We’d had Smoke about 15 months when the ex decided that maybe he wasn’t the rider he thought he was…although he never said it quite that way. No, his interests shifted to something that couldn’t hurt him-like a project car.
After fighting a battle with June, we got down to selling Smoke.
He’d put on a lot of well needed weight in the time we’d owned him. He was a handsome horse, and the weight looked good on him. In addition, we’d treated his left rear hoof (it was white and therefore weak and shelly) with Farrier’s Formula. He’d stopped being dangerous, but only, I suspect, because the because the ex was no longer riding him. I had issues with him, but I’ll discuss that later.
We put ads up in the local horse porn (magazines funded by ads for horses, and associated things) and posted them in tack and feed shops. He was advertised for $1600 ‘firm’, meaning we weren’t interested in dickering for him. It said he was 16.2, unregistered, went english and western, had a long, ground covering trot and was sound. Finally I put in there that he was NOT for beginners, that he needed an intermediate or advanced rider.
The phone calls began almost immediately.
This is when I began to learn what the world of horse buyers is. I never acted like some of these folks. There were all, each one but the last, rude.
Most of the callers were girls. Not women, girls in their teens. They all sounded as if they had a lot of money, parents who had spoiled them rotten, and unused to talking to a grownup who didn’t knuckle under to their demands.
I don’t deal with children well to begin with, and when some snotty little shit calls me up pretending to be a grown up, I have even less patience. Normally I am civil to everyone, but the girlies called without any sort of respect whatsoever. They were either unwilling or incapable of saying, please, thank you, excuse me for interrupting your dinner or calling so late. They were unable to begin a conversation with “I saw your ad”. It’s almost as if they were trying to impress me with their worldliness, or trying to hide the fact that they were children. It was also apparent that either they were unable to read the ad, or unwilling to accept it for what it said.
Girl calls. ‘How much do you want for Smoke?’
Caught off guard, I said, he’s $1600. She says, I don’t have that much money, I only have 900 dollars. I’m sorry, I said, but the ad says 1600 firm. She was angry. She hung up
Another girl calls. ‘I want to buy your Appaloosa.’ This time I was a bit more prepared. I ask if her mother knows she’s calling me. She says, ‘Yes. How much is he?’ I said, The ad says $1600 FIRM. ‘Yes, but (“yes, but” means no) my mom says he’s not worth that much money.’ ‘Why don’t you let me talk to your mother?’ “She knows I’m calling about him.” I should be talking to your mother.’ “I told you she knows I’m buying the horse!” I ask her how old she is. She says she’s 16. I say I cannot legally sell this horse to you, as you are a minor. “You’re a bitch, you know that?” and she hangs up.
Yet another girl calls me, this time about 9 pm. I was raised to never call after 9 or before 9. I probably am the last person on the planet to go by that respectful rule.
Again, there was no “hello, my name is and I’m calling’. She, again, went right into what she considered merely a formality. “I want to buy Smoke.” By this time, I am tired of dealing with girls. I say, How old are you?” “I’m fourteen. I have been showing horses since I was 6.” Fine, but unless you’re 18, I cannot deal with you.”Again, a hang up.
Then there were the women callers. One night, the phone rings at 11 PM. I’ve been in bed for two hours, out cold, so I’m a bit fuzzy. And pissed…this is the ex’s horse, but I, apparently, am the salesperson. He didn’t even bother to roll over for the phone. This is, almost verbatim, the ”’conversation”” we had.
Woman: (she doesn’t bother to apologize for calling so late) “I saw your ad for Smoke. How high does he jump?”
Me: “It’s 11 PM!”
Woman:” I know. How high does he jump?”
Me: now that I’m waking up, I’m pissed by this rude shithead.
“He doesn’t jump.”
Woman: “What? He doesn’t jump? He HAS to jump!”
Me: “If you read the ad, you see it doesn’t say anything about him jumping.”
Woman’ “Have you TRIED to jump him??” in that patronizing tone of voice that one normally hears being laid on a recalcitrant teenager.
Me: “We have never tried to jump him and he shows no inclination to jump.”
Woman” “He has to jump. He’s just perfect for my daughter and he has to jump.”
Me: “He’s not a jumper.”
She hangs up without so much as a goodbye. But then, she didn’t start with a hello.
Another called up, wanting to know who I bought him from. I told her, the Decker’s. “I don’t know them”, she said. Is that important? I ask, “Well, yes, because.” Because why? “Just because.” I ask her are you a Decker family member? She got angry at that, and said, NO! Fine. What would you like to know about Smoke?” I’m not interested if you’re not going to be upfront about him.” Now I’m amazed. “What would you like to know about him?” “Nothing. Bye.”
A woman called, wanting to know if I want to lease him. I say, no, we are not interested in leasing him. We are SELLING him. “I’m not interested in buying him, I just want to lease.” Well, then, we can’t deal. Sorry. At least this one said, “Sorry to bother you.” before she hung up.
Finally I get a phone call from a woman who sounds half way sentient. She wants to come out ‘tomorrow’ to look at him. I tell her I will be there, and what time, and how to get to the farm. She says, I’ll be there.
That is the subject of my next post.