Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The New Journey..........Training Issues and People Issues

Part One

Once the Region 4 show was complete, the major part of the showing for BG's barn was done. There are a couple of small shows at the end of the summer they always plan to attend but there is no big push for those shows. I figured with regionals out of the way BG would now have the time needed to get back to the schedule he was supposed to be keeping with me and we could get some more young horses started.

Once home for that region, BG supposedly had a rental house that had been trashed and needed cleaning. While we had someone interested in Louie so he was willing to keep working him, the rest was on the back burner while he took care of the rental and whatever else came along. BUT BG did manage to take a couple more horses in training during this time.

Dandy was also dropped at this time. What I was told was that the WF had decided the walk/trot rider was ready to move on to a more challenging horse. The girl hadn't even learned how to keep Dandy in frame yet AND the horse she was being moved to was known to run off with the adult rider in classes so this didn't really make sense to me and I guess it didn't make sense to the mother either but she sent along with what she was told to do. . Why they wanted This child off Dandy just didn't make sense but that was the way it went. This would be one of those things that made much more sense in hind sight but I will save that until my actual discovery.

There was something else that happened soon after the show. Apparently WF's trainer was damaged by a horse during transport either to or from that Region 4 show. I was told it was Louie and WF expected me to pay for that damage. My response was that I was not the client for the haul so I shouldn't be the one responsible. If they thought the damages needed to be paid, MD was the one that should be paying them.

It would be important to note that MD agreed with me on this. When I told her what WF and BG were saying, her response to me was they should come to her to pay that bill. It was her problem to deal with and not mine. BG was told MD and I were on the same page. For this time anyway, this was the last I heard about damages to the horse trailer although I did hear that they had the trailer repaired.

With BG still tied up with other things more important than starting the horses he'd agreed to, I was beginning to get the picture. I started thinking maybe I should be keeping a record of what was being done, instead of relying on BG to be honest, so I began making notations on my calendar. At this time I put a 1/2 if we worked one load, and I put a "W" if we had done the two he should have been doing per our contract. If BG didn't work horses at all, there was a dash mark for that day on my calendar. A blank box indicated indicated days normal days off.

Of course, I was still working Legs. With plans to go to Tulsa, he and Rhet really were my priorities but I was working Rhet at home. I even had thoughts that maybe Louie might go for the maturities but after a couple of rides on him it was clear he was nowhere near ready to be paying that kind of money to take him along.

I had noticed in the ring at the junior horse class that Louie really was not using his shoulder properly but I had no idea what was behind it. After a couple of rides back home, it was clear to me that Louie had no real idea about frame, BG had gimmicked the horse into putting his head down by using what he calls an aperture.

Whenever I put my legs on the horse to push him up into the bridle, he broke gait or threw his head up. Then throwing his head up would be a natural response for a horse that didn't really understand about going into pressure. It is those green babies that throw their heads up when they are first learning to really go forward carrying weight. The head goes up initially as natural response when the horse finally lifts its shoulders getting off his forehand. The horse was far from being ready to roll over into the bridle. During the time BG had kept Louie at the barn, the horse had actually gone backwards in his training.

I have to say I had spoken to BG on numerous occasions about shoulders. Most, if not all, of the horses in BG's barn do not use their shoulders right. The horses are heavy on the forehand but BG just doesn't get it or see it. I think all he looks for is how far the horse is stepping underneath itself. He thinks if that part is right, so is the rest when nothing could be further from the truth.

Somehow that impulsion is not going through correctly but BG just doesn't get it or see it. I think all he looks for is how far the horse is stepping underneath itself. He thinks if that part is right so is the rest when nothing could be further from the truth. There are an assortment of ways that impulsion can "leak" out and not go straight through to the bit. The question with Louie will be to determine how that is happening. The "Why" of it is clearly in being asked to go in a frame before the horse has learned the impulsion it takes to do that.

I have spent more than my fair share of time trying to explain it to him but the man just didn't get it. He might know how to get a horse to go forward but once he starts working towards frame all that impulsion flushes right down the drain. A horse can step deep underneath itself and still hollow out its back, drop a shoulder or most anything else to not truly be square.

