Am I being negative of realistic(101 Posts)
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.
I'd say option D,she is fucking insane.How can she afford all these horses? I hope that she has a well paying job,I'd hate the feed bills she is going to get this winter.
Poor horses too.
Yeah it is very worrying , and I really worry if one of them can't handle living out or if any of the need box rest etc. I know that many horses live out but for one person to have four , the shit could really hit the fan if one needs to move somewhere with a stable and she is still paying for three at grass livery at 40 per month per horse.
She's not paying me in anyway , when I first started helping her I was riding the mare 50 percent of the time so that was my payment along with the fact I'm happy to have my hand in again as I've really missed being involved with horses ever since I ended a loan when the horse moved away when I was 16- I'm now 28. She got the tb and then the Hanoverian went lame with suspected navicular so I didn't want to just bugger off as I wasn't getting to ride anymore, I enjoy being around them and I'm lucky to have a job (albeit badly paid) where I can easily do the horses before work as I don't start until 10 but after work is going to be torch based (I finish at 7 or 8 and its half an hour from the field) although I live 5 mins away.
She is insane but she hasn't listened to me so far :-/
My goodness. Is this a wind up?!
Sounds like your friend is not considering the welfare of the horses or your safety or hers.
What happens if one (or more) horse(s) get sick or injured and need to be stabled? Could she afford it? Does she have insurance? With horses you need to think of the worst case scenario and ask if you would have the time and money to deal with it.
Four horses require a huge time commitment - especially in winter. Does she work full time? If so how will she find the time? Also doesn't sound like you have floodlit facilities and it is very soon going to be dark at 4pm ..........
I hope it all works out for the best without someone (human or horse) getting hurt. This is not a situation I would want to be involved in myself.
She has insurance. She doesn't think of the worst that could happen , that's the problem. I would have thought that with the lameness and vets bills for other things for the existing two so far she would have had a bit of a financial scare . Also I think that she thinks that four is not much more time consuming than two, but i know it will be ,anyone would realise that double the horses would mean double the time and then probably a bit more time for general fannying about as well as four lots of rugs to drag about this winter as we have no storage facilities up there , as well as four to feed and hay.
She works full time with odd hours (police) with the only benefit for the horses meaning that she can often be around in the middle of the day for vets , farrier etc, but it does mean that on days she does the horses there is no set routine time wise as she will often do the morning check after a night shift (6/7am) but then the next day she may have worked different hours so the morning check could be as late as 11/12, but then she may be starting work again at 6 so the evening check would be late afternoon. I work full time too but set hours 10-7/8 so when I do them its in more of a routine, I work 9-8 come December (bloody retail) so I already know I'm going to find it very hard with two let alone four.
We have no lights it will be torchs although the farmer mentioned getting a solar light which he said should give us enough light to check them and do rugs etc in the evenings.
Yes I really hope it works out ok too, watch this space.
So is there any update on this? I have a little ex flat racer who was 4 when we bought her (now 5) and she did live out for a year whilst with my friend who retrained her and was fine out (decent grass) but she does prefer being in. Having said that she looks worse now (stabled & stuffed) than she did living out 24/7 as our grass is poor. She is a one in a million as a very quiet girl generally but I'm sure like them all she would take the pee out of a total novice (does with my OH sometimes if in season!). We even got caught in lightning yesterday and she was good as gold; maybe I'm lucky she is just not a silly/nasty character?!
Is the original mare sound now? Perhaps your friend could ride her and lead the TB so they can go out together (maybe with someone on foot to be on hand to help just in case) and the TB can gain confidence from the mare without anyone having to be on top? That way they could get in a routine before progressing with solo rides.
If the polo ponies have materialised I'd imagine they will winter out perfectly well as they usually get roughed off over winter anyway and especially if they are Argentine types should be good doers/hardy.
Your friend does sound slightly bizarre and one of those horse collectors. I struggle to afford one so can never understand people who keep adding when they may not have the funds for unforeseen bills! Especially if they are not experienced (would never have got my 4yo had I not known I'd be keeping her at a livery with experienced help on hand) but well done for sticking with it for the horse's sake!
Sorry no update for a while, i work in retail and november and december are rather tiring months to say the least!!
The Hanoverian mare
Ok the mare had bar shoes fitted and is now sound.
