Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Study in Unsuitability

I got to the barn late yesterday afternoon and there were several people riding in the indoor. Since I knew Izzy need to run around and that wasn't possible, we decided to have a much-needed second groundwork day. I am happy to say that Izzy was much better, as long as I handled her from her left side. When I tried working from the right, she got very angry. We'll keep trying.

On to the more interesting part of the blog!

There is a lady at the barn who I have only met once or twice. She is older, not very fit, and a nervous rider who only aspires to do trail riding. So far, so good.

She also had a totally unsuitable horse, which bucked her off and hurt her sometime this summer. Fortunately, she finally recognized the horse was unsuitable and decided to sell him, then look for another one. The horse she had was 8 years old, semi-trained, and not the type you could just let sit and then go on a quiet trail ride with once a month or so, which is what she does.

Upon selling the unsuitable horse, she promptly bought a new horse. It is an 8 year old gaited horse that I think she liked because it was buckskin. Nevertheless, she assured us all that she bought it because it was bombproof and exactly what she wanted. Cool.

Today, she had the vet out, since it's super important to vet your horse after you buy him. Yes, after. ;-) Due to the large amount of melting snow, they were doing the exam in the aisle by the indoor. Also due to the snow, anyone else who wanted to do anything with their horses were also in the indoor. There were three of us. At this point, though, I am the only one in the arena. I am doing ground work (walk/trot/halt) with Izzy. Izzy is being quiet good, mostly. She had a couple little leaps above the ground, but they were on the far end of the arena.

The lady comes over to the fence and asks me if I could please not do that because, and I quote, "It's making my horse nervous."

Yes folks, the "bombproof" horse is too nervous to have another horse trot by the rail in the arena. Does anyone else think this is a clue? I decided to let Izzy be done (though I was fuming about not being able to work my horse in the arena I'm paying for) out of respect for the poor vet who not only had to deal with the very upset horse, but also the very upset owner.

Sigh. I understand a young horse being nervous in a new place or having issues with other horses going by, but for this lady? Really? If your horse can't deal with new places, how in the world is he going to make a trail horse? If he can't have other horses go by on the other side of the fence at a quiet trot, what do you think is going to happen on the trail?

After the vet finished, the lady triumphantly announced to us that her horse passed. He may be totally unsuitable, but he sure can pass a post-purchase vet check.



  1. what a moron! There are so many "later in life" riders who buy horses completely out of their experience level and its just devastating for the horse and rider. Everyone gets injured and no one is happy. Its really a dis-justice for everyone involved with or around the pair.
    sorry girl.

  2. Oh dear, I hope it's not another "train wreck" in the making.

    Dealing with other people in circumstances like that can be a real pain. Another reason I am content here at home with the Boys and premises all to myself.

    As much as I am annoyed by the lady's attitude, I certainly hope she doesn't get hurt on that horse. You are right that a "bombproof" horse should not be set off by other people working around him like that.

    By the by, most of the vets I've had look at horses for me and other people also noted the horse's personality--if they knew me, that is. (Had one horse vetted out of state.) And, in general, they make note of whether or not the horse is suited to its intended purpose.

    Then again, usually that's a PRE-purchase exam, not one after it's too late. *sigh*

  3. Oh, geez, that poor horse! What rotten luck that he wound up with such an idiotic, incompetent owner.

    It was really, really nice of you to stop working Izzy (for the vet's sake), BUT I would be careful not to let this lady walk all over you. Since she isn't there much, I guess it shouldn't be a huge problem. But, if she tries something like that again, I would tell her, "This is the arena that we all pay to use; I have every right to continue working my horse" or something along those lines (although it's easier said than done -- I HATE confrontations, and usually am so surprised by it that I don't know what to say!).

    Anyways, glad to hear that Izzy is doing well, despite the freezing cold.


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