Went to look at 2 horses tonight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Virginia, USA
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Went to look at 2 horses tonight

This is going to be long...sorry.

My husband and I went to look at 2 horses for lease tonight. We still consider ourselves beginners...we have been taking lessons for 1.5 years and didn't start riding until we were both 39. We pretty much have the w/t/c down pretty good. We absolutely love it and are addicted.

I saw an ad on craigslist for horses for lease. (Both thoroughbreds...but advertised as very gentle and safe) Each one was $200 a month..on farm...and that price included everything. All we would need to do is ride and shower the horses with attention. It would be a month to month lease.

The farm was beautiful...situated on 70 acres with an outdoor riding ring and wooded trails.

When we first went out to the field with the owner of the farm, she took us to the horse she thought would be good for my husband. This horse is just being boarded there. The owner of the horse is in the process of getting a divorce and doesn't have time for it anymore and asked if the barn owner could find someone to lease it. The first thing I noticed was this horrible smell and then I saw that the horse's halter had embedded into the poor horse's skin. I immediately pointed that out to the barn owner. She seemed mortified and said that it must have just happened. Now, she brings that horse into a stall to feed it everyday...how could she not have noticed that???? If she didn't see it, she sure could have smelled it. She blamed it on the horse's owner...that she hadn't been out to groom or take care of her horse in months. I was immediately turned off but thought we would see what happened.

She then showed me the horse that she thought would be good for me. This one was actually owned by her...she pointed to a horse that was a good 200-300 pounds underweight. (her words) I am not really familiar with thoroughbreds....I have only ridden QH's but her back seemed so bony and she looked swaybacked to me. Once again, I know nothing about the breed so I am not sure if she just looked so bad because I am used to my fat and happy QH lesson horse. The BO said that she was out of town for a couple weeks last month and that this horse is so attached to her that she loses weight each time she goes away. She said her brother feeds her but she won't eat.

I don't know why we didn't leave right then because I just had a bad feeling in my gut...but we decided to go ahead and tack them up and ride them. (To the BO's credit, she did clean and medicate the wounds on the first horse before we tacked him up)

The horses are extremely well trained and very easy to ride. They have great energy.

The BO really, REALLY, wants us to lease these horses so we can show them the attention they need. And I know they do need the attention...but $400 a month is a lot of money for us and I didn't envision us riding malnourished horses with open wounds.

I usually rely on my gut to tell me what to do and my gut is telling me that these are not the horses for us. But then the guilt sets in because I know those horses need someone like my husband and I to ride them often and show them love.

So, I need some experienced people to tell me what you would do. Do you go with your gut and run far, far away?
corgi is offline  
post #2 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 10:20 PM
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I would avoid the situation myself. I think you are asking for heartache and frustration. However, I am a bit torn, since I do feel very sorry for the horses. I am also concerned somewhat that these horses may act very differently when they are well fed and taken care of.
Were their feet done and taken care of? Who takes care of the vet bills, etc? If you DO decide to try it (it IS month to month, after all) then make SURE you get a really good written contract delineating who does what, who pays for what, and a WHOLE lot of "what ifs". For sure, the one horse's contract would have to be signed by the owner, not the BO. Not sure I would trust her as far as I could throw her. Also, with no indoor, just remember you will have many times in the fall, winter and spring when you can't ride, but will still be paying....altho I do know that indoors are not as common in Va-I just had a hard time finding one for the winter myself! Good news is, we will most likely NOT have lots of snow again! BTDT!
Not sure if there are any places in Va where you are that are larger barns with instructors and such that offer leases-they may be more reliable, and you could perhaps do a partial lease to save some$? I hate to see two greenies like you and your hubby go out on your own just yet. I do think you would both do better with SOME support of other owners, etc. It is hard to learn when noone is around who knows much! JMHO

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franknbeans is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Franknbeans. The barn where we are currently taking lessons has both an indoor and an outdoor ring so we were able to ride all winter. (In fact, we rode the night before the "big one" hit the state last year.) We really like the trainer and the farm is just gorgeous. There are not any horses for lease at that barn currently....there is always a chance there will be in the future. I am beginning to think that a big part of my negative reaction tonight is due to realizing we may not be ready to leave our lesson barn yet. So I think I will email the lady we saw tonight and tell her we are not ready. She did offer to give us free lessons for the first few months....but that still didn't make me feel better about the situation.
The horses had shoes and their feet looked good when I picked them up to clean them. And you are right about needing something in writing from the owner...My husband and I had already discussed that. The lease agreement would have stated that the owners are responsible for all care, including farrier and vet. It's really not a bad deal....but probably just not for us.
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 12:04 AM
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Good idea. I wouldn't trust this lady, she sounds kind of untrustworthy.
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 12:18 AM
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A lot of times, when a horse starts putting on weight, their original calm demeanor fades away and they turn out to be aggressive, high-energy, mind-of-their-own renegades once at a healthy weight. You see it a lot with rescue horses....people buy because of the sweet temperament, but they turn out to be nutcases when they've got some nutrition to their name.

Of course, as you'd just be doing a month-to-month lease, you could simply stop leasing them if they turned out to be uber-hyper.

I'm more concerned about the honesty of the B.O. You said the property was gorgeous and well-mantained, but it smelled terrible and the horses weren't in the best care?

What I would do is try leasing them for one month, see how it goes, and if you'd like to continue leasing them, continue.
equiniphile is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 12:41 AM
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I wouldn't lease them. I would take some photos and tell the lady you need to think about it. March down to your local humane society /Spca and tell them they NEED to do a welfare check ASAP.

If that got you nowhere I would take photos down to the sheriff. Sorry but it takes MONTHS for a halter to embed in the face. That is downright neglect. And there is NO way a horse will starve itself like that- I call shenanigans on her.

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 12:59 AM
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I smell a liar. If you feel that bad about the horses, ask if she would consider an off the farm lease. Otherwise, like draftrider said, call humane society.

My first horse had an embedded halter. That smell is horrible. He had been turned out with a tight halter one morning and they never came back. It took quite some effort to cut the halter out of his poor face. He always had a 'permanent' halter in white scarred hairs on his face. Its so sad to see
corinowalk is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 01:50 AM
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My mini was tied to a fence the first 5 years of her life, with the same halter she had had as a foal as a 5-yr old. The owners didn't even bother adjusting the noseband when it seemed a little tight! And it went a ton bigger....she had halter marks on her face, it was pretty bad, but not as bad as some I've heard of.
equiniphile is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 04:21 AM
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If you don't feel you're ready to leave your lesson barn, I'd look for a "free, off-farm lease" where you pay for the upkeep of the horse and board it at your lesson barn.
CheyAut is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 07-23-2010, 09:19 AM
Green Broke
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Originally Posted by CheyAut View Post
If you don't feel you're ready to leave your lesson barn, I'd look for a "free, off-farm lease" where you pay for the upkeep of the horse and board it at your lesson barn.

Sounds like your lesson barn is a good place, and if they don't have horses available for you to lease there, look for ones you can keep there. "free lease/feed lease" horses are common right now due to the economy. If the BO is neglecting horses under the care of others, she will neglect horses under your care as well. While I am a big believer in people being responsible for their own horses even when boarded, the BO does have some responsibilities as well in making sure the horses remain healthy and cared for. Sounds like she is failing to step up.

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