Should I Take Him On? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-10-2009, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lima, Montana.
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Should I Take Him On?

So... I've rehabilitated several abused horses before, and I really do enjoy it. And all of them have turned into really great horses, one of them even going back to barrels after his abuse with them. So I know I can do this, but I also have a show horse to keep up, a 2 year old to train, and a 3 year old to continue on with her show career, and keep training. Here's this boy's history.

Supposedly, when he was only like 3, or some absurd age when no horse should be packed into the mountains, he was way overloaded with supplies and asked to trail up into dangerous terrain. Being the good boy he is, he did, and when the men who had NO idea about where horses should and shouldn't go asked him to walk the edge of a cliff, he refused. Well, they forced him, and he fell under the weight of the packs, and injured himself very very badly. Well, the men sold him a few years later, afraid he would never be sound, and my dad's friend bought him because he was afraid of what the men would do to the horse if someone didn't buy him. So he's nursed this horse back to health, and he's only like... 7 or 8 now I think. he's HUGE. but nice. Wouldn't hurt anyone. My dad's friend has dealt with injured racehorses and stuff, but he can't get through to this horse... I think it might be because he's never done anything like that. Anyway though, the horse is sound. he has this wierd thing going on that looks like a bowed tendon, but it isn't. Anyway, he has no injuries. But now my dad's friend is really getting into packing and riding into the mountains and camping. He'd like to do this with this horse, but every time you put a pack saddle on him, he freezes up and won't move, and if you literally DRAG him, he has a little spaz attack and then lays down and won't get up until you take the saddle off.

I Don't blame him. And I am pretty sure I can fix this. I've dealt with much worse, with horses that would try to kill you if you brought a flag toward them or anything. So he doesn't sound horrible... My dad's friend has asked me if I want to take him on. It sounds like if he can't get a pack horse out of him, he's going to sell him, which might be ok except for no one would buy him with that tendon. Now, he's not forcing me to, and he's not definitely saying he'd sell the horse, but I do want to do it....

I don't do fall sports, at least not this year, so I should have the time... I was just wondering what you guys think. Good idea? Bad idea? I've never had to fix a pack horse before.... Anyone that has?

Plus, I've kinda been thinking about buying some 2 year old QHs and seeing if someone would like to have a horse... Barrels, western, ranch horse, reining, cutting... and training the horse to do what they want specifically. Does that seem like a good idea? I know the horse market is poor... But i live in a very rural area and people would probably buy good ranch horses. I don't know, I'd just like some opinions, some input from other horsey peoples, lol. See, if I ask my dad, he'd say sure. He wants me to learn my own businesses... haha. But I want to know if you guys would do that, or if you think it would work, if it wouldn't, why, etc. And I know where I can get quality QHs cheap, this guy is wanting to retire, and he offered me like four registered 2 year olds for like $800. they have awesome bloodlines, too.

Anyway. Opinions? On either or both. Do you think I would have time to do everything that I'm wanting to take on? My parents will be good with it. I've also broke horses before and sold them for pretty good money, so that's not really new. Thanks!


To rein a horse is not only to guide him,
but also to control his every movement.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-10-2009, 08:43 PM
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I think you should take him on :)
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-11-2009, 09:05 AM
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Well about this pack horse. You want some questions. Well here are a few.
Tall you say - just how tall? Its a good idea for a pack horse to be short - you can load him up easier.

Is the fella sound ?
What are his feet like?
Just how nervous is he?
What has happened to him in the meantime since his accident?
Do you know the horse that would be leading him - would he get on with your fella?
How good with horses is your Dad's friend?
Are you going to teach your Dad's friend how to handle this fella?
Have you got the nature to spend loads of time on training this fella and then be able to pass him on?
Can you afford the time?
Is it going to cost a lot?

The soft side of me says it is a nice idea. But it strikes me that if you are going to do it - the person you should be talking with is your Dad's friend, because it is he who is going off into the Boonies with this horse.
You might get over the pack saddle problem.
You probably will get over the lead horse problem with time and patience
But bearing in mind this fella's history - he will be scared stiff of folks who lead him up into a mountain. Such a horse needs to be rock steady especially on ridge tops.
To me a cold blooded tough little devil fits the bill of pack horse say a Dales or Fell pony (look up on Google).

There are some of the questions for you to consider. They are all "why not to do it?" type responses. Strikes me you need more "Why to do it" points of view.

