In desperate need for advice on a horse. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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In desperate need for advice on a horse.

Hi there.
I really am in need of some advice.

My friend has a horse that she's had since she was a yearling, now she's 11, and I'm thinking of free leasing her.

A little about me. I'm 23 years old and I have been riding since May of 2014.
After my first lesson, I became obsessed. My WORLD became horses. One day a week was never enough, even though I was spening 12 hours a day around the barn (5 or more of it being on a horse or two). So I started riding at another barn, where I was (and still am) taking private lessons with one of the top cutting riders in the state of Vermont.

My desicion to take lessons at another barn, stemed from not being fully happy with my original situation. At the barn I started at, I was told there would be no more then 2 or 3 of us during a lesson, when in actuallity there could be almost 8 of us (majority of kids under the age of 12) in the ring. The instructor was never supportive of me. She would say one thing, and seem like she has faith in my abilities, and then the next denounce it, saying I don't have enough experience (even if she's the one who suggested it to do it in the first place).

Now, today, I ride at just one place, once a week (the place where it's just me and the instructor). I talked with my instructor about wanting to get a horse and she is supportive of it. She thinks it's a great idea. The only way to gain experience is to ride as much as you can.

Last time I was there, the week before last (wasn't able to ride last week due to her not being available), I told her how my friend was offering her horse up to me for a free lease with option to buy. At the time I didn't have as much information on my friends horse, that I do now.

The horses name is Genisis, "she is a good girl she needs work right now cuz she has had about a year n a half off but once she is back working id put a begginer on her. She still needs a lil work on her canter leads I just havent had time to work with her. She does go English and western she is great on the trail she does need front shoes if you you are going to be riding her she does have a touch of arthritis in her hock on the left side I did buy her some wrapps for that and if you put them on after she works for a few mins she does fine. She also was the one that got spooked and went through the round pen and cut her leg really bad thats all healed up but she doesnt have a tendon she she moves a lil differant the vets say she is fine to ride just about anything just not alot of jumping wich she really could care less about cuz she is so lazy hope this helps let me know if you need more info she is a really good girl just needs some one of her own to trust n work with"

That is what she responded when I was asking my friend about her. With her responce, I had more questions.

So how old is she?
Why shoes only on the front? Is it because of the arthritis in her left hock?
Is she on any athritis supplements?
What are the wraps? Are they reusable? or do they have to be replaced each time? Is it just one wrap or for each leg?
How spooky is she?

Her reply was
"She is 11 she has ouchy front feet so needs shoes her hind feet are good I've had her seince she was a yearling and she has never needed hind shoes. The wraps are the back on track reusable wrapps. I dont have her on any supplements right now cuz she is just standing around but if I was to put her back to work I would put her on something shes not spooky at all s H took her for a trail ride and had no problems with her she does need some work cuz she hasnt been worked but when she is back in the swing of things she is fine"

Today I met Genisis, and just about fell in love with her personality that I could see at the moment. I know I can't just go on that and have to take in every thing.

She told me I could talk to her vet. We also talked about when it warms up a little bit more (because everything is really icey where we are), I could try her out and she'd help me work with her a bit.

My neighbors 10 year old learned how to ride on her and used to show with her, when she was being worked almost reguarly.

My friend did mention that after her leg healed up she was free leased for a year at this lesson barn, which turned out to be a bad situation. When she was brought back home, she coward at the back of her stall. Now a little over a year later, she is doing much better and will be the first one to great you when you come into the barn.

My whole point to this thread is, should I free lease her? I know that if I become more set into doing it, I will deffinately have a vet check her over and talk with her ferrier.

Thank you :)
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 04:47 AM
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what did you mean. the horse has no tendon.. where is there no tendon ? A horse with hock issues will not be good for arena work, IMO , Ouchy fronts ? is she laminitic ? or foundered ? navicular ? has she had her front feet x rayed ? Why does she need work on her canter leads ? is this because she has NO tendon?
I see red flags. If you were just using her to dink around on, and could afford Vet fees, then maybe.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 10:17 AM
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I think I would do a bit more research into her "problems."

If she severed her extensor tendon and that is what your friend is talking about, from what I know most do well once the area is healed. If you want to get more into riding cutting horses, hock problems will limit her usage.

I would also want to know why the horse is ouchy on her front feet and requires shoes. For example if the horse is navicular that too will limit usage. If she has foundered then she is at risk for founder and you have to be conscious about preventing another episode.

As for training issues your example she needs work on leads that is a manageable/teachable problem provided there is not a physical reason she is not picking up leads.

I would get an evaluation by an outside vet that your trainer recommends, with whatever information the other vet has on the history of the horse. Past exams, x-rays ect. I would also have a trusted outside farrier look at the feet.

