote on the Vet certificate, “Nice Temperament’ and the second Vet who failed a Vet check on the same Horse because it had a crap temperament. (a breath of fresh air indeed) Have fun 🙂
THE THROW AWAY LINE
The smoother they are the more seasoned in experience, the better the ‘throw away line’ and the timing of it, becomes. This is the key to the defense of the Scammer and they just throw it in, normally after the sale is consummated. Some of the one’s I have run across lately are:
In answer to “how does he float?”…….”oh don’t know, he has only been trucked ” which means that he scrambles like a drunk in a float, has probably been down, injured and possibly even smashed the head on the roof.
Just as the horse is about to leave the property….” He may move around a bit in the float. ” ….he arrives at the owners property in a ‘muck lather of sweat’.
There are many others and they are all completely subtle but just injected for ‘Ron’. Later On.
never buy a Horse that is Spelling!!!!!!!!!!!
A lot of people think that they have been sold drugged horses because horses change personality down the track. I must admit that I have rarely met a drugged horse at the point of sale although I do know that it exists. There are other reasons why horses change their personalities later though.
These days, their is mass use of “Be Calm” pastes etc.
- Skinny horses that are then fattened up by the loving new owner often change
- Horses that have been feeling down due to worms, sand in the stomach etc can change personalities later when fixed up.
- Horses that have been worked hard on a regular basis and suffer fatigue, i.e. Riding Schools, almost always jump at least one category later with the new owner. I also know that when I was buying horses for a Holiday on Horseback Company, that if I bought an average rider’s horse, within a few weeks it would be downgraded to a Novice or even a Learner Riders horse. Simply because of the daily grind.
- The horse may just get sick of the new owner because of their lack of care, love or just their incompetence.
LOOK FOR A LACK OF CONTROL OF THE PENIS IN MALE HORSES OR A FLOPPY BOTTOM LIP IN ALL HORSES!!
Buying a horse can be a hazardous exercise. You can get injured if you get on them yourself or lose your money very easily.
- Always make the owner ride the horse first. If they have a representative rider find out why. The answer would want to be a good one.
- Do not buy for looks or because mother loves it. There are heaps of mothers out there who want to ride through their daughters and they buy what they always dreamed of.
- Learner Rider Horses are often ugly and are rarely pretty. Just because a horse is pleasant to the eye doesn’t mean it goes well. You can upgrade next time.
- Never buy because of registration papers, show ribbons or breeding. None of these have anything to do with how the horse goes.
- Buy the size of horse that fits you or can carry your weight. Taller horses are often just as quiet or quieter than small ones. They also move slower when they zig and zag. They are also more comfortable to ride. I find that you hit the ground just as hard or harder of the small ones than the big ones. You have more time to set yourself for the landing off the bigger horses.
- If you are on the heavy side, you must buy the horse that can carry your weight. I weigh 85 kg but ride lighter than a 50kg leaner rider. It’s all about balance. You need the build of horse that can comfortably carry you and the type of saddle that will accommodate your backside.
- The larger your backside the larger the saddle and the thicker the saddle blankets you will require.
- Weight carrying horses are generally X-bred horses and not Thoroughbreds or Arabs. They also should have short backs if possible. If you give your horse a sore back, you must rest it for a minimum of a week and test it before riding. If you are over weight, go on a diet, I do.
The best source of horses is out of the major newspapers or the Internet. Normally private sales. The best horses a normally passed from hand to hand through word of mouth and never reach the newspapers etc. Pony Club does this a lot. If you have an Instructor (accredited), ask them. They are often told about them.
Never buy a Horse Sight unseen!!!!!!
Dealers have a bad reputation but are often honest. Especially the ones who don’t hide the fact and have money back or swap the horse over etc. The ones that deal behind the scenes are almost always crooks.
If you are Buying a Horse for the “English Disciplines”, CONFORMATION IS EVERYTHING!!!!
