Selling a problem horse (definitely not an advert)

Possum

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Hi everyone,

For the past year or so I've toyed with the idea of selling my Section D. The issue I have though is that I don't know whether I even want to sell him, and with the current market I've really no idea how I could ever find someone to take him on.

I can write an advert that makes him sound brilliant - he's a nicely put together Sec D, schools beautifully, has perfect brakes, a cracking jump and is a real cuddly 'people' horse that loves being worked.

But on the other hand, I can write an advert that would make people not touch him with a barge pole - he has sarcoids (including a scar on his shoulder where one was removed that means he'd be no good for the show ring), is massively spooky and won't hack alone, won't load onto a trailer, terrible with the vet/farrier/dentist, hates being stabled and weaves like a lunatic...you get my drift.

So with the current market, really he's only worth meat money. I can't talk about 'potential' because he's 11, and although the one and only time I've managed to get him out to Patchetts he won a class of 20+, that hardly counts as a competition record. But despite all of this, he's a lovely horse and with consistent work all the above issues become SO much better. My problem is that I bought him when I was a student with enough time to work him 6 days a week, every week and now I have a very full-time job in the city that means that I can only work him on weekends which has made him far worse.

I love him to bits so would never just give him to a dealer, and can't afford to pay someone good to work him on the days I can't manage. I always end up just deciding to keep him, but I am so very tired of trying at the weekends to work with a 'wired' section D who spends his entire time tense and jumping at nothing. I've tried sharers, but he's so sensitive that it seems to just make him confused. I had a brilliant girl a few years ago but she emigrated :(.

Has anyone else ever been in this situation? Any words of advice or insight on a way forwards - I'm properly down in the dumps having had yet another atrocious ride on a horse that stands around, costs me loads of money and gives me very little in return other than looking gorgeous!
 
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Laafet

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I had exactly the same horse, but he dislike competing too. In the end I sold him back to his breeders I was so worried that in the wrong hands he'd injure someone or end up being passed on and on. He was a decent amateur horse but with a lot of negatives, if you wanted to train forever and never compete then he was would have been perfect.
 

tankgirl1

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Try Horses4Homes maybe? You won't get anything for him, and you will have to follow up all references and home checks yourself, BUT you will have peace of mind that he won't get passed around on the open market!
 

muckypony

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Sounds like you're describing a pony I bought last year... Nappy, wouldn't hack alone without major issues verging on dangerous, bargy to handle, wouldn't load BUT was very sweet to school, could be very cuddly... Surprise surprise he's a Welsh D too!

Now, 1 year on he's good to handle, hacks alone with no issues, and I have taken him out loads recently. Today he did his first sponsored ride and was perfect :)

I still have issues with his loading - he always loads to go out but two weeks ago it took me 4 hours to get him home!!

Its taken me hours of patience and more experience than I ever thought I had, but he's super. I have to work him 6 days a week otherwise he literally flips back to a bargy moron.

There are people out there that will take him on... Just be honest - my purchase wasn't what I was sold, luckily I could deal with him but I dread to think where he could have ended up!
 

Greylegs

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Sounds like a "D" I sold a few years ago and he'd be about that age now!! Brilliant in many ways, but as spooky and sharp as hell. He's not a liver chestnut with a white star is he ?
 

rara007

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project horses website? I sold a tricky horse (just too much, too big and too nappy for me and the people that had been working with him) , totally honestly advertised through the site. Found him an awesome home in the end- though still had some numpties and wannabes who thought I must have no clue at all!
 

Possum

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Thank you all for the replies, I am so relieved not to have heard a chorus of "he's useless, no one will ever want him, PTS". I still swing backwards and forwards almost daily about whether I actually want to sell him, but it is SO reassuring to know that there is probably a good home out there for him if I can find it.

Interestingly I have considered equine colleges, but was under the impression that they wouldn't want a chronic weaver on their yard, and that they don't always get a lot of turnout which I think he would struggle with. Happy to be corrected though.

Greylegs - no, liver chestnut with a blaze and I've known him since he was 3 so not the same one. Nice to know he's got company though in the 'slightly psycho but generally a nice person Section D' stakes!

ETA - I've had a look at the Sparsholt link, unfortunately I don't think he's tall enough at 15hh, and calling him 'straightforward' to handle is probably a stretch...
 
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ester

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He doesn't sound the sort who would suit a college life tbh and that he would do better with a one to one and knowing where he stands sort of thing rather than dealing with different, often not great, riders. I have a very sane section D and while other people ride him at home a fair bit I'm not sure he wouldn't be a bit unsettled by that situation - he was very fractious when we first bought him having changed homes/riders in quite quick succession.

