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Barn spies, how many of you have them at your barn?

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  • #61
    Anytime I encounter someone "strange" where I board first thing I do is take down the plate number of the car/truck.

    Ya never know if they are there to pet the pretty ponies, inquire about boarding, score some free tack or any number of options in-between. By the time you figure it out they could be gone.

    Comment


    • #62
      I'm not sure where anyone got the idea that it is a small child. When I read the original post, I thought it sounded like a teenagaer.

      Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
      but you would assume somebody driving a buggy knows what to do with a horse.
      Somebody who thinks is is ok for a small person to lead an unknown horse from the back of a truck, I'd wonder.

      However, to the MYOB crowd:
      Seems to me like the OP did just what you thought she should.
      WTF is this horse doing tied to a tree outside the gait.
      asks stranger 'can I help you' since barn staff does not bother.
      hears about the plans and says 'good luck'
      goes about her business.
      I assume nothing. The buggy owner may very well have less horse sense than the one with the truck.

      It is also an assumption that the barn staff was not bothering to help. For all anyone knows, there was a long, drawn out conversation earlier that resulted in horse being tied to a tree, for whatever reason.

      Personally, I would not give any advice and have learned a long time ago how to keep my face and voice neutral when I encounter a strange situation. I would have asked the barn staff what the rest of the story is, once I got in, though. I possibly also would have called the barn owner. So, really, there is no need for 'spies' to 'tattle on me' to anyone.

      Comment


      • #63
        I don't know, the last boarding barn I was at was smaller, more neighborhood mentality, so #1, we all knew each other, #2, we all knew ahead of time if a horse was going to leave the property.

        If I saw a horse tied to a tree, that'd be weird.

        If a stranger came up and claimed new ownership of said horse, I''d verify that it wasn't a thief. Probably via a phone call to the BO, NOT asking the stranger himself.

        If it was legit, THEN I'd MYOB.

        But then again, where I come from, "barn spies" are just horsewomen who love to gossip...

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        • #64
          Originally posted by mbm View Post
          maybe you didnt catch it but OP is clearly from UK and terms like "a lot of blood " appear common there.
          I haven't read all of this thread b/c I have to get dinner on the table...BUT I did go back and read the OP's initial post with a British accent and it takes on a whole new life...

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #65
            Thanks for all your diverse replies. Actually, the situation really did get to me, on a lot of different levels. I couldn't sleep last night because I was tossing and turning thinking about it. I came to the conclusion that I had wanted to adopt said horse badly, bacause I am a hopeless romantic and think he could be fixed, and seeing him leave was hard. But that part aside, now that I've had time to examine my actions, I don't think I'd have done different.

            We are in South Florida, south of Miami, in an agricultural area that is mostly dedicated to truck farming. It is largely hispanic, and there are a lot of migrant workers. In addition, there are also a lot of just weird people out there in the bushes. (Not associated with any migrant workers, let me make that clear). If you've ever read any Carl Hiassen books, you'll get the picture.

            I've been with these people for 5 years at least. I've taught lessons, seen a lot worse people come and go, and there is a bond, however odd it is. The spying is the BO's staff, and himself. It isn't just me it happens to, but I do resent it bc I see it as meddling in my privacy. I have strong opinions and they sometimes clash with others, but they don't want me to leave. I might like to, but for the time being, its the best in my area. So we put up and shut up. I'm really no more of a busy body than anyone else. They are paranoid, and long before I came along.

            Now, when I drove up and saw the horse standing tied to the tree, with no one around, all the barn staff, the 2 trainers, and the stableman were going about their business, teaching lessons, cleaning stalls, etc. So, I really could not fathom what was going on with the horse being tied there. The tree the horse was tied to is beside the property fence, and then there's a short gap to the fence of the riding arena where the lessons go on. There is a dirt road (its actually a county road) that runs from the paved road past the farm's gate. People drive up the road with their kids for lessons, and their dogs, and park under the trees, outside the property fence along the roadside, so its fairly close to the ring. Horses spook all the time at people getting out of cars and kids running. In addition their are farm workers in the surrounding fields, and the odd truck coming and going from the fields. Plus people who come by to look at the horses and might just want to pet one.

            Everyone knew the horse was being given away. I talked to the BO about his situation extensively. I didn't know exactly when he was going, but I knew he was going. But normally when someone picks up a horse, the horse is waiting in a stall for them. Whether they have a rig or not, I've never seen one of ours tied out like that. Maybe it was the guy who took him that tied him to the tree. I don't know, but it was not apparent to me at that moment who put him there, or why.

