Yup, this seems like a good idea

We decided to take a detour from our usual craigslist hangout and ventured over to where we were immediately greeted with a zebra for sale.  No joke.

RARE Trained, Sweet, Loving Zebra! $20,000

“Joey is a rare-ety and and certainly an eye-catcher. I have taken him to functions and demos and used him around the community. He is not dominant in the field, however, he does like to stut his stuff. I keep him in the horse fence with the other horses and he has never tried to escape or run away. When he does get out, he tried to come through the door! He has a lot of personality. I have yet to have a dull moment with him. Joey was used for professional model shoots. I also so happened to grab Joey just before HBO did. They intended on using him for a sitcom or show; not too much info on that though. I mostly ride him bareback with just a halter. He has been on trails with other horses and is afraid of nothing! He is the first to come to you in a field and likes to be handled. I have never had him buck or rear.

The Good:
He is the most friendly animal that I have even been around.
He is very in your face and LOVES people.
I do ride hime in the arena and on the trails with a saddle and bareback.
He is a SUPER easy keeper!! (Kept on hay and grass all year)
He sucks on the side on your hand (photo 2)!

The Bad:
He does not like his ears being touched.
Because he is so in-your-face, it can be scary for non-horse people. “

Horse Name Joey
Price $20,000
Location Martinsville, Virginia
Breed(s) Other
Sex Gelding
Color Other
Foal Date Jan 2005
Markings Stripes
Registrations IZZZA ()
Disciplines Western Riding (Trained)
Trail Horse (Trained)
Halter (Prospect)
Attributes HYPP N/N
Temperament 4 (1=Bombproof, 10=Hot)

Yeah, he probably hasn’t tried to buck or rear with you on him because YOUR TOES HANG PAST HIS KNEES!  Sweetheart, as skinny as you are, you’re too damn big for him!  Doesn’t he look thrilled in the video?  Usually we’d give someone hell for not wearing a helmet on an equine’s first ride, but in this case her feet are never more than 6 inches away from the ground, so we’ll let it pass.  Plus in the comments his prior owners show up and claim that this is HER first ride on him, not HIS first ride.  Hmmm…

Also, he’s “so in-your-face” because you haven’t put proper training into him and the fact that you think that behavior is ok, makes us wonder what kind of “horse person” you are.  And hey, it looks like he does have a bit of a rear in him!

There were more pictures, but they seemed to be gravitating towards gratuitous shots of cleavage and long, blonde hair, so we left them out!

Anyone else catch that Joey’s disciplines are listed as western riding (trained), trail horse (trained) and halter (prospect).  We were unaware there are halter classes for zebras.  Perhaps they are more popular on the plains of Virginia [insert eye roll here].

We took a quick peek at wiki to see what they had to say about the domestication of zebras.  Apparently it can be done! And has been since the 1900’s.  But the reason riding zebras was never more than a fad for the rich and silly? Because these animals continue to live amongst lions (and tigers and bears, oh my!) and thus are considerably more unpredictable than horses and have a “tendency to panic under stress”.

So now that we’ve established riding a zebra isn’t completely insane, what is?  Returning to Joey’s purported disciplines and price:  For a mere $20,000 you can buy a beast of burden to ride in a western saddle on the trails that is significantly more likely to spook, bolt and just basically lose his shit.  Sure, he’s a “rare-ety”, but he’s not that rare.  There are zebra breeders in the US and they typically have animals starting at $3-4k.  Twenty grand will get you animal that’s trained to do a lot more than walk grumpily around a ring with you on it’s back.  Which is all you’ve shown this guy to do!

So basically you want $20,000 for what amounts to a lawn ornament.  We admit, he’s adorable and could be a great lawn ornament with more, and consistent, training.  But more likely than not another asshat (yup, we’re including the seller as an asshat) is going to say “Ooooh look! A zebra! I’ll be the only one I know with one of those! I must have it! My preciousssss.” And poor little Joey is going to end up in a stall or a field by himself with someone who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing.  Point of clarification, zebras are even more social than horses and need more space to roam (hi, plains animal!).  Those zebra breeders we mentioned?  Everyone we saw had big disclaimers about “Approved Home Only” and what additional needs a zebra would have as opposed to a domesticated equine.  Some things to consider prior to purchasing a zebra can be found in this article (found it on an odd site though…).  According to this short article, zebras need an 8 foot fence (to keep out rampaging sasquatches? sasquatchi?) and if your winter gets pretty cold, you should be prepared to snuggle up with your zebra to keep them warm on those long, cold, lonely nights.