‘LISTEN TO YOUR HORSES’
7 HOURS AND FEATURING 27 HORSES CRYING OUT FOR HELP. An in depth look at what not to buy and why, what Horses are pre-disposed to unsoundness and why.
If you ever consider Buying a Performance Horse, watch this Production and it may save you Thousands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
31st March, 2011
During the last two Years, we have been conducting a systematic study involving 50 Horses, all of which came to us with varying degrees of Training or Behavioral problems and all of which were found to be unsound in various ways. Predominantly issues of the Hind end and these fitted three categories:
- Horses that had a genuine Veterinary affliction
- Horses that were made to appear unsound due to incorrect Riding, ill fitting Saddles and the Like, and…
- A combination of both.
Now this is a highly technical area and of course demands that the Trainers have the ability to “Listen to the Horses” and to in fact be able to read precisely what they are talking about, complaining about or shouting about. I believe the Holy Grail of Horsemanship.
You see, “Horses never Lie” and they are never wrong. If you can decipher what they are saying, they will tell you everything about their problems, where their problems lie and even everything about the previous Riders, even though we do not know them.
Throughout, we have been more and more blown away at what we were discovering and how we were forever being taught and developed as Trainers, by the Horses. The most satisfying feeling. We are putting together a major DVD Production of this, to educate, to jolt, to frighten, worry and enlighten Horse Owners everywhere and to hopefully add to the education knowledge base of the Veterinary Community for they are clearly falling down in this area. (not their fault) Here are just some of the findings:
- That in the majority of Pre Purchase Vet checks, Vet’s have failed to diagnose rear end Veterinary unsoundness. There are many reasons for this but essentially, the Vet University Courses Curriculum does not equip Vets’ with enough information and options for diagnosis of these problems. Stifle, mis-aligned pelvises, Sacroiliac problems and other stuff. They do not advise and promote Vets’ to demand to see Horses lunged, ridden and even view Video Tape of them. Rather, they historically just walk up and examine the Horse, trot it up 15 metres for a stress test and ‘Bob’s your Uncle’. Owners should also be educated to take a more pro-active role in the selection or investigation of their prospective or current Horses and to arm the Vet with as much information as possible, rather than relying on them. Vet’s do need our help.
- The vast majority of Horses that we have found to be in fact unsound and proven such, have been prior Vet checked, Physio checked, Chiro checked and by others. 3 in the Last two Weeks in fact. One that was purchased by a Mrs. HP Pupil, with a Vet check and unable to do the Dressage. Mrs. HP advised the Girl to get rid of the Horse. She did last Week, with another Vet check. Passed sound 🙂 Not so say we and not so say the Horse!!!
- That majority Vets’ are not exposed to Horsemanship or even more important, the knowledge that such skills as letting the Horse tell you things even exists. You have all seen the Vets walk up and go “Wham, Bam , Thank you Maam”, without any appreciation of Horse Communication and the like. This is because of an ingrained snobbery that somehow gets instilled into Professional People who have Letters after their Names. They have not got a Mortgage on knowledge however 🙂
SUITABLE FOR THE USE (English Disciplines)
It is a fact that the vast majority of Horses within Australia are not built suitable for the use that they are ridden and this is the main cause of so much pain in Horses. Australians have always and still do, look at Temperament Movement and how pretty the Head is when they buy a Horse. THEY DO NOT LOOK AT CONFORMATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …and therein lies 50% of the problem.
The other 50% is caused by the rampant and out of control Feral Breeding of Horses in this Country. They Breed from anything, by anything and if a Mare acts up, it is “Put her in Foal” when clearly they should be just retired, never to be able to Breed. There are no breeding rules or Laws in Australia and so unlike Europe, the majority of Horses Bred in this Country DO NOT SUIT THE ENGLISH DISCIPLINES!!!
