Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My Eyes! My Eyes! #2

Oh dear god. Can anyone explain to me how this horse has been put together?

This poor soul looks like his (not very good) back end was attached as a complete afterthought- and is not that reliably attached now! And those withers are ideally designed to split the pelvis of the rider and make saddle fitting a hellish adventure. Never mind the neck... Overall he looks like a youngster going through an especially fugly stage. Sadly, according to the ad, he's five, so what you see is going to be what you get.

I know that the poor horse can't help looking this way, but it does illustrate an important point in terms of showing the horse off at their best in adverts. I am often saying to stand the horse up for the camera. In this case I say don't bother as it does this guy no justice whatsoever! Ad says he's working and jumping so get some under saddle shots showing this and use those instead- quite honestly, with that build and back, I can't picture it at all so I'd like to see the evidence!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Get This Horse Away From Me...

I get the impression this pony is thinking 'get this owner away from me' too.

Let's read between the lines here.

'I can't handle her... I cannot get hurt by her anymore.'

This horse has reacted with sufficient violence to injure her rider/handler. Great selling point to start out with! But why might that be....

'We don't have proper equipment... i know she hates the saddle and is ok bareback'

Why would you ever try to work with a horse without proper equipment? I define that as a safe, flat area to work in, a decent bridle, a bit that fits correctly and is not rusty or worn, and a saddle at least vaguely fitted to that animal by someone with a bare idea of what they are looking for.

So she hates the saddle- had a saddle fitter out at all? Ride a horse for long in a saddle that doesn't fit right and you're looking at a sore, fed up, potentially violent animal. Imagine walking for miles in badly fitting shoes. No wonder they play up. Maybe the saddle is a good approximation for your horses- this is a little round pony.

'I have had her since she was 3'

This mare is now ten years old and the seller has had her for seven years. I get the impression she's been trying to work with her on and off (mostly off, her back that is) with minimal success, several bruises and possibly fractures.... It also means though that much of her ridden career has been with this owner. In what sounds like an ill fitting saddle. No wonder she's fed up!

That's not to mention whether her teeth have been examined, her feet given a good once over, and a vet been out to check for other sources of physical pain. Pain can come from the strangest places to cause violent responses under saddle, which is why I mention feet- a horse I knew started rearing when his owner tried to ride him despite showing no initial signs of lameness- a good examination and x ray revealed degenerative changes in the bones of the foot and I think the ultimate diagnosis was navicular.

'can't have the trouble with her anymore...'

Now that statement just screams show up with a trailer and forget the $100, you can have her...! Although...

'will learn to be trailered this weekend..'

This smacks of a misplaced confidence! If this pony has given her this much trouble just for riding I wouldn't guarantee she'll have trailering down in two days- especially given the lack of 'proper equipment'... trailer or large cart I wonder...

Good luck Goldie, I hope that despite the fact your owner 'can't have the trouble' with you, she takes enough care that you don't end up taking the nearest wrong turn to an auction with an unscrupulous buyer...

Thursday, 25 October 2012

How Did This Happen?

I can't get my head around this ad from Craigslist, as picked up by the posters on Chronicle of the Horse forums.

How do you manage to get to the point that you buy a horse, THEN find out you're allergic to them?!

This said there are certain other things that suggest completely clueless owner here- firstly they don't seem to understand that the use of the word 'mare' means the addition of the word female is not really necessary, and secondly they don't seem to know much about feeding and care- horse looks pretty poor! If that's all she's got in the way of grazing it's no wonder...

Which is a shame because she looks kind of sweet and like she could be pretty nice with some decent care. Hopefully she gets an upgrade to someone knowledgable- actually someone with even half a clue would probably count as an upgrade to her present circumstances.

Finally to add insult in injury she is posted in the 'boats' for sale category. You just can't help some people!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Why I Wouldn't Buy From These People...

I found this ad on Equinenow and have to say I am doubting the professionalism of these sellers, website and all.

I've ranted in the past about wanting sellers to look half smart, at least safe. I am not a big fan of the no hat and casual clothes approach. But apart from that, fair enough one shot of riding a quiet horse in just a headcollar and leadrope...  But all of them?


