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  1. #1

    Default Army Wives-- the Real Ones

    Yes, I know many are awesome! But what the hell happens when you combine them with horses, in a stable, on a military base? Why are so many of the above mentioned types complete whack jobs? Demeaning to other wives, lying, ganging up in little groups against another wife, then after shredding that one, changing allegiances and picking a new target? I mean, can't they all just get along and actually ride their horses without drama, drahma, drraaammmaaaaaa?????

    Anyone ever figured out how to exist in the military horse world without being sucked into the Suck?

    Or, is this particular place special, and the drama doesn't happen elsewhere?

    Anyone?

    And you betcha, this is an alter!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2013
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    Over the rainbow
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    Default

    Military spouse groups (formal or just cliques) can be catty enough sometimes, I can't imagine them in a horsey environment.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2009
    Location
    Georgia
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    470

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    I had my horses at an on post stable for 10 years. Oh the drama! The cliques, the fights (oh yes, fist fights) and all the unwanted advice. Ugh. I finally learned to just avoid all the politics and do my own thing. Its been so wonderful being off post for the last year, but now with us PCSing next year I'm wondering if I should give it another try. Surely they're not all that bad. Right? Lol. OP, I'm curious what post or base you're at. Mind shooting me a pm?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
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    where the red fern grows
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    I used to board at a military stable when I was still in the military (I was the only one at the barn that was NOT a military wife). It was the most dramatic and petty boarding experience I've ever had. Some were nice and normal, but most were rude, snobby and hateful behind your back. They would say the stupidest things to each other in a catfight in the middle of the barn ("You are not becoming of an officer's wife!" LMAO)

    I stuck it out for a year because it was so convenient, but finally the drama became too much. The best way to handle that situation, if you really want to continue, is just keep to yourself.

    ETA- At one point they wanted to change the rules of membership, and with few exceptions they tried to vote in a new rule that if you were single and active duty military, you couldn't board your horse at the barn!!!! Umm let's not forget why we're all here now..
    Last edited by simc24; Mar. 17, 2014 at 09:14 AM. Reason: forgot the best part
    The best is yet to come


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2009
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    437

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    I'm at one now, and I don't get it either. I don't think it's a question of disciplines because we have people who do it all, and the facilities to support them all equally, but I wish I could figure out why there is such an overarching pall of nastiness. Fortunately, there are mostly good horse owners and nice people, but the little group of malcontents really is getting tiring. The clique seems to change within that group too, so you never know what you're going to get.

    Some of the things that happen, from a horse care perspective, are horrible-- and there are rules to address them-- but then you have the "real experienced" horse people who stick up for them because they are good people? So slipper feet with shoes that have been on for 8 months is ok? A body scale of 2/9 is ok because the horse coliced two years ago and always looks like that? No water is ok because they checked it two days ago and it was fine then? Not feeding someone else's hoses when you said you would because you were late for work but you fed your own is ok?

    If you do attempt to follow what the rules are and enforce them as required ( I'm on the Board) then you get all the nastiness and accusations of harassment, and my favorite "I'm going to file a harassment/EEO/whatever complaint, and I'm going to go after your husband's career!" mmmmKay.

    This is a self care place. I think if it were a full MWR facility with a regular Barn Manager it would run much better. I'm thankful for a very cheap and conveniently located barn, and for some really great people, but the road turds there are truly rotten.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    I think the drama, and the drama queens are pretty much like any other group. Combine that with the fact that many are at posts they don't want to be at, or the fact that the services are cutting back on personnel numbers, and the drama just intensifies. Timely-I was previously (not a boarder though) at another post, and they had a full time manager, but because of a couple of PITA boarders it was always full of drama (I worked with the Rec Director's wife, and because I know about horses, I got a lot of interesting questions from her).
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 2013
    Location
    California
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    While we don't have too much drama at the base stables I'm at (there aren't any fights in barn aisles)..what kills me is the way people take care of/ don't take care of their horses...it's a self care facility and pretty much on a daily basis I leave shaking my head. What I thought was standard horse care seems to have been thrown right out the window for some people! I'm so excited to be moving my boy out of here!!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2011
    Posts
    641

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    Over the years, we've boarded at a few military facilities. I've even managed one for a while... The crazy can definitely be crazy, and the fighting even worse. Add to that the glorious government needing to have a standard bull-honky military OI and it gets interesting fast.

    And yes, there were neglected horses on the property. Pretty difficult situation to address when the owner is the highest ranking boarder.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
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    All 'round Canadia
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    I boarded at a military facility for 3 years. It was mostly fine, acoop situation (self-care if you wanted yours brought in, but duty groups would throw hay and check water for the ones in pasture).

