It’s time to let Mouse go. The injustice happening to him here, is weighing heavily on my heart. For me, not knowing how to detect a problem before it progresses further, is not in his best interest. The yo-yo effect he’s having due to my lack of knowledge, is putting him in jeopardy. I’ve decided to look for a home that can give him a better opportunity. I placed an ad on three different sites. Craigs List, Equine Now, and DFW Equine and Tack. I deleted the latter because of all the crazy inquiries. Craigs List wasn’t much better, but I needed an ad that could reach a broad audience. I got people from as far as Oklahoma City interested in him. Several were with-in a 25 mile radius. Only a handful of people knew how to care for a navicular horse. The other calls must have misread or half read the ad. They all wanted horses that were perfect! I had no intentions of selling him to anyone, who didn’t understand the consequences. Mouse needs an experienced owner.
After having picked a lot of brains, decided to haul him up to Aubrey, Texas. The woman on the phone wanted him for her lesson program. She assured me, navicular was not an issue with her. She had a world-class barrel horse with the same issue. She offered to pay my expenses and she penciled in a time for us to talk about the horse. I arrived at 10:00am. Aubrey is an hour and fifteen minutes from my house. She met me at the gate, introduced herself and she took over from there. I barely got out of the truck before they were backing him out of the trailer. Her kids unloaded Mouse from the trailer. The first thing the woman said was, “he has a fresh bite on him”. Which was not an open sore at all, it just looked like he might have been bitten by a horse fly. She was very abrupt. She walked him away from the trailer and reached for the middle of his ears. He backed away and threw his head up.
I was surprised by the way she reacted to his surprise. He’s head shy!, she said. I told her, he was not. She approached him head on and he didn’t see her coming. He quickly regained his composure and put his head down and nuzzled her chest. She walked him around for a minute and took him to the barn. The woman handed him off to her daughter. The young lady tied him to the cross tie and fitted him with a saddle. Her mother was busy with other things. She had barely spoken to me up to that point. She finally came over and started criticizing the farriers work. His hooves are uneven, he has two different types of shoes on and his toes are too long. I immediately replied…we discussed this on the phone. He was ready to be shod again and you were told this before I got here. That wasn’t an issue with you, then. Her reply was, ‘I didn’t realized he had poorly kept feet’. I was like, really? It had only been four weeks since the farrier re-set him, he was due to be done again, and you said it didn’t matter, your farrier was world-class and could give him a new start.
I was trying not to be rude, even though, she found every opportunity to criticize Mouse up to that point. She walked away. Her daughter finished saddling him and walked him out to the arena. Mouse was being the gentleman he was and walked quietly behind her. He didn’t get excited or silly in any way. He never looked around or got impatient. He just went along with the flow of things. The lady had already gone to the arena with a couple of lessons. I was a little taken by back by the fact, I had an appointment to show the horse and she was little interested in talking to me. She yelled across the arena…did you bring his bridle? I told her no, he rides with a halter or a side-pull. She looked bewildered, and yelled…why not? There were twenty or more different bits hanging on the barn wall. Because, you told me, you, had something to try him with. I didn’t think it was necessary to drag a bunch of tack up here, considering your set-up. She looked mad! By then, I was getting irritated at her attitude.
Her daughter mounted Mouse and rode him off. He was quiet and low headed. Considering all the commotion, Mouse acted as though he was home. She asked him to stop and back-up. He resisted, and she started kicking him several times, while pulling back on the reins. I could tell immediately, he wasn’t going to tolerate her roughing him up. I almost told the girl to get off. It doesn’t take much to get him going in any direction, if you stay out of his mouth. Again, the woman yelled across the arena…we don’t back up much around here. The daughter turned and went off around the arena. Mouse has a slight limp. Also spoken about over the phone. The woman yelled, he’s lame…I can’t have a horse around here that’s lame! By that time, I, was extremely irritated. She told the girl to get off of him. The woman finally walked over to where I was standing and asked me if I could get my vet to send her vet the x-rays. Going on to say, he was nice and quiet and could use another gentle horse for her lesson program.
I made one last attempt to be polite. I called my vet, got them to fax over the x-rays to her vet. (She was supposed to have sent me the info yesterday, so I, could have sent them prior). Said she forgot! Then asked me to leave him so she could take him to the vet on Monday. Her farrier could take a look at him as well. She got her farrier on the phone. We went a go round over who was going to pay the farrier and the vet. to take a look at him. I told her, we talked about this over the phone. I’ve already spent the money to have him x-rayed 2 months ago and since, had him shod twice. He’s doing great, if you want him, you’re going to have it done at your expense. I priced him to you modestly for this very reason. She replied with…why would I, buy a lame horse? I reiterated, this was your idea in the first place. You told me a horse with navicular, wasn’t an issue and now your back-peddling. You wanted me to bring the horse to you, and from the moment we arrived, showed little or no interest.
She left me standing there and went back to her lesson. Again, she yelled across the arena…he sure is nice, I’d like to have him. I already had Mouse in hand and walking towards the barn. I entered the barn, tied him up and unsaddled him my self. Feeling totally confused, I stood there thinking about what just happened. Shortly the woman meandered her way back to the barn. She handed me the phone and asked me to talk to her farrier and explain the situation. I refused. There was no way in hell, I was going to leave Mouse with her. I left her standing. I lead Mouse over to the trailer. The woman followed me over and told me…to bad you had to make the drive all the way up here. There was no apology for acting like an ass, nor did she offer to reimburse me for the gas. Of which, was agreed upon over the phone. The end!