Do these people have any tack? Can the horses even wear tack? And then we have this...

Small child totally helmetless and completely barefoot on a horse so tall that he could easily give himself a decent amount of brain damage just sliding off the side! Yep, real smart. Oh and in an open field with other loose horses who might at any time, being horses, decide something terrifying is going on and do a runner? Prompting normally quiet horse with kid on board to have herd instinct kick in with a vengeance and go hell for leather with them?! This child better have a velcro seat!

Finally there's this...

Now feel free to enlighten me as I haven't dealt with this fencing myself before, but this REALLY looks like two horses tied really tightly or inappropriately (a knot in the first and oh dear god... is the last one tied on directly by the headcollar?!) to non-permanent fencing that, should the horse panic in juuussstt the right way, could be readily lifted from its hinges, dragged, and given it's open framework, immediately trap and break a leg?

Yep, real smart these sellers. I wonder just how long they've actually been around horses- a short enough spell not to be aware just how quickly things can go HORRIBLY wrong I guess.

Friday, 19 October 2012

It's Nearly Halloween, How About a Horror Movie?!

This entry comes to us courtesy of the good folks over at Bad Riding- your place on the net for car crash horsemanship at its best!

Here is a sales video for a rather cute little horse- and like most true horror movies it gets scarier towards the end!

So flatwork, no the rider is not the most stylish but heck, I'm not going to throw too many stones on that one, I'm not exactly Carl Hester myself. Now just skip to about 2.16 and prepare your jaw to drop...

As I fear the video may be deleted, I have taken some stills for your viewing, er,  pleasure...

Ok seriously, you want the horse to fly over the jumps- NOT the rider! A bit more elbow flapping and I reckon she could be airborne! She appears to be throwing the (non plussed if slightly confused) horse at the jumps. Hey, here's a thought, if this is the only way you can get your horse to jump, maybe don't include that in the sale video?!

Still a cute horse. Lets just hope poor Gabriel is not yet at the point where he thinks he actually has wings with all that movement going on over his head!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Advert of the Decade...

Seriously, someone designed this cracker over at Dragon Driving just to play on all my horse selling pet hates!

Non professional rider slouching all over and hanging off horse's head with random tack on it that fails to show off horse at all? Check!
Horse's apparent living space full of random junk and standing on said horse for no discernable reason? Check!

Using horse as jungle gum while at the same time managing to be utterly oblivous to the multitude of stains on said horse which could easily have been brushed off and are now transferring themselves to pants? Check!

Randomly dangerous manoevre which further illustrates complete lack of safe riding gear? Check!

I never look at one of these shots without hearing a voice in my head saying ' an' this 'ere's the last shot we got of yr uncle George, right before ole Bertha got a nasty wasp sittin' on her big behind...'

Anyway, gotta be a classic.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

My Eyes! My Eyes!

Those shorts have no place on a horse. Or anywhere else for that matter. Especially not with that top and those shoes. That is all.

Rest of ad for those interested:

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Selling Your Granny

When a good friend of mine was asked about whether she would be moving her old mare on now that she was busy with a couple of youngsters she was horrified and told me 'it would be like selling your granny!' Her mare is sweet, rideable, almost totally safe (as we all know no horse is guaranteed safe) and therefore might at least have a decent new home to go to if she decided that she would go down that route, but she is still an older mare, with her best years behind her and that occasional touch of stiffness and grumpiness creeping in at times.. She has earned a good home for the rest of her days, not put at risk of being overworked or even worse, passed from place to place.

Then we have this mare:

Lorin is 22 years old according to the details from the website at the bottom of this ad. She's never been ridden, but nowhere does the seller indicate if this is due to injury or just because they never got round to training her. Sadly in the current economic climate I can't see people who can just 'pet her all the time'and let her 'roam the fields' banging down the door. On the website it also promotes her excellent bloodlines. I wonder how many foals she may have had for this seller over the years? Interestingly I cannot see much evidence of this proclaimed 'move' either on the ads for her other horses for sale or on the website. Maybe this one is just surplus to requirements all of a sudden. Funny that,  being over 20 and unrideable.

