Here I am, sleepless at 1:20am because I am so bothered by something I heard today, and I don't know what to do.
I have a good friend who had a wonderful A/A horse. Due to the vagaries of life, she became overwhelmed last fall and actually considered selling him because she had no time to ride and thought he felt neglected and unhappy.
I convinced her to lease him so, if she could get back into riding, he would be there, waiting for her. The 2 of them are a wonderful team and they love each other.
Fast forward to this weekend. I was not at the show, but I asked several friends to keep and eye out for him, since I adore the horse and was eager to know how he was doing. My friend went up to see him show (she still loves and misses him and her life has calmed down some). I got back similar reports from several different people:
The intermediate rider who is leasing him has turned him into a sour chicken who is afraid to take off at a decent spot and chips in at 2'6". He has lost his form and doesn't place in classes he should win based on his talent.
The trainer, OTOH, is overfacing him and scaring him to the point where he crashed him through an oxer coming out of an in and out that the poor horse couldn't do. This horse is a WONDERFUL 3' horse, but he is not a top level 3'6" horse and he should not be expected to show at that level. He just cannot do it.
My friend saw all this but was making excuses for the lady and the trainer -- evidently she could not see how unhappy her horse was and how stressed he was with his current situation.
I feel responsible because I talked her into leasing him -- and I want to talk to her about ending the lease (30 days notice by either party) and bringing him home (she kept him at home with lots of t/o and a pasture mate he loved).
Do I say anything? I adore this horse. I am envisioning a "Black Beauty" scenario and it is killing me to think what this wonderful guy has been turned into. He was SO happy with his life and his job. Now? Not so much.
Yes, he is being well taken care of physically (fed and groomed and farrier, etc.) but mentally? It certainly doesn't sound like it.
If it was a personal relationship, I know I would stay out of it -- people can figure things out for themselves. But I feel so bad for the horse. I want to do something, but I don't know how to approach the subject -- if at all.
Having posted this, maybe I can sleep now. It is really upsetting me to think of a wonderful horse in a bad situation which can be remedied with just a phone call.
Since she listened to you getting into the lease, it might not take more than a "Heads up--just my opinion-- but this is going bad. You might not have much horse left in the end if you don't look into it"-- to get her to investigate.
Do what you think you need to do to have stuck up for someone else's horse. It's really about you being able to live with yourself, not what happens to the horse or what your friend does, you know?
I wouldn't say anything. If she wanted to know what her horse was up to, she could check results and see what he's entered in. It'd be easy to find out that he's doing 3'6 with the trainer and not getting ribbons in the 2'6. She could go watch or talk to them to find out whats going on. Since you didn't see it yourself, I don't think you should get involved. she might not be in a position to take him back anyway.
Can't speak for owner, but do you think it's possible that she's just really detached herself from the whole thing due to the fact that she feels horrible about not being able to keep him/ride him to begin with? I know that when I was in a position where I just couldn't afford both of mine and wasn't getting to ride, I kind of mentally disconnected from the horse I was going to get rid of.
Personally? I think that as her friend, you clearly have some sway if you convinced her to lease in the first place. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably say something.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I would definitely tell her. And if you have any ideas of what she can do to make him more affordable with her other horse, then now would be the time to say so. It could be denial, or it could be that she can't really afford him totally either, but you need to speak your peace.
...friend saw all this but was making excuses for the lady and the trainer...
...Do I say anything...
...It is really upsetting me to think of a wonderful horse in a bad situation which can be remedied with just a phone call.
This is a tough one because friend saw what was going on at show and I am not so sure a phone call is going to fix anything.
Maybe you could just ask her if she was "comfortable" with what she saw and if she thought the horse was happy? That puts the ball in her court and is non confrontaional/judgemental.
Otherwise, what can you say to her that will change anything??? Anything negative will likely put her on the defensive.
Is there a possibility that she cannot take the horse back for reasons she does not share with you and feels she has to make the best of it for now????
Pam, this is not your fault. She made the decision to put him there and she saw what was happening at the show. Suggest and support, don't try to convince at this point. Like I said, she may not be able to take him back anyway, no need to make her feel worse then she may already feel.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.