There is a woman at the farm where I board whose horse is going to either kill her or hurt someone else. Over the summer I saw some antics caused by her inability to handle the horse, but now that its winter and we're all in close quarters I fear for everyone's safety when she come to the barn.
This woman bought and unbroke draft cross and is convinced she can train it after reading and/or watching Parelli paraphernalia. I asked her about her background and she told me that she rode as a kid but she wanted to get something that she could start herself and keep- I'd say she's in her late 30s or early 40s. Well, the horse is now 2 years old, 16.3, probably weighs a ton and a half and is out of control. He ran her over this summer and gave her a concussion and broke her face a little bit. After that she began wearing a helmet when she handled him, but now she's sans helmet again.
Two nights ago, there was a beginner lesson happening in the arena. This woman comes out, takes the horse out in his rope halter, and starts to walk him around and making him back up and stuff with her little stick. All of a sudden, he takes off dragging her out into the parking lot. She brings him back in; he proceeds to take off again, almost running people over who were walking into the barn. I fianlly couldn't take it anymore so I said to her, "You need to get a chain or something, he is out of control"
She said laughing, "He's only two."
Um, that's not an excuse. I have handled weanlings with better manners.
So I brought it up to the barn owner and he said that he would say something to her, but it’s not fair that she comes out and takes up the entire arena with her beast when the rest of us are trying to ride.
What can I say to her? What would you do? I can only ride at night because of work and I can't avoid her. Outside is too icy or I'd go out there. I can't move my horses right now so I am stuck. I just can't believe that this woman is so oblivious that this horse is going to kill her. I tried to mind my own business, but it's gotten past dangerous and I don't want to see anyone get hurt.
Maybe I just needed to vent, but I am at a loss for what to do.
I think bringing it up to the BO/BM is a good start. Have they seen this person handle the horse? They should so that they know what a liability she is to their business.
Can you ride in the morning before work? When I boarded at a very busy barn I had to resort to that because *I* was the one with the horse who acted up. Granted, he wasn't crazy or unmanageable, he just got too excited from the over-stimulation of a lot of people in a small space in the cold and rainy weather.
I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I think that unless the BO/BM steps up and takes control of the situation the only thing you can do is change the time you ride so you don't have to be around her.
You've spoken to the BO, which was the right thing to do.
Who was giving the beginner lesson? What did the instructor think about the woman bringing an out-of-control horse into the arena while she was teaching a beginner?
What about barn staff? How does the horse behave with them?
At my lesson barn, people with out-of-control horses are encouraged to work with a trainer, but if that suggestion isn't followed and the horse is a danger to staff or other boarders or students, the horse is evicted.
"We're only trying to understand what you want, people. If we're not supposed to actually lunge at you, you need to name it something else." - Dear Murray
First of all, (and I apologize up front, but this is a pet peeve of mine) I seriously doubt the horse weighs a ton and a half. That would be a 3,000 lb horse, which would be a pretty damn big animal.
Second, I agree going to the BO was a good choice. Another would be to approach the lady and ask if she needs help with the horse. Try to sound like you're just truly concerned for her and want to help. She might know she's in over her head but is too embarressed or not sure how to ask for help. Or if you don't feel like you could help her, still ask but then suggest someone you know who would be willing to help. (maybe your trainer, or the trainer giving a lesson you mentioned)
I know some people just don't want to listen or acknowledge the situation. I knew a similar lady who's horse would walk all over her; gave the lady fractured ribs, broken arm, you name it, and she still loved the horse dearly, made excuses for its actions, and refused to listen to anyone offering help or suggestions. But not only for the safety of the owner but for everyone else in the barn, I would try to offer her help.
"...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King
I'm a person with one of 'those' horses as well, and I try to just avoid going when I know that it will be busy. I don't want anybody else to get hurt if Herself is having a hissy.
I wouldn't, though, offer to help unless you are a professional and she's paying you. It's a HUGE risk on a beast that big and unmanageable. Some horses do go through a 'naughty' phase when they are 2-3... similar to a young child. It's why young horses aren't for everybody. Perhaps you can encourage her to seek a trainer, and give her a list of others in the area... perhaps find a PP friendly barn where they can wiggle their carrot sticks at each other.
"You have two options when training horses, the right way or the fast way." Our Adventures ~ Now on Facebook too!
I wouldn't offer to help. And frankly, I wouldn't be so nice about it either if my safety was at risk. I think talking to the BO is great, but what is the solution? She's not allowed to have her horse out when others are around? She has to get a trainer? She has to do X, Y, Z???
If I were the BO, I'd tell this boarder that she needs to A) get some professional help or B) move. I wouldn't want the liability on my property.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
If the barn owner won't do anything about it, I agree that probably the only thing you can do is ride at another time, unfortunately. Maybe the instructor who was teaching the lesson could speak up also? Maybe if the BO hears it from a professional, it will help.
It seems like there is always one person at every barn who disrupts everyone else's enjoyment
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
I would avoid her and keep my mouth shut. I try to stay out of any giving advice to anyone at all. You never know if it will be misunderstood or come back on you some how. You told the BO and that is all you should do.
Unfortunately, you just can't fix stupid. Avoid it, yes. If it's bad enough that you're concerned for your own safety, when she comes in with him, get off. Go groom on your own beast. Let BO know you don't want to leave, but don't feel safe where you are because of her. Then act on it.
How did the horse get from the arena to the parking lot? I am confused. Perhaps a gate on the arena would be a start?
Or was there a lesson in the arena, so she worked with him elsewhere? If the latter in the case, then it sounds like she may have been trying to stay out of the way. Grooming and tacking up in your stall would keep you safe from her then wouldn't it?
Talking to the BO is really the only step i can see that could alter the situation, so the other solution is to re-arrange your riding schedule to not coincide with her time in the arena.
Ah, the joys of boarding!! This woman is in 95% of boarding barns across the country ( sometimes disguised as a man in cowboy gear). She will maybe learn when her stay in the hospital is long enough, or expensive enough, or maybe not.
The problem is she pays the same board you do and has every right to use the place when it suits her schedule. Maybe offer to work with her a bit? I would make sure the BO talks with her, but really, unless she actually injures someone else what can anybody do?