In July, BG had pretty much talked me into attending the Region 5 show with Rhet telling me he would be there if I went. I ended up entering this show at the last minute based on his promise of help because the breeders had really wanted to see him shown in their region. I knew I could only get it accomplished if I had help. BG's promise should have made that possible but he did not come through Instead of showing up three days ahead of time, he barely made it three hours ahead of time. All the work with Rhet that I needed help to do was done except for getting him into the ring and some rasping on his toes.

The rest of the work got done only because the breeder himself had showed up to assist me after a panicked phone call from me. BG was not returning my calls or my texts at this point.

That was not the only problem at that show. I ended up there alone in a pretty hostile environment. YW and HM were there along with the owner of Rhet's sire who was, and still is, not happy with me for a series I'd posted here. Not that I expect her to like what I wrote but she just seemed to be everywhere at the show which made it pretty uncomfortable. I also knew she'd made it a point to let a number of the Spokane owners know what I'd written. Some of them were pretty mad too believing her version of things. I really didn't know who my friends were at this show.

I had really not spent any time around YW since things went south To be honest I had been just to plain mad at her to be able to keep my tongue but by now lots of time had passed and both of those horses were no longer in her care so the edge was coming off a bit.

I had seen HM at the beginning of the horse show. She'd called me over to tell me she was no longer mad at me for what I'd done. She said life was to short and she was now done with that and ready to move on.

I must admit I assumed she was mad at me because I'd made the negative remark about YW's abilities as a trainer here on my blog. Guess it never occurred to me she might think I had cheated YW based on what she'd been told by her daughter. That was probably because I hadn't done anything wrong. I probably would have not been so willing to let things lie so to speak had I thought she was talking about YW's version of things.

I am not an enabler and I have little tolerance for those who are. I think the best thing for YW would be to stand up and take responsibility for her behavior instead of blame it on someone else. I'm not willing to take blame for her garbage and that's that. I had no idea I was actually going to have to deal with her garbage at this horse show.

For some reason I really didn't see my usual friends at this show. Since I hadn't planned on showing here, I hadn't even bothered to find out who was so I had no idea who I should or shouldn't be looking for. I was on my own for a number of days so Rhet could be there to be schooled and I was feeling awkward about it. All those months of hearing BG inferring no one like me had taken their toll.

I found myself talking with YW mostly because I didn't know what else to do. She was very visible at the show and she spoke to me so I spoke back. We had a few conversations and she wanted to see Rhet. That probably opened the door.

As it was she was friendly enough. By her behavior you would have thought there were no issues between us the first couple of days. It was on that last day when a friend (for for future reference will be PF) arrived and I was there at her stalls that I got ambushed.

Next thing you know YW was making comments about being sick and tired of being taken for granted by "some people. " After all, she'd sold a horse for them, gotten the first of the stallion's get into the ring and all of that other hooey she'd been saying in the past. Of course there was no mention of her bad behavior. Both women were clearly taking pots shots at me and enjoying it. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. It was clear that things had not really changed at all with YW and now I knew, for whatever reason, PF was on the band wagon right along with her. Odd considering I had no history at all with PF.

I found myself wondering I've been in this industry for twenty plus years and I've pretty much had no problems with anyone. Yes, I'd had an issue with the WT and the one with YW but in twenty years two issues isn't bad for someone as active in the industry as me. Now all of a sudden, I had a couple of long time friends who had turned on me. Things with YW seemed to be churned up again and my relationships with MD and GD were in the toilet. There was something brewing underneath all of this. I just had no clue what it was and the stress was mounting.

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

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  1. What a mess ! I would have been mortified by the "ambush" No where to turn if you are suddenly in a very public situation being attacked by someone who should be in point of fact thanking you for not totally writing her off!

  2. Wow I have just been catching up and it sounds like quite a story! I cant believe all the nonsense some people try just so others know who they are, its crazy!

  3. Oh, I hate that style of gossip--makes me sick. The more I read this story the happier I am I don't show or compete. I'm a nonconfronational person--I couldn't handle it. There was a woman who did something similar to me at 4-H--the woman I told you about earlier--and I took her behind the bleachers and called her out on it. I was crying--it was a mess.

  4. I am just curious, but if someone is in the business of hiring out their horse trailer to haul horses to show's etc. isn't damage to the trailer just a part of doing business?

  5. fern, a mess pretty well describes it.

    Crystal, Personally I think it would be easier to do the work and let it speak for itself.

    Linda, I don't know that this really had to do with showing or competing. I think the root of this whole thing is probably money.

