Thursday, June 5, 2008

Life, the Devil and Crashing Dreams - Part 3

I knew the next day that Rich would be picking up the Arabian horse at the BNT's facility and heading back to Massachusetts. It was going to be a harrowing trip for poor Rich. Every bump in the road was going to be causing Brittany pain.

I knew exactly what the trip was going to be like for Brittany as well. Riding in the truck with a badly broken limb is something I've experienced. For me it was absolutely gruesome and only lasted about thirty minutes. The trip from Virginia to Massachusettes was going to be over eight hours.

Throughout the day I wondered about how the trip was going. Not knowing what time they'd planned to leave, I had no idea if the trip was over or they were still suffering on the road. All I could do was pray that all would get through this trip ok.

The next day I called and left a brief message on Rich's phone. I didn't expect to reach anyone but wanted to know I was thinking of them. I knew the first order of business would be getting Brittany help. I tried not to press them, they already had enough pressure without me bugging them for information.

Wednesday morning PST, I managed to get a hold of Rich. Brittany had come through the surgery well but was having trouble with pain management. She wouldn't be able to leave the hospital until the pain was under control and all systems working properly.

The surgery had left Brittany with a steel plate and 6 or 8 screws in her leg. There had been no damage to the cartilage or the ACL ligament. While her recovery would be painful, the doctor expected Brittany would have no residual damage such as the limp they had earlier thought. That was good news.

I think Rich said Brittany can not walk for two week. Then they expected it would be two months for the bone to heal. Once that is ok, it will be on to extensive physical therapy. The projected date for a full recovery is six months.

As I was talking to Rich, he told me that things had been decided as far as the horse was concerned. I felt a lump rise to my throat as my mind raced searching for what this might mean. Then the light bulb came on and I asked if the other Big Name Trainer had called about the video.

Rich replied that trainer had called not just once but three times. He'd even called back to see how Brittany was doing. I don't remember the exact words Rich told to me but the gist of their conversation was that Rhythm was all that I said he was.

The BNT said the horse has a gorgeous front end, he is a little out behind himself but not enough to be a problem. That could easily be worked with. There was no reason this horse could not be the one to get Brittany to her dream of a national championship. As far as Rich was concerned, Rhythm was vindicated.

Rich told me that a friend of Brittany's was going to be working the horse while Brittany recovers. The plan was to take him to an A rated Arabian show in the fall. Then to keep on working towards this dream.

Today, I got a message from Rich, the plan had again changed. Brittany isn't trusting the other Big Name Trainers evaluation. She still believes in the original trainer's analysis. So the new plan is to take him to a third trainer for yet another evaluation. That will happen sometime next week.

This has been an emotional week for Rich, Brittany and her mother. I feel like I've been on a roller coaster ride and I'm only an observer. I can only imagine what it's been like for all of them.

I wonder what it's been like for Rhythm as well. He's been months living with people who didn't believe in him and put through some real tests. Gone to a show with little preparation and worked sporadically if at all since. Then he was expected to perform under less than ideal circumstances that resulted in this injury to his owner. This horse that needs regular work and more importantly a strict routine must have some residual effects. I guess that time will tell.

Brittany came home from the hospital today. Her employer, Starbucks, is saying they will step up and see that her medical coverage takes care of things, even though she hasn't worked the hours required for coverage. After Ann's comments about Massachusetts mandatory health coverage, I'm wondering if maybe Starbucks is covering their _ss.........but who cares as long as they come through and take care of these bills.

Rich is torn between loyalty to his daughter and loyalty to a horse he has grown to love. Each time I speak with him I worry about his bad heart and what all this is doing to him. I hope things settle down soon, I don't know how much more the man can take.

As for what will happen with Rhythm, I guess only time will tell. If it were up to Rich, I think there would be no question. But that black mark applied by a BNT with little integrity seems to carry more weight than makes sense to me. I still can't believe how dramatically things have changed in a year. At least for now, Rhythm is home.

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. Sometimes the more I hear about people in this business (BNT's, handlers, etc...) the more I want to run the other direction.

    I hope Britney gets her pain under control and that things settle down.

    I think that in the end, Rich's faith in Rythm will get them all back on track towards that dream. Sometimes, you just have to roll with faith, no matter what anyone else says. Fame (BNT) isn't always the answer and it isnt' always right.

    Good luck to all!

  2. I must say I have been dismayed by this happening.

    I'm dismayed by the poor treatment they recieved from the BNT

    I'm dismayed that they put her in a situation where she could be hurt because they know better.

    I'm dismayed that she has lost sight of how lovely her horse is because of what the BNT has said. But then when you are young as I am, it is so easy to get swayed by BNTs. I hope the third BNT sees the value in Rhythym as well so that she can again see him through the eyes she veiwed him with originally.

