Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Journey Begins - Making a Move

Part One
In the late summer of 2008 I began working at the facility of someone I thought was my friend. I had been working horses at Boulder Knolls over by my daughter's house for a while but by this time I was pretty angry at my granddaughter for not taking good care of my horse, Dandy, and I felt that my daughter had been enabling my granddaughter's behavior.

The series of posts, Rachel and Grandma and the Arabian Horse Crash and Burn! was about the issues and my attempts to rectify them. Despite what I'd tried things had only gotten worse between my daughter and my granddaughter and me. It seemed to me the best thing to do was get myself out of there and put some distance between me and them before things really got ugly.

These friends had offered me the use of their facility a couple of years earlier and I had even gone there a couple of times to ride. Being just a few minutes down the road from me, their place was certainly much more convenient than the commute I'd been doing to get horses schooled but being at the end of a dead end road, it had been difficult for me to navigate my way out of there.

My Ford F350 crew cab dually with a standard size bed is a long sucker. Added to that my 3 horse Circle J slant load horse trailer and my turning radius is wider than the average rig. Any place with limited vision and space for backing to turn around is the pits in the daylight and even worse in the dark.

To exit this place I needed to back out onto the dead end road to then turn around there. With lots of vehicles parked at the end of the road outside their facility and lots of trees blocking my field of vision getting the job done was even more difficult. Added to that the development they lived in had only gravel roads with lots of potholes making it a creeping along kind of ride or else it was way to rough for the horses. A trip that should have been about 5 minutes was more like 15 so I decided at that time it just was more trouble than it was worth to me.

By late summer 2008 some things had changed at their facility. Some of the trees and brush had been removed and the road was getting paved. There seemed to be less vehicles parked at the end of the road too. I decided if the option to ride there was still available it would be a good way to get myself out of the situation at Boulder Knolls and still be able to get my horses worked without adding further fuel to the fire burning between my daughter (MD), granddaughter(GD) and me.

I checked with BG to see if the offer to use their facility was still open. I I even told him why I was asking and how things had deteriorated between MD and GD and that I needed another place to ride.

HIs response to me was "Yes!, you are always welcome." I double checked to be sure there were not going to be charges for arena use because I couldn't afford them. To that he said they wouldn't even think of charging fees to a friend.

Shortly after that I swapped out some of my broodmares to Boulder Knolls and brought home the horses I wanted to ride and began hauling horses to these people's facility so I could school them there. (The reason for swapping at that time was I had more horses than stalls. The only way to have all of my horses at my place was to build a place to put them and that we set about doing.)

In the beginning I was just working Legs, Storm and Dandy over there. I still had not gotten over my fall from Reflection so riding him was on the back burner. My focus was on getting Storm ready to be shown the following year so I could get the horse sold. I knew if I could get that done. I would be in good shape to move forward getting others going under saddle and then sold too.

While I worked my horses in their arena, BG worked some of the
horses he had in his barn as well. During this time BG and I had lots of discussions about horse training and where each of us had learned what we knew. I guess you could call them history lessons about each of us.

From these discussions I believed we were on the same page on lots of things. Most importantly I believed we were on the same page about how horses should be treated. I thought I had found someone supportive of my principles both about horse training and about life to some extent.

There were differences, of course, some of them were subtle and others very obvious but I didn't think they were a problem for me at the time. Most of those things had to do with the way that BG treated people. There were some ethical views that were far different than mine but I thought they didn't have bearing on dealing with horses. There were some interactions with others that I wasn't particularly fond of either but I told myself they hadn't been a problem between us.

My posts from that time reflect what I thought I knew about BG's knowledge about horses . MiKael Meets............. I can tell you those posts look different to me now. Looking back I can see that I was ignoring a whole lot of red flags and I really set myself up.

While we were talking about horses and training we also talked about the industry and its pitfalls. I told him all the stories I've since shared here, and maybe a few I haven't, about mistakes I'd made trusting people and the trainers I'd come in contact with and how those had gone. BG knew exactly how I felt about YW, HM and the WT that had Legs in training and even the early halter incident with Legs. Even more important to note, BG knew exactly who these people were.

According to BG we were on the same page in this area as well. According to him WF* felt the same about these people that I did and that meant that BG felt that way too. We were kindred spirits on many levels..............or so I thought..................

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

The Ripple Effect

* I'm going to use the initial WF for this person instead of LF since Leah Fry pointed out in the comments on the last post that LF does not stand for her. Since I want there to be no confusion, I am changing to WF. Just in case you're wondering, that stands for Woman Friend.

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  1. The sh*ts that you , your daughter and GD were struggling with your relationship and horses as well.Sounds like I need to go back and read that to understand further, but a lot of things seem to have conspired to ,I don't know ,split your focus and open you up to whet you might have otherwise been more aware of . Sometimes ,people suck! Horse are so honest and kind yet they often are surrounded by people who are anything but

  2. I had to catch up on some of the old story by following your links. This is starting to branch out quite a bit. Have you patched it up with your daughter and granddaughter now? Sometimes a little distance is a good thing.

  3. Yea, like Linda I had to follow the links and am curious about how things turned out with your grand-daughter and daughter?

    As well will be anxiously reading to learn how things went south with these people as well.

    I can see how the stress was really starting to build for you.

  4. fern, it was and is complicated. That's for sure. There was more going on than just the lawsit with Storm. It was all wound up together and that's really what the last year was about, the culmination of all those things.

    Linda and BECG, what's happened with my daugher and grandaughter is all wrapped up in this story. It started off bad, that's for sure, but you won't believe where it went.

  5. I remember reading about how things deteriorated with your daughter and granddaughter a while back and hope things have resolved themselves.

    The horse business has all kinds of people unfortunately you seem to have found your share of the not-so-great ones.

  6. Arlene, I guess I have but then looking back over the twenty plus years I've been in the horse industry, I probably haven't done too bad but I do wonder had I not been doing this on my own, and had instead been connected with a barn, if some of these things might have not happened. I can't help but think being the little guy without a lot of money certainly made things harder in lots of ways.

  7. You hit the nail on the head with your last comment MiKael. What you went through happens to so many small breeders that it isn't even funny.

    I believe that is why so many small, so called BYB's stopped even trying to get their horses shown.

    There are so many 'professionals' out there that talk a good talk, but when it comes right down to it, all they really want is your monthly check. You would think that they would be more interested in succeeding on some of the stock they get in, but sadly, there are just so many people and horses out there waiting in line, that they don't seem to mind rolling through clients and horses. Ruin one and there are two more standing in line to take that spot.

    The kid that I worked with last Fall and will be working with again this Spring is a rare find. I just got off the phone with him. Making sure he saves a spot when he starts taking outside horses again for 30 days on my big bay and a couple of weeks for my sorrel.

  8. BECG, thinking back over the other small breeders I know, what you say is true. Their negative experiences have caused them to draw back and even quit breeding because they felt the obstacles were too big for them to succeed.

    Personally I think if we can avoid some of the pitfalls, it would make that journey easier and nmaybe people wouldn't be put off and quit. That would be my reason for posting about this situation. If it helps one person and that trickles down to one horse. That's a good thing. AND it doesn't hurt that I'm finally standing up for myself in the process.