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My Childish Jealousy Over Sharing a Horse

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  • My Childish Jealousy Over Sharing a Horse

    Hello!
    So I need to vent a little.
    I am a full-blown working student at my barn and I have a work-to-lease agreement (I get a free full lease in exchange for barn work) on my paint gelding. I have been training him for a year now, and I have brought him a very long ways. I took him from an out-of-shape deer-hopping low-confidence greenie to a fit, round, solid pony,(who still needs an experienced rider however). He was never really ridden in lessons much, even though he is a lesson horse, he scared everyone off in less than one ride.
    However, in the past few months, he is now capable of being handled by an intermediate rider over cross-rails. So, this is where my trouble starts.
    This intermediate lesson student has fallen in love with my pony!! And I am kicking myself in the butt for acting so childish, but I just can't take it! I cringe as I see all of her FB statuses about how much she loves him and endless photos of their lessons with cutesy captions about their 'special' bond. And to make things worse, she is totally convinced that SHE has trained him, and tries to give ME pointers about how to ride him. (Little does she know if it weren't for the 11 times I have fallen off of him due to his training and confidence building, she wouldn't be capable of sitting on him) I am really trying hard to be the mature person I think I am , but the next time she tells me to 'not hold his mouth so much while jumping' (even though I am keeping him under me to close all doors to refuse, cause he is one dirty stopper!) I think I just might snap. I am still upset at myself for acting very childish about it, but I can't help it! She is 3 years younger than me (I'm 15) so I don't know why I feel so....threatened, especially since she isn't as advanced as me.
    And I know I have no right to be mad since I don't legally own him, or technically pay money to full lease him, I just feel like he has been my horse after training him, and don't like other people taking all the credit!

    I need your words of wisdom on how to keep my cool from constantly being corrected by a 12 year old!!

  • #2
    Wish I had a better piece of advice but I don't. It is one of those things you will encounter in your life with horses. There will always be someone who thinks they are/know better then you, there will always be someone who is actually better then you. The best thing to do in your situation is to keep up your hard work. Let your trainer tell you how to ride the horse. Sounds like you have been doing something right so just keep doing your job to the best of your abilities.
    Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

    Comment


    • #3
      Post your own cutesy pictures and videos on Facebook

      It's easiest just to keep your mouth shut in cases like this. I was getting corrected by younger girls while I was riding an unpredictable bolter at a new barn and the barn owner FINALLY told them that she was the trainer and they were not to offer correction to other riders.

      Of course, they all knew this general comment was because of their behavior towards me in particular, and they gave me the silent treatment after that (since I was the "new girl" who didn't "deserve" extra rides anyway... I'd have happily passed her off to one of them, she was that nutty, but none of them wanted to ride her (imagine that)). Since I didnt need them to like me, I took it and was thankful to finally have some freaking peace and quiet while I rode.

      Come to think of it, I think I was the last one to ever ride her, after I went off to college they started breeding her (her babies are as crazy as she is *sigh*).

      It really is easiest to just repeat to yourself "it's not my horse. It's not my horse." I've been at several barns where I was the only rider on a certain lesson horse, and eventually the horse would be integrated into the lesson program again. And someday you will be able to have your own horse and never ever share if you don't want to. I actually left a barn after seeing a horse I loved to ride go from a 3' jumping fool with me to barely having the energy to get around 2' once he was doing 3 lessons a day back in the program. He showed me how much was wrong with overusing horses like that, and it wasn't like I could take him with me, I could only take my lesson money and go elsewhere.

      And once I got my own horse, I never ever shared in the year and a half I've had him I've let 3 people besides myself ride him, and only one of those on a regular basis.
      RIP Don - 3/28/2004-8/15/2012

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Credosporthorses View Post
        Wish I had a better piece of advice but I don't. It is one of those things you will encounter in your life with horses. There will always be someone who thinks they are/know better then you, there will always be someone who is actually better then you. The best thing to do in your situation is to keep up your hard work. Let your trainer tell you how to ride the horse. Sounds like you have been doing something right so just keep doing your job to the best of your abilities.
        I really don't have anything else to add, except that I have personally been in this situation before and was completely used. Meaning that I worked my butt off, plus working with the horse, getting him to the point of being a made one, then the owner turns around and sells him without telling me OR decides that it is now a great school horse and I'm not longer needing to ride him. Anyway, I hope for the OP's sake that this is not the start of something bad. Because one lesson kid leads to another.

