Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Different Kind of Journey - The First Show

This Story Begins Here

I didn't see YW until early spring the following year. If I remember correctly it was at a schooling show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. She was there with the big mahogany bay gelding and his new owner. I was there with my granddaughter. She was riding Dandy in a clinic. She's actually the one who told me YW was there and that the gelding was too.

Walking through the barns to get to the arena, I came upon YW (and maybe the owner) unexpectedly. YW spoke to me like nothing had changed between us. There were no apologies for calls not returned, certainly nothing about the horrible thing she'd allowed to happen to Vee. She acted like it was just another meeting of friends in the spring after a winter's lay off.

I didn't know what to think and I certainly didn't know what to say. I knew I didn't want to get into things here at the show because I was still too angry, very angry. Dealing with her over what Vee had to endure was going to take some calm and cool on my part. I didn't want to be seen as some fool ranting and raving over something no one else understood. All I wanted to do was get my b*tt outta there while I could still hold my tongue.

Before I made my escape, I inquired about how the geldings were doing. YW told me the big mahogany gelding was doing just fine but she had really had to "lighten him up" when she first got him.

I cringed when I heard that and I still cringe today. That horse I had started myself and he had approximately thirty days on him when he was sold. The horse really didn't understand forward yet. He was still learning how to balance himself and carry weight. How was he going to do what she was asking if he didn't even get that? Collection was a ways down the road but I knew when she said "lighten him up" she was really talking about frame.

Unfortunately I bit my tongue and said nothing. I got myself out of there before I boiled over. Sometimes I wish I'd done otherwise. Maybe things would have been different but I'm never going to know because what I did was flee..........

I did make it a point to check the horse out when YW showed him in a class. Maybe I was wrong and she'd done right by this horse. It didn't take long to see it was as I thought. I saw a very unhappy horse going down the rail in a compact bunched up little ball not understanding what he was supposed to do.She was pushing him forward but grabbing him in the face blocking his forward movement, not something you can do with a horse just started under saddle. The horse has to understand what the cue really means. The horse had no idea where his impulsion was supposed to go. His tail war wringing and his face looked worried. Still the horse was trying to work for her. My heart broke.

After seeing this display in the arena, I made it a point to visit the horse in his stall but I waited until the owner and YW were not around. I knew I couldn't hold my tongue so I just didn't want to get into it because I knew my rage would boil over and that wouldn't be good but I also knew by now that YW was not interested in what I had to say. We'd spent lots of time talking about her premature attempts at collection and her belief that she was right was why she'd quit listening. What I did want to do was get a chance to stroke this horse and apologize to him for what I'd done. And what was that, you say? I'd left him in the hands of the kind of trainer I swore my horses would never have to experience.

My visit with the horse was even more heartbreaking. The happy funny horse I'd known was gone. There was a sadness in his eye that permeated to my soul and there were big white scars on the corners of his mouth left by the bit and that "lightening up" she'd done. Silent tears fell as I stood in his stall stroking this horse. His head dropped down low, let out a big sigh and leaned against my leg which only added to my pain.

At the same time I could only imagine what the other gelding, his half brother, must be going through because this one was the one she liked, that one, not so much. I suspected life for him was even more confusing and scary.

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

A Post and Daffodil

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  1. As a breeder, MIKael I can totally feel your heartbreak. Nothing is quite so gratifying as watching someone fulfill dreams on a horse you raised and nothing quite so hearbreaking as seeing a horse you raised end up in a bad situation.

  2. Oh MiKael, this is so sad. It's exactly why I can't breed - it would break my heart to see a horse go to rough hands.

    In that situation, I would have no idea what to say, and I'd do exactly what you did - not say anything and get out of there. It might not be the right thing to do, but it's certainly understandable. (And who knows - confronting her might've made this whole mess worse?)

  3. BECG, boy, isn't that the truth. I thought it was the second and maybe third buyers I'd have to worry about not those I trusted to end up with my horses. I was sure wrong.

    English Rider, ditto here.

    Funder, it breaks my heart for sure and has made me question whether I want to continue to breed horses.

    I agree with you about the possibility confrontation could have made things worse but it's just speculation. What I'd like to do differently is really selling her a horse in the first place. Then maybe none of this would have happened but it can't be undone.

  4. I think the fact that she acted like nothing happened between you says it all. To her nothing did happen and that's truly frightening.

    Please go out and hug Storm for me. That poor horse! What happened to the bay gelding?

  5. aww that just makes my heart break for them poor horses!

  6. There are true users in this world. Totally driven by their own needs, without care to the damage they leave behind.

    This girls' behavior is more then just selfishness; I would call it pathological. Sounds like a Sociopath to me.

    Trust me, by now others, know too.


  7. I know how hard it is to see a horse that you trained and loved get into the wrong hands of an unprofessional rough trainer/rider. It's something we always take a chance on when we let one of our horses go to someone else. This girl sounds like she's got a pretty huge ego and nothing to back it up. So sorry the poor horses had to go through this.

  8. I am sooo sorry. Breaks my heart for him.

    Curious... Was she still making payments at the time or did she have him paid off?

  9. smazourek, I agree the way she handled this makes the whole thing more frightening and you are so right about Storm. I can't help but keep thinking about what I've done to him.

    Crystal, heartbreaking is a good word for what happened to these horses.

    horseideology, I agree with you about users, that's for sure. There's more story to tell and YW still has a part.

    Arlene, I know you have to be careful when selling horses to get them into the right hands. The frustrating part was that I thought this woman could be trusted.

    Tammy, this horse was paid for. the other horse she was still making payments on.

  10. Sad story. I've been in TX and just got home--so I'm catching up with you.