Am I being negative of realistic

(101 Posts)
tallulahturtle Wed 03-Jul-13 00:30:54

I help a friend look after her horse, she wants to buy a second one . She is a first time owner (was going to loan but suddenly decided she would buy one this spring) and currently has a teenage horse who is very well behaved and a real confidence giver, is not spooky and has very good manners.

She's now decided her second one has to be a tb (as when she was young she always dreamed of owning one) and she likes the idea of owning a tb.
I've not owned before but I have loaned so I know the commitment involved and how hard it can be (eg winter).

She currently has the one horse on a routine of exercise twice a day which I am doing 50 percent of and I'm finding it exhausting as I work 10 hours a day with a 30 min commute, in a physical job.

Anyway the second horse, well we found one I rode him, perfect , responsive very non spooky, I was ready to buy him there and then.

She tries the horse and nearly falls off because when asking the horse to do a faster trot she did a pony club kick (the way she was taught as a child -she learnt briefly as a child then didnt ride until very recently), the horse broke into canter and she wasn't expecting it and ended up round his neck.

She decides the horse is not right for her as he is "too advanced" so we start looking again. I trying to steer her towards IDs and ISH , cobs etc and with a bit of age on them as she is not a brilliant or confident rider and also the horse would need to live out 24/7, so im thinking sturdiness rather then a thoroughbred who needs rugging up to the max. As she can't afford livery and wants the "simplicity of living out". She just wants a tb and no older than 12, I feel she wants an older confidence giving horse but every horse I tell her about she dismisses saying "too old".

She has said that she intends to exercise both twice a day, I'm highly dubious as I find it a struggle to do the one horse at the moment with light mornings and evenings and decent summer ground . I keep emphasising how hard winter will be and how impossible it will be to keep to a schedule of exercise twice daily, what if the ground is hard, what if it snows? What if we don't have the time, we do both have jobs.

Anyway she has now decided she wants to retrain an ex racehorse. As they are a breed she likes , cheap and if she does it," she will feel a huge sense of achievement"

We have no school,just a field the horses will graze in too.

Sorry for the rant but she is just so naive and I'm trying to help her into horse ownership . One moment she is saying, don't worry I'll do all the retraining if you don't want to , the next minute she asks me to jump her existing horse as she has never jumped and doesn't feel confident enough. I've said TBs can be spooky and flighty. She is fine with that as she says her existing horse is like that - she's not in the slightest , I've never ridden a more laid back horse. I feel the existing horse has been so easy to look after and ride that she thinks all horses are that easy.

I just feel she should stick at one horse.

Am I being negative? Or realistic? Is her next horse going to be like Pie from national velvet and just by some miracle easy to train by a complete novice and end up being a diamond of a horse. Did I mention she will not pay more than about 600 for her next horse.

Opinions please.....

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 18-Jul-13 13:10:44

Personally, I wouldn't vet a horse that I hadn't paid more than about £1200 for, but I would isolate, worm, treat for lice as routine and check out the general health before putting it with my others.

Pixel Thu 18-Jul-13 22:05:09

We've never had a horse vetted blush. Always do quarantine though.

lovebeansontoast Fri 26-Jul-13 14:01:16

I would always have a horse vetted whatever the cost. To me it's about what they might cost me in vet's fees not what they cost to buy. I know a vetting doesn't pick up everything, but it's about peace of mind for me. I should add I had one fail the vetting once with a cataract. That's something I would definitely have wanted to know about.

tallulahturtle Wed 07-Aug-13 08:41:35

Im currently on holiday and she is finding it hard work. Also the tb has thrown a shoe and is currently lame and the other has gone lame on both fronts :-/ im very worried about navicular. Apparently the vet has said that this horse is not insured for either front legs due to past tendon problems. Quite upset as this mare is really the sweetest and most uncomplicated ride you could wish for. Would a vetting have picked up navicular i wonder? And if this isnt tendon problems , why isnt it covered under insurance? Why are both whole legs not covered Pretty worried about how much this is going to cost her. Will know more when i get back to UK on Sat. Also does anyone know about Atopy as ive had time to do some reading on holiday and i think the tb has it as he flares up with hives and has all the scars that horses online in photos seem to have.

Navicular has some fairly standard symptoms.. . Its more likely to be concusive laminitus if she's over working her, or something tendon related. Has she been lame before, is she worse down hill, how old is she, is she worse in a circle, on hard grouns, when her feet are too long, is it intermittant?

Navicular isn't actually that expensive to manage if they respond well to treatment.