It is no accident therefore, that the Dutch and Germans win the Medals in Dressage at the Olympics. Very smart People.. They must have known and went and bred purpose built Horses for Dressage, one’s that could actually do the movements without pain.
As of 1 January 2011, Australia has a single, national consumer law: Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL includes unfair contract terms law, law guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services, product safety law, law for unsolicited consumer agreements, rules for lay-by agreements and new penalties, enforcement powers and consumer redress options. The ACL applies nationally and in all states and territories.
I have heard it said many times, “Caveat Emptor” which means, “Buyer beware” I hear it said to clients by Vet’s a lot. They mean, that if the Buyer is silly enough to buy a Problem Horse, that it is at their own risk.
That may have been the way in the old days but now, this is simply not the case. In fact, imho, it is ‘Seller Beware’ Depending on the State Legislation at the time, if a ‘Buyer’ gets sold a shonkey horse and can prove it, the Seller is in trouble. In fact, if the ‘Buyer’ got killed or injured, they may even have a case against the Seller for damages. On the contrary, these days there is almost an ‘implied warranty’ situation as in America and certainly in Holland.
This doesn’t often get tested but is starting to become used. I have assessed horses for Government and have been advised that the horse comes under the legislation of being a product and must be sold as “Suitable for the use” This means that if you can prove that you advised the Vendor that you were buying for a Learner Rider and that it can also be proved that the horse was a Good Riders Horse, the Vendor may be liable at Law. I have given evidence in such cases and consulted on others. Never on a loosing one. Have a witness with you when buying horse.
Buyers of horses rarely check out the floatability of the intended purchase. I had the case just this week of the $15,000 purchase that wouldn’t go on the float when it left the property, was a climber (psychological fears of floats caused by fast drivers) and kicked the stable to bits when it arrived at it’s new home. In my opinion, the two worst things in the Horse World are the horses you can’t catch and the ones that won’t go on floats. This is the stuff that divorces are made of
In Australia, we have a weed called Salvation Jane or Patterson’s’ Curse. Horses don’t ordinarily eat this weed but will if not fed properly with other food. If they do, they get progressively more toxicity in the blood, which causes liver damage and eventually a lot die.
This is tested by a Vet via a blood test. This is why you should check the history of the previous homes of the horse.
Before choosing a Vet, first find out which Vet acts for the Vendor. Then go and get any Vet other than that one. I hear you all go “Tutt Tutt” Well you may as I have had several experiences where the family Vet has not represented the Purchaser to the best of their abilities or duty of care. I generally wouldn’t Vet a horse under $1,000 but that is up to the buyer. Veterinary Surgeons check horses for soundness and suitability for the purpose for which the horse is being purchased and Vets’ always ask that question. They will check a horse that is going to be used for 3-day eventing far tougher than the pleasure horse. Things such as soundness of body, legs, eyesight, heart etc. are checked. There are things that Vets’ generally don’t or can’t check for:
- Sand in the stomach.
- Stifle problems or temporary locking of the patella in the rear hind legs.
- Worm damage and infestations.
Horsemen can feel if there are problems in this area and Vets acknowledge that. Vets’ rarely detect horses with stifle problems. It is amazing how many of these cases I get through my hands after purchase. You cannot blame the Vet for missing this problem because you really have to ride the horse and test it under saddle quite extensively to feel the symptoms.
It is not the Vets’ responsibility to suss out vices that the horse may have. That is for the professional advisor and by now you would be seeing just how much knowledge they need to have to do the job properly. You do not want your resident “Stable Expert”!!
Always check out the newspapers for a few weeks back to find out who the dealers’ are or the difficult horses to sell or the problem horse that no one wants. You will also see horses that a dropping in price and this can give you an idea of what the market thinks of the horse. There are bargains out there but also dangers.
BUYING IN THE COUNTRY
City people don’t like ringing STD phone numbers for horses as they think that towns 100k away are the other side of the world. For this reason, horses are generally cheaper in the country and in my experience, almost always; Country people don’t lie to you like the City people. So don’t rule out the Country trip, but get a number of horses to look at and make a day of it so you have more chance.
