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My horrible experiences with Texas horse trainer/instructor Ellen Doughty-Hume

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  • #61
    soloudinhere- that makes me feel a bit better re: posting issues. It seems to be happening to others as well.


    • #62
      Senden: what is so strange? Almost all of the things on the list from the OP are no-bueno, but not out of the realm of the believable.

      I don't really understand your issue with this beyond the fact that it was written at all, but as you just said, she's entitled to do so.


      • #63
        I empathize with those who are afraid to speak out against a trainer or professional. I had a lovely young horse in the hands of a pro a couple of years ago, and I discovered her terribly neglected and emaciated after two months. It took thousands of $$ to treat her for severe ulcers and an eye infection that was left untreated, in addition to the time involved in putting weight and shine back on her. But the worse part of all of this was that a lovely horse suffered.

        I have spoken with friends who know what happened. But the repercussions have been quite severe. I had one pro who I respected comment to me about what I "did" to this pro (which amounted to going in and taking my mare without notice) and that said pro was a close friend. It was clear that I was not going to be heard and that I was to blame somehow.

        If I had come on CoTH and made a public statement naming this pro, I shudder to think of what would have happened, not only here (which would've been easy to deflect), but in the larger eventing world.

        So I was silent.


        • #64
          Wow. I've taken a troll or two out to lunch and left them to walk themselves home, myself, here on COTH but you girls have quite the chow down on the OP.

          I too thought, wow, that's a lot of hanging around after things have gone from bad to worse for a horse owner, then I realized how many horses she had and how hard it is to move them. I move my horse out of a bad situation I was losing the fight for good care on, and in retrospect can't believe i stayed as long as I did, so I am not going to begin to think I can stand in her shoes and judge. I like to think I would be quicker to move him our now, but when you aren't hands on all the time, its hard to see what's really happening vs. what you are being told is happening.

          Good luck, OP. I believe you when you call out a fool, a bully, a manipulator and a liar. I think you very diplomatic in the manner in which you handled exposing this lady.
          My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


          • #65
            Within the last couple of years I had to move my two horse-sized geldings and a pony gelding from a close-knit barn. It was so hard to find a spot for them at a new *good* barn that I ended up having to long term free lease the pony to a family friend. I can't even imagine having to move 5+ horses.

            My problems were nowhere near as bad as the OP's. That said, I 100% understand people not saying anything about a higher-profile trainer, or a trainer in a close knit 'barn family'. My moving was apparently the straw that broke the camel's back. Within a month, another girl on the show team left, and within a year all of the 'original' show team members left and only one is left (she lessons and leases, doesn't own). My friend (the first to leave after me) tried to have a nice conversation with trainer about giving her notice and was being practical (the new barn is 5 minutes from her house vs 35, thank you for all that you've done for me/my horse, etc). Friend was told that her horse was too much for her (trainer picked him out of course) and "you'll be back in two months." Friend left in tears. I have heard from several different horse professionals that my former trainer still badmouths all of us (teenagers, and some of us are lower 20s/in college) to anyone that will listen, and that we won't get anywhere with our horses.
            Family doesn't make you feel like **** for moving for the sake of your horse. I don't associate with former trainer/BO whatsoever, while I am still in regular, positive contact with the BO before her.

            Hang in there OP. I am so, so very sorry for your losses. I hope you have some good horsey luck soon and that you and your critters have a soft spot to land soon.
            I ride a paint even though it looks like it ain't.


            • #66
              All I've got to say is that it's scary how many so-called "professionals" there are out there like this.

              As for those questioning the OP, I think I can kind of provide an explanation - I can imagine it's kind of like the cycle of an abusive relationship. Something happens, the instigator is so sorry and promises it'll never happen again, and everything will be great for a while, and then something happens. Somewhere in there are threats of defamation and getting the victim to believe the lies.

              For the record, I don't know either party in this situation, but this is my take on it.


