Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The New Journey.......... Daffodil...

Part One

It seems to me the things going on with MD and GD at this time are a bunch of disjointed references. I didn't really know what to do with any of these circumstances. They just seemed to keep piling up, a bunch of little odd pieces of information I really couldn't make hide nor hair of. I'm going to try to lay them out here in the order in which they happened. How they fit in, only time will tell.

There really was not much communication going on between us. If I did not contact them, there pretty much was no contact with the exception of running into them at horse shows. Even then if I did not speak first, there was no attempt by either of them to speak to me. There was no effort on their part at an initial contact over anything throughout this year.

I texted GD to find out which horse shows she was attending and asked for the classes she would ride in to be sure that I was there. She answered my messages giving me the information she had but did not get back to me with additional information she promised. Still I tracked her schedule down and made sure I was there on the rail at Daffodil.

GD had taken this mare to a number of shows the year before. Any one of those shows I was present at the mare never did make it into the ring. GD rode her for hours trying to get her to relax and while the mare did get better, they just didn't make it into the ring.

They had gone to the one late show just before I left for nationals in Tulsa. Between the distance from home of the show and the things I needed to do to be ready for my departure I did not make it to that horse show. GD had made it into the ring and had done quite successfully. I was told by BG that GD was the envy of even the trainers there with her lovely mare.

Of course when I posted about that show, I didn't post anything about this aspect of the show. I was keeping everything about the situation with Storm to myself so that I didn't tip my hand. I actually had a pretty successful show despite all the pressure.

I still didn't' want to run into either BG or WF. I was angered enough by that bogus paperwork that I knew it was possible I would say something I really didn't want to say. Not only did I not want to make a public scene but I didn't want to give them any more ideas about how I was thinking about this case. The one email response had been all I was willing to share in detail. They knew Dave and I both thought the accounting sheet was a crock and they would have to figure out for themselves how they were going to deal with me if they kept insisting that information was factual so running into them at a horse show was something I wanted to avoid.

That meant I didn't go looking for MD or GD at the horse show other than up by the arena. I knew where their stalls were located and since they were so close to mine I pretty much keep track of when I might run into them so I could keep my distance.

Despite this monitoring I watched all of GD's classes that I am aware she rode at the spring show. The mare was naughty and I felt very bad for GD. The mare was not going as well as she had been the last time I'd seen her and I could see that GD had no tools to help her get through the situation in the ring.

By now I could see the results of the games that BG plays, not just on me but everyone else at the barn. He lays the groundwork to convince them they need him and that he is the only one that can help them. Then he does all he can to undermine their confidence so they will believe everything he says is true.

Looking at this palomino mare was a prime example. He had told everyone that he was the only one that could really ride this mare because she had originally been trained in an odd fashion. He told them you could not put a leg on this mare. She wouldn't tolerate it. Then over and over he told GD how much better the mare was for him instead of her. He even threatened if GD didn't get her act together and get the mare in the ring, then he would show the mare instead of her.

In the time I was in their barn I had seen enough evidence this tactic had taken its toll on GD. I had seen lots of tears and some down right fear when it came to riding that mare. Whenever there were tears, BG would use them against GD as proof that he was right and she didn't belong on her own horse. When there was fear he made fun of her. GD would put hours in working and riding horses for BG and then she would become mush when it came to her own horse. Instead of gaining confidence, her confidence was shrinking. That's not what riding horses is supposed to be about and certainly not what should happen when one works with a competent trainer.

Now as I watched her ride this mare in the show ring, I realized not only was the mare not better, she actually was worse. Her movement was now compromised and her behavior was still bad. She looked like she was going to fly through the bridle at any moment and GD worked her b*tt off trying to get her around the ring without incident.

The problem was it looked just like GD was working that hard and the class specs clearly call for a horse that looks like its a pleasure to ride. While the mare didn't always blow up or do something wrong, it was obvious she was always right there on the edge. Regardless of how hard GD worked, the horse always seemed to be dead last unless of course, another horse did something more naughty than her.

I felt sorry for GD. She was working hard enough to have a winning ride but there was no way she was going to get one. With the mechanical movement the mare now showed, it was not a pretty picture. The fluid moving horse I's seen that first day coming down the rail was now gone. There was no hint the mare was even capable of such movement by this point. She sure didn' t look like anything I would want to ride and I knew GD had no tools to make it better.

Yet, you could use leg to turn this mare or to cue her to sidepass, turn on the haunches or forehand. It just made no sense to me the mare couldn't be taught to round up using leg cues. Without them, there was no way to push this mare forward when she became naughty in the ring and that would keep them believing they needed BG if they ever wanted to be successful. Quite a vicious cycle and they'd bought into it hook, line and sinker, along with all the rest of those people at the barn.

It was at the Saturday evening session when I sat in the arena with my friend, Wendy, that we saw all the clients and family from BG's barn heading up towards the arena. I hadn't seen this kind of strength the whole show so I knew immediately that WF must be riding. Looking at the schedule I saw the half arabian western pleasure class that told me she was riding the new mare she'd been given.

