The lessons I learn

I get a call the other morning, these people have seen my facebook page and need some help with a horse they have and want me to come evaluate her prior to them selling her. I have some free time and it is not far away, a couple extra bucks for an evaluation are always welcome. I head on over, it sounds fairly easy. I am so freaking stupid some times.
The Mare is very cute, not the greatest conformation, but passable. She has a really cute head and neck, but she has a look in her eye that tells me there is less sugar than spice in this little girl. They had told me they thought they should be able to get $4000 for her, I am halving that right off the bat.
I ask the couple about her back ground. The mare was register able, but they had never bothered, they still have all the paperwork though. I explain at her age this is not cheap and easy, so most people will not be interested in her for her papers as it will cost them a fair bit of change and so she therefore would not be sold at the price of a registered horse. They are not happy about this and argue the point. I finally have to explain, if the mare as a registered horse is worth $2000, you don’t get $2000. Because to register her it will cost the new owners $600, and so that means she would have the value of a grade mare. They can try to register her themselves and pay out the $600 and then try to get $2000 for her, and may only get $1200, then they have only gotten $600 for her, so they are better off trying to sell her for $1000 if she rides well and then use the fact they can register her if they want to as a selling point.
They are needing to sell her as they are moving out of state. They bought her when she was young, then sent her off for training for 60 days to a woman in Scottsdale when she was 3. The woman charged $800 a month for board and training and they hoped to be able to get some money back when they sold her. (This generally never happens, just so you know.) Nothing was ever really done with her once she came back, she had not been ridden since leaving training. I asked them why they did not contact the woman who did the training when they were getting ready to move, the man replied that they had wanted to, but she was no longer there and they had been unable to find her. Also the people at the stable did not want to talk about her or provide any information. This sounds a little fishy to me, but I let it pass for now.
They tell me they cannot get a halter on her and that is why her feet are long. They are really not too bad, she has the type of feet that wear pretty well and have no major chips or cracks. Her feet are a bit long, but really look ok. The mare will go into the trailer to have her grain, so she has been to the vet for her shots and de-wormer, the vet just did them while she was in the trailer through the side door. I tried to go up to the mare to even pet her, and she was having none of it. I asked about that and they said they didn’t pet or scratch her as someone had told them she would get spoiled. (Yes, my horses are spoiled rotten.) I felt a little bad for her at this point, there were no other horses there, and none close by, and the owners did not even have a dog for company for her. So instead of chasing her around or roping her, we put grain in the trailer and she hops right in. I opened the side door and put a halter on her, then after she had her grain, I let her out with her halter and lead on. She fussed around for a bit, but not really trying to be bad or anything. I picked up her feet and she was actually pretty good about it. The man had some tools as he had taken the 2 week horse shoeing course thinking it would save them money if he could trim his own horses. So we cleaned up her feet a bit. The guy actually was not bad at trimming for only having taken the 2 week course.
I tied her up ad she fought it for a few minutes, but settled down after she found she could not get away. I started scratching her and trying to find her sweet spot and she acted like I was molesting her. I finally found she like having her belly scratched behind where the cinch went. She acted pretty ticklish in the cinch area for a horse that had 60 days training on her, but I figured she had not had anything done with her for 2 years so maybe she was just more ticklish than some. My estimation of my intelligence is rapidly declining as I write this. I should have had some inkling of what was coming.
I got out their saddle and it really fit her pretty well. They had bought it from the trainer. She acted pretty raw about the whole process of being saddled, but wasn’t mean, just antsy. I should have been using my brain at this point, but nope.