My mare with navicular has corrective shoes (£80) and bute £80 for 100 bute. She's sound at the moment but if she goes lame will probably have steriod inhections which are £200

The diagnosis was £139 for nerve block, vets time, flexion tests, lunging etc etc (and 30 bute)
Then £220 + vat for the x rays.

Insurance companies will void a whole leg if they have any issues, as one thing often leads to another iyswim.

PeriodFeatures Sun 11-Aug-13 13:37:59

She thinks she's going to get a bargain?! TB's cost a fortune in feed, rugging and often vets bills. She would need to consider the cost of physio therapy, dentistry etc too. Ex Racers often come off the track with all sorts of issues, tendons, back problems, dodgy teeth etc..issues and if they are not sorted can quickly get worse. They also go best when they have a water tight routine, sensitive and disciplined rider. 'kicking like a pony club rider' will not end well!!

Yes, TB's can live out. Contrary to popular opinion it is possible. But she will spend a fortune on feed and haylage during the winter is the horse is going to maintain a healthy weight and will have to manage things extremely well to avoid mud fever etc. TBs are in short, very very hard work. They take experience to manage and if you haven't got that experience as a first time owner, you need to be able to enlist other people. I e a good supportive livery yard, instructors, professional reschooling etc. If she has the time, money and motivation, then go for it. They can be really rewarding horses, beautiful, willing and capable. It is a massive commitment though.

bonzo77 Sun 11-Aug-13 13:59:44

Your friend is deluded, this will end badly, particularly for the horses.

OTOH I a TB (and also a TB X Arab bred for arab racing, and a TBXArab bred for horseball) at the moment. They're out 24/7 with decent rugs over winter. Fed 2x a day all year round and ridden 3-4 x a week, including international horseball. All ex racers in their early teens. They are a bit spooky etc, but the owner is very old experienced and pragmatic about them. TB / x racers can make lovely "normal" horses but its a long road getting there.

bonzo77 Sun 11-Aug-13 14:01:08

Oh, and the pure TB with papers and who has raced is much nicer than the other 2!

tallulahturtle Tue 13-Aug-13 15:23:15

Oh dear. The tb was ridden for the first time when i was away and it walks backwards, then lies down then runs off :-/ . Pain or naughtyness im wondering? No update on the mare as regards when shes going for x rays, she said the vets are currently pricing it all up.

mrslaughan Tue 13-Aug-13 19:12:55

Holy Molly - actually lies down.......not something I would want to be anywhere near.....

Hmmm doesn't sound ideal... maybe the poor tb just has no idea what its being asked to do?

TheFroglet Mon 26-Aug-13 22:22:05

Just tell her to give £600 straight to the vets, and cut out the middle man as it were - as all her money will go straight there anyway!!

tallulahturtle Mon 02-Sep-13 10:11:40

Ok, update. With the lame mare she has buried her head in the sand as while the vet has not contacted her with a price, she hasnt got in contact either. Im really thinking its navicular and im convinced the old owner had this diagnosed and kept quite about it. So ive told her to contact her vet and ask them to contact the previous vet, that way if there was somethinf diagnosed, we can start treating it a lot sooner and not waste money diagnosing somthing that has already been diagnosed. She still has not done this so im getting quite frustrated.
The TB, has been coming along ok with lunging but when sat on he literally will not move, i had a go on him in his field and he planted himself and would only move when the mare was led in front of him (if anyone has any ideas to wean him off this please let me know!!). Ive just had laser eye surgery so im not allowed to ride for a bit so yesterday I and my other half went down to offer moral support as she wanted to have another go on him.
We discovered that while he wont move in the field, he will walk out the field gate and along the quiet country lane with wide grass verges, so my husband walked with her on a lead rein, they walked away from the field fine but on the way back the mare neighed and it set him off into a reverse in the hedge head in the sky nap type thing. My friend then got off and said that she didnt want him anymore.
She is now looking to find someone who will loan him (i am very doubtful she will find someone, especially someone who will actually pay). She doesnt want to sell him as she likes him, he is a sweetie on the ground so i understand but i feel if she is going to give up on him we need to find someone who wants a project and sell him cheaply or give him away.
I take no joy in thinking "i knew this would happen" as now we have a very confused young horse in the middle of this mess . My friend wont ride him and i dont think shes going to lunge him anymore as shes given me all his tack. Id love to step up and magically transform him but ive never re backed horses or done any basic training of them, also if i was going to attempt to do this id only do it if i had access to a school of some description somewhere safe and without any distractions . All i have is his own field which has a barbed wire on some sides and his companion in who he constantly naps towards , and hacking. She said yesterday that she would contact the vet to try find out more info from previous vet on the mare (i think she is realising she has no horse to ride so needs to sort out the mare).

