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update on mare bought as suitable for nervous novice - long!

(41 Posts)
Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 19:14:50

Hi, I have been waiting to update those of you who gave me lots of help and support regarding a mare bought from a dealer (who I thought had a good reputation but she turned out not to be very safe to ride). I was hoping for some form of good news for you, but I have waited long enough so I'll write a story so far update if that's ok smile it will be long, I hope I’m allowed to write it all!
Brandy, for anyone who doesn't know had 4 1/2 weeks (not 6-7) off ridden work when she came to me. She was bought for my friend who was very clear that she was nervous when riding, still learning and could be unbalanced here and there.
After the 4 1/2 weeks off work due to medical reasons, (she was lame for a few days which I wanted my vet to check over and also had a sarcoid near her girth line -either grew very suddenly or was 'missed' at her vetting) so these were dealt with before she was ridden. whatever anyone's opinion on whether she should have been lunged after this period of time off (she had been lunged and well looked after and had had ground work done during that period of time, she was not left in a field not left in a stable, however she was not lunged directly before being tacked up to ride that day). on being mounted she bronked. It wasn't 'slightly raised her back and bucked' as I have heard said about the incident it was full on bronking that made me think she had a back issue! There was no warning, she was not nervous or excited or bubbly when being tacked up. Any leaning over precaution would have shown her to be calm how do I know this? Well what I have learnt whilst having her re-schooled has showed me that this incident would have happened anyway.
she also windsucks and has since she arrived, but she does it after treats or feed, and with short grass (she doesn't crib).
so after this incident and the dealer refusing to refund for her (the offer was made for her to be re-sold on our behalf at a weekly charge for schooling and a £600 fee, this offer was made to me verbally and wasn't accepted)
that was the story initially;
Brandy has had until April having a break, she has been handled, cared for etc etc (turn out in the day, stabled at night) and has had basic manners training (she no longer walks through me at a gate or the stable door etc etc) her sarcoid was lasered off and she had a full once over.
She then had 2-3 weeks being lunged/long reined in tack etc, the plan was then to follow this by having her professionally re-schooled for at least a month. I had decided to give it a year, bringing her on as I thought the bucking and raised back etc meant she was very green and needed re-breaking. After that time I would have sold her on to a good home (she would never be suitable for a nervous novice rider so I wouldn’t be able to keep her).
For the first 3 weeks of training she went really well, raised her back a couple of times but nothing else and was going really well. Then after 3 weeks of good work, with no warning, no change to her behaviour beforehand and no raised back or warning that it was going to happen she stuck her head between her knees and bronked, she bronked her trainer off and put her in A&E with cracked ribs (they also initially thought she had a broken collar bone and a punctured lung but it turned out to be sever soft tissue injury). She needed 2-3 weeks off (and a few days not moving at all). She was willing to continue but said because it isn’t an initial issue that is being worked through she couldn’t say to me that it would stop. She could be good with me for months but then do it out of the blue at any time; after further advice from experts in dealing with horses with issues they have said the same, it would take a good 3 months with and then she could only go to an experienced home if she’s to be ridden.
So in terms of doing the best for her I am now trying to find her either an experienced home or a broodmare home. I had someone come to see her who breeds his own cobs (only once every few years) to bring them on and use for his RDA school. He said she was lovely and her temperament was good (he banged buckets around her, made me jump a few times and she was fine!) but looking at her he thinks she is a cob (probably Shire) crossed with a blood horse (his words) TB type as she is lean (I’ve put 50kilos on her and she looks great but she doesn’t put on weight by just looking at grass like many cobs do. He didn’t want to have any of that breeding in his foal so chose not to take her on. So any help on where to advertise her or look for a home. She’s turned into a lovely horse on the ground, when I use the 4x4 or UTV to go in the fields she follows me around or stands in front of it, not concerned at all. She does hate the vet and jabs and after some work with our farrier is now fine for a trim and would be ok for shoes if handled properly (wouldn’t need twitching).
Even with court proceedings I would not send her back to the dealer, with her issues she would be sent straight to a sale. I have had her properly valued by someone who has valued horses for court cases before so I can claim for the difference and have lots of evidence including video evidence of the dealer saying she would be suitable for a nervous rider and email evidence of the dealer agreeing to continue her training to be sure she would be as finished as she could be (which was paid extra for) so all the arguments around a horse not being a machine (yes I was aware of that thanks to all her followers who know only ½ the story) and how she was sold as not finished her training (we were very clear on suitability and extra training to be sure) and lots of other rubbish. I’m not asking anyone to get back into it all. More of an update, she’s well and has put on weight and anyone who has any ideas on how to find her a home are more than welcome.

