Monday, February 7, 2011

The New Journey..........Showing in Region 4....

Part One

When I gave BG notice that I'd be taking the stallion home he was not happy. He reminded me he'd only been able to float that horse in the pen without charge because I was paying full care for Reflection. With Reflection going home that horse would have to go too.I let him know I was aware of that and I planned on taking both horses. To be honest, I couldn't wait to get them both out of there.

At this time the focus really was now on getting Louie into the ring. WF was telling BG the horse was ready to be shown and she believed if we could get that done we could get the horse shown. Because the horse was there in a pen I wasn't getting the opportunity to see him worked. I trusted that WF knew what she was talking about and that Louie was ready to go to his first horse show.

We even ended up entering the horse in a qualifying show but that turned out to be a wreck. The horse was clearly not in the bridle and didn't look like anything that should be in the ring. BG thought it was because it was all new to the horse and that he'd be just fine at the next show.

I ended up having to do everything not only to get that horse worked at the show but feeding, watering and cleaning his stall even though the horse was "in training" with BG and one of his barn kids was showing the horse. BG knew my expectations if one of those kids was showing a horse of mine I expected them to care for the horse at the show. I figured if someone was paying the bill for them to show, the least they could do was care for the horse provided. BG paid no attention to those details.

Of course, I knew BG didn't charge show fees for clients. Still it seems to me, if you have horses in your care and you take them to a show with a bunch of kids and the barn sign you have displayed at that show reads "mentoring," that seeing the horses are properly cared for at the show and the kids are learning how to do things correctly so they can be competitive should be part taking them to the horse show in the first place but it wasn't. BG only seemed to worry about the next rider in the next class and everything else was lost somewhere. It's sure not how I thought a trainer or a mentor should be handling things.

Then there was an issue at the show with the walk trot rider grabbing Dandy in the face. BG seemed to think because she was just learning that was OK. That goes against everything BG led me to believe he thought about horsemanship. Something didn't jive.

It was the 25th of May when I took Reflection home and, of course, that meant that Louie went home too. I was never so glad to get my horses out of a place as I was then. I would be able to see my horses schooled and I'd know that Louie was living in a dry stall so that case of scratches could heal.

The next show that we took Louie to was the Region 4 Championships and the qualifying pre-show. This show Rhet was also going too. With Dandy, Legs and Louie also going to the show, my three horse trailer was short one slot. I had told MD since the girls were showing Dandy they would have to provide his transportation since I had no room.

WF and BG had room in their trailer but WF didn't want to haul Dandy I guess because of his EPM. Instead WF wanted to haul Rhet but I wouldn't go for that. The colt still just wasn't predictable and if he did something stupid, I wanted to be the one deciding how to handle it. I told them if they wanted to trade out a horse for MD to pay for it would have to be Louie so that's how Louie ended up on their trailer.

Things with Louie at the show were a wreck and that led to another problem at that show, MD. I posted about that whole mess here. While my daughter had been paying my entries because I didn't have the money, I didn't think that gave her the right to be treating me badly. She really hadn't treated me like this since she was a kid acting out pretty badly. Looking back I can't help but wonder if BG's stirring the pot has something to do with her behavior. Whatever it was I was at a horse show with a barn full of people and pretty much feeling like an outsider. This whole thing was becoming more and more stressful..

For being at a very expensive horse show, things didn't seem to be focused on the horses and showing all that much. Socializing seemed to take precedent over getting the work done. I ended up putting together a white board with all the horses and their schedules along with tasks that needed to be completed before the horses showed so nothing else was missed like that first morning with Louie and Dandy.

These were not my clients. They were those of BG and WF but BG didn't seem to have the knowledge of what must be done to show (clipping, bathing, schooling, braiding etc) and WF really only seemed to care about her own schedule. Not the mentoring their sign so clearly states, that's for sure, but I suspect because they do make hauling fees to and from the show, that's the only part that really matters to them.

There was something else I noticed I hadn't seen before. At the Region 4 show we were stabled clear out back in the racehorse barns out of view of most everyone. There were 4 amateurs not in training or even boarding at BG and WF's facility stabled along with them in this location.

By the time the show was over BG was giggly with pride the whole show was talking about the little barn that had garnered so many awards. Yet, when you went down the list most of those honors were won by those horses stabled with them, not horses from their barn (with the exception of WF's horse who is most always in the ribbons but not trained by BG) and certainly not horses trained by BG. Although you can be sure the only ones who really knew that was the case were those people in our barn. Everyone else thought BG had something to do with this success and he was strutting like he had indeed earned that recognition.