She rode her at the start of november and she was fresh as she hadn't been ridden since July and proceeded to buck my friend off then got her off again by apparently rearing , i was at the field at the time but didnt see either of the falls so suspect the rear wasnt a big one and she fell off as she has a very inexperienced seat (she once fell off as she wasnt expecting a horse to go into canter). The mare hasnt been ridden since (she will be , but ill get to why in a moment)
The TB was advertised and sold in October he went the same day they came to view him so it happened very quickly , he has gone to an owner of a competition yard who plan on training him for eventing, i was annoyed at my friend for her lack of tenacity and commitment with him but for his sake it was for the best.
Polo pony 1
A few days before the tb was sold an ex polo pony arrived. The old owner said she can be hard to catch sometimes. We were unable to catch her for ages, she would turn her arse to us and threaten to kick , she was ver distrustful. Now i can walk up to her to stroke her and can catch her but still need food most of the time as a bit of an incentive ,( think it may not be fear now but just general naughtyness). Once we managed to catch her we built up trust and eventually got her to allow us to tack her up. Then one day i got on and she was brilliant, just did walk and trot and she had very good brakes , i then took her out on a hack and she was fine in traffic .
She then decides she is going to keep ride her as often as possible and the Hanoverian, she is going to hire a school down the road and ride in there a few times before hacking her , to get the beans out of her.
Anyway she rides the polo pony out and is having a great time , then one day i text and ask how its going and she says. Well i was out galloping again (i think she knew she had good brakes so was testing them to the max ) and getting the mare very excited by galloping bloody everywhere. So she was galloping and then trying to get her to stop, she wouldnt so she apparently used an overhanging tree to drag herself off :-0. She comes off and breaks multiple ribs. The pony runs home and is thankfully found by the gate unharmed.
That same day another ex polo pony arrives. She told me literally the day before that she had bought another . She said that she is bad with her feet but. "Dont worry ill do all the handling at the start " So the pony is delivered and the old owner helps put a rug on the new one and then my friend pays her and then gets herself off to a&e.
This was in the middle of november so i now find myself having to again do all the care (She cant move without intense pain) , of three horses one of which is hard to catch and the other is easy to catch but tries to kick when you pick
her feet out. This added to working 66 hours a week because my hours and days are increased because im in retail and its christmas.
After a very tough month and a bit its improving as
Now she can move again but my latest battle with her is regarding the new polo pony who is 20 years old and a tb so not as good a doer as the first polo pony who was an argentine type and very sturdy built.
She wants to hay them every other day , they have little grass and they do get hard feed but its not loads. She is convinced they will put weight on if they have plenty of hay .
How often do you all hay and how much roughly?
Hope that update wasnt too long! But essentially there are now three horses and none are currently ridden- she is getting a person to fit saddles in the new year as she has recently learnt that saddles need to be fitted and not just bought off ebay and slapped on (ive been telling her this ever since she bought the first horse).
Once saddles are fitted and my work calms down- January should be dead i will start riding them and hopefully she will also ride and will not throw herself off again- who does that?! No idea what the new one is like as she hasnt been ridden yet but hoping she is fairly uncomplicated apart from her feet picking out fight.
Im just hoping that no more horses arrive and we can just get proper tack fitted and get the feed balance right and then get on with riding them .
Tb a wad twice a day, and 1 scope of nuts... still got grass
Blimey, sounds like a nightmare!
Ours are currently getting a section of hay each twice a day, but they also get grass each day as we are still strip-grazing, plus one feed of balancer, chaff and beet. They are good-doers though (cobs and a sheltie) not tbs and they have rugs and shelters. Only the old welshie gets a 'proper' feed of beet, the others just get a little taste to make their chaff more intesting as they don't really need it.
Oh dear,you really couldn't make it up,could you? You have more patience than I have!
We still have a little grass,but am feeding 3 big slices of hay every other day,plus a couple of handfuls of pony mix at tea time.They are both rugged and live out,a 23 year old welshie and a 18 year old connemara.
Your friend is clearly bonkers, but to be honest you are a glutton for punishment! Why are you doing all this work for very infrequent rides on unreliable horses? Why not find another share with someone sane and sensible who has a horse to match?!
I think its because i worry what would happen if i wasnt there. It terrifies me that there are so many people out there who just buy a horse( or three) and have so little knowledge and riding experience/ability. There is a group on Facebook and its full of horse owners asking such elementary questions or photos of their horses wearing brushing boots etc with the straps on the inside, i know that we all have to learn and you never stop learning when you own a horse but it just gets to me. I was a pony helper for years before i got a loan pony as a child whereas now it seems for some people a child starts riding lessons and then bam! Next christmas theres a pony under the tree. Also im trying to save for a house so cant really pay to share a horse or get one on loan , but i can afford the time and ( just about) energy. It is not an ideal situation but id rather be involved in horses than not.
