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I've been following this site for quite awhile. I find myself in a
position where some advice would be most welcome...here we go.
I bought a walking horse mare a couple of years ago, she had a
couple of rides on her at the time, she was really a nice gentle girl, I
was comfortable with the idea of taking the time to work things out with
her. I had never had a TWH before, my previous horse had been a
Peruvian, I had hoped that I would be able to feel when my mare was
gaiting properly as I had with my previous horse. After 2 years we were
having some success, but not consistently. We moved from one end of the
country to the other, into an area where walking horse trainers were as
thick as fleas on a dog. I decide to make use of a trainer. I phoned
around to other TWH owners for recommendations and sent my mare off for
I spoke at length with the trainer, stating my expectations...The
mare was to be used for pleasure riding and CTR, therefore she was not
required to move like a showhorse, she was barefoot and no shoes were to
be applied to change movement, I ride in a loose ring snaffle and if he
was unable to get her gaiting with that, in combination with his feel, I
wasn't worried. She was only there for a month, and I spoke to the
trainer about 5 times while she was there, he took her out on the trails
and did some ground work as well, he said everything was going well and
she was coming along well.
The last week that she was there, I drove down unannounced, what I
found was shocking. She had open sores the size of eggs on both
elbows(the saddle did not properly) both pasterns were bloody with
horizontal cracks 2" long and 1/2" deep (he'd been using weighted
bellboots and chains). She was standing in her stall with sweatmarks
from the previous days ride, runnels down both front legs. Well,
needless to say, I had a bit of a talk with the guy( it started with,
What the hell have you done to my horse...)and went downhill from there.
I brought her home, without any further conversation with the
trainer.That was in Sept. A couple of days ago I stuck my fingers in the
horses mouth, to check her teeth and found scars, they run from the
corner of her lips inside a good inch , I was mortified, I felt guilty
for sending her off to such a jerk. She's such a gentle, easy going girl
and she tries so hard to do what I ask of her. I have been doing Parelli
training with her, I ride more often with a halter than bridle, I just
can't imagine how much pressure it took to rip her lips back an inch.
So this is where the dilemma kicks in, when I talk with other TWH
owners, newbies in the breed like myself, who are looking for a trainer.
I have been relating my story without stating the trainers name or sex.
However, the scars in her mouth, struck me so hard, I'm wondering if I
should just tell all. What are the ramifications to me?
It took a month for my mare to move sound on her front end, the
sores have pretty much closed up now, just one small one to go. Any help
would be appreciated
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