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Monday, August 31, 2015

Good Bye Chili

Well I did it.  I sold Chili at the auction last week.  I'm not sure it was the right choice or what I should have done but after who knows what she had done with her I was not sure I wanted to spend the money to get her back to where she was when I sent her to the trainer.  I'm sure I don't have the skill so would end up costing me a whole lot if I could even find someone who would try it.

Before I sent her she was coming along, I could catch her by herself or with others, it took a couple minutes but not bad.  I could pick up her feet, back feet were a little iffy, and brushed out her mane and her body all over.  Not a lot but that's why I was sending her to a trainer, I didn't have time in June to train her.  And I've never completely started a horse so it made me nervous, specially with a horse that was kinda nervous already.

I talked to him lots, both over the phone and in emails.  We agreed that she would stay for 30 days I would go see her progress and then decide if that was good enough for me or get him to keep on riding her for the 60 days.  I have had lots of horses that have had 30 days (or less even if that's what it was supposed to be) and had no troubles so that's what I was expecting.  I was planning on using her as a ranch horse and so all I asked was if he would ride her outside a few times before I came so that's not a totally new thing for her.  If she stands to get on, moves off leg pressure and turns, and walk trots canters without trouble that's perfect.  Anything else is just a bonus.  Like Dinero he was so quiet he was working on side-passing and opening gates, started a turnaround all in the 30 days.  But I knew she wasn't gonna be like that I knew how she was and kinda expected a bit of attitude, partly cause she was 4 and she was a little nervous/fast.  She went there June 3rd.  He seemed nice, rode nice and had a nice place to train out of.

After 2 weeks, never heard anything and hate to bother them constantly but I asked how she was going.  He said she was right on track with the 2 year olds, coming along nicely, he said he would get some videos and pics next time his girlfriend come out. That made me happy, I figured she was smart enough to get stuff if presented right and seemed OK so far.

Another 3 weeks went by and still never heard anything so I asked him again how she was doing and if she was ready to come home.  He said she was going well then she got a case of girth itch and reacted badly to it so he gave her a couple weeks off and if I just wanna cover board for july he will get her back where she was before I can take her home.  So fine I sent the board money and all was well and he said he would keep her the extra month and get her going outside and such cause of the extra wait.  Sounded like a good deal to me.  Not that I was all that upset about that, lots of horses get it specially at training places,  Wish he woulda told me about it rather than having to ask though.

Then almost a month later I get a message saying he has put lots of work into my horse and shes not really coming along.  He says she knows quite a bit but was dangerous.  She works great for a certain amount of time and then she is done and will try to kick or shut down when hes on the ground.  when he rides her he says she has a bit of buck.  He thought might be ulcers or equine epilepsy or something.  He says feels bad that shes not where he wants but hes put a lot of time into her and cant afford more of his time on her.  and suggests I come pick her up.  So I agree and ask if Monday works and he can show me what hes done with her.  He says that works, says he feels bad and hates sending horses home like that.

So Monday comes around and I ask him what time works and he never gets bsck to me so I just go and am waiting on an answer, I stop in Drum for lunch and some shopping and then keep going.  I finally ask him again when works and he says he is in a meeting and might be better for me to pick her up.  I say my Mom lives in Olds and I can visit her for a couple hours if that works.  he says ya that would be perfect and he will call when hes back.  So I go have coffee with my Mom and then she has to leave at 7 so I head out, get fuel and stop for supper then figure I better just go cause its getting dark.  So I get to the place and call him again and no answer so I go get her.  Took me 45 minutes to catch and load her.  She was all skittish and jumpy and being super nervous.  I blame part of it on the dark but she was in with 5 other horses (which I didn't know expected her to be by herself) and 3 of them were super quiet and just kept hanging around me, but not her.  She finally quit running and I got her and she is a mess.  her feet are terrible long, her mane is all tangles and she is skinny.  Not what I expect from a horse that was handled daily.

So I head home, he calls me at 10 and says hes on his way, I say shes in my trailer already and I'm on the way home and something about it woulda been nice to know that Monday didn't actually work I coulda come any day.  Never got an answer back and chances are I wont ever go there or recommend him to anyone.  I don't think hes a bad trainer, I just think he had too much on his plate and didnt spend near as much time as she needed.  Hes at a new barn and the barn owner said he has his kid all day with him and he just recently got there and hasn't seen him much.  So I don't know what going on in his personal life but it wasn't any good for my horse and probly the others there as well.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

You are being way too understanding. Her condition looks deplorable in those pictures. Did you ever actually see the guy working with her and riding her? I suspect he probably did nothing. He certainly didn't groom her and bring a farrier in like any professional trainer would, and it looks like he wasn't feeding her well. I've had trainers point out to me if my horses need to gain or lose weight. He either didn't notice or didn't care. I suspect he learned that he can make more money by charging for both board and training, and thought no one would know the difference of whether he did the training or not. That whole thing with him saying she was coming along nicely, and you having to call him to get a progress report, and then suddenly saying he can't work with her anymore and she's too difficult sounds very suspicious. There's a difference between a trainer who is too busy to train and a trainer who is just a scam artist, and he sounds like a scam artist.

4RRanch said...

Wow, what a disappointment. I too am thinking you are giving that "trainer" too much of a pass. Either he didn't know what he was doing or he was doing nothing. I would guess the latter.

Anonymous said...

Too bad. That wasn't the horse's fault. I hope there weren't kill buyers at that auction.

Shirley said...

I like to drop in on trainers unannounced. I think you got took by this guy. Maybe you should ask the barn owner if he ever worked Chili. But in the long run, I do think she wasn't a good match for you, and that Trio will be better.