Also it may amuse/scare you lot that she has also bought a dog , to accompany her on hacks . That dog is ........a pug!
I think they are cute but the poor thing is out of breath just walking from her car to the field so i doubt it will be running alongside once she is riding again.
Ive told her that they are to have hay twice daily along with their food (hi fi lite , pony nuts and fast fibre- not to mention milk thistle, tumeric, pepper, garlic, seaweed and linseed oil!) and will keep a very close eye on all their conditions, especially the 20 year old tb.
I appreciate what you are saying but what will happen if you get injured by one of these unsuitable animals? Can you afford the time off work?
Not all shares ask for money. I've had 3 sharers didn't ask for money from any of them, just ride and look after the horse I did not have time for and keep me company on hacks. If you have transport and can try different yards I am sure you can find a better arrangement.
The other thing is that without you she may be forced to keep the horse buying more under control.
Oh God! I remember you saying she wanted a dog to exercise alongside the horses.A pug!.It'd be funny if it wasn't so dangerous.
It sounds like she is a bit of an animal collector.I have a friend a bit like this,but she did know what she was doing care wise.Your friend must have plenty of money to buy and keep all these animals.
I'm going to channel my childhood riding instructor now:
"Young Lady, this will end in tears".
It is applicable to so many situations; bareback jumping the night before my 11 plus, trying to mount or indeed ride Fat Horse whilst wearing a black hooded robe and holding a plastic scythe (fancy dress...), "let's swim the horses in the river" (near the Swan's nest) but it is most entirely applicable to everything you have described above .
This woman is a loony. A dangerous, deluded, half witted lunatic and you are enabling her. No good will come of this for you, for her and particularly for those poor horses.
She's one of those people who learn to sit to canter and start believing they are advanced. The only advice I have is to remove yourself from the situation, but I appreciate the difficulty because you know the horses now and are concerned for them.
What a big hairy mess OP! Good luck with it.
Ok, I have an update. Maybe make a cup of tea , hell make a flask!
Well just as the new year was dawning I asked her what her aims were for the coming year, was thinking she'd say "sponsored rides, long hacks" the sort of thing she was planning on last summer. Anyway it was then she admitted she had not realised how difficult and above all time consuming horses are so her plan was to loan out two of them and concentrate on one as she felt she was being stretched too much financially with no reserve if shit hits the fan and also she was starting to resent having to go down and tend to them as three of them takes a lot of her time.
So then she manages to loan out the older ex polo pony to a lovely chap who is going to use her for occasional polo, all she has even done is polo and the only reason she stopped was as the old owner was giving up polo whereas she was still happy playing.
When the pony is collected my friend tells the farmer (who she rents the field off) that she is planning on loaning out another one and will just have one. He is not happy as he has been getting £50 per month per horse plus £50 for use of a field shelter (we're not using it as it's in the other field) and a storage container (which we are using) . He then says that if she goes to one he will be charging her more than £100 a month and will charge her for almost what she would pay for two horses. I'm not entirely sure what has been said but I'm guessing he is reliant on the income now and hasn't got any one else on the look out for grazing at this time of year as in the summer he was more than happy for her to have just one horse in the field.
Anyway I keep out of the financial discussions and she says maybe we should keep an eye out for somewhere else. So I did some online searching and everywhere was full or pricey , mentioned it to my friend who owns a section d I ride in exchange for poo picking and wine (that I have to thrust upon her as she is happy the horse is being ridden in the first place, but I feel guilty so feel I have to slightly pay my way somehow!). She then said "oh there is a space next door"- and sure enough the yard next to ours has a space .
This yard has a school and access to off road hacking ( that I know very well as it's literally 100 metres from a yard and horse that I've ridden for years). The yard does have space for two to move there but in the long term I think the yard owner prefers to have a bit of breathing space so we have been told we can keep two there for a few months but need to go down to one eventually.
So we are still looking to loan one of them out , the Hanoverian to a happy hacking home as she is sound with the correct shoes on and is very easy going, whereas the polo pony we are keeping takes a while to trust people so she decided it was fairer to loan out the Hanoverian as she settled in with us very quickly compared to the polo pony who we couldn't catch for two weeks !
So overall the plan is to move at the end of the month and to actually start riding them again, and to find the Hanoverian a loan home. I feel it will be easier to find her a home once she is in regular work and they can also try her out whereas the other pony was loaned from the field.
I am also delighted that we will have access to a school, something which I've never had, it's always been schooling in sloped slightly dubious fields so to have a school will be amazing and will mean we can bring them back to work in a safe environment. Also they will both have a stable and will be coming in at night , so the mudfever which we are currently battling will be more manageable . And to top it off, there will be running water and lights!!!
I am beyond excited and glad that she has finally realised she is collecting horses only to not actually ride them , so we are moving in the right direction.
The next stage is to move and then establish the correct bit for the ex polo pony so that on hacks my friend can stop and not have to pull herself off using a tree again :-/. The chap who has loaned the other polo pony said without a doubt she needs a cheltenham gag as that is all she will respond to as that's what they use for polo.
I've done some research and seen that you need to ride with two sets of reins as you ride with the normal bit action then if you aren't getting response you can use the emergency rein to get a gag action. One question I have is are there different strength levels of the bit as my friend has bought one with a rubberised straight bar , whereas I would have thought a French link mouthpiece would have been the mildest to start her off with. Also how the hell do you get the roundings in the bit the hole just doesn't look big enough?!
Hope I haven't bored you all senseless but thought it was time for an update , cannot wait to get moved in and settled and bring them back to work so we can actually start enjoying them. I am glad that she is finally seeing sense although I did nearly slap her when she said "winter is so much less fun than summer , you do more work and spend more money with even less riding" - I had been warning her of this all summer while she set about collecting a herd of horses. I am not one to labour the point of I told you so, much better to move ahead and get on with it.
I am hoping that my next update will tell of hacking and maybe even a sponsored ride .
Right better get up to the field to start the gradual moving of things and to give them breakfast.
So glad and well done for sticking with it.
Yeah that what i mean what they have in the photos, sorry must be getting confused i shall call them do dahs from now on. Also just read that you should use a slip head in case one of the do dahs breaks. Not entirely sure what a slip head is, guessing its like a head piece/cheek piece combo that you attach incase your do dahs snap :-/ .
Sorry for my bitting uselessness but i have only every ridden in eggbutt snaffle type bits rather than bits with accessories .
Yeah i am glad i stuck with it, just getting impatient for the move !!
That sounds better - although your friend still sounds insane!
Ok, is everyone ready for an update?
We had a good spring, both were being ridden frequently . I got the ex polo pony jumping and took her on a sponsored ride , she was such a good girl nothing fazed her.
After doing the sponsored ride her owner signed up to do one in July on her.
Meanwhile the hanoverian gets kicked in the field, leg blows up. Vet comes and treats, two days later all her legs blow up cellulitis is diagnosed . He treats again (injections) and advises frequent light exercise three times daily. The vet then comes again to check up and while trotting up ,my friends loose dog ( who is always under everyone's feet) runs under the horses belly and gets squished under the mares back legs.
So I have to finish up with the vet while my friend rushes the dog to the vet with a suspected broken foot.
Later on she comes back the dog has broken toes and needs to stay in a dog cage for 5 weeks, feel sorry for het but I honestly feel it was an accident waiting to happen.
Anyway we get on with giving the hanoverian regular exercise and she is now sound and all better , she also found a sharer to ride the hanoverian three times a week .
So the hanoverian is getting regular exercise and I'm keeping the polo pony fit as well as my friend riding them when she gets the time.
Then, last Friday on the drive to work a lady ploughs into me from the left on a roundabout , all liability is admitted by her and her insurer agrees and is paying for everything , although my car is written off (I will be repairing it privately with the settlement ) so I've been a bit stressed recently.
Then on Sunday I'm driving the hire car back from the stables when a chap pulls out from a junction into the other side of me , he apparently looked left and right but not straight ahead, again he admitted liability and his insurance is sorting everything out .
The whole weekend left me very stressed out, emotional and with my head all over the place to be honest.
So on Monday I get this text..........
"Hi, I know this is a bit out of the blue but would you like to full loan her. As I don't really have the time for horses anymore, and don't like spending the money when I don't have time to ride. Thought I'd see if you wanted to loan as if not I am seriously thinking of selling them both."
