Adios Mike, hello Sid - updated - Sid going forward to vetting

Jane&Ziggy

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So I got home from Mike's failed vetting with eyes full of unshed tears. Made myself a coffee and thought I would have a little look on Horsequest.

And lo and behold, there was this chap. His advert had been up for half an hour and he is at a yard only 15 minutes' drive from me:

Screenshot 2021-03-24 at 16.15.06.png

Screenshot 2021-03-24 at 16.16.06.png


Sid is 12 and 14.3. He's been the First Pony for 3 families. II phoned. Dealer answered. I said, "Still got him?" She said yep. I said "Come and see him?" She said "When?" I said "Now?" She said "OK."

So I was first to see him.

The good: He rides like Ziggy but better - longer stride, easier to stop, much much better schooled. Soft mouth. It was easy for me to ride him, because his paces and feel were so much more what I was used to. I got an inadvertent walk to canter transition, which he did beautifully! And when I tried to remember how my RI had told me to help Ziggy into an outline, Sid immediately dropped his head and lifted his back. Great feeling.

He's a great little jumper and enjoys it. The dealer showed him to me ridden and popped a jump, and when I got on him he was really forward because he thought I was going to jump him! I did go over a cross pole but not really a jump. However, he always always slowed down and/or stopped when I asked, no messing about or strongness, just forward.

I hacked him out along the road and up the track and he was fine. At the start of the track there was a pile of bright road signs and blue pipes, and he backed up a step or two and snorted, but passed when I insisted. He didn't try to turn back or fight me, just accepted my direction and went on. His paces (walk and trot) were the same out and back, and he goes easily and smoothly between the gaits.

The only bad things about him were that he is grumpy in the stable - puts his ears back and makes faces. Interestingly, though he did this to me when I brought him out, by the time I put him back he seemed to have decided that I was OK and snuffled my hair with his ears forward, the way you would want. Also, he is girthy. As soon as I took his rug off he was nibble nibble nibbling at his girth (both sides) and after he was saddled when I slipped my hand under the girth to check it he swung his head as if to bite. He didn't bite - I tapped his cheek and told him kindly to sod off and he did - but obviously it bothered him.

I asked why he was sold. Apparently the last family had 3 horsey kids up to age 12 and a very very un horsey mother. She wanted a pony she could primp and preen, because I suppose that was the value she could add to her children's hobby. She fiddled with his girth one day and he nipped her on the bottom. That was it, he is in sales livery. The dealer said, "He doesn't mind having a job, but he doesn't want to be a Barbie pony."

Fine by me. I need to get my RI to see him if she can - she lives nearby so I hope it might be possible - but if not at least she will look at the video and give me her opinion. Then I can send a deposit this evening subject to vetting (again).

If it's not one thing it's another! It is stressful, though, that everything seems to have to happen in such a hurry. If I had money, I would employ an equine agent to find the horse for me to make it easier.

What do you all think? I don't really like mostly-white horses, or blue eyes, but a good horse is never a bad colour...
 
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carthorse

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I have to say that he looks a bit stiff, or maybe just inactive, behind to me, but then if I'm honest I think that about a lot of coloured cobs so maybe it's a conformation/movement thing with them. The main thing is how you feel about him, a vetting will pick up physical problems.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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I have to say that he looks a bit stiff, or maybe just inactive, behind to me, but then if I'm honest I think that about a lot of coloured cobs so maybe it's a conformation/movement thing with them. The main thing is how you feel about him, a vetting will pick up physical problems.
I agree @carthorse . My friend the equine chiropractor said she thought he was stiff in the right pelvis but it was hard to say because the riders insist on holding him so tight. My RI is going to ride him for me tomorrow so I'll be able to see how he goes for her as well as her seeing me on him :)
 

Jessey

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He reminds me a lot of my friends cob who I quite enjoy riding 🙂
How did you find his canter? He looks a bit sticky in that transition a few times, tail swishing and the little bum hump. Combined with your mention of girthyness, I’d specifically ask the vet their thoughts 🤷🏻‍♀️ Overall he looks and sounds very sweet though, 🤞 for the vetting 😁
 
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Sparky Lily

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I shall be most interested in what your RI says. I thought he showed tension as well as stiffness in the first part of the video, especially with transitions, but seemed freer when jumping. The girthiness and the nip would be a big no for me. Sorry.
 

chunky monkey

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Dont wish to dampen your spirits. Im afraid something doesnt sit right with me watching that video. Too much tail swishing and looks a little uncomfortable in the mouth at the beginning. Little objection on transition and he looks lame on a couple of the passes. You say hes girthy as well.
 

