Friday, July 31, 2009

I starved her, but it's the seller's fault!

Someone sent me this ad and I have to say, it's just a classic example of why we all bang out heads against the wall when selling horses.

"Great color palomino pony mare. Buttercup is still a little green and does not have any formal training. My youngest daughter of 10, who is an experienced rider has been riding her bareback with only a halter & reins. We do not have any pony tack and there is no reason for us to purchase those items, as we do not need a pony. Buttercup walks, trots, & canters under my daughter. Buttercup is between 2.5 yrs - 3 yrs. of age. We bought her almost 2 years ago under the pretence that she was a "baby" horse & would be given to the oldest daughter at 16. Well.. we have come to the conclusion with her growth & "pony" winter coat, that she is a pony. I can send pics & video of Buttercup upon request. She does have a few minor flaws. She does have some swelling around the upper jaw. We believe this is due to some new teeth. She has a very small hernia that is about 1/2". The vet has checked both. He said we could wait a little while on both and see how things progress. The swelling will most likely go away once her teeth come in and the hernia is actually doing well on it's own. The vet said, it is only a little bit of fatty tissue and may close up on it's own. This could be operated on but has been getting smaller over time. Buttercup NEEDS GREEN PASTURE & a LOVING home. She is slightly slim & could use a little more weight. However, she has a more sleek slinder build for a pony compared to that of a shetland or others that are short & stocky. That's one characteristic that I believe makes her a good english prospect. She also has a slight growth around the vaginal area. The vet has stated this could be a slight growth of a male but it is a minimal issue for a pleasure pony. This would not be desireable trait for a breeder. Buttercup doesn't eat much hay. She prefers grass & we don't have much of that right now. Price is negotiable based on her getting a good home. She is a very pretty pony and very much enjoys attention. "

*bang* *bang* *bang* *bang*

Good Lord, where do I even begin? OK, obviously this is not a pony. It is a young Quarter or Quarter cross (maybe Quarab? Doesn't have a great hip but I have certainly seen AQHA horses with hips like this before). It probably should have finished out about 14 hands or 14.2 and my guess is that it still could gain another hand or two with proper care.

Lady, nobody "pretended" this was a horse. It IS a horse. It is just nutritionally deficient thanks to you not doing jack shit about its poor appetite for hay (clue: this is not normal. Unless your hay is total dusty, stalky crap, a young horse should wolf it down unless the teeth are hurting - VERY possible from your description! - or it is SO super wormy that it feels sick all the time - VERY possible from your pictures and description of its winter coat!). If your vet thinks this is "slightly slim," he or she got his diploma out of a Cracker Jack box. I'm worried about your vet anyway after that description of the vaginal growth that could be a slight growth of a male? What does that even mean and do I want to know what it looks like? Is pony a hermaphrodite or are you and the vet equally confused?

What kills me the most about this ad is the idea that the poooooor poooooor seller just got scammed by someone who said this was going to grow into a horse. Lady, it's like a packet of seeds. It isn't going to grow into a damn thing unless you put some effort in and give it the care it needs. Now you have a skinny, crooked-legged two or three year old stunted filly and are disgusted and want to get rid of it - did I mention she wants $750 for it? *snort*

Get it some dental care and get it parasite-free and it might have a future. If anybody wants to go get it (assuming she comes down to a reasonable price), it's in Georgia - e-mail me for the ad.

Today's Friday Featured Rescue is a bit of a mystery - we have not yet been able to get a good read on his tattoo, so he might be just about anybody! He is a seven year old dark bay Thoroughbred gelding, rescued from slaughter, very quiet and easy to deal with. Magnum was adopted but his adopter has had a lot of unexpected personal drama this year (has it just been the year for that or what?) and she unfortunately cannot take on a horse at this time. So he needs a home! He is out in Kennewick, Washington at SOS Equines - get your application in and go take him for a spin. I really liked him when I met him and I suspect he's got a lot of potential for the right person.


"I'm curious, what exactly does this mean?

Buttercup is between 2.5 yrs - 3 yrs. of age. We bought her almost 2 years ago (6 months old?) under the pretence that she was a "baby" horse & would be given to the oldest daughter at 16.

OK, most of it obviously states: "I am an ignoramus". If they think a 6 month old foal is full grown, they really need to read up on baby horses before they get one. But what does the part about giving the horse to the oldest daughter at 16 mean? Does the oldest daughter get the starved, stunted baby horse when the daughter turns 16? Or does the horse go to the daughter when it gets to be 16 hands tall? (which might have been a possibility, but does not seem likely anymore). I'm also curious what they think a horse is? Or a pony? Do they know what a hand is?

Might be worthwhile to email these people and ask them if they know that a horse isn't full grown until it is at least 6 years old, and that it needs to be fed a lot up to and past that age (grass, good quality horse hay, and grain), and should not be ridden at all until it is at least 3 years old if they want it to get big. In a non-confrontive way, of course. ;-)

The same applies to ponies, in case they think this is a pony and that would make a difference. They grow at the same rate and have about the same needs, except of course a pony is much more likely to get overweight and founder. Not an immediate danger with this individual.

Horses start out about 50 lbs at birth and get to be about 1000 lbs. They grow to be about 20 times bigger than they are when they're born. That takes a lot of good quality groceries plus free exercise in pasture. If it isn't at least 3X bigger now than it was whe they got it, they haven't been giving it what it needs to grow.

I would question the quality of their hay, and worming program (probably nonexistent). I also wonder if they know about that stuff in bags at the feed store. You know, that mysterious alchemic substance called "g-r-a-i-n" that, when fed to a young horse in moderation, helps it keep its weight up and grow properly. There are even special formulations for young, growing horses. I know some people who never give their babies any grain, and they usually end up a little weedy, no matter how much good grass and hay they get. Even people who don't grain their full grown horses will usually give some grain to the babies. It almost seems like this person doesn't know about that category of horse feed.

Then, one has to wonder about their vet. Although, if this person is such a pushy know-it-all ignoramus in real life, those people around them that have a clue know better than to try to tell them anything.

I feel sorry for their kids. If they're really interested in horses, they will read everything they can get their hands on and eventually learn the right way, but it will be a lot harder because they'll be really confused by the disparity between what their parents say is right and what is really right. And then they'll be sad, realizing their parent(s) are idiots and there's nothing they can do about it but get a clue and move on.

And those kids will be really sad when they realize they helped starve and cripple an innocent, trusting baby horse. - AME"

"Poor pony! I just noticed something, though, about the second picture. It has a date on it that looks like it says "07/04".

That would kinda make the "pony" a little more than "2.5-3 years", don't you think?"

FHOTD in: Well, assuming they are better with digital cameras than they are with foals...

"Poor little dolly! A few groceries and she might make a decent 4H project.When will people learn horses really aren't air ferns?"