Saturday, August 28, 2010

Practical Horse Quiz

Recently on Fugly Horse of the Day the blogger posited that horse owners should be required to pass a test prior to acquiring an equine and asked for potential test questions. There were quite a few responses with valid test questions for new owners, however there were a lot of questions that would not be required knowledge for a newbie horse person.

While driving around performing horsie errands, I formulated my own test based on my years of experience with horses and horse people... If you pass this test (70% or better), you probably will die in a horsing accident at 79 years of age. It was going to be longer, but I got tired... I’ll post proper answers when I get more time.

Yes... this do represent real life experiences.

This is multiple choice and yes, more than one answer may be appropriate:

A. You have owned a PITA 7/8 pinto Arab for 17 years. In the past, anytime he is in the slightest pain, he rolls over sticks all four feet in the air and begins groaning. You are about to go on a ride on your other horse and note that Mr. PITA is four feet up. You should:

  1. Call the vet
  2. Go on your ride anyway check him when you get back.
  3. Don’t go on a ride and check him in a few hours
  4. Check his gums for capillary refill time and his hydration.
  5. Give him bute.
  6. Give him bute and go on your ride, if he’s still sick, call the vet.
  7. Give him bute if the vet tells you to do so.

B. Your non-horsey Significant Other (S.O.) has long legs and you have a bench seat in your truck. Since you have short legs and his knees would touch the dashboard if you drive while hauling horses, your S.O. insists on driving. Your S.O. thinks that he/she is Speed Racer incarnate, takes two wheeled turns and has his/her foot either on the gas or on the brake. Your poor horses come out of the trailer foamy and white eyed. The best solution to this problem is:
  1. Talk to him about his driving and ask him to be kinder to the horses.
  2. Buy a truck with bucket or split seats.
  3. Teach him/her a lesson by tricking him into the trailer, lock him/her in and take him on a joy ride and drive as he/she did or worse.
  4. Don’t take your non-horsie S.O. with you when hauling horses.

C. You buy a butt-load of hay (13 tons or better) and paid with a check. This should last you a whole year. You open a bale and lo’ and behold the hay was green on the outside and moldy on the inside. You don’t know this hay provider that well but your neighbors have been buying hay from him for years. You should
  1. Have checked the hay before it was unloaded.
  2. Check more bales by pulling out the hay with a hay hook.
  3. Immediately go into the house and cancel the check.
  4. Call him and hope he comes and replaces the hay.
  5. Open a few bales first hoping that it was only that bale that was bad.

D. Your new horse normally snuffles around your hands for goodies, it’s annoying, but since you often oblige him, you can’t complain, however today when you offer him an apple, he snubs you. You should:
  1. Not worry about it, he’s probably not hungry.
  2. Shove the apple into in his mouth.
  3. Call the vet
  4. Check his gums for capillary refill time and his hydration.
  5. Give him bute.
  6. Give him bute if the vet tells you to do so.

E. You have loaded your horses into a trailer. You are ready to leave on a short trip to the trail down the road. You should:
  1. Head on down the road; the days half gone already.
  2. Check your lights.
  3. Check your connections.
  4. Check your chains.
  5. Check your tire pressure.
  6. Check the hitch.
  7. Check the door.

F. You’re looking for a horse to buy and you’ve found one that has the color, pedigree and training you want within your $5,000 price limit. You still think that what the person tells you over the phone is reasonably true and correct you make an appointment to see and potentially ride this prospect. You arrive at the horse owners “barn” and find a horse whose feet look as though they haven’t seen nippers or a rasp for the better part of three years. The toes are run-out, heels are crushed, walls and quarters are cracked and split. You stand there aghast, eyes agog, mouth open when the owners says, “What do you think.” You should:
  1. Run away!
  2. Politely state that this isn’t the horse your looking for and excuse yourself.
  3. Make nice statements about the horses conformations and excuse yourself.
  4. Evaluate the conformation of the horse, how it moves on the line and ask the owner to saddle and ride it for you.
  5. Give the owner a ration of shit about how, for fucks sake, anyone could expect someone to pay anywhere near $5K for a horse who needs AT LEAST a year of corrective trimming/shoeing.
  6. Think option 5. but don’t articulate it, offer them $500 for the horse to get it off the property and save it’s life and then turn them into animal control if they don’t agree.

G. Ol’ Stan (short for “old standby”), the horse you’ve owned for 15 years and ridden on the trail, hunter/jumper, quadrille, pole bending, barrel racing, team penning and various and sundry rail events, suddenly refuses to eat and is grinding his teeth. You should:
  1. Not worry about it, he’s probably not hungry.
  2. Offer him grain.
  3. Call the vet
  4. Check his gums for capillary refill time and his hydration.
  5. Give him bute.
  6. Give him bute if the vet tells you to do so.

H. You have just bought a trailer that you had checked over carefully by a trailer repair place BEFORE YOU BOUGHT IT. When you hook it up for the first time you realize that the chains drag the ground. You should:
  1. Not worry about it, the sparks add to the enjoyment of other drivers.
  2. Cross the chains.
  3. Twist the chains until they are off the ground.
  4. Don’t go anywhere until you’ve replaced the chains.

I. You’re still shopping for a horse and you’re off to look at an 11 year old gray OTTB mare. When you get there you realize that this is the same mare that you’ve been to look at a gobezillion times. The first time you saw her you should have been suspicious as to why a drop-dead gorgeous TB mare with a $500K record on the track wasn’t in the breeding shed (because she isn’t breeding sound) or that a mare with a great H/J record was selling for $1,500. But you vet check her and find out the reason why her trot is scissor-like is because she’s navicular. This time you show up while the owner is warming the mare up... You should:
  1. Inform the owner you’ll be back to see the mare when she’s cool, rested and in the paddock.
  2. Ride the horse anyway even though you know you’re not going to take her.
  3. Get the fuck out of there.
  4. Make small talk and leave.
  5. Tell the owner that you hear your mother calling you and you have to leave.

