BY Savannah Simo
You didn’t get “taken advantage of”, you over estimated your abilities and made the decision to purchase a horse above your experience level.
Your horse wasn’t “drugged when you went to try it”, it was worked daily by a professional and sold to an amateur who won’t reprimand them.
Your horse wasn’t “abused by his previous owner”, you are putting out energy that makes him anxious and flighty and wondering why we need to be anxious and flighty.
This morning I had someone contact me about a horse she bought that was a “dud” from someone I think very highly of. She went to try the horse and he was great, and now a month later he is pushy and won’t stand and wants to walk fast and, and, and.
Now yes, there are bad sellers and there are bad horses. I can point you in the direction of many that I would stay as far away as possible from. Those are two things we will always have in the horse industry but, when someone comes to me with an issue with their horse after having it for a month without much issue – 99% of the time it is the new owner at fault.
When I get a horse in, that horse gets put in a pen with 2-4 others outside until they’re assessed and sorted through. We ride each one and that first or second ride tells me whether or not to do a third. If they get to the third ride, from that point on, most of the time they are ridden daily by me or my rider and put through as much as possible so we can get to know them.
My horses are not put in stalls for 18 hours a day, ridden 2 times a week for 25 minutes and hand-fed $30 cookies for standing for the farrier.
Every single horse that comes into my barn is EXPECTED, not ASKED, to behave. We don’t beat them, we don’t work them until they’re half dead – but we get after them and repeat consistently until the desired behavior is achieved. Whether that takes 10 minutes or two weeks is up to them.
STOP BLAMING THE SELLER UNLESS YOU CAN MATCH THEIR EXPERIENCE LEVEL – whether you do it or hire someone, get that horse working and handled like they would be if they’re getting full training. Get someone who can sit through their blow ups and see if it goes away. I buy horses that aren’t what they say they are all the time and only once have I blamed the seller – and 20 other people, knowledgeable people, agreed that the horse was BAD news.
Notice how I used the word knowledgeable – I didn’t say “my friend who also has a horse” or “my mom who had horses in her backyard as pets for 15 years” or even “my friend who’s a trainer on the weekends for $25 a ride.” I’m talking KNOWLEDGABLE, horse people, not people with horses and if you don’t know the difference, you’re the latter.
Horses are animals with minds of their own, they can change in the blink of an eye and even the most kid broke, dead-headed, saint of a gelding can decide to unload someone one day. But blaming the seller or the horse when there are obvious reasons the owner is most likely at fault and trying to hurt the seller’s reputation is getting real old, real fast.
When you come to me telling me about a “bad seller” and I can see that you don’t have the experience the previous seller did, why would I want to be the next one on your hit list?
About Savannah Simo:
Savannah Simo is a young equine professional based out of the Chicago-land area and services most of the United States. She specializes in sound, sane, solid broke trail and family horses. She can be contacted on Facebook.