I walked her around until I got the hump out of her back, stopping to scratch her and tell her what a good girl she was. I took her over to the built in mounting block they had. So I throw my leg over her and realize immediately I should not have had the saddle on her, or me, or even the non existent dog. This horse had NEVER had anyone on her back before. She starts hopping around, she is confused and scared. I can’t step off her without scaring her more and potentially one of us getting hurt. It is not that easy when you are old like me to gracefully hop out of, and clear a saddle, when the horse is trying to buck and jumping around. If you admire older riders for staying on a bucking horse and riding it out, keep in mind it is because we are too old to get off easily. I figure I am in it for the long run at this point, so I keep talking to her in a calm voice. She has no balance and doesn’t even know how to buck right now, so basically she is just jumping around, stumbling and trying to figure out how I got up there and how to make me go away. She was like a perpetual motion machine. She kept going for what seemed like an hour but was probably only about 5 minutes. But if you have ever been on a fractious horse, 5 minutes is forever. She did one pretty good jump and came down wrong and went to her knees when she couldn’t balance. This scared her and she stopped hopping around. She stood there huffing and puffing like she had just ran a marathon, and I took this opportunity to hop off while she was holding still. I may have been stupid for getting up there, but all the jumping around had gotten my brain going again. Me hopping off actually didn’t spook her, which I took as a good sign.
The couple come over to us at this point and ask me why I had made her do all that, and why I didn’t just ride her? I turn and look at them unable to even speak yet and wondering what in the heck they were even thinking? After I catch my breath and loosen the mares cinch and give her a couple good scratches and turn to them and ask them why in the name of little green apples would they think I had “made” the horse do that? They both look a little confused.
Then I then ask some questions I was obviously too stupid to ask before I threw my leg over an untrained mare. “Did you ever watch this woman you paid to train your horse ride her? Did she ever send you video of her riding her? Did she say how many days a month she was actually going to ride her? Why would you pay someone $800 a month to do work for you and not make sure they actually were doing something? This mare has never had anyone on her back before, she has no idea how to balance weight, and was scared and confused. I would never have gotten on this poor girl if I had any idea she had never been ridden. You threw away your $1600 and it is a good thing you never tried to ride her!”
They really did not want to believe me, only me offering to video tape one of them getting on her made any impression at all and that was not much of one. Then a young cowboy wandered over, he was their neighbor who works at the local feed lot. He asks them what is going on and that he thought they had said this mare was broke? They say she was broke and then told him about sending the mare up to Scottsdale to be trained and how I was trying to tell them the mare had never been ridden or trained, and would he get on her? He shook his head no, and said he could see she wasn’t broke and there was no way he was getting on her. He asked them if the trainer was named such and such and they agreed it was the same one. He then goes on to tell them that that woman had actually been a fraud, having the same name of a big name trainer, she had went to several stables and using the name, taken in many horses for training, never doing much of anything, then moving on with a lot of other peoples money, tack and whatever else she could get a hold of including some horses she had taken in “trade” for her training. She had finally been caught, and was now in prison for fraud, theft, animal abuse and neglect, identity theft, breaching a contract, horse theft and many other things.
The owners are very upset about all this and I can understand their point of view. Then they ask what the mare is worth. I am kind of floored at this point and tell them whatever they can get is what she is worth. If they can find someone who wants an unregistered, unbroken, mare who is not socialized at all, they should take what they can get. They come back with “Can we get our $1600 back?” No I tell them, you threw that away. It is like you took your car in to a mechanic to get a new motor and never looked under the hood or tried to start the car for 2 years. You will be very fortunate to get $400 for her. They ask what I would give them for her? Nothing, I don’t want her. They tell me I can train her and make a lot of money. No, I tell them, I can’t. She isn’t worth that much even trained, she doesn’t have great bloodlines, she isn’t all that exceptional, she may come around to liking people but the horse market sucks. If I put 90 days into her, then I would maybe be able to sell her for $800 if I am lucky, and I would be out 90 days of hay, and 90 days of my work, besides the fact she isn’t thrilled with people and objected to me on her back. They are now mad at ME, and tell me to leave. Oh well.
What I have learned that I had forgotten, don’t believe anything anyone says about a horse, don’t get on a horse you don’t know with a saddle on or at all, always ask for your money for an evaluation up front or they may decide not to pay you, and bruises on your seat tend to hurt more than when you were young!

