Are there really that many mis-sold horses?

Winters100

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 April 2015
Messages
2,171
I have been thinking about something and wonder about other opinions.

Today I went to see a horse who was purchased about a month ago by the cousin of one of my friends. They asked me to go because they were aware that I had previously known the horse, and they claim that it was mis-sold as suitable for a novice. I went because I was quite surprised that they had problems. My history with the horse was that I was lent it for about 6 weeks when starting riding again after a serious accident, and to me he seemed to be a perfect gentleman, albeit needing some encouragement to be active, and absolutely safe for a novice. I would have imagined that any complaints would have been that he would grind to a halt if not given proper aids, but the new owners claim that the horse "bolts" and bucks.

When I saw how he is now being kept the problem was obvious. They have him at a smart competition yard, in 24 hours a day apart from being ridden / put on the horse walker, while he was previously at the yard where I keep mine, not nearly as smart, and with worse facilities for humans, but turned out dawn until dusk in a pack. The new owner is a novice, so the ridden work is gentle, but he is eating more hard food than mine do in relatively hard work.

I saw the "bolt" and it is more what I would describe as 'going a bit faster than the rider would like for a few steps'. I did not see any "bucks", but my friend told me privately that she would describe them more as 'skips', and that it has only happened a couple of times.

The new owners are nice people, and willing to take advice. I believe that I can help them, they will hopefully move the horse to our yard, there are no boxes free, but he can live out for the time being with some of YO's horses, and for sure before winter something will come available.

This got me thinking though, these people, nice as they are, were so quick to say that the sellers were to blame, when this is just not the case. If they had not by chance had a contact who knew the horse they probably would have kept saying that. I know that some horses are genuinely mis-sold, but I wonder how many do not work out because of changes in how they are kept, or just because the buyer made a mistake. It has made me realise that if I sold any of mine (which I hope never happens) then I would be really reluctant to describe even my saint of a schoolmistress as 'suitable for a novice', because even she was a little enthusiastic when I first rode her after some weeks off when I had covid. Don't get me wrong, she did not do anything, just was a bit more 'full of beans' than usual, which is the case with this horse. I used to think that buying was full of difficulties, now I see that selling is the same!
 

BeansNsausages

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 January 2022
Messages
78
Someone I know purchased a 6yo. Said 6yo had been being regularly hacked out 5 times a week, for a few hours each ride and was a really easy, straight forward horse.

New owner only rode it twice a week or so and it became quite sharp and had her off a few times so she sold it on.

Nothing wrong with the horse really, just better suited to regular work.
 

The Jokers Girl

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 July 2017
Messages
321
In my opinion I don't think there are that many that are genuinely mis sold. I find too many people hugely over estimate their abilities and also treat horses like they are robots. They give no consideration to the amount of stress a horse is under when it is moved away from its familiar surroundings and think it should just adapt with no settling in time.
I also see so much heavy handling and poor riding and it's just a matter of time before the horse acts out. Sellers also seem very quick to get rid sometimes and do not always sell to the most appropriate owners.
 

Snowfilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 September 2012
Messages
1,377
My mum was a freelance riding instructor for decades and estimated that a good 75% of the ‘mis sold’ horses were actually ‘idiot buyers.’ She used to spend a lot of time telling clients that they had a perfectly suitable horse, if only they treated it right.

Keeping in too much, not working them hard enough and feeding them enough for a hunter in full work are the main problems.

You do get dodgy sellers but a lot of it is the buyer’s fault. And of course, a move does unsettle a lot of horses. The first few months can throw up previously unknown behaviour because the horse is stressed.
 

Upthecreek

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 May 2019
Messages
1,960
Many inexperienced horse buyers, and particularly first time owners, have absolutely no idea how much impact changes in environment and management can have on how horses behave in a new home. I honestly think many more horses are mis-bought than mis-sold. The new owner expects the horse to settle in immediately and adapt to it’s whole world changing from the word go and when this doesn’t happen they jump to the conclusion that the seller has lied and deliberately mis-sold the horse.
 

cauda equina

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2014
Messages
5,352
A wise and competent friend says 'When you buy a horse, for the first three months you wish you hadn't'

Of course there are easy horses who settle in to new homes easily and quickly, but new and especially novice owners need to be aware that many don't and need time and patience to adjust.
The horse you tried probably won't be the one you bring home, at least for a while
 

Fern007

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 August 2020
Messages
1,351
Person I know bought a horse beyond her capabilities. She was advised to take it back to seller once a week for a lesson, she didn't and it started throwing her off. Ots going a little better now but she blamed the seller!! It gets ridden twice a week!!
 

