This is an issue I have been bothered by for an eternity. Piggybacking on yesterday's post somewhat, the ethics of folks who sell entirely incompatible horses to beginners, or just horses that are totally unsuited for the buyer's purposes. Another one that tends to burn my hide is the flocking to an innocent bystander with sales pitches on horses, much akin to how potential buyers are descended upon when shopping for a vehicle.
I had a client a couple of years ago who brought me a beautiful yearling Purebred Arabian filly for basic groundwork (leading, tying, trailering, wash rack, hotwalker, etc) in preparation for a potential show career as a Halter horse. Awesome people, just wonderful, caring owners who loved their "baby" more than anything in this world. What truly frosted me is how they actually ended up with this filly. They were looking for a pair of riding horses, as first time horse owners, to enjoy trail riding after having bought their dream property and put up horse facilities. They acquired a gentle old Paint gelding who was a retired rope horse but dead broke and gentle, then found an advertisement for an Arabian mare from another local trainer. They went to see her and promptly fell in love.
Trouble was, this mare had precious little under saddle training and she was in foal. That and she was a definite Alpha who had little respect for humans. Why in the world would anyone, let alone a trainer, sell a mare like this to beginners? It boggles the mind.
Similarly, that feeling I sometimes get when at a horse show, that there are buzzards circling, just waiting for the kill.
Sometimes when jaunting around a showgrounds, we'll take a look at various horses, particularly after having seen them in some of the classes and I want a closer look. There's not necessarily any particular reason sometimes, but perhaps I'm interested in what the sire produces or have another, equally cogent reason for peeking in on a horse. Inevitably, a trainer or other representative of the farm or owner of the horse comes running up trying to shove pictures, pedigrees and videos in my face.
Now, when I am in the market either for myself or a client, my first stop is going to be directly talking to the trainer (or owner if there is no trainer or agent) as opposed to stopping in to look at the horse. Otherwise the chances are, if I am just looking, you're not going to make a sale anyhow so why bother hovering over me and trying to convince me why Ibn Mr Fabulous is a horse I just can't live without? It's not unlike car shopping where the sales associates act like vultures. Been there, done that and I'm not giving my business to someone who acts in this manner.
Times are tough, I understand that, and more people than ever are selling horses these days. Adding to that sentiment, more people than ever need to sell their horses for financial reasons. This is why there are so many horses being given away ~ it's the economy. However, using some of the tactics I see in trying to get horses sold just rubs me the wrong way.
Here is another similar topic that often gets me raging, if only because of the implications involved ~ trainers going behind the backs of other trainers trying to spirit away their clients. Not only is this in my opinion highly unethical, but it reeks of poor sportsmanship. I have been fortunate in that I've only had a couple of brushes with this sort of thing in the past, but I hear stories about it happening to others frequently.
It's yet another thing that's wrong with the horse world. But I'm off my soapbox now!