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

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

    When I pulled up at the barn today, I was greeted by what I thought was a rather bizarre sight. A horse, a young warmblood gelding, who's owners didn't want it and told the BO to give it away, was tied to a tree outside the gate, where people drive up and park their cars. A strange man and boy were driving in a truck slowly down the drive and stopped and got out. I asked him if I could help, and he said, that's my horse. OK, I notice everyone at the barn was ignoring it, and he was calling trying to get the horse's papers (the horse had been imported) from the BO. I was just gobsmacked to see this horse who has had behavior issues was tied out there to a tree, where he could definitely have gotten into trouble, instead of waiting in his stall or a paddock. The man said he was going to take him to his house not far away, his little boy leading him from the back of his truck. He has the intention of selling the horse on. He wasn't really clear on what kind of horse it is, just a horse to him. I said good luck, he's very green and a handful. I actually said he had a lot of blood. Also, the horse hadn't been out much and to be careful on the road with him. I personally hate to ride along the road because people actually try to run you down. For example, just yesterday, I was riding in the field by the road, and a car comes along, slows and rolls down its window so 2 huge dogs in the back of the car could bark at us.

    So the man took away the horse, and that was that. Of course, immediately the barn owner calls and asks what concern it was of mine that the man was leading the horse down the road. So obviously someone called him to tell him I was talking to the man, since the BO wasn't at the barn. I retorted, the man took the horse away and why was he calling me about it?

    This sort of thing happens every so often. Yes, it is believed that I talk too much, express my opinions, so the spies are always reporting about me. But I'm not the only one. It has a dampening effect on discourse, and I really hate it. So I felt doubly angry today, one because I know that horse will probably end up badly, and I couldn't do anything to prevent it (ie, buy the horse or something) and secondly because, my private conversations are reported on.

    I can understand people needing to play close to the chest about their dealings. I don't think I say anything that is out of the range of normal curiosity. But all the secrecy and spying just distorts things. I reacted to a very odd looking situation, and I don't think that was unusual but I'm supposed to just turn my head and ignore it.

    So, here are my questions;

    - Is spying a very common thing in most barns? How do you deal with it?

    - How far do you go in turning your head to situations you know aren't quite right?


    Flame suite on

  • #2
    For the record, I think this thread is going to end badly. And no one has posted yet.

    OP, I think your issue about "spying" is based on your being a little dishonest about some stuff. You aren't talking out of idle curiosity, it seems to me. Rather, you have opinions-- about the dude taking the horse, how it will be treated and whatever else. You described yourself at one points as "doubly angry."

    IMO, the BOs (or whoever) know they are doing wrong and don't want to hear the judgment, even if you are right. So in this case, you can't say Jack Diddly without being suspect.

    And if that's true, then their "spying" on your saying Jack Diddly to anyone isn't the cause of the problem.

    IME, once people around you resort to being losers, you can't win by having an opinion... any opinion...about anything. You need to firmly MYOB if you want to survive.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • #3
      First off, this situation seems all together odd! An imported warmblood they just wanted to give away?! I'd think there'd be a line up of competent professionals lining up for a free horse like this not some guy who just sees a horse.

      As to barn spies, it goes with the territory. I think anywhere you go there will be people that like to talk. My best advice, and I say this as I used ot be somewhat like you, is to keep your opinions to yourself. Sorry that that sounds blunt, but so far it's not helped you and not made your life easier. I realize you're trying to help, and like I said, I used to be a lot like you. Thought I was giving helpful advice to people. What it comes down to, if this man has any horse sense, he'd figure out what the horse was like as soon as he got the horse on the road and he should have the skills to handle it. Not your problem if he doesn't! Sounds like he's local so he should also be aware of unruly motorists.

      I used to offer my help or advice, even when people didn't ask. In retrospect, it just made me appear like a busy body or know it all. Now I bite my tongue, and have to hold myself back on lending a helping on on some situations. But, you know, life goes on things get solved; funny how that happens! Everyone has their own way of doing things and if they want your help or advice, they'll ask

      Again, sorry if this comes off harsh.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        These aren't just people talking about others, this is the staff reporting back. Yes, it might be a train wreck here, and it will be a difficult subject to discuss without pointing fingers.

        Comment


        • #5
          I am glad my barn is low drama...but it seems to me from this post that you need to MYOB...and I believe the other posters are correct, this thread is going to end badly..It truly is none of your business what goes on with other peoples horses as long as yours is being properly being taken care of. If you want it done your way, get your own barn and run it yourself, or move to a facility that better embraces your horse keeping philosophies.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tradewind View Post
            ..It truly is none of your business what goes on with other peoples horses as long as yours is being properly being taken care of. If you want it done your way, get your own barn and run it yourself, or move to a facility that better embraces your horse keeping philosophies.
            This!
            You weren't just idly chatting, you inserted yourself into a situation you had no business being. It truly is none of your business.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              No, I wasn't just idly chatting, because there was this horse parked out where the cars are. I thought it rather odd, and inquired. That horse was going to be given away and I didn't concern myself with that, but if you put other people or property in possible jeopardy by doing something which I thought was astoundlingly bad judgement, then I think its something anyone would wonder about.