    I'm also suprised by the length they are predicting for her recovery. Someone her age should have bones that heal super quick. All the best for her recovery.

  3. OOooh, that frustrates me that weight is still being put on what the first BNT thinks. Its not right. I HOPE that the third trainer sees his talent as well...

    My thoughts and prayers continue my friend.

  4. Wow. I am glad that things settled down... and wish everyone the best there....

    Also wish someone would come along out there in VA and put a beat down on the BNT. Dont usually advocate that, but in this case....... this is a special case. He needs his butt handed to him ona paper plate.

  5. dear Mikael,

    I am so disappointed in the way it has all turned out. With Brittany hurt and trying so hard to recover and get to her feet. All of us in this family need time to take and pool our strengths and re-group. We also need to have the folks that care so much, try to understand the fear of making "BNT" mad at us and making my daughters life in the show circuit another nightmare in the future as she tries to establish her life and career in the horse world. We are very sad this BNT has acted in this way. We are realists to know that we are low in the Totem Pole...You don't spit in the wind, you don't pull the mask off the ole Lone Ranger,....
    right. So we MUST stop our ;loss right here. We need to move on and with Gods help we will. Whole,.....still on our path to Nationals and closer than we ever were.
    Thank you all and you Mikael for your alliegiance to us and our great horse. We are very grateful....
    See you at Nationals someday soon..


  6. Wow, I can't believe what a rollercoaster it's been for Rhythm and the people who love him. He's a gorgeous horse and it sounds like he has a lot of talent. It's going to be a long road to haul over the next 6 months, but I pray that Brittany will heal and everything will ultimately work out for her and her horse. Rich and Brittany sound like great people who will do right by Rhythm no matter what happens. And it's great that you are still so involved and caring. That's a great reputation to build up as a breeder!

  7. I'm glad that everything seems to be settling down. I hope trainer #3 gives a favorable evaluation of Rhythm.

    You know, I was concerned about the integrity of BNT when I heard how Brittany and her friend were treated when they worked for him at Nationals. Good people are nice people, and if you're nice you don't treat your employees like that, even if they are akin to slave labor.

  8. Phew. Glad to hear that Starbucks is going make sure their insurer will cover the medical expenses. That must take a huge burden of stress off of Rich's shoulders. Also, glad to hear that Brittany had the surgery and should recover well, although slowly.

    As for the horse, HOORAY!! I'm glad that the 2nd BNT has validated him. However, I find it disappointing that Brittany doesn't believe it and prefers to believe the other BNT. That must bother you, also. While it's great that Rich loves this horse, Rhythm is Brittany's horse and he needs a rider that believes in him heart and soul. It's sad that she doesn't. I wonder if she feels overmounted? Especially after the accident, could she be having doubts about her ability to handle him? Maybe the BNT brainwashed her into doubting herself? It's tough. :-(

    I'll hope that the 3rd trainer also validates Rhythm and his abilities. But, I suspect there's going to be a few more twists and turns to this story. I hope that it all turns out well, in the end, for Rhythm and for you and your breeding business.


  9. What a story! Glad to hear Starbucks is stepping upto the plate medical care. I do feel for the horse being shuffled here, there and not being worked on a schedule - they are like children they structure!

    I haven't been following this from the get go but I take it Dad wants his girl to win a National Championship since that is her dream - (and this will be a good story to reflect on if she does!) but at the same this whole process... trainers, shows, medical is costing a great deal of money - is it really worth it?

  10. I'm worried about Rhythm. If Brittany doesn't believe in him or even if she simply doubts him that isn't a good thing. Is she going to be looking for problems with him in order to justify the BNT she still trusts?

    Add to that the fear she's going to have to overcome after recovering from this crash and we've got a problem.

    Hopefully Rhythm's beauty and poise and personality will overcome all of this!

  11. Glad to hear Brittany is home and recuperating. Just my opinion but it seems to me that Brittany is being a little naive and hard headed about the whole thing. She has gotten an evaluation of Rhythm from a reputable trainer, but she wants more trainers to say how wonderful her horse is. In the meantime she is driving her family crazy and further damaging her father's health. Her dream of the nationals is within her reach with the horse she has, but she must realize that it will take a lot of hard work, not just for Rhythm but for herself as well.Rome wasn't built in a day and no trainer is going to get her there without her help and support for her own horse. She has to start believing in Rhythm and being his advocate, singing his praises,and waving his banner. A lot of the problems clients have with trainers occurs because they don't stick up for their own horses, that's how they get taken advantage of. As for Rhythm being a little out behind, that is fixable with correct training, no horse is perfect, no matter how much money you spend on them.It seems to me she is like most kids these days who want instant gratification and the minute that doesn't work out, well it's Daddy buy me a new horse and then I can win. My question is what about Rhythm, it seems as if she doesn't even care about the horse as much as her father does. Just because one trainer says he's not good enough doesn't mean you should immediately have no feelings for your horse and discard him.
    My daughter has always worked with the horses she's had and we could afford, none of them were perfect but they all got to the top of their game by working with the abilities they had. Like I said Rome wasn't built in a day, hard work is the only way you get to realize your dreams.

