Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Different Kind of Journey - the Final Loose Ends for Me

This Story Begins Here

A couple of years ago I got a call from the new owner. She had called to get information about YW. She was having trouble getting her to finish paying on the contract for the horse she'd traded and wanting my help in locating the horse.

At this time I got the opportunity to find out how this gelding was doing. What she told me just confirmed what I'd already known. YW had been pretty rough on this horse.

When the new owners got him, they were so concerned about his situation, they decided to just turn him out for six months and let him learn how to be a horse again before they did anything with him. Out in the pasture no adult could go anywhere near this gelding or he would would charge at them. The only one who could get near him was her daughter, who just happens to be the person the horse was purchased for. Luckily, the horse adored the daughter so there was hope his issues could be fixed.

I can't even imagine what happened to this horse to cause this kind of defensiveness. For someone to take one of my sweet babies and turn them into such a horse speaks to some pretty abusive treatment and only confirms my belief that YW never really took to this horse in the first place. Since she was always blaming him for whatever was going wrong, I suspect she got way more physical in her discipline than this horse's phyche could tolerate.

Once the new owners put this horse back to work, they took retraining the horse slowly and he has been rehabilitated. That jack hammer canter that YW described is totally gone and the horse's lovely smooth balanced canter has been restored. WoHooooo!

I believe he's doing fences showing on the open hunter jumper circuit. They also ride him on trails and even down the road. He absolutely loves his kid and the entire family loves him. The horse has forgiven adults for what was done to him. The dear sweet horse who used to live here has been restored to that kind sweet gelding we knew. Hopefully this is a forever home and I won't have to worry about him anymore.

The other gelding was eventually sold too and from what I understand there was a falling out between the owner and YW before or during that sale. I am not sure which. What the circumstances are I don't know and where the horse is I don't know either, although YW did tell me the people who bought him did so for a kid to ride. Hopefully he's fallen into the hands of a kind trainer who is taking the time to fix him too. One can only hope.

I did look up the show record of this horse and I see he has been shown a couple of time by the new owner. The record only shows placings so I don't know if he has been shown more than what's there but it does show he was shown in late 2009 in hunter pleasure and early 2010 in dressage. The dressage showing was a score of 66 in training level and a placing of first with only 1 horse in the class. There's nothing there that will tell me if this horse has been fixed or is doing more of the same.

The heartbreaking visions of both those geldings has caused me to question whether I really want to breed horses anymore. The thought that happy horses can be turned into such sad beings in such a short time not only makes me furious it hurts to my core. I don't want to be responsible for horses living through such horrors. While I know I am not responsible for YW or anyone else's treatment of a horse, the fact I made the mistake of trusting her really shakes me.

I might add that after that short time YW rode Legs for two weeks and then showed him, for a couple of years I really didn't get back to my pursuit of getting the horse the western titles he needed to bring us into the limelight . I think that winter was so horrible schooling opportunities were rare. Then after that the twins were born and the rest is history. Reflections on Foaling Season 2006 - Rare Twin Foals

When I did turn my attention back to Legs I found myself with a completely different horse and I was starting over again. The horse was resistant to going into the bit and lifting his back. Did two weeks of YW's training do that, I don't know but I acknowledge at one point YW did ask me if she had contributed to his problem.

I don't know if that was a sincere question because she was evaluating her training or if she was just trying to see if I was blaming her. Either way I said the same thing then I am now. I just don't know.

All I know is it took me another two years to fix my horse and I had the same issues after YW had ridden him that I had after the WT had ridden him. Looking back, however, it occurs to me that WT only rode Legs in the bridle a couple of weeks and it had taken two years to even get the horse to go forward after that. The man did ride him for about eight months not allowing him to truly go forward so it probably wouldn't be a fair comparison but still there is the fact when it was time to put the horse back into the full bridle he ceased going forward again and has anytime since if he's gotten any kind of break from the bridle. Either way something sent Legs back to remedial training in both circumstances and I will always wonder why.

Another Journey Begins...............

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  1. I love the face on the bay you've been using to illustrate your other posts. I can only hope he is the lucky horse that found a family to love him. Seriously, how could you not just cover that nose in kisses?

    I also want to thank you for your honesty and frankness. It's so hard to admit mistakes and you're laying it all out there. I have to admit to being caught up in the story.

    You breed beautiful arabs (and I am so not an arab person :) ). I am not in the position to have a horse, but they're lovely and I would be so happy to have one started with the care and love you have demonstrated.

    Thank you for sharing your horses and your insights.

  2. I'm glad to hear that one of the horses got a great home with people who love him and care about him. The other horse most likely did too. It's a shame they had to go through some rough handling but Arabians are smart and they will know when they are treated right by good people and they are very forgiving.