Why couldnt she just have stuck with one or got a nice chilled out older horse, she poo pood anything above the age of 12 as it was too old. My way of thinking is its better to have an older horse that you can enjoy straight away than a young horse who needs training and shatters your confidence.

This experience has reinforced my belief that if i ever am lucky enough to get my own i will get an older horse and will pay a decent amount for it and will keep it at a yard with good facilities and other liveries as the support of more experienced owners is invaluable.

She has prepared an advert for him, im torn between feeling that he needs to go to a better home as she should never bought a 4 year old TB from the field and feeling that she shouldnt give up this easily . But i feel if she keeps trying it could just get bloody dangerous for all of us .

What a mess :-( and if anyone would like a 4 year old TB who is very chilled out on the ground and on the lunge (you have to get very worked up to get him to canter! - more exercise for the lunger than for him!!) but nappy to ride, but does move beautifully when you do get him moving. Please let me know.

.........And breathe

Butkin Mon 02-Sep-13 11:21:41

Thanks for the update. A most interesting and salutary thread. It would be very hard to sell him in his current state. I would suggest a give-away (as sorry as this sounds) or offer him to a thoroughbred rehabilitation operation (there are a few around now). Don't forget that whilst the weather is nice now it will soon start turning cold which means a lot more effort on her part required..

DumbestBlonde Mon 02-Sep-13 14:42:16

Crazy idea and I feel for you, having to be the voice of reason; particularly if she is turning a deaf idea to your quite reasonable objections and suggetions.

I had a TB (ex-PTP), came to me as a 15yo but he had been a family horse for quite some time. The first winter when the yard wanted all horses kept in (hunting yard), he couldn't handle it and became a firecracker, nose on chest, hocks underneath himself, grew another hand or two. Scary. Yet he was the kindest, most genuine gent I could have wished for. A two-year-old kid could turn him out (if he was going out dily, that is), my then 10-year-old daughter rode him around the village and he taught my husband to jump, after a fashion, as in, the horse knew what he was doing and took charge. He cost £800 in 1997.

But he had health issues - not too sure he didn't come to me with Navicular, which meant careful riding, shoeing and a day-long session at the vet for diagnosis. He in the end had a heart murmur and a couple of melanomas (grey - a prettier version of Desert Orchid) and had daily sachets of Danilon. But this was as he reached his 30's, so he lasted a long time - and did have an easy life; trust me, one time to a show was enough!

If you only have the two, beware of how attached they may become. As we ended up with only two (the third, another TB, died suddenly after moving to this small private yard, away from my friend's family farm, where there had been as many as 30 family/livery horses), they became almost joined at the hip and as mine was retired, the other one has become rather out of condition and also a bit of a handful. The quarter Shire in this one makes him a bit of a tank; I know that I wouldn't be able to ride him. He is now living alone and I am feeling really quite guilty but am not sure if I could take on another....

As a new owner, she really does need a reality check - and this period of sole care may give her just that. Here's hoping.

My old man was pts on 1 July this year after a sudden neurological deterioration; TBs can - under the rirght conditions - go on for years. But she really needs to take all the advice she is offered - and act pragmatically, not let her heart overrule her head - or you.

Booboostoo Mon 02-Sep-13 22:42:24

I am sorry to be rude but your friend is an utter moron! Of course the horse won't move or leave its companion, it's only 4 years old and by the sounds of it, it doesn't really know much. Unfortunately the poor horse needs an experienced home with someone who has the time to bring him on properly but I suspect your friend will struggle to find him a good home even if she gives him away. The poor horse is in for a life of being messed up and passed around.

So sorry for the horses, but, unfortunately not surprised, to hear how it's turned out. Frankly, at this point, I'd be looking out videos of what happens to animals who end up in the TB's situation (basically passed from pillar to post as Booboo mentions) and sending them to her - it's really, really unpleasant.

Also, the mare may not have navicular. A friend bought a TB - six yo, tricky, head-shy and jumpy (and seriously underweight) - not from badness but from being poorly used and then sold to an inexperienced/unsuitable rider, who then sold on when he couldn't control her, despite using starvation as a method.
Ultimately, despite much TLC and re-training she had to be PTS as was continuously going lame in both fronts, like your friend's mare, and, on scanning, it turned out that tendons were badly damaged in both legs (friend had only done a general, not detailed, vetting on purchase and horse was sound on the day). The previous owner had essentially ensured the damage was ultimately irreparable by riding when she was sore as the mare didn't feel 'unbalanced'.

