Ive posted recently about my SO's horses who had eye issues/lameness and that he didnt think it was necessary to call the vet. I disagreed and strongly suggested to at least put a call in. He didnt. (My horse turned up with a swollen leg/lameness today, so I had the vet look at the others as well...nothing serious...lame horse has heel soreness, we put shoes on, the eye issues were resolved by then)
Anywho, on the other thread, I told how my SO didnt want to call the vet and the answer was "dump him." Whether it was serious or not doesnt matter, but it IS an issue to me.
I brought it up tonight with him. At first, I gently suggested he take lessons on his horses (whom he is struggling with.) He said he didnt want to take lessons with someone he didnt trust. Well, he says he doesnt trust anyone but the "trainer" who gave him lessons before. Um..that guy died and from what ive heard, wasnt much of a horseman. (sorry to speak bad of the dead, but this is wear SO got his horse "care" standard).
After he said that, we got on the topic of horse care, and I told him how the vet reacted to the fact that he waited 6 days to call the vet with a lame horse. I was the one to meet the vet, and vet obviously didnt react well to the fact that horsey has been lame for so long.
(I swear im not trying to make this a novel)
So, boyfriend tells me that he learned (from experience with his dad/former trainer) that if a horse is lame for a few days, it normally will just go away.
Long story short, I started out very nice, trying to figure out why he didnt want to call the vet. When he started to get defensive, I started to get a bit more direct. I ended up telling him that I dont think his standard of care is up to par.
He is SO SO SO defensive. He feels like im attacking what his trainer and dad have taught him about horses. I'm not--I just dont want to see his horses suffer. I tried that too, but he was too defensive at this point to have a good conversation.
Does anyone have any good ways to instill good horsemanship into him? He really is a caring person, just raised to believe horses will "walk it out." I dont want to offend his father(who taught him about horses) but I WILL NOT watch a horse suffer due to owner stupidity. HELP!
For me, it's not a deal breaker...yet. I voiced tonight that I dont think I can deal with this issue if he's not willing to try and learn/work to change things.
I feel like there is a better way for me to go about bringing this stuff up/teaching, but I dont know what it is.
I admit to being OVERLY cautious about any medical issues...while he is obviously more lax. I would be so happy to find a middle ground. I dont need for him to be AS cautious with his horses as I am with mine...I call my vet for the tiniest things...but thats because last time I waited a day or two, my horse already had an infected tendon sheath that needed surgery.
I think part of the problem is that I want him to listen every time I advise that he calls the vet. I may be a bit overbaring about it, but I truly believe in having a vet out for a problem before its too late. (That said, im a student and my parents pay my vet bills and are willing to pay when I think there is a problem. He is not as willing to pay willy nilly because HE is paying the vet bills).
You have to help make it your SO's idea to change. I had a similar type issue as my DHs dad had very old ideas of how horses should be cared for...such as eating snow in the winter, and letting them eat moldy hay. Fortunately before we got horses at home he made friends with some high end horse owners and was able to see how much they pampered their horses and wanted to match their level of care, so I never had to be the one to tell him his dad was out of date with his care ideas.
Not sure if you are able to take him to any sort of horse care conference, or vet talk? Or socialize with other horse people that may help update his knowledge?
it may also help to acknowledge that his dad's ideas may have been acceptable back in his day; times change and with knowledge comes higher expectations of care. Perhaps find a way to acknowledge that his dad likely was a good horseman during his time and subtle let him see that times have progressed.
I doubt nagging him or putting down his dad/trainer will bring you success.
We were actually on our way to a seminar at Southern States where our vet would be speaking about general horse vet care/lameness, and other experts were talking about hay, feed, etc. He was excited to go...and I was so excited for us to learn together, but we ended up heading straight to the ER....he was having chest pain and turns out he had a pulmonary embollism. Good excuse to miss the seminar!
He's willing to go to the next one when they offer that, so we defintely plan on going!
I think part of him resents the fact that ive been riding horses for 20 years (as opposed to his 5 or so)...he loves to teach me things. I dont want to seem like a know it all--I would be more than happy for him to learn from other people. Bring on the vets, farriers, chiro's...whatever!!
CHT, by the way, I really appreciate the understanding tone you have. I dont want people writing him off just because he learned a different way of horse care. Its not his fault, and I would be offended if someone started criticizing the way I care for my horses! You gave me some great ideas. I cant tell you how much I appreciate someone who understands a bit.
I totally understand where you are coming from! My DH also can be resentful of my knowledge/experience, so I do some trade offs. He can be the trailer loading "expert", and he is really good at dealing with obnoxious horses at shows, so he also gets that job. Helping me hold a horse that needs treating or clipping is other things he is truely good at, so I have him help me when he can. he also really likes doing internet research, so if I need information on something, I will sometimes ask him to look it up for me and then he passes me the link.
By recognizing skills he does have, it has helped make my life easier, and he feels more respected...that doesn't mean it is always easy though.
Well, it depends on the lameness. I don't immediately call the vet any time a horse takes a lame step if it appears to be something that is no big deal. If a horse is 3-legged, of course I would speed-dial, but for something mild where there is no swelling or indication of tendon issues, and I'm sure it isn't laminitis, etc., I don't call the vet. Most of the time something like that is a stone bruise or an abcess, and I've seen enough of those I don't need the vet to tell me what I already know -- which is that it will in fact resolve in a couple of days.
And to be clear, my vets think I am super-over-paranoid and call them when it is totally not necessary as it is. But I've been around horses/had a boarding facility for a long time and know the difference betwee acute and wait-and-see. It sounds like your BF's family has had horses a long time. Maybe they are in a similar position?
