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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.....

Booboostoo Thu 04-Jul-13 18:05:57

Why is she exercising her horse twice a day? I have never heard that one before!

As for a total novice retraining a racehorse that's total lunacy. She'll get herself killed.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 04-Jul-13 18:53:11

You will find a safe sensible horse, it just won't be aged between 5 and 25!

Butkin Thu 04-Jul-13 22:06:51

Ask her the question we all want to know - why does she exercise her horse twice daily, every day? Then report back to us!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 04-Jul-13 22:09:20

Maybe she only ever owned a dog before? hmm

Smartieaddict Fri 05-Jul-13 17:27:42

I hope you can persuade your friend not to get another horse. I made a similar mistake, and took on a TB that was too much for me having over estimated my abilities. I went from a confident, reasonably competent rider, to being a nervous wreck and ready to give up, within a few months!

I now have a 17 year old schoolmaster, who I would have dismissed as boring a year ago, and its bloody brilliant. I am having a great time, doing things I haven't done since my early 20's. I was lucky, I escaped serious injury, and I had the horse on loan, so was able to send him back.

tallulahturtle Wed 10-Jul-13 08:27:18

The reason i an helping is because i like her existing horse and also by helping her with some of the care i get to ride again, something that i havent been able to do for years. Although saying that ive recently started riding another friends horse- one i used to ride as a teenager- so ive gone from not riding for 10 years or so to being able to ride as often as i like .
Ok, update on the situation. Well she has gone and bought a tb, he did race but only once (must have been rubbish) and was turned away as a 2 year old and retrained fully as a riding horse. I have seen videos of him jumping , however she bought him from the field and no vetting (sigh) so i can only hope he isnt a complete maniac as he hasnt been ridden since winter. He has already got several cuts from being too familiar with the one section of the field with barbed wire.
I think the exercise twice a day may have gone out the window as ever since the farrier came she hasnt been obsessed with the twice day workout, also in this heat when ive ridden or lunged its been minimal so hopefully the mare is having a rest.
Currently the tb is following her round the field like a lost puppy and there is a lot of squealing and kicking out from her.
She is planning on lunging him friday as his first exercise , so will give an update then. Also she declared the other day that she wants to buy a lab so it can "walk out on rides with us" she is such a dreamer. Im thinking that people generally buy dogs for other reasons and then the dog just happens to want to follow its owner out on rides rather than people buying a dog for this specific purpose.

Right better get ready for work!

frostyfingers Wed 10-Jul-13 10:09:55

Oh god, I hope it works out for her, but can see so many pitfalls. Just be careful that you don't end up picking up all the pieces.......

JulyKit Wed 10-Jul-13 12:21:11

Did you read last week's Horse & Hound? Get your hands on a copy and show it to your friend if possible... There's a good article on why adults are increasingly going for ponies!
Taking on TBs/rehabilitating racehorses is starting to look so last season, don'tcha know? grin
Seriously, though, it's a good article. smile

Butkin Wed 10-Jul-13 19:27:11

Do you know it's racing name? If so I can tell you all about it...

Mirage Wed 10-Jul-13 21:29:01


The dog idea is just as bad as the ex racehorse idea tbh.Trying to control 2 unpredictable animals whilst out riding sounds an accident waiting to happen.I know people do ride out with their dogs,but they are well trained and both horse and dog familiar with each other.

Good luck with your friend.

tallulahturtle Thu 11-Jul-13 21:57:08

His racing name was Rowan Sun, the horse that she turned down was called Ardent Prince .

Butkin Fri 12-Jul-13 00:23:17

Rowan Sun is a 4yo chestnut gelding by Haafhd out of Rowan Flower. He was bought as a yearling by Fulke Johnson Houghton for 5,000gns. He was put into trainer with his daughter, Eve, and owned by James Burley. As you know he was a failure as a racehorse. He only ran the once, as a 2yo, finishing 10th of 11 in a maiden at Chepstow, ridden by Cathy Gannon. He was beaten 25 lengths and there is no further record of him.

Ardent Prince was far more successful. He is a 10 year old gelding by Polar Prince and owned since a young horse (possibly even bred by) Barry Fletcher. He was always owned by Barry but trained by 3 different trainers, Heather Dalton, Alan McCabe and Andrew Haynes. He ran a total of 42 times and won twice - both on the all weather for Alan in early 2009. His form went downhill in 2010 and his last run was in May of that year. He won a total of £8,971 which was pretty decent and I'd say he gave his owner some fun although he always ran at a very low level.

tallulahturtle Fri 12-Jul-13 11:57:58

Wow thats very informative!! Just trying to remember the name of another ex racehorse she nearly bought now.

tallulahturtle Fri 12-Jul-13 12:02:48

This was another she really liked but the lady sold him to a friend

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 12-Jul-13 14:48:02

I think she visualises you riding shotgun on the steady sensible horse while she gadds about on the more showy TB.

There was a girl at the stables a few years back (where I used to go)
She was a novice rider not riding very long.
So her (rather indulgent and probably clueless ) parents bought her a lovely, 2yo unbroken part TB.