  12. I am glad to hear that Brittany's leg is not as bad as they expected it to be and that she will have a full recovery.
    However I am irritated that she continues to believe in this BNT. I realize that she is young, but I am really getting the feeling that she does not know enough about horses to justify having a horse of Rythm's caliber. If you are going to own a horse this good, you had better know what you have and be able to stick with it even when things are got going right. Special horses are not easy and there is always someone there who will tell you that they aren't worth it. YOU have to be the one to believe in them and bring out the potential that YOU know they have.
    I hope her dad has the good sense to demand at least part of the training fees back because the horse was not worked like he was contracted to be worked. And also looks into the state equine laws where the trainer resides. Just because there is a broad "equine liability" law out there does not mean that the trainer is not culpable for his actions. Also, as a training facility the BNT should have some sort of insurance to cover people getting injured on his property. As a horse/people trainer you cannot just stick someone on a horse and tell them to do things that they aren't qualified to do and be able to just walk away if they get injured. You are required to understand not only the rider's limitations but the horse's limitations-to the best of your ability.
    My heart goes out to you MiKael and to that beautiful red horse. I hope Brittany grows up and either realizes that she is not qualified to own a horse this good or gets with the program and stands behind her horse 110%.

  13. I'm extremely grateful to hear about the surgery, that there wasn't the damage expected and that Brittney will be where she needs to get the care she should. Pain control is such an individual thing that it may take several tries with several dosages/combinations to find what works best for her. I think too, she will be surprised at what a difference a week will make in the healing process. My pain significantly reduced at about 1.5 weeks. Rich, I know you posted, tell your daughter to hang in there. I'm thinking of your whole family.

    As for the BNT, I wish life were more simple but I agree with Rich that they need to be careful if Brittney still wants to try for the nationals. She will, at the very least be competing against other clients of his. Not all people (BNT's or not) are to be trusted and his callousness when she went with him before was a warning to me. He is careless of the clients he should cultivate. You never know who will rise to the top of the competition and be his next rival.....hint....hope it is Brittany and her red boy.

    I was so relieved to hear that Starbucks is going to help, my biggest fear was that they would have to sell the horse to pay for medical bills. That doesn't look like a cloud on the horizon now, thank goodness.

    Rich, if you click on my name it will bring up my blog and with that my email. If there is anything I can help with from Pennsylvania, don't hesitate to contact me.

    Again, my best to Rich and the entire family. more the plate internal or external? Will it come off before PT begins?

  14. There are way too many comments and thoughts here for me to address them all. I think I'm going to do a couple of posts that I hope will address most of the issues, or at least my take on them.

  15. Sounds like things are working out better than expected! That's great to hear! This whole situation, Brittany, Rich and all will remain in my prayers.


  16. This is a horrible time for you all.
    Thinking of you.

  17. Good to hear from you Rich, I am pulling for you and a swift complete recovery, and a good kind talented trainer for Rhythm.

    Looking forward to hearing more.



  18. It's so good to hear Brittney and Rhythm are both home and safe.

    This isn't the time for making big decisions though. I really hope everything turns out for the best for Rich, Brittney and Rhythm. But they're all back together now and there will now be the opportunity for Rhythm and Brittney to bond just like he and Rich did. I can't help but feel that they never really got the opportunity before.

