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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, something new has come up, and it came up very suddenly.

Backstory is basically that myy grandma had a guest over Easter weekend and I ended up hearing that she had a gelding that she was going to send off to auction because he was hard to catch. I didn't catch much more than that at the time since there was other stuff going on and the topic quickly changed.

Then, I ended up asking the lady later on about the gelding out of curiosity. Turns out he's around 3 years old, VERY hard to catch, has had minnimal handling through his life, pics up his feet but is still antsy when it comes to cleaning them, doesn't lead well due to being anxious, he has had a saddle on him and had someone sit on him, but no ground work leading to that and wasn't actually ridden, only sat on. He was gelded last fall, is unknown breed but the thought currently is that he's a morgan, draft cross. He's just shy of 14 hh but has some very big bones.(His legs look bigger and thicker than my mare's and she's a 15.2 hh thoroughbred) He isn't very sensitive to pressure either and she can't ground drive him because of that.

Today
I got a surprise this morning of the lady texting me, asking me if I wanted him and she'd sell him for $500. I told her I'd like to see him first so she invited me over after work.

When i went out there, she had him in a smaller pen so that he would easier to catch (which she told me about ahead of time). When I arrived, he was in said pen, but still had his halter and lead rope on. As we were looking at him, he did come over to sniff our hands a bit. The owner had to do something with her cows so I went in the pen with the horse during that. I let him sniff me pet his forehead and neck. he was very nervous about the contact. When I looked in his eyes, my heart somewhat melted. He had such a worried look that all I wanted to do was give him a big hug and tell him that everything was going to be ok.

I led him around a bit too. The first little bit he would stop at every few steps. So I would give a very gentle and soft tug of encouragment and he would start to follow again. When I told him "woah" as I stopped, his stop was immediate, 0 hesitation and his head went up a bit a bit, almost like he figured something would happen to him if he didn't stop instantly.
Second time around, he followed much better with only one stop/hesitation before following me again. Between this, I'd rub his forehead to praise him and he started to seem to warm up to me. I was able to run my hands along his body but he doesn't like his ears touched. I could pick up his feet as well.

While the lady and I stood in the pen talking about him, he sniffed at my hand and touched his nose along my arm, and even nuzzled against my neck and face a bit. When his nose was in my face, I blew at his nose a bit and that got his attention and after that, he relaxed. His bottom lip became loose as he relaxed and he'd even close his eyes a bit when i'd rub his forehead or started to gently massage his side. I was kind of surprised actually because of how much he was warming up to me but not really paying attention to the owner. He listened to her when she asked him to do something, but he was seeking me out more and actually relaxing with me as well.
When leading him back to his pen, he was a lot more alert and a bit anxious as well.

My conclusion of his personality is that he wants to be affectionate. I can see him becoming a real love bug actually. But I think he's just scared to trust people. He's been shipped around to at least 3 different people within the first 2.5 to 3 years of his life, and has had very little handling between that, and I don't think all the experiences have been good. This guy just needs someone to love him and spend time working with him to build his confidence and get him to trust. I can see him becoming a great trail horse.


Horse's current situation:
He has a week to find a home before the lady is going to send him off to an auction. The last auction near here, 90% of those horses went to kill buyers. Due to this guy's training level, the fact his breed is unknown, and everything else, I don't think he'll end up lucky at the auction. No one around here is really looking for grade horses, especially ones like him. The rescues around here are also overloaded with horses so they aren't able to really save any more from auction at this time without a lot of help.

So I'm thinking that I might just take this guy. I'll wait to see if he does find a good home this next week, but if no one takes him before the auction, then i'm going to step in and take him. I'd hate to see him end up on a meat truck and face such a horrendous ending. There's a lot more of what I could say for the plan I have to make things to work if i get him, but this post is long enough. Regardless, he's stolen my heart with his eyes and I'd love to work with him and show him that he doesn't need to be worried about humans. At the very least, I'd be able to provide him with a temporary home to work on his ground manners and find him a good home rather than him end up at auction.

