Monday, April 26, 2010

Corrections and an apology are in order.

Those of you that have been reading for a while will remember the 2 year old colt that was in his owners back yard, and the owners stated on the ad that they were unable to get a halter on him. 

That colt's story sparked a fury of mail and his story is much larger and way more complicated than what I would ever have expected it to be. 

I've stated before that my goal with this blog is to educate, inform, and upgrade horses that need it. However, to a certain extent, it is also to entertain. 

Entertainment value mixed with the serious topics I present here can sometimes be a very uncomfortable mix. Uncomfortable for me, because 'entertainment' leaves a lot of open room for 'inaccuracies'. 

When I originally broke the story of the colt, it was because the ad was sent to me by a reader that couldn't understand why the owners couldn't get a halter on him. 

That colt came from one of the slimiest places I've ever known about - and trust me, you don't want to know some of the stuff I know about that place. I've even been asked not to speak about it publicly due to the legalities of leaking information. I will NOT be held responsible for leaking information that could end that investigation, so I'm not. When and if I get the ok, I will do so then. 

My mistakes occurred when I made the fatal mistake of assuming things from what little information was on the ad. We all know the saying about the word assume, so I won't repeat it here. Its very true though, I'll admit that red faced and sheepish. 

So what did I say that was wrong? The owner sent me an email this morning after reading my posts on the subject because of a few things I 'assumed' incorrectly. My own words:

"New owners have their vet come check out the new arrivals, and vet states they are NOT two, they are 16-18 months - but that info came out a bit sketchy with the question being asked if the vet can get close enough to check age - again the inconsistencies are showing - why can't the chestnut be caught? "

Turns out that their vet wasn't able to get that close either, and the age was a guesstimate on her part while looking at him from the other side of the fence while the colt was eating. 

She also made the observation that when she went out to the rescue (and I hope she doesn't mind if I quote her directly here.... her words are better than mine) 

 The place that the colt came from had him in a small round pen with a very long lead rope on him. For all we know they could have spent hours and hours trying to get that halter on him. They obviously kept the halter on him all the time because it was night when we looked at them and all the horses in that pen had a halter on. They just dumped them in a 4-acre pasture and that is a lot of space for one person to catch him.

There are also other factors involved here as to why at that time the owners hadn't been able to catch him, ones that aren't my place to say. 4 acres is a very large area to try to catch any horse that doesn't want to be caught, and now that I'm a bit more aware of what's going on, I completely understand why things happened the way they did. 

At any rate, I've said it before, and I'll happily say it again, I really feel that this couple, who was just looking for a couple of horses to have for their own enjoyment, got taken in a HUGE way. In no way is it on their shoulders that this colt is the way he is. They just inherited a problem without even realizing it, and then got blindsided by everything else. 

So, for anything I have said that upset them, and for my incorrect assumptions, I sincerely apologize to the owners of this colt.

I have said this same thing to them, and will admit it publicly as well... If I wasn't 16.283 states away from FL, that first weekend I would have been down to their house, cash in hand, because this colt is just my kind of project. As the case stands, I'm not in their neck of the woods, and I've done just about all I can do in regards to assisting when and where I can. 

Now that I've eaten my portion of crow for the day, I've a laundry basket calling my name, an empty fridge to fill, and a whole other list of things to get done. Everyone have a great monday, and I'll see you all back here tomorrow!


  1. Wish I was 50 years younger,I'd go buy the critter from them and teach him how to be caught. Here is my method. You have a horse that has been whipped for running away when the owner tried to catch him.(Somehow this was supposed to make him easier to catch the next time :? ) Anyway,go into the pen with the bridle in plain view ,let the horse run,moving the bridle whenever he slows.. When he stops in a corner,shaking in fear,walk up slowly-leaving
    him a way out, shove a cookie in his mouth and walk away..... you will be rewarded with the most dumbfounded look on a horses face you have ever seen... Repete until the horse meets you at the gate no matter what you're carrying.. Then it's time to start putting on the halter and giveing him the cookie..

  2. Yes, its always a bit funny when you do the ONE thing they would NEVER expect you to do, isn't it!

    Thats how I got a mare I had to finally trust me in her stall with her. (one of these day's I'll have to write her story up). She'd immediately go to the other end of the stall and stand there.

    I spent hours reading books to her. It took about 2 weeks before I finally felt her nose me. The entire time I'd be in there I'd sit in the same spot, and start reading. The first couple of times I did it she'd just stare at me, with the funniest expression! Then she got used to it, but she'd always, always have an ear cocked in my direction, no matter what she was doing.

    It was when I first got that nuzzle from her that I Handed her a cookie. That was the moment of truth with her.

    Now keep in mind that she could be handled, haltered, and all that. Her biggest issue was I was new, and new people were bad. If I forced it, I could walk in with a halter and sling the rope over her neck as she huddled in the corner. But thats not what I wanted. I wanted the eagerness to see me. I wanted her to relax around me. and I wanted her to know that not every time someone walked in her stall it was to do something with her.

    After a few months with her, she'd follow me everywhere and anywhere without a halter or lead. I tested this one day, I closed the gates to the boarding facility (I was the barn manager, so I had the authority to do that) and let her loose. She was accustomed to following me out of the stall with the lead slung loosley over her neck, so this time I just 'forgot' to put the halter on. She couldn't go anywhere or get hurt, It was simply to see what she would do. She followed me out, stopped when I stopped, walked when I walked, and for nearly 30 minutes, I simply wandered around with her never more than 5 feet behind me. :)

  3. It takes a big person to apologize, and a bigger person to apologize in public. BIG Kudos to you for publishing what you could easily have kept private. Brava!


  4. You're talking about the horses from the Skunky farm right?

    IDK this entry is confusing to me!!

    Even when I first read the original entry, I never thought the new owners did anything bad. I thought it was pretty clear they got bamboozeled by a very shady "rescue" and I felt bad for them. I think the colts have been upgraded!

    But yes, bravo for admitting the blunder!

  5. Yes, it was the SA colt.

    I had it in the back of my head while writing that any google search with their full name would bring up this blog, and I did NOT want this post to be part of any key word searches regarding them. Thats a very good part of why I am keeping things to myself right now.

    I *WISH* I could be the 'good pseudo journalist' and spill all, but alas, that would ruin everything :).

    and while the kudos are appreciated, I am of the breeding that you stand up for what you believe in, admit when you are wrong, and take whatever consequences are dealt out. I firmly believe that has been lost in our society today.

    (but yes, i appreciate the thoughts :) )

    Off to run errands!