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View Full Version : Can someone talk me down from the ledge?



Justice
May. 17, 2010, 10:45 PM
I dropped my filly off at the cowboy's two weeks ago. An hour from home, fine place for what it is, quarter horse type, highly recommended by some dressage people. Young guy, met another girl that worked there, got a weird vibe from her although she was nice to me.

When I leave the horse, I tell the guy, I am giving you my email address. If you do not want me to pester you, you need to update me. Otherwise, I will be a pest. I want to know what is going on. Okay, says the cowboy. And off I go. One week goes by. Keep in mind, the filly long lines with a bridle, I let my 5 YO groom her and feed her carrots, she's been sacked out and I can completely lean on her back. I dropped her off and told him to clipper train her and start her under saddle and haul her to every horse show he went to.

End of week one, no word, I email. He calls.

Horse is wonderful. Stands like a rock in the crossties. He has turned the clippers on by her. What a lovely mare. BTW, he's been having some problems with his ex-fiance, which is why things were odd at the barn and none of his staff or horses were there. Sorry about that.

So, I go on my merry way, a little bent out of shape that the horse isn't doing what I think she should be, but I promised Mr. Justice someone else would start her due to the little princesses. And, the littlest princess turns four this week, and that trumps baby horses, however important they might be. I am freelancing my a** off to pay for the horse and million dollar saddles and birthday parties and of course, princess dresses, so it wasn't until tonight that I had time to email the cowboy again and ask for a status report. She's been there a little over 2 weeks now. Well, that's a lie, because he just emailed me back, and told me that he moved her today. That's right. Threw her on the trailer, and moved her to another barn. Without calling me first. Where's the fruitbat?

But don't worry. She stands really well in the crossties and is getting used to him being around her grooming him. And she trailers really well. Gee, thanks! Does she like carrots?

So, Mr. Justice is sitting next to me in bed asking why I am not starting the filly myself at home, I am reminding him we still live in a subdivision because even though we live in the midwest we can't find a barn we can afford and I can't risk my neck with two little princesses and I feel like banging my head against a wall.

On the bright side, she is about 15 minutes away now instead of an hour. And the guy is a young kid who is a good rider with absolutely no business sense (from my perspective). I sent him a kind but firm reply letting him know it was not cool to move my horse without consent, and that we needed to talk about next steps.

Sorry for the novel. I am intensely frustrated.

lesgarcons
May. 17, 2010, 11:18 PM
Take the horse back, now. Get someone to come to your place to break the horse, or have a horsey friend come help you do it to lessen the risk.

Regardless of whether the trainer is an idiot, or if he's just in a bad situation, he is in no place to be paid to train this horse. You state that you can barely afford her training, well, he's not even training her! And now he's moving her around without your knowledge or consent. Don't let this situation go from bad to worse. Get the horse now.

I know this probably isn't what you wanted to hear, but if it were my horse I'd have picked her up today.

AmandaandTuff
May. 17, 2010, 11:30 PM
Most cowboys I have sent horses to would have probably saddled up the first day and riding a couple days later. Sounds like he isn't in the situation to be taking on horses and you need to get out before you spend more.

Justice
May. 17, 2010, 11:37 PM
Don't feel too sorry for me. I can definitely afford her training... we're not quite that hard up yet ;) We're actually shopping for horse property.

I'm just frustrated that I'm paying someone else to do NOTHING due to personal issues, and to top it off, they move my horse. Your point is well taken, but I'm in an area where there aren't a lot of options. I need to get a top-notch start on this filly, and this guy is supposedly the best in the area. I am longing for Southern California like you can't believe.

I am heading out there first thing in the morning to see what is going on. Trust me, if the place isn't right, Stella takes a trailer ride in the morning.

Coreene
May. 17, 2010, 11:50 PM
There is no way your little one is five, you just had a baby ten minutes ago! And I'd pick up the horse right now.

Justice
May. 18, 2010, 12:10 AM
Coreene,

My littlest one turned four. Are you sitting down? My oldest turns six in July. Obscene.

I am ashamed to admit that Mr. Justice is taking his family on many long vacations this summer to brace himself to lose his wife to the show circuit next year. We leave for the first trip next weekend. None of the show barns here specialize in babies, especially not taking them on the road to the extent that I want her to be.