2017…ignore that, the ‘Scum Bags” have moved to the Country to avoid work.
There are good and bad horses in every color but in my experience and other horse breakers and Vets’ that I have spoken, the chestnut horse can be by far the most temperamental. Don’t rule them out, but be wary of them.
In Australia and I suppose in other hot climates, steer right away from grey horses, appaloosas’, paints, pinto’s and anything with a lot of white on. The days of these horse surviving the damaging Sun due to the breakdown of the Ozone Layer, are over. In South Australia where I am, 85% of all grey horses that go through the abattoirs have melanoma (cancer)
Look for dark colored horses with as little white on the face (other than a star) as possible.
WHITE HOOFED HORSE
Horses with dark or black hooves are preferable. White hooves normally have to be shod otherwise they break away. They are softer hooves and in general you have more hoof problems with them. Black hooves are tougher and stay sound.
TESTING THE POTENTIAL BUY
Be half an hour early .Ask that the horse not be caught before your arrival and that it be preferably in a paddock.
Observe if the horse has recently been ridden by looking for sweat or saddle marks
Ask the following questions:
- How old is the horse. (Teeth, brands, papers)
- How long have you had it
- Why are you selling it
- Where did you buy it
- Who from
- Is it sound
- Is it suitable for a learner rider
- Has it been ridden regularly? How regularly
- When was the last time it was ridden
- What does it get fed, when and how regularly does it buck and does it have any vices.
- Does it have to be lunged prior to mounting.
- Is it aggressive towards other horses
- What is it like in traffic
- What is it like to load and float
- What is like to shoe and who is the farrier
- Does it shy?
- Can it jump
- What is it’s breeding. Has it got papers?
- Is it branded? Check them. Remember 1 over 9 can mean 1 year or 11 years old etc.
- Does it tie up solidly?
- Who broke it in?
- Have you had it re-educated. Who?
- What ability of rider was the owner when they purchased it and now?
- When last inoculated, wormed, teeth done, drenched for sand.
- Which Vet attends the horse.
- How many years has it been broken in?
- If a mare, is it a problem when on season?
- What is it like to worm.
- What is its personality?
- Is the horse a member of a Pony Club and which one.
Don’t buy there and then. Ring the Vet, Pony Club, Farrier, and Breaker etc. It doesn’t matter if you miss out…take your time…. don’t rush in.
- Don’t buy Colts or Stallions.
- Don’t buy horses less than 5 years of age.
OBSERVATIONS TO MAKE WHEN BUYING
- Watch the horse being caught. How, in what manner, in what sized yard. The horse caught in the paddock is the best.
- Observe how it is tied up. Is it tied solid or to twine or just held.
- Does it stand well whilst being saddled? Does it turn it’s head and object to being girthed up, cow kick, switch it’s tail, make bad faces etc.
- Do they have to lunge the horse prior to mounting? That is suspect.
- Ask that standard or running martingales be removed for the showing.
- What type of bit does it have in its mouth? The snaffle-bitted horse is the best.
Watch how readily the horse accepts the bridle or does it evade. Is it “Ear Shy”?
- What type of bit does it have in its mouth? The snaffle-bitted horse is the best.
- Ask the vendor to put the horse through its paces. You are the buyer and have all of the rights in the world. You tell them what you want done.
- Request activities that will show if the horse is stirry.
- Have the rider take the horse away from their elected riding spot and down a road if possible.
- Have them gallop the horse and pull it up quick.
- Have the owner pick up and hold each of the four legs farrier style not Pony Club style!!
- Watch the bridle being removed. Is it “Ear Shy”?
- How does it accept rugs if rugged
- If it jumps, have the owner jump it for you.
BUILD OF THE HORSE
The build of the horse is largely irrelevant unless you yourself are in the upper weight scale. This can also mean weight versus height.