            While I was standing there looking at the horse and taking in the scene, a pickup truck I didn't recognise came slowly by, with a rotund hispanic man and a boy, about 9 or 10 maybe. I didn't know whether they were looking at the pretty horse, so when the man got out, and I didn't recognise him, I asked him if I could help him because I thought he might be wanting to ask if the boy could pet the horse. He didn't seem to speak much English so I addressed him in Spanish. He said it was his horse, and proceeded to call the stableman for the horse's papers which were supposed to be there for him. By then I knew he was the person the BO had given the horse to.

            I chatted a little with him, just wanting to make sure what was happening, asked him if he was waiting for a trailer, and he said he lived nearby and would just lead the horse home. I wasn't clear to me what nearby meant, so I don't know how far they were going.

            Now, here's some back story on this horse's behavior. When he arrived at the farm from quarantine, the BO took him to the round pen to let him stretch his legs. The round pen has a solid wood board surround that's probably over 6 ft high. The horse looks around, and from a standstill, jumped out of the round pen, ran around like a looney, then tried to jump into the stall of another horse, getting caught by his stifles. He was just wild. He has calmed down a lot in the time he's been there, but was too much for the girls for whom he was intended. The family sued the seller and moved back to Europe and gave the horse to the BO, who didn't want him because the horse also has soundness issues. The horse wasn't on any sort of turnout, or regular exercise. The other day I asked the stableman how he was to work around and he said don't bother because they don't pay you enough for you to get hurt. He wasn't being groomed or handled alot and was unpredictable. Given what I knew about the horse, I found it alarming they were going to be leading him down a more heavily trafficked street, or streets, maybe intersection. I didn't know, but I said what I said because I didn't want anyone to be hurt. A head's up. Then the BO called and told me it wasn't his problem or mine how the horse got home. By that time they'd already gone and since I didn't hear of any horse/car accidents, I assume they made it ok. I have not discussed it with anyone since, except here.

            Long, but I hope that clarifies some things. I started the thread because I second guess myself often, and knew I couldn't talk about what bothered me at the barn because of the silencing. I wanted other people's feedback and I think there's some very good points being made. Its the sort of thing that we all come across in all walks of life, not just at the barn. So where to draw the lines, wwyd? The more I think about it, the more I feel I would do the same thing again, and that I wasn't unduly inserting myself into the situation. I percieved it as a potential dangerous, or unpredictable situation. Had he come with a trailer, I'd have had normal curiosity, but wouldn't have even bothered with it.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
              The spying is the BO's staff, and himself. It isn't just me it happens to, but I do resent it bc I see it as meddling in my privacy. I have strong opinions and they sometimes clash with others, but they don't want me to leave.
              I'm...kinda stuck on that. It's like someone talking loudly on their cell on the bus expecting "privacy" from people overhearing, isn't it? To me from the BO's POV it is you who are meddling - with a client (kinda) in this case, with who knows what in the previous instances. What sort of privacy exactly do you expect for approaching the BO's sort-of client?

              That said, I agree with you about the leading of the horse down the road. That was just plain dangerous (mostly to the other motorists had it spooked, not so much to the kid if he knew to let go), and I don't believe many posters are disagreeing on that point.
              But those who picked up on your personal feelings about the horse, and his new owners, appear to be right too. I don't think your view here is objective.
              Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

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              • #67
                He said it was his horse, and proceeded to call the stableman for the horse's papers which were supposed to be there for him. By then I knew he was the person the BO had given the horse to.
                Again, this is when you should have turned around and went on your merry way. You had no business worrying about whether he had a trailer coming or not. The man was on the phone calling the stableman and this should have made it clear that the BO and staff were aware of what was going on.
                I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance

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                • #68
                  Wow people do attack on here. I am rather shocked at the holier than thou attitude of some folks. You know darn well all of you I would suspect, if you came to your barn and saw a horse tied to a tree you would question it.
                  I dare say none of you would have just walked by it and gone about your business. Sheesh, the person was concerned about the horse and the person taking it. Wow, arrogance. IF any of us are true horseman we would have questioned it. Sorry, go ahead give the thumbs down, That is how I feel.

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                  • #69
                    Guess I am not a horseman since I mind my own business, especially when I know that the barn staff is already aware of the situation.....
                    I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Sannois View Post
                      Wow people do attack on here. I am rather shocked at the holier than thou attitude of some folks. You know darn well all of you I would suspect, if you came to your barn and saw a horse tied to a tree you would question it.
                      I dare say none of you would have just walked by it and gone about your business. Sheesh, the person was concerned about the horse and the person taking it. Wow, arrogance. IF any of us are true horseman we would have questioned it. Sorry, go ahead give the thumbs down, That is how I feel.
                      If I came to my barn and saw a horse tied to a tree (which is not usual in my barn) and "all the barn staff, the 2 trainers, and the stableman" present, as per OP's update, I would ask the freaking barn staff what was going on. If I was concerned.