Brita and the crazy

Of course when you have horses, eventually you will have to sell one. It happens. For whatever reason, you need to rehome a horse, either to cut down, you and the horse are not a good match, you are contracted to sell it for someone else, or you picked up the horse to train and now it is time for it to move on, or whatever. Now comes the fun part,  The Horse Shopper. Now these come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all nationalities. That is fine. It is the common sense level that usually concerns me. There are some people are concerned and informed horse people with the ability to consider all new information, know that what works for one horse does not always work for another, and make great horse owners, others that are just misinformed, some that admit to being ignorant, some that are new and want to learn. I have no problem with any of the aforementioned people. Then comes the people that are dangerously stupid and  think they know EVERYTHING. These people have read or heard something about one horse and true or not that is their law. They will not believe anything other than what they believe even if shown evidence from the Pope, their favorite TV personality, or Me the one who has owned and trained the horse. They know more about everything than any one else ever and everyone else is stupid, liars and/or wrong. Those are the ones that make my head hurt. 

I had a mare to sell and placed an ad for her.  The mare was 5 years old and registered Quarter Horse. (Most Registries require a genetic testing and then their papers are marked as such) The mare had been registered as a 2 month old, with baby pictures on the registration that matched the markings on the mare.  I had this mare since she was 3 years old, and had broke and trained her. I had bought her from the breeder, who owned the Sire and Dam. People I knew very well and had bought many horses from and had trained many of theirs.

 This woman started right in on this mare that I was wrong about her age and I had been lied to, as this mare was obviously not a Quarter Horse at all, but was in fact a Morgan. She told me she could tell by looking at her (not her teeth even but looking at her over the fence) that she was at least 16 years old. She also knew she was a Morgan because she was too tall to be a Quarter Horse, that QH are all under 15 hands high and are much wider built. Since this mare was almost 16 hands high she was a Morgan. She went on to tell me that Morgan’s are all over 16 hands and All Quarter Horses are 14 hands to 15 hands. I thought I was talking to a rational human and tried to explain that the breed characteristics of the Morgan horse actually state a Morgan is generally between 14.1 and 15.3 Hands high, but there have been some bigger or smaller. And the Quarter Horse states no standard size at all, but that many foundation QH were 14 hands to 15 hands and that the racing QH were up to 17 hands, some even taller. She said who ever told me that was stupid and knew nothing about horses at all. (I have actually Judged a few shows in my time, and happen to know many breed characteristics)  

 She then pointed out my Stallion and told me she knew the people who used to own him and had raised him. I explained that was impossible as I had bought him at 2 days old and brought him home at 4 months, he had never been raised or owned by anyone but me. She gave me a strange look and then went on to tell me I didn’t need to lie to her, she knew the only people who raised Palominos in the area, and I could not have raised him. Huh? Only one place raises Palominos? What about me? I had about 8-12 hit the ground every spring for the last 5 years. I decided not to argue the point. By this time I just wanted to get rid of this nut job. She then told me my horses were not in good shape, they were too fat and needed better feed. That you needed to see their ribs a little like race horses, those horses were in the best condition. My horses were too bulky and fat. Since I had Quarter horses and Appaloosas, they are not built anything like Thoroughbred race horses. They were all of a heavier brand than any racehorse and were all worked daily, so were pretty heavily muscled.  

 She then started telling me that what I was feeding was not good enough feed and my horses would “literally starve to death” on it as it did not have enough calories or nutrition. Wait a just a darn minute, first my horses are too fat, now they are starving? You can’t have it both ways lady. I made a comment that maybe I had better call a vet and have him check out my too fat starving horses. She nodded and stated that was a good idea, but she could help me become better informed on feed as not many vets knew as much as she did about horse feed. Ho boy, what an ego!

 By now, I am getting a bit testy, and am making snarky remarks, which she either does not hear over her wonder at her own brilliant edification of horse knowledge she is imparting to me, or is too stupid to understand that I am insulting her. My stable girl is suddenly finding things to do in our general area and snickering. I suggest that since she is not finding my horses to her liking, I will stop wasting her time and she is free to leave. But oh no, she is not done pissing me off yet, or entertaining my stable girl, who is making funny noises behind her hand and has suspiciously cleaned the round pen next to us for much too long without emptying the wheelbarrow.

 My new expert on what I am doing wrong, (I already had an ex husband and a Mother, I really did not need anyone else to tell my what I did wrong) Has decided that she has nothing better to do than stay at my barn and annoy me. She starts telling me her training methods, and how she has been riding and training for over 4 years. That she has even shown a bit. She tells me this like I should be highly impressed. She tells me all about how she was taking lessons for a while but then stopped as she realized she was a much better rider than the person giving her lessons. she said her trainer agreed that she could not teach her anything. This made my stable girl start choking and I shot her a dirty look. She could be helping me run of the crazy instead of laughing, even though if I were in her position I would probably have done the same.

