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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.

Booboostoo Thu 27-Jun-13 13:40:38

As far as I remember scoping tells you about stomach ulcers and you can do a faeces exam to eliminate ulcers further on in the bowel (I think). ALternatively you can try the horse on Gastroguard and see if there is any difference, but the treatment is very expensive and the behaviour is dangerous so it might be best to have a diagnosis first.

I would also be asking for a referral to a specialist with these kinds of symptoms, horses don't tend to buck like crazy at odd moments without having a physical reason.

Lovesswimming Thu 27-Jun-13 10:20:48

I've heard scoping for ulcers only does the 1st section and ulcers can be in the second where it doesn't reach? I'll ask my vet (though she knows full history and hasn't suggested its a possibility) and I'll ask about kissing spines as well, again she knows full history and done a general check including the back man (not x-rays yet though) so You'd think she'd want to eliminate it if it was a possibility, she's insured so it's not a problem to do.

Booboostoo Thu 27-Jun-13 09:58:24

Have you ever had her scoped for ulcers and x-rayed for kissing spines? If you want to keep her in work it might be worth eliminating any physical reason for her behaviour before proceeding further with her.

Lovesswimming Thu 27-Jun-13 09:38:07

oh my god I've just sources a harness, blinkers and driving bit, I can start her with help from friend who broke one of hers to drive, and my friend knows someone with a cart/trap? what ever the bit you sit in is called! obviously wont be adding that on yet lol, I'll long rein her etc
its worth a go and if it doesnt work I'm not worse off smile

Pixel Wed 26-Jun-13 22:12:23

Just to clarify, the pony didn't put her in the wheelchair hmm.

Pixel Wed 26-Jun-13 22:11:22

The driving is at least worth considering as I've known a few ponies who were unrideable but made great driving ponies. My friend had one who was positively dangerous under saddle but she drove him everywhere even though she was in a wheelchair. My sister's old welshie was a good ride for an experienced rider who liked speed but was a completely different animal in harness, a real Mr Reliable. and he looked adorable smile.

Lovesswimming Wed 26-Jun-13 21:59:48

I think I'm coming to that conclusion, give until September/October and see if someone wants to take her on (I'm looking into the driving idea as well). If I have no choice she will have at least had almost a year with me at that point being well looked after in a good home. Time will tell. Thank u

Ehhn Wed 26-Jun-13 21:10:00

I was just about to write the same as lovesewingbee.

If you can get an experienced rider who wants to take her or train her from your property until the the end of the summer and it works, great, although you won't sell her for more than a token sum with sarcoid and windsucking as (don't we all bloody know it!) even perfect horses are going for bugger all in this climate. Then you face the issue that if you sell her cheaply that she may be exploited. I reckon give yourself until September to find a solution of rehoming, reeschooling or swapping and then if no satisfactory outcome has been achieved, she should be put down after a happy summer grazing. Horses don't know how long they have lived as long as they are happy to the end and are put down humanely. Better than that a lifetime of pain (back?teeth? Issue?)/pushed from pillar to post/not coping with demands made of her - sounds like she is one who doesn't cope with the stress of work, even if the demands are very low.

LoveSewingBee Mon 24-Jun-13 21:09:29

What a horrible situation. You have clearly invested a lot in this mare, financially, emotionally, time, etc.

I used to work with race horses and have had my fair share of characters, including outright dangerous horses. However, we kept going with them if we thought that they had the potential to win big races, we would not put up with such horses if they showed insufficient ability - life is too short and I have seen some horrific injuries, stable lad with broken back comes to mind.

To be frank, it seems that this mare has not much going for her. She is no good for breeding, unsafe for hacking. I really think it is much kinder to put her to sleep. The risk if you sell her on is that she will be treated very harshly and/or she may seriously injure somebody. It just isn't worth it. However, I totally understand how heartbreaking this is.

Lovesswimming Mon 24-Jun-13 10:38:33

lovebeansontoast; I have chatted to my friend as she has not ridden since the incident after Christmas and this has really taken a lot out of her and her confidence. I think the best thing would be for her to resume lessons at a riding school before looking to take on another horse. we need to resolve what we can for Brandy 1st. I have messaged chocolatecakeystuff, she does seem just the right sort of person for Brandy but I cant take on a swap right now. however it does mean I can take my time finding the right home as I wont be looking for another this summer.

Vicar; last time I spoke to maggies owner she had someone local bringing Maggie on before she finds her a home. I'm not sure why she didn't go the route of the ex business partner. I do know that offer was extended to her because she had previously bought a horse from that business partner and thought she was going back to the same company. I'm not in that position.
I do think the name change may have had something to do with the old partnership, but that's pure speculation from a couple of things I heard!
arguments over trademark names are long and expensive so it looks like one of them backed down.....

Littlebigbum Sun 23-Jun-13 01:03:40

Interesting Vicar So that might be why the change of the company name

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 22-Jun-13 23:29:29

why dont you email your dealers ex business partner? she seems to take horses for a much longer time, and appears to know much much more on training.

i know maggies owner was getting help from that source.

do you know who i mean? if not ill pm you.....

lovebeansontoast Fri 21-Jun-13 20:51:08

What did you think of chocolatecakeystuff's swap offer, Lovesswimming?

Lovesswimming Thu 20-Jun-13 14:24:20

no Pipsy, there were 2 weeks between the vetting and her coming here as my friend paid for 2 weeks extra double training to ensure she was further on and a 1 star. so we have no way of knowing if it came up in those 2 weeks or was there already and couldn't prove it. the vet was told and said he didn't think he'd missed it but he wasn't absolutely sure.
I will never ever be absent at a vetting again, It was just so far and he supposedly has a good reputation. she could well have been muddy there as well, she arrived quite caked in mud, when she fussed I thought it was a clump of mud and tried to get it off!! (it was right between her legs so hard to see).
At the minute she is here with me so is costing feed, bedding hay etc, obviously feet and jabs etc, but it's not like paying for livery. I just cant do that and have another as I'm up to my maximum the fields will cope with.

pipsy76 Thu 20-Jun-13 11:44:49

Has your friend not got any legal come back against the vet for failing to detect the sarcoid? Perhaps this could help fund grass livery?

Booboostoo Thu 20-Jun-13 00:07:04

I am sorry but I am with Backinthebox on this. I am very sorry your friend was taken for a ride (no pun intended) and it is a horrible situation to be in once you know the horse and are attached to it, but I think you owe it to the mare to be realistic.

It is irresponsible to breed from a mare with a lousy temperament and no evident talent for ridden work. She also sounds more than just lively, she sounds seriously challenging (not many horses should be able to floor professional re-schoolers!), so you are risking her next owner overhorsing themselves and passing her on again in no time. If she looks nice and chilled you are also risking someone selling her on for a profit based on lies and catching the next unsuspecting person out.

The responsible thing here is to retire her on grass livery and if that is not a possibility you need to think whether PTS would not be a safer future for this mare than being passed on.

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.

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.

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


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.

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

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.

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.

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

thanks, I've messaged you

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

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