                      There are many things going on here:
                      1. some kind of breakdown in communication between OP and BO/barn staff - the staff was present. The OP did NOT go to them with any concernes she might have had. OP instead chose to question dude who was picking up horse.
                      2. some pre-existing history of communication problems/"meddling"/"spying" when it comes to how the OP conducts herself on the barn premises.
                      3. OP's own feelings wrt the horse, wishing she owned it, to the point where seeing it taken away by a dude she doesn't seem to approve of caused a night of sleeplessness.

                      It should be rather clear that this isn't just a situation of Random Boarder coming across Unusual Situation and have Some Concerns. There's history there, there are personal feelings and judgments re: horse and its new owners, there's the odd situation of being concerned about something strange but not asking any barn staff about it.
                      Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Coanteen View Post
                        If I came to my barn and saw a horse tied to a tree (which is not usual in my barn) and "all the barn staff, the 2 trainers, and the stableman" present, as per OP's update, I would ask the freaking barn staff what was going on. If I was concerned.

                        There are many things going on here:
                        1. some kind of breakdown in communication between OP and BO/barn staff - the staff was present. The OP did NOT go to them with any concernes she might have had. OP instead chose to question dude who was picking up horse.
                        2. some pre-existing history of communication problems/"meddling"/"spying" when it comes to how the OP conducts herself on the barn premises.
                        3. OP's own feelings wrt the horse, wishing she owned it, to the point where seeing it taken away by a dude she doesn't seem to approve of caused a night of sleeplessness.

                        It should be rather clear that this isn't just a situation of Random Boarder coming across Unusual Situation and have Some Concerns. There's history there, there are personal feelings and judgments re: horse and its new owners, there's the odd situation of being concerned about something strange but not asking any barn staff about it.
                        Seemed to me the new owner of the horse got there before she could get to the barn staff.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Starda01 View Post

                          - Is spying a very common thing in most barns? How do you deal with it?
                          Don't know how common it really is but I once boarded at a barn that has/had a bunch of self important barn "spies". I left.
                          "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

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                          • #73
                            There are times when it's MYOB and times when it's not - especially when it comes to safety. I've been at the barn several times where I've been the first to notice a horse in the early stages of a colic or choke, or an injury, or worried about a horse running themselves down because they're alone. In those instances I guess I could've just as easily put up my tack and drove away, instead I opted to bring it to the BM or other employees attention. I think I would do the same if I saw a horse tied to a tree.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              I confess that I am not overly fussed that a horse was tied to a very solid object. Tied to a flimsy fenceboard or wire fence? Yes, clear safety problem. Rope loosely wrapped around the mirror of a pickup truck or something like that? Same thing. But a horse securely and calmly tied (I haven't re-read the OP, but I don't remember her saying the horse was pulling back or otherwise acting out)-- I just don't see the inherent problem with this.

                              Have any of you tied your horses to your trailer at a horse show, or walked by someone who's done this-- no perimeter fences there, either. If I walked by a horse sitting down on its leadrope or jumping around, I'd step in and or get help. But just standing there? What is the emergency?

                              Yes, I totally agree it would be odd to see this when first arriving at the barn. I too would have asked the staff "hey, what's up with Dobbin out in the parking lot?" But having already verified that the transaction was legit (which the OP did), then it seems the only remaining objection is that the horse was tied to a tree. I'm open to learning if there are special risks to that act, but seems like untold numbers of horses used in camping and trailriding are tied to trees and it's not a problem there.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Starda, I think the answer to how this situation should have been handled is intimately related to one's own personal values. If minding your own business is a value that you hold dear, then yes you should have ignored it.
                                On the other hand, if the welfare of those who cannot speak for themselves is a value that you hold dear then you did the right thing. I would be very worried about the horse, too. Especially with the illegal horse butchers out in the country in Florida that I've read about. From your description, this horse is seriously in danger of going to slaughter. Remember that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing, or, in other words, mind their own business.
                                I'm sure I am in the minority. I have been criticized and had people really mad at me. I don't enjoy that but I can't ignore situations where an animal needs a friend.
                                As to the spies, they're everywhere. Get used to it.
                                "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
                                  Starda, I think the answer to how this situation should have been handled is intimately related to one's own personal values. If minding your own business is a value that you hold dear, then yes you should have ignored it.
                                  On the other hand, if the welfare of those who cannot speak for themselves is a value that you hold dear then you did the right thing. I would be very worried about the horse, too. Especially with the illegal horse butchers out in the country in Florida that I've read about. From your description, this horse is seriously in danger of going to slaughter. Remember that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing, or, in other words, mind their own business.
                                  Ahaaaaaa.

                                  Sooo...

                                  Telling the new owner that the horse is green/a handful will...somehow...make a difference to its future of possible slaughter and contribute to its welfare...because...huh, yeah, I got nothin.