Here's another golden oldie. This guy is 26!

Despite his advanced age I note he is not a quiet ride, which probably makes him unsuitable for the novices and children people might have considered getting him for, and despite her claims would not make him a family horse (most little kids are not intermediate riders!). I also worry that there is no full body shot-  the withers look pretty prominent so I hope he's actualy in good nick. The owner repeats loving home throughout the ad but just like before, I feel this poor guy is looking at the slimmest of markets.

I don't know these sellers and their exact circumstances, although I admit have drawn certain conclusions from their ads and related details, but this much I do know. We are in an economic crisis and people just don't have the money they used to have to spend on luxuries- and horses are a luxury. You can get a really nice, rideable horse with a lot of useful years ahead of them for silly money if you look in the right places- and they can be companions too. Horses like this pair are just not wanted- one is not only old but unrideable and the other is old and not the quietest ride.

I pray that the people who currently have these horses in their care are prepared to vet any prospective buyers to the hilt and arrange visits of where the horses will be- better yet to loan them out somewhere nearby rather than just hand them off and take any money offered. These are horses that are at high risk of ending up in an unsuitable home or on the way to the nearest market to have the last few dollars squeezed out of them before they get a one way ticket to abuse, neglect or slaughter. Personally? If these were my horses and there was asbsolutely no way I could keep them any longer or lend them to someone I knew and where I could visit regularly, I'd get the vet out and have them put to sleep after stuffing them with carrots and standing right there beside them. Then I'd know they'd received the care they deserved from the day they came to me to the day they died.

Just my opinion. What do you think?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

She's Got What?!

Way to boost a gal's self esteem! This poor lady finds herself advertised with her most noteworthy features apparently the fact that she has fish eyes (doncha need a vet for that?!) and a moustache! I love the fact that they spend more time noting these markings than they do mentioning what actual work she has done in the past!

Aside from the odd expression for what I presume are something like wall eyes (enlighten me please anyone!) we also have the fact that she has been running with a BIBLE stallion? Again, never EVER come across this before, any takers?
Incidentally I think we could enlarge on 'running with' and make it 'pregnant by'... if these shots are anything to go by...

Also I wonder if that's last year's foal popping up over her neck?! Poor old girl, hopefully she lands on her feet regardless of her facial hair and dodgy eyes....

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Ok, so maybe it's just my warped sense of humour but this ad tickled me. When his partner announced she needed to sell her stud, I wonder if this chap decided it was his opportunity to titilate some local ladies and try and find a job as a stripper at the same time by advertising his own studly qualities?!

Looks like a reasonable horse as far as I can tell, but note that I'm not getting the best view of him as the most prominent shots feature Mr Baseball Cap displaying his bronze pecs, bulging shoulders and rock hard abs!

Exhibit A:

And shouldn't this one have Hello Ladies emblazoned across bottom right shot (of patient horse apparently having his hind leg readjusted)?!

Well, lets just hope horse finds a new home and Romeo gets the new career he seems to be craving!

Monday, 8 October 2012

A Few Little Issues...

So this is one of the most confusing ads I have seen in some time. First off, here it is.

So, are they all for sale? Some of them? One of them? Or are they just being offered to ride for a bit? Apparently they are brock and make nice projet. Ok, fair dues, English may not be the advertiser's first language, but for the sake of just one sentence they couldn't find anyone at all to proof read?!

'Dance horses' are not one of my favourite things either as I understand there are more bad ways to train them than there are good ones.

I also hope that the horse shown only has his head tied up so high for the short term, as I am led to believe that some trainers use prolonged tethering of this type to subdue the horse and make it more likely that they keep their heads low when ridden.

Overall, a real head scratcher here!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture?

So I swore I wouldn't do another equine now ad so soon but this one just took the biscuit. No prizes for spotting the problems here...

So hey, does this look like a foal to anyone else? Well maybe that's because it certainly was when they began the poor soul's 'training'. At best he was a year and a little bit!

