Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The New Journey Begins........Settling In.....

Part One

Besides not strictly working horses by the numbers laid out in the contract, there were other boundaries that got pretty clouded too. My time began to be unimportant. I could find myself standing around for long periods of time waiting on BG. BG working 4 or 5 of my horses could take all day.

That day could sometimes run from 8 am to 8 pm because BG was now fitting in those horses of his he had to work. Even though in the beginning, he'd made my horses the priority and finished up his after I was gone. Where originally we'd gone one after the other down my string first, now I could find myself waiting for one even sometimes two or three other horses to be worked.

I am not a patient person. I have never been. Standing around is not something I do easily. Instead of standing there waiting on BG I began doing more with the horses he was supposed to be working to give me something to do. I did whatever I could do to get myself and my horses out of there without wasting my time waiting on BG. If BG said anything about it I just told him I wasn't happy standing around. I needed to be doing something so that's what I did.

In the beginning when BG was working horses for me for free, we did the work of grooming, tacking up and untacking horses together except for Reflection. I was paying for training on that horse and all those things were being provided like any trainer does. Clients aren't expected to be at the barn doing such things.

Yet once the contract began on Storm, I was soon doing mostly all of the tacking up, untacking and cooling out of the horses that BG was now being paid to train. If I didn't do those things I would end up standing around waiting sometimes a half hour even more before he'd get to my horse. I found I could sometimes keep things moving along by having horses ready for BG and then taking one off his hands so that's what I did to get me and my horses out of there each day.

I even rode many of those horses each day. Once it got to the point the horses were safe for me to ride I was on them. Sometimes I even did take up to three loads of horses over there to be worked. Some were lunged, some long lined and others ridden. Sometimes it was a combination of things. The work was split depending on BG's schedule and his mood and how fast he was moving. By the end of the day, I was collapsed in a heap staring off into space I was so exhausted. He was equally as tired.

I know whenever I brought horses I was being very careful not to cross what I thought was that line of 5 horses per day for BG to work. I didn't want to take advantage or burn BG out before we got the horse paid off. I figured like any trainer I've ever worked with that me working counted in as a credit in computing those numbers.

I believed from the many conversations we'd had that these things would all settle out in the end. BG had assured me he would never take advantage of me. I could count on him making things right in the long run and that's exactly what I did. I counted on BG being fair about the amount of work he was really doing and what he would charge me for.

This whole time we're working horses together those funny life things were coming up for him and for me. I tried to help him if I could and he helped me.

Once when my truck broke down, BG set up pens in the arena so I could leave the three horses stuck in the horse trailer at his place over night . I tried to pay him for the use of those pens but he dismissed me with a "What are friends for?" statement.

There were a couple of other times where my truck was in the shop so BG decided he would come here using his truck and my horse trailer to haul horses to work. Whenever he did that, I tried offering him money for fuel but was again met with that comment, "What are friends for?"

After I began working Rhet and Scarlet for halter, BG asked me if I would help him train another yearling for halter. He had clients with a half-Arabian colt that wanted to show Sweepstakes too. BG could do the conditioning but he didn't know how to teach the colt to stand up for halter. Without some way to get the horse trained, BG would be unable to bring the horse into his facility.

BG wanted to know if I would do the training for him. He said he'd pay me for that training but I declined because as an amateur I cannot be paid for training. I told him I would train this colt to stand up for him to help him out but I would not accept any payment. Some times as I taught this half Arabian yearling to stand up, BG lunged Scarlet or Rhet for me.

BG's mother got really sick in the early spring. Even though he had a love/hate relationship with her he told me he wanted to go see her but he was worried about his obligation to me. I told him not to worry about that. If he needed to go, he should do that. The horses could wait until the timing was better.

The fact his mother was supposedly critical started me thinking. What if something happened to me before the contract was fulfilled? We hadn't made any kind of provisions for that in the contract and I didn't want WF (who I believed to be his wife) not able to keep the horse because he wasn't paid for.

I suggested to BG that maybe it would be wise to add a provision to our contract. If anything happened to him WF could pay off the balance owed with money the horse earned in the Sweepstakes program. That way she could still keep the horse and get him shown and I would still get my money.

BG told me he would have to talk to WF about it and he'd get back to me. Within a day or two he said that they both agreed the provision to pay off the horse with Sweepstakes monies in the case of BG's death was acceptable to them.

I mentioned at this time that we really needed to sit down and get all these terms on paper. BG seemed to nod his head in agreement but still nothing was done. Each time I brought it up, I was either ignored, the subject was changed or I got that nod of his head. We went on as usual with nothing in writing and a whole lot on the line for me.

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

A Turning Point

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  1. I don't know the ending, but wonder if his avoidance of a written contract was because he knew he intended to breech it or because he just doesn't like to write, like most men.

  2. The avioidance of the contract is sure interesting, did he ever sit down and agree to anything on paper?

  3. Nuzz Muzz, at this point I suspect it was the former. You'll have to let me know what you think when all the pieces are in place.

    fern, guess that depends on what you mean by anything? My board contract for Reflection was on paper and so was the purchase agreement for the boxer puppy. Odd don't you think?

  4. Of course, that was assuming that the horse was awarded any Sweepstakes money, right?

    Sounds like a very busy and chaotic time for all involved.


  5. So, some contracts are OK with BG, and others are not. HM!

    I assume during this time he had the girls riding Storm around teaching him "frame before function".

    I hope, I really hope, that Reflection has made some great progress in this story. As much as Storm can, Reflection can prove your breeding program and Legs' ability to pass on characteristics to very different mares.

