Selling a bolter
 
 

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Selling a bolter

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        06-21-2014, 04:25 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Unhappy Selling a bolter

    I have a dilemma. I'm trying to sell my horse and, as you can imagine, I'm having a hard time doing so. The background is, he came to me as a bolter, without me knowing about the problem. (Aside from the fact that nothing I did in those early days could have solidified that problem so concretely if it was NEW, I have solid evidence that he had the problem before I bought him, and wasn't told. The former owner insists she didn't know.) He bolted on me several times—sometimes I came off, sometimes I emergency-dismounted, eventually I learned to stick on and stop him. However, despite me coming off at first, these were all true bolts, not attempts to get out of work or naughtiness. I had another girl riding him for a while, who learned that if he was prevented from bolting, like with rein pressure, he would rear as an escape. As a fun addition, he will also buck when landing off a jump if the rider isn't super, super soft with their hands.

    This makes him sound like the worst horse ever, and I agree that those are very serious vices. But he's not a lost cause at all. I have worked with him very extensively over the past year on desensitizing him and teaching him not to be afraid of things. He only bolts when he's scared out of his mind and that happens MUCH less often now. (He's also on a calming supplement that really helps.) The last two times it happened was, one, when I was deliberately pushing him past his comfort zone for training purposes—I pushed too far. Two, at a show where I pushed him too far again—it was the same scary situation as the first time, just a different day/place. He only ever rears when he can't bolt (and not every time)—and it's always been when I've used too much bit, which I no longer even consider—so again, that has been much less of a problem. The bucking has disappeared since I've worked on keeping my hands soft over jumps.

    He has some pretty good points, I feel the need to point out. He has beautiful movement, and the potential to do really well as a show horse (he's ribboned a bunch at shows, but he acted up at the last one, oh joy.) He has really nice dressage potential and some excellent dressage scores at our eventing schooling shows. He jumps with amazing form—he needs some work to improve his confidence in jumping, which I am currently working on, and it's coming along well. He's nice on trails and surefooted. He's really sweet. He's suuuuper pretty. But no one so far has been willing to take a chance on him. I understand that completely—I'm not going to be buying a bolter either. (He's for sale because he's not suited for eventing, and I want an eventing horse.) And I won't sell him without disclosing his vices, because I think that's unethical and dangerous. (I WISH his last owner had felt the same way!)

    So my question is, what's the best strategy to get him into a better-suited home—without leaving me broke? I understand that I'm not likely to get my asking price for him. I'm asking 4.5k for him (highish for my area, but exactly what I paid for him, not knowing he was a bolter) and mostly selling him as a show horse, potential dressage or hunter. I'm working on training him to improve as a hunter while he's for sale. I could drop my price, and I have been entertaining the idea, but that does bring in questions of how much I can drop it and still afford another horse, and perceptions of his value. Is there anything other than that that might help? Should I try and market him differently, or do something else? I don't think spending the money on additional training from someone else would help; he's had a lot of retraining already and I'd still end up having to disclose his problems.

    Thanks (and sorry for the novel!)
         
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        06-21-2014, 06:04 AM
      #2
    Started
    I apologize in advance if I come across as a right cow...

    IMO this horse has little to no resale value. You have a horse that bolts and rears. I don't know many people who would touch a horse who rears with a ten foot barge pole. With the issues described, it doesnt matter how nice a mover he is... He has serious problems that could seriously injure somebody.

    Just my opinion, and as I'm not in your part of the world I could be completely wrong. Over here you would be lucky not to just give him away. Also saying this, there are alot of people on here who know the market far better than I and they could tell you differently. I wish you all the best with him though :)
         
        06-21-2014, 01:06 PM
      #3
    Foal
    I understand that position. However, I'm not keeping him (I would if I could afford two horses, but I can't.) And I'm absolutely not putting him down. I will keep him forever rather than do that. That leaves me with selling him. There aren't any other options that I'm aware of.
         
        06-21-2014, 01:17 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    The only thing is to sell him AS a problem/project horse. There are people out there who love these kind of horses. Myself included, if I had the money and place, I'd take him off your hands no problem.

