Friday, May 20, 2011

Dishonest Horse People

We stumbled across this ad recently, advertising a Warmblood schoolmaster:

Sounds great, right?

Wait... why is she only selling for $2,700?  If she is really a schoolmaster and as good as they say she is, shouldn't the asking price be closer to $27,000?

 Hold the phone... here she is again, also listed for $2,700...

Ooookaaaaay... maybe she's injured or arthritic?

Oh wait!!!!!  There's this ad from FEBRUARY, when Talbot Run sold her to South Ridge!

The mare is listed for $350!!!

Okay, what the heck is going on?!?!

Talbot Run sold the horse in February to South Ridge Equine for $350...

And now South Ridge is trying to sell her as a schoolmaster for $2,700...

Something just doesn't add up!

More digging....

As it turns out, Talbot Run had a verbal agreement with South Ridge saying that she was being sold as a broodmare ONLY, and at $350, it's pretty obvious she isn't rideable for some reason or other.  While the original ad doesn't say so, the mare hadn't been ridden in years.  So what does South Ridge do?

They put her in the LESSON PROGRAM!

But apparently it isn't working out... the mare goes nice for maybe half an hour and then violently EXPLODES.  Yes, you read that right.  She absolutely loses her marbles and outright explodes.

What's the obvious course of action?  Post an advertisement that says she is a schoolmaster, perfect for kids, and yours for only $2,700!

*Head explodes*

Does that make sense to anyone?  Here's how a visit from a potential buyer would go: Groom and tack up the mare, try her out for 10-15 minutes, decide she's great for their kid or their lesson program, then buy her on the spot.  Get her home, let her settle in, school her for maybe 15 minutes before tossing their kid up there.  15 minutes later, the mare explodes, takes off, bucks your kid off into the arena wall, and you're left standing there with no idea what just happened and a seriously injured or dead child.

Makes you nauseous, doesn't it?

AND more awesomeness!!!!

This mare is going to Eyler's Auction (now RSD Auction) tonight!

For those of you not familiar with how Eyler's works, you can look at horses ahead of time and try them out in their arena.  So she will probably get a couple of short rides in and do well.  Everyone will see she's a "great" mare, and will want to give their kids a chance to hop on to give her a test drive.  Owners are not obligated to disclose any information about the horses they bring into auction, so buyers have no idea where a horse has been or what its history is. 

The mare will be bid upon by people looking to buy a schoolmaster for their child or lesson program, with no idea that she will explode and probably kill someone!  And who will be the ones to discover she has a problem?  The lesson kids!

All my readers right now must be thinking that these stables are low-end, and that their own barn's horses are going to always be safe...

Both of these barns are very high-end expensive stables.  But that doesn't stop South Ridge from dumping lesson horses on a regular basis at Eyler's!  Just like at any other auction, all horses are at risk of being bought by a kill buyer or ending up at New Holland the following week.

While I don't know the quality or condition of horses South Ridge dumps at Eyler's, I can't help but wonder how many other dangerous horses has she pawned off to unsuspecting families?

These aren't backyard stables by any means.  They are lucrative professional barns where many people would love to board or take lessons.  South Ridge bought the mare, knowing full-well that at $350, it was obvious she was unrideable.  But they still get on her and try to turn her into a lesson horse.  And when that doesn't work out, they dump the mare at an auction!

When professionals act this way, it hurts everyone!  It hurts the buyers, it hurts the seller's reputation, it hurts the horse!  If the mare is bought by an unsuspecting family tonight, it could very well end up that the horse is euthanized or at New Holland within a week, and a seriously injured or DEAD child.

EDIT: Yay, Talbot Run is going to Eyler's tonight to try to buy back their mare!  Kudos to you for recognizing that this horse was in danger, and for doing the right thing to get your mare back!

It wasn't my intention to make you look like the bad guy, quite the opposite in fact.  I hope to use this blog to educate horse (and non-horse) people about the risks you take when you sell a horse.

Unfortunately, you all got put in a bad spot when a client didn't follow a verbal agreement.  I've heard of people giving a horse to a best friend who they believe will keep the horse forever, and then the horse ends up on the auction block a week later.

I hope that in the future everyone will rely on written contracts, because there are plenty of scum bags in the horse world just like South Ridge.  Just because someone seems trustworthy doesn't mean they are.  Cathy at Fugly Horse of the Day pushes practically stalking people who will be handling or purchasing your animals.  If there is dirt to dig up on someone, it's not that hard to find. 

Entering into a contract and researching folks is a great way to weed out some of the unscrupulous horse persons out there.  While a piece of paper might not fully protect the horse, it certainly gives you a lot of leverage in court.  And take the time to do a little on line research, you'll be shocked at what you find!

EDIT: Fortunately, this story has a happy ending!  Talbot Run successfully bought back Zingara from Eyler's Auction this past Friday night!  I don't know if there were any kill buyers at the auction that night, but the price she went for could very well have landed her either at New Holland or someplace worse.


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