I know there were court issues involved, and it's not like he just decided, hey, I think I'll move this chick's horse for kicks. So, I'm going to check it out in the morning, see how the land lies and give him my bad, bad, bad speech. We'll see how it goes.

NoExcuses
May. 18, 2010, 12:17 AM
First off I am all for giving young trainers a shot. I am getting older and the ground is harder.
What may be lacking is a written contract. Spelling out exactly where she goes, who goes there with her. By helping put a contract in writting you may be helping him develop into a good trainer, not with just horsemanship skills, but the business side of it. A hold harmless to protect both of you.
You should feel free to drop in for a suprise visit. It should be welcome. The young trainer will depend in word of mouth, so he may just need a business tune-up. Perhaps even a legal book as a little gift.
PS
I got a horse that had been tied, hauled, shipped, feet. Loves carrots, and stands like a statue when she is standing around looking cute and eating treats. Of course, they did not tell me if no treats came she was a land shark. The sound of clippers (trimmers) was fine, but the first time they touched a whisker she did all but cart wheels. Owner had been leaning on her, no problem. BUT the first time the threat was ABOVE her, right where a predator would jump on her back, she freaked. It is not the weight, it is suddenly a talking, predator appearing from above. Kicks in that little 'FIGHT OR FLIGHT" response.
So I took an extra week sitting on top of the fence, feeding her a handfull from above. She had to look up to get fed, but it would have been great to know when her heighbor decided if he could lay his 200 lbs over her, he could just POP UP on top of her.
Put is all in writing, show up with no notice, even bring your trailer, but find out why he is progressing as slowly. He may have a valid reason that will pay off for in the long run.
When you look at a new barn, there are two things to look at. IT will pretty much tell you about their horsemanship skills. Look in the water buckets and look at all the bits they are using. You will lear n a lot. It may be that this young man is truly the right one to start your horse, he may just need a bit of legal outline/
PS, IF SOMEONE ASKS ME TO START A HORSE AND TELLS ME THEY WANT IT DONE IN 30-60-90 DAYS ECT, I ASK THEM TO COME BACK AND GET HER AND GIVE THEM A NAME OF ANOTHER LOCAL TRAINER THAT WILL "BREAK" YOUR HORSE IN 30 DAYS. i ALSO EXPECTED THE OWNER TO PLAY A PART IN THE TRAINING, ONCE THEY GO HOME WE ARE ON THE SAME PAGE.

fourmares
May. 18, 2010, 12:17 AM
You need to just go check the place out, and talk to the guy. You might point out to him that the horse already knows how to crosstie and be groomed and that you were really hoping for him to be riding her by now and see what he says. He may have misunderstood your expectations, your mare might be acting differently than she does with you, or he might have been distracted by his situation. He really should have called and asked you before he moved your horse, but it might have been a matter of move the horses for their safety and deal with angry owners rather than allow the horses to be in a potentially dangerous situation. It may turn out to be a better situation than where she was before especially it is closer to you, so you can participate once she is going undersaddle.

Chef Jade
May. 18, 2010, 12:36 AM
It could be worse... he could have left her at the old barn. He for sure should have let you know ahead of time, but frankly, you know how men are, especially young ones just starting out in their career.
I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. Check the place out, make sure the facilities are safe and apropriate for starting a baby, and cross your fingers. It is never easy entusting the most important/defining part of you baby's training to a stranger.

I hope she inherited the "breaking" genes of PJ and not of Jade. :yes:

Coreene
May. 18, 2010, 01:26 AM
SIX?????

Justice
May. 18, 2010, 05:47 AM
And it gets worse. The sordid truth comes out. I am a soccer mom.

Justice
May. 18, 2010, 06:04 AM
Chef,

I am thinking back to when Justice was started. I was in Colorado skiing, and he had just been gelded due to his attempt to mount Mr. Justice. He was 2 1/2, 30 days out of pasture.

Me: "Wanderluster, just checking in to make sure Justice is healing okay."

Wanderluster: "He's fine. BTW, your horse is trained. You can ride him when you get home."

Me: "I've only been gone three days."

Wanderluster: "By the time you get home, Mr. Justice will be able to ride him too."

