Buy­ing and sell­ing

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

“How Not to Buy a Horse” (EQUUS 474) was very well writ­ten and brought back mem­o­ries of my own bad ex­pe­ri­ence buy­ing my first horse. After that, I made it a rule to ask my own ques­tions of the seller as well as to longe the prospect, brush him, clean his feet and ride him at all gaits. An­other tac­tic that worked for me was to give the own­ers a vague ar­rival time so that they wouldn’t be able to drug the horse.

I have now owned trail horses for over 35 years. I have seen too many peo­ple pass through the sta­bles where I have boarded my horses who are in­cor­rectly matched with their horses. Hope­fully this ar­ti­cle will ed­u­cate those rid­ers who made their own mis­takes when pur­chas­ing a horse. Elaine Co­hen Staten Is­land, New York

I must re­spond to “How Not to Buy a Horse.” I am yet again “in be­tween” horses, with my fourth one in seven years up for sale. In that time, I pur­chased a “cheap horse” who bucked me off in my front pas­ture. I pur­chased a “bully horse” with ter­ri­ble arthri­tis in his hocks (un­be­knownst to me, de­spite a pre­pur­chase exam). I pur­chased a “thin horse” with an amaz­ing can­ter be­cause I felt sorry for him, but he ended up be­ing anx­ious and too flighty for me.

My fourth horse was won­der­ful un­til I moved him from a board­ing barn with an arena to my place, which of­fers pri­mar­ily trail rid­ing. After he be­came buddy sour, backed me into a ditch and fell on me, I de­cided I’d had enough. With each of these four horses, I did pre­pur­chase rides, I had pre­pur­chase ex­ams, and I took videos to show my rid­ing in­struc­tor. And with each horse, I ended up hav­ing sev­eral falls, some of which were se­ri­ous. For­tu­nately, I am proud to say that, by pre­sent­ing their faults hon­estly, I was able to place each horse into a good home. None had been pre­sented to me truth­fully by the sell­ers, and parts of their his­to­ries were omit­ted.

Once this fourth horse is sold, I will be­gin my search anew. Your ar­ti­cle was

very help­ful to me, and I’ve re­al­ized I be­come emo­tion­ally at­tached to horses for var­i­ous rea­sons. I buried my palomino mare, Duchess, in the back pad­dock after she passed away at 32, and for seven years now, I have been search­ing for an­other ver­sion of her. With each horse since, I have learned some­thing that I will take with me on my next search. But your ar­ti­cle was in­valu­able, giv­ing me much to think about as I get ready to be­gin my next search. Alice M. Yutzy Hugh­esville, Mary­land

The trou­bling per­sis­tence of tail block­ing

I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated “The Truth About Tail Blocks” (EQUUS 476). This prac­tice should be con­sid­ered an­i­mal abuse.

I used to show Quar­ter Horses, and you could see im­me­di­ately when a horse had its tail blocked or not. De­spite the heat and flies, those tails never moved. Yet the judges would give the first, sec­ond and third places to those horses be­cause their tails never moved. Mean­while, I thought that the horses whose tails moved more nat­u­rally were more beau­ti­ful than the ones that were placed. They were pe­nal­ized for even the slight­est of tail mo­tions.

I still own a Quar­ter Horse, but I stopped go­ing to the shows, and I dropped my mem­ber­ship in the breed as­so­ci­a­tion. The or­ga­ni­za­tion may pro­hibit tail block­ing, but it is still be­ing done. He­len San­ders Cum­ber­land, Mary­land

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