    There is a market for horses like him. Advertise him as needing a "very experienced rider" and as a "project horse". It will take a while, but you can find the right buyer. Just don't disclose too much information on the sale add itself.

    Be upfront with people, they can appreciate that. I sold a rotten H/J pony to a young girl. I completely disclosed all his vices and information and they still bought him. I talk to her from time to time, he still rears and gives her trouble. However she is working with a very very good trainer and has been since day 1. She has told me over and over that she has learned so much from him and that she is a better rider because of him.

    Problem/project horses IMO are the ones you can learn the most from. And like I said, there IS a market for them. It's just very limited.
         
        06-21-2014, 01:17 PM
      #5
    Weanling
    After watching a friend of mine almost be killed when her horse reared and fell on her, I wouldn't ever touch a rearer much less than a bolter. Is there any really good trainers out your way that could see the "potential" in this horse? I'm stretching here but maybe one would take it on for the resale value. Personally I would never sell it to anyone but a trained professional, or I would keep it as a pasture pet, or put it down.
         
        06-21-2014, 01:24 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phoquess    
    I have a dilemma. I'm trying to sell my horse and, as you can imagine, I'm having a hard time doing so. The background is, he came to me as a bolter, without me knowing about the problem. (Aside from the fact that nothing I did in those early days could have solidified that problem so concretely if it was NEW, I have solid evidence that he had the problem before I bought him, and wasn't told. The former owner insists she didn't know.) He bolted on me several times—sometimes I came off, sometimes I emergency-dismounted, eventually I learned to stick on and stop him. However, despite me coming off at first, these were all true bolts, not attempts to get out of work or naughtiness. I had another girl riding him for a while, who learned that if he was prevented from bolting, like with rein pressure, he would rear as an escape. As a fun addition, he will also buck when landing off a jump if the rider isn't super, super soft with their hands.

    This makes him sound like the worst horse ever, and I agree that those are very serious vices. But he's not a lost cause at all. I have worked with him very extensively over the past year on desensitizing him and teaching him not to be afraid of things. He only bolts when he's scared out of his mind and that happens MUCH less often now. (He's also on a calming supplement that really helps.) The last two times it happened was, one, when I was deliberately pushing him past his comfort zone for training purposes—I pushed too far. Two, at a show where I pushed him too far again—it was the same scary situation as the first time, just a different day/place. He only ever rears when he can't bolt (and not every time)—and it's always been when I've used too much bit, which I no longer even consider—so again, that has been much less of a problem. The bucking has disappeared since I've worked on keeping my hands soft over jumps.

    He has some pretty good points, I feel the need to point out. He has beautiful movement, and the potential to do really well as a show horse (he's ribboned a bunch at shows, but he acted up at the last one, oh joy.) He has really nice dressage potential and some excellent dressage scores at our eventing schooling shows. He jumps with amazing form—he needs some work to improve his confidence in jumping, which I am currently working on, and it's coming along well. He's nice on trails and surefooted. He's really sweet. He's suuuuper pretty. But no one so far has been willing to take a chance on him. I understand that completely—I'm not going to be buying a bolter either. (He's for sale because he's not suited for eventing, and I want an eventing horse.) And I won't sell him without disclosing his vices, because I think that's unethical and dangerous. (I WISH his last owner had felt the same way!)

    So my question is, what's the best strategy to get him into a better-suited home—without leaving me broke? I understand that I'm not likely to get my asking price for him. I'm asking 4.5k for him (highish for my area, but exactly what I paid for him, not knowing he was a bolter) and mostly selling him as a show horse, potential dressage or hunter. I'm working on training him to improve as a hunter while he's for sale. I could drop my price, and I have been entertaining the idea, but that does bring in questions of how much I can drop it and still afford another horse, and perceptions of his value. Is there anything other than that that might help? Should I try and market him differently, or do something else? I don't think spending the money on additional training from someone else would help; he's had a lot of retraining already and I'd still end up having to disclose his problems.

    Thanks (and sorry for the novel!)
    With these things I've highlighted. I would without a doubt stop jumping him until these problems are addressed. I would list him as a "potential" H/J and dressage horse. Explain that he needs to be started from scratch over jumps. Because he does. A horse that bucks when he gets yanked on is a horse that needs to go back to basics. Much less a bolter you can't pull on, then rears if you do? That is an awful and very bad combination. This horse needs to go back to bending, guiding, getting pulled on. Until he gets over himself and starts behaving.