 She tells me to saddle up a black gelding I have, and she wants to see how he rides. I tell her he is not for sale and he would not let her ride him even if I wanted to sell him. (He had less tolerance for idiots than I did) She laughs and tells me she knows better and all horses are for sale and I am just trying to run up his price. Karen, the stable girl, with a malicious gleam in her eye offers to go and get the geldings tack. She knows this particular horse is an asshole to everyone, including me on occasion, but that I am the only one who he lets ride him on a regular basis. I do not want her killed, just off my property. I tell Karen to saddle up Brita. Karen smirks broadly and runs and gets the mare. This mare is very highly trained, but she is smarter than most people and if she decides you are not a good rider, she just parks her ass in the middle of the arena and refuses to move. Or her other little trick is to run back and forth across the arena at high speed, sliding to a stop at each end and whipping around to go the other way. Trained as a reining horse, she is hard to stay seated on when she pulls this unless you are prepared and have a deep saddle and good seat. She could lose most riders within 4 runs, more for good riders. She had lost one guy in 2 runs. Brita could also run straight forward with her head turned into your knee. She would only respond to leg aides, which I was betting this woman did not know or use. I may not be able to get rid of her, but I could have some fun right?

  Brita was a striking Buckskin Appaloosa with a blanket. The woman was thrilled and I told her how highly trained she was and showed her the awards and ribbons on Brita’s stall door. Telling the woman how this horse was so smart and highly trained this was the horse she needed. I am not very nice sometimes, and as I have said, I am probably going to hell. As a side note, Brita was not for sale, but this was just for me and my stable girl’s amusement. We got her all tacked up in her nicest show tack and she looked like a million dollar pony. The crazy lady takes her to the arena and mounts up. That alone was really amusing for me and Karen. I had never seen anything like her technique. She goes up to the side of the mare and standing in front of her shoulder facing the back of the horse, she puts her foot in the stirrup and holding the saddle horn swings from the stirrup and horn catching her heel on the saddle and is trying to pull her self up. Her head at this point is lower than her butt. I swear that Brita rolled her eyes, but she ever budged. Karen shoved the crazy up into the saddle at which point the crazy blamed Karen and Brita for her trouble stating the horse needed more work if she was going to move out from under people trying to mount her, and that Karen should not have interfered. What happened next should have been on America’s funniest videos. Crazy tried to make Brita move. Brita flicked an ear. That was it, her only response to crazy flapping the reins and actually kicking her. After I saw the flapping reins and flapping legs, I started thinking that this may not be so funny anymore, as Brita had never had anyone this stupid on her and I was not sure what she would do. After 4-5 minutes of the crazy trying all her rein flapping and kicking, looking like she was humping the saddle trying to get the horse to move and cussing, Brita looked like she was going to sleep. Karen and I were laughing out loud now and I started to say enough, you need to get off my horse and go check your self back into whatever ward you escaped from, when she did the one thing guaranteed to make Brita move, she smacked her with the reins. Brita ran to the end of the arena at high speed, slid to a stop, reared up on her back feet and turned completely around and came down running again. Amazingly, crazy was still in the saddle. She was making a high keening noise and had the reins pulled up to her chin. Brita was in revenge mode though and was not paying the least attention. I had not really thought this through. I had no way to slow or catch Brita, or do anything to get crazy off except the inevitable crash. She made even the next course reversal, but was half out of the saddle. Now the keening had changed to a repetition of whoa, whoa, whoa. Karen stepped into Brita’s path and held out an apple she had secreted in her pocket. Brita did another lovely sliding stop in front of Karen, and crazy was launched. I was not in the right spot it seemed, as she landed on me. Crazy started in on us putting her on an unbroken horse, then Karen interfering with her “training methods” and making the horse throw her. Before I knew what she was going to do, she shoved past Karen and raised her hand to hit my horse. At which point Karen grabbed her and I lost all amusement and threatened to blow holes in her fancy car with my shotgun if she did not immediately remove herself from my property.  Crazy did not believe me at first, but when I put Brita in her stall and grabbed my shotgun and a box of shells she ran for her car, screaming she was going to call the cops. Karen had the hiccups and tears rolling down her face, Brita had her apple. Me? I had bruises from a crazy half again my size landing on me at a high rate of speed, and cops in my barn laughing at me and drinking all my Coca-Cola.