Nothing has been totally decided yet on my end. I don't want to just jump head first into this, but it is something I'm seriously considering.


Anways, so what are your guys thoughts on this handsome fellow and his situation? Any suggestions on what you think his breeding might be as well? And if things work out, do you guys think I should jump in and take him before he can end up in an auction?


 

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No pics worked, if you included any. Sounds like he might just be very lucky to have found you, and you lucky too. If you're experienced dealing with untrained horses, or have the appropriate help if you're not. Sounds like he just needs to be started *well* from scratch & he could be a star! I don't know what untrained horses of nondescript breed are worth over there, but over here, for a decent sized horse, kill buyers tend to pay about $400 & current drought notwithstanding, $500 is quite cheap for a decent youngster, even without any training at all.
 

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He looks like he's got the potential to be quite a solid little using horse. By that I mean he could put in a good day's work and then some and come back just as strong tomorrow, once he's fit and trained. He could make a nice mid-level allrounder too. I quite like him.

If you have the knowledge and experience to train a horse, and/or are prepared to spend the money to send him to a good trainer, you might very well find you've got a real gem on your hands.
 

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He's a project...

At auction he won't bring anywhere near $500...
Being very generous $400...
Being realistic, $300...
Being auction priced about $250...
I just found you a current auction listing for prices paid... http://colbylivestock.com/horses.pdf
So much is against this animal getting the higher prices listed...to me, he falls in the price per pound of about .50 per pound x 700 pounds = $350 on the hoof, if that.
This horse could also fall into the least desirable rates..as little as $20 for his life..

By your own description he has little handling or anything of training.
He does allow what he does because he's smart and figured out he can get it over with faster and with no pain if he just allows...but that isn't training.
That is domination...

If you have the resources, time & money to spend, knowledge of how to truly do his groundwork basics of training, know this is going to get involved because someone has touched him and by the horses reaction bullied the horse into compliance....go for it.
Your description is the horse is seeking to understand, to do well and learn..he is anxious to please and fearful when he doesn't...
The horse has some baggage coming with him but he also still has trust, it seems he trusts you and tries for you...
With that small bit of trust shown, willingness to figure it out and wants to please....
Offer for him...
If you wait till closer to weeks end offer less as a sale date looms...otherwise...only you know what auction horses like him are going for in your area...guaranteed not $500 as a un-ridden and blank-slate knowledge horse of this size and age...nor with his small size does he weigh much and auction kill-buyers are buying poundage to fill a truck, period.

A project with unknown outcome faces you..
Time and resources need investing to achieve a riding or driving horse...
Do you take on such a project with no guarantee of selling if that is part of the plan...
Or take on such a project with intention of a forever home with you...
Only you can answer those questions...
But at asking price of $500...no.
Intending to "flip"....
For that price I would walk away from him as he stands because of what he is not...
I'm sorry but that is the realistic nature of horse auctions and prices paid and why they are paid...
:runninghorse2:...
 

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If I wanted to spend a couple years working with a half-wild little horse, he would be one I'd consider; I like him from what I can see of him. But it would take a couple years of steady skilled work before he was ready to go anywhere. Depends on what you want to do. Also he is always going to be on the short side if he is 14 hands at three years. If you want to sell him remember that tall flashy horses sell a lot better than short plain-colored ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for you input, it's definitely good to hear some of the things I was thinking concerning his future. The owner was telling me that there are fewer kill buyers at the auction she'd take him to, but those guys have apparently been getting more aggressive with getting horses and will now actually bid higher for them, especially if they look like they have any sort of draft in them.