    Explain to the buyers that he CAME to you like this and he is a product of a poor foundation.

    Also, I understand he has beautiful movement, is a nice horse, sweet, etc. But I wouldn't pay more than 2k at the most for a horse with these behaviors.
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
        06-21-2014, 07:12 PM
      #7
    Foal
    .Delete, that's the general line I have taken, selling him as "potential H/J or dressage." He HAS been restarted over jumps and we have done lots and lots of basic work. Like I said, it's coming along well. He's a lot better than he used to be—the retraining process has been going on for a while. So I don't think he needs to be re-restarted, he just needs to continue in the same line that I've been doing with him. The rearing ONLY happens in a curb, so I never recommend it for him. If I catch him getting nervous or strong, he does respond well to a one-rein stop before he works himself into a bolt. The bucking was, I believe, partially a defensive movement because he wasn't confident over jumps—and like I said, that has gone away. I'm sure down the road once he's more experienced and more confident, he'll be fine even with pulling, but he's pretty inexperienced with jumping now so I'm not going to expect perfection under every circumstance just yet. He sounds worse than he is because I don't feel like he's "cured" of his vices yet—but he's a lot better than his worst moments.
         
        06-21-2014, 07:47 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Personally, depending on the potential I were to see with my own eyes, I'd -maybe- pay $1000 for him, maybe.

    I, personally, prefer problem horses as oppose to those that are considered perfect. It adds just a little more..spice to every ride. I bought my mare for $525, beautifully bred (found out later), very bold, not spooky, and dangerous. She would bolt, but the worst of it was on the ground. You couldn't walk her without a stud chain and a dressage whip unless you were fond of your toes being stepped on and beat up with a horse head.

    I'm currently trying to sell her for $1000 after putting HOURS of training into her. I wouldn't have really called her broke very much when I got her, maybe a few rides after being off the track (3-4years back). She now WTC, leads without anything (no halter or lead), flying lead changes, jumps good enough to get away with it, a solid trail horse that goes over/under/through anything, good whoa, listens to seat/leg aids, mostly neck-reins, and a possible brood mare with how nice her lines are. I've had two people interested, that's it.

    I highly doubt you'll get anything more than $1000 for her. If I could still afford a horse (well, two), I'd take him for $500-$750, since the market in our area is way down.

    Honestly though..he doesn't sound like a tough case. He doesn't rear unless you're harsh with the reins, and only rears when he can't bolt..So take him sideways before he gets a chance to really start moving in a bolt and keep him going on a circle to prevent the rear. Sounds like case closed to me, granted-I haven't actually seen or rode him.

    Good luck though.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
        06-21-2014, 08:53 PM
      #9
    Foal
    I think you need to find a trainer, have them help you with the problem, and then have the trainer help you sell the horse to an experienced horse person who can continue working with the horse. If you are tight on $ see if you can find a trainer who can help with the problem and then get their money after the horse has been sold. Not much else I can suggest a horse like that around here would be dog food, I get offers for horses like this for free all the time, Heck I even get people trying to give me young broke horses who are well behaved, and I just can't take them all. Hope you can sell him. Good luck!
         
        06-21-2014, 09:08 PM
      #10
    Trained
    H/J and Dressage are pretty different, so to sell him as a "potential" in either, he needs to have *something* that demonstrates that potential. But if you've gone to eventing shows, why do you consider him unsuitable for eventing? Schooling shows are one thing, but has he competed and placed in rated shows? If not, I wouldn't consider him a show horse - especially when he's not trained in a discipline and is considered by you to be only a 'potential'.

    $4500 is way, WAY too much money for a horse with issues like these. I understand and sympathize that you need the money from his sale to be able to purchase another horse, but you have to be realistic and price him at what he's worth. Look at other project/problem horses in your area and adjust your price accordingly.

    You could also keep him for a while and send him out for training for a few months if you can afford that.
    smrobs, Cherie, 2BigReds and 2 others like this.
         

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