Sorry for rant, but stories like this make me very, very angry - your friend should not be allowed to own a horse - they are not toys to be thrown out when broken.

CountryCob Tue 10-Sep-13 23:11:41

The simplicity of living out is something I would want too - if I didn't have a tbxwb which drops all weight and shivers if wet or too cold, he would look like a rescue case in weeks if i tried to get him to live out, he is out in a medium weight with hood tonight! as you know winter is tough, two horses is tough and very expensive in hard feed, forage and rugs for the finer types - even if it goes well which is unlikely riding twice a day will be barely possible in the mud and dark and wind and rain and they will get too fit if you could for most types of work, as you know this is a barmy plan sorry

CountryCob Tue 10-Sep-13 23:19:46

Sorry had not read the whole friend that is so sad the poor horse did not stand a chance

CairngormsClydesdale Wed 11-Sep-13 08:24:39

Your last update is just bonkers. I am always more than a "little surprised" when people want me to PAY to take on their problem horse - I'm genuinely looking for a "problem" and people are asking sometimes 4-5k. <much mirth> But, there are people out there like me who have a genuine knowledge, experience and patience to make a horse good, but I'm not paying YOU to train your horse for you!

As for living outside, I kept a WB in sub-alpine (lots of snow + very cold obv.) - no problems with the cold but couldn't cope with the wet and weight would fall off when soggy.

Tell her to nip over to the Kelly Marks forum and get an RA out to have a look.

Hehe cairn what kind of problem are you looking for? [Grin]

CairngormsClydesdale Sun 15-Sep-13 11:13:22

hi chocolate

I like ex-point to pointers everyone else calls "dangerous"! grin

fwiw, just looked at your photo re: navicular. Can you get an EP (equine podiatrist - barefoot specialist) to look at her feet? Reason I say is that her toes are way too long, feet splayed, heels collapsed - all of those things exacerbate navicular. If caught early enough and corrected via a sympathetic trim, navicular can be all but cured. Remedial shoes simply mask the pain on a temporary basis but never actually help the horse.

tallulahturtle Mon 16-Sep-13 10:01:50

Ok she has just gone on holiday for 2 weeks so I'm in sole charge its going to be hard work as when I was away she had a girl helping her but she's now gone back to college so its just me, and occasionally my very understanding other half. She has given me her boyfriends number but I don't like him (they have been on/off all summer) and I took an instant dislike to him when she told me that when they first met he said he could only commit to seeing her once a week , they have been on and off for three years and some occasions he can't even see her once a week so as I know he is not an oil rig worker or has some other awkward job,I'm thinking he has other girls he sees during the week , has a completely separate life, or basically doesn't want to be in a relationship and she should find a decent bloke -anyway that's another story, I just don't want his help !

Anyway this will anger all of you , she told me the other day that she has put a deposit down on an ex polo pony and it is arriving on the 2nd Oct. I am thinking that three in the field may be better than two for things like separation anxiety but I am worried about the long term financial commitment and the sustainability of it all.
That was last week she told me , anyway last night when we met up so she could give me their food and things I may need for them while she is away , she said that a fourth may be arriving , another ex polo pony . It didnt sink in until later that night when hauling two wet rugs from the field , into the car , into my garage to dry off. How the fuck are we going to manage with four of them?
I can't work out if she just is A-frustrated that her current two are unrideable as one needs re training and the other one is being treated for navicular and she just wants a horse she can ride, B-she likes collecting things , C-she has a boyfriend that she barely sees even once a week and she allows him to be in the relationship purely under his terms so she is basically trying to fill her life up with horses (she told me ages ago that she doesnt really watch tv or read , she is used to being very busy when not working as she gets lonely when she's not working) or D she is fucking insane.

We said to her last night, that we thought she was insane to take on two more horses before winter especially and that if the shit hits the fan financially we can't help , all we can offer is time.

I know people would say to walk away but I enjoy being around horses, I enjoy caring for them. I know that by helping look after them I am enabling her and making it too easy a ride for her so she feels she can take more on. But I can't just walk away.

fait Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:41

What a nightmare scenario. I don't know how you will do it, but she must be made to understand that even if she has a field, she can't expect a whole host of horses to winter out in it - particularly if they have never wintered out before. As I said on another thread, our HOYS horses all winter out for three months, but they are fed extra haylege and checked properly every day - and if they are looking miserable we can always make the decision to cut their holiday short and they can come back in. Sounds like that is not an option for her.

Best of luck with this!

mrslaughan Mon 16-Sep-13 18:03:40

is she paying you? in anyway....ie not just financially........

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