Woohoo he’s HYPP negative!  We’re shocked; we were certain Impressive bred a herd of zebras.  Uh-oh, maybe he won’t make it as  a halter “horse” then…

PS.  Don’t forget the alt text! 🙂

Just some of the shit you should be prepared for should you decide to purchase a zebra:


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Posted on January 30, 2012, in Bad Horse Ads and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I’m so glad they listed the fact that he will suck on your hand as a GOOD thing…

  2. But is he GAITED????


  3. Because a “friendly” animal that “likes to be handled” spends the entire ride with his ears pinned down.

    And y’know, a video he is clearly pissed off at having a person sitting on his back is really good for selling said animal.

    Does this person realize that ears pinned = pissed the hell off?

    Wouldn’t be surprised if she thought this was some “cute” aspect of all that personality he has.

  4. Most “pet” zebras were taken away from their moms purposely and bottle-raised so they are more “tame”. I think the sale of zebras for pets is evil.

  5. It could be worse. Trust me.

    They are not advertising him as a stallion to breed zorses and zebrasses. (Which, yes, are popular in some areas…but require a certain amount of expertise to train correctly).

  6. Nobody has a “domesticated” zebra yet. Domestication is a process that takes many, many, many generations. While I don’t like the word tame, I’d say it’s a much better word to use in this instance. Horses, dogs, housecats, chickens, etc. are examples of domestic animals. Being able to snuggle up with your pet deer does not qualify it as domestic.

    The reason you need taller feces with zebra is because they can, and will, jump the relatively short fences that will keep a horse in. These folks have just gotten lucky that the zebra hasn’t taken a panicked trip through town.

    Zebra aren’t miniature, stripey horses. They are their own species with their own needs and to a certain degree, different behavior. They’re wild animals and anybody who wants one as a pet, riding animal, or pasture ornament should probably re-evaluate the reasons why.

    P.S. I’d like to point out zebra conformation as one more reason they make shitacular riding animals.

    • These are super good points! Another reason people haven’t truly domesticated zebras is that their temperaments are not ideal. Apparently they are one of the more dangerous zoo animals and cause many injuries. That’s not to say that they are bad or anything, they are just different. These animals are just a few generations away from having to stomp a lion’s brains out in order to survive.

  7. If I wanted to ride something short, disgruntled and stripey, I would spray paint a Shetland…and that spray-painted Shetland would probably be a better ride. And have a more solid hind end. And would have a better (shorter) back conformation. And wouldn’t be butt-high. Whatever idiot buys this poor thing gets what they deserve…

  8. OH there was alot of eye rolling on my part! WOW notice how the little lady is also in SHORTS! WTH?! But hey at least she is wearing boots and at least someone had the sense to geld him! I was truely suprised that he wasnt a stud! Just for grins I went and looked at the add itself. Made me laugh, so I started looking at other ads and came across this one: UMM she is ONLY 5500 (price is negotiable, taking offers) and a world champion? Decent breeding but HYPP status not given and I suspect she is not sound. You would think that they would be asking more for a WC halter mare that is still supposedly show quality!

  9. OMG I think I’ve actually seen this guy at one of the fairs in Virginia! I don’t know other saddle club arena’s rules, but ours followed 4H rules that states, “any horses, ponies, donkeys/burros and mules are allowed to participate”. I’m thinking using your zebra would be frowned apon. I know that the state 4H extention turned down a “zorse” as a project animal because it was a hybrid and they only allowed mules as hybrids claiming that a zebra or a hybrid of one is considered a wild or exotic animal. Just like dog clubs would not allow you to show a wolf or hybrid of one, I imagine a local showgrounds would freak if you show up to go in the WP class with Joey. As it is, many horses still spook at a mule or a donkey if they’ve never seen one before, imagine if it was a zebra! Bottom line IT’S A WILD ANIMAL, NOT A STRIPED PONY!!!!!

  10. Looking at those tiny little non-weight bearing legs, the obvious discomfort during riding (biting her legs–that’s a sign!), and just the cringeworthy fact that this wild animal is being treated like a pet and . . .bad news all around.

