Wow. How would you ever know that a horse which seems like a sweetheart is going to blow up? I mean, are there signs? I've found that some people dismiss pushy behavior for 'affection', but I've never heard of a genuinely calm horse that went batty... what would you do to determine if a horse is genuinely calm or just waiting to have an episode?
Let's say that now I decide to sell my horse (I'm really describing my personal horse). I know him and what irks him, so if you want to come on sunday, I'll make sure he is been worked every day for 4-5 days prior to that (and if needed, a couple of hours that same day)
Then you come and see him. He's super-easy to catch at the paddok. Put on the bridle? 5 seconds. I currently ride him bitless, but I can assure you that he's used to the bit (ehy, I have pics of that in avatar).
He's super sweet, like a big puppy. Adores to be groomed. Yeah I'm bribing him with carrots when I pick up his legs, but you're probably all over how cute he is. He doesn't act pushy.
I'll let you ride, in the round pen, because the ground outside is really rocky and dangerous, and you know… but I assure you, he likes the outside world.
Horsie stands still when you mount. Trots a bit, has to be prayed for some gallop, stops immediately… sounds like a good calm beginners horse, or even kids horse. I might add that I have other potential buyers waiting, so if you please can tell me if you are interested before I sell him to them…
Soo now you have bought horsie, and he turns into Evil Spirit From Hell. If you are unfortunate enough to put him in a box for a couple of days, you'll have a bomb coming out of it. Same thing if you want light ride for 1-2 time a week, you'll better start to lunge him for a loooong time so he bucks off his energy before you're on. And if you lunge him in an big space, wear gloves. If you lunge him in a open space? Don't even bother with gloves, he'll break the lunge and run without bothering about you. And if you re new at lunging, or if you tried with horses that were trained in different ways, you might discover that after the first 10 minutes of wild run, you can't make him gallop again.
Let's talk about tack, if you weren't paying attention when I put on the bridle? You might not be able to do it at all
. Want to put on the bit? I really hope you have someone helping you. Overbribe with carrots? Horsie will literally step on you to reach them, or to look for them if they are finished. Forget his front legs if you're a beginner (maybe your instructor will be able to pick them up).
Want to go on trail? I hope it's on the beach, you know, soft landing. Good luck finding the horse again, since he could have rune miles away by the time you get up.
And you better not lose patience and act rough or try to force
him into anything, or you'll find that Evil Spirit has no issues walking on 2 legs, and will do it sooner if you are in front of him.
Yeah all his issues can be addressed, and a knowledgeable horse-person (even better one who knows how to deal with arabians) would figure out what's wrong and how to fix it in a short time, or even not have most of the problems arise at all. A beginner who wants an "easy" horse could get seriously hurt.
I hope I didn't scare you too much^ I just wanted to write an example of how a seller in bad faith can hide a horse's defects if he really wants to sell and has no regards for the buyer's safety.
If you can find someone who allows it, have a contract saying that the horse will be "on trial" with you for at least two weeks, more is better, so you can have time to discover at least the most evident "little things" that you'll never notice the first time you see the horse.