        OP.. It is completely normal for you be jealous. You have put in many hard hours working for him AND putting in extra hard hours in training him. Don't let the child get in you're mind. You know what the truth is and that's all that matters.

        If I were you though, I would sit down with the trainer or owner of this horse and let him/her know how you are feeling. Be upfront and honest. Hopefully he/she will re-assure you in that he/she knows what you have done and that the horse will not go anywhere (leased, sold etc) without you knowing and changing you're work schedule.

        Also, if she tries to give you riding advice. Simply say, I have been riding this horse for a year, this is how my trainer wants me to ride him. Thank you anyways.
        Life is short, ride the best horse first.

        Comment


        • #5
          Tough situation- I think your feelings are normal and understandable. Remember though, she is just a 12 year old kid. I'd try to just "ignore" her comments- I imagine she doesn't know any better. Maybe she'll discover boys and drop riding like a hot potato!!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            First, I'm confused about how she is riding him if you have a full lease (I get its a free one, but it sounds more like a half lease from your description.)

            What about explaining why you ride him a certain way? Educate her. Tell her you need to maintain contact to a fence to keep him from popping a shoulder and stopping.

            I know people like the person you're describing and it is a frustrating feeling. The difference is the people I know like are 19-21, not 12

            Comment


            • #7
              YOU know how far this pony has come and how you got it there. She has no idea. It's enough to know that. There's no need to tell her. She's not going to understand.

              She's only able to ride this horse because of your training. So while your feelings are entirely understandable, I think you should actually be proud of what you've accomplished.

              Sadly, I think this is probably the downside of being a working student. That's the real price you pay for the ride.

              Hang in there. This should get easier with time.
              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                First, I'm confused about how she is riding him if you have a full lease (I get its a free one, but it sounds more like a half lease from your description.)

                What about explaining why you ride him a certain way? Educate her. Tell her you need to maintain contact to a fence to keep him from popping a shoulder and stopping.

                I know people like the person you're describing and it is a frustrating feeling. The difference is the people I know like are 19-21, not 12
                It is a bit of a complicated lease....it is like a full lease because I can ride him whenever I like and I don't have to text/call ahead for an approval, I can take him out on trails, to shows, etc. But he is still used in the lesson program to balance out the metaphorical price of the lease.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with others who are telling you to take the high road though your feelings are understandable. I am an adult although I was in the same situation as you...I rode and trained greenies for my BO and twice had my mounts sold from under me. (One I was extremely attached to; the pony followed me around like a puppy dog. ) The difference for me is that I knew this might happen going in and kept telling myself that the horses weren't mine.

                  I did have one big success story: a little QH I trained and showed for three years is now a big part of the lesson program and is being leased by a little girl. I miss riding him, but I get to see him every day, and I take mucho pride in his accomplishments! This is what I advise you to focus on. Rather than getting into a Facebook war, I recommend documenting what you have done with this pony and putting it on your resume for college and work. List exactly what you have done with him, and if possible, get your trainer to write a letter describing it. Good luck.
                  I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Simply take pride in knowing that all her cutesy photos and FB posts are really a tribute to your hard work. Appreciate that this horse you have put so much time, sweat and effort into has a little girl who loves and feels bonded to him - you made that possible!

                    If you are going to be involved with horses in a way that involves training other people's horses, this is simply something you will have to get used to. If you train your own horse and sell it to someone you know, this is something you will have to get used to. You'll either have to learn to accept it gracefully or find a way to ride only your own horses.

                    As for the advice, I'm sure that this girl is simply repeating what she is told in her lessons. The instructor probably tells her to stay out of his face bc at this point she is still unable to get out of the way and release at the last minute, something you clearly are able to do. Next time she gives you advice, just say, "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."

