Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Different Kind of Journey - a Post and Daffodil

This Story Begins Here

I really wanted to talk to the owner of the mahogany horse but I wanted to talk with her in person and alone. I think situations like this handled over the phone are awkward and usually not productive. The situation with the three woman was a good example of the unproductiveness of phone calls in dealing with such issues. I thought a face to face conversation would be best.

I did NOT however get that accomplished. Every time I saw the owner, YW was right beside her and I didn't want to get into it with YW nor did I want her involved in my conversation with the owner. I wanted to have some semblance of a chance to be heard. The only way I thought that would happen was by talking to the owner alone and I just couldn't seem to get that done.

I did a series of posts about the schooling show but I did not tell the gelding's story although it was really foremost in my mind. Instead I focused on Dandy and Rachel and the issues they were having. However, in the process of telling that story I did use references to these two geldings and YW in both posts about the clinic Post I.html and Post 2
despite the fact that both YW and her mom, HM, read my blog.

I didn't make the reference to be mean or to get even, that is not in my nature. I did it because the reference was an important tool from which Rachel had learned. Honesty is important to me and disguising the truth to satisfy YW or anyone else is not honest so I made the decision to tell the story I was telling as it was regardless of the fallout that meant using the reference it had taken for Rachel to understand what I was talking about.

Not telling the story between YW and me was another issue. Between the fact I had a long time friendship on the line with HM and the situation with Vee, it just didn't seem like the right time to be posting here. I guess I hoped that somehow someway there would be some kind of resolution between the two of us and I could preserve that friendship and on some level I still wanted to give YW the benefit of the doubt.

I did figure there probably would be some kind of reaction to my post I just didn't know what it would be. Maybe the door would be opened for some kind of dialog. There were other possibilities as well although I knew she could have taken that information a couple of ways. She could have learned something from it and maybe fixed what she was doing. OR she could have been p*ssed off and continued right on with her training methods.

Unfortunately for both horses the latter is what she chose. I shouldn't forget to add that both YW and HM were very very p*ssed at me and they made sure I knew it. As far as they were concerned, I was and am the one with the problem.

The next place I saw YW was at the Spring Show and she was there with both geldings. I had heard that YW was riding the gelding she bought from me as a hunter pleasure horse. To be honest I didn't think the horse had what it took to be a good hunter but I was willing to see. I made sure I was there for his class so I could get a look at the horse in the ring doing the hunter thing.

To my surprise, the horse came into the arena and immediately caught the judge's attention. When a judge follows a horse all the way down the rail even when other horses are coming into the ring, you know there's something special about that horse to the judge. All braided up and wearing hunter tack, the gelding certainly was dressed the part and the judge definitely seemed to be impressed but was he really a hunter horse?

How does a horse look like a hunter when you know it's not really been allowed to go forward? I can't answer that question but I can say I did see glimmers of a hunter horse in the ring. I also saw plenty of signs this horse was in trouble. Besides his tail flipping constantly and his mouth going too, the horse was swapping leads back and forth behind, going more upward with his impuslion that forward and being generally naughty with bucking and some kicking thrown it. It was clear this was not a happy horse and he sure wasn't doing his job.

Things had not gotten any better with the mahogany bay gelding either. YW was riding him western and he was still clumped up in an exaggerated frame. Part of the time his lower lip was sucked back exposing his teeth and his long neck was jammed into his shoulder BUT his jog was slow. I'm sure she thought that's what counted but it looked like a wreck to me. This horse also was having trouble with his leads and swapping leads behind although he was more compliant than the other horse.

Not the kind of impression one would hope for with the first appearance of a stallion's get in the performance arena. If anyone noticed their breeding at all, they probably made a mental note that breeding was something to say away from. It didn't look good for Legs nor did it look good for YW's training, not from where I was sitting anyway.

Both of these horses did manage to get in to the ribbons at times. It was in smaller classes and only if they didn't do something particularly naughty but on the whole particularly naughty was the look of the show for both of these geldings.

During one class, I pointed out the mahogany gelding to a friend of mine. She's loved this horse from the first day he was born. Now when she saw him she couldn't even believe he was the same horse. Her response to me, "MiKael, What happened to him? One of the things I loved most about this horse was his big bright expressive eye. This horse eye is dead like there's nobody left inside The light is totally gone."

