Gone are the days of horses and their girls - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 04:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Zealand
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I was expecting this thread to about how most girls these days would rather booze it up, party with drugs, wear clothing that doesn't fit/purposely make themselves fall out of, give themselves over to boys, and post a bunch of photos of themselves on facebook and have captions such as "hahaha Im so wastd lyk!"... and some of these girls own horses that were once ridden, once companions they spent hours and hours with - even not riding, that are now just sitting in the paddock with either parents looking after them, or in some cases, fending for themselves with the odd visit. Not to mention the kids I'm referring to here, are 15-17 year olds who clearly aren't even legal enough to be drinking and all the rest that they're doing.

So I'm a little stumped now because I was prepared to answer as I have above a little haha! Over here in NZ at least, I know several of these particular girls, one in which her horse is being looked after by me because she had health issues. It saddens me that parents can allow their children to shirk their responsibilities, and see all this happening on their facebooks (as they themselves have them also) and don't seem to nip it in the bud. Although I can also understand some parents' dilemma and struggle. One mother I recently spoke to admitted her daughter had a problem, but she said she'd given up fighting it. Which is a real shame.

I find the above a more sad reality than the OP's message if I can be honest. Horse training and bad use of it isn't subject to age, but irresponsible people.

Although I'm 26, I was a horse girl through and through when I was a teen. I never went to parties, I don't drink and spent all my time with my horses, working part time so I could afford them (non horsey family) and helping others with their own. So I really cannot understand the easy neglect and yet the equally difficult measures to get their child to give up their horses because it's almost like a status to own that neglected pony?!

Sorry, I've hijacked a little. It's so good to see the kids in here enjoying their horses, makes me remember when I was younger!

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #22 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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I love to volunteer for USEA shows so I can jump judge. In every BN class you'll see multiple little girls talking to their ponies "c'mon, you can do it, I believe in you...good girl/boy!" It makes the whole standing in the sun for 8 hours totally worth it. So just think about the little pig-tailed girls encouraging their chunky little ponies on xc and you'll feel much better!
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post #23 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PunksTank View Post
I am stunned to see people throw out horses that can no longer be ridden, or who can not ride 'up to their standards'. A horse is supposed to be your companion for Life - not until you get bored and want the next best model.
I felt this particular paragraph needed to be addressed more in depth. Horses are sold or 'disposed of' for various reasons. I for one would never condemn a rider who is trying to reach the pinnacle of their sport for selling on an animal who can't take them to the next level.

I feel if you've reached the limits of a horse's talent and you want to go farther, selling it along to another home where the animal can teach another young rider is hardly 'getting bored and wanting the next best model'. Why would you have someone keep an animal for life that they can't use, and who is perfectly capable of continuing to be ridden?

Some horses are life partners, while others are not. It's just that simple. To expect everyone to keep each and every horse they've ever bought for life is completely unrealistic, and nothing more than emotional hyperbole.

The horses you get in your rescue have been let down by whatever owner they had at that time. The owner two homes ago is hardly responsible, nor should they be.

I tend to keep my horses for life, but I haven't kept each and every one of them. I sold my first horse to someone who needed a quiet, easy to get along with mount, while I wanted something with a little more spark. Both of us got what we wanted, and I kept the horse I replaced that one with until he died.

I do believe if you break it you SHOULD keep it for life, as long as you're financially able. I have a 26 y/o who has been retired since he was 20. I got him at 19, and was only able to ride him for a year. He had preexisting conditions of which I wasn't aware when I acquired him, and since I knew a horse with arthritic hocks, breathing issues, and CHF would have most likely ended up being slaughtered, I retired him. I knew going in I'd be his last owner, so it was just my bad luck that he had to be retired so soon. I didn't break him, but I wasn't going to abandon him.

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Last edited by Speed Racer; 08-10-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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post #24 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 11:16 AM
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Location: southern Arizona
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I agree & disagree with SR. Sometimes an owner and horse don't go together, and then it makes sense to sell. And some horses can't get where a competitive rider needs to go, and then selling makes sense. But the other side are the folks who buy a horse for their daughter and then a year later dump the horse with little or no concern for where the horse ends up. I find it pathetic that our freebie pony had at least 6 owners in 14 years. With training, he'd make a young girl a great horse for learning barrels or gaming. He is a fine trail pony. He'll even carry my weight around without complaint. It took some time, but he is now integrated into our 3 horse 'herd'. We do need to rinse his eyes at times because they don't flush well on their own. Other than that, he's an easy keeper who likes attention, gets along with other horses and is level-headed in the desert. It took him a full 6-7 months to feel 'safe', but he's turning into a great little horse.

He deserved something better in life than being shuffled off every year or two. It shouldn't be illegal to do that, but I think it borders on immoral. I see plenty of kids who dump their parents as easily as they dump dogs and horses, and wonder if the parents didn't teach that behavior by how they treated their pets. If our kids dump us when we get old, they won't have that excuse...
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post #25 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 11:23 AM
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Just a few more heartwarming "Girls & Horses" pics. Most are my daughter, the kiss pic is my best friend's little girl.



Haley kiss.jpg


Pasture Buddies_edited-1.jpg


Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #26 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 11:25 AM
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I agree that sellers as well as buyers need to do their due diligence when it comes to rehoming an animal BSMS, but it's not inherently wrong or evil to sell on an animal that no longer meets your requirements.

My older, retired guy had at least 5 owners before he came to me, and I'd venture to guess there were even more. He's a difficult horse to bond with and his temperament hasn't been the best, so I'm pretty sure he was used and dumped more than once.

I don't agree with dumping, but someone being responsible and selling on a horse to another home is something else entirely.