As for 2 yo QHs - well, if brought on in a kindly fashion, they will always sell won't they?

xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 08-11-2009, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lima, Montana.
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yeah, once I get him over the original pack horse problem, I'm planning to take him onto some little trails... After all, it literally is my backyard! ha. Dad's friend is very willing to learn and will take good care of him. When the horse was first in his care, he was absolutely wild... Mark has brought him out of that, he really is a good horseman, just doesn't have the time I think. Thanks for the questions though, they're helpful! Yeah, he is tall, but mark has to have big horses... He's a big guy. And he doesn't pack tons, just maybe twice a year. I actually don't think that the horse would be the one packing, I think it would be the riding horse, but he still freaks out about trails. His feet are awesome. Best feet I've seen on a big horse in a long time. I have a horse that gets along with everyone... You know, the good ol' boy type. haha. I know I can give him back without a problem... Done that before. Mark will keep him up to speed, he just lives in town and can't work the horse through his problems... Wish I knew his name, lol. Would be so much easier than typing the horse.....

Do you think it would cost a lot? I have pack saddles and things... He'll provide hay and grain. The only thing that might be the issue is time, but I think once he's here, I'll be so eager to get to him that I'll make time. Of course, I'm kind of hung up on the whole fixing him lol. I often overlook potential costs. What am I missing here... There's probably something... Ha.

I really don't know how nervous he is - Never seen him on a trail. From what I've heard, he's not violent or freaking out... Sounds like he just refuses to move or lays down. I've talked to mark a little about the horse. He just doesn't have the time/place to work through that. Once the horse gets a little confidence and trust in people I bet he'll come right out of it, but that takes time........

As for 2 yo QHs - well, if brought on in a kindly fashion, they will always sell won't they?
Hope so! =)

Thanks for your replies, guys!

To rein a horse is not only to guide him,
but also to control his every movement.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-11-2009, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
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From your last post , remember even if you can turn the horse around, the chances are that the horse will come to relate to you and not his occasional master, Mark. Horses have long memories and some horses abused by men in the past won't like the smell of man.
But you know the horse and you know Mark - maybe he has the touch.

Incidentally a Dales pony - used in Roman times to carry lead (the metal) off the mountain sides in central Britain are only 14 hands high. They are as tough as they come and usually very gentle. They are a very ancient breed and have been used in Britain for centuries until the late 1800s as pack horses. A very special breed but usually expensive to buy.

Regarding the Quarter Horses. 2 years ago I looked at a QH for myself. I found a nice one, 4 years old, well cared for. Backed to saddle and ready to go - price, well, in US money at the time about $9000. 5000 was before the financial crisis not an unfair price - nowadays the market is very quiet.
But one day it will return. There are not many QHs in the UK - but there again not many folks ride Western.
But just think, if you could train the $800 QHs to swim the Atlantic you'd make a fortune. Sadly air flight tickets for horses cost a packet.
Anyway, we would have to teach those critturs to ride collected (on the bit) with their necks and heads held up high.

re Horse Decision - simple really. Can you afford in money and time to do what you obviously want to do?

Best of luck in your decision

Barry G
xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 08-11-2009, 08:40 PM
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I hate to say this, but if the horse is like this years after the accident, your chances of making him into a pack horse are very slim. Additionally, if you do manage to work him out of it, there is no guarantee that he won't revert back when he is on the trail with someone else.

The problem with buying 2 year olds and turning them around (selling them as "prospects") before they are trained is that most folks won't take the risk and pay for training upfront. Most folks want a horse that is proven and when they are ready to buy, they buy what they want, not what the horse might become in time. There are just too many good horses going for reasonable prices out there to take a chance. Additionally, when you train for others, you are expected to produce results in a relatively short amount of time. Not many buyers are willing to wait months to be able to try out their new ranch horse or reiner. If I were you, I'd go take a look at them and see if they really are "quality". Papers with good bloodlines don't guarantee a quality horse. I've seen papered dinks that I wouldn't pay a nickel for. IF they are quality, figure up how much it will cost you to keep/maintain them - how long you expect to keep them before they are ready to be sold and subtract that amount from what you expect to get for them and see what your bottom line is (profit or loss). If training for money is your goal, then you should figure what you would normally charge for a month's training/board, and whether or not you can recoup that in the price of the horse...or...whether you'd be dollars and cents ahead just taking in horses for training. Let's say you charge $500/month training/board. If you bought one of these horses for $200 and it took you 3 months to get it sale ready, you'd have to sell him for $1,700 to break even because the time it took you to train him cost you a horse you could've taken in for training during that same time frame.

Last edited by Horse Poor; 08-11-2009 at 08:48 PM.
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