Yes that's a little girl on board, bareback, hanging on by a handful of mane with NO HELMET!

Did I mention he was lucky to be a year old when they started him by the sounds of it?

Also no shoes on child who obviously has feet impervious to being trodden on by the surprisingly tough feet of a foal... which by the way, they have been riding.

Just a heads up for any kind potential buyers; with those ribs and that round belly I'd be looking to worm this fellow ASAP.

Did you notice he's been out on trails? I think it's too much to hope someone was leading him in just a headcollar... I'd put money on him being ridden.

Quiet?! I bet he is. He probably can't get his BABY brain about what's happening to him. Would you send that little girl out to work in an office and expect her to do a half decent job and not end up stressed and resentful in a few years time? No? Why do people think horses should be any different? Where's the rush! He could have a good 30 years useful life ahead of him, given time to mature. At this rate he'll be knackered and riding to slaughter by five.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Advert of the Day

Today's ad is courtesy of Equine Now. No words necessary but THAT PHOTO? Really?!

Hopefully we can believe that this is just a (very) bad moment in time. If not I can't see poor Lola stopping for people who fall off for long... I see her disappearing in a cloud of dust!

Monday, 1 October 2012

What's the Great Big Advantage in...

A horse that is happy for you to stand up in the saddle? I am bemused by the increasingly regular appearance of sales shots of people standing on the offered horses... and the use of these as the only or biggest photograph in a horse sale ad as if it is some amazing plus point. If I want to pick apples out of a high branch I'll use a stepladder. If I can't see what's going on at a busy show I'll find a fence to sit on or a different place to stand. I don't need a horse as a means of gaining height thanks!

Here are just two adverts where this random talent is apparently the horse's big selling point! Don't get me wrong- this chap looks a sweetheart, but as I can count on er.... no fingers, the times when I am ever likely to want or need to stand up on his back, I'd rather see a nice shot of him being ridden properly please? If you want to show me how non spooky he is, ride him and carry an umbrella or balloon or something... that's at least more relevant to my normal everyday requirements from my horse!

Now I have more of an issue with this one...

So on the plus side child has hat and correct footwear on. On the negative side, she is A CHILD and she is standing on a pony which is not being held, in open pasture and apparently not tied to anything. I don't care how quiet a horse or pony is, things can still happen! What if an insect stings quiet pony, and quiet pony reacts  instinctively to sudden pain and bucks or takes off up field? Child doesn't have a hope of staying on pony and could easily break an arm or even a neck hitting dirt from that elevated height. Her parents appear to be taking the picture- at least our first guy is an adult making his own educated decision on risk. Kids can be a bit too gung ho for their own good- this is REALLY a time where mom or dad should be saying... gee honey, don't think that's a good idea...

If pony happens to be tied in a fashion I can't make out, I don't need to tell horse people here about the dangers of tying him to a gate, which could be lifted off hinges and trap and break delicate limbs. Also as he's for SALE it's not really a great shot of him as it's a bad angle and you can't see his head properly... honestly, I'd sooner see him in a halter stood directly side on to the camera and with no one using him as a makeshift jungle gym. Or hey, he apparently does get ridden like a normal pony, could we see that please?

BTW you will also notice for the description of pony that the child walks UNDER HIM. Which is another thing which seems like a great idea (to some people), at least until a fly lands on pony's belly when child is mid walk-under and pony lifts hindleg fast and sharp to kick it off. *head desk*

Here we have yet another child taking unnecessary risks... and this time no helmet, so gets to knock herself senseless, possibly permanently, when she hits the deck. Here's a thought- what if quiet pony shifts back leg and child loses balance- now that would never happen right?!

It's like an epidemic!!

Pictures like these just remind me why one of my favourite sayings is- particularly with horses, just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD! Come on folks, people get killed around horses everyday when they are just leading them in from the field and have followed every basic safety rule- I just can't see the point in making a dangerous activity even more dangerous for absolutely NO REASON!!!

Here's someone who does need a horse that's happy to have him stand on him.. but I can't say I know many riders who will have the same requirements!