                    It seems like your unstated fear is that this girl is going to take your horse. Is this a situation where she might be considering a purchase? If that is the case, simply keep in mind that there will be another horse for you to work with - one who will teach you other lessons and give you a chance for new accomplishments. And through all your hard work, you have given this horse a better, happier life.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, even though you did alot of work, it is not your horse either.

                      If you turn pro as an adult or work as a defacto Pro as a Junior? This is something you need to get used to-you are preparing the horse for others (sometimes to ruin so you have to do it all again). That's what you get paid for and why you get paid for it.

                      This kid is 12, she is acting like a 12 year old. This kid loving this horse so much and bragging on him and probably altering the facts a little? If that's the worst thing that happens to a horse you are paid to ride (in money or trade off)? He's a lucky dude.

                      Happy paying clients make happy trainers who make their help and W/S happy. They KNOW what you did and they are the ones that can further your riding career...not the cyberspace friends of some 12 year old.

                      So take the high road here and don't burst her bubble. She gets her feelings hurt and a parent complains to your trainer/employer you may not like the consequences.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I sold my first horse when I was 12 or 13, and he went to a younger kid (10ish?). She immediately did just what your young friend is doing (though we didn't have facebook or internet back then.... that makes me feel old!). She went on and on and on and on (and on and on) to anyone who would listen and even people who wouldn't about how she was the horse's soulmate and no one could ever understand their bond. She took bajillions of pictures and made posters of why the horse was sooooo unlurved before she freed him from his loneliness. I spent many an evening (after everyone else had left the barn) crying into my old horse's mane. I knew I had sold him and had no right to feel sad, but hey, I was a preteen....not exactly a stage in life where you're all that in control over your emotions!

                        In the end all I ever did was grin and bear it. Everyone else at the barn knew the kid was kind of an odd one. She would also pull the "train everyone else" thing....even did it to my trainer a few times (that didn't go over well, lol). She annoyed everyone. I finally decided that the best approach was to ignore it and just keep focused on what I was doing. Many years later I found out that there were all sorts of horrible things going on in this kid's home life. The barn was her only "safe" place, and I'm glad that I didn't have it out with her. In your case, reacting to the "pointers" and the overly effusive comments are just going to make you look like the bad guy. Totally not worth it.

                        And Findeight has a very good point, which sums up quite nicely why I will never stray into pro territory. I love training the horses, I can't cope with the many different personality types that come with training people.

                        Good luck to you, and just remember that "it's all about the horse." Everything else is just noise. Repeat that to yourself when you're "getting a lesson" from her.
                        __________________________________
                        Flying F Sport Horses
                        Horses in the NW

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Been there done that got about 5 tee shirts and 6 snow globes.

                          I never had the money to lease either, but for the longest time I rode a horse who no one else wanted to ride. He was an amazing pro, but picky as heck about the way you treated him and some how my style of riding was a perfect fit. My coach (his owner) had me riding him for about 3 years during which I also nursed him back from a couple injuries, got the crazies out of him and muscled him up after all his months off. I wasn't a 'working student' position and it wasn't considered a lease or anything, just an unwritten agreement that I loved this horse to death and this horse needed a job. Low and behold in my last 3 months of living there a kid falls in love with him and does the whole facebook thing. He'd gained the reputation for being difficult and so she kept on bragging about how everyone was riding these push button ponies and here she was training an 'insane green horse' (he was neither of those things either before of after I rode him). Since he was for sale, I was leaving and he parents were loaded I kept my mouth shut.

                          I got my karma back after I moved, he was sold within a few months and when the girl complained my coach point blank said, "I needed to sell him at the peak of his value and that was going down with every month (me) wasn't there".

                          muahahahahahaa

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you must say something for the sake of your sanity: "Thank you for your input." Smile.

                            If she perseveres: "Thank you for your input. I am following our instructor's directions for this ride." Smile.

                            Remember she's 12 and her brain isn't fully installed yet, so do try not to rip out too much of your hair. It's definitely annoying but, as others have mentioned, a tribute to your work with the pony!
                            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Honestly as annoying as it is to see all the FB comments be grateful that she OMG LURVS him so so much and is not of the mindset that hes just a schooling horse to be used and forgotten when the lesson is over.
                              "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Ah, the green-eyed monster rears his head. I'll never forget the time I watched a young girl's face twist up in an ugly mass of anger and jealousy upon being told "Well sweetie, lots of people ride him he's a lesson horse".