Horse Sales rule #6

The Amount of riding a potential buyer has, is inversely related to the amount they think they know about horses. A buyer who has taken a few weeks of riding lessons will try to “instruct” you on your riding while showing a horse to them. They will also tell you all about the horse you have owned for 4 years and they have seen for 4 minutes. Try to let them live.

Just trying to help…..

 I help people all the dang time. Sometimes it is because I just like doing it, others it is because I just can’t help going to watch crazy people.

 I went out a couple of weeks ago to haul 4 horses for the most horse ignorant person I have ever met, for free. Well except for the entertainment value. She was going to rent a u haul to haul these horses in and wanted to know if the ramp on the u haul would be too slippery for them to walk up, and how she should tie them inside. By the way these horses she just got for free from a relative, are not halter broke, have never had much done with them, and are 3 year olds. She was going to give them to her 10, 12 and 13 year old kids. After an hour long talk that morning, I convinced her to let me help haul them. But she was still convinced, (she had not seen these horses yet or had to try to do anything with them) that she could break and train them since she rode horses when she was a kid and was raised on a farm until she was 11. She is 32 and had not touched a horse since she was 11. I thought to myself, I am going to have so much fun today! We talked a bit more. I found out she was a zealot about a lot of things. She doesn’t believe in immunizations or deworming as these are just ways for vets and pharmacies to make money. A wild horse did not have to have this done and certain herbs and proper diet would insure their health, after all people do not have parasites and they do not use dewormers. (by the way, in case you are wondering, people do have parasites, Google it sometime. Or maybe not, it will give you the heeby jeebies!) She did not believe in “altering animals” by spaying or neutering them either. Argh. She did not want me to touch her new horses or help in any way as she had her special ways. I considered bringing a video camera, and now I wish I would have.
 Long story short, those horses are still at her uncles property. She had been watching natural horsemanship training videos. She did not want me to interfere and “ruin” her horses. When I offered to bring a horse and rope these unbroken and untrained horses, or use my horse to show her horses how to get in the trailer as they might follow Brie, (my mare) into the trailer. She was really opposed to this “violent” method. I don’t know what I am doing you see. She had not touched a horse in over 20 years but has been watching videos for the last several weeks and has learned how to train a horse properly. I don’t know how to train a horse properly because I had never heard of her videos. Even though I have trained for almost 30 years, rodeo-ed for almost 40, and shown for close to 35. I guess if you don’t have time to watch hours of videos, you just don’t know how to train a horse. (I asked her how the people in the videos learned to train the horses if they didn’t have the videos to watch. That earned me some really dirty looks, but made me giggle)  Roping a horse ruins them she told me, she was going to put each of them in her uncles round pen and work them for a few minutes to “get them listening to her.” She went out with a halter and lead to get the first one after her uncle pointed out the ones she could have. This was lots of fun to watch, but didn’t last long enough. Her uncle and I stood out in the field and watched with some amusement. I liked the uncle right away, he nudged me and said, “this should be worth watching”, then turned a big grin on me. I knew then he was the smart one in the family. She chased the horses around for a while with halters. She actually got a halter on the little bay mare, well part ways anyway, before the mare decided she had had enough and took off with the halter mostly on, but only over one ear. She actually caught another one and wasn’t amused when her uncle pointed out it wasn’t one of the horses he said she could have, it was actually his daughters riding horse. He told me just call him Uncle, he had almost 30 nieces and nephews and pretty much everyone just called him uncle now. I was standing out there scratching and visiting with the horses who got curious about me. (I was told this is not the way to treat a horse it makes them spoiled and not want to respect you or work for you.) Funny, I had one of her little studs in a halter and it was really enjoying having its chest scratched and letting me pretty much do whatever I wanted. I think they are actually pretty smart and easy going animals. I let it go, she didn’t realize it had been one of the ones she wanted to catch. I think I am going to hell. 2 of the 4 her uncle is giving her are studs, every mare there is pretty much bred, most are very pregnant or have babies at their sides, all were in pretty good shape. They were not halter broke, but all were run through some stocks and had their feet done several times a year. They are on 110 acres. He has another 100 acres as well. There are about 40 head of horses there.  He just wanted all the 3 year olds gone and has gotten rid of all the other studs, but his good one who is 12 and who is kept in a separate area with his best friend, a mule named Lemon. (I love that mule and told him if he ever wants to get rid of him I would pick him up.) Nice stud, great build, foundation lines and when you scratch him he flaps his lips and makes noises. He has also been trained to do a few tricks which the uncle showed me. The stud will lay down on command and Uncle can turn him on his back and sit on his chest holding his front legs. Then Uncle scratches his chest and he makes more silly noises. Those 2 are a pair. Uncle is a pretty decent guy, just getting older and doesn’t want to raise but maybe 2-3 horses a year now. He did not want the 3 year old studs in with the herd, but they got out there last year after the Uncle broke his pelvis falling off his roof, and he has had no way to catch them. He and I chatted while watching her chase the horses. I asked him what he thought of her “training methods”. He said that he thought she was an idiot, but the horses were really good minded and he didn’t think they would hurt her. He didn’t know about her thinking it was wrong to “alter” animals by spaying or neutering them. When he heard this he told her she could not have the two studs unless she was going to geld them, at which point she threw and epic fit. She was sweaty and dirty from falling down a few times trying to slap halters on horses who she made no effort to let get to know her. She had also been drug a fair ways by a few she had snagged by the mane and tried to hold on to. She was pretty banged up and her clothes were almost completely gray from dust except for the blood on her chest form a bloody nose. Screaming and crying at the top of her lungs at us that neither of us had a clue about the proper way to do natural horsemanship. Got in her car and left in a huff. Me and the old guy had another cup of coffee, and he asked me if I would give him a hand because he is going to call the vet to come out to geld the 2 boys. Also he would like to pay me to get the four halter broke. He didn’t think she is going to be coming back, and it will probably be another 4 years before he hears from her again. She only called him a few weeks ago to ask if she could have a few horses to train as she was learning to train and wanted some horses to work with. He didn’t know at the time she was insane or that learning to train meant watching videos and never once touching a horse. Previous to that he had not heard from her since she got married 4 years before. She hadn’t invited him to the wedding, but sent him an announcement and a card that said in lieu of a gift he could send a check to go towards their down payment! I took some pictures that day, but all you can really see is horse figures and dust. All in all I made a new friend with Uncle who makes excellent coffee, had a lot of fun watching this girl chase horses around, saw some really pretty horses, and I met a mule named Lemon.

