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A "no-go horse" is a horse that you will never own or work with (e.g., a horse with HWSD, a horse that rears, etc.).

Personally, what do you consider a "no-go horse"? Why do you consider them a "no-go horse"?
 

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I will generally work with anything if I am being paid for it!

Having said that I am an astute judge of an animal's character and many times I have gone to look at a horse for purchase, taken one look at it looking out the stable door and walked away.

Some years later someone gave me a Linda Tellinton Jones book in which she described what various facial characteristics usually meant and I realised that these were what I was seeing.
 

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Probably a horse with an existing condition, such as HYPP. Depending what I'm doing at the time, possibly a horse with terrible conformation (cow-hocked, sway back, etc.).
 

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It's not so much the horses that are the problem, it usually is the no-go owner when training for others... :lol:
 

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Any horse broke by a "trainer" that isn't well-versed in colt starting.

Any horse trained by a "trainer" who doesn't have any notable accomplishments and/or hasn't apprenticed under a well-known horse trainer.

Any horse owned by a Parelli follower.

Anything Hancock
(I'm sort of kidding... show me a Hancock that doesn't buck like an actual bronc every spring and I'd change my mind...)

Anything that was previously owned by someone who exclusively barrel races.
(sorry but the majority of them have poor horsemanship)

Anything that was shown in lunge line as a yearling.
(yikes)

Anything "lightly started" as an 18 month old.
(double yikes)

Anything "dead broke" as a 2 year old.

Anything with modern halter blood.
(old halter lines are OK)

Anything over at the knee.

Anything posty in the back.

Anything with one or more clubbed feet.

Anything that was raised as a bottle baby and/or overhandled as a colt.
 

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Anything with one or more clubbed feet.
I own a horse with a club foot who never had soundness issues from it, and also have ridden many others with club feet that were never unsound. Personally I would not rule out a horse because of that.

To me there is a big difference between "never own," and "never work with." Never own is different because I might not want to take on big expensive health issues, such as a young horse with Cushing's that will need medications their whole life. However, I would not have any objection to riding or working with a young horse with Cushing's.

The biggest issue for me in working with a horse is when there are "behavioral" issues that turn out to be major physical problems. I've been asked to work with several horses that were actually just hurting and lame (with permanent, unfixable issues) so I recommended just retiring them.
 

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Any horse trained by a "trainer" who doesn't have any notable accomplishments and/or hasn't apprenticed under a well-known horse trainer.
You would never have bought a horse from me then! I never apprenticed under a well known trainer nor had any notable accomplishments unless you count many horses that have gone on to do very well.

I do generally agree with what you have said.
 

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I agree with the difference between never own and never work with. Those are two very different things, for me. I'll work with just about anything … I don't like a lot of them, I have to grit my teeth to get through it, but even the most terrible horses I've ever ridden have had something to teach me so I realize the value in working with the rogues. Some of my best lessons have been gifted to me in the midst of a gratuitous use of expletives and large clouds of dust lol

I'd never intentionally purchase a horse that had some incurable issue that would be lifelong and would seriously affect the horse's ability to perform, or that would cost a lot of money to maintain. I'm sorry but for me horses are using animals, and I've always been a practical person … maybe if I had hundreds of acres I wouldn't mind a few pasture pets but I have never had the space to keep a large animal that isn't getting used. Now retirement is something else entirely … I fully intend on keeping Dreams until he's old and grey, and if I still have him at that point I'll do everything in my power to ensure I give him a nice place to land in his golden years whether he's getting used or not. But since he just turned 5 I'm reasonably certain I've got some time to sort that all out. : )

-- Kai
 

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Hmm. I'm pretty flexible as far as what I will work with, but I also try to stay clear of buying horses that have health issues. As far as horses that I wouldn't work with, I'd say confirmed flippers or strong buckers/ bolters - I just don't want to put myself in a compromisable position again, as I've already gotten injured before. It's not worth the damage it can cause.

I also agree with gottatrot on not working with horses where behavioural/ undersaddle etc issues are due to pain. If the owner is on board to have the vet/chiro/ saddle fitter involved and the issue is fixable, then I'd be more open. However, more often than not, I've found owners are not willing to sink that much $$$ into the horse to find the root of the problem. Or you have the opposite end of the spectrum that will keep the horse going as long as possible, despite the major pain related problems instead of retiring.
 

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We had a standardbred trainer offer us 2 horses out of his barn that wasn't working out on the track. When we went to look at them the mare would come over the stall gate trying to attack. We left her there and I think that's the only horse I ever walked away from. The gelding came home with us and I gave him to my niece since she had recently lost her mare. She kept and adored that horse for the rest of his life.
 

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I own a horse with a club foot who never had soundness issues from it, and also have ridden many others with club feet that were never unsound. Personally I would not rule out a horse because of that.

To me there is a big difference between "never own," and "never work with." Never own is different because I might not want to take on big expensive health issues, such as a young horse with Cushing's that will need medications their whole life. However, I would not have any objection to riding or working with a young horse with Cushing's.

The biggest issue for me in working with a horse is when there are "behavioral" issues that turn out to be major physical problems. I've been asked to work with several horses that were actually just hurting and lame (with permanent, unfixable issues) so I recommended just retiring them.
I had a horse with a grade 2 club foot. Bought him at the sale barn and thought he could just use some TLC. When I first brought that gelding home, my opinionated grandfather said "back in the day" people used to euthanize colts with club feet because they don't hold up when put to use. I told him to mind his own business. I kept that horse on a 3 week farrier rotation with corrective shoeing. He was diagnosed with navicular & arthritis at 6 years old.

I 110% agree with your second statement! I listed things that were deal-breakers for me when selecting a horse to spend a decent amount of money on. Clearly my No-Go's don't apply to the laminitic pony who I just couldn't resist. Lol!!


You would never have bought a horse from me then! I never apprenticed under a well known trainer nor had any notable accomplishments unless you count many horses that have gone on to do very well.

I do generally agree with what you have said.
To me, making good horses with no holes who perform well is a significant accomplishment.
 
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When I was a little younger, I would work with any feral monster Bob from the Bayou brought my way, including a few kill pen pulls that were dragons in horse clothes, lots of blown up rope and barrel horses, a fist full of Arabian show horses who lost their ability to tolerate human BS... and I learned a lot. Somehow I didn't ever really get hurt. It used to be that anything I thought I could stick, I would ride. Even when I was wrong. Now, I don't operate like that. Part off it is that I've gotten my body beaten up for an extra decade since riding horses like that all the time, but more importantly it's that the way I decide what I ride is whether or not I feel that I have the skills to HELP that horse along. I'm great with rearers and spooky ones. I can help a spooky one gain confidence and teach a rearer that he doesn't need to go up. That doesn't bother me at all, I've spent 20 years riding horses like that and can support them through the rough spots. Buckers, I'm not as good with. I haven't ridden that many honest to goodness broncs and I'm not as capable of supporting one out the other side of that kind of situation. Now, for me, "no-go" is something that I don't feel like I have the skills to help. It's not a "me" thing anymore, it's about the horse. If I don't feel like I can help one get better for having me ride them, I don't ride them.
 
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