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Horse changed character when home

(12 Posts)
ajandjjmum Wed 01-Jun-11 14:58:14

A friend bought a new horse on Saturday. She had previously been to see him and liked him (obviously!). It was a private sale.

Since he came back he has been really nasty - kicking and biting her, and taking chunks out of her other horse. The vet tried to sedate him, but the sedative didn't quieten him down, so he couldn't be treated.

My friend has contacted the seller, who has refused to have him back.

The vet suggested that he could have been dehydrated when she viewed and collected him, as apparently this is what some sellers do to make a horse appear more docile.

Does she have any comeback at all?

marialuisa Wed 01-Jun-11 19:33:47

There was a case recently of a woman getting compensation for being mis-sold a pony by a dealer, somewhere in Leics I think? Difficult to say but generally it's a case of caveat emptor?

ajandjjmum Wed 01-Jun-11 19:36:28

Thank you - I'll see if I can find anything on Google. The horse has kicked and bitten her today - clearly a problem there.

ManateeEquineOhara Wed 01-Jun-11 20:15:05

Possibly it is the horse's reaction to the stress of moving home. My normally docile mare moved yards a few months ago and was nervous to handle and strong to ride for some weeks after that, and that wasn't even with a new owner. She needs to let him settle.

ajandjjmum Wed 01-Jun-11 20:16:20

She's just text me from hospital - he's thrown her badly. sad

Backinthebox Wed 01-Jun-11 20:41:26

How many times did she go to see him before buying him? Did she have a vetting - how many stages? Did the vet have any comments about his temperament and suitability while doing the vetting? Were bloods taken? Did she take a reference from, say, a riding club trainer or a hunt secretary? Did she take anyone else along with her as an impartial set of eyes and ears?

Most importantly, did she get a receipt of sale from the vendor stating that the horse was being sold as suitable for your friend's level of experience, and did the vendor and your friend sign it? Was there any discussion about possibility of return if the horse was subsequently shown to be unsuitable? Many vendors who want to get rid of a horse can be very clever in what they write on the receipt.

It sounds like she may have made a very sad mistake if she decided to save a bit of money and hassle by not getting these things. When I sold my old horse I made it clear I was happy for references to be taken, a trial in (almost) any ridden situation but not happy for a trial away from home. (One woman wanted to have him on trial so she could lead the winners parade at the local P2P while riding him sidesaddle. One bloke wanted me to just pop him up to him for the day - 190 miles away - while I was 6 months pregnant so that he could fieldmaster a hunt on him. There are some very strange buyers out there!)

If she had a full vetting with bloods (the blood sample costs about an extra £30 on top of the vetting - a small cost when compared to the amount a horse costs,) she could have some recourse if the blood sample shows the horse was drugged. It is visible to the trained eye though - I have been sent a drugged horse before, I think the vendors must have thought I was bought yesterday. It was sluggish, hanging it's penis out, and sweating. If the horse was dehydrated to the point where it's character was substantially changed, again this would have been picked up at the vetting - a simple skin pinch test would show dehydration.

If she has done nothing more to check the horse out than just go and have a look at it before bringing it home and it is a private sale, she is probably stuck with the horse I'm afraid, if the vendor refuses to take him back.

As has been said by someone else, it is possible that the horse needs a bit more settling in time, but biting and kicking are not signs of needing to settle in - it would be different if the horse was perhaps spooking and skittish, but your description makes it sound more like the horse's temperament.

mdoodledoo Wed 01-Jun-11 22:20:45

I agree with BintheB - it's a buyer beware situation if she didn't have the pre-sale vetting, blood test or receipt. Different if she had bought from a dealer, but if it's a private sale then the onus is on the buyer I'm afraid. I hope she's OK after her fall - hopefully it's just a case of settling into a new place and routine.

frostyfingers Thu 02-Jun-11 16:39:37

This is why I have a 5 stage vetting - just in case. My new horse has taken a good 6 weeks to settle, and is still unsure of my way of doing things - ie if his dinner isn't on the dot of 6pm he starts calling for it, and banging and crashing about!

I hope your friend is ok.

Mayandbump23 Fri 03-Jun-11 14:27:54

I would wait. Some horses can take weeks to settle into a new place, new routines, new people etc. A very knowledgeable friend of mine whos had many horses over the years once said that she waits for at least three weeks for any new horse to settle, doing as little as possible with them, not even grooming them, just letting them get to know her.

ManateeEquineOhara Fri 03-Jun-11 19:12:04

Oh and another point to add. I recently sold my perfect horse. He went on a month trial first. In that trial, she went to ride him and couldn't even get on him, he was going mad. This is not him at all, he is the most lovely push button horse I have ever known. Luckily the next time she went to ride him, he was more settled and has improved there ever since, he really needed to build up a bond with his new owner. I hope your friend is okay, but don't assume this horse is nasty.

ajandjjmum Fri 03-Jun-11 22:51:48

I'm not a horsey person, but this woman has been brought up with horses. As far as I know she didn't have a vet's inspection before buying, and the seller has refused to have the horse back. She's now in hospital with a fractured hip because it threw her - it seems like she may have been rushing things a bit, although I'm sure that would be no comfort at the moment. Thanks for what you've all said though - obviously giving time to settle is important.

ManateeEquineOhara Sat 04-Jun-11 13:25:43

Your poor friend, that is not good. In terms of the horse, I would leave it turned out to grass for a few months,(I imagine there is not much else that can be done given your friend's injury) and then your friend if she feels up to it, or a professional if not, can bring him slowly back into work, while also focusing on ground work and building up a bond.

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