If any of your potential buyers makes reference to just having seen any horse movie, ie; Black Beauty, Seabiscuit, National Velvet, or any other, tell them you have sold all your horses or have the plague. This is the buyer who knows nothing about horses other than the 3 times they rode on their Grandpa’s farm when four years old, and just remembered horses when they saw the latest movie. Beware, the have the potential to make you pull out your hair while they compare every one of your horses to the movie horse or Grandpa’s plow horse. None of your horses can measure up to their imagined ideal.
I have been known to sell a horse from time to time. But I don’t make money on the deal. Just doesn’t happen. But I was accused today of “flipping horses to make a buck.” “She gets free horses and then turns around and sells them.” That’s not exactly how it works.
Generally I will get a phone call that so and so has a horse that has not been ridden in 4 years, if ever. Or there is this horse they picked up that is under weight, can’t be caught, bites, kicks, is maybe pregnant, is probably still a stallion, has never had its feet done or a halter on it, is so spoiled it runs people over to get fed, whatever. Somehow these people get MY phone number and they have been “told” that I will take this miserable excuse of a horse. No one ever admits a name of who gave them my name and number. I think there is a secret listing somewhere for horse sucker.
If you know anything about horses, you know you never make any money on a “free” horse. The most expensive horse I have ever owned was a free horse. A free horse is usually in desperate need of farrier care, and it is never a single trim, and oh look how nice their feet are, visit. This is an every 4 week, For several months, major over haul on a horse that objects, strenuously. He has never had his feet done before, and doesn’t care if he can walk. Hey, just throw that hay closer, or better yet get me a round bale and a bag of grain.
They also have never had their teeth floated. It then takes the whole bottle of happy horse injectable and 4 large men and power tools to get this horse having teeth that would not look like something a shark would be proud to own.
Next we get to deal with weight issues. Most free horses are very underweight. Usually with rain rot or even, shudder, lice. So I get to pour food down them, after their teeth are floated, by the bag and bale-ful. Dewormer is next on the list, along with supplements that cost as much as some people (like me) make in a week. Every once in a while, someone will have a 9 year old unbroken, overweight, spoiled, pushy, (but he is registered!) gelding that is ready to founder. Those are the funny ones. They cannot understand why they can’t sell their fat obnoxious, dangerous untrained gelding. “But he is registered!” (But don’t get to close, he will bite you ‘but he is only looking for treats’).
So I get to pour feed, training, time, and of course love, into this horse for the next 2 to 9 months, then I may find him or her the perfect home. I sell these ‘free’ horses for $300 to as much as $1000 depending on the horse. How much is full care board and training? I don’t make any money on these horses. No one could. Most horses I end up with are ones who would likely go to the meat man. A few, I admit to having bought off the meat truck because I thought there was hope of them becoming more than dog food with a little time and effort.
I had a friend get in touch with me last night. She has an Appy gelding that hasn’t been rode in 3-5 years. He is a little underweight. Maybe needs his teeth done and a retrain. Wants to know if I will take him, see if you can get him rideable. Sure I say. I like Appies. Yup, sucker, that’s me.
I guess I am a horse trader, horse flipper, whatever. (Call me what you want, just don’t call me with your 3 legged one eyed, underweight horse, cuz knowing me I would try an fix him). If that is what I am, they wear old boots, drive an older truck, and generally have broken nails and nicks on their hands from fixing fence on the cheap. Cause there is no money in it!