Rebel's History With Us: (Quite a lot, we've owned him for 5 years)
When we bought Rebel, we were being guided by a friend of ours that we believed, at the time, to be quite horse savvy (in some areas yes, in helping a person pick out a good fitting horse?? Not so much..) Also, at the time, we knew quite a bit about horses, but we weren't savvy on what to look for in buying. I am not placing all the blame on her by any means, we are the one's who ultimately decided to buy him. **Note** I did witness her push another person to buy a horse that was totally wrong for them. A EXTREMELY GREEN rider wanted a horse that she could learn to ride on and take trail riding. So what does she do? Have her buy a 5 year old GREEN BROKE paint mare that's a bit dingy.
In 2006 Rebel was a stallion at the time and in my eyes very cute ( and still is to me ). I instantly fell in love with him. Well, looking back, since I wanted a trail horse I should have asked to test him on the trail. Also, I now realize that she was a horse dealer and didn't really have any idea of Rebel's history. I really should never have bought a stallion, but Rebel did NOT act like a stallion whatsoever (was pastured with mares, didn't have an attitude, ect...). The lady was going to have him gelded though and then sell him too us for a couple extra hundred bucks. Our friend talked us into not getting him gelded though because he really didn't act like a stallion. This was fine by me because I didn't want to have to wait a few extra weeks to get him anyways.
The first year we had him, we had a good time. Only problems I really had with him was picking him up into canter (which I was working on.) We kept in with our mare and they got along fine. Well, it was bound to happen, my mare came into heat and pestered him SOOO MUCH that he actually ,for the first few days, got pissed and stood with his head in the corner annoyed. We were actually working on putting up another corral for him, but we weren't fast enough. He wound up breeding her and they produced a beautiful little filly.
After Rebel bred Dandy he suddenly became more stubborn, more unpredictable, fresh, and if we were riding with other mares he was a total knuckle head. Since I was about 12 - 13 at the time, my dad would freak out if Rebel started to flick me some attitude and order me off him. Yes, the WORST THING IN THE WORLD YOU COULD EVER DO, but my dad didn't really care because he didn't want me hurt, understandably. Well, after getting crappy, and me having to climb off as a result, we created a total monster horse. Realizing this, we figured we would go ahead and have him gelded to see if it would tone him down a bit and then start training him again.
So, in the summer (May I believe?) we had him gelded. Things went great, he healed up and we believed we would live happily ever after. Haha, silly us. That fall/winter he started becoming lame, his sheath suddenly got swollen and we called the vet. She found an abscess in his leg and first diagnosed it as Pigeon Fever. That was a nightmare!! Trying to keep two other horses and dogs quarantined and keep us sanitized with 2ft of snow on the ground was no fun. When the test came back negative for Pigeon Fever, the vet came back to take another look at his leg. She figured it was just an abscess, most likely she thought something got in the wound during his gelding and the body was trying to flush it out. We placed him on a course of anti-biotic which cleared it up. We thought we were out of the woods until a spring when it was back! We fought with it some, called the vet back and she put him on the anti-biotics again and ran some more tests. It cleared up again and she wasn't quite sure what was going on, so she wanted us to monitor it and watch if it came back. Well, it did. Just a hole in his leg that oozes pus.
So, in Jan. Of 2010 they did surgery on him to get in there and see what was going on. By now they thought it looked like the gelding had gone wrong (can't pronounce the medical term). What they found was a hard, unidentified lump deep in his leg in a web of veins. They didn't want to cut it out because if they cut a vein they were worried he would bleed to death. They hoped that getting in there and cleaning it out that it would just go away I guess. -rolls eyes- Again, it did go away until this last summer.
The hole is in his leg (not huge, just big enough to ooze). He is not lame or sore to the touch really. We have been talking to the vets and they got a head surgeon from a VERY nice medical facility that specializes in these things (not going to mention names) to volunteer to do the surgery for free. We were going to take him in for an Ultra Sound sometime within the next couple days so the surgeon could see what's going on, then bring him back to a local stables to preform the surgery. However, now the vet is not returning our calls and they were already saying that the big surgeon did not see much hope in fixing Rebel. He has seen these kind of things before and that there is not much you can do. This is a risk in getting an older horse gelded.
As far as his training goes. He's still pretty unpredictable on the trail. I can now handle him, but you cannot trot / canter him because he gets too excited and doesn't want to stop. He has a pretty nice head set on him, is really starting to use his shoulder in the arena. My problem is, that I have to go between my parents house every other week. So trying to get solid training into him has been difficult. I'll take him to my professional trainer friend and we'll get him going pretty nice, but then after he sits for awhile (week or so) you have to fight with him and regain your respect. (Very tiring). I think he would be great for an advanced person who could ride him more often. However, with my lifestyle I just don't have the time. Plus, I probably don't ride him as much as I could because it's such a process with him. Then this of course is not fair to him because he's not being used to his full potential.
Down to the questions:
I think that whether we can cure him or not, I am going to need to find him another home after it is all said and done. As much as I feel really bad for it, I have been diligently trying to make this work for a couple years now and it's just not happening. He is just one of those horses that need to be ridden on a constant basis (3-4 x's a week) (something I cannot offer).
Scenario 1: How much should I ask?
- He has been cured! I put a month or two of solid training into him and get him going nicely in the arena, using his shoulder, head set, giving to leg pressure, keeping himself collected, ect... Have his manners tuned up on the trail. He's an easy keeper, doesn't need shoes, keeps his weight nicely, no health issues (anymore). Nice ground manners, comes when you whistle, trailers, ties, stands for farrier, angel for the vet, stands freely for a bath, can be ponied, crosses water, gets along with mares or geldings. UTD on shots and worming. Stands at 14.3 hands, is about 14 y/o. At this point I would love to keep him, except I've had him close to this point, except he just loses it if you don't stay on him. All his ground manners are great, just riding I'm working on.
Scenario 2: How much should I ask?
- It winds up the surgeon can't do anything for him. He will always have a small hole on the inside of his upper right thigh that oozes (where they went in to geld him). Possibly limited exercise, stated by vet. Pretty much everything else, again though riding may be limited? I'm not sure, he doesn't go lame after working so I don't see an exercise limit for him. Although I don't ride really hard, mostly just arena work (working on collecting himself at the trot, working up to canter) and trail riding at a walk.
My main concern really is finding him a good home that will love and care for him. I do love Rebel VERY MUCH. He has taught me a lot and we have had some really good times together. It's just I think we would both be happier if we could find more suitable companions. Money isn't the factor in finding him a home. I will give him to someone to free, just as long as I can keep in touch and be assured he is living to his full potential.
What do you think? Below are some pictures of him that I took a while back.
At the moment his tail is to his hocks, my filly chewed it off while we were away on vacation at the beach this summer.