A very few weeks later the novelty wore off. She got fed up with all the work for little reward.Her friends going off on hacks while she was trying to walk her horse out, like a dog.
Her little colt got some very nasty manners to boot.(Bitey,kicking, barging)
Her parents got fed up and the horse 'went' to be replaced by an older, more staid horse.
OK she's got her horse now but it was at the expense of the little colt. And this was keeping him in a stableyard where there were people to help and advice her.
She just didn't take it.

tallulahturtle Fri 12-Jul-13 20:49:23

Yes I think she is visualising that . She was planning on starting to lunge him this weekend -he arrived Tuesday. But he has been so lively and he existing mare is getting very lively too so they are being left a few days more to let hem settle.

I've never experienced a horse introduction, so don't know what is normal. The mare had been in a field on her own since the end of May and is very relaxed and chilled , then the gelding arrived and they don't like being separated now. Lots of squealing as I had expected and a bit of kicking.

Is this just a settling in thing or is the mare who was happy to hack alone, going to turn into a hacking in company only horse?

Booboostoo Sat 13-Jul-13 08:56:58

Horses generally like being in herds. Some can support being on their own but often pair bond as soon as a second horse is introduced. Sounds like this is what happened to this mare. Your friend will have to take time to get them used to being alone again. It's a long and trying process though.

To be honest if I were you I would find a different horse to ride, all this sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

MoonlightandRoses Sat 13-Jul-13 21:17:06

Having seen the consequences of several so-called 'horse-lovers' over-horsing themselves (consequences generally paid by the horse), your friend needs to get someone experienced with young horses to help her out now, before he gets into bad habit.

However nice a nature the 4yo has, he's still a baby, with lots of learning, and some growing, to do. At the very least, whatever about being exercised, he shouldn't be doing a lot of heavy 'thinking' work, and certainly not every day. He will also need a couple of months off if he's been in work from the start of the year to now, along with a whole heap of other things.

You say she won't listen to you, but is there any chance if you bought her a few books on the subject she might take them to heart?

Pixel Sat 13-Jul-13 22:11:56

Good idea about the books, you could pretend you saw one in a shop or something and thought of her (hard to get offended over a pressie if she is likely to be a bit funny). Just looked at Amazon briefly and was surprised how many there are some here.

Butkin Sat 13-Jul-13 22:14:03

Tilapia won 5 races from 25 starts from 2006 to 2010 but obviously wasn't the soundest of horses as had some big gaps in his CV and was reportedly lame after some races.

Gay Kelleway paid a lot of money (38,000 pounds in 2008) for him as a 4yo out of Sir Mark Prescott's yard but he was useless as a racehorse for her. Then, having moved to Stef Higgins, he amazingly won an apprentice race (at 50/1) in June 2010 before running two more of his usual stinkers and being retired.

He is now a 9yo gelding and he liked 12 furlongs best.

tallulahturtle Wed 17-Jul-13 15:47:02

Hey everyone.
Im pretty sure he has a sarcoid on his leg and also ringworm :-/ - need to post a photo really to show you . I wish she had got him vetted as the poor boy he looks so uncomfortable and even if she didnt mind sarcoids and ringworm, at least we could have treated them asap. When i mentioned the marks -as he is generally very scarred too, she said "hes a typical clumsy 4 year old tb" . Im guessing thats what the lady who sold him said. If anyone has experience of getting rid of ringworm and treating sarcoids (as i know they are impossible to cure) please let me know.

chocolatecakeystuff Wed 17-Jul-13 19:22:58

Vet - vet - and vet. You will need to treat both horeses for ring worm I believe (don't qoute me on that) & wash everything that comes into contact with the horses. The sarcoid needs ti be treated by the vet, but sarcoid x supplement stuff has been really good for my mare & a few others too.

cq Wed 17-Jul-13 19:38:53

Yep, and don't ride your other friend's horse in any of the same clothes/boots/gloves that you've ridden either of these in. Ringworm is highly contagious.

A friend was helping me exercise my Sec D when I was working FT, her horse had ringworm, she was very diligent and changed all her clothes, boots, washed hands etc before riding mine. But forgot about the CHAPS - he came down with a very nice rash just behind the girth.

Sounds like your friend has bitten off far more than she can chew. Can't believe people still buy horses without vetting.

tallulahturtle Thu 18-Jul-13 09:00:05

Thanks for the advice, am trying to avoid contamination through brushes and my clothes etc but as they are both out 24/7 at grass livery i feel that the mare will catch it too. I am desperate to avoid giving it to another mare i ride sometimes at a different yard , so as im only a week away from my holiday, ill probably not ride her until i get back :-/
Yes she bought both horses not vetted. She bought the first one then the farrier said that she may have navicular and she then vowed to get the next one vetted, but seemed to decide against it "as the lady he came from seemed so nice".
When i eventually am in the position to buy my own i will be getting the horse vetted for sure!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 18-Jul-13 13:08:35

Are you on a livery yard? Ringworm can have serious repercussions. If it gets about, your friend could be liable for treating everybody! It is also transferrable to humans. If you get itchy, you need treatment asap, it is murder! Id either steer clear of these horses or the other mare you ride until it is treated. Ringworm is a shit to get rid of, and can live in wood and building fabric for years!

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