How do you respond to a questions like that? Yet I knew she was right. That was the same thing I'd seen. There was nothing about this horse that said he was happy to be alive. It was like his spirit was totally gone. Anyone who loves Arabian horses knows one of the most amazing intriguing things about them is that spirit. Killing it, is like killing the horse.

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

An Attempt to Intercede and Final Payment

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  1. Reading your story is breaking my heart, and they aren't even my horses. I can only imagine what this must have been like for you.

  2. The plot thickens. You've sure been through a lot with this woman. It must have broken your heart to see your horses like this.

  3. How tragic! and heartbreaking for you !Your sweet boy,reduced to that .I am so sorry ,I just want to cry or throttle someone!

  4. you are so right - to see a horse with the sparkle gone from their eye is the saddest thing.

  5. Leah, at this point I guess I don't feel like this is my story, it is the horses. They are the ones who had to live through this.

    Carol, and it gets thicker and thicker.

    FV, boy can I relate. Just in sharing this story stirs it all up again.

  6. It's such a shame what supposed trainers and people who say they love horses and want to work with them do this to horses. There's so much injustice done to horses in the name of training it's disgusting.

    I feel so sorry for the horses who have to endure mistreatment like this. I'm sure it broke your heart to see the light gone out of one of your babies eyes.

  7. sally, I've never seen that before in a horse that I knew. I wanted to save him but he wasn't mine to save.

  8. Your stories either make my day or break my heart...sigh

    Btw there's an award for your wonderful blog on mine...

  9. That must have been so heartbreaking for you to see and realize there's nothing you can do about it.

  10. aww that makes me so sad when you see nothing in a horses eyes like that.

  11. You can definitely tell a lot about a horse through its eyes.

    It's tough when you're relating your story on a blog, too--takes courage when you know the people involved are reading it and they might get pissed off. None of us like conflict, but sometimes avoiding conflict makes things worse.

  12. I am just boiling after reading the last few posts! It just sickens me to hear what people do to horses, what is wrong with them anyway, is it they just don't know what they are doing so they try to force the horse by sheer brute force with the bit?! After reading Vee's situation I am truly sick to my stomach. Not to be vindictive but I really would like to take that person and let them live in that filth for a while and see how they like it! Tragic!

  13. I had to go back and read the previous posts to catch up on the story...

    MiKael, I hate to even say it, but take comfort in knowing I can relate. I have walked in 'those shoes' a few times myself. I hate to even say it, only because that means there are many more people in the horse industry like those you have encountered. Enough so, that I am probably not the only one who has been there...

    On some levels, my encounters are a tad different, but still much the same.

    Going to pick up my horse and finding the stall empty. Not because the stall was flooding and he needed to be moved, no, no. The psycho barn owner moved him because she had already leased out the stall to a new boarder 2 days ago, and wasn't sure when my horse would be leaving, even though I had told her a few times... I hadn't been out for a few days because I was sick as a dog.

    Seeing a horse at a show, one I had been instrumental in bringing back from the lifeless form he once was, to a horse who had that spark again- only to see him right back at square one. Ears back, wringing tail and incredibly pissed to be in the ring. Going back to the barn to see him and hearing how crappy his attitude is, the new mean habits he has and being asked "How did he look?" while they are smiling and expecting a sugar coated answer... While you want to scream "HE LOOKS LIKE SH!T!!!" Talking to the horse, seeing/hearing/feeling that sigh of relief from them as they lean on you- while you feel like someone has stabbed you in the back, kicked you in the stomach and laughed in your face because you have to leave the horse with them.

    Word of warning to others- if you EVER find yourself in this situation, unless you can take the horse out of there- DO NOT go back to the barn to see them! It is tough, but you being there gives the horse hope that things will change and go back to being good again. Walking away you will feel like you are letting them down again and putting out that breif spark.

    Being at a training/breeding facility- the nature of the beast is that horses come and horses go. Sad fact of reality. Some you can be choosy about where they go when they leave, while others you have no say. The most you can do is give them your best while they are under your care. After that, well, you can only hope for the best.

    Sorry if this was such a downer post. Not everything in life is pretty as we can all attest to. I hope the story has a happy ending for you and the horses.

  14. It's so heartbreaking what Vee went through. No horse should have to experience something like that, especially not a pregnant mare :(