  19. hi all its brittany im doing well my recovery is minimum 2 months 6 to 8 weeks they say. Rhythm is happy as a clam a home now. I just want you all to know that i do not feel that rhythm is no good, Just because BNT said so i just feel that BNT has earned respect in the horse buisness for someone who knows what it takes to make a national champion.Especially because he has had many national championships himself. Yea i know it desnt mean he is always right but it does have a big weight on how youi look at a horse when a nationally known trainer tells you your horse doesnt have it. No matter what has gone on between us all the bad situations and everything else you still cant take what he has accomplished in his years as a trainer away from him. But with all that has gone on it has never changed the way i feel about rhythm he is my boy i love him with all my heart. But when we started here when we bought rhythm there was a goal set and a dream to accomplish and that dream was to go to nationals and do well and try to make something for myself in the horse buisness and someday become a trainer and do this for my career. Why do you think my dad did all this for me not just because we love horses but he is trying to set me up for life, and when everythings on the line the decisions you have to make are alot harder. Especailly when it comes to mabey having to sell an animal you love. but when the horse is your only investment, or i should say you only maney to get anither horse.You have to look at the big picture, should you spend 9000 dollars on top of all the show fees and everything else. then end up in the end spending like 10 to 15,000 dollars more on top of what u paid for the horse. All for a horse that your not sure has it.When you can take that money and get a horse that you know can do it for the same price.In the end we have not decided if we are going to sell rhythm or not. We have switched him ove rto hunter now, we are going to try him that way and see how he does. BNT did say he would make a pretty hunter. So we might try to sell him that way or keep him and i will just show him hunter. We have a lot of things to think about and alot of decisions to make but it isnt the end for me you'll see me at nationals someday. So i just thought there were some things i needed do clesr up for you guys. Iknow everyone has different opinions but this is my life and i need to do what i need to do to to get where i want to be. I have to live my life for me not for someone else. I'll be back in the saddle in no time thanks for all your conserns. See you around!


  20. brown eyed cowgirls, You dont know anything about me or my life as a rider. I have been riding for a long time and no matter what anyone says just because i am thinking about getting a different horse doest mean i am not qualified to own one. Everyone in the horse buisness sells horses all the time. That doesnt mean they dont know anything about horses it just means that they want something else. I was really offended by your comment. This is my life and if this is how this blog is going to be i wont be updating anymore. Im sorry if people dont agree with my decisions but this is MY life not yours i need to do what is best for me. Rhythm is a great horse and i love him but he MIGHT not be the right horse to get me to my dreams. You are all going by this blog on what you think of rhythm and what has been going on with his life and mine. This is real life for me!Not just some blog that i read on the computer.None of you know what im going through, so who are you to judge me.
    I hope no one took this the wrong way but i had to voice my opinion about this because i was very bothered by this none of you have your life posted on the internet in great detail with no control over what gets said. I didnt mind this whole thing at first i thought it was pretty cool actually but now its kind of going to far. Try to switch the shoe for a minute put yourself in my place.

  21. Brittany,
    I am a blog friend of MiKael and visit her other blog in particular but just dip in here; I know nothing about horses whatsoever.
    I just wanted to say that I am pleased that you have the gumption to stand up and speak your voice and express your opinion. It can evoke mixed reaction when someone reads a post about themselves on the internet.
    Is it important to you that people know what's going on in your world? I guess with your injury you'll have some time on your hands; why not start a blog? Not to get into a two and fro-ing argument with another blogger, but rather to express yourself and your love of horses. What goes on in your mind when you work with your horse.

    Just a thought; writing can be really liberating.

    Anyway, as I said I know nothing about horses and no view on your current situation. I guess I just felt a need to say hi and acknowledge what you had said.

  22. Brittany,

    I'm glad to hear your recovery won't be terribly long. You are very fortunate in many ways! I had once dreamed of raising Arabians, but have not to this day been able to afford even one horse, and I'm 53. Hopefully, with determination and perseverance you will realize your dream. On the other hand, not all dreams become reality. Life has lots of ups and downs, bumps in the road. It's all part of life and growing as a person.

    You've had a rough start in the process of seeing your dream come true, and that's not fun. It's too bad you've been hurt physically and emotionally. I'm sure most of us posting comments on here don't wish anything bad for you or your endeavors. In fact, most people have had positive, encouraging things to say to you, all along. Please try to stay focused on those things as you go forward and learn from this whole experience.

    My best to you, Rhythm and your family,

  23. Brittany -- I'm glad to see that you're feeling better and well enough to be posting. That's good news!

    I'm just going to make a couple of comments, not meant as criticism, just as a fellow horse lover who has been around the block a few times, in life and with horses.

    Yes, absolutely, it's your life and you have to do what you feel you need to do to get where you want. Just don't forget that you are young and alot of people have the benefit of alot more experience as well as emotional distance.

    Remember that there are no sure things in life. While you may think another horse is a sure thing to get you to the nationals, life can throw curve balls at you. I'm not saying that Rhythm is the best choice to get you there--I don't know enough about him or Arabian showing to comment on that. I just know enough about life in general to know that nothing is a sure thing. Just look at Big Brown and the Preakness. He was supposed to be a sure thing for the Triple Crown. Such is life.

    But, ultimately, it IS your life, you need to make your own choices and learn from your mistakes. I promise you, you will make plenty of mistakes (again, I'm not saying that selling Rhythm would be a mistake, I don't know that). We all have made mistakes, none more than me! But as long as you learn from your mistakes, they are never a waste.

    Good luck to you and I hope your recovery proceeds quickly and uneventfully!