Have you ever had a moment in your life where you have made a split decision that you wish you could take back? Fortunately, I have not had many of them in my life, but lately I have had 2, and they both concern our new horses.
The first of course, was the decision to sit up on our new horse bareback and led to me having painful fractures in my back and a 2 month recovery.
The second was to buy the pony, Bobo.
Here is our ongoing saga:
We went to look at a horse advertised for sale on Craigslist. She was advertised as a solid horse that would be good with kids. I wrote to the owner and explained that I had 5 young kids that were not used to being around horses. I was looking for animals that would be safe for them. She said I should also look at her pony, that he was great with kids.
And he appeared to be! We watched him being ridden by 2 kids simultaneously (bareback, I might add).
The owner offered us a deal for both animals and I had visions of the kids and I riding around happily – me on the horse and one of them on the pony.
I had the first inkling that something was wrong when the owner dropped him off and mentioned that he might be difficult to catch at first. She suspected he had been abused at some point and could have trust issues. This was a huge understatement.
Within a couple of days I was laid up with the back injury, Spouse was trying to learn everything he could about taking care of horses and Bobo had thrown his halter off and was going all wild pony on us. He was completely impossible to catch – although he would come in for grain at night.
I have to admit that Spouse took on an amazing role with him. Every morning and every night Spouse stood out there holding the halter feeding Bobo grain from his bucket until he was able to work that halter back on him. With Spouse’s patience he went from a pony that would not touch the grain in the bucket if we were holding it to us being able to grab his halter and hold it while he was eating. We worked our way up to leading him around.
Bobo has come a long way in a couple of months, but his problems haven’t ended. He is fearful of every thing we introduce to him. Leads, brushes, blankets, etc., everything causes him to snort, back up, throw his head around and try to get away. He is still very difficult to catch.
And then there is the fact that I had a vet out to check the horse over and he told us that their vets won’t even step on the property of the woman I got them from. He said you can’t believe a word she says. Huge red flag, if you know what I mean.
Despite all of this, I think Bobo is a great pony. He is never aggressive, just extremely fearful.
The thing is, I don’t think I will ever trust Bobo with the kids. And therein lies the biggest problem.
As much as I hate to give up on an animal after such a relatively short time, and even though every day we see improvement in him, I just don’t think we can keep an animal that will always be questionable to me. My kids are too young and inexperienced with horses. I also don’t have the time to work with him and I don’t think it is fair to him. We agonized over the decision, but finally decided to list Bobo on Craigslist, being completely honest about his issues.
We had a lot of responses, but in true Craigslist fashion, most of them were not serious. I even received an email from the woman we purchased Bobo from asking why we were selling him. I chose not to respond to her, mainly because of the info I got from the vet.
We finally met a woman who is looking for a project for her daughter (who is 22). Ironically, they had looked at another pony being sold by Bobo’s previous owner, but the pony was too small. She told them about Bobo and sent them to us (I guess I have to thank her for that). They have spent a couple of hours with Bobo and put down a deposit. But they still have reservations about whether he is going to be workable.
And now I find myself in another conundrum. The buyer contacted Bobo’s previous owner again, and wants to bring her over to our house so she can demonstrate that he will be workable.
What do I do? I need to sell Bobo, it is clear that he is not for us. I completely understand the potential new owner’s reservations. But I don’t trust his previous owner. Even after I explained to the buyer why I don’t trust her, she would still like to bring her over.
Why can’t it ever be easy?