I wish I had known that this was going to happen. With everyone at the show, there was no one back at the barn watching Storm. If I thought I could get my rig hooked up and out of that show fast enough, I'd have been on the road to retrieve my horse but the timeline seemed just to tight to risk it. I couldn't help but think I'd missed out an opportunity to put this whole thing to rest once and for all.

During that show, MD, GD and SIL did come back to my stalls. It was the only time in this show season that they initiated any contact. We had a general conversation about the show and eased into a little bit about the family and how things at home were going.

Solidare had her foal right before the show and in times past GD would have wanted to be there as soon as possible afterwards. I hadn't heard a word from them about wanting to come see the foal and if you're wondering, no I did not call them to tell them she had foaled.
Now, I asked if they knew that Solidare had foaled. When the answer was yes, I asked why they hadn't come to see him only to be told they had not been invited. While I laughed saying when did they need an invitation, I remembered all the games of the past MD was known to play.

This thing about an invitation was big on MD's list. Some of the old behaviors from times past seemed to be back. I wondered what else was.

Still I plowed on through to my feelings and thoughts about the way the GD's mare was going and my concerns that it was only going to get worse as well as my thoughts on BG's influence on GD. I shared how GD didn't have the tools to get anything better from the mare in the ring and why it was in BG's best interest to see it stayed that way. I had and still have grave concerns about what is happening to GD over there under the influence of these people.

They talked like they agreed with me and even encouraged me to speak my mind. Being who I am, I told them exactly what I think. MD and SIL needed to get GD and her horses away from that man if they wanted anything to come of either of them.

Later that week MD and GD did come by to see Solidare's foal. We talked about what had happened during the breeding and how it probably related to what was currently happening to Solidare. Despite all of this there was a distance there that I just didn't know how to interpret. I had some doubts beginning to creep in but I didn't really want to believe them yet.

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

Revelations.......and an Insult

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  1. Unfortunately, BG had his hooks in pretty deep with your GD and daughter, there was nothing you could say that would change their minds at this time.

    I feel sorry for your GD and her mare but even though she was young she had to know that you were a better trainer than BG and could do more for her horse than he could. It's a shame people can't see past their own feelings sometimes. I'm sure it has either worked out or will work out in the future. Families should stick together because in the end all you have is each other.

  2. thanks for the context. I am sorry your relationship with GD especially but also MD was this way. GD deserved to love to ride and to be taught the confidence that comes with riding. It just makes me sad, and I can see why you spoke up, especially when asked.

    I am also very very sorry that MD seems to have so many issues with you. It must take ALOT of energy to maintain that level of anger/disdain/dismissal towards someone. I have a family member that I used to loathe, and now, I just simply don't interact with him. It still takes energy, but it takes less than getting pissed off every time he tries to manipulate me, my family and/or the situation.

    Again, thanks for the context. I am sorry there's so much of a chasm here, and I dread the rest of the story. MD is ultimately responsible for her own actions, but its a shame that GD didn't get the advantage of your coaching.

    Being angry and hurt is just tiring. Forgiveness is so much easier on the soul. But even with that, trust is a long long long time coming.


  3. Yes, you're right, if you ride with a good trainer, they should make it easier for you, not harder. You haven't said what happens yet, but it seems like it's heading in a bad direction with MD and GD--I'm so sorry to hear that since it's so important family stick together. It was very good of you to support your GD at the rail and give her sound advice anyway. It sounds like she has love for the horses, like you.

  4. Arlene, I agree with you but I'm not sure that they do. I think BG's hooks are deeply imbedded.

    mizscarlett, I imagine you are right about the energy it takes to maintain such feelings. It's so much easier to take responsibility for one's own life and quit blaming others. For whatever reason, MD doesn't see that and no one can see if for her so that chasm will probably stay right where it is.

    Linda, GD used to know she had that kind of love for horses. Last time we discussed it she was not so sure. I hope someday she'll know what she wants and be happy.

  5. It's very disheartening when you wonder if you can trust your own family. But it sounds like there are lots and lots of issues going on here that go deeper than the horse issues. It never helps when you have people like BG and his crew working hard to deepen the rift either.

  6. It seems to me that MD is stuck in a mud pit that popped up in her life journey. it will take the time it takes for her to gain some clarity and make some decisions about who she wants to be before she can pull herself out of it.

    I've been there myself, it's not easy. Having someone be available and nonjudgmental can really make a difference.

  7. "there was no attempt by either of them to speak to me. "
    Shame on both of them! I don't say that lightly. They both should show some loyalty - and your daughter, even if angry with you, should instill in her daughter respect for you as her grandparent.

  8. BECG, you're so right about that. MD was a troubled youth and while it looked like much of that had resolved over the years, this experience has certainly revealed otherwise. BG and WF have certainly exploited this but in the end MD is responsible for her behavior.

    smaourek, that's an accurate assessment. Unfortunately MD has been in that mud pit for a very long time and has chosen not to leave it. I doubt those feelings will change anytime soon.

    cjharris, you would hope that would be the case, wouldn't you?
    I think that loyalty and respect were what I wanted from them but it's pretty clear that's not the case.