              I did not offer any opinions as to what I thought about the horse being tied out. I did not offer any opinions to anyone after the encounter. I did not speak to anyone about it, at all. I kept what bothered me about it to myself.

              The whole world has opinions, and other people don't seem to hold their's back about me. I don't really care.

              But if you see something out of place, or maybe just plain wrong, is inquiring what's going on so wrong?

              Comment


              • #8
                I think you've been given some really well put and gentle advice. But, your responses are now becoming defensive. I'm not sure what you're wanting to hear from us so I will point by point give you my reactions to your original post.

                Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
                When I pulled up at the barn today, I was greeted by what I thought was a rather bizarre sight. A horse, a young warmblood gelding, who's owners didn't want it and told the BO to give it away, was tied to a tree outside the gate, where people drive up and park their cars.
                Bizarre to you. You came in after the situation had already started so you have no clue the reasoning why the horse was tied to a tree. In Europe, many horses are tied by their fetlocks to posts, pegs, trees, and they manage. I've never seen anyone speed race into a barn parking lot and since this sounds like this is daylight, you'd have to have passed out or be blind to drive into a horse. Your reasoning for getting involved was your feeling this horse may be in danger. Second, you seem to know alot about this horse's situation and he's not even your's, how'd that happen?!

                Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
                A strange man and boy were driving in a truck slowly down the drive and stopped and got out. I asked him if I could help, and he said, that's my horse. OK, I notice everyone at the barn was ignoring it, and he was calling trying to get the horse's papers (the horse had been imported) from the BO. The man said he was going to take him to his house not far away, his little boy leading him from the back of his truck.
                Why was he strange? How he looked, or because you'd never seen him before? If everyone was in the barn ignoring the situation, should that not have told you things were being handled and did not require your attention? Or did you insert yourself because you feel you are the only one who can "do the right thing"? If this man knew enough to be asking for the papers and is planning on reselling this horse, that would also tell me he knows this horse has value. I'm sure he could entertain a guess that a quality horse being given away must have some issue.

                Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
                He has the intention of selling the horse on. He wasn't really clear on what kind of horse it is, just a horse to him. I said good luck, he's very green and a handful. I actually said he had a lot of blood. Also, the horse hadn't been out much and to be careful on the road with him.
                This is where I would have a major issue with you. Read this section again and see just how much info you got out of this man. And then how much info you felt the need to pass on to him. You have NO idea the circumstances of this sale or what has been discussed. Not your place to "warn" this man or tell him how to deal with this horse. You have no clue what his credentials are and what may be a handful to you may not be to someone else. I would be po'd if I had a sale and someone felt the need to pass along unsolicited advice.

                Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
                This sort of thing happens every so often. Yes, it is believed that I talk too much, express my opinions, so the spies are always reporting about me. But I'm not the only one. It has a dampening effect on discourse, and I really hate it. So I felt doubly angry today, one because I know that horse will probably end up badly, and I couldn't do anything to prevent it (ie, buy the horse or something) and secondly because, my private conversations are reported on.
                And this right here is exactly why there are "spies", you've just admitted it is believed you talk to much. And to justify it by saying you're not the only one is childish. You are only responsible for your own actions. How do you know the horse will end up badly? Because YOU believe the man to be strange? You think your conversation was private, I'm certain the barn owner felt the details of her horse and this arrangement were private.

                Bottom line you were wrong. If you were so curious my recommendation would have been to go into the barn, wait until he left and then inquire about wth that was all about.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I fall somewhere in the middle on this one. If I drove up and saw a horse tied up to a tree in the parking lot, I would not mind my own business. I would be upset and concerned for the horse's welfare. If the person was going to lead the horse from a truck, I would absolutely say something.

                  Edit: that said, it would never happen at my barn and that's one of the reasons I'm happy where I am.

                  So, I do empathize with the OP to a certain amount. That said, it is quite possible the OP has folks "spying" on her due to a deserved reputation for not minding her own business.

                  In the case of barn spies, I think it's important to ask yourself whether your actions have contributed to or caused the spying.

                  There ARE barns that encourage tattling and drama, or that simply have some bad apples. I was at one of these barns. Every owner's movement was monitored - how much extra hay we gave, did we fill the water, were the lights on at 9:00:01, etc. And owners were encouraged to tattle, with crazies calling at night to talk about how much hay other owners gave that night. It was not a healthy or fun environment. I moved my horse and never looked back.
                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am stuck on two things:

                    1-How can you be so sure this horse is going to meet bad times?