mrslaughan Tue 18-Jun-13 19:45:48

I hope you can find her a home where she will be looked after and not unsold.
I wish you luck with your court case.

Kormachameleon Tue 18-Jun-13 19:51:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocolatecakeystuff Tue 18-Jun-13 19:54:34

What's you're nervous friend looking for? Would she be intetested in a swap? Xxx

Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 20:01:27

I agree I cant guarantee what happens to her, but I wont put her in a sale myself and will do everything I can to prevent it. I have 4 acres and 4 horses (including her) so I cant keep her and have another for my friend. so I cant keep her as a companion. I also have my daughters 1st pony as a companion. she had a suspensory ligament injury 18 months ago that had all treatment possible and she never came sound. so I've kept her as our companion and wont be re-homing her. if I had a few more acres I think I'd be keeping her. She had everything checked straight away and is not in pain as far as I am aware. All those I have had look at her have come to the conclusion its behaviour related. I'd love that to be wrong.

Kormachameleon Tue 18-Jun-13 20:03:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 20:09:14

chocolatecakeystuff; I'd want an as quiet as possible horse for her, she's 5'7 average build. if someone wanted to swap I'd look into it as long as it was an experienced home who could work her through it. She probably needs someone who can sit her bucks so that its harder work to buck than not to buck. she's not a bad character at all but hasn't learnt that bucking isn't advantageous and just means she has to work harder! or a companion home who want a bigger horse (sometimes smaller ponies aren't suited to being companions with horses who aren't good doers as their needs are so different in summer).

Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 20:13:03

kormachameleon; I hadn't thought of that, it's not something I could do as I have no experience in that field, someone would have to see if it was a possibility for her. I can look into it.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 18-Jun-13 20:30:52

Brood mare is a bad idea. You don't now if her problems are pass onable, and as you don't know if she has back issues, you don't know if she is up to carrying a foal.
TBH, Id not be happy passing on a horse like this. The next owner might well not ride her/be sympathetic to her needs, but what if she ends up in unscrupulous or inexperienced hands in the future and she severely injures someone?
We have a pony mare who behaves a lot like this. She was bought as a companion. She was ridden by a VERY brave young girl who has now outgrown her, but there is no way we will pass her on. If we could ever not manage to look after her, she would be PTS.

chocolatecakeystuff Tue 18-Jun-13 20:37:25

I have a 15'2 ish that is sweet as they come ex riding school mare, I love her to bits but she's had some soundnes issues which means she's not going to be suitable fir heavy work. (She's fine being ridden 5 days a week in light work, but heavy jumping & cross country make herslightly unsound for a day or so, I get the impression she's been passed around a lot so don't really want to sell her on, but really want to be actually doing things iyswim.

Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 20:54:37

saggyoldclothcat; yes I can agree in many ways and have had that conversation with my friend. she has been seen by a good chyro and no pain has been found in her back. she is such a good horse when not under the saddle, very easy to handle now she understands manners. she's not hot or fizzy, she's last in the pecking order in the field so I initially felt it was not something she will pass on or pain related. she looks like she has had at least one foal already. this is where and why I struggle to decide that that's the best thing to do. however I would make that decision if I need to. I have been very honest about her and have had calls with people who tell me what they are after and I say no she's not suitable.
she hates needles and so isn't suitable to live with a bloodbank herd and give blood (as my vet would testify to!)

Vicky7260 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:30:17

Have you thought of advertising her on horses for homes explaining what her issues are?

