Horse Hunt Progress Report #5

Two days, two horses. We are on a roll. Today was a perky, talented horse who would be perfect. For somebody. My take-away was too much mare charisma for a rider who has dealt with geldings all of her life. I’ve ridden terrific mares, but always on loan. I lack the appropriate negotiation strategies for day-to-day survival with a strong-minded mare. (Mathilda doesn’t count. She’s just an event in my life. Like taxes.) The horse we saw was also a cribber. I wonder a) am I putting too much emphasis on cribbing & the possibility of Rodney picking it up & b) how would I feel if the horse was perfect in every other respect?

In speaking with the sellers, I tried to be honest and complimentary without raising false expectations. No clue if I succeeded. I never seem to get it right. We once went to look at an adorable baroque-breed cross. Wonderful horse if you wished to take up a sport that prioritizes trotting, say driving or dressage. Since my ideal horse is a cantering, jumping fool, baroque & I would not have been a happy match. When we expressed the thought that the trot was a stronger gait for this horse than the canter, as you would expect from her breeding, all the seller heard was that we were calling the horse lazy. Conversely, we went to visit a horse who had been down one too many wrong roads. I felt for the animal. However, I would not have given him stall space if he showed up in my driveway wearing a big red bow on his nose. We made a gracious retreat. The person showing the horse thought we were going to buy.

If you have ever sold a horse, how well did you read the intentions of potential purchasers?

List of previous horse shopping posts.
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Cat Report
Our Olympic fan [Watching] stood in front of the TV during eventing dressage day 2 and batted at the horses’s legs as they trotted around. Bonus points for excessive cuteness.

Categories: Horse Shopping, Horses

3 replies »

  1. I’ve never sold a horse. but I’ve owned two cribbers. Don’t give a cribber a second look. I mean it. I don’t care how talented you think the horse is, pass it by. Especially if it’s going to be a “for fun” horse and live in your back yard and barn. They are destructive health hazards. Both mine suffered all their lives with periodic bouts of colic. My mare was such a wind sucker that she would literally destroy fencing and just about anything else she could latch her front teeth onto. Collars provide only a temporary reprieve and the second they come off the horse is totally fixated on cribbing on anything they can reach. By the time a confirmed cribber is in their teens they have no front teeth left. I mean NONE, unless of course they live their entire life in collars. Then they have a huge collar callous around their neck. Lovely. Our horses were cribbers when we bought them. I really didn’t know any better. My bad. I thought giving them a healthy, normal “free range” kind of lifestyle would help curb the problem, but all the freedom and exercise in the world didn’t do a thing. They were confirmed cribbing addicts right up until the day they died. (both died from colic) Walk away.

  2. A kind reader asked what cribbing was. Here is Wiki on the subject: “Cribbing (US) or crib biting (UK) is a compulsive behavior or stereotypy seen in some horses, and considered a stable vice. It involves the horse grabbing a solid object such as the stall door or fence rail with its incisors, then arching its neck, pulling against the object, and sucking in air.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cribbing_%28horse%29) For non-horse folk, yes, it looks just as weird as it sounds.

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