Peglo

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 June 2021
Messages
820
I have little experience with it but I do wonder how many horses just aren’t given enough setting in time. Maybe no horse should be sold as a novice ride to protect the seller. My horses field mates weren’t the best behaved to start with but we never claimed they were mis-sold. My cousin just dealt with what was in front of her. They both came at. This was going back 13+ years ago and I do think even then things were different. (Not to mention prices so maybe we expected less from cheap ponies)
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
39,305
Location
W. Yorks
I think it's more often a case of mis-bought than mis-sold. Some people have an inflated idea if their capabilities, some keep a new horse in an unsuitable routine because they listen to bad advice and others are just idiots.

Many people seem to forget that horses are living, thinking, feeling beings, not bicycles and expect them to leave everything familiar, including their companions and behave in exactly
The same way as they did at the viewing on familiar territory with familiar people and horses around them.
 

scats

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 September 2007
Messages
7,950
My friend has an ex riding school horse who has taught dozens and dozens of people to ride. Never had a buck in him or done anything other than a rideable spook.
She invited a work friend to come and ride him and he did a full on rodeo act in the school. Never done it before and never did it since.

On the whole, I think a fair number of ‘Mis-sold’ horses are exhibiting behaviours due to a variety of other reasons- change in environment, turnout, feed, competence of rider/handler.
 

Flame_

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 November 2007
Messages
7,713
Location
Merseyside
Equally there are a great number of crap, lame, crazy, disappointing, untrainable horses (eta, and they're all the dog's bollox in their adverts) for whom people want to recoup losses.

I have bought some good horses and one disaster horse, my best horse was bought from the field. I've also known plenty of people who have purchased horses that were pretty much a liability from day one.

My sympathy is with buyers, not sellers.
 
Last edited:

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
39,305
Location
W. Yorks
Equally there are a great number of crap, lame, crazy, disappointing, untrainable horses for whom people want to recoup losses for.

I have bought some good horses and one disaster horse, my best horse was bought from the field. I've also known plenty of people who have purchased horses that were pretty much a liability from day one.

My sympathy is with buyers, not sellers.
If they are a liability from day 1, why would anyone buy them? That also sounds like mis-bought, as much as mis-sold.
 

milliepops

Wears headscarf aggressively
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
27,454
Mis-bought is probably part of it, agreed.
But there also seems to be diminishing acceptance that if you've tried a horse, got evidence that it has done what the seller says (comp results etc), had it vetted and been satisfied with all that, once you get it home its YOUR horse to deal with now.

Someone I know has sold 2 of their completely genuine horses , taken care to seek a good match with a buyer and within a few weeks had phone calls that it's all gone wrong and will they have it back. On enquiring, yeah the feed has changed, it's had no turnout or work etc...

I've taken on my fair share of duffers, when I get them home I know its now my problem to sort with paid help if necessary. No horse, except a hobby horse, is going to be the exactly the same in one home to another, especially in the early days.
 

Upthecreek

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 May 2019
Messages
1,960
Equally there are a great number of crap, lame, crazy, disappointing, untrainable horses (eta, and they're all the dog's bollox in their adverts) for whom people want to recoup losses for.

I have bought some good horses and one disaster horse, my best horse was bought from the field. I've also known plenty of people who have purchased horses that were pretty much a liability from day one.

My sympathy is with buyers, not sellers.
Is it not possible for you to see it from both sides and be equally sympathetic to buyer or seller depending on the individual circumstances? Nobody is saying that some sellers don’t deliberately mis-sell lame or dangerous horses. Equally many horses are accurately described, but their behaviour changes in response to a new home in ways the seller could not have foreseen. Some buyers have totally unrealistic expectations of how the horse will behave initially and overestimate their ability to deal with whatever happens. Some new owners are overwhelmed and just want rid of the problem because something they think will be easy and fun turns out to be challenging and stressful.
 

05jackd

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 January 2014
Messages
115
I think people are thinking more and more that horses are just commodities and you push x button to get Y. They don’t allow that they are living breathing creatures. I think that is compounded by the high prices at the moment. I think that by paying more money people think they should be foot perfect from the first moment but this just isn’t always the case.

I have a pony for sale who is forward going but safe. Has no vices and is ridden by nervous novices in the riding school but I still won’t advertise her as suitable for novices as I feel she could be ruined over night in the wrong hands and undoubtedly she would be classed as ‘mid-sold’.
 

