Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rachel and Grandma and the Arabian Horse Crash and Burn! Part 2

Part 1 of the Baby Boomer Series

Crash and Burn Part 1

Rachel's treatment of the Arabian horse didn't fit my expectation in any way shape or form. All the kid had to do was inspect the horse's back visually and feel for heat before she put the pads and saddle in place and then check the satin to be sure it was still functional. That was three separate safeguards to protect this horse from having a problem. Obviously she neglected to do any of the three.

I try not to talk to people when I am angry. I tend to be unreasonable. Having the very first Arabian horse I ever bred be the object of this abuse, I was beyond angry and into livid. I decided to put some distance between Rachel and me. That would give me time to think and time to figure out what to do. There was no way I was going to continue to put this horse in jeopardy because Rachel wasn't paying attention.

Rachel was supposed to be coming directly to the barn after school that day. But as usual, she called to see if she could be late or maybe even skip coming at all. I took a deep breath before I answered the phone and swallowed down a whole lot of attitude.

I explained about the worn hairless spots I had found on Dandy's back. I also told her that she couldn't even begin to imagine how angry that I was at her. I said since I didn't want to say something I would regret, I would talk to her later. However, she should know that she wouldn't be riding Dandy anytime soon. In the meantime I was going to have to think about how I was going to handle this situation. Then I hung up.

Later that night I spoke to her mother. I wish I could say that was helpful. Instead I got all kinds of excuses for Rachel and how this could happen. I knew that this was coming. Part of the problem has been Colleen enabling Rachel's behavior.

I was ready. I cut her off in mid sentence and told her this had to stop. She was not doing Rachel any favors by making excuses for her behavior. This didn't happen overnight, it had taken weeks for this horse's back to get like this. The proof was in the condition of the pad. There were going to be changes.

I could already imagine the excuses running through Rachel's head and that only made my madder. I wasn't just mad at Rachel, I was mad at her mother as well. Her constant enabling had only fueled Rachel's manipulations. I could see that was going to happen again.

By the next day, I got a phone call from Rachel. She was telling me that Mariah agreed that Dandy's back had not been like that the day before when she had saddled him. So again, Rachel was shirking responsibility. Much more impressed with being "right" than she was for the well being of my horse, there was little if any remorse.

Dealing with this situation was going to involve getting her mother to butt out. She had done nothing but get in the middle and undermine my authority from the start. Instead of being respected as someone with the knowledge and experience I have, I had been reduced to the ranks of family member in a family with no respect.

This may not make sense to many of you, if you have been fortunate enough to be raised in loving families. But if you have read my other blog, you know the history of abuse that is there. My grown children and their families have lots of destructive issues carried over from the days before my healing therapy.

TV commercials speak of "breaking the cycle of abuse." The perception is stopping the abuser fixes things somehow. But the truth is the ramifications of child abuse are visited upon the children and grandchildren and on. If the family members are not ALL healed and the family rules that enabled that abuse are not changed, the wounds do not heal. The disabling behavior is taught to children. The heartache that comes from families struggling for personal power is devastating. It takes generations to heal a family.

Horses and Rachel had been a way to work on the healing that was so obviously needed for her and her mother. I know more than most how healing horses can be when they are in your blood (and even when they are not). Taking the needs of the horse and the mental health of the child into account were going to take some thought. This project had to work.

To be continued..............

Part 3

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. Rachel really interested in riding? Seems she's not really got her heart in it.'ve been...sorry to say...tagged!

  2. tracey, yes, Rachel is very much into horses. They are one of the few things that can bring a smile to her face. But pressure from her peers is getting in the way and she's really a mixed up kid.

  3. I sure hope things do get better,
    and that Rachel starts taking better care of the horse. Sounds like Rachel's got her heart in riding,
    but making sure the pad is the way it should be on the horse when saddling and riding, is a little questionable. So if Rachel wants to ride, she should have her heart on making sure that it is the way it should be, before riding. Or else there will be consequences for the behavior. But I think Colleen should also, make sure that her daughter isn't riding the horse, when part of the pad it tattered and in shreds and could cause the horse problems and that kind of thing. That way, the horse wont get hurt, and you wont get angry :)

  4. I know what it's like to trust your horse to someone else only to have him get hurt. It's a horrible feeling of guilt mixed with anger and frustration.

    I went to your other blog... once. I read something there that haunts me to this day, and I'm sorry to say that I can't bring myself to read any more. I'm sure it's very educational but I just don't have the courage to read it. I'm glad you've come as far as you have.

  5. It's good that you are willing to reflect on the problem. Rachel has got to own her actions like the big girl she is.

  6. Great post and I know what you mean. Just a little FYI....I try to vote for you every day but it's not allowing for some reason. It's happened more than once. Again, tried to vote for you today and it said I'd already voted...but no it was yesterday. Don't know if this can be fixed but I'll keep up with the effort.

    You're always a 10 in my book.

  7. Excuse the OT comment here MiKael-

    But I "tagged" you... (Like you NEEDED something else to do!)

    Head to Oh HorseFeathers for the gory details...

  8. It is too bad this girl doesn't realize how lucky she is to have the opportunity so many others would love to have had at her age.

  9. ...Hello, thank you for visiting me, and I'm just catching up here but I think the way you are handling this situation is perfect. It's obvious she needs to learn responsibility before moving any further ahead as she can't be trusted. If Rachael is not willing to place the health and welfare of the horse above all else then maybe a move back to square one is in order and possibly baby steps from there until she gets it right. Once again, this is just my humble opinion... :o)

    ...Love your blog - I will visit often! Best wishes on any decisions you make from here...

    ...Blessings... :o)

  10. kim, I think that Rachel will get things figured out. I think the problem has been in the understanding.

    dressagemom, I know that you have had a similiar experience with your horse. It is hard.

    As for the other blog, I'm sorry that some of the material is disturbing to you. It is definitely a difficult subject.

    molly, I think it would be much easier for the people involved to gloss over this problem. Problem is it wouldn't be good for the horse. I believe it's my obligation to take good care of him even when it's hard to do.

    darlene, thanks for the support. And I have learned that blog village keeps track by a 24 hour period not just a calendar date. Thanks for the 10s, BTW.

    mrs mom. OT is ok. Now I'm tagged for I think the third time in two days. Will have to figure out how I'm going to deal with this virus. LOL

    grey horses matter, I think she will get it, it is just taking some time. But I know she loves the horses.

    tj, you are so right on about this. We'll see how it goes.....