I can’t help but think that the relationship between a horse and their owner starts out a lot like a dating relationship. With the ‘starting’ of the relationship often the biggest hurdle. Maneuvering the ads on a site like Kijiji can easily be compared to finding that perfect someone on a similar human only site; because a human to Equine relationship often has all the same drama.
For example a sale ad that reads like this,“This great little horse has the potential to go in any direction you want to go.” Just might be code for, “I haven’t done a thing with this horse since the day I got her-but hey anything is possible.”
Not much different than a human dating site posted by, “An artistically minded man who writes poetry and loves his Mama is looking for the love of his life.”Just might be code for, “Can’t hold down a job, and still lives in his mother’s basement, but the good news is Mama doesn't mind if he has sleep overs."
The buying and selling of horses is a tricky business and like the first date attention needs to be paid to detail. Sellers who offer sound horses don’t visibly gulp and begin to sweat when you want to make the sale contingent on a vet check. And buyers who are offering to give your horse a home in which they will be well cared for usually don’t need to write you three hundred, ten dollar each, postdated cheques.
In dating and buying horses the same basic rules apply; if you are meeting a stranger, meet in a public place and if you are buying a horse take a seasoned horse person with you, even if you are a seasoned horse person.
Honesty really is the best policy rather you are selling or buying because just like the song says there really is someone for everyone, even when that someone is a horse.
An ad that reads,“Easy keeping, tall, dark, handsome been there done that kind of gelding is looking for a lady with soft hands, endless patience and unlimited financial resources,” could more honestly be worded this way,“Not so easy keeping gelding will require attendants; I will need a vet, a farrier, and a dentist. I will need to be de wormed regularly and inoculated annually. On a daily basis I will need to eat approximately 2% of my body weight in roughage just so that I can produce 8-9 tons of manure every year. Did I mention that I can easily turn, 10 to 12 gallons of water a day into 6-10 gallons of urine. And let’s not forget about tack, brushes, blankets, board, coaches, trainers and clinics.”
Will almost always be answered by a person like this,“Soft hearted horse lover willing to work hard to gain your trust, willing to face inclement weather and treacherous roads just to see you. Willing to forgo any special occasion with family or friends if you should have any veterinary needs arise. (Or if the sun is shining and I would rather go for a trail ride.) I have two jobs and available credit.”