    For me I could never be a breeder or sell horses. We tried it and turned down a lot of people because we knew they wouldn't get the care and training they got with us. The few we did sell went to people we knew and we have access to check up on them and know they are all doing well.

    Being a breeder is hard because you put so much of yourself into the horses from the beginning and it's hard to let them go. When a situation comes along like you had to deal with I can see how you would second guess yourself. You did everything in good faith. Unfortunately, these people weren't worth your trust. There's really no way of knowing for sure what will happen to the horses we give to others care. We can only do our best and hope for the best.

    Good luck with Legs. I'm sure with your compassionate training he will come around soon enough.

  3. laura, if the bay you're talking about is the one with the white marking on his nose, that would be the one I don't have much information on. It is the other bay horse with a small white star that found the great home.

    I think the only way we can do better is admit we've done wrong in the first place. That makes honesty important to me. Unfortunately, as the next story will show, I made some of these same mistakes again.

    Arlene, I so hope you're right about the second horse. He deserves to have a loving home too.

    I try to be very discerning about who I sell my horses too. I'd hoped that would prevent things like this from happening. I've actually done pretty well, except when I have sold them to people I thought were my friends. Those have turned out to be the ones I've had problems with.

  4. That's an interesting thing you said in your last comment--that your only problem selling horses has been with friends--because I've never bred horses, but I did breed one litter of pups and I "sold" one to a friend--gave her a good deal--and she returned her to me about 6 months later saying the dog was a neruotic mess. It was the only dog I got back--and she was perfect as a puppy. That is so sad to say. A friend is who you should be able to trust most with your animals. All the others that sold at full price were happy, healthy dogs and the owners were wonderful about keeping me up to date with photos and stories.

    I also appreciate that you can tell this story, and I appreciate that you're trying to keep it fair and objective--like in not pointing fingers about who caused the training problem--though it was probably YW. :(

  5. So glad that at least the one gelding found safe harbor with good people and was restored , and hoping that the same is true for the other. As to the question with Legs, I would wonder too,as much as after reading this I would love to say He** ya YW messed him up, I would more likely suspect that her riding was similar enough to the WT that it might have prompted him to revisit his issues.Legs sounds like a very smart ,sensitive horse ,who ,picks up on subtleties very quickly .

  6. Linda, interesting that you had the same experience with a puppy.

    As for the story, I try to tell it like a reporter, with all the facts I know and then let the readers decide. That's how I try to look at life and hopefully that gives me some middle ground instead of jumping to conclusions or assuming. Now if I can get myself to trust my instincts as well, I might actually have some good skills to protect my horses.

  7. I am happy to hear that one horse ended up in a very good home, hopefully the other one did too.
    I have told myself over and over that I will never sell my Arab Brandy. She has a forever home with me. And due to her issues, if I ever sold her, I feel like someone wouldn't understand her like I do.
    It would be so hard being in the breeding business (I am, but not on my own!) then selling the babies you've bred. I guess I just have a hard time parting with any of my animals and I would probably end up with 50 horses because I couldn't handle parting with any of them!

  8. When we first got our horses, I had thought to breed and sell. One look around at the sad fate of way too many horses changed my mind in a hurry. Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty in the late 1800s trying to bring the plight of horses and and an understanding of their true nature to the public's attention. Looking around at the industry (and attitudes of many trainers and owners) today, doesn't seem like very much has changed does it?

  9. What a relief to hear that the one bay gelding found a great (hopefully) forever home. It sounds like he really is happy.

    It's good that the other gelding is no longer with YW, I'm sure that his situation is improved from what it was. That story about Vee really had me thinking that YW does not properly care for her charges, let alone her training methods on the two young geldings.

    I hope you don't beat yourself up over this too much, anyone would have done the same thing in your shoes. You knew YW's mother, and you had no reason to not trust YW...from all you knew in the beginning, she'd be a great trainer. It stinks that it didn't work out :(

  10. MiKael...I've had other experiences through the years involving mixing "friends" with business...and it rarely ends well. BUT...the experiences have taught me a lot...and showed me who my TRUE friends are! ((HUGS!!))

  11. I can't believe what you've gone through with these horse/trainers. My heart breaks as I read about it.

    BTW I just awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award. Stop by to pick it up.

  12. I'm glad one of your geldings was lucky enough to land in good hands. What a story. I look forward to each installment.

  13. It sounds like your one gelding has gone on to a good home. Hopefully, the other has as well.

    I wonder why it's the "friends" who also seem to let a person down on so many levels?

  14. this story is difficult for me to follow, but i'm trying. i am really wishing for names of horses rather than descriptions! oh well, i understand why you cannnot use the names: )

  15. I'm so glad he has a happy ending with just the right people for him.

    Too bad every horse owner doesn't keep a blog, then it would be easy to read what they say and decide if they're a good fit for your horse.