Ironically enough, I broke my shoulder on the last run at Steamboat, and it was indeed Mr. Justice who took the first spin on Justice after he'd been under saddle for one week. So, Wanderluster, what are you doing this summer? Feel like a nice relaxing summer in Michigan, per chance? You don't have any responsibilities out there or anything, do you?

I am hoping it will all work out with this guy, because my gut impression is that he's a good guy. I know he's a good rider, obviously, or I wouldn't have left my horse with him.

Coreene
May. 18, 2010, 08:46 AM
I vote send him to Wanderluster's place, wait a few weeks and then come out to visit Wanderluster. Go on a day Chef Jade and I are free (just zip out for a day or two between soccer games with that most darling of children ever) and I'll spring for dinner. Of course that also means slumber party for everyone at Wanderluster's, but that would solve it and include some great laughter. ;)

Trees4U
May. 18, 2010, 09:04 AM
I think if he is 15 min away, you could pop in anytime and talk. You mentioned that he came highly recommended & could be his ex is a real nutcase, making his life miserable. Must be something dicey as he moved his (your) horses. I would let him continue unless when you visit, you sense he is really not getting the job done.

and...
my two princesses were almost 12 months apart (Irish twins) - of course my mother-in-law had 7 in 12 yrs- & yes, we are Irish :D

KBEquine
May. 18, 2010, 10:28 AM
First off I am all for giving young trainers a shot. I am getting older and the ground is harder.
What may be lacking is a written contract. Spelling out exactly where she goes, who goes there with her. By helping put a contract in writting you may be helping him develop into a good trainer, not with just horsemanship skills, but the business side of it. A hold harmless to protect both of you.
You should feel free to drop in for a suprise visit. It should be welcome. The young trainer will depend in word of mouth, so he may just need a business tune-up. Perhaps even a legal book as a little gift.
PS
I got a horse that had been tied, hauled, shipped, feet. Loves carrots, and stands like a statue when she is standing around looking cute and eating treats. Of course, they did not tell me if no treats came she was a land shark. The sound of clippers (trimmers) was fine, but the first time they touched a whisker she did all but cart wheels. Owner had been leaning on her, no problem. BUT the first time the threat was ABOVE her, right where a predator would jump on her back, she freaked. It is not the weight, it is suddenly a talking, predator appearing from above. Kicks in that little 'FIGHT OR FLIGHT" response.
So I took an extra week sitting on top of the fence, feeding her a handfull from above. She had to look up to get fed, but it would have been great to know when her heighbor decided if he could lay his 200 lbs over her, he could just POP UP on top of her.
Put is all in writing, show up with no notice, even bring your trailer, but find out why he is progressing as slowly. He may have a valid reason that will pay off for in the long run.
When you look at a new barn, there are two things to look at. IT will pretty much tell you about their horsemanship skills. Look in the water buckets and look at all the bits they are using. You will lear n a lot. It may be that this young man is truly the right one to start your horse, he may just need a bit of legal outline/
PS, IF SOMEONE ASKS ME TO START A HORSE AND TELLS ME THEY WANT IT DONE IN 30-60-90 DAYS ECT, I ASK THEM TO COME BACK AND GET HER AND GIVE THEM A NAME OF ANOTHER LOCAL TRAINER THAT WILL "BREAK" YOUR HORSE IN 30 DAYS. i ALSO EXPECTED THE OWNER TO PLAY A PART IN THE TRAINING, ONCE THEY GO HOME WE ARE ON THE SAME PAGE.


This is so true - it's our training philosophy, too. Mr. KB's, to be exact.

I personally think if you have a connection with your youngster & want to maintain it, it is in your & the horse's best interests for you to stay involved in the process, and for however long it takes.

Also, I'm all for giving young trainers a chance & for helping them understand there is a business of training, as well as a skill. But you might want to get a handle on how bad the blood is between your cowboy and the former-almost-mrs-cowboy - he might not be in a place right now (and I'm not talking the location 15 min. from you) to be a safe place for your filly. Or he might.

But 15 minutes away - why are you waiting until tomorrow?

(By the way - 4 & 6 is a really cute age! Enjoy!)

IrishWillow
May. 18, 2010, 11:08 AM
I did this (letting a young cowboy guy start my filly) a few years ago.. and I'd say it didnt go great. He had no business sense and while well meaning, he was totally disorganized and my filly was almost NO closer to being undersaddle after a month than when I dropped her off.