I would put him on project horses or similar, completely honestly and vet all possibles/take references and offer to have him back rather than them sell him on if it doesn't work.
 

horselover88

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Probably going to get strung up for suggesting this.... But have you considered a sharer? Someone with experience, who will love him, faults and all? Yes it may be possible that the type of people wanting something like this will want paid, but I am sure there may be just as many genuine, experienced people out there, with no budget for their own, who would like something to ride and love a few days a week? Of course, you would have to be extremely picky, but just a thought?

If you are still going with the selling idea, be honest with your ad, list his good points, but state he does have some quirks, which would require an experienced and patient owner. good luck either way :)
 

annagain

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Probably going to get strung up for suggesting this.... But have you considered a sharer? Someone with experience, who will love him, faults and all? Yes it may be possible that the type of people wanting something like this will want paid, but I am sure there may be just as many genuine, experienced people out there, with no budget for their own, who would like something to ride and love a few days a week? Of course, you would have to be extremely picky, but just a thought?

If you are still going with the selling idea, be honest with your ad, list his good points, but state he does have some quirks, which would require an experienced and patient owner. good luck either way :)
I was going to suggest the same thing! I've had 4 over the years and 3 of them would have managed him brilliantly (the fourth would probably have been ok, but couldn't be sure!) so there are good, capable sharers out there. If what he needs is more riding this could be your answer. It may not work, but if you're not sure about selling him at least you will have tried everything and you'll know you have to sell rather than thinking 'what if...'

p.s. It sounds to me like you're describing every Sec D I've ever known! My boy (before I had him) got hacked 20 miles home after refusing to load for 3 hours once. His owner trotted most of the way and he was still pulling when he got home. I fought with him to load every time I wanted to go anywhere for 4 years. Then, the day he turned 17 (literally, on his birthday!) he decided he couldn't be bothered with fighting any more and loaded himself every time for the 10 more years I had him. They're a very peculiar bunch.
 

fatpiggy

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My girl was just as described too, only had brakes if you knew where to find them. Wouldn't load and could go all day on nervous energy. But a doll with little children and generally as good as gold on a rope, Yep, chestnut Welsh D X . After a while though, I decided that while she was spectacularly exxasperating, she was in no way nasty and actually I would have have been bored to death on something that wasn't so quirky. She just needed someone with patience and a one to one relationship. The trouble with Welshies is that in many cases they are more intelligent than their owners :)
 

RockinRudolph

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Sounds a bit like my section D, although he isn't even well schooled! Mine is 11, had him since he was 3 and he is still pretty daft. I preservered with solo hacking and that's all fine now but he will always be spooky and bolshy. I rode on Sunday and it was quite windy - you'd have thought he had never experienced the wind before! We danced sideways around the fields for an hour or so once we managed to get past the tarpaulin wafting on the yard - very traumatic for him!
I just accept him for what he is. I don't travel him cos it's just too stressful but I'm fine with that. He panics if he's left on his own but me and the other liveries manage to work around this. I can't imagine who would ever take him off my hands but I'd never sell him. He has a lot of character and I love him for it.
I'm sure this post doesn't help you OP but just letting you know that you're not on your own with coping with the quirks of a D - it's a good job they're pretty!
 

SpringArising

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I don't think finding him a home is out of the question.

I'm always surprised by what people are willing to take on. I sold a Welsh D who was either a little saint or a little sinner, depending on the day! Nothing nasty, but enough to put people off and find something more simple.

I'd advertise him and be brutally honest about his issues. I don't really compete (eliminating loading and sarcoid issue), keep mine out (eliminating weaving and stable issue) and have enough patience to spend working on hacking out alone and loading (I personally think issues like those can be overcome, anyway). There are plenty of others who wouldn't having a problem with his quirks providing he was cheap enough.
 

smellsofhorse

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I don't know what the correct answer is but it's worth trying more things.

Could you get someone in short term to school him?
Or send him away for intense training?

If you took your time you may find another suitable sharer, a confident person that just wants to hack, maybe in return to do stable chore rather than paying?

Or you could decide riding isn't for him and retire him to the field, or even find a closely monitored companion loan.

You could sell, but as much checking as you do once he is exchanged for cash you will have no control over his future.
So it is a big decision.

Although he really may not be as bad as you think, he could find a great new home.

Others may say put to sleep.
But I feel that is a final resort and there are options out there.

It sounds as though once he is in regular work he will be a good horse but your lack or time isn't helping.
 

Flame_

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I can write an advert that makes him sound brilliant - he's a nicely put together Sec D, schools beautifully, has perfect brakes, a cracking jump and is a real cuddly 'people' horse that loves being worked.

But on the other hand, I can write an advert that would make people not touch him with a barge pole - he has sarcoids (including a scar on his shoulder where one was removed that means he'd be no good for the show ring), is massively spooky and won't hack alone, won't load onto a trailer, terrible with the vet/farrier/dentist, hates being stabled and weaves like a lunatic...you get my drift.
Very few section d's (or any breed tbh, but especially section D's!) are just a big bundle of "pros" and positives without any "cons" or negatives. Many "flaws" don't matter to many people in various different situations. Get him advertised with that glowing advert full of genuine positives in places it will be seen by people who don't care he can't show, don't have a stable, don't want a trailer and will find a way to fix or work with the vet phobia. The right people for him will still be interested in him, at a fair price, even when you've explained his eccentricities over the phone. Honestly, he sounds fab!
 