Horse Sales Rules #5

 Correcting the pronunciation or understanding of common (to most exp horse people) words or terms such as (but never limited to) Dressage, fetlock, withers, halter, headstall, gelding, stallion, mare, gaited, farrier, flying lead change, soundness, the pace, trotting, leg aides or side pass while giggling coffee out your nose, is usually frowned upon. So when your buyer says they do not want a pregnant gelding or a female stallion, or one that has gaits or trots, because they don’t want a sounded horse, try to keep from falling to the ground in mirth. If you simply cannot help it, try to say you are actually crying because of cramps.

Horse Sales Rule #4

When showing a horse for sale, keep in mind never to remark that this horse has never..( insert any relevant bad behavior comment here). Because the horse will only take this as a direct challenge and promptly do some insane or dangerous stunt guaranteed to chase off the sane horse buyer.

Horse sales rules #1

When the horse steps on the “Experienced Horse buyers” foot (in cased in sandals or flip flops) and they wiggle and scream, while holding the halter and/or lead rope in such a way to make the horse unable or unwilling to move off of them, laughing and falling into horse trough is not recommended.

Starting to snark about horse people

Well here I am. Having been told I was wasting myself making snarky and verbose facebook posts.  That I should instead start a blog, where all my sarcasm could be found more easily and appreciated by more than the handful of people who actually have friended me (and admit it).  I am now trying this thing called blogging. I am not sure anyone really wants to hear about my inane ramblings and my almost daily encounters with crazy humans who believe they are either a) the next great horse trainer, b) going to make mega $$$ money raising horses, or c) the new horse owner or person out to buy a their first horse. New buyers that have the IQ of a turnip, not one of those organic ones either, but one of those grown in the old landfills, sprayed with outlawed pesticides and hauled in garbage trucks to market. Those are the people who find their way to me. I am a crazy magnet. Being as I am not quite sane myself, I guess it is my due in life to have to tolerate these people. Also as my chosen course in life is to take in rescue horses and find them homes, I am dealing with the craziest of the crazy, horse owners or wanna-be’s.