BUT -- I broke up with a horsey boyfriend once because his standards of horse care were not the same as mine. I could not resolve the fact that I felt he was over-aggressive with correcting them. Otherwise he was great, but I couldn't get past that and it killed the relationship. Your problem is way more fixable than that.
After that, I sought a non-horsey BF. Easier to have it all my own way! my DH defers to all my horsey decisions because he knows nothing about them. And to the extent he does know horses now, he is trained to my standards. Perfect!
Hope your BF feels better, pulmonary embolisms are serious stuff! Scary.
Thanks fordtraktor! I had always wanted a horsey bf, but now there are so many opinions! (like someone's signature on here says: The horse world: 2 people, 3 opinions, or something similar!)
His family has had horses for 15 ish years but surprisingly, no real medical emergencies. Thats where I feel that im more knowledgable...i've had colics, tendon injuries/surgeries, massive wounds, eye problems, EPM, good lord, the list goes on!
I think he was following the "not 3 legged lame, not going to call yet" philosophy, which is fine. There was no swelling or indication of a tendon injury. 6-7 days of lameness is just a few too many for me!
I'm sorry OP, but I personally could not own horses with someone whose idea of horse care differed that much for mine. It's one thing to think clipping ears or pulling a mane is unnecessary - neglecting a horse's (or any animal's) pain is another thing altogether. You can't change stupid. Flame suit zipped.
I think also it's easy for a SO (especially a man imo) with less or no horse experience to feel intimidated and even a little resentful if the approach isn't right and he feels like he's always wrong or his opinions or views are easily dismissed (due to lack of knowledge and experience) or what. It's all in the approach. MY SO is as non-horsey as they come yet he's taken a vested interest in my horses and is claiming one of them as his own (lol). I find I have to be careful to not just shrug off (due to his lack of experience and knowledge) something he says or points out and in being so cautious, I've actually even been able to learn some from him and acknowledge a lot when he is right (I think he might even have a better eye at seeing lameness than me, lol!), thus building him up of sorts. Acknowledging his (albeit minimal) knowledge and complimenting his progress/skill/etc when appropriate makes him a lot more receptive when I do have something to say about something. It's easy to listen to those with similar and especially more experience than you, but it's a little more difficult 'listening' to someone with absolutely no (or limited) horse knowledge - sometimes they still have valid points and perspectives though and if you do listen, they'll often respond with more receptiveness.
I'm sure you're already pretty receptive, but maybe even being a little more conscientious about it would help? Just something to consider! Definitely agree you can't diss SO's dad or his methods. Listen quietly to what SO has to say and try to find things (especially things that might come from dad) to positively acknowledge and compliment, then gently offer your opinion (AFTER he has thoroughly discussed his side) if your opinion differs. Be willing to follow some of his ideas (even if there are few), such as husbandry (that IS a good track record!) and he will be more willing to follow some of your ideas (such as vet care), if only experimentally at first.
....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.
. He was excited to go...and I was so excited for us to learn together, but we ended up heading straight to the ER....he was having chest pain and turns out he had a pulmonary embollism.
Tell him that most chest pain is indigestion that gets better in a day, and if you used the same logic for him as he does for horses, and waited, he could have died. Ask him if he would've been ok with waiting until a few days later before going to the ER.
There are a few things that should have a vet see the horse immediately...eye issues, non weight bearing on a leg, bleeding that won't quit, nosebleeds that occur more than once in a few weeks or that are more severe than a trickle that stops in a few minutes, any problems with airway/breathing, colic that doesn't resolve with banamine or where they colic more than once in a months time, a horse that stops eating, choke, temp over 102, tying up, a horse that can't get up, and a horse that displays a radical change in personality/energy.
Not sure if anyone is following this or cares for an update...but after our "tiff" last night, SO has stepped up to the plate!!
His QH was a bit off in tight circles this evening and SO asked me to check pulses and watch him trot. He was concerned for him and immediately wanted to do something about it.
His Perch X also had a bit of a crack in his hoof (darn you stomping at flies!) Before we left after night check, part of his hoof ended up gone. Horsey is sound as can be and is showing zero discomfort. SO wanted me to call the farrier IMMEDIATELY to see what we could do about the situation.
Both horses show no signs of discomfort (aside from small circles for the little QH) and are happily put up for the night.
I am SO SO SO proud of my boyfriend for being so concerned. Our little tiff seems to have paid off. He may be a bit too paranoid now, but better safe than sorry!
I think when the vet heard the symptoms/watched the lame horse go and said that the two things we needed to rule out were founder and navicular, that really shocked the boyfriend. He's very concerned about founder in his other QH now. (I've checked pulses, watched him carefully...nothing says founder. He's also in "fat camp" right now! )
Thank you all for the amazing responses. I was really fretting over this...and still am a little, but your suggestions have shown me a whole new perspective. Thank you thank you thank you!!
Sounds like you have a good guy there. That's the difference between someone who has a caring nature but is just ignorant about certain things, or a person who is genuinely not empathetic to living creatures.
For those gals who have the latter type of SO, I say find a replacement. That guy won't be a good dad, either.
Both my husband and I love our son with all our hearts, but we have had more fights over how to raise him correctly than anything else! The horses are all mine so we generally don't have conflicts over that, luckily.
Patience and understanding go a long way. It takes time for the message to digest so to speak. I think his most recent emergency helped him realize how critical some symptoms can be.....they need to be taken seriously....and how fortunate he truly is!!!!!!
Glad that this resolving so well.....and that he is so well!!!!!!
Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!
Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!