Yes, I agree that children learn their morals and ethics from their parents. If those parents see another living creature as disposable, then they're going to raise children to believe the same.
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post #27 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 12:24 PM
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I personally think that it is fine and sometimes even in the animal's best interest for someone to sell their horse if they do not feel like they can aquedately train and care for the animal. An example of this would be someone who bought a hot or green horse that had little experience with horses, and did not have the money to get the necessary training to fix the problem. Selling the animal rather than trying to 'made do' and put both of them at risk would be the better option.

I also find selling the animal when it isn't the type that you want to be alright as well, if you take the time to find them a suitable home. I would much rather see an aspiring eventer sell their 16 year old halter bred horse as a pleasure or trail horse to someone else, than to force the animal to do a job that it's body nor its mind were bred to do. Sometimes a rider can find something that both they and their horse can enjoy together, sometimes they can't. Not every horse and every rider fit together, even if they try for years.

For example. I have two miniature horses and am training a foster mare. The first is my miniature horse mare, who is four years old and has been with me since she was weaned. I'm convinced that she is my heart horse. We have an extremely strong bond and always will, but she's the type of animal that can't just sit around and be a companion. It drives her crazy. At the same time she has a lot of personality quirks that make her not suitable for children, which meant I had to find something she could do with just me. So I tried teaching her to jump in hand, because thats something I really wanted to do with her. Because of her build and her personality though, she absolutely hated it. She would do it for me, but she didn't get any joy out of it. So instead, I took the time and money to have both of us trained to drive. We both absolutely love it. She nickers at me every time that she sees the harness and has really thrown herself into our relationship now that she has a purpose. But people don't always have the ability to do what I did with her.

With my miniature horse gelding, its different. He and I just don't mesh well together. Its neither of our fault- he's a beautiful, push button little animal and I'm more than experienced enough to train him to do whatever I please. However, he has no real ambition and is the kind of animal that would be content as a pasture puff or child's horse. I'm willing to keep him as a companion even though I'm more like Sour and constantly want to be moving, but if the chance arose for him to go to a home with children where he could just be loved on and fed the rest of his life, I'd sell him in a heartbeat because it would make him happy. I just don't have the time to spend with him that he wants. Who am I to deny him happiness?

And lastly, there is the OTTB/brood mare we are fostering. She's had a tough time of it, after coming out of a very bad situation of neglect, constant breeding, and little health care. We have rehabilitated her and she has now been started under saddle, and she is phenominal. I've never seen a horse that picked things up as quickly as she does and with the gusto that she has. Within three weeks of riding she was doing things that it took month and month of hard work to achieve with our other OTTB gelding, Noah. We could easily continue training her and just toss her in as one of our lesson horses once she's more experienced, she'd probably do just fine. But all of us believe that she is more than capable of learning a new discipline and competing as a sports horse. She has beautiful movement and carries herself much better than your average thoroughbred, and she loves to have a purpose and to keep learning. Besides that, she is also the type that craves a bond, and thats just not something she's going to really get as a lesson horse, with kids cycling in and out constantly. Because of that, we realize that she would probably be happier as a young adult's or teenager's show horse, and are currently looking for a home that can give her just that.

Does that make me cruel, wanting to sell Bree and Clyd? I personally don't think so. Yes, I do realize that Bree is probably happier here at our farm than she has ever been before, but I also realize that she could be happier somewhere else, even if that means changing things for her. And yes, I understand that I'm pretty much saying Clyd isn't 'good enough' for me, because he doesn't have the will to do much and gives me no real excitement- but is it not better for me to find somewhere for him to be appreciated than just sitting on the backburner here with me?

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
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post #28 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I wasn't trying to be mean to anyone...but it isn't all gloom & doom. Heck, I'm a 54 year old guy whose wife accuses him of whispering sweet nothings into his mare's ears...
Are you whispering things to your horse that you SHOULD be whispering to your wife?!? ROFL!!
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post #29 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I absolutely agree! There are times when animals need to be rehomed for their own good-will. Forcing a human to keep an animal they don't want anymore is just a recipe for disaster for both parties.
My complaint certainly is NOT with responsible people finding a good home for their animals that they can either no longer care for or just can't work well with. There are a few horses at the rescue that I just don't mesh with and I would have no problem rehoming should the opportunity arise.

My complaint is with the irresponsible dirt-wads who dump their horses. We get phone calls every single day with people trying to get rid of their animals. From ponies who have been grown out of to horses that have been ridden till they just can't ride anymore. I'm sick of people who use up their horses only to throw them out. I use the phrase 'throw out' not rehome or sell particularly because these people Aren't looking for quality homes for their animals. One of our horses at the rescue was left tied to our fence - no clue on his past. That is throwing out.
Having spent some time with a guy who worked for a slaughter company he told me he made more money going barn to barn asking if they had any 'unwanted' horses for him to take than he did going to auctions! It's appalling to me that anyone would just load up horses they no longer wanted into a strangers trailer to go God-knows-where. He was a real smooth talker and could talk his way out of and into anything.

I also don't grasp the concept of selling a child's first pony.
Perhaps the pony Could do well helping some other child - but maybe a lease would be a better option. This child loved her pony, they grew up together, learned together and were the best of friends. Simply selling the pony and buying her a bigger one is IMO teaching the child all the wrong values. Now don't jump down my throat, I understand it can be expensive - but there are options! You could always lease or full lease the pony, if not to another girl but maybe to a lesson or camp program. I realize horses aren't easy animals to keep and there are circumstances where they are better off somewhere else. But if the horse has given to you all you've wanted for years and now you can't use him anymore you owe him the right to be happy - whether with someone he can safely live out his life with or in your backyard with his family.
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post #30 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
Does that make me cruel, wanting to sell Bree and Clyd?
Not at all Endiku. It makes you responsible. You want to do what is the best for them. Personally, I think that's highly commendable, especially at your age.
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Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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