Rant warning and Thank You Big Dee’s

 I order tack online all the time. I always need another halter, another lead rope, brush or a fly mask. It is an addiction I know.  Everyone with horses knows this is an unending cycle. I have enough tack, like bridles and saddles, to start my own tack shop, but the every day items seem to walk off or break. I have ordered from every tack store online. I keep going back to Big Dee’s because they have awesome customer service and there stuff has better quality. Also their people are great when I ever call them for anything. I have yet to get someone who is cranky or pissy, they all have a pleasant demeanor and a sense of humor.  I have ordered form them for at least 20 years! First from their catalogs, then online.

 I now have decided never to order from anyone else after ordering form one of their competitors. I got an email solicitation from Chicks that had a $10 off coupon. Well everyone wants to save a few dollars. So I placed an order. When ever I ordered from any other place I usually got an email in a day or 2 with tracking info. Big Dee’s usually sends one the same day if I order in the morning. I called Chicks after 3 days of no email thinking maybe I had put my email in wrong. Nope, they tell me they don’t fill orders or ship for 3-5 days! So I wait. Then I get a partial order and the fly masks are missing and a burgundy halter too. I call them, they are on back order so I tell them to cancel them as I am going to go buy some as I need them NOW and have already waited almost 2 weeks. I call up Big Dees and order my fly masks and they put them in the mail that day, I got them 2 days later. All of a sudden the other day I get some fly masks from Chicks, I had canceled the order! Then they are very cheap and poor quality and the stitching is pulling out and not even on a horse yet. Then I get an email from my bank, Fraudulent activity inquiry. Chicks has charged me 2 more times for the order. I call them and tell them I do not want these fly masks and I had canceled the order. Also they have charged me two more times. The guy is not very friendly and acts like I am wasting his time! He tells me I should take this up with my bank! I am not feeling the love here, and am not very happy with Chick’s at this point. I tell him I did not want these fly masks, I had canceled the order, and I want these charges off my bank card and I want to send these masks back.  He finally tells me to keep the fly masks and he will take the charges off. The fly masks are mine to keep free. Fine, that works, I can try to stitch them up and use them for spares or something. I am feeling better about them, they will handle it, right? Um….. Ok, that was yesterday. I check my in on my online banking today and they have taken one charge off, BUT they have charged me for 3 fly masks! And one of the extra charges is still on there! So now I have paid for the whole order twice, and then again for the fly masks I do not want! So, to sum it up, I paid double for the wormers and halters, triple for the crappy fly masks, and now they are closed for the weekend! It is a good thing I got a $10 off coupon, which by the way was not applied to the order when they charged me the second time! I have paid $193.84 for my $79.97 original order, oh but wait, they charged me extra shipping for the fly masks too, because they were not shipped with the original order! That brings the total up to 205.67. I am so glad I order online to save money!

 I called Big Dee’s today and told them I will never shop anywhere else. I had gotten my fly mask order from them that one item was not the right one. It was a sticker for the trailer that said “CAUTION HORSES” but I had ordered a sign that said caution horse crossing. They tell me they are so sorry and for me to just keep the stickers and they would send out my sign asap. I am so grateful they are so nice and all, that I order some halters too.

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.

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.