Ale

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Afraid his back end looks a bit odd to me but I couldn't say more than that, I'm sure your RI will be able to help you more
 

Mary Poppins

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Dont wish to dampen your spirits. Im afraid something doesnt sit right with me watching that video. Too much tail swishing and looks a little uncomfortable in the mouth at the beginning. Little objection on transition and he looks lame on a couple of the passes. You say hes girthy as well.
I agree, something is not right about him. He looks uncomfortable in his mouth, he keeps opening it. He bucked going into canter and his tail didn’t stop swishing. His stride is quite choppy in places. He also moved away from the mounting block when the rider got on. Obviously you will get him fully vetted but my gut tells me he is a stoic type and is working through pain somewhere.
 

Bodshi

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I actually think he goes better with the children riding him, tracks up better, looks freer in his movement etc, even though his head is in the air. I'm guessing he isn't used to being in such a tight contact and finds it a struggle. Having said that when the older child (or small adult?) cantered him on the left rein (I think) he went onto his right lead and when she corrected him he went round bent to the outside. Maybe he's just not used to schooling and is stiff (and probably a bit sore if they've been making him do it)?

I did think he looked a bit lame in trot at one point though, but I'm rubbish at detecting lameness.

Looking forward to hearing what your RI thinks. Fingers crossed 🤞
 
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Skib

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I am not good at examining foot fall. But the tail swishing and the bend (lack of straightness) would put me off. However when it comes to vetting, the basic requirements for a quiet hack who will canter only out hacking and not in a school are modest.
I rode many RS ponies over the years and ponies ridden by children can be opinionated when ridden by a rider with softer hands. So it all depends whether you really like him or not and want to do a bit of rescuing? Why exactly are they selling him? And have you been to dealers in the south east, talked about what you want and had some sort of choice? Or pone on the yards that specialise in cobs?
I dont ride cobs and would be after something more like Ziggie myself.
I have another observation about weight carrying. Those children are not heavy. The fact that a horse is able to carry much heavier people, does not mean that they will go in the same way. Maisie went very differently when I weighed 9 stone in summer clothes from the way she went when I was 10 stone in winter clothes and heavy boots.
Of course I hope you find a new riding horse. But I would not hurry and I wouldnt rely too much on your RI. Good to have specialist advice but at the end of the day, the horse is for you. It should be a good physical fit for a rider of your age, shape and weight. If you had been offered one of these cobs when we went for that seaside ride, I suspect you would not have been pleased.
My share is off work, so I may well be looking myself but my specs are quite different from yours.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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I felt sorry for him, the riders didn't help him a bit and he was very tolerant of being jerked in the mouth by the kid who had no balance. He's probably girthy due to his owners being inconsiderate to him and would get over it. It wasn't a great video to sell him, he could be much better than that. The moving away from the mounting block, well she didn't have him close to it at all anyway, and got on him unsafely. I used a mounting block and would never get on like that as it is pulling their back anyway. Buddy was very fussy in his mouth when i got him, he stopped it once ridden differently. I wouldn't dismiss him, he did a lot of things right. The grumpiness and girthiness well you have no idea what kids did to him if the mother was unhorsey and they were unsupervised. Buddy doesn't like being girthed either, but then when i went to see him, they put the girth on ultra tight first go, rather than in stages so i guess that's why he was sensitive. He is pretty ok now. I think Sid hasn't had a lot of nice care and he might blossom, especially if you stop fiddling with trying to pull him into more of an outline than his thick cob neck allows him to do. Can't comment on soundness issues but he seemed willing and tried.
 
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carthorse

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I thought he was at a dealer's when Jane saw him? Which probably isn't at all relevant except that it would suggest the people handling and riding do have an idea of what they're doing. Jane if you aren't looking for a child's ride then I'd be a bit wary if most of the time they showed him to you he was ridden by kids - is there a problem that means he's unhappier with a heavier rider, or indeed with one who will ask him to do more and can back up those asks? It all depends on what you want him for though, as Skib said you can get away with some soundness issues if you only want a light hack, but if you want more or may want to do more in the future be careful and if you go as far as a vetting specify the upper end of what you want.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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I am not good at examining foot fall. But the tail swishing and the bend (lack of straightness) would put me off. However when it comes to vetting, the basic requirements for a quiet hack who will canter only out hacking and not in a school are modest.
I rode many RS ponies over the years and ponies ridden by children can be opinionated when ridden by a rider with softer hands. So it all depends whether you really like him or not and want to do a bit of rescuing? Why exactly are they selling him? And have you been to dealers in the south east, talked about what you want and had some sort of choice? Or pone on the yards that specialise in cobs?
I dont ride cobs and would be after something more like Ziggie myself.
I have another observation about weight carrying. Those children are not heavy. The fact that a horse is able to carry much heavier people, does not mean that they will go in the same way. Maisie went very differently when I weighed 9 stone in summer clothes from the way she went when I was 10 stone in winter clothes and heavy boots.
Of course I hope you find a new riding horse. But I would not hurry and I wouldnt rely too much on your RI. Good to have specialist advice but at the end of the day, the horse is for you. It should be a good physical fit for a rider of your age, shape and weight. If you had been offered one of these cobs when we went for that seaside ride, I suspect you would not have been pleased.
My share is off work, so I may well be looking myself but my specs are quite different from yours.
I'm looking all over the place, Skib, and the market for horses is so hot at present that no dealer's yard I have contacted has a choice of horses available. They go up for sale and out within a week in general.

That's an interesting point about the beach ride horses. However, I do nearly all my hacking alone, so I have to be more cautious about the horse I do it on. Especially as I am 10 years older now....!
I felt sorry for him, the riders didn't help him a bit and he was very tolerant of being jerked in the mouth by the kid who had no balance. He's probably girthy due to his owners being inconsiderate to him and would get over it. It wasn't a great video to sell him, he could be much better than that. The moving away from the mounting block, well she didn't have him close to it at all anyway, and got on him unsafely. I used a mounting block and would never get on like that as it is pulling their back anyway. Buddy was very fussy in his mouth when i got him, he stopped it once ridden differently. I wouldn't dismiss him, he did a lot of things right. The grumpiness and girthiness well you have no idea what kids did to him if the mother was unhorsey and they were unsupervised. Buddy doesn't like being girthed either, but then when i went to see him, they put the girth on ultra tight first go, rather than in stages so i guess that's why he was sensitive. He is pretty ok now. I think Sid hasn't had a lot of nice care and he might blossom, especially if you stop fiddling with trying to pull him into more of an outline than his thick cob neck allows him to do. Can't comment on soundness issues but he seemed willing and tried.
That's how I feel about him. That was the dealer mounting him unsafely! See my rant elsewhere on the forum today. He seemed to me to be sizing me up as a rider the whole time, and trying to adapt how he went to suit me, bless him.
I thought he was at a dealer's when Jane saw him? Which probably isn't at all relevant except that it would suggest the people handling and riding do have an idea of what they're doing. Jane if you aren't looking for a child's ride then I'd be a bit wary if most of the time they showed him to you he was ridden by kids - is there a problem that means he's unhappier with a heavier rider, or indeed with one who will ask him to do more and can back up those asks? It all depends on what you want him for though, as Skib said you can get away with some soundness issues if you only want a light hack, but if you want more or may want to do more in the future be careful and if you go as far as a vetting specify the upper end of what you want.
Yes, he's at a dealer, and she says that he prefers being ridden by kids because they don't insist that he goes in an outline. I managed to get him to drop his head, though, and I ride with very soft reins indeed; he is sensitive and not unwilling. He seems to me a thoroughly nice little chap but I wonder if I am too heavy for him.

I'm going to film my RI riding him today and ask her to film me. If she likes him I'll put down a deposit and have him vetted but will specifically mention his rear end movement and the girthiness. For the vetting I will say hacking, popping a log, sponsored rides, low level lumping and dressage (walk and trot/ 50 - 80 cm). That should cover everything I am ever likely to do with him.
 

carthorse

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@Jane&Ziggy if you're too heavy for him then it's an almost certain sign that there's a physical problem there, his type should be able to carry you without a problem The cynic in me suspects the dealer is well aware of this hence the kids riding and claiming it's because they don't ask for an outline. And that's another thing, a comfortable horse that knows it's job shouldn't be that resistant to a politely asked for outline. Maybe I'm overly suspicious, it's easy to be as an outsider, but I really have doubts about this one.

Will you let us know what your RI thinks? I'd love to know what eyes on the ground see, a video can be deceptive.
 

carthorse

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I think I may have just come across his advert - now Mick not Mike? And no mention of a failed vetting. A lot of faffing around in the video, is that really what people want to see? And even at the reduced price that feels expensive for what he is :(. And a look on a facebook page where people share first hand experiences of dealers isn't great. @Jane&Ziggy you may want to consider joining some of these pages if you keep looking, while they only give the buyers side of things some dealers names keep coming up with bad reviews for mis-selling etc so it can be useful to be warned.
 
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Skib

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Jane. Read Carthorse's post very carefully. She is absolutely right.

Not only is there a facebook group Dodgy Dealers but NR people also sometimes make use of H&H Forum which is much bigger and there are people who will PM (not public) message opinions of dealers, both good and bad.

However one can have fairly honest dealers with poor horses. You can also ask people privately where they bought their horse.
I too am shocked at his price.

I worry about normal hacking horses being asked to do low level dressage. Rashid used to be very particular about how slowly one needs to do with literally just 2 or 3 steps in walk the first day. There have been horses on NR who have gone wrong immediately after being entered for some insignificant local competition. I have never competed and never had a rosette (except as a gift inscribed from a RS)
 
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