You Have To Be SO Careful! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
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You Have To Be SO Careful!

My family has been a 'horse' family for over two decades now. We've owned several horses, were in training programs and rode competitively, etc. Basically we have some (not saying All for sure!) knowledge.

However, we haven't had a new horse for ten years. This past month, my sister and I each purchased a new horse. Mine, thus far is fantastic. Her's, well, definitely not so fantastic.

On the Coast (Vancouver and District) there is a plethora of big barns like any large city, being a competitive market. My sister recently responded to an ad for a $6500 horse. At the level of competition she is at this is incredibly cheap, incredibly. The advert was for a Oldenburg, 9 years old, 17.2 hh, dressage training to 2nd level (with no limits), Spruce meadows jumper. It sounded a bit dodgy, but my sister went to try the gelding out. He was only owned by the 'cowboy' for a month beforehand. Apparently the cowboy got him because he had a wicked buck, which he told my sister about, but when he rode him, the horse didn't buck so it was time to resell it to make way for other horses needing training.

My sister loved the gelding's movement, his canter is beautiful, great mind, and had a WELL known vet come out to vet him. The vet loved him, noticing the 'high and low' feet in the front. But when he went to trot on the left rein, dead lame. Cowboy couldn't believe it. My sister was devestated. The vet said it's fairly common, and that they'd come back in 10 days to do flexion tests etc and see how he was then. Meanwhile Cowboy is a trainer and wants this horse gone because he has horses coming in for training. Offers the gelding to my sister for $4000. She manages to get a 90 day free trial (before any money is exchanged). How can she lose?

She takes possession of the horse and gets the farrier out (thinking the feet are off - the only differenece between when she rode him and he was fine to the lame day was he had his feet trimmed). Farrier re-shod him. He was fine in two days.

At this point she's not heeding my advice of passing on the sale and she's getting attached. So I do some internet research. And find the previous location of the horse is from a prominent training barn. I find the gelding's adverts and youtube video and price is $10000. Says he passed his pre-vet with flying colours. I show my sister the information and she contacts the trainer who had sold him. Trainer says he was imported from Germany, used as a jumper but stops at fences over 3'6 and has a wicked buck, so she didn't feel safe selling him on, hence why he was sold 'cheaply' to the cowboy to 'fix'.

I forget how we found out but the vet doing the pre-purchase exam for my sister is the same vet used to do the 'pre purchase exam' for the sales barn. She phones them up and asks for the gelding's previous records. I wasn't sure they'd discuss the file but the vet rung today and there is PAGES of vet history on this poor horse. Who was lame for 6 months, given injections, ridden on bute to get fit, has muscle atrophy in the hip (we thought the hip was out - so did my sister's trainer), and has numerous things wrong with him. All of which this very nice, 'reputable' training/sale's girl knew about.

The Cowboy honestly didn't know this, and was taken for a ride. So remember, folks. When you buy a horse you're buying however-many-owner's it has had. Not all information gets passed down the line. So even when you feel the owner is being honest, they might be!, the previous owner might not. While this sounds like commonsense, I thought I'd pass it along. This horse (besides the mild atrophy in the hip and high and low) looks amazing. You have to be Very careful, no matter what the price point is and who is involved. Always use all the tools at your disposal to thoroughly researched your horse's past. While this horse is 'registered' its papers are 'lost'. This is one huge benefit of buying a registered horse - you have a providence.

Ok, lecture/rant over. Now to go get my sister to stop crying.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 12:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Luckily I haven't had any of these issues, yet. I have, however, known victims of "you didn't tell me this horse is a frequent colic horse" etc. I was my first horse's 4th or 5th owner, and for my current horse I'm the 2nd.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are certain and the intelligent are full of doubt"
-Bertrand Russel
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
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Either had we Roro. We never realized how lucky we were with the horses we've had the past 20 years. I'm sure there's been plenty of cases such as my sister's in the past but right now, I'd be scared to actively be looking for a horse. With the HUGE amount of drugging, liars, and so forth, I'm ultra skeptical about the state of horse selling at the moment on the Coast, everywhere really.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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My horse was a "free" adoption horse and we're still discovering his issues but I have a huge benefit because for the past year he has been boarded at the same place I'm keeping him at now. TONS of boarders and workers and ranch people with tons of opinions and information about the time he's been there and what has and has not been done.

Hundreds of snap shots like that are such a great picture of what's been going on and how he's deteriorated since he arrived so we can figure out how to make him better (or try!).

I'm so sorry for your poor sister! Of course, she's already attached! That's what happened to me but I wasn't out $4,000!

Deerly is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
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Well, thankfully she isn't out any purchase money. She was careful enough to get the 90 day free lease first with option to purchase at the end of term for $4000.

It's never the purchase price (within limits) that costs you the most money. Responsible care always costs so much more. It's just too bad there isn't a way to make a horse's health record mandatory for selling so the next owner didn't spend a lot on 'diagnosing' problems. No horse is perfect, there's always a little something, something. But to hide major issues is so unresponseable, in my opinion, especially when it will impact their future and care.

