when I first started reading your post, I was like "well that happens every day" (unfortunately), until I read that the class is a W/T with 9-11 yr olds! That is COMPLETELY unacceptable no matter what the situation. Glad you got good advice here on how to deal with it. The horse world never ceases to amaze me.
Horse shows are a tough arena and you need to develop a thick skin I had a recent, similar experience last weekend. We took the rescue Hackney to a small rated hunter show. he got a bit excited (true to his breed and the fact it was his third show) and a trainer standing ringside stated loudly "WHAT is WRONG with that ony?!!" (pony had started doing his rack at the canter). I walked over to her and said,
"nothing is wrong with him....we spent one year getting his feet and teeth in workable condition after he was abandoned in a field for 4 years and finally got him able to acceppt being touched by human hands. We think he is doing fabulously, considering the odds were he would have to be euthanized due to his mental and physical condition when we got him."
Don't know if she cared or even "heard" me but everyone around her did. Is he the epitomy of a hunter ony? Nope. Did she have to be so blatanly rude? Nope!
By the way, my kid may have instigated this exchange becasue she came out of the pleasure class saying, "I guess you can break and get the wrong lead and still get a ribbon, huh?"
I did reply to her that it was a PLEASURE class and breaking was still more pleasurable than getting run away with
I find many people are very different at horse shows than they are in other situations
And adults pay money to have this nasty JAW teach their children sports participation.
You should have gone to management, either steward if rated or the office. They should tell her to shut up or get off the property. There is usually wording in the show release/entry form to the effect management can ask somebody to leave.
You also can speak up as an adult. Enough to just say, "Hey, they are 9 years old, everybody can hear you" might shut it off.
If this show was rated by anybody (USEF, state or regional club etc.) for points and you are a member, you can write a letter of complaint about the behavior of this person.
Unless you take some type of action when you see this? It will continue unabated.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Thanks Kristie. My heart really went out to the child because she's a lovely little rider and her mom was sucking all the fun out of it for her!!! Which she still does, she just takes her away to do it now....
And that "lovely little rider" will probably never become a "lovely adult rider" because her mother has ruined it for her. Sad.
But you can control who comes onto your property. I wouldn't continue to come spend my time and money at a facility that would allow this type of person to continue to come as well.
So say the person stops the behavior, at least in public. If you see them on the show grounds are you going to just assume management didn't address the issue with them?
Should they be banned forever because of one incident?
What if it's a USEF rated show - is a fine enough for one incident, or do show managers have to keep a list of tacky people to not allow at their shows?
It's really not up to show management to be speech police. The one and only time I acted in that capacity, a trainer was screaming eff bombs about the judge so loud he could be heard the whole way across the show grounds. He hasn't bothered to come back, although he wasn't given any kind of banishment...just told to pack up for the day and reconsider his behavior around children.
If nothing else, trainers should keep in mind what this sort of behavior says about them. Was spectating at a little schooling show recently and the behavior of one trainer/BO combination was so rude (e.g. tying horses -- including a couple of known kickers -- to their trailer so they crowded riders off the dirt path going by, and then having a FIT when the show steward asked them to move their horses) ... it reminded me why I chose not to take lessons there, and it certainly wouldn't attract business. Their mostly-adult riders were all standing around looking very embarrassed but my guess is that they knew better than to speak up... I wouldn't be surprised at all if the BO got mad at a rider, she'd take it out on their horse, e.g. by withholding food, beating the horse, not cleaning its stall as often, etc.
---- "You have to have experiences to gain experience."
I would probably walk up to her and state LOUDLY ," The judge would like to know when you and the peanut gallery will be judging her class again so she can go take a pee"
Ahh, I love it. Made my day, that did!
Verbal abuse such as that is just classless and rude. If anyone says anything about me at the shows I go to, at least they don't let me hear it! I'm a bit mouthy myself when someone is bad-mouthing me all over the grounds, but even I know when and where to rein it in.
See, now in the situation that the OP described, I would simply talk to the kids being criticized by this idiot and explain to them that some people in life just don't have any class. I'd tell them that, for whatever reason, it makes that adult woman feel better about herself to make fun of other people. I'd tell them that her opinion (and the opinion of the countless others like her that those kids are likely to meet in life) is completely and utterly meaningless. Then we would go get ice cream.
I think it is important for kids to know that they can't control everyone around them...they can only control how those people make them feel.
Oh, and, depending on my mood at the time, I might go over to the woman and ask if she had gained weight since I saw her last.