So, I was at a campdrafting clinic on the weekend, and I happened to meet the old owner of my horse, Bundy, and fill in his life story. It was very interesting, and revealed a lot.
Bundy was bred by the Lone Pine ASH stud. He was bought by Ian Laurie from Riverdale ASH stud as a stud prospect (yay, my boy was nice enough to be a stud prospect!). Ian kept him a colt until he was two, but he didn't turn out quite how he wanted, so he was cut at two, broken in and put on the market.
Then, enter the lady who ruined his back *glares*. She bought him from Ian. Now, she is quite a *large* lady. She is still quite a novice and nervous rider. She used him for trail riding and general riding, however he would sometimes hump his back as if to buck, and this unnerved her. So started the cycle of her sending him back to Ian Laurie to get some training, be 'fixed', sent back to her to be ruined again, and so it went for TWO YEARS. In fitting saddles, she changed the gullet to the WRONG ONE, knowingly, (at least now she knows, don't know about then) and rode him on day long trail rides in a badly fitting saddle with a hefty weight on top. No wonder the poor boy was humping, I would have tossed her ass into the dirt! It's a testament to my boys good character that he didn't. The lady asked a man she knew (Now known by me, also, where I got this story) to have a ride and 'sort him out', which in his book meant getting on with a crop and a huge pair of spiked rowel spurs and flogging the crap out of him. I know for a fact this guy has made other horses bleed from the spur.
So basically, this lady left him with a nearly crippled back and huge sensitivity issues with spurs. By the end I think she just stopped riding. She ended up getting Ian to sell him for her. Ian sold him to a lady near Gundagai, who had him for about six months.
This lady did a BUNCH of natural horsemanship and groudnwork with him. I think she did too much, she desensitized him to the point where he was dull to everything. She didn't ride much, and when she did it was on a loose rein with NO forward whatsoever. She also let him get VERY obese, he weight 600kl and he is 15.1h. He now weighs less than 500kl. She had to go to school, so sold him to me.
Now, I love this horse. He has the most potential of any horse I have owned, and has the greatest nature. You can do anything with him.
But I get so FURIOUS what people did to this horse in ignorance and stupidity. He now has white patches the size of my palm on either side of his wither. If you put the saddle on them, he bucks. Put it in the right spot, he doesn't. My saddle had been fitted 3 times, but still on all weekend rides the white patches come up in lumps, and he gets a HUGELY sore back that heals with rest. He shows NO signs of beign sore so I don't find out until I take the saddle off. (I check him before and after every ride) He is such an angel to put up with pain in his back and not complain. I'm hoping my handmade saddle will help his back a bit... but i'm not crossing my fingers.
He is now SO wary of spurs... It took me 3 rides to be able to touch them to him without him freaking out. Sometimes he still freaks out when I touch him, and it will be a long while before he completely trusts me not to flog him with them.
This horse has so much potential, and so much to give... I don't know what long term affects the damamge to his back may have. Yet through it all he has remained the sweetest, most docile horse. He just loves people... It makes me sick what people do to horses through ignorance or arrogance to these animals who trust us and look to us for care and compassion.