With Molly, it was an absolute disaster waiting to happen from the start.
I was 12, about to turn 13, and my riding experience was all Western on gaited trail horses. Add mom's boyfriend's polo horses to the mix, and the combination was a horse-crazy girl who wanted to ride English.
I found an ad on Craigslist (yes, Craigslist) for a 6 y/o OTTB mare, called, and went to ride her. Bear in mind I had never taken a lesson in my life and had ridden in English saddes only on well-schooled polo horses. We got to the barn, I went up to her in the cross ties, and I started scratching her neck. She immediately dropped her head to the floor, flapped her upper lip, and groaned at me scratching her. Her owner was in shock.
I went to ride her, and it was immediately apparent that this mare was NUTS. I asked for a trot and she took off in a ground-eating trot with her head in the air, and don't get me started on the canter. I cued it and she launched into a gallop around the ring. Why was her owner selling her? She was afraid of her.
Needless to say, I bought her. Paid the full asking price, too.
By coincidence, I found a video of her riding being ridden beautifully on YouTube days later. It was absolutely incredible that this was the same horse (very distinctive markings) that had just taken me for a joyride around the arena. I contacted the rider, who replied in shock and wanted to know how I had come across this mare.
Turns out, the original off-track trainer in the video sold her to someone to use as a broodie only. She knew the rider was incapable of riding the mare well, but the new owner was content to have her in her barn just to breed. Well....she started riding her. And jumping her, despite knowing she had a slab fracture that prohibited her from jumping. When the horse was sufficiently ruined and she was frustrated with her "attitude", she sold her to the woman I bought her from.
I sent Molly back to the trainer for a month of re-schooling, free of charge. She wanted nothing more than to fix the mare she had trained. I'm still great friends with both the off-track trainer and the woman I bought her from. Molly is still a hot mess at times, but I absolutely love her and will continue to try and undo the mess the second owner made.
The video I found online of her with her off-track trainer: