Friday, March 18, 2011

I just got back from the vet. Tonka's blood will be sent off for the allergy testing today. I told Steve how bad Tonka looks out in the pasture, moving so painfully, and he said we may still be looking at x-rays. Dang it.

His fecal test was negative. That's good.

Going back to the idea of what to look for if I do need a new riding partner - it's amazing the differences in horses. It seems like most of them aren't broke. Not like my horse is, anyway. And some that are, they're so high strung I'd be terrified to ride them and I'd hate dealing with them on the ground. I'm very picky, I guess. I think I would consider buying one that's coming straight from the trainer, if it was a good trainer. Or one that's been used on a ranch but not pushed too hard too fast. A horse who's comfortable in his job. I don't think I would be picky about breed, but there are some breeds that I would not be inclined to look at.

Linda had a good point about buying a trained horse that has already proven its health. I hadn't thought of that aspect of it. With a new mustang or any horse that hasn't been used, you don't know how they're going to hold up to the work. I had no reason to think Tonka would have health problems when I brought him home. I didn't know Bella was going to have a locking stifle. I'll have to think on that some more. On the other side of the coin I've seen some mature, trained horses that people think are perfectly healthy and sound and they don't look right to me. A vet check would be in order for any trained horse, I think.

I am enjoying riding Cisco, but he's not going to be my new heart horse. I'm still hoping Bella may be sound, but I'm not sure I should get my hopes up too much. I'll start working with her soon and see how she looks. She's uncomfortable when she's standing around, but she can also still really rip around the pasture. I'm wondering if she just needs some conditioning. (I should clarify that Bella has reverted back to being ours and my mom is looking for a well-broke horse instead. My mom kept telling me how much Bella obviously loves me, and doesn't feel the same about anyone else - how much she depends on me. It made me feel bad about giving her up. And with her being lame still, it doesn't make sense for my mom to keep her and take a chance on her by spending the money to have her trained.)

On the subject of buying and selling horses, there is going to be an online auction this Sunday for a herd dispersal in Snohomish, WA (near Seattle). They have LOTS of miniature horses and donkeys, some Arabians, and quarter horses, and several standard size donkeys. It makes me sad the way they've chosen to sell off their equines. You can't get any information about the individual animals, the auction company just doesn't know anything. The owner should be providing more information to help ensure the critters will get good homes.

Here's the link to the inventory (how awful that they're real live animals with personalities, and theyr'e just "inventory"), in case you want to take a look:

Update: I just called the auction guy, I had to ask about one of the donkeys, and it turns out that this is a bank sale. Whoever owned the animals took off with all the records and information about them. Crazy.


Linda said...

I had the vet check all my horses before buying them--except Beautiful and C'ya. C'ya was so cheap--because she couldn't lope circles and had a gnarly back leg injury--I knew I was taking a chance with her anyway. I also had the farrier check all of mine--again, except those two. I actually learned more about all my horses through my farriers than the vets. (oh, and my trainer--she also checked them out at no charge--rode cowboy for a week, though, at a charge, but he needed a brush-up anyway.) If you're looking for your heart horse, I'd go ALL out, like Kate did, then hope for the best, because anything can happen. Still hoping Tonka works out though!

froglander said...

Bummer to hear Tonka isn't doing so hot :( Will you be able to keep him if you end up getting another horse? I hope it all gets figured out and you find a way to keep him going.

If you do go looking for another horse, I guess first thing is to make a wish list, what do you want to be able to do with your horse?

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I hope I don't end up having to go through that shopping and vetting process. Just the idea of that is intimidating enough to make me want to take my chances with a fresh mustang...

Kristi - Tonka is here for life! I could never sell him. I like your idea of a list. I guess my list is pretty short. I want to be able to trail ride, and maybe a little competitive trail. I'd like my horse to be well behaved in any situation but other than that I'm not really looking to show or anything.

cowgirlup11 said...

A vet check would be the best option. Amazingly, before I brought Fox home, the people who we got him from did a vet check on him. He's perfectly sound and healthy. But it did help me to know that Fox was just what I wanted so that's why I ended up taking him.

Keechy said...

One of the things on my list was a good walk, trot and canter. I broke that rule because I liked the horse I bought, and brought her home even though her canter was woeful. I let myself make excuses for her being that way.

Well, it was woeful all right, and stayed that way, and turned out to be because she had stifle trouble and an arthritic knee. I never stopped liking her but I bought an awfully expensive pasture puff because I broke my own rule to
stick to everything on my list! So often one or another gait being off in a mature horse is due to soreness. It was a good rule and I shouldn't have broken it.

Something that does help me a lot with horse purchases is "Understand and influence your horse's personality" by Linda Tellington-Jones. You can tell a lot about their character by working from the drawings and photos she has in that book. You can also work out what type of horse you want to bestsuit you and compare that to horses you look at to buy. It is amazingly accurate. (But still get a vet check!!!)

Linda said...

I agree about the Tellington-Jones book--you can figure out a lot by analzying the horse's face and posture. I love that book--and find it to be right on every time.