I've also been told that this lady isn't always on the entirely honest side of things when it comes to selling something. So I realized if I go after this horse, there may be more flaws in his training than what I saw while I was there. I also noticed that she "worked" with him, she had gloves on the whole time, and she didn't quite hold the rope right, as it it was a loose loop around her hand. And since he's a bit of an anxious horse, that could end badly if he'd decided to spook at any point. Plus, she said yesterday she would post him on Facebook, and I haven't seen any post about him yet on any of the horse groups, or on her personal page. It could be she posted to a group I'm not in, but that makes me worried she's not even going to really try to find him a home before the auction and is simply going to go for the easy way out by sending him off if I don't take him.
But knowing this about her, just makes me want to take this guy out of there even more so that he can have a fresh start and won't have to be worried or anxious anymore.


@Blueeyedpony
That's pretty much what I was thinking. With his stocky build, I think with some good exercise/training and him growing up a bit more, he could make a great pack horse type of guy, or even do great pulling a cart. i think with time, he could even be a great lesson horse for kids since he's not huge, but he's not tiny either.


@horselovingguy
Thank you for your breakdown of auction prices. I've never known quite how that all went, but from the tid bits I've heard from rescues, I figured he would have a very slim chance at the auction on ending up in a good home.
At this point, I think I'm going to prepare to take on this horse and put an offer on him.
I have done ground work training so i know how to do that. I've never started a horse under saddle though, but I do know a few people in the horse community who know trainers who would be able to help with that, so I think things would be covered fairly well in that.
And although I'm considering simply taking him on to work with him and sell him later, it might also end up that he becomes a permemant part of my family. It's a bit of a wait and see how it all goes, but I do want to give this guy the best shot in life that he can get.
 

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He looks to be decently put together and I like that he was seeking you out despite the owner's description. It sounds like the owner doesn't have a clue how to work with him.

If you have the skill, space, and time, go for it. Otherwise, you could always do some networking and spread the word about him before the auction.
 

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I really like his build - he's a solid looking little guy. What would your intentions be? Train him to re-sell, or keep as your own horse? He looks like he'd be a great little trail horse once he's trained up.

I haven't been to the auctions around here for quite some time, but I think $500 is a bit high. There is still a hay shortage and the grass isn't growing in enough yet to just kick horses out on pasture. I think if you are serious I would offer the current owner $250-$400. If she wants a good home for him she will accept your offer. I don't know too many owners who wouldn't sell for a bit lower to a good home than take to an auction for an unknown amount? But that is just me and assuming people have a soul.

Keep us updated on what you decide to do.
 

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He sounds a lot like my Teddy in personality, only Teddy was already trained, just very worried and anxious about everything. I have personally found it SO rewarding to get him to where he could trust someone again. Watching him come alive little by little. And the day my daughter rode him in a lesson and you could see how hard it was for him because he was still anxious and she had never really ridden him, but he tried SO hard and he did SO well.

When I got him, I swear he had the exact same look in his eye that you're describing: "I'm worried about this. Can I trust you? Will you treat me right?" If you have experience training a horse or can work with someone (with a horse like this, it needs to be someone with a very calm demeanor) who does, I'd say yes buy him! It sounds like she is asking a little much for him. I would give her the numbers everyone else has given, and offer a lower price.

One thing I have heard about horses like this, and it was true for Teddy, is that they can internalize a lot of anxiety and then sometimes they might blow. Teddy apparently did that once. And he can NOT handle an anxious rider. So if you're taking him as a project to re-sell, you might have to be thoughtful about potential buyers. And to reiterate, whoever trains him needs to be calm, patient, and understanding. As an example, I rode him in a group lesson once with the yelly instructor, who makes him nervous. So he got worried and couldn't stand still when it was the other person's turn to do something. So she yelled at him and then thunked him. Well, guess what, that just made him more worrried and anxious and less able to stand still. I ended up leaving the lesson early because he was just getting more and more anxious. At some point, I'd like him to be able to deal with that sort of thing, but it will have to be a slow approach.