                    2-Why do you care what people report to the BO, if what they report is the truth (which it is, as far as I can tell here)?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I also would think it odd to see a horse tied out in the parking lot.
                      Other than that...............carry on.
                      The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
                      H. Cate

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I figure the man himself called the BO.

                        Unless there is active abuse going on, MYOB is generally the best policy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I guess the only part that would have made me go is the part where he was having the boy lead the horse from the back of the truck. How old was the boy? experienced enough to know to let go if the horse spooked? The horse itself isn't really in any more danger than if someone were riding down the road (one could fall off and the horse could still be loose on the road) but the boy could be.

                          I suppose you could have offered to help walk the horse down the road for them, if you're asking WWYD...

                          As far as "spies", do you know it wasn't the man taking the horse that reported back to the BO about being approached by you? I hardly call that a "spy". FWIW I have my horses at home, but I wish the places I had boarded at would have had more spies, then I would have known who stole my longe line, borrowed my bridle and took it apart, used all my fly spray, etc.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That did not take long to get ugly-ish....
                            and it is too early for beer and popcorn....

                            If a horse - the kind that can get itself into trouble - was tied up in the parking lot, I'd go look.

                            If a person told me they were going to handwalk - not clear, was the kid supposed to walk the horse? - a horse with limited mileage along side a road with iffy traffic, I'd say something. Not necessarily good luck but something not too differently....


                            and if the second reply was attacking me, I'd get defensive as well.

                            Odd situation need to be investigated, or you end up with a situation of 'how could you have let this happen?!' when some stranger takes a horse, or tack or whatever or does something else stupid.

                            And I do agree the horse might not be on the best track for the future....a horse of some sort or another....back in the day were I grew up you rode english or english, and the average horse was a WB...

                            here (or now) the average horse is not a WB and there might be jobs a horse like this might not be suited for, set up for failure and well, we know how that can end.
                            Then again, the horse is better off with somebody who sees value in it, even if only for resale, than a BO to whom it is a liability....

                            As to the spies?
                            Yeah, what a pain.
                            I think that moving might be in order, unless you have some of fun fielding the calls from the BO about what else you have said and done this time....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
                              and secondly because, my private conversations are reported on.
                              If you were having this conversation in the parking lot or in the barn, not a closed room, then I don't think you should have expectations of privacy.

                              I also wonder if it wasn't the man who took the horse who mentioned the conversation to the barn owner.

                              Finally, I have found that barn spies tend to be most active when busy bodies are at work.
                              Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                              Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I said good luck, he's very green and a handful. I actually said he had a lot of blood. Also, the horse hadn't been out much and to be careful on the road with him.
                                Right here is where you stepped over the line. Once the man told you it was his horse and he was taking it home, your reply should have been "ok" and you should have turned around and went about your business.
                                I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I am flabbergasted at the plan to lead a strange horse from the back of a truck (there's danger to the kid, as well as danger to other motorists when the thing spooks and runs off - I'd be shocked if such a thing was even legal to do unless by "road" you mean "long private driveway").

                                  But OP, when you started into your tale I thought by "barn spies" you meant yourself. You know, noticing everything that's going on with other peoples' horses, getting information from others, warning them about things, etc.
                                  In this instance the one thing that would freak me out is the truck thing, yes. It should freak anyone out. But you did say that it's believed you talk too much, so it's not just about this one instance.
                                  Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
                                    I said good luck, he's very green and a handful. I actually said he had a lot of blood.
                                    I find this phrase very interesting. It's not a term I would use with a stranger. It makes me think you were showing off and trying to impress this man with your "superior horse knowledge," and if so perhaps BO gets reports on you because you are prone to that sort of thing. NO ONE appreciates that kind of behavior, and it makes you look more like an obnoxious child than an experienced horsewoman.

                                    Now, maybe I'm reading way too much into a single phrase, or maybe it's a more commonly-used expression in your area, but I doubt it because you didn't even say it that way here initially.
                                    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      i love this thread...... here we have many folks telling the OP to MYOB - as long as your horses are doing well nothing else matters - and yet - if someone had posted about the horse being tied etc the responses would of been just as the OP responded - and yet here the OP is being told to MYOB - weird....

                                      so i find it odd how morals here on COTH tend to be changeable depending on who is posting.

                                      OP: people like to talk. it is usually best to keep a sock in it if you dont want repercussions - so pick your battles wisely.

                                      oh and for the person who thinks imported horses are never given away - you have no idea.... they are given away with frequency - the question is: do you want an animal that has been so abused that no one wants to deal with it?

                                      for example i know someone who has 2 imported WB gelding sitting in her field right now - both were free.
                                      Last edited by mbm; Dec. 10, 2012, 10:50 AM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by axl View Post
                                        I find this phrase very interesting. It's not a term I would use with a stranger. It makes me think you were showing off and trying to impress this man with your "superior horse knowledge,"
                                        maybe you didnt catch it but OP is clearly from UK and terms like "a lot of blood " appear common there.

                                        Comment

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