Friday, February 26, 2010

Wait....What did I just read?

Todays post took me a bit off guard. I was scanning through the Wyoming CL ads 
figuring with as many horses there are in WY, I should be able to find some good blog worthy ads. 
I was surprised as most of them were pretty decent sale ads. It was about 2:30 am when
I came across this one. 

I read it through once, nearly closed it out, and then went, wha...? 
Did I just read what I thought I just read? 


Ad Text: 

Pretty cremello gelding, 2 1/2 years old, registered with AQHA by a Doc's Hickory grandson.

He was startet last summer with some rides in the roundpen and a ride outside - he was very easy to work with. He has some more growing to do and his training under saddle is put on hold until spring. He is handled every day, though, and his ground manners are great. He will probably mature to 14.1 or 14.2 hands.

He will be great for trail, ranch or arena with a laid back personality and very willing attitude. Exceptional cow horse bloodlines; this guy should stand out in the pen.

We have more young horses for sale, please check them out at

Pedigree at

Located 60 miles east of Gillette, WY, 100 miles west of Rapid City, SD
What I nearly missed was the ad stating that the horse had been ridden at the tender age of a year and a half! Now, if this were a race horse, that would be the norm as they do break and start training yearlings. However, study after study, and horse after horse has started to prove that this method causes horses to break   down years before horses that aren't ridden as yearlings do.

As a growing horse, the knee bones do not fuse together until somewhere between two and four years old on average, and in some breeds not until five or six. Riding a horse at such a young age puts an incredible amount of stress on the horses legs - basically its like a toddler weight lifting his/her own body weight. Not only is the child NOT able to do the work for any length of time, his/her body will start to show major signs of stress, injury, and possibly things like fractures and other bone issues.

Its the same in horses - yet for some reason its more accepted to be able to ride a  horse that young. I couldn't believe that I had just read that ... and had to go back and read it two to three more times to make sure I was seeing it correctly.

Then I scrolled down to the picture of the horse in question...


.... and groaned loudly. (My cat even got disturbed. She stopped purring for a minute.)

Obligatory click on the link to the website, and quickly found the page for this same horse. Funny that they have so many
BETTER pictures of this same animal on the website, yet they can't pick one of THOSE to show the horse off with. They have to pick the one where the horse is covered in mud and looks like it hasn't seen a body brush in weeks. What about this one? In that one he looks great!

(Actually, most of the pics are of him covered in mud. Yes, I understand there's snow on the ground. Its still not that hard to pick up a curry and take 5 minutes to get the dried mud off of him. YOU claim he's easy to handle, so there is NO excuse for showing pictures of a muddy horse! There are plenty of people that can and DO groom their horses in winter.)

Now granted they do say they turned the horse back out to .... "finish growing". My question is why did they feel the need to get on his back if they knew he wasn't done growing? Again, we wouldn't ask our Kindergardners to do a full days hard labor, why is it ok to ask our young / baby horses to do the same as their fully grown cousins?

This ranch has the slick website, the 'right words', and seem very professional otherwise. However, I just cannot stomach the notion that they condoned the practice of riding a yealing. What they think helps 'break' the horse in, just causes more issues for that horse long term.

If you really want to play trainer with your yearling WITHOUT riding it, this is the way to do it.


Ad Text:
2008 APHA Dunalino Filly reg#955923
Only selling her because she needs to be started and with two kids, a full time job, and her being boarded over 30min away she is not getting the time she really needs. She has loaded in the trailer, Feet are trimmed regularly, Vaccinations are current, ties, started lunging (walk/trot only). She is turned out on 5ac with sandy washes, trees, other horses, and a burro. Nice calm level headed horse. Nothing has bothered her from day one. 100% sound no previous baby injuries, no bad habits.
Prospect: Team Roping, Cow Horse, Competative Trail, Western Riding
asking $2500obo
The pics are all of her...the top two are from the other day, bottom is the day she was born showing her dun stripe, the other is her a 4mos.
Ok, so for those that don't see why this ad is better... both ads are for yearling horses. Both ads have owners that say how broke their horses are/will be because they worked with them as yearlings.

The major major difference is the top ad... the trainer rode the horse way before the horse was ready for it. The bottom ad, all the owner did was throw a bareback pad on the filly's back to get her used to the feel of something saddle shaped being there. This owner also threw a saddle on her and lunged her a bit... something, if done in moderation, won't hurt the yearling very much at all.

This palomino is a little bit cuter anyways I think... at least this one isn't covered in MUD!



  1. Hi! I remember seeing this ad and wondering why in the hell they didn't at least brush the horse first. I don't care for Cremellos and would never own one but jeez, a better picture would be nice. This ranch does have a slick site but needs to get a better photographer.

  2. That "ranch" is a hoot. They are selling off almost all their young horses and quite a lot of their breeding stock. The mares are mostly unhandled, a large percentage are grade for some reason. The stallions have nothing noteworthy in their lives except for being fertile. And you will notice there are no conformation shots of those stallions. Really, when you look more closely at the website it's pretty funny/sad.