I responded to a Craigslist ad for a "Great Trail Horse" which among other things mentioned "Skeeter is an uncomplicated, experienced trail horse with no issues. Loads quietly, stands patiently, well mannered and safe to work around."
He called me and reassured me that this was a great beginners horse. I explained in detail about my novice nieces and how they needed something slow and quiet and that wouldn't shy. He said he never
shyed from anything, traffic, deer, dogs, tarps etc, etc, etc. I asked him about being sour to other horses. He said his grandkids could get on him and ride him down the road without a problem.
Leaving the other horses in the barn with no trouble.
I went with a friend to look at Skeeter. He appeared to be everything Sherman Deach said he was. [continued below]....
..... Sherman verbally assured me that if he didn't work out he would gladly buy the horse back. He loved the horse and didn't want him passed around from owner to owner. My mistake for not gettng that in writing. I took him at his word. I've never ran across anyone in the horse world that didn't honor an agreement with the sale of a horse. I purchased the horse and picked him up the next day.
That day I took him to a lesson with a well known clinician. He was so excitable and shying from everything that we spent all but the last 5 minutes doing ground work and trying to keep him calm while mounting. I rode him at a walk for about 5 minutes and ended the lesson.
The next day I had trouble with him standing in the barn to tack him. My other horse was out in the
pasture and he was so upset and nervous. Would not stand still as said in the ad. There is no way it would have been safe for a child or beginner to try to brush or tack him. I finally got him ready to load. He did not want to load but finally went in the trailer with help from my neighbor. After arriving at the arena, he was so upset and unmanageable that I worked him on the ground for about 45 minutes, lunging him. I did get on and ride but he was still upset and by no means calm.
I called Sherman that night and said there was no way he would work for my nieces as a beginner horse and I would like to return him as agreed. He talked me out of it and said the horse just needed to settle in. He knew exactly what to say to make me believe this.
The third day I wanted to try him on the trails. My plan was to haul him to the arena, work him and get him calm, then haul to the trails and ride. After about 2 hours of trying to get him in the trailer my friend that went to look at him with me came to help. She couldn't believe the difference in the horse.
He even kicked out at her. We finally got him in the trailer. At that point I decided to haul him back to
Sherman and return, even if I didn't get my $2500 back as he said he would. When we got there and called him he refused to take the horse back and threatened us if we came on his property. He wouldn't even take Skeeter back when I offered to just give him back. Now that says everything about him and the horse if you ask me.
My friend and I are not beginners, we are 55 and 62 years old and have ridden our whole lives. Owned numerous horses and trained some of our own. We know what questions to ask when buying a horse and what to look for. We honestly believe he had given the horse something to keep him calm while showing him, (something like Be-Calm or maybe even drugs to calm him) and lied about everything he told us about the horse. It's so sad that he would put his own financial gain above the safety of others, especially children.
Lesson well learned, expensive, but well learned.
The third day I wanted to try