The site is really good from what I've heard

Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 21:36:04

hi Vicky, yes she has gone on that site, I've had 2 people enquire but no viewings (she went on at the weekend as I do think they do a good job)

SimLondon Tue 18-Jun-13 22:00:30

Have you thought about a rescue / sanctuary? I used to volunteer at one and the horses were quite pampered.

miggy Tue 18-Jun-13 22:03:57

have you thought about ulcers, if she cribs with food it might be an issue?

Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 22:12:49

she hasn't been scoped for ulcers, she doesn't crib, she does like a burp that goes in rather than out so its a type of windsuck. my vet feels its a habit rather than anything else as it's mild and looks like she's messing with the last bit of food in her mouth, so she hasn't been scoped. some ulcers don't show in the area of the scope either. she's not sensitive to girthing, grooming etc and shows no other symptoms. it may be one to rule out completely though.
I think sanctuaries are pretty over run at the minute with rescue cases?

inneedofrain Tue 18-Jun-13 22:16:52


Well back in my serious ridding days I would have taken her from what you've said but I was very experienced rode every day evented taught and dealt in horses with behaviour problems. I liked my horses to be spunky and a challenge. My exdh would have also taken her on

Question have you had a chiropractor look at her? It irrelevant really at this point and not what you are asking

Ok if you want to rehome her it going to be tricky but not impossible. Where about a are you in the uk? I don't ride anymore (back injury) but I do still know a few people I could ask if you like me too? Pm the info if you would like and I'll make some calls in the morning

Lovesswimming Tue 18-Jun-13 23:01:17

thanks, I've messaged you

Littlebigbum Wed 19-Jun-13 00:19:49

Weird I was thinking about Maggie's owner this morning and wonder how she was doing.

I probably not going to make any friends if I say this but if I had looked at every outlook putting the horse to sleep is the kindest thing. The last think you want is the horse to be bounced form dealers yard to dealers yard.

Littlebigbum Wed 19-Jun-13 00:32:19

That was a bit hash sorry
But it makes me cross you paid well over the odds for a guaranteed safe horse, so that you didn't have to do this.

superfluouscurves Wed 19-Jun-13 09:46:02

Good to hear the update Lovesswimming

Sorry you are having to go through all of this though

Backinthebox Wed 19-Jun-13 13:36:12

Now I'm a horse lover, and I am trying not to come across as harsh, but if you write a condensed outline of this horse's issues what you have is a windsucking, bronking mare with a history of sarcoids, who you were trying to reschool but that has had to stop while her experienced trainer recovers from the serious injuries she sustained riding her. She has big problems with the vet, (is getting better with the farrier,) other than that she is lovely! In the nicest possible way, what do you think you are going to be able to do with this horse that will result in a win-win situation for the horse and it's human? Both sides need to benefit for it to be a mutually beneficial relationship, and I can't see what the human is going to gain. Many yards will not want a windsucker on their yard. You've said yourself you wouldn't want to see her passed around. But basically the only real job that she sounds good for is as a lawnmower! Definitely do not breed from a horse that has several behavioural issues.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 19-Jun-13 13:45:39


Lovesswimming Wed 19-Jun-13 19:13:59

where as I understand those view points, you'd have to know her and be in my shoes to see why she's worth a chance and why I think an experienced person could bring her on. the trainer was happy to continue with her and work her through it (she was annoyed she came off) however couldn't say to me that she could sort it well enough for her to be suitable for a beginner so there was little point me continuing to do so. Sarcoids are reasonably common, I've had 2 others with them to a small degree and she didn't have the really angry type one. the windsuck isn't the typical type windsuck and she has a very good nature outside of the ridden incidents, she's good to handle. But yes I can see your point of view as well.
you don't sound harsh I have accepted the answer may not be what I want it to be.

inneedofrain Wed 19-Jun-13 21:01:54

I think it's very easy to judge any situation and offer what we think is good advice but all we ever have on a forum is a small portion of the picture and its easy to be logical and detached when we are not knee deep in a situation.

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