Possum

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Thank you all so much, you've made me feel a million times better. I think part of the problem is that so many horses are being advertised at the moment on the horsey fb sites I see, apparently all straightforward, easy and well-behaved and they don't seem to be selling so I think what chance would I have of finding somewhere good for my boy. Completely agree that both the hacking and the loading are very fixable - if I wasn't on a yard where you had to go straight out onto a 60mph road I would probably have cracked the hacking by now.


But it's funny how the brain works...seeing all the replies saying how I would probably be able to find someone perfect for him has also made me so very sad. He's my absolute dream horse, the talented Sec D I always wanted and I absolutely love him to bits. I've advertised him before on horsemart, but didn't ever really expect anyone to enquire (and they didn't). Goodness knows what I'm going to do with the s*d, maybe getting a sharer and persevering is the way forwards. Certainly I don't think I'd want to replace him with something easier - my OH has a warmblood that is absolutely as straightforward as they come but I don't 'click' with him like I do my psycho-cob.

Thanks again, really appreciate all your input, and hearing the stories about other 'less-than-perfect-but-worth-it' Section D's.
 

PollyP99

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Thank you all so much, you've made me feel a million times better. I think part of the problem is that so many horses are being advertised at the moment on the horsey fb sites I see, apparently all straightforward, easy and well-behaved and they don't seem to be selling so I think what chance would I have of finding somewhere good for my boy. Completely agree that both the hacking and the loading are very fixable - if I wasn't on a yard where you had to go straight out onto a 60mph road I would probably have cracked the hacking by now.


But it's funny how the brain works...seeing all the replies saying how I would probably be able to find someone perfect for him has also made me so very sad. He's my absolute dream horse, the talented Sec D I always wanted and I absolutely love him to bits. I've advertised him before on horsemart, but didn't ever really expect anyone to enquire (and they didn't). Goodness knows what I'm going to do with the s*d, maybe getting a sharer and persevering is the way forwards. Certainly I don't think I'd want to replace him with something easier - my OH has a warmblood that is absolutely as straightforward as they come but I don't 'click' with him like I do my psycho-cob.

Thanks again, really appreciate all your input, and hearing the stories about other 'less-than-perfect-but-worth-it' Section D's.
Another owner of spooky daft chestnut section d here! Mine is a spooky tit but very much better to handle on the yard I'm at now, very much loves routine and today happily came in to an empty barn and chilled something I would never have dreamt she would ever be happy to do. I think for her knowing what's coming really helps so I try to keep to her routine. I have a sharer ride her when I can't be around so she is worked 5/6 times a week, I have a long commute and a demanding job so feel your pain. I do think yours might benefit from more work and daily handling and agree on the share suggestion.
 

unbalanced

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Well you're moving soon so that will be the end of the 60mph road and 2 hr winter turnout if you pick well. You are clearly never going to sell him because it will make you sad but a university student who left their horse at home might be a great sharer.
It will all be fine and lots of lovely new things are on the horizon and we need to catch up soon. Xx
 

fuze

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Horses do sell, believe me.

I had a very similar problem a few months back. Beautiful traditional cob, real looker, moved well, bombproof in any traffic, hacked alone and in company. The dealbreaker was that he was a true rig, and behaved as such.

I advertised him 100% honestly, warts and all, to an experienced home only for a nominal fee. I was inundated with responses. Obviously you have to sift through the idiots (pretty horsey! And he's cheap!!), but I had some real genuine people come forward. Yours sounds far more manageable that mine was, and there was still a market for him.
 

PollyP99

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Well you're moving soon so that will be the end of the 60mph road and 2 hr winter turnout if you pick well. You are clearly never going to sell him because it will make you sad but a university student who left their horse at home might be a great sharer.
It will all be fine and lots of lovely new things are on the horizon and we need to catch up soon. Xx

My sharer is a uni student so agree with this, I don't charge she's doing me favour rides and does chores on her days .
 

Possum

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That's definitely a plan - I will have to think about how I can go about finding Oxford/Brookes students who want to carry on riding, I'm sure there must be a few.

Unbalanced - really pleased that you're still around here. Definitely catch up soon x

Gone from feeling very backed into a corner a couple of days ago to much more positive - you're all amazing, thanks a million :)
 

annagain

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They've probably got a riding club at the uni, it may be worth googling it or searching on facebook. I found a Cardiff Uni student to share my boy through their riding club. Luckily she was a PhD student so lived in Cardiff permanently. She stayed with us for 6 years!
 
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