Sunday, March 20, 2011

TNJ................ Louie's Experience at Region 4.....

Part One

Because Louie did not get shown at the first show, I guess I missed BG's role in getting horses from his barn into the ring. Had I noticed that BG really did not do anything to see that horses were prepared to show maybe I could have saved Louie some of the trauma that happened at the second show. I certainly would have known not to rely on BG to act like a trainer in any way had I been paying attention.

Even thinking about this experience and others with BG at the horse show causes me to remember WF's initial statement that BG really was not a trainer. Even BG himself said numerous times he wasn't and didn't want to be a trainer. Of course, those statements were made mixed in with all the selling he did of himself AS a trainer. He's denials of being a trainer came across to me as an insecurity instead of the true statement it was.

Since this discussion about Louie began because of BG wanting to claim trainer's fees for the horse at a horse show, I think it's important to know what BG actually did at that horse show that he thinks entitles him to reimbursement. Although I must admit it might actually be easier to tell you what he didn't do instead of what he did.

The man may have been there but he did not function as trainers I have known. Getting tack rooms set up and assigning stall locations are not anything I would say constitutes training. Along with those duties about the only thing BG was reliable about at a horse show was sitting on the rail when others rode and sometimes being in the warm-up ring before their class.

The man takes no responsibility for the care of the horses. He doesn't do it, he doesn't oversee it. He doesn't know which horse shows when and pays no attention to the usual preparations to get them shown. Clipping, bathing, schooling, feeding, watering, cleaning stalls, nothing is kept track of by BG, nor does any one do that job for him but then remember they do not charge show fees. Considering BG's role at those shows, no show fees makes sense to me.

BG does usually answer questions when asked and will do something with a horse if he is asked, but rarely anything is done of his own volition, nothing with horses of mine anyway. I certainly saw the same thing with the clients. If the clients or WF didn't keep track of it, then it got missed and believe me, things got missed. Louie was not the only horse that nearly missed his class that show.

Because of that behavior, Louie was not properly prepared to show. I had written in a post briefly about Louie's experience but really had not been honest about WHY it happened. Considering I told the story about Louie in two paragraphs , long time readers should have suspected something was up.
The only reason that Louie got schooled the first day at the show was because I reminded BG it needed to be done. During that schooling session he spent most of this time talking with a trainer friend of mine about the horse and paid little attention to the kid riding the horse. Louie did ok and the kid did ok. At least that part was good.

Later in the day I realized that Louie hadn't been bathed so I pushed for that to get done. I knew there wasn't time to fit a bath in the morning along with schooling and braiding etc. The bathing and clipping needed to be finished on this first day instead. Being of the belief that a kid getting to show my horse needs to be the one taking care of the horse, I saw to it the kid riding him got the horse bathed and talked to him about clipping him.

I remember I had planned to make sure that clipping was done too after the horse dried but it didn't happen. Maybe it was because of the problems getting a handler for Rhet that I forgot about getting the horse show clipped. I don't know for sure but BG didn't think about it. It's my understanding the kid did think about it but was afraid of screwing it up. That would have been OK had he said something to remind be but the kid didn't think about it and the horse didn't get show clipped.

Then for the morning start time BG told the kids they didn't need to be there until 7 am. With an 8 am start time, that didn't leave much time for schooling. When they showed up at the barn I was pushing like crazy to get Louie up to the ring for schooling before the session. We got there just in time to have the ring closed for dragging and I don't remember if Louie even got the chance to see the inside of that ring. He sure didn't get a chance to work in it.

Here's poor Louie his first time ever to go into the show ring and he didn't even get to see the inside of that arena before his session. It's sure not what I would do to a green horse. Not only that but Louie still needed to be clipped and braided and still get to his class. What it took to get the horse and rider ready for this class was not a pretty sight.

Louie seemed to tolerate all of these preparations even though everything seemed to be happening at once. He had people braiding while we were still clipping and someone working on his feet. It was a lot to throw at a young horse. Louie did not freak out externally anyway but looking at his actions later, this had clearly all been too much for the horse.

Louie nearly missed his class. There was little time for schooling so the horse did not get the opportunity to wind down from all the drama getting him ready. I suspect he went into the arena still wound up tighter than a drum, the poor boy, but you could not see it externally.

I remember thinking as I was looking down into the ring at him, the horse was doing pretty well with his composure but not using himself properly. He was heavy on the forehand and he wasn't really committed to the bridle either. People on the rail were impressed with how well he was doing for only 90 days under saddle but I was really looking at him next to the other horses out there thinking he didn't belong in the ring.

Looking back at it, the horse really was not ready. The horse was not far enough along in his training to be there. He was not groomed properly to be there. Emotionally he was not ready to be there. The way the horse had been prepared, then shoved into the ring traumatized the horse.

Louie had a traumatic experience that's all there was to it, It was evidenced by his behavior which I posted about in my next post about the show.
I wrote about the behavior that manifested after this class was over but I only posted about it the one time. Louie exhibited this behavior throughout the entire horse show.

Sadly I must say the horse is still affected by the experience today. He cannot go anywhere away from home without getting stressed out and pushing at me to take him home. Just riding him in a strange arena causes the horse to sweat. He does a little shaking and a lot of spooking. Louie who started off valiant and brave got pushed beyond his limits and it's going to take some time to fix.

This experience happened because of BG's lack of focus and responsibility for this horse which I guess is what I get for relying on him in the first place. I did expect, since he was training Louie, he would take some interest in seeing things got properly done to get the horse shown but I was most definitely wrong.

