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How We Got Defrauded by Horse Traders Ryon Simon and Justin Michels

Being in the horse industry for as long as we have, we've been taken for a ride a fair amount of times by unscrupulous sellers. For the most part we just chalk it up as part of the business and we take those hits so our customers don't have to. We recently had an experience though with two industry insiders that was so egregious we had to take a stand and do something about it. Hopefully this story will help others avoid similar problems. The story goes like this... We bought 6 horses from Justin Michels and Ryon Simon. Justin also operates under Michels Performance Horses in Wisconsin and Ryon operates a family business, Simon Horse Company in Minnesota. Together, the duo jumped on the online auction fad sweeping the country and created Northstar Horse Sale. Ryon puts up the money and Justin trys to lend some credibility to the horses so people will think they're coming from a show barn instead of a typical trader since he used to show. Three of the horses arrived to us a few weeks prior to the others. In that group, one had some missing teeth that hadn't been disclosed, and one horse was lame. We were assured he was not lame before he shipped so we made attempts at treating him thinking it might be temporary even though he also had an undisclosed previous injury. Before the last three horses were paid…
Richard Jacuzzi
June 4, 2024
Tips

How To Overcome Your Fear of Riding

Question: Several years ago I had a bad fall on a horse that I had owned for several years. He could always be a little unpredictable, but usually we could get through our rides. We were on a trail ride once though and he must have seen or heard something, but he zigged and I zagged straight to the ER with a broken arm. I ended up selling that horse, and I’ve taken some lessons since then, but I’ve struggled regaining my confidence to the point where I can actually commit and purchase a new horse. Do you have any advice on how to take that next step?Tips To Remember: Take It Slow. Don't Skip Steps. Walk Before You Run. Start With The Right Horse. The round pen can change everything. Thanks so much for that question, it’s one that can help a lot of people! Your fears and concerns are well founded and I think it’s much better to have a healthy respect for the inherent risks that go along with riding horses than to have a carefree, overly confident attitude. That being said, generally speaking if you don’t feel safe on a horse, you’re probably not. Whether it’s because you’re on a horse that doesn’t fit your skill level, or you just haven’t gained the confidence yet, horses feel that fear and feed off it. If you’re feeling tense, then you’re far more likely to have a negative…
Richard Jacuzzi
May 14, 2024
Tips

Should you Post the Trot in a Western Saddle?

On a recent social media post we had a lively debate from some of our followers on whether or not you should post in a western saddle. We promised to put out a more in-depth explanation of why it's not only acceptable to post in western saddle, it's a basic horsemanship skill everyone should learn regardless of your discipline.Most of the explanations people gave had a basis similar to these: You don't see any cowboys posting. My grandfather never posted and he rode everyday. You don't see them posting in old western movies. If you can ride good enough you shouldn't need to post. Western saddle are made to be sat in. Basically, most of them follow the "that's the way it's always been done" rationale. We all know just because something's always been done one way, it doesn't mean we stop looking for better ways! Contrary to popular belief, something doesn't have to be actually broken to still find a better way to do it.There have been countless studies throughout the years analyzing pressure placed on horses backs and joints. Studies from as early as the 90's found that many times when horses were initially diagnosed with a limb lameness, when no radiographic explanation or blocking would change it, they determined it was back related soreness from, you guessed it, added pressure on the horses back. Many of these studies focussed on saddle fit and huge advancements went into…
Richard Jacuzzi
April 2, 2024
Tips

Are Cinematic Horse Sale Videos Bad for Buyers?

Little did we know three short years ago when we shot and produced a different type of sale video (you can watch and compare the videos in the links below) for one of our horses that it would lead to a whole new category of horse marketing and branding companies. At the time we had already been producing industry leading, quality videos accurately representing our horses for nearly 15 years. We were looking to up our game and give people something more. If I’m being honest we were probably also a little bored producing basically the same video for every horse because we do after all specialize in one particular type of horse. Unintended Consequences! When we finished, what we had created was something that hadn’t been done in the horse industry and was more of a short film rivaling the type of video you’d see on Netflix or the big screen. What we realized after we really sat back and watched it though is that it was the exact opposite of everything we want our videos to be and do. We aren’t trying to dazzle people with special affects and things like tons of slow motion, or blacked out backgrounds, or photoshopped pictures. We want our customers to see our horses for what they truly are and to know that when they step off the trailer at their new home that you immediately know that’s the exact horse from…
Richard Jacuzzi
February 14, 2024
Tips

5 Tips For Navigating Horse Sales and Auctions

With new horse auctions popping up seemingly almost daily, we get asked often for advice on whether it’s safe and legitimate. There are really two separate issues we’re dealing with in the horse industry. One category is actual scams where there isn’t a real horse involved; the category we’re focusing on here is real auctions with real horses. We put together this short guide and list of tips to help protect you and enable you to make a more informed decision. 1. Vet The Horse Ahead Of Time Most auctions are very clear about the lack of any substantial guarantees. They basically will only guarantee that a horse will have vision in both eyes, will not crib, and will be sound for 24-72 hours, depending on the auction. This can be costly, especially if you’re looking at more than one horse, not knowing if you will be the ultimate buyer, but it’s much better than spending $20-200,000 on a lame horse. If x-rays are provided, make sure they have the horse's registered name on them. While most vets are honest, it doesn’t prevent an unscrupulous seller from using a barn name and switching the x-rays with another horse. 2. Attend The Sale In Person You are much more likely to know if a horse is legitimately being represented honestly, and the seller is someone you can trust if you talk to them personally. Since you have little recourse after getting…
Richard Jacuzzi
February 8, 2023
Tips

Riding Your New Horse For The First Time

Here are some tips for riding your new horse or pony for the first time. Although you have the benefit of seeing your new horse on video and our insight on how it will ride, it's still prudent to be cautious and proceed slowly while getting to know your new horse. They have personalities and minds of their own and you need to get to know them while at the same time establishing yourself as the leader. This is basically an outline of how we ride new horses that arrive on our farm for the first time. 1. After you have followed our tips on Acclimating Your New Horse, it's time to get ready to ride for the first time. We always start by having a Join Up session in the round-pen. There is a video of this process on our website. It really sets the tone for your relationship and establishes you as the leader. 2. At this point, we would normally go back to the barn, put the horse in cross ties, and tack him up before going back to the round pen. We generally will then free lunge the horse again briefly in a walk, trot, and canter since it's the first time it will be ridden in this saddle. This ensures that you don't have any fit, pinching, or soreness issues that could affect the ride. One of the important reasons for riding your new horse…
Richard Jacuzzi
December 15, 2017
Tips

Acclimating Your New Horse

These tips are based on our extensive knowledge and experience in bringing all different types, ages and breeds of “new additions” home for the first time. We ask that all customers thoroughly read this page which we created to help you help your new addition to settle in.The first and cardinal rule with horses to remember is that they are, of course, horses! What this means is that they have a personality, a functioning brain, and a body system that is similar in many ways to ours. Remember your first day of school? Some kids were lucky enough to feel right at home, but others were quite devastated. You’d been many places away from home already – to the park, the store, your relatives’ – but each time you were with people you knew, loved, and trusted. School is the first real test you have at being on your own. And, lucky for you, after the first dreadful day of school, you get to go back home to the same people you know, love, and trust. You can draw parallel lines between these situations and the ones we put our horses through. Going to horse shows, trail rides, and moving to a new barn presents the horse with a new situation to deal with, but he is with the same people he knows from his regular environment. When a horse is sold, it is like your first day of school, without…
Richard Jacuzzi
December 14, 2017

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