If you are over 75kg, you should be starting to look for a more weight carrying horse as mentioned earlier. If you are 110kg you need to buy a Clydesdale or Heavy Horse Breed.
The weight carrying horse is the horse built like a quarter horse, not an Arab? I.e. Big chest, short back, shorter legs, big bum etc. Certain shaped people really shouldn’t be in the Horse Industry for a couple of reasons.
It is unfair on horses. The heavier the rider, the less athletic they are and they always hit the ground very hard and invariably do more serious injuries that others. Learner riders give horses backs far more punishment than better riders because of balance etc. Most stockily build horses appear in the list provided.
BREED AND TYPE
- Most Learner or Pleasure horses are crossbreeds.
- People develop bias for or against certain breeds of horse. Especially breeders who usually have tunnel vision.
- Most people are not qualified to comment having not had a cross section and large numbers of horses through their hands.
- Some breeds suit the Learner Rider more than other.
VETERINARY AND RACE HORSES
This is a warning. A warning to anyone who is of the mind to purchase a new horse and is considering an ‘OTTB’ (Off the track Thoroughbred) horse.
Yes, I know, there are some nice one’s but the percentage of nice one’s is miniscule. In my experience, based across a sample of say 1,000 of them, that less than 5% will suit Novice Riders’.
I don’t enjoy writing this article because of the possible impact on horses of the future but I take heart in the fact that I have saved lot’s of Standard Bred Race Horses due to me recommendations towards them. They have not let me down.
One of Australia’s leading Vet’s, Dr. John Kohnke, puts the percentage of these horses that are unsound when they leave the Racing Industry at least 86% and I put it higher because we ride them. This is typical of the problem:
Place Utube http://www.youtube.com/user/horseproblems?feature=mhee
It is not only the present and real Veterinary problems with them however, it is the mental breakdown and the state of their minds that completely rule them out of any successful re-education by average riders’. I have to admit that if you tried to give one of these horses to my wife she would refuse, no matter how beautiful it may be.
When we examine the Veterinary soundness of these horses, after taking the above figures into account, I have to tell you that the Vets’, miss a lot of problems during the Vet checks of these horses for sale. We have lost count of the number of horses that have successfully passed Vet checks, only to be found immediately unsound when we ride them. That is not the fault of the Vets’ however as they don’t ride them and they don’t really focus too much on the rear end of the horse either, apart from the stress tests of hocks down. One of the purposes of this article is to get them thinking too. Not that they can anyhow, without X-Rays that is and even then, the deep injuries in the engine location of the horse cannot show a lot of the conditions that we encounter and which you see in the video’s here. The Veterinary Colleges need to change their policies to take into account the viewing of ridden or lunging tests of horses which would help, but unless the Rider was trained in the identification of the problems, that would not help either. Holland has just gone to Vet checks for horses before breaking in and what a great idea. There you are Vets, happy now?
By far the most prevalent are
the problems with ‘stifles’ or ‘patella locking’ problems.
Then there is the Sacroiliac tears.
Calcification of the spine and other parts.
Tendon and ligament damage, thickening or enlargements.
and so many times, the problems are not recognized by Riders’ and that is a tragedy caused by the inadequacies or the Curriculums of the various Equine teaching Organizations in this Country.
This has probably never been advanced before in the World of Equine Veterinary investigation but we can tell that the act of requesting a horse to put it’s head down (call it whatever you like) triggers pain that increases with the advancement of the paces. The canter becomes the most difficult, that when the horse has to engage the rear end more and we can feel that there is a direct correlation between submissiveness and pain. Something happens to the Race Horse, something that has never been studies, questioned or investigated. Don’t doubt me as it is such a shame to say that we are yet to be proven wrong when we label a horse.
Are there good ones?…of course there are but take a look at who is riding most of them. Don’t kid yourself, they mostly aren’t ‘Novices.’
