Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Horse is a horse...Part Four -- Quinn

Quinn is an 8 year old, 16.3 hand OTTB gelding. He is an experienced hunter/jumper with a very nice video of him at an AA hunter/jumper show under his show name, Last Laugh. He had been originally trained at a barn that I'd actually visited during our search for Foxfire's horse and that had seemed like a very nice facility. He'd been sold from there to a wealthy family for their 13 year old daughter who hadn't even started lessons yet, for $12,000. He'd turned out to be too much for their total beginner daughter who had really just wanted a nice little trail horse that she could go bareback riding on with her friends. They'd tried to sell him for $9000 then decided to just cut their losses and gave him to a dealer to sell for whatever she could get for him. She told me that they'd probably accept $3000 for him which is pretty much the limit of what I can spend. I was pretty excited at the thought of getting such an expensive horse for so little, but I also figured that there must be a catch. However, from talking repeatedly with the dealer, calling the original training barn and talking to the owner there and watching the video of him, it seemed that he really was a very nice horse that was being sold by people who just wanted him gone, so Foxfire and I went to see him. It didn't quite go as hoped for. He was indeed a very well put together horse. And unlike the blue roan mare, quite photogenic.

However, he was hotter than the sun, as Foxfire put it. His ground manners were nice, but from the way he'd show a fear response whenever given a strong command or when anyone just moved too fast around him, I suspect that his training involved more fear and abuse than firmness and respect. It probably wasn't this trainer, she'd only had him a few weeks, but the parents of the little girl had sent Quinn to a “wenglish” trainer who supposedly fixed difficult horses. I suspect that he might be responsible. Anyway, the horse bucked several times just on the lunge line.

I almost told Foxfire we'd leave then and there, but the horse behaved well enough under saddle for the the trainer. He did some nice lateral work

and even jumped a very jury-rigged and rather frightening(at least to me) jump set up on some very uneven ground at the edge of the arena.

In retrospect, it seems like she was having to pull him back pretty hard most of the time she was riding him. But anyway, since he'd behaved under saddle, Foxfire got up on him. He seemed okay right at first, but then started to try and canter. It rapidly degenerated into Foxfire trying to slow down the psycho pony. He didn't buck or anything, just kept trying to run away. Fortunately, Foxfire got him under control and got off of him safely. The trainer/dealer seemed honestly embarrassed by Quinn's behavior and said that she hadn't seen him behave like that before. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows. But we said thanks, but no thanks, and left.

1 comment:

  1. Quinn used to belong to a friend of mine and she's very worried about him after reading this blog. Can you send me an email please?