              • #67
                This is why its a good idea to have a plan B at all times.
                I've had my horse injured by neglect and left that day. JMHO
                Short of paying monthly stall deposits somewhere else, or surrounding oneself with well-heeled friends with empty barns and a bunch of free time to care for your horses, I am not sure that this is reasonable or possible thing to do, especially in areas where boarding is scarce and quality boarding is rarer than hens teeth (so to speak).

                I mean, I could find a situation for a few days in an absolute emergency, but any local barn with a decent facility, in the winter, with 3 open full board stalls, that provides good care? Yeah, right. In my dreams.
                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the long as its in a conservative color.


                • #68
                  I've had my horse injured by neglect and left that day. JMHO

                  Short of paying monthly stall deposits somewhere else, or surrounding oneself with well-heeled friends with empty barns and a bunch of free time to care for your horses, I am not sure that this is reasonable or possible thing to do, especially in areas where boarding is scarce and quality boarding is rarer than hens teeth (so to speak).

                  I mean, I could find a situation for a few days in an absolute emergency, but any local barn with a decent facility, in the winter, with 3 open full board stalls, that provides good care? Yeah, right. In my dreams.
                  I agree, soloudinhere. I think it would be darn near impossible to find a place even long term, let alone short term, for 7 horses. One? Sure. I'm sure I could pull that off if for a few days or a week until I found somewhere else to go, but trying to accomplish what SendenHorse so...bluntly said is impossible with a full string of horses, especially when boarding places are scarce. But far be it from to look at this situation differently than "what I might do".


                  • #69
                    Following the comments to a similar post on Facebook:


                    From what I can tell, it appears that a couple of barns/barn owners may have commented.


                    • #70
                      I am one of the barn owners that booted Ellen off their property. It was not easy. Had to get her evicted but even though we won the eviction, when appealed. Once we finally got her off the property ($6,000+ in legal fees) she took everything. we had purchased $5,000 worth of equipment to help her get started at our facility that she was to leave. She took all that plus some things that were ours. The Sheriff's dept. said this was a civil matter. Going to court would probably cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000. Spending more to get back less. All we really wanted to do was try to keep this from happening to anyone else but it was too costly. It took us about two months to clean up our facility after she left - it was filthy. Luckily nothing happened to our horses because we took them off our own property and boarded them elsewhere until we could get her out. We witnessed the neglect, not only for our property but for the horses that were under her care and the people she was using to further her own goals. I also have talked with all the other barn owners that have booted Ellen off their property. She has used threats and intimidation to keep some of them from speaking up. My goal would be to get her out of this area and keep her from doing to others what she has done to so many of us. I am just not sure how to go about doing that.


                      • Original Poster



                        • #72
                          Stormy - Im proud to call you a friend for many reasons, but your bravery in this situation is huge. It takes BALLS to go public with all that has happened. To anyone questioning you or your motives, I know with 100% certainity that you just want to prevent anyone else or their horse having to suffer. I know how much time and energy you put into the decision to come forward. Im genuinely proud of you. Not many would have. I sincerely hope others are prompted to share their stories as well. As you know, I am so TIRED of this industry glazing over bad behavior, especially when an "upper level rider" is involved. It has to stop. I know what its like to be blamed as a victim - I went through it when the hauler killed my horse. He had belonged to Peter Greene once, and when we told him about it, he said "So many unprofessional people in this industry, and the horses suffer as a result." Truer words have never been spoken.
                          Rural Property Specialist
                          Keller Williams Realtors

                          Email Me for Horse Property!


                          • #73
                            I don't know the OP personally but have been following her and her lovely horses on social media for a couple years now. I can certainly vouch that her profession has ZERO to do with her love for her horses. She's a hardworking amateur rider who has to entrust the care of her horses into someone else.

                            It sounds to me like she was pretty trapped. She was taking steps toward rectifying the issue but tragically it was too little too late for at least 2 of her horses. I was heartbroken to read of their passing on instagram over the weekend and I'm enraged at what sounds like a negligent barn owner who allowed it to happen. We all know that horses can do stupid things and injure themselves, sometimes to the point where they cannot be saved. Unfortunately this sounds like a case where it could've been prevented but wasn't.