    It was mostly fine. In Canada we don't seem to have this odd "wife rank structure" that I keep reading about from US mil sources, so wives/daughters/etc weren't throwing their hubby's rank around or anything. There was some cattiness, but those people would've created issues whether the environment was military or civi.
    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia



  10. #10
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    Mar. 30, 2009
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    CA to Costa Rica to WI
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    Quote Originally Posted by simc24 View Post
    they tried to vote in a new rule that if you were single and active duty military, you couldn't board your horse at the barn!!!! Umm let's not forget why we're all here now..


    Wait. Seriously?
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simc24 View Post
    ETA- At one point they wanted to change the rules of membership, and with few exceptions they tried to vote in a new rule that if you were single and active duty military, you couldn't board your horse at the barn!!!! Umm let's not forget why we're all here now..
    Oh I believe it. If you want to get disgusted, Google phrases like "military wives take on husband's rank" etc etc. It's RIDICULOUS and pisses me off.

    Hence why I have two military spouse friends who live on the other side of the country, one of whom is very close to getting "unfriended" because now that she's gone, her personal views don't mesh with me and she's getting more "spouse-y."

    And NONE here. NONE! I in fact turned down DH twice for marriage because I didn't want to be one again. Not to mention the word dependent is abhorrent to be, as I make MORE and don't use any base facilities. I hated it when I was an officer's wife, and now I'm an e-wife. But ya, military spouses are some of the most entitled folks I've met... Not bashing military spouses who post here, because I don't know any of you personally, but that's my experience and I've posted about it before AND gotten PMs from other spouses saying "omg you get it too????"

    I wouldn't board on base even if one was available
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2013
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    670

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    With the exception of "throwing in the spouse's rank" during disputes and the funny story about rule change by Simc24 (thank you for the laugh ), I don't see much difference from some other barns, especially self-care barns.

    If you don't believe me, go to read up into Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, or Off Course section. There are some gems to be found that make me feel thankful for our own place and the opportunity to singlehandedly dig our horses out of snow one more time this winter.

    As I wrote earlier, I did not have much negative experience in a military stable and the experience did not differ markedly from "civilian" barns. Maybe, I just got lucky.

    Were all people friends? I don't think so. I would not expect that. I have yet to encounter a place on this planet, where everyone gets along.

    There were no open fights and, if there was a gossip, I would not know. Somehow, we could get by just talking mostly about horses.

    Unsolicited advice? Yes! How would that be different from other barns? Btw., I am as guilty of giving it as I am a victim of receiving it.

    What I appreciated about the set-up was that I was exposed to other ways of horse riding, because we had English riders, Western riders, gaited horses, endurance riders (I saw my first endurance horse/rider combo there- a great experience).

    It was interesting to see how people prepare horses for their respective disciplines. Many barns have a common "theme," so it is not that easy to get that kind of exposure (or was not for me).

    Did I agree with some training/management techniques and/or tack use? No, I didn't. However, the exposure helped me to clear up what I wanted to do with horses in the US and how I wanted to do it (and what kind of people to stick to in the process).

    The whole experience left me with even greater respect for horses. It is quite amazing, what sorts of treatments they are willing to endure from us and still look somewhat content.

    I remembered it from traveling, but all the variety mashed together in one barn made it more obvious.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2002
    Location
    Tennessee
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    5,257

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    Has anyone boarded at Rucker? This is a strong possibility for our next duty station, but after reading this thread I guess I'd like a heads up about the post stables.

    We're currently at Fort Hood, and while there is on-post stabling, I board at a private barn for better facilities and other eventers to ride with.

    Thankfully I've not experienced much Army wife drama, but I guess I am also a little selective about who I befriend. Has nothing to do with rank or position....just common interests and attitude, really.

    I did self-care board all through college, completely non-military related. There are good and bad apples in any self-care situation. It can be frustrating but rewarding when you find a good buddy that you share the same horse care views with.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Alabama
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    Rucker (at least when I worked there, but not at the stables) had a huge self-care barn, and a huge boarding contract to go with it. At one time the Lippizaners from the Florida performing group stayed there between shows in Dothan. They used to have hunter trials, and have a great outside course.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    And NONE here. NONE! I in fact turned down DH twice for marriage because I didn't want to be one again. Not to mention the word dependent is abhorrent to be, as I make MORE and don't use any base facilities. I hated it when I was an officer's wife, and now I'm an e-wife. But ya, military spouses are some of the most entitled folks I've met... Not bashing military spouses who post here, because I don't know any of you personally, but that's my experience and I've posted about it before AND gotten PMs from other spouses saying "omg you get it too????"

    I wouldn't board on base even if one was available
    The retired senior chief I work with once sent a message out (limited distro though) that replaced "dependents" with "Ranch Hands" because some 0-6's wife pitched fit that she wasn't "dependent" when he was detailing.



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