J. You’ve located another prospect in an area of town where there are a lot of working ranches. Aha! This may be the one. The owner is a grizzled old coot with an old stone barn, probably built right after the pioneers came through the alkali desert into Carson Valley. He’s got a bucket load of horses standing on top of crap that’s been there since the Comstock load. The horses are in reasonable condition and the one you’re looking at seems like a nice animal. You’ve ridden, and like the horse and ask when you can schedule a vet check. The coot replies that you can vet check but you cannot use the following vets and rattles off a long list of vets that includes your personal vet. You should:
  1. Inform him that you are not interested in the horse any longer.
  2. Inform him that the horse gets a vet check from your vet or it’s no deal.
  3. Use one of the vets he will allow on his property.
  4. Buy the horse because he rides nice.

K. You go out to look at another horse (FOR FUCK SAKE, WHEN IS THIS GOING TO BE OVER) for sale. You hold out little hope that this animal may be anywhere near what you’re hoping for in a horse. When you arrive at the barn, you’re again aghast and agog again, but this time the state of the property. The horse is located in a 1 acre dry lot pasture cram packed with various pieces of farming equipment, skidoo’s, tractors, fencing, barrels, barbed wire (rolled and unrolled), uncapped T-posts both in and out of the ground, cars, trucks, bikes, spikes, hydrant spigots, et. al. To top it off the pasture is a hog wire fence (some of it only 2 feet high) with two strands barbed wire, some of which is broken. You see a nicely conformed 5 year old Quarter horse gelding in a plain brown package with a reasonable performance record who’s been living in this pasture since he was 3. He does not have a scratch or a scar on him. You should:
  1. Walk away.
  2. Ask some nice questions and walk away.
  3. Buy him.
  4. Ask the owner to ride him.
  5. Take him to a clean arena to evaluate him.

L. You’ve loaded up your horse trailer and you’ve walked around and checked your connections and lights. You get into truck and think, “Did I latch the back door securely?” But you also think, that you’ve done this so many times there is no way you didn’t check the latch. You should:
  1. Check the latch.
  2. Think about it for a moment and check the latch.
  3. Get out of the fuckin’ truck already and check the latch.

M. Your farrier has shown up, on time (surprise, surprise) and is pulling out his tools. While standing there with your horse tied to the hitching post, you point out that the your horses’ toes are longer than normal and that they were longer to start with and you’d like him to push back the toes and put half-rounds on to improve break over until the heals recover. He squints at you as he’s buckling his chinks and says, “Who’s the shoer here?” Your response should be:
  1. “Who pays you?”
  2. “You.”
  3. “You are, but I want my horses feet done my way.”
  4. Nothing, let him shoe the horse the way he thinks is best.

N. You’re working for the park service training youngsters. There is an old ex-stallion patrol horse who’s got a bit of arthritis and if you don’t ride him and/or keep him moving he gets real stiff and the patrons to the park fret and complain that he looks uncomfortable. You’re longing him and he stops and saunters into the center. When you swing your rope at him to keep moving, he whirls and strikes out at you with a hind foot and before you duck you can see nail heads and a frog. This event, plus the one where one of your cohorts was sent to the hospital by the same horse, you step in hollering and popping the longe whip. You work the fuck-stick until he’s blowing and dripping. Unbenowsnt to you, some park patrons witness the WHOLE event and complain, “Don’t hurt the horsie.” Your response should be:
  1. Threaten them with the whip.
  2. Ignore them.
  3. Try to calmly explain what has just happened.
  4. Tell them the horses background and talk to them about a horse’s size in proportion to your size and explain that you never actually hit the horse with the whip.

O. You’ve finally settled back into a horse routine after giving up horses for college and children. You’re riding regularly and enjoying it, although you’d feel safer if you had a riding buddy when you out and about in 27,000 acres of desert. A neighbor states that she’s like to ride with you but it becomes readily apparent that your new horsie partner is a total greenhorn and is dangerous to herself, her horse and you and your horse. You should:
  1. Ride with her, but be constantly vigilant in case of a wreck.
  2. Refuse to ride with her.
  3. Suggest she get riding lessons.
  4. Suggest she get riding lessons and refuse to ride with her.
  5. Give her riding lessons on your horse on your property.
  6. Give her riding lessons on her horse on her property.

P. You’re helping a friend find a bomb-proof packer because she can’t ride and really doesn’t know much about horses. A friend of a friend of a friend has a cute little 14.1 HH horse named Pagan who has been packing around kids for ever for sale at a reasonable price. You trailer your horse over to go for a quick ride in the wildlife sanctuary behind Pagan’s home. Pagan is sweet and mild mannered but he does a little hop as you across a 1 foot deep arroyo. Your friend falls off and is out. You catch Pagan, tie both horses to a fence (because it’s an emergency) and find out your friend unconscious and bleeding from her nose and her ears. You call 911 and they state that they’re sending a helicopter. What should you do with the horses before the helicopter arrives?
  1. Stand there holding the reins and hope for the best.
  2. Walk the horses down the fence line and tie them there and hope for the best.
  3. Wish you had brought halters.
  4. Unsaddle and unbridle them and let them free if they fight when the helicopter arrives.
  5. Tie their reins up in their throat latch and hold them if you can, otherwise let them free if they struggle too much.