I feel awful inside.
We sold a horse recently to a family new to horses. Their daughter has been taking lessons for some time and they felt she was ready for her own horse. This was not a pressure sale - they were looking for a middle aged gelding that they could send for training at a barrel racer's so that their daughter and the horse could progress together. We split the cost of a month's training with the potential buyers who indicated that if they liked the horse after a month's regular training with a barrel racing trainer, they would buy him. They went ahead with the deal.
Their daughter, who is 12, rode the horse regularly for a month at the trainer's first, and he passed his vet check with flying colors. Everyone involved said that they felt good about it, the daughter was thrilled, the trainer was confident that all would go well, and so on. We bid him goodbye, signed the bill of sale, and cashed the cheque.
Tonight they took him to 4H, and after two hours of riding, the horse bucked their 12 year old daughter off. The trainer then got on in order to control him, and he bucked her off.
I am terribly upset that this happened. In the 2.5 years that we owned him, he never bucked. In the month and a week that they've been riding him at the trainer's, he never bucked. I just hate to think of this young girl becoming frightened and hurt by him. I really wanted this to go well. The buyer also signed a bill of sale that says that he assumes responsibility for the horse, so I know that on paper, this technically isn't our problem... but it's still a terrible situation.
What would make a horse start bucking after two hours of riding? His vet check was two weeks ago and he came out clean. I am shocked and stumped by this behaviour and would appreciate any input you could provide. All I can guess is that something was hurting and after two hours, he'd finally had enough, but I am not sure if that's a reasonable explanation or not.
Anyone have any ideas?