Flame_

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 November 2007
Messages
7,713
Location
Merseyside
Is it not possible for you to see it from both sides and be equally sympathetic to buyer or seller depending on the individual circumstances? Nobody is saying that some sellers don’t deliberately mis-sell lame or dangerous horses. Equally many horses are accurately described, but their behaviour changes in response to a new home in ways the seller could not have foreseen..
Not really, not on the whole. I've been on a good number of livery yards over the years and what I've seen overall is that generally people bought good horses and sometimes people bought disasters. Fair play, some people are disasters and sometimes there are simple mismatches, but more often than not, once the disaster mis-sold horse is returned, or, more often, endured for a few years then put down, these people do manage to buy, keep and enjoy a horse that is what it was sold as being.
 

eahotson

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 June 2003
Messages
3,418
Location
merseyside
Not really, not on the whole. I've been on a good number of livery yards over the years and what I've seen overall is that generally people bought good horses and sometimes people bought disasters. Fair play, some people are disasters and sometimes there are simple mismatches, but more often than not, once the disaster mis-sold horse is returned, or, more often, endured for a few years then put down, these people do manage to buy, keep and enjoy a horse that is what it was sold as being.
I am one of those.
 

honetpot

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 July 2010
Messages
8,087
Location
Cambridgeshire
I bought a pony from a friend, I had known the pony for at least five years, taken it to shows, handled it, seen it in the field and stable, seen it hunted, PC etc. We collected him got him home, took him out at the weekend, and discovered he had really bad separation anxiety, you could not walk three steps away from him to get something out of the boot of the car without him becoming unsettled.
Nobodies fault, you can not know what anything will do in a new situation. When we moved yards or went to PC camp getting him into a stable for the first day was like trying to cage a lion. Its just horses.
 

muddybay

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 January 2021
Messages
422
I bought a young sharp thoroughbred as my first horse and I admit I made a mistake even though I love her to bits now. However, when she spun me off multiple times I never said I was missold as I knew she was unsettled and my riding ability was not up to riding her properly. With a lot of work (18 months) she is now my dream horse and I wouldn't change the experiences I had for the world but neither would I encourage it. I think if more people were as honest that they made a mistake and got help and training, fewer of these horses would end up getting passed around!
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
44,950
The definition of missold to me would be that the seller knew and didn't declare, that the horse was unsound or had a high risk of becoming unsound, had a temperament/behaviour problem that would show up in a different environment or at a different time of year, or was drugged or deliberately dehydrated.

Almost anything else is misbought. So most claims of misselling are actually misbuying or a failure to allow a new horse long enough to settle in a new home.
.
 

oldie48

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 April 2013
Messages
6,720
Location
South Worcestershire
As someone who came to horses very late in life I think making the transition from RS horses to owning is tricky. Moving from a livery yard to keeping at home is also another hurdle that presents lots of challenges. I've been lucky because I've been able to afford lessons to help with my (sometimes, very inadequate) riding and I've had knowledgeable people whom have given me their help and advice. I've never thought I was mis-sold a horse but I've certainly been over -horsed (my own fault) and had quite a few issues to deal with but it's all been part of the journey. I am going to stick my neck out here but quite a few people, who have ridden for years actually don't ride very well and are complete passengers and when faced with riding a new horse, get found out. There I've said it!!!!!
 

greenbean10

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 May 2019
Messages
348
In showjumping I’ve found that many of the dealers have VERY competent riders working for them, who are able to iron out/ mask behavioural issues before they even arise.

I think a lot of ‘mis-selling’ is due to the horse suddenly having a far weaker rider on it. This is one of the reasons I probably wouldn’t view a horse that’s been mainly ridden by a strong man!
 

misst

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 January 2008
Messages
3,968
Our first pony was bought from a riding school. We had known her for a while. She stayed on working livery for a few months then we "went it alone" and moved yards. That was a very steep learning curve. We did so much wrong. Changed feed, changed turnout - she had been living out full time and came in at night on this yard. We of course worked her less. The list is endless. She became nappy and sharp. With help and trial and error she turned into a fab pony who we kept until she died at 27. She did everything at PC and went on loan to an "experienced" family when my daughter outgrew her. She immediately started acting up and became very good at kicking out and being difficult to handle for them. We took her back and she went straight back to being Mrs. Perfect. I am quite sure a lot of the problems people have are management changes and inexperience.
 

Otherwise

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 February 2012
Messages
380
I am going to stick my neck out here but quite a few people, who have ridden for years actually don't ride very well and are complete passengers and when faced with riding a new horse, get found out. There I've said it!!!!!
This is a very good point, on top of that I feel a lot of people even if they've owned for decades have very little experience handling and riding beyond the one or two horses they've owned. If the only horse you've handled for the last 15 years is one you know inside out it can be a massive shock dealing with something unknown, even if you've handled problems like it in the past you sort of forget about the bad stuff you dealt with and overcame.
 
Top