    I sure wouldn't let this experience stop me from showing. I have some great time and met some great people. I'm not going to let these people take that away from me.

  6. wilson, I remember being told years ago that was the case. I guess it could depend on the shipping agreement, if there was one. Still that would be between the hauler and the client for the trip I would think.

  7. It's too bad you had to be at that show all alone. It sounds like a very uncomfortable situation.

    I don't know what's wrong with people when they find it necessary to stir the pot and get others on their side and against someone else.When (if ever)do people ever grow up and mature and stop acting like they are in grade school on the playground at recess. In my opinion I think that when people know they are wrong they try and turn others to their side.Every one needs affirmation that they are the injured party or have been dealt with unfairly. This girl sounds like she never grew up and is mature enough to take responsibility for her actions.

    It's too bad you had to go through this at the show when other things (horses) needed your attention. I mean it's hard enough showing without having to deal with ambushes and trainers who are absent.

  8. This just gets worse and worse! The worst thing about the horse industry sometimes is dealing with the wackos involved in it, and our horses getting stuck in the middle of the human drama.

  9. Once again I commend you for doing the right thing with YW by not getting into it with her. I really don't know how I would react in a similar situation but I have the sneaking suspicion that it wouldn't have been pretty.

    For what it's worth, if I were there I would have totally had your back.

  10. Everything coming to a head at a most unfortunate time for you.

    There is definitely a certain meanness in people that makes them think that 'underhanded' comments or not 'naming a name' to the mean things they say somehow makes it all right to say them. It also shows that they are complete chickens. It is not a good feeling when you know people are directing that sort of behavior at you and realize they are telling false tales behind your back. Neither calling them out or refusing to say anything in response leaves a person feeling very good about the matter and after all, you were there to show your horse. Who has time to deal with those kinds of antics?

    I so hear ya on the training aspect. I've seen so many trainers who aren't capable of training both ends of the horse. If they get the impulsion from behind, they don't seem to get the shoulders. If they understand the front-end, they completely ignore what's behind them. Although, it is strange for someone who does understand getting the impulsion from behind to not be able to grasp what you were trying to explain to BG about Louie moving his shoulders. Sounds like he just didn't want to listen to you at all at this point.

  11. Arlene, I believe you are right about people when they are wrong looking for support in their convictions. As you'll soon see, there is more behavior to suggest this.

    phm, unfortunately things do keep deteriorating even more until it finally blows.

    It is unfortunate that the horses can get caught in the crossfire. The tension is this situation certainly transmitted to poor Rhet.

    smazourek, thanks for the support. I guess for me I just don't see the point in making a scene when nothing will be accomplished by it. Those people are not going to chance their opinion and I'm not going to change mine. What that woman did to Vee is criminal in our state. I should have reported her. As for her training methods, if they were as great as she thinks they are, she would have had a barn full of horses. She couldn't get more than a couple. There's a reason for that. If she can't figure that out, it's her problem.

    BECG, what it is about people that they must behave like that? While it's a retorical question, it just stumps me. I don't see the point in manipulating the truth to support one's behavior. All that does is keep one stuck and prevent one from growing. Just doesn't make sense to me. It's painful to be stuck like that.

    In all honesty, I feel for these people. Anyone who must ambush another to feel good about themselves is living in a very difficult place.

  12. Oh my word Mikael, I don't know how you got through all of this mess. It just keeps getting worse, please don't tell me there is more!!!!! You do well to let it go but if you are anything like me it takes its toll.

  13. MM, sorry, there is more and it really did take it's toll.

  14. PF sounds like just another wolf joining the pack hunting for blood and just being plain mean and back biting. Just like high school brats...all the drama. blah!

    Blogging can be a bit like that, too. You think you get along with everyone and then the backbiting starts and people you would have never expected, gather together like a pack of wolves. You start to wonder who you can trust anymore....

    That's why I like animals more than people.


  15. I know who you are talking about and why the heck would you talk to those girls to begin with? You should have distanced yourself from them and not let yourself become prey to them. I know you have had trouble with the one in the past but her and her "friend" do nothing but talk behind peoples backs and are nothing but mean girls. They are the "toxic twins"!

  16. Lisa, very much like being back in school and I, too, find it easier to be with animals than people because this is so much less drama.

    Kandy, to be honest I didn't expect to be in the company of both these women and you can bet after this experience, it won't happen again. I got myself out of there immediately.