I would honestly recommend finding a professional trainer that does this for a living full time, and has for years. I just got my young guy back froma "professional cowboy" and my horse is doing great. Its well worth it.

Whisper
May. 18, 2010, 11:12 AM
He has shown that you can't trust him to follow through on his own. :sigh: I would suggest that you either take her home and trailer her in for the training, or leave her there but tell him to schedule the training rides when you can come watch. That way, you can see what he's doing and verify that she's on track. Dropping the horse off and not going to watch progress seems to go badly very frequently.

AmandaandTuff
May. 18, 2010, 11:15 AM
You're not horribly far out if you're from GR. If it doesn't work out I do have a couple I could suggest from first hand experience.

Good luck! I'm hoping things work out for him, there needs to be more trainers for babies in this general area.

Justice
May. 18, 2010, 02:17 PM
Well, I pulled in this morning to find my filly calmly meandering around the ring under saddle. She was fat, shiny and happy.

Thanks to all for your words of advice. I think my "kind but firm" email did the trick.

As I said, he came highly recommended, and trust me when I say that judging from what I saw this morning, he can start any horse of mine, anytime. We have had a good talk about standard business practices. He felt awful about what happened. I explained he did not need to go out to the barn and ride the horse to make up for it, he explained that he did. We are good. I think he and I both agree that he picked the right person to learn a valuable business lesson from.

The good news is that my horse is happy, and is now about 20 minutes from my house. Not an ideal facility by far, but okay temporarily, and the training more than makes up for it. Stella had barely cracked a sweat, and before today she had not had a saddle on.

BTW, when I say young, I mean mid 20s. This guy has been breaking babies as a full time job for more than 5 years.

findeight
May. 18, 2010, 02:27 PM
We all make mistakes and those early 20's...jeesh.

Not impressed with him hauling the filly witout notifying you but you did discuss it with him and he did work to make it right by you.

I'd give him another shot. I am assuming you had a contract and could prove ownership? Been around that block a couple of times when property was siezed in a bankruptcy or divorce and I had to prove I opwned my own horse, something to keep in mind if you board out.

Can hardly wait for updates on your progress.

Justice
May. 18, 2010, 10:20 PM
I'm a happy camper. Luckily I do not have a temper, and he took well to me talking to him about it. Obviously the fact that I drove up to find him on the horse scored him big points, especially since she looked so good.

My husband is an attorney, and the trainer's forms were fine. He was not married to the girl. God help her should she ever attempt to wrangle with Mr. Justice.

I do wish the place was nicer, but a girl can't have everything. Food is good and her stall is safe, footing's okay.

Coreene, you almost had me! BTW, didn't PJ show this weekend? I'd better look for an update. I'm done with my drama.

I think I'll hop on her in the next couple of weeks.

Wanderluster
May. 18, 2010, 11:07 PM
Wishing I was half as good and worth twice the amount I am paid.
Justice , all will be OK since you have a rare young prospect gift.

Chef Jade
May. 19, 2010, 06:21 PM
I vote send him to Wanderluster's place, wait a few weeks and then come out to visit Wanderluster. Go on a day Chef Jade and I are free (just zip out for a day or two between soccer games with that most darling of children ever) and I'll spring for dinner. Of course that also means slumber party for everyone at Wanderluster's, but that would solve it and include some great laughter. ;)


THIS! :yes:

My debut with PJ is this coming weekend. Trainer made the executive decision to trailer back and forth each day. Given our classes go first, leaving little time for longeing, site seeing, schooling, etc., I am not expecting much except for some big spooks at the far end of the ring. ;)

Wanderluster
May. 19, 2010, 10:47 PM
PJ will be a doll , he's more fun when he gets a little fired up. He is the horse version of the thigh master the rest of the time. :lol:
I'll be at GC so we need to chat between rounds. Have fun !

Wanderluster
May. 19, 2010, 10:51 PM
Wishing I was half as good and worth twice the amount I am paid.
Justice , all will be OK since you have a rare young prospect gift.
'cept that darn Bunny. I am still black and blue from that mare on one flank . Truth !

Zanny
May. 20, 2010, 10:50 AM
You can also look at the move as another place your filly gets to see and more mileage.