I then say look you have time to ride , you just need to make time, I work full time too but I get up earlier and ride before work or after work, it is summer so after work riding is possible. It's summer so we are just poo picking not mucking out so make the most of it , this is the time of year we reap the rewards of horses after getting through winter. You have me to help with them both and you now have a sharer for the other one so right now is the easiest it has been.
She then replies with this, have copied this from my phone.....
"These are the reasons I don't want to keep horses anymore: I don't have time for them, I can't be bothered to go there sometimes, id rather just sleep, as I never have time for myself, for instance a manicure! I can't face another winter covered in mud, horse shit, straw and freezing cold. I'm fed up with vets bills coming out everywhere. I'm fed up with my dogs getting hurt every time I go there. Yes I love riding, but I can ride other ways! They drain all my money. I feel like their a chore sometimes instead of a hobby. I never even have time to poo pick, which I know pisses all the others off at the yard, but I just don't have time, I don't even have time to walk my dogs. That's all the reasons I don't want to keep horses anymore. Yes I love them and I know it's going to be hard and I'll regret it! I'd prefer you to loan pan, then I know your happy and she's safe, I don't mind helping when I can. Then sell or loan Millie. Or two sharers for Millie. I just don't want the cost or the time.
What do you think? Do you think there's a better way? Xx""
For the record she the had horses before she had dogs , the dog only got injured as she let it run under the horses belly .
Basically when I met her she had a boyfriend who wouldn't commit to seeing her more than once a week (odd I know and rang alarm bells with me) . She said to me she doesn't watch tv or read, she just works and then gets bored so wanted horses to give her something to do.
So she buys one horse, then a second and spends every free moment down there with them. Then buys a third horse and then "rescues" a pug and a chihuahua . She then ends it with the boyfriend and is single for a bit. And that was December when she was injured after falling off.
She then gets a new boyfriend who seems like a decent bloke and he wants to spend time with her , so she doesn't feel the need to fill every waking minute with horses , dogs etc .
Basically the horses have served their purpose and now she has lost all interest , she hasn't poo picked for two weeks (shared field with five other owners who do it daily so suffice to say they are pissed off) I have now done the poo picking.
Anyway I am seriously considering taking the ex polo pony on but have a hell of a lot to think about .
I am currently looking after both horses full time (she doesn't know this and I think just presumes its fine to just leave them in the field unchecked) I am activity trying to avoid her as I'm angry with her although no one has seen her down the yard since last week so I think the chances of bumping into her are slim. I just don't want to see her until I have thought it through and know what I would do if she was wanting rid of them .
Sorry this is so long but didn't want to drip feed.
Initially I thought there was no way I could have my own horse, but then my husband , my parents and my parents in law (our nieces - their grandchildren ride this horse and have lessons on her ) , have all said based on the monthly cost that it is perfectly do able and they would help financially as they can see how happy this horse makes me and my nieces . All the others at the yard and the other yards down the track have said they can support me and can advise me on things I have not had to think about yet like the cheapest way to buy bedding etc
I am over whelmed by the support my family and friends are giving me when I thought everyone's advice would be to walk away. I can't take on both horses but am starting to think that I can take on the polo pony. Help my "friend"/ find somewhere for the hanoverian who can lightly hack out , and then get on with the new and exciting/scary world of horse ownership.
Have a lot of thinking to do......
Blimey she's been a nightmare. Actually I think your life will be a whole lot easier once you've made your decision. The polo pony sounds worth your investment, just make sure that you've got everything down on paper and signed so she doesn't try and swan back in and nab it from you.
Sorry to hear about the two car accidents, that really doesn't help, but hopefully it will be sorted ok and you can get down to the serious business of actually enjoying horse ownership. As you know there are lots of people hear who are happy to help - just pick out the information that's relevant to you, and I can recommend the Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship for a workmanlike and easily readable guide - I use mine still and it's a good 30 years old, but it's my go to book when I'm doubting myself. Good luck - look forward to hearing a positive update!
Been working out rough costs and bit confused about levels of insurance cover , basically we wont be competing just hacking and the odd sponsered ride. I dont think i need public liability as i have BHS Gold membership all i want is decent cover for vets fees and where possible not a big excess. I really dont know what a normal excess is to be honest!!
Have a few books , has anyone done the " horse owners certificate" , was thinking of either doing it or getting the very knowledgable lady at the yard to go through it with me, just things like emergencies and what to do if they cut them selves that im unsure on .
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