Think about this. Thousands of horses per day around my Country, are terrorized, flogged with whips, hit with spurs, jagged in the mouth and sent off to Horsemen for the good old ‘tune up’ translated into a good ‘flogging’. Why? because they are “NAUGHTY HORSES”
I see it weekly, almost daily. I saw it at the Dressage last Sunday. Horses crying out for help, desperately trying to communicate to their owners through various means and because of the kindness of such horses, rarely dump their owners onto their sweet asses as they should. They just don’t ‘listen to their horses’ They don’t understand the ‘language of eques’
It is a tragedy that people are not taught about the signs, how to read the horses, to even think about it. To consider that it may be a problem that the horse has rather than the horse being a problem. So for those of you who read this, here are some signs for you.
The horse doesn’t want to weight bare on one of the hind legs.
The horse carries it’s hind end to the inside or the outside, regardless of which way it is traveling
You cannot get the horse straight
The hind legs do not track through and are short in action.
Standing behind the squared up horse, you see muscle de-generation on one side of the rump
Temporarily locking of the stifle and up the scale
Bouncing on the back legs like a Kangaroo
Kicking up during canter transitions
A breaking from trot to canter on the spot when ridden round.
Difficult to keep the head down in a frame with the horse often and for no real reason, reefing it’s head up, normally associated with a break to canter
Difficulty in walking down Hills and the horse wanting to zig zag to diminish the steepness.
A refusal or unwillingness to back up
Difficulty or unwillingness to flex
Walking off during the mounting process.
Excessive sweating in short time which exhibits pain
A fear of the Dressage arena and a marked reticence to enter into it.
Difficulty in bending or leg yielding.
‘Jig Jogging’ for no reason
Bouncing or kicking up during flying changes.
Bolting when all else fails at telling the owner.
Stopping dead as they enter a canter pirouette.
Increasing speed and threatening to run during lines of flying changes.
Not showing any signs of problems when on a loose rein with the head in the face of the rider.
An unusual neck height, higher than normal.
Calcification of the lower back bone.
Clicking in the rear legs.
Marked incorrectness of wear on the rear hooves.
Failure to go forward and coming behind the leg
A high percentage have stomach ulcers.
Continually changing leads on the back legs only during canter.
After video of the horse walking away, you see one side of the rump drop further than the other
Have you ever squared your horse up on cement and stood behind it to see if it’s body is the same on both sides? Have you ever videoed your horse as it walks straight away from you and checked to see if one Rump goes lower than the other?
and the list goes on. How did you go, do you think about those things with your horse?. Is your Coach saying the horse is naughty? Has your Coach got on and given it a flogging over the jumps for a few weeks as one of these? Has the horse been sent to a Thug Trainer as one of these? Congratulations if you have an open mine, an investigatory mind, given the horse the benefit of the doubt or finally come to the conclusion that the horse should ride off into the Sunset with a pleasure Rider? Congratulations.
DRUGS IN SPORT
Then you have the veritable “Chemist Shop’ that often goes down their throat as they say in the Industry. Who knows what damage that may cause. The future arthritis and many other conditions caused by the stress, impact, and often force feeding and hormones prior to the Yearling Sales and the possible deleterious affects that may come later.
This is the sad area and the one that makes it so difficult for most Riders’ to manage them. These include:
Float wall climbers
Pull back tie up horses
Running, ever increasing speed, racing, failing to walk and even trot.
Can’t put ‘leg on’ them without rocket eventualities.
the frustrations are too many too list and I had better shut up about it.
The thing is, I strongly warn everyone to steer clear of them unless they are ‘thrill seekers’, a ‘hectare short in the top paddock’, have money to burn or they just want to prove themselves against all the odds. “Don’t Bover” as few have succeeded.
The following assessment is based upon my experience with at least 100 of every breed.
- THE STANDARD BRED. (TROTTER OR PACER) This is the most trustworthy of all horses and every person who enters the Industry should own one.
