Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quinn's Story: Part Four

The Dream is Dead

After rehabbing Quinn it was finally time to try again. He'd had a few months off, the vet had cleared him for riding and I'd found a good/patient "trainer" (in quotes b/c she is actually an equine massage therapist/student nurse/excellent hand with horses but not "really" a trainer).
KL rode Quinn a few times and all was well. I even rode him and it was good (I only rode with KL there). I remember the first time I got back on him. KL commented that I looked good and Quinn looked good and asked how I felt. When I told her I was very nervous and a bit scared she said she was surprised, that I looked calm and confident. I told her that I was concentrating on calm and confident, guess it must have been working.
Then I tried to ride by myself and had my panic attack. I believe I've mentioned it before. It was full blown... and for the record I'm not prone to them. There I was crying/shaking/hyperventilating just at the thought of mounting! I did NOT ride that day, any of the three I had planned to.
KL put a few more rides on and then Quinn got a nasty cut on his left front leg. It healed well (not even a scar!) and he was sound but it took a few months. Well now KL couldn't ride (pregnant) and there was no way I was up to it. It was almost winter and I couldn't find anyone I could afford that also had time for a new client (this isn't exactly "horse country"). So Quinn sat.
This spring I decided I HAD to get him ridden and either take lessons and work through my fear or sell him. I was leaning very heavily toward selling. I just can't get myself through this hurdle. When I let him relax and go long and stretch the first thing in my head is "is he putting his head down to buck??".
A girl I barrel race with (LV) has a natural talent for horses, she's an awesome rider and I like how she just IS with a horse. She agreed to put a month on Quinn. This is where Quinn has been for the last month and sadly it was great for the first 2-3 weeks and then Quinn was BAD. Not naughty, not "feeling good" kinda bad. He was BAD . LV said that after about 2 weeks she went out to ride one day and he bucked like crazy. Funny thing was, she hadn't even got on! He was tied up in the barn, she went to bridle him and when she took his halter off he just blew up. He bucked like a demon in the barn and then ran out and continued bucking down the driveway. LV's dad caught him and helped her settle him. He had the rest of the day off.
Okay, she and I had the same thought... maybe she'd spooked him. He'd been tied in the barn for awhile (20-30 minutes) and maybe was dozing. Could happen. She gave him the benefit of the doubt.
*for the record: I had told LV everything I knew about Quinn. I had also told her that he has never been mean or dirty... that he hasn't tried to hurt anyone. I truly believed this. It was her family's connection that had been interested in buying Quinn, the one that I wasn't sure if I should take a bigger loss or try to sell on my own*
LV's sister went to check on Quinn to see if he was sore, or out (she does equine chiro and laser therapy). He was a bit sore in some spots but she treated him and thought he'd be fine to keep working. Then the "really bad thing" happened. :(
LV went to ride Quinn. She had him tied up outside. When she went to untie him he blew up again. There was no way she spooked him this time, she was talking to him as she walked up and he turned his head and looked at her. This time when he blew up he plowed her right over and she had to run for safety. When I heard this I felt awful. I can't even describe how badly I felt. He had very obviously not cared whether he hurt her or not. In fact it seemed mean and dirty, she said that the INSTANT she untied him he blew. She said it was like he was smart and had intended to hurt her. Most horses will move away from you and give themselves some room if they pitch a fit like this, but not him, not this time.
I was extremely grateful that LV wasn't hurt. A bit banged up but nothing broken or otherwise badly injured. Her dad had witnessed the whole thing and after making sure his daughter was fine he got Quinn caught and settled. They checked him out and hosed his legs (he'd gone through a fence, but had only minor scrapes) She didn't ride him again (and I don't blame her) LV even tried to refund half my money. Instead I gave her dad a gift certificate for our restaurant (he didn't want me to pay for the fence, I offered).
Obviously now the buyer they knew didn't want him. lol
When I picked him up LV was very disappointed. She felt like she let me down, I told her not to feel bad that it wasn't her fault. After lots of talk (2 hours) we came to the conclusion that maybe he's just one of those horses who has a gender preference and that he is a guy's horse. After all, it was her dad who got him calmed down both times. And the only time he's ever bucked or acted up has been with a female handler.
So after much thought he is for sale at a greatly reduced price. I will be honest with the buyer's and am recommending that he not be a ladies horse. I've turned away buyer's already (had calls on him in less than 2 days of posting his ad).
The extra sucky thing... LV said that after her first 2 weeks or so she was thinking that I should give him another chance and try to work through my fear because he's just such a nice horse to ride. :(
Okay, we're up to date. That is the end of Quinn's story for now. I'll update if he gets sold or anything "news worthy" happens. Thanks to everyone for listening to my long-winded tale and its your turn to let me have it (please be gentle lol)


  1. I agree. I think you should sell him.

  2. wow - what a story.


    I have to agree as well - selling him is probably the best for both of you. What a shame.

    These beasts really put us through an emotional wringer, don't they?

  3. It sounds like there is something going on there in his head - he needs to spend some major time at a professionals place and you need a different horse.

    So get it done - do your best to find him a good home and don't look back - this will be great to help ya move forward with a new horse.

  4. Steph: that's pretty much been my conclusion. Is there a "Dr Phil" for horse's? lol

  5. More hugs. That whole ordeal just sucks! I hate that he got what he wanted both times- though (I would have lunged the crap out of him or something):-) The BO's horse gets away with murder and it drives me nuts!

    But it doesn't sound like a good fit. Selling him does sound like the right thing to do.

  6. Yes lunging would've been my revenge as well. I maybe even would've outfitted him with a snaffle and checked him up. Then been like "DING-DING-DING!!! YOU"RE THE WINNER OF ONE HOUR OF CANTERING IN THE ROUND PEN!" enjoy your prize!

  7. Thanks guys, er, girls. Your support in all this helped me not feel so darn bad.

    I am planning a happy post for the future... when I have more than 10 minutes to check in that is!

  8. I don't have a blog but for some reason I checked it today. :P

    To answer your question... Not far from you, I'm sure... I'm at the same barn where "Dr. K" keeps her horse Twist. :)

    I'm busily ruining a perfectly good 16H solid Paint-bred buckskin by teaching her to be a dressage/hunter pony.

  9. The whole thing sounds odd. Sure wish we could read their little minds to know what's up.

    Sounds to me like bitting the horse up could be dangerous. I've had trouble bitting up a couple of horses who are just goofballs (as in playfully mischeivious) I'd hate to see what could happen with a horse that's out to get you.

    I think selling the horse is a good plan. Safety must always be number one.

  10. "Sounds to me like bitting the horse up could be dangerous. "

    After his latest stunt at the trainer's (bucking fit when she untied him) I'll admit I'm pretty nervous about handling him in general.

    Chad (our farrier) was out on Sunday and gave me a few names and suggestions to deal with this (none of which involve meat!)

    Denise: yipes, I just read your comment from part 1 about your experience buying Lester... guess we should never ever go horse shopping together! lol

  11. It's too bad Quinn has these issues. Makes you wonder what is going on in our equine's minds, for sure. I hope he wasn't out to get anyone. It's hard for me to imagine a horse could be that evil. But you never know. I agree with everyone else that safety should be your first priority! Quinn will find the right home and situation for him.


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