This question in and of itself is very interesting. See BNT's are supposed to be able to train any horse. Thats why they are a BNT.
The BNT I am currently referring to is Mr. 2009 Unanimous National Champion Half Arabian Western Pleasure Open. *Whew* Thats a mouthful. I'll shorten that very long name to simply BNT. (His name is Joe Reiser, btw, for those of you in the arabian/half arabian western pleasure circles.) His website is full of anecdotes about how when he was a boy, he'd dream about being like the riders that got the big wins. Thats just wonderful... I wanna know your training philosophy. (Note to Joe... You don't have the words "Natural Horsemanship" anywhere on your site, nor do you have anything up for sale aside from some shirts, jackets, and hats (amongst other apparel items) that have your barn logo. You get brownie points for that from me. If there were anything remotely resembling a carrot stick you would immediately have gotten thrown to the wolves here. Show me pictures of horses in training. Show me more pictures of your barn, stables, and pastures than just this one.)
(OT again, but my word, does that barn just scream out BNT or what?)
Now, really I'm not here to rag on our BNT today, 'cept for maybe a little bit. He's not so much the focus, though he does play a very major role in todays ad. I know very little about this guy, and from his website, though some of its not finished, it looks ok. At least there aren't any pegasus' or bible quotations on it. Its pretty strait forward and professionally done. It just needs to be finished. I wanna see on their horses for sale page what they say about their horses!
The reason he made it to this blog is because of this ad.
Now, he's not the one behind the ad. The owner of the horse offered wrote the ad up.
Lets see what it says; "Registered Half Arabian. Registered Name: LOTTA MOMENTUM (barn name "Oprah"). Her sire is black arabian stallion Momentum NA (Nationally accredited western pleasure), Dam was AQHA LottaChocolate Power, who has amazing western and halter bloodlines. She has been in training with Joe Reser of Setting Sun Training Center in Wakarusa, IN since Dec.2009 and has been under saddle approx. 60 days. She has a sweet personality, great size (15.1 and growing) and bone density. She is destined to be notch western horse, possibly even halter. She is SWEEPSTAKES NOMINATED."
Ok, that all sounds fine. Horse is decently bred, has a great show career ahead of her, everything is going well looks like.
Lets see what it says next; "Price has been reduced from $9500 from $1500 for a quick sale due to the following reasons: Oprah has amazing potential, HOWEVER ... her training isn't going as smoothly as we'd like."
Oh boy! The fun begins! First... thats one HELL of a major drop in the price.
Second... "Her training isn't going as smoothly as we'd like." That just begs to ask the obvious questions. Why not? What happened? Is this a case of the owner being told 'off' by the trainer because they got too annoying? Is there something wrong with the horse? Inquiring minds want to know here!
We find out in the ads next lines; "She hates to be clipped. Her confidence is lacking, I would not describe her as a brave horse. Recently she has taught herself to throw herself over backwards to get out of working (I know ... lovely). She needs a patient, firm, experienced rider/trainer to take her further. Up for the challenge?! She'll be a good horse someday just not under my ownership.:) "
So, BNT can't get this mare, which HE started, to stop flipping over, which is a habit she developed while in training with him. What the hell was this guy, or most likely his assistants, doing to this mare during 'training' that she decided to flip over to escape working? Why couldn't the BNT or his assistants, once they saw the problem starting, immediately take steps to correct it? And whats with the confidence comment? A MAJOR part of groundwork training is instilling confidence in the horse. That didn't happen here? Why Not? The clipping comment... eh, thats the only one I'll let slide. Plenty of horses dislike clippers, and never get over it. Its not a deal breaker for me.
But the flipping? Thats one heck of a serious training issue. Its not a behavior issue, because she learned it during her training with the BNT. They allowed it to happen.
HMMMMMM. Brings me back to my original question.
Now, to play devils advocate for a minute, the best of trainers will get horses that simply cannot be 'fixed'. They are too scared, too traumatized, too set in their ways, whatever the reason is... and once the trainer has given it his/her best shot, the only thing left to do is go back to the owner and admit they simply can't do anything else for the horse.
Whether or not BNT has or will done this I will never know. I'm just going off of what this ad reads, and it sure sounds like owner is more than a bit unhappy that her "Black Beauty" can't be ridden. Instead of her dream horse she gets a mare that has figured out "I don't get rode if I rear and throw myself to the ground." NO wonder she sounds a bit unhappy in her ad!
BUT>>>>THIS is now where I start having even more problems with this ad than the seller admitting the horse flips after just 60 days of training.
She goes on to state; "Please don't ask to ride her, I don't want to pay anyone's medical bills."
*Sigh*. So you will market her as a decent future show mount, yet you won't let anyone try her out because she flips. Ok, I get that you don't want anyone to get hurt, that makes sense to me, but...
I'm of two minds here on this one. I showcased this ad because of the flipping after less than 60 days of training at a BNT barn. Yet... if the seller didn't disclose it in the ad publicly, she'd get flamed for it by those saying she's not disclosing all the information on the horse.
On the other hand, BY disclosing the information, you can't very well in the same ad claim that the horse might be a great mount for someone "someday"! YOU DON"T KNOW that the person you sell her too will A) know what to do to correct the flipping issue, or B) have the money and brains to send her to someone that would know what to do. If BNT can't correct the problem... well then there's a serious problem here isn't there. There are some really, REALLY good problem horse trainers that can and do deal with this type of vice. There are 3 times as many whackjobs that claim to do the same thing, and screw the horse up worse than it was to start with. How does one tell the difference? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a whole 'nother blog topic.
So what does the seller do? I actually think she was right to list the flipping in the ad. It will hopefully scare off the ones that wouldn't be equipped to deal with it, and she just might be savvy enough to weed through the ones that think they are, but aren't. By telling people they can't ride her in the test... if the BNT wants to take a commission on the sale of the horse (No idea if he is or not, just throwing it out there for the topic's sake), he will certainly make sure one of his assistants will be present during the showing of the horse, and if necessary, they should ride, or at least work the horse on the ground.
The horse should be sold with the flipping very prominent in the sales contract, so the buyer knows exactly what he/she is purchasing. That way, when the new owner does take possession of the horse, the seller is covered if / when the new owners get hurt. Beyond that, there really ISN'T much more the seller can do. So, while on the surface this might seem like a 'worst of', it really is the best the seller could do with the situation she was handed.
(I still would like to know the back story on how the mare became a flipper...)
I was discussing this very ad with the friend of mine that sent it to me and she was telling me about a horse she once knew that was also a flipper. If the gelding wasn't ridden every day, and thats 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, the very next time you went to get on him, without fail, he'd go over. They never figured out why he did it, nor ever got rid of the vice. Its a dangerous habit, and this horse will never, ever, be 100% safe to ride.
As an interesting side note, I just discovered another ad by the same seller, so maybe its not just this situation that is driving her decision to sell the black mare. Shes got another Half-Arabian Buckskin Pinto Mare up as well.
Who knows... maybe she saw something, heard something, or was so pissed off that they caused her mare to become a flipper that she decided to get out of horses entirely.