Deerly, I'm glad there are people out there like you who stick it out with the adoption process and actively source information on the previous care their horse has had to make sure their future is brighter.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Western Pa
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I fell in love with a Quarter horse, I knew the breeder, thought I knew her training methods, and knew a horse with a similar personality that had come from the same barn... I adored the half-brother to my gelding...

What I didn't know until after he put me in the hospital the first time was that he hadn't been touched from birth till he was broke as a 3 year old, he was rushed through breaking, had serious holes in his foundation, and was thrown back out in the pasture and left alone till he was a 5 year old.

Then the breeder/trainers daughter was riding him on trails occasionally... After he threw her and broke her ribs, the breeder decided she was going to "fix" him, and she ended up in the hospital twice, and her daughters who grew up breaking horses were terrified of him, so they decided to sell...

I came upon him by chance, decided to try him out, and in 4 test rides, he was a dream... She never bothered to tell me about him being a handful for her, and she knew my riding skill... Not nearly good enough for that horse, I was so far out of my league it wasn't funny... And all she saw were dollar signs... She had no problem at all selling me a horse she KNEW was going to hurt me, and quickly...

Its not always the horses that get bounced around that you need to worry about... Ya, sometimes horses get moved around and information gets lost, but my worst experience with buying a horse was buying from the breeder, and her neglecting to tell me about him...

Fortunately, I survived him without a broken neck, and his current owner knows everything I could possibly tell him about the horse, and is not in over his head.

Buying horses is just scary... I think I'll keep my lovely mares for a good long time, I don't want to have to search for another good horse...

"Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious."
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 10:33 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: alberta
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im sorry to hear that baout your sisters shoulda-been-horse :[
tell her it might be a blessing in disguise :] she might find a horse that she instantly bonds with that she gets along great with, even better then the other horse.

Horse sales are very very dodgey for sure! I have never had a problem, my first horse we got lucky and it was a clean sale, and my second (rena) she cae from a friend who is a vet.

i hope your sister finds a horse that is perfect for her :] tell her that her and that horse just werent meant to be, she will find one :)

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-13-2010, 11:05 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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Jynx was the first real purchase I've made in horses, and I let my heart take over. I'm a lousy business woman but I'll know for next time. Ultimately it worked out in the end, and I love her.

It started with me falling in love with her. The woman told me she was $800 because she was unregistered, she'd be $1,000 with papers. I really wanted her but I was concerned about an old injury on her back leg - and a few other things. And then I did it - the woman told me she had prospective buyers coming that night to look at her and I caved - bought her on the spot. How pathetic right?

Well it turns out, the filly CAN'T be registered. First she told me the sire was dead. Then when I did research to find ways around it, finally discovered her dam was never registered. On top of all this, she essentially lied through her teeth about the training done on her and has a pride issue that won't allow her to admit her horses are dangerous. This filly not only almost did me in twice, she's come close to causing serious injury to both Shay-la and Ashley. All of this was stuff I could EASILY deal with, but was unprepared and put my friends in danger based on the word of a "reputable" breeder.

In the end her leg is fine and she's turning into a fantastic horse, but I got ripped off royally - $800 for an unregistered 2 year old with almost zero training? She saw me coming a mile away!

Never let your heart write the cheque!

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-14-2010, 12:43 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: CO
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I had something similar to that happen last year with the Appaloosa gelding I took on. I was told (and the barn who had him prior, had been told) that the horse was 7. He was abandoned by his previous owner, which is how I got a hold of him. Vet looked at prior records, did his exam, and passed him. He was thin, but other than that, in decent condition.

Well I had him for 3 and a half months, and finally decided that it was time for him to move onto a new home. I had fixed his barn sour attitude, but I couldn't get him to focus on pleasure, or dressage, although he did love to jump; however, I wanted a horse I could do more pleasure type riding, and he was a hyped up gaming horse, and I just couldn't get him past that. Well, one trading opportunity came up, and when they went to do his exam, the vet estimated his age at 15 not 7. How two vets prior to him missed that, is beyond me, but the barn I got him from was just as upset as I was. After that, I decided to try and learn how to check age via teeth! I definitely ain't perfect at it, but I know it will come in handy. If I had known he was that old prior to me getting him, I may not have even taken him on; and I had wondered as I was training him why he wasn't grasping alot of concepts quicker...well he was older, so most of what he learned (bad and good habits both) was so much more set in stone in his head, than if he had been younger like I was told. But I didn't suspect anything, as two vets hadn't said anything that he looked older via his teeth. Somewhere down the line, that horse had been sold as a younger horse, and I find it hard to understand, simply because it's not like a 15 year old horse is 'that' old...Lol!

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-14-2010, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In the saddle.
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More proof that a "too good to be true" price is always too good to be true. Always.
You get what you pay for, especially when purchasing horses.
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