In short -- be aware, but take him! Save his life! You can do it! Just be ready to be very patient and move as slowly as necessary.
:love:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really like his build - he's a solid looking little guy. What would your intentions be? Train him to re-sell, or keep as your own horse? He looks like he'd be a great little trail horse once he's trained up.

I haven't been to the auctions around here for quite some time, but I think $500 is a bit high. There is still a hay shortage and the grass isn't growing in enough yet to just kick horses out on pasture. I think if you are serious I would offer the current owner $250-$400. If she wants a good home for him she will accept your offer. I don't know too many owners who wouldn't sell for a bit lower to a good home than take to an auction for an unknown amount? But that is just me and assuming people have a soul.

Keep us updated on what you decide to do.
He would be my 3rd horse so at this time, I'd lean a bit more to training him to re-sell, but being there with him, he somewhat stole my heart already so there's a decent chance he'd end up joining my little family.

While hay isn't easy to come by, i actually have an uncle who makes hay and I've got some already set to the side that will be brought over in the next two weeks. Plus, since he's family, I'll always be able to get hay from him so it's not a huge concern about feeding this guy.
And since a few people have suggested offering less for him, I'll try doing that, but I'm not too sure this lady will go for it. But I guess we'll find out what happens in about a weeks time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He sounds a lot like my Teddy in personality, only Teddy was already trained, just very worried and anxious about everything. I have personally found it SO rewarding to get him to where he could trust someone again. Watching him come alive little by little. And the day my daughter rode him in a lesson and you could see how hard it was for him because he was still anxious and she had never really ridden him, but he tried SO hard and he did SO well.

When I got him, I swear he had the exact same look in his eye that you're describing: "I'm worried about this. Can I trust you? Will you treat me right?" If you have experience training a horse or can work with someone (with a horse like this, it needs to be someone with a very calm demeanor) who does, I'd say yes buy him! It sounds like she is asking a little much for him. I would give her the numbers everyone else has given, and offer a lower price.

One thing I have heard about horses like this, and it was true for Teddy, is that they can internalize a lot of anxiety and then sometimes they might blow. Teddy apparently did that once. And he can NOT handle an anxious rider. So if you're taking him as a project to re-sell, you might have to be thoughtful about potential buyers. And to reiterate, whoever trains him needs to be calm, patient, and understanding. As an example, I rode him in a group lesson once with the yelly instructor, who makes him nervous. So he got worried and couldn't stand still when it was the other person's turn to do something. So she yelled at him and then thunked him. Well, guess what, that just made him more worrried and anxious and less able to stand still. I ended up leaving the lesson early because he was just getting more and more anxious. At some point, I'd like him to be able to deal with that sort of thing, but it will have to be a slow approach.

In short -- be aware, but take him! Save his life! You can do it! Just be ready to be very patient and move as slowly as necessary.
:love:
It does sound like Teddy and this guy are a lot alike! And I totally get what you mean about me or any other person working with him needing to be calm and patient with him. I think it was because i was calm and didn't push him to follow me when he did stop or falter, that he started to relax. When i gave him plenty of praise in a way he was comfortable with, he did even better the second time I asked him to walk with me and he started to relax even more as well.

I think one concern with him is to make sure if I do get someone else to work with him as well, they can't be overly dominating and in his face either since that's what this lady is kind of like and he doesn't seem to take to that kind of approach.
And thanks for the heads up about there being a "expolosion" type of reaction. I've had that happen with a different horse, except it wasn't cause of being anxious, it because he was annoyed with me since he'd had 2 years off and now I was making him work lol.
Thanks for the encourgement and advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would like to see some more photos of this horse. Those tipped ears are usually only found on certain breeds that he does not seem to look like.

If I was looking at him, I would certainly take the chance. Every horse comes with baggage, but I really like the look of this horse.
I don't have any more pics at this time. But the one ear looks tipped due to an injury. He managed to cut his ear on something in his field, so the top of his left ear, there's it's split about half an inch long from the tip down. Due to the split, the end have curled back slightly to make the ear look tipped in certain angles. But his breed is unknown so there's potential there's something different in him.