                            I have no dog in this fight. I'm actually a h/j rider and don't know any of the players personally. I'm just amazed and how quickly people are to jump down the throat of the OP without knowing any of the backstory.
                            Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                            My equine soulmate
                            Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                            • #74
                              There is a lot going on in this thread. Unfortunately I cannot quote the previous reply, but the passing of Stormy's two horses last weekend had absolutely nothing to do with Ellen. If that blame lies with anyone it is me, but I'll be damned if I can think of anything I would have done differently to prevent it.


                              • #75
                                I'm so sorry that I'm mistaken. I do wish I could edit my post. It must have just been a tragic accident
                                Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                                My equine soulmate
                                Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                                • #76
                                  I, for one, am not trying to shame the OP. I'm just trying to understand if there's some degree of hyperbole in the original post or not. Because lots of horses, limited options or not-- most of us would have RUN after one major safety issue-- let alone 5+

                                  Lesson learned by the OP, but at her horse's expense. So I guess one takeaway is that we HAVE to be our horse's advocates and we have to put them first. Crappy trainer behavior at shows/poor business practices you can compromise on but something that puts your horse in danger-- you HAVE to go. Which means you HAVE to have a backup plan. Even if it's not ideal.

                                  OP, I'm sorry for your losses. Sounds like you agree, you should have moved much sooner. But that can't bring them back. And I am really sorry.

                                  How do people like this trainer sucker in clients? It's amazing...
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                                  • #77
                                    I always find it interesting how many people are like 'why didn't you pull your horses?' We entrust our horses to the care of others and we trust those people to take professional care of them. Few of us have our horses at home. The OP is fortunate enough to be in a financial position to have several, but the flip side of that is that she has to work to do so. That includes traveling for her job. She's paying for a service that she clearly was not receiving but being told what I can only imagine was a myriad of lies and false promises.

                                    I have a good friend who says when one person doesn't like you, it's them. But when everyone hates you, honey it's you! Well I think that's the case here. I think enough people have come forward, from boarders and clients to barn owners. MULTIPLE barn owners.

                                    I don't know OP personally, but I applaud her courage for coming forward. this trainer has been discussed on this forum before and is frequently a topic of discussion amongst the area riders. I don't even event and the stories I've heard are enough to run me off.

                                    As for her profession of choice, I still give her credit. She's no different than the rest of us trying to make it in a 'man's world'. I work in commercial real estate and it's male dominated. She's clearly a business woman with conviction and doesn't sit back and just fall in line. She gets things DONE.

                                    I truly think what's most upsetting about this situation, aside from the loss of her horses (which I am truly sorry for, girl you eat all the pizza and Ben & jerry's you want) is that the trainer in question is teaching and influencing young riders. This is the future of our sport and those young kids deserve a better start than this.


                                    • #78
                                      Stormy17, I am sorry for your loss of the horses.

                                      Could you possibly clarify the timeline of horses that have, most unfortunately, died? It sounds like at least one was at the trainer's facility as referenced in your first post. But then did you lose others after that?

                                      Again, very sorry for your loss.
                                      "When I look back on my life, the times I have been stingy or unappreciative haunt me. I don't regret one instance of generosity." --PeteyPie


                                      • #79
                                        I, too, have been in a circumstance where we had to choose to go public with information. And I also had to hear from others about their judgment that I, and others, should have known better to not have fallen into those circumstances. So goes the saying try walking in another's shoes, or but for the grace of God go I.

                                        The OP needs to put the person's name in the title so that this thread becomes google searchable. There is some justice served there. I wouldn't have been so certain to jump in here, right off not knowing the parties involved at all, with this suggestion without the further testimony of a few others on this thread. People have to speak up, even when they risk these judgments upon themselves.

                                        One of the things that was said about my situation was that I should have known. Well when all the others came out to speak to the situation, not one of them had ever gone public so no it was not researchable to be able to know there was any history involving the individual. Now when that name is google searched our story comes up number 1. And it has stopped some other marks from being taken. Folks have got to learn that in these days of social media that scamming is not a good idea.

                                        OP I feel your heartbreak and frustration. I hear you.
                                        The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


                                        • Original Poster