                                None of us are immune to it, even us adults. I'll even confess a twinge of jealousy over the mother of a student where I work at attaching herself to the horse I had been charged with getting over his pushy, flighty behavior. You see, there the families of the students are allowed to take the horses out to groom them and hand-graze during the lessons and everyone seems to have their "own" horse.

                                "He's really responding to me grooming him every week, he hasn't stepped on me once!" she proclaimed. "Hmph, he's responding to the last two weeks of me teaching him some d@#^ boundaries, lady" I thought to myself. Shortly after that someone mentioned I'd been riding him and afterwards I caught her giving me the old stink eye several times and her attitude towards me dropped several degrees in temperature. I vowed right there I'd accidentally have turned him out early the next time she brought her daughter out for a lesson. (You see, they are allowed to take the horses out TO the pasture but are strongly discouraged from going into a pasture of loose horses to retrieve one).

                                Next week came and I'd forgotten about our passive-aggressive little transgression. She showed up and gave me the hairy eyeball as she went for Thunder's stall. I picked up a halter and started walking that way, she immediately informed me SHE would be grooming Thunder and turning him out. What could I say? I didn't like it but he's not my horse, I'm an employee and she's a paying customer. But wait! Then it occurred to me that is one less horse I've got to walk out to pasture, therefore my workload just decreased a bit! Would it work with others?

                                So I started testing my theory. Each group of evening lessons that would show up, I'd go to turn out the family member's favorites. Nearly every time the mom or sibling would stop me and say "Oh, you're going to turn Dobbin out? I want to groom him while little Suzy has her lesson. I'll turn him out when I'm done!". Of course not wanting to spoil anyone's good time I would concede and go for another horse.

                                I have found that I can get about 10-12 of the approximately 45 horses turned out by family members of the students by using this approach. Now I've got them pretty much trained, I just leave the barn favorites last for turnout and make a trip up the barn aisle with a halter in hand, and watch everyone go for their favorites.

                                I have a sneaking suspicion the barn owners are on to me but they don't say anything, probably because I now get a lot more stalls done in the evening.

                                So, OP, I guess what I'm saying is find a way to make her jealousy work FOR you!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OP, would it be impossible for you to stay off her FB page? She's 12 and should not interest you.

                                  If anybody else asks you "have you seen her FB page" a simple "I don't have time to look at random FB pages, only those of my friends"...like many adults would also tell you.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Think of her as a 12 year old kid who wants to have a special bond with a horse.

                                    Regardless of who did what, or even if she gets annoying, be big enough to let her have that.
                                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Awesome GaitedGloryRider.

                                      OP--you are dealing with somebody younger & less experienced than you. Be polite, but ignore it. Don't look at the pictures or whatnot if it bothers you. It's not your horse, he's a schoolie & the other person is a paying client who helps for you to have a "free" lease. So the kid is annoying, but this is one of those life lessons it's good to learn to deal with cause wait til someday your co-worker who shares your desk in a 6'x6' cube annoys you for 40+ hours a week.

                                      I just had a crossrails lesson rider (probably college age) tell me her dream is the 2016 Olympics & "Rio de Janiro here I come!". What do you say to that? Could I point out it's never going to happen or list all the odds stacked against her? Sure. But instead I smiled & said "it's good to have dreams" cause isn't it?
                                      "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JmpR_1 View Post
                                        I really don't have anything else to add, except that I have personally been in this situation before and was completely used. Meaning that I worked my butt off, plus working with the horse, getting him to the point of being a made one, then the owner turns around and sells him without telling me OR decides that it is now a great school horse and I'm not longer needing to ride him.
                                        This is not you being used.

                                        This is you earning your rides on that horse, which someone else is paying the expenses for, by providing something of value to the owner.

                                        When your job is done it is done.

                                        They don't owe you use of a horse for the rest of your life.
                                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                        Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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