Now I will be posting about my encounters with these people, or the way I myself can screw things up, or possibly my friends. Today I am going to relate how when you put a horse up for sale or adoption, how a simple horse ad can turn a human mind into a form of oatmeal that isn’t quite warm anymore.

The ad is a simple one, really. I decided to try posting on craigslist, which I know to start with is where all the crazy people hang out waiting to read new posts and pounce on unsuspecting posters with as many idiotic and irrelevant questions as can be thought of and actually related, (and possibly spelled, or not) by the people I will, from this point out call Craze-listers.

The ad:      Trail Gelding for sale $400

Looking for a special home for a special gelding. He is 17 yrs old about 14.3hh large build, probably Morgan QH cross. He has a very pretty way of going, very collected. He has trail exp. Gets along well with other horses. UTD on shots, worming and feet just trimmed. Very tough strong feet, no cracks or chips. He is in good weight. He is missing an eye, but he is ok with it. He will turn to look at things, but has not bolted or spooked. He needs a confident rider, beginner ok, as long as confident. Would prefer a home with someone with some horse experience. Would do well with a teen rider. Not recommended for a small child, he is pretty powerfully built. No kick, bite or buck. Call for details. Up for adoption $400 or negotiable to proper home setting. Possible trades.

Seems to have all the relevant information right? So I thought, then came the emails, calls  and texts. First call, “Is he ready for the show ring? My daughter started riding lessons last week and now wants a show horse. Does he come with the show saddle and stuff too?”  (Are you freaking kidding? You can’t get a decent show saddle for $400, but she wants the saddle, show horse and he has to be ready for the ring too?) When I replied I knew of someone selling a show ready beginners horse, with all the tack for $8000,  she told me she was going to turn me in for bait and switch. Hmmmm. When I reminded her, she called me, and I was only selling a one eyed trail horse, not advertising a show horse, she called me names and hung up. Yay, one who probably  will not call again!

On to the emails. First email, “I am looking for a horse for my kids, they are 3, 5 and 6 years old. Can you tell me how much food he comes with and how long it will last him? Is a dog kennel big enough or would I have to put 2 together?” Um, nope.

Next email. “He is already 17, how many more years can you ride them, and do you have to get a special permit when it is time to butcher them and where do you have that done?” WTH??

“At 17 is he still old enough to have babies?” “Can you feed a horse on $10 a week?” “How long will it take for his eye to grow back?”

Then the good one, “We are looking for another trail horse as my husband and I both ride. We have had our mare for about 2 years and had another mare we leased from a local woman until she took her back last month.” Sounds good, maybe this is the home this gelding needs. I frantically dial the phone, hoping this one sane person hasn’t already found another horse! I talk to her for a few minutes and realize, this person is not sane at all, she has sucked me into her crazy universe.  Seems the local woman took the leased mare back when she came to check on her and found her mare tied to the side of the garage. “I don’t know why she got so upset, there is shade there, and it is right next to the water faucet.” She went on to tell me how this mare she had leased had problems wearing a saddle, she got sores on her back all the time when they used one so they had to ride her bareback. I asked her what kind of saddle pad or blanket they used with the saddle. Also if she was sure the saddle fit properly. She told me that this is Arizona, horses don’t need blankets or pads to keep warm, and they would get too hot if she was to use one. Also she had been told she needed a 17″ saddle so that is what she had bought. So, she said, she knew the right size. I did not have enough coffee, or my brain was leaking out my ears or something because instead of hanging up and removing the ad and changing my number I tried to explain that the seat size and the way the saddle fit the horse were 2 entirely different things. Also the saddle blanket or pad was not to keep the horse warm, but to protect and cushion the horses back form the saddle.  I was laughed at and told I really needed to learn more about horses and riding.

After beating my head on the wall for 20-90 minutes, I went outside to spend time with my horses and ignored the texts and phone calls for a while. I know they are there waiting, but I probably need to have a glass of wine and a Xanax before tackling them next time. Wish me luck, or at least remind me not to invite these people out for long rides out into the desert.