Should you decide to "free lease" this horse get everything in writing as to who is responsible for what. IMO you should not be responsible for maintaining a horse with known problems and the owner getting free training, free vet bills, and free farrier work on her horse, at that point it is not a free lease for you, it is a free lease for her.

While the prospect of having a horse to call your own is exciting don't jump into it, or feel pressured into the wrong horse. I think you are smart asking questions and doing research first. Good luck
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 10:21 AM
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All the above!
A horse with a missing tendon is never going to be sound.

If you want to go into reining then my answer would be this horse isn't suitable.

The best thing to do would be to take your trainer to have a look at her. See her ridden, have trainer rode her and then you rose her.

Several things for me do not add up. A horse that is beginner safe yet got spooked enough to break out through the panels of a round pen? What spooked her - a lion?

It is a very easy mistake for someone terribly keen to go see a horse and fall in love with it. More often than not this can be a big mistake.
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 10:39 AM
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I would pass.

You are a new rider who wants lots of riding time on a horse. A horse who has lameness problem is not going to be the type of horse that can stand up to that. Even if it's a free lease. It's not going to allow you to meet YOUR goals.

There will be another horse you will fall in love with.

I'd pass on this one. Way too many problems for someone's first horse.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 11:01 AM
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Decide what you want, then pick a horse accordingly.
If you are very ambitious about riding (and that's what it sounds like), this mare might not a good match for several reasons.
For one, it sounds like the mare has several health issues (hock arthritis, old tendon injury, "ouchy" front feet). This might not be an issue if you trail ride a bit, but from what it sounds like, you are looking for a horse that you can work a bit harder. Especially cutting is hard on the joints, so you might have issues with unsoundness soon. If you do free lease her, make sure you get an independent vet to evaluate her beforehand, and make a contract that lay out what happens when she goes (permanently) lame. Will she be paying for vet bills and medical procedures like hock injections etc if needed? You don't want to be stuck paying for a horse you can't ride, or the owner accusing you of having lamed her horse.

Secondly, it sounds like this mare might have some training issues. Nothing major, she might have a good attitude, but having sat for a long time she will be out of shape. Nobody here will be able to tell you how she reacts to a lot of intense work. Some horses are happy and thrive with a lot of work, some - especially when you push them too fast - become sour. Also, picking up canter leads is something pretty basic and suggests that she doesn't have a ton of (professional) training on her.

With the health issues, and the questionable training, I think if I were you I would pass. If I were ambitious about getting better, I'd look for a horse that is sound well trained, and has a good character, maybe with a bit of scope to move up.

If you decide to lease, even if it is from a friend, make sure you have a good contract in place that defines both your and the horse owner's rights and responsibilities. It should include things such as financial issues (e.g. who pays for board, feed, farrier, supplements, tack, routine and emergency vet visits?), but also organizational stuff (e.g. what is the procedure to terminate the lease? Can you take the horse off property, to lessons or shows? Who makes decisions about tack, farrier and veterinary care?).
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 07:21 PM
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I do think leasing/free leasing a horse before buying is a very good idea. My first thought on this particular horse was a big NO! I think you've been given some very good advice on here. But of course, in the end, you do what you think is best for you.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 08:08 PM
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If it were me, I would pass. Questions I would be asking my self is how often do I want to ride? With all the issues she may not be able to take to it. How far do I want to advance in the sport? You don't want to be held back because she can't advance with you. With problems this early on and her only being 11, do you have the money to afford her expenses when she is a senior and surely having more issues? Free leasing is a great idea! However, I don't think she is the best option. Sometimes I lead with my heart and not my head. That's something you must consider! Good Luck!
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 08:19 PM
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I agree with most of what's been said, probably pass on this mare and look into others. If you are already set on her at least have your trainer come out and look at her with you, get her opinion before you do anything.

I'd say ask your trainer to help you find a nice horse for lease, something with less health issues and a good history of being a beginner/first horse. :)
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-22-2015, 10:17 PM
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Even a free horse -- you should have her vetted. Once you bring her home, she costs just as much as a sound horse. Actually, more because you'll be tending to all her ouchies. Then you'll get attached to her and won't be able to part with her. But you won't have a horse to ride.

Just get her vetted. Then decide. Also, she doesn't have to be perfect to be a gently ridden pet. Be sure to talk with the vet about what you hope to do with her. She might be OK for your needs. :) Good luck!

ETA: My horse didn't vet out perfectly, and look how cute he is! The vet told me where potential pitfalls were, and I told her how unchallenging my riding goals would be, and she thought we'd be fine together. :)
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