And I am definitely leaning towards snatching him up before he has a chance to end up at auction. The look in his eyes is what gets me and the way he acted the short time I was with him with wanting to trust me already.
 

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I'd offer $300 cash for him and show up with a trailer. She'll probably take it. No way she gets $500 for a grade, small horse at auction. I like him. I have a little horse I got with this same look in his eye, and watching him learn to like and trust people again is heartwarming. Put him in a pen and bring him a measure of grain and his hay and just sit with him for awhile. Then look into Warwick Schiller's video library with the focus work. It does wonders for horses like this. I wouldn't buy him with the intention to resell--- just go into it looking to improve his life and see what happens. This is the type of horse that ends up a '1 person horse'. If he ends up for resale, great, but if not, you may have a nice, sturdy little saddle horse out of this.

I think the tipped ears are due to frostbite. He looks like a little mustang. No brand on him?
 

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If it were me thinking about buying him, I would come with a trailer and five hundred dollars and offer three hundred negotiating from there. She may get five at auction but probably not and she would not be having to go through all of the bother and expense to take him there

I think that he is cute and he has such a soft eye. He looks very worried in the pics and would probably be great with some kindness offered to him.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'd offer $300 cash for him and show up with a trailer. She'll probably take it. No way she gets $500 for a grade, small horse at auction. I like him. I have a little horse I got with this same look in his eye, and watching him learn to like and trust people again is heartwarming. Put him in a pen and bring him a measure of grain and his hay and just sit with him for awhile. Then look into Warwick Schiller's video library with the focus work. It does wonders for horses like this. I wouldn't buy him with the intention to resell--- just go into it looking to improve his life and see what happens. This is the type of horse that ends up a '1 person horse'. If he ends up for resale, great, but if not, you may have a nice, sturdy little saddle horse out of this.

I think the tipped ears are due to frostbite. He looks like a little mustang. No brand on him?
I can believe it's a very rewarding process to see them blossom under your care. And that's pretty much the approach I was planning on him, though I haven't really heard of that trainer before so I'll have to look into his videos. And I'm not set on reselling him. It's more like a wait and see how things go. Some horses you can work with and get along, but not entirely bond. If I can find him the perfect home, then great. But if it ends up that him and I bond, then I'll just have another horse. I'm very much open to just having him forever. My first and foremost concern with him is just getting him to open up and become confident and grow.

And I suppose it could be frost bite. When he was younger, one owner he had was ready to kill him cause the winter was bad and they didn't have any more hay for him.
And there's no brand on him. I suppose he could be from a feral band though. I have a filly that came from a feral band and they don't brand them.



If it were me thinking about buying him, I would come with a trailer and five hundred dollars and offer three hundred negotiating from there. She may get five at auction but probably not and she would not be having to go through all of the bother and expense to take him there

I think that he is cute and he has such a soft eye. He looks very worried in the pics and would probably be great with some kindness offered to him.
I'll keep that in mind. And he does have a very soft eye. I honestly don't see a mean bone in his body. And if he ever is mean, it's out of fear. He's definitely one that needs a lot of love to heal the hurt and worry he seems to carry.
 

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Very handsome boy looks real sturdy big boned fairly well put together. He's worth the time it will take to train him. If you're Willing to put in that time looking at probably 2 years.

Price 500$ is on the high side. Around here un trained grade geldings go cheap 200 to 250$.

My pally who was still a stud had bad experiences with humans in general. He is papered AQHA well bred....picked him up for 100$ with papers and signed transfer. So that said I wouldn't pay more then 200 for grade gelding.

He's not worth much more then slaughter price. Here at auction he go for kill there's all kinds of horses like him there destination is usually the slaughter house in Mexico.

He's nice looking and worth a chance but horse's like him are a dime a dozen. I see them in kill pens and at auction.
 
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