    And this is our trainer . . .have fun. 😉

  11. Forgot this: Donkeys and burros have a different standard of weight bearing than horses do. They can carry a whole lot more weight per size than a horse can and actually pull more to. Zebras are more closely related to donkeys/burros than to the horse so I imagine they could handle weight on their backs better, although being a wild animal they, as said before, are more unpredictable because they are constantly on guard for that lion attack. I bet he’d make a great “watchdog” for a herd of horses, cattle, sheep, goats, etc. out in Montana or somewhere where mountian lions or wolves would be likely to attack. But alas, his African heritage wouldn’t let him grow a warm winter coat for that job.

  12. I love that the champion paint mare that Amber gave the link to has lots of “armature” points; certainly indicates that she is well supported! Lots of fun seeing how people whose education didn’t include foreign languages struggle with terms that English has borrowed. Those who are in the model horse hobby will be familiar with the spelling contortions people go through in posting about Breyer’s “Connoisseur” series of models

  13. I know two people who had one of these. One had a full zebra and the other a zebra/pony cross. The zebra went about life much like a horse, until the day his owner walked into his pen to feed him and he attacked her without warning. Her husband saved her by beating the zebra off her with a shovel. She still has him, but they no longer go inside his pen with him. The guy with the zebra/pony cross had him at a horse action and he rode him into the ring. It was solid chestnut with black zebra stripes on it’s legs and hindquarters. Neat looking. Everyone wanted it of course. But, before selling, the owner did a smart thing. He told potential buyers exactly what it’s temperament was (very unpredictable) and warned people that it would not be like owning a funny marked pony. In the end, it did not sell and the man took him back home.

  14. This all reminds me of what happened a couple of years ago.

    A zoo in England bought a pony mare from another zoo for their petting zoo. Cute little Shetland. A few months later, they noticed she was putting on weight…which isn’t that unusual in Shetlands, but they had her on a diet. The vet came out and informed them the mare was pregnant.

    So they called the other zoo and were like ‘You sold us a pregnant pony’. Other zoo ‘That’s completely impossible. We don’t have a horse stallion on the premises’.

    A couple of months later out came the foal…complete with stripes.

    You’d think ZOO PEOPLE would know that zebras and horses will go at it if they get in together.

    (In fact, in some parts of Africa, wild asses and zebras interbreed…which is well known by the humans in that area. I wonder if that’s where we got the idea of making mules from…)

  15. I keep thinking that zebra must have been drugged. Even with a big rider, and even after a great deal of training (which I doubt Joey had), Zebras don’t usually let someone on their backs without a fight.

    Case in point:

  16. He is a rarety.. Zebras are VERY hard to work with, think MULE mentally times 10,000! Also it takes a hell of a lot to drug a zebra (I am a vet tech and we had to put a zebra out to treat a wound and cast a leg) we had to use a full size horse dose + on a 6 month old Zebra. Zebras are super hard to train to ride and even harder to find where they like human contact and are friendly. I have a friend that has two zebras and her’s are nice but not rideable. They are mischevious and playful but also unpredictable. You really cant read their body language like a horse either.

  17. You know, I think I liked the zebra in the second video a whole lot better than the first. But that’s just me 😉

  18. For the record, the plural of sasquatch is “sasquai,” or “squatches.”
    Trust me, I’m an expert.

  19. Hmm, this is really interesting. I’d never had the slightest interaction with a zebra until a few months ago, until I encountered one at a horse farm in KY. (I’m actually planning to write about it soon on my blog) The one I met is NOT tame; I rushed up and petted him, like an idiot, before the flustered owner had the chance to tell me not to go near him because he BIT. I escaped unscathed , fortunately, but yeah, that guy was pretty nasty. Fun to look at, impossible to handle. They said they would have to dart him if they ever needed to handle him for any reason. Incidentally, his pasture fence (he shared it with several donkeys) was normal horse height and I didn’t hear any escape stories. Maybe his donk friends kept him in place.

  20. I agree I liked the zebra in the second video. Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Adrienne Spessard

    I live near this girl, sad to say. They own Snow Creek Ranch in Franklin County, Va. Her mother is loaded and buys her just about anything her little heart desires… I wish you could go see her daggone facebook page or their farms website.. its ridiculous

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