There was another phenomenon I noticed about "winning" as well. BG was not the only one strutting with pride. Those clients of his were equally thrilled to be a part of such circumstances. Not that it wasn't thrilling to have those people around so excited for those of us who won, but as I got more familiar with the workings of BG and WF, I realized this thrill helped keep their clients feeling like they were part of a winning barn, even though the barn (other than WF) weren't the ones winning.

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

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  1. fern, I don't know if I was getting that yet or just beginning to wonder about it. But these things definitely have figured into my opinion of BG.

  2. Yeah, that's not good--you should get credit for what you actually do, not the barn you board at or pay to use.

    Do you ever show in Spokane?

  3. OMG-BG sounds like my dad! He took credit for sending horses to the AQHA World Show and making World Champions that he had nothing to do with...AND...He took all the credit for our stallion, Quincy Dandy becoming the highest priced stallion to ever sell at Denver (I doubt that record still stands) Stock Show. Oddly, he never told a soul that Quincy's sale was forced by creditors or that getting all of those titles on horses financially broke my grandfather. Sure as heck wasn't my dad training those horses, but since so many people were owed after that, we all really wondered where the $$ went???

    Now why ruin a good story with a little thing called the truth, right? LOL

    You seem like such an astute person, I am just having a hard time seeing these people being able to string you along for so long MiKael.

  4. Linda, I agree with you but I think they are masters at making it look like they had something to do with things they really didn't.

    I have not shown in Spokane in years but you never know.

    BECG, the problem is I got into this before I learned all these things and to be honest, feeling desperate can make people stupid sometimes. It sure did that for me. I was ripe for the picking. I even told BG HOW to do set me up if you look back. I told them all about YW and what they did to me is her story on a much bigger scale. That's pretty darn stupid and even more stupid is the fact I walked right into that trap.

    Then all that talk he did about what people thought of me really messed with my head. And he wasn't just messing with my head, I think he was messing with some of my friends. I found myself with friends so angry at me that they no long speak to me and I still don't know why. Those friendships are very broken and somehow BG is at the root of it. The resulting isolation left me even more vulnerable. I was falling into a dark depression and couldn't figure out why. It was not until I didn't have to go back there that I even realized how oppressive BG had been.

    It was a dark time for me and that influenced everything I did.

  5. I'm glad you got your horses out of there and were beginning to see how oppressive BG was being to you. Seems they didn't do a thing other than take credit where credit wasn't due. I've seen lots of trainers like this and it's all about money and image. That's the way they entice new clients into their clutches and make their money.

    I agree with you that at a show whoever is riding the horses should be in charge of their care. Years ago at a show someone couldn't believe that I wasn't a "horse show mom" taking care of everything while my daughters stood around looking clean and being social butterflies. I told them I'm paying the money for his show and it's their responsibility for taking care of their horse and themselves. Guess they were shocked at my attitude. Not to say I didn't help but they did most of the care.

  6. Arlene, Unfortunately at this time I wasn't even close to seeing that BG's talk was messing with my head. While I knew I was struggling emotionally I really hadn't figured out what was at the root of it. Not until I was totally away from there did I see what the real issue was.

    I was really caught up in the belief that I needed them so I was really trying to find some way to make it work instead of figuring out to get myself out of there.

    I think those situation with "horse show moms" like you describe are pretty sad. I've seen a fair share of them myself and that's why I insist the person riding the horse must care for it.

    I think the whole point of getting kids invovled with horses is to teach them responsibility and even to teach them about trust and relationships. There's so much beneficial a kid can learn from a relationship with a horse but it comes from doing the work.

    The spoiled horse show brats have missed all those lessons and have learned no useful life skills. That's for sure.

  7. Wow. When we try to help others who seem to be helping us- it usually ends up as a lopsided mess. One of us walks away nice and clean, smelling like roses, while the other... well we all know how it turns out on that side of the coin.

    Damn that hindsight for always being so clear!

  8. CNJ, Boy isn't that the truth on all counts. I still cannot believe the things I did not see at the time.

  9. ha! I was just getting ready to type what fernvalley did.

    I bet the horses could feel the underlying stress that was flowing through that barn at the show.