- THE QUARTER HORSE (2nd most reliable)
- CLEVELAND BAY
- AUSTRALIAN STOCK HORSE
- WELSH MOUNTAIN PONY
- APPALOOSA (These are good but on average and across the board, the QH ranks higher in trustability)
- The Arab and the Purebred Arab in particular.
Any combination of the above
THOSE THAT DO NOT SUIT AMATEURS’
- Thoroughbred ( 5 0ut of 100 only)
- German Warm Blood
- Australian Riding Pony
AND THEN THERE WERE ARABS
Go to any Pony Club and you will see them left right and centre. I hadn’t thought about this until recently but I have never had to re-educate an Arab horse. They are great horses.!
The question you must always ask is “What price my life?” There are three basic prices.
- Too cheap, the fair market price and over priced. When horses drop in price, they normally do so because of behavioral problems at point of sale or Veterinary examinations that they have not passed. The more that this occurs, the cheaper the horse gets until it is in the bargain basement price bracket.
- People with genuine horses however, don’t like to drop their price and this is usually a good sign. Most of the legitimate horses fit into this bracket.
- The overpriced horses are usually the product of an owner with “Rose colored glassed”
- Horses that are advertised for high prices rarely are sold at those prices. We don’t always get to know what the bottom line eventually was.
- Genuine Learner Horses are like diamonds and they always sell automatically. I have owner one particular horse four times because it is such a pleasure to pass on to someone.
- Stud and registered horses can be more expensive but this does not make them go well necessarily. You must take each horse on its merits.
THE AGE OF THE HORSE
- Age is an important factor when buying a horse.
- You should buy between 5 and 10 years.
- There are lot’s of good horses under 5 years old but you would need constant professional help to get away with that. That can work though.
- Don’t rule out horses over 10 years however, especially when you are learning to ride.
- If a horse is older, one must look at how they carry their age. Age does effect the value though. As they get up towards 15, the value starts to drop markedly.
- Ponies seem to last longer than bigger horses and there are many running around Pony Clubs in excess of 20 years old.
- Many horses that have been in the Racing Industry have a severely diminished life span because of wear and tear.
- Age does come with the risk of Vet problems in the short term.
THE HEIGHT OF THE HORSE
The horse should fit you if possible but quietness is more important. Often, the smaller they are the quicker they move and so do you. It is probably more important that the tall person has a horse that fits them, whereas the shorter person can ride a taller horse than is suitable, and get away with it.
The shorter they are: The more cunning, the faster they move and the less comfortable to ride. If you are small you can:
- Drop the nearside stirrup to get on.
- You can stand on a bucket.
- You can put the horse in a hole or on the side of a hill.
- Young riders are continually growing anyway and often grow into them.
- It is easier to learn to ride on a larger horse because of the smoother movement.
GETTING A HORSE ON TRIAL
- To thoroughly test a horse in your own environment, try and get a couple of week’s trial.
- You can test it extensively and have it accessed at your leisure.
- See if it changes personality.
- Determine if it was drugged.
- Have it checked for soundness at the end of the trial thus saving wasted Vet fees.
- However, you have the responsibility to look after the horse. To feed it correctly, to keep it on the straight and narrow, not let it loose weight etc.
REMEMBER…..”You bend it, you may have to/ should buy it.” A lot of people won’t trial and for very good reasons. We will not.
- However, you have the responsibility to look after the horse. To feed it correctly, to keep it on the straight and narrow, not let it loose weight etc.
THE SEX OF THE HORSE
Stallions or colts.
Fillies or Mares.
Don’t buy Stallions or Colts. (Entires)
Geldings have a more even temperament than female horses but there are good ones in every sex. At least you can breed a mare if the riding doesn’t turn out, but make sure you put a Quarter Horse Stallion over her to even out her temperament.
BEST OF LUCK!!!
I am listening….are You??