Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The New Journey Begins........A New Year Starts.....

Part One

After the first of the year, there was more of the same with the weather in the form of ice and snow. Flooding also played into disrupting training plans. With all those issues working horses was still intermittent and stayed that way on through into the spring.

In January, I was back to working horses after my surgery although not back in the saddle until mid month. BG was working horses too after his fall though he didn't ride either for a while . Even though I couldn't ride at first, I could lunge horses and BG was working horses in the long lines.

It had taken me most of that time from the November visit with Rhet until after the first of the year, with the exception of my surgery recovery time when I didn't even touch the horse, to get Rhet leading properly. Only when that was accomplished did I begin his conditioning for the coming show season.

Scarlet was conditioned too. I wasn't sure if I would have the funds to show this filly but I wanted her to be ready if I did. Lunging horses gave me something to do with horses since I wasn't able to ride yet.BG said he wanted to "play" too and sometimes he lunged those yearlings as I got other horses tacked up. We easily slipped back and forth in the other's jobs.

Only once I had reached that point that I could lunge horses did Rhet and Scarlet get added onto the regular list of horses I was transporting to BG's facility. Showing Rhet in halter and getting Legs shown was a priority so the first load in the morning was always made of up Legs, Scarlet and Rhet.

Adding those horses should have brought the number of trips up by one load but that didn't really happen on a regular basis. BG was still hurting from his fall and he has bad lungs that could be affected by cold temps. Because he was dealing with doctor appointments, as well as feeling bad, and the weather was still horribly icy and cold, there were days missed all together and days shortened as well. That third load was more a goal than anything that ever happened on a regular basis. If we were getting that in half the time, we were doing good.

It was fairly easy to cut one trip and even two out for one reason or another. As it is Scarlet and Rhet were coming to be lunged and not trained as I said before. Numbers of horses actually worked by BG were fluctuating from day to day and week to week. The 5 day work week at 5 horses per day was arbitrary at best.

Because of these fluctuations,I never knew what to expect so I tried to always be ready so things didn't get cancelled because of me. When we did work, I skipped lunch breaks making sure I was right back with another load so no time was wasted or more horses dropped from a day's schedule for whatever seen or unforeseen reason that might emerge.

It was also after the first of the year that Dandy returned to work as well so that the two girls could again show him hunter pleasure. Before he did I had a talk with BG. I was not willing for the girls to use Dandy if BG thought he should get paid by me for training for the horse and I didn't want there to be any misunderstandings so I laid it all out here for BG.

The horse was being used by his clients, GD and another client's daughter for walk/trot. With the horse being twenty years old and well trained he didn't really need training. The ones needing help were the kids riding him and, of course, the horse needed to be in condition. There was no way I was paying for training or conditioning in such a situation. It was to BG's benefit for the horse to be available for his clients, not mine.

I wanted it to be clear up front that Dandy was only there as a favor by me. If BG wanted to use Dandy for his client's, he or the clients needed to foot the bill for Dandy, that is if there was to be any bill from BG. I would haul the horse back and forth for the kids' lessons, which we both helped give, and take care of the horse. I wanted the horse worked several times a week so the horse was in good condition to show and BG agreed to that. BG also agreed any work with Dandy would be at no charge to me and it sure would not count against the contract on the purchase of Storm.

All work done with the horse during this time was in the form of lessons for the riders. BG did no actual training on Dandy. He didn't ever ride the horse. He assisted with lessons as did I. BG doesn't charge his clients for lessons in the first place but if he was going to do so in this particular situation, since Dandy was not a training horse, I didn't know. What I did know was that whatever he charged wasn't going to be on my bill.

What I needed was young horses started and that was what I intended that $30,000 credit to go towards. I needed my young horses to the point they were safe for me to ride. Then I could take over working them and BG could get others started. That was the only thing I was willing to use that credit for, well, that and the boxer puppy. I stayed pretty focused on this plan throughout this experience. I made decisions on who was worked and who wasn't trying to keep my end goal in mind.

In actuality that so called third load of horses should have been comprised of Dandy, Scarlet and Rhet but with priorities for showing as they were the actual configuration of the loads was changed. Scarlet and Rhet came on the first load in the morning along with Legs so I could get the two yearlings worked while BG was still putsing around getting ready for his day. BG would work with Legs in the lines while I finished up the last lunge and by the time he was done, I'd be ready to ride Legs.

The second load of the day would change based on priorities at the time. When we thought we had someone coming to look at Percy and Vee, they were in the load, topped off by Dandy for the kids to ride. If there was time, then the other two geldings and Hope would come but that did not always happen.

When the deal fell through with Percy and Vee, the priority moved onto Hope and Louie. The idea was to get them ready for a video for a woman in Texan. That moved those two horses up to that second load. The order just kept changing depending on what we thought was happening at the time.

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

Settling In

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  1. Sounds like you were very clear with you expectaions,and restrictions to what qualified as payment . No room for confusion ,really or misunderstanding,but I gather as it ended in a lawsuit BG, interpreted things very differently

  2. Whoo, my brain is swimming just reading that, I have no idea how you kept all those horses straight!

  3. Though I know this was part of the problem, I like that trading is alive and well in the horse world. It's not often that I find people who are willing to make trades, but with inflation getting worse, pretty soon money won't be worth anything and we'll all probably have to resort to trading. I once tutored an artist's son in academics in exchange for art lessons. I also had a deal to make a website for someone in exchange for riding lessons, but that fell through.

  4. Did you keep a record book with all your daily plans, loads of horses, training and goals? I would have had a difficult time without one for sure. whew!


  5. fern, ya, it would be fair to say that.

    smazourek, it's easy when you know the horses and work with them on a regular basis. Much more difficult to be sitting there ready names on paper of horses you've never met. LOL

    NuzzMuzz, I do think that trading is alive and well although incidents like this sure don't help.

    Lisa, not always. In the beginning things did not change daily and usually the horses to be worked was constant which made that easier to keep track off.

  6. It's amazing how long things can drag out even though it seems like you are running around like a lunatic (and I'm SO there :o) I've learned the hard way that the world is full of charming people with hidden agendas; even to those of us who are careful who we befriend.
    Glad to know the end of this tale first (if I didn't, I'd have 12 ulcers by now *grin*)

  7. It sounds like you were getting some horses worked but not enough to really bring into play the contract concerning Storm. I realize that weather and health did play some role in expectations but it still seems that this guy wasn't doing as much as he could have to honor the contract and help your horses.

    Glad to hear that you told him up front what was expected with the two horses the girls would ride. If you didn't I would guess his "book" would have them down as part of the Storm contract.

  8. Jen, Looking back it's all so much more obvious, that's for sure. BUT I did have gut reactions right up front to this guy and I ignored them. I hope I don't ever do that again. As for ulcers, I can totally relate. Once this thing blew up, I began having stomach issues that are still not resolved.

    Arlene, he was chipping away at what he owed on Storm but sure wasn't keeping up with the rate determined, that's for sure.

    I was very careful trying to avoid misunderstandings but that only works dealing with people who are honest. As it turns out, BG and WF were far from honest.

  9. Even if it is just an agreement to do things, having it written down is never a bad idea. I know, looking back it makes sense to do it, but at the moment it seems so callous.