                                  OP didn't offer to adopt the horse, she didn't say she tried to find someone to take the horse when she was aware it would be given away, she didn't say she tried to find a rescue to place it. She...told the guy he had "a lot of blood". How does that prevent allowing "evil to triumph", exactly? And, had she said nothing to the man, how would that have allowed the "evil to triumph"?

                                  Or perhaps we can take a huge step back and see that
                                  1. selling/giving away a horse is not "evil",
                                  2. the OP really knows nothing about the man except that maybe he intends to resell,
                                  3. the OP accomplished precisely nothing at all, so the, ummm, I guess the "evil" triumphed after all, and
                                  4. holy fruitbatting hyperbole with that quote in this context, Batman!

                                  But how nice to characterize the people who'd mind their own business regarding the transaction between the BO and this new owner into some kind of monsters who'd happily send horses to slaughter, or whatever you think "allow evil to triumph" even means in the context of not getting involved in other peoples' personal business transactions.
                                  Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    If I saw a strange person doing something strange with a horse I knew, I would certainly mention it to the barn owner or the horse's owner -- whoever was available. I would not have any alarmist tone in my voice. More of a, "I guess you know that guy is leading Blitzen down the driveway behind a truck, right?"

                                    I would not have engaged in any conversation with the stranger.
                                    Last edited by Cindyg; Dec. 11, 2012, 11:06 PM.
                                    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Originally posted by Coanteen View Post
                                      Ahaaaaaa.

                                      Sooo...

                                      Telling the new owner that the horse is green/a handful will...somehow...make a difference to its future of possible slaughter and contribute to its welfare...because...huh, yeah, I got nothin.

                                      OP didn't offer to adopt the horse, she didn't say she tried to find someone to take the horse when she was aware it would be given away, she didn't say she tried to find a rescue to place it. She...told the guy he had "a lot of blood". How does that prevent allowing "evil to triumph", exactly? And, had she said nothing to the man, how would that have allowed the "evil to triumph"?

                                      Or perhaps we can take a huge step back and see that
                                      1. selling/giving away a horse is not "evil",
                                      2. the OP really knows nothing about the man except that maybe he intends to resell,
                                      3. the OP accomplished precisely nothing at all, so the, ummm, I guess the "evil" triumphed after all, and
                                      4. holy fruitbatting hyperbole with that quote in this context, Batman!

                                      But how nice to characterize the people who'd mind their own business regarding the transaction between the BO and this new owner into some kind of monsters who'd happily send horses to slaughter, or whatever you think "allow evil to triumph" even means in the context of not getting involved in other peoples' personal business transactions.
                                      you missed the follow up post in which the OP states she had been having conversations about the horse.
                                      She did not make her mind up quickly enough to take him....

                                      I am guessing COTH is just full of rude people who walk around people talking to them (as it sounded this gentleman did) and hand the responsibility over to the hired help....

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                        you missed the follow up post in which the OP states she had been having conversations about the horse.
                                        She did not make her mind up quickly enough to take him....

                                        I am guessing COTH is just full of rude people who walk around people talking to them (as it sounded this gentleman did) and hand the responsibility over to the hired help....
                                        This?

                                        I couldn't sleep last night because I was tossing and turning thinking about it. I came to the conclusion that I had wanted to adopt said horse badly, bacause I am a hopeless romantic and think he could be fixed, and seeing him leave was hard.
                                        ...

                                        Everyone knew the horse was being given away. I talked to the BO about his situation extensively. I didn't know exactly when he was going, but I knew he was going.
                                        You interpret this as the OP being in discussion to possibly adopt the horse, and the BO going over her?
                                        I interpret it as the OP talking about the horse and its impending leaving, but not actually coming to the "OMG I wanted to adopt" conclusion until after the horse had left.

                                        Anyone selling a horse on here is told not to wait and wait on a possibly flaky buyer. BO was giving it away, not selling, but he wanted it gone. How long should he have waited for OP to come to her sleepless-night realization? In her first post she says she couldn't prevent it, "ie buy the horse or something" - there's no indication at all that she ever seriously talked to the BO about acquiring the horse herself, only that she knew a lot about it, liked it, and had an epiphany when she saw it leave.
                                        Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          How is the fact that the Hispanic man taking the horse was 'rotund' relevant to the situation?

                                          In any case, first, no, I wouldn't freak out over the horse being tied to a tree if he was on a short lead (so he couldn't get his leg over the line) and it was a regular lead rope, though I would probably ask the barn staff why he was out there. I would not feel the need to lecture the new owner about the horse's behavior or whether or not leading him from a truck is a good idea (not something I'd probably do on a road, but I've seen it done and no one died.) Once I'd established from the barn staff it was in fact his horse, I'd have minded my own business. If I had wanted it to be my problem, I'd have spoken up for the horse when I found out the owners wanted it off their books ASAP.
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