  6. [replying from last post] Hindsight is always annoyingly 20/20. I think all of us ignore that "buzz" in the gut to our detriment at one time or another in our lives. I know I did it once when I first entered the work force and it almost cost me my job.
    [on this post] With horses, I had more trouble with "assumptions" (assuming others knew more than I). It's a tough call sometimes, as there are many people in the horse industry that exude confidence and appear to have lots of answers (and most of 'em are full of more poop than our pasture ;o)

  7. Seems like you're doing a lot of the work with the horses and BG wasn't doing his fair share. As for the written contract, of course he didn't want one. That would be solid proof of the deal made.

  8. Gee, I'd like a super nice horse for free too. Tell you what, you send Miss Scarlet to me and I'll train her up. Heck I'll even throw in the cost of shipping her over. In return I promise to send pictures.

    Whoops, I think that would actually qualify as a written contract ;)

  9. fern, that would be correct and it will get even curiouser.

    Lisa, yes, of course, that was an assumption but if the horse was trained properly it should have been entirely possible.

    lytha, yupe, somethings he wanted in writing and apparently others, not so much.

    I did get to see Storm schooled throughout this time so I can only guess.

    We will get to Reflection. There is definitely a story in here about him as well.

    Jen, ya, that hindsight thing does make a difference. As for assumptions, I did that too early in my horse "experience" but probably in a different way than I did it here. Both had bad results. and you are oh so right about that poop.

    Arlene, we were doing so much work at the time, I really didn't feel like BG wasn't doing his share but then I didn't know what he would decide he should get credit for either. All I know is I was trying to see he did the amount of work he was contracted to do and that I didn't end up standing around doing nothing.

    smazourek, This made me laugh on a couple of levels. First off, there is someone here who would be all over me if Miz Scarlet went anywhere except to his farm. I suspect he would match your offer and throw in visiting rights. And then, of course, there is that "Whoops" LOL

  10. I also passed the award on to you that you received from others the other day...

    In a case like that if he was dodging the contract- I would have written one up myself and just presented it for a signature. Take all of the pressure and difficulty out of it for him. It could be ammended as needed- just like everything else. But it would also help kick the nagging, sinking feeling in your gut.

  11. At the time it is so easy to get wrapped up in the 'gotta get this done', even when you have niggling little feelings that it's not going quite like you think it should.

    Your point of view at the time is perfectly understandable, you think BG is your friend and while you want your horses worked, you also know he has other things going on and don't want to totally overtake his time. Been there, done that.

    But I do have one question and you will probably answer this later in the story, but...Do you think BG was maliciously planning this all along or do you think he just started getting in over his head and didn't want to admit it?

  12. CNJ, I will add you in to my list. Wish I knew how to do a "strike over" for my corrections in blogger. LOL

    You're so right, I should have done up a contract myself and I will never, no matter how close a friend, do anything without it being in writing in the future.

    In this instance, I think by the time I realized there was a problem it was too late for that. I was afraid of rocking the boat and ending up with nothing by that point. The next couple of posts will probably explain why.

  13. It sounds like BG really had good intentions in the beginning, I wish this would have worked out for you...I bet you do too :(

  14. BECG, you are right about my POV at the time. I was wanting to be fair. That's always been important to me and that hasn't changed even after this experience.

    Keeping that in mind I hate to influence readers and I am trying hard not to so people can make up their own minds. I have very strong feelings about this by I didn't get to them until the end of my journey. I am trying to take this along as the journey I travelled. Every now and then I do add a comment that indicates I erred in judgement but I'd like to stick with no more than that at this point. I am curious to see how others will see this chain of events as maybe some balance for me. By the end I will state my newfound opinions. I think by the time we get there you'll see why I feel as I do.

    JJ, Only BG can answer that question although I think his behaviors along the way are good clues in where he was coming from.

  15. My husband claims I let people take advantage of me all the time so I'm pretty sure I'd have gone along with BG's manipulations. An unexpected crisis has come up? No problem, I'll work around it. You want me to pitch in and help? Why not, it's better than just hanging around. At least you were there supervising what was and wasn't getting accomplished.
    FWIW, you do realize that if someone links back to your older entries that the involved parties' names were posted?

  16. This is an interesting story, and it's hard to really comment since we don't know the ending yet and all the motivations haven't been revealed, but in this part of the story it seems like BG is really trying to get the horses worked--the injury--his mother's sickness--helping with broken cars, etc. Since we have a hint already that the ending is bad--it makes you wonder, for sure, what was he thinking? Why not get a contract and make it clear for all? Hmmmm....

  17. RR- I know what you mean and why you felt the way you did. Something many of us have done and miles we have walked in those shoes.... (In relation to BECG's comment and your reply.)

    Like I said on mine, I think you have met a few of us 'straight shooters' online through the blogs. Now if we could all just get together sometime and go for a ride...

  18. MM, I was definitely trying to go with the flow. I think life is too short to get my tail in a knot over little things so I can and do change my plans if it will work. In this case I didn't see the point of making a fuss. I just went with most things.

    I would like to clarify that BG wasn't really asking me to help out, although sometimes he did. Mostly it was me wanting to stay busy so working things in I could do and still keep BG doing the amount of work he was supposed to do for me.

    And yes, I do realize the older posts back from the actual time do have names and that's OK because the lawsuit is a matter of public record along with both my complaint and his. Because of that I could actually name names if I wanted. I have chosen not to because I haven't named names in other stories of this kind.

    Thanks for looking out for me.

    Linda, that is exactly who I felt about this time inthe story. I thought he was sincere and really trying but there were those little things that made me go Hmmm once in a while. Mostly I was too busy to notice or remember that reaction until much later.

    CNJ, I do hope that will happen some day. It would be such a treat to get to meet all my blogging friends.