Sunday, 29 September 2013

Because Honesty Is The Best Policy...

Here is a highly entertaining ad which is making waves on the net at the moment. I have copied it while it is still live for readers of the blog...

Miserable, cantankerous horse for sale - $1400 (New Haven)

Meet Rotten Banana. My wife named him that before he was born 7 years ago, and for that reason I believe she is a true psychic medium.

Rotten Banana's father was a registered Paint we owned, who was a valiant sweetheart of a horse but was ugly as sin. His mother is an evil wench, but is built like a brick house and is afraid of nothing. We thought the breeding might give us a valiant sweetheart who was built like a brick house. Instead, we got.....Rotten Banana.

Banana has a lot of.....personality. He has great ground manners. He loves attention. He is probably the best horse I have ever seen about picking up his feet. My 6 year old daughter can lead him anywhere.

And that's where the good stuff ends, so....maybe stop reading here?

Still reading? Dammit.

Rotten Banana is very broke to ride and has hundreds of trail miles. Like his mom, he is afraid of nothing. He will go through brooks, mud, trees and not miss a step.

If he wants to.

If he doesn't want to, he won't do anything. Literally.

If you want to ride, he will just stand there. Whip and spur all you want, the best you will get is a half-hearted buck and a grunt. (The very reputable natural horsemanship trainer I paid $900 to work on this became as exasperated as i was.). If you want to put him on a trailer, and he doesn't want to get on it, he will go backwards. Quickly. If you want to put a bridle on him, he will actually point his nose to the sky like a timberwolf. When you are not looking, he will either steal the hat off your head with his teeth, or grab your shirt and give you a tug.

In short, he is an ass.

So, if you're looking for a project horse with lots of miles left in his- ta da! Here he is.

Someone with time could actually make a horse out of him. That person is not me.

UPDATE: I'd like to thank those of you who have emailed that you enjoyed this ad. A few points of clarity:

1. Yes, he is really for sale. To the right person and home, not the first person with $12 bucks in their hand. If he doesn't sell, I will not be dropping him off at an auction or anything stupid like that. (I thinks it's funny I said 12 "bucks" while talking about Banana. He loves bucks.)

2. I posted him on craigslist to sell him, not get unsolicited horse training advice. I'm neither the best, nor the worst equestrian around. I have owned and trained my own horses long enough to know I'm not a good match with this particular horse.

3. Not that it's anyone's business, but since a few folks have taken it upon themselves to call me irresponsible for breeding Banana in the first place- I bought Banana's father at a farm auction simply because we were afraid for his fate. He was 200 lbs underweight, not gelded, and no one would even bid $50 for him. I bought him, fed him up and started him under saddle. At the time, Banana's mother was getting older and my wife likes the miserable nag, so we bred them with the intent of replacing one of our trail horses. Banana's father was gelded and sold (for a loss after all of the vet bills and feed) and now works as a school pony at a lesson stable.

4. Banana got his shots and a Coggins test done yesterday. He tried to steal the Coggins papers from the vet. I doubt it was because he thought it would taste good.

This ad raises some interesting points which I feel are valid to equine welfare particularly in the current economic climate.

Firstly the breeding issues, for which the current owner has been criticized. Here we have a snapshot of what happens every day all over the world when many people decide to breed horses. They want to replace one, or they want to keep something that they like in their current horse going. This is how so many unremarkable horses are born week after week into a flooded market.

The first lesson as we know is that you can't guarantee what you are going to get from breeding and here, as the owner freely admits, the qualities he admired in the parents have not emerged in their offspring quite as he hoped! So if you want something particular in your new horse, go buy one instead of breeding it. Then you can pick out just what you want because you can see it in a living animal.

The irresponsible breeders don't spent time on the horse-that-is-not-what-they-expected and move them on with no training or time spent on them- much as this horse's father was. At least here we have someone who has tried hard to work with the horse and make it a useful animal. They have decided to sell this horse because they believe that they are having something of a personality clash, which can happen, and that someone else may get better results than them.

The owner has not just dumped the horse-that-is-not-what-they-expected at an auction, a common fate for so many of his kind. They have also said they will not do this which is to their credit.

So while the situation is not ideal I like that they are being upfront and honest about what is happening with the horse, deliberately trying to find the right partner for him. But the ad is also a timely warning to anyone with a pretty average mare they just looove for one random reason or another and want a baby from- you could wind up breeding your very own Rotten Banana!

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