To be honest when I did my blog posts, I was seething that BG had done absolutely nothing to assure the horse was ready to be shown. I did not realize at that time that the experience had impacted the horse as profoundly as it did. I only learned that when I took him to a strange place to work him. That was when this behavior resurfaced.

I still cannot get over the fact BG was supposed to be Louie's trainer yet the horse almost didn't make his class and he was totally unprepared. I labored with my posts trying not to let the anger I felt spill over into the text as I tried to tell what happened to Louie in a way I didn't get BG all riled up. Storm was still not paid for and I was hoping I could hang on long enough to get some other horses started.

BG clearly dropped the ball with Louie at both horse shows and did nothing with my other horses except for Dandy being used by his clients but still expected to be paid for something he did not do. Considering what happened to Louie it takes a lot of gall for him to even suggest he should be paid for that nightmare.

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

More Issues with BG's Added Charges.........

This is Lilly, the midget mare, with Faith, I think, but to be honest I am going to have to go back and check markings to be sure.

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. Poor Louie. What an unfortunate introduction to showing. I would be furious at BG.

  2. Geez...that sounds awful. I don't show my horses, but I know enough to understand how horrible that was handled. I hope you're able to get him over it someday and that this isn't a life long issue for him. :/

  3. What an unfortunate situation. There is a big difference between someone who is capable of training and one who is capable of training a show horse. Whatever training knowledge BG possessed sure wasn't sufficient to do what it takes to prepare a horse for a show.

    Obviously by this time, you were getting stressed to the point of breaking yourself or I'm sure there is no way you would have pushed for them to try to get poor Louie shown.

    But BG and WF trying to charge for that 'experience'?...Must be about like rubbing salt in an open wound.

  4. Poor Louie,I know in time , you will be able to set him to rights , but the poor horse did not need that to frame his show experiences around.

  5. Carol, unfortunate is a good word for it.

    Linda, I hope he will get over it too. I think it will happen but it's going to take some time.

    BECG, you hit that nail right on tthe head. There's a big difference between starting horses and actually being a show horse trainer.

    Louie has always been a pretty laid back easy going horse. At the time he was getting all that pressure, he really wasn't showing any outwards signs of the toll it was taking. Had he, I would have stopped things right then and there. I had no idea until he disentegrated he was that stressed.

    As for salt in the wound, you called that right on. That's exactly what BG charging me for training Louie at this show feels like.

    fern, to be honest, I don't know if this is fixable or not. I hope it is but you just never know when it comes to horses.

    When he began biting me and shoving me at the horse show to get him out of there, I was shocked at his behavior. I was just as shocked to see it re-emerge when I took him to a strange arena this last spring. As of now the behavior has not improved BUT I've not had the opportunity to work on it regularly. Only time will tell. I hope it goes away but I suspect it will take a good solid couple of years at least to fix based on the severity of his behavior.

  6. Poor Louie!
    I know with my horse, who is a rescue, and who was abused by a male trainer, it took years for her to trust men again. I hope that poor Louie will eventually do better too.
    I definitely agree that some people maybe able to stay a horse but they sure aren't show trainers. I'll also say that I've met some so called show trainers that shouldn't be training either.

  7. What a traumatic experience for a young horse. I'm sure he will overcome his fear but as you say it will take a lot of time and work to rebuild his confidence.

    And I've got to say BG and WF have more nerve than a bum tooth trying to charge you for training Louie.

  8. I've only shown one season under a trainer, but I could write an entire blog post on what not to do, and BG did them all.
    It just sounds like he didn't have a clue as to what to do. Showing up at 7 for an 8 o'clock class? Braiding and clipping not down the day before?
    For Louie, I'm wondering if he will need another person to reintroduce him to the show world? Not that he doesn't trust you, but unfortunately you were there when he had the bad experience so it may be like it was for my horse.
    Apparently she was a mess with her previous owner at shows, to the point that they couldn't even get on her.
    I took her to our first show four months after first getting her and the previous owner was shocked. She was calm and relaxed, not a care in the world, I even used her for my son's first leadline class.
    All I could figure was that the four months we spent together showed her nothing freaky would happen with me and even though she had bad experiences at shows I was a new person so the experience was different. Not that he can't trust you, but you were at the last show when everything went awry.
    Maybe another person would press the restart button on Louie? I'm probably not explaining this very well, sorry!

  9. Nicole, Louie is fine at home and he was fine at BG's facility after the show. The only place he has shown this behavior is at new to him locations.

    I would say ditto on the show trainers. I've seen plenty of those I wouldn't trust my horse with.

    Arlene, Louie has had almsot a year off and hoping that will be helpful to him. We'll see if the weather ever comes around.

    Unfortunately nerve doesn't seem to be something lacking in either BG or WF. Seeing training of Louie on that list of charges really made my blood boil.

    horsemom, I agree, if I were going to write a post about what NOT to do at a horse show, this would pretty much cover it.

    As for whether Louie will tie the experience to me, I guess time will tell. I sure hope not because I'm all he's got. I hope to begin riding him again soon and then I guess we'll see.

  10. Here comes a suggestion from left field because I really don't have any experience, but would ponying Louie with a calm horse at new locations help at all? Maybe he'd feed off the other's demeanor, or would he be a bad influence?

  11. Ms Martyr, I don't know. At this time I have no idea what will work but it's certainly something to keep in mind. I use Dandy when I pony horses and he doesn't really like them too close so it's hard to tell.

    I'm thinking getting him started on some work on the trails after a little arena time might help too. I know he'll be worried about the trails the first time out but maybe he'll like it and learn to chill.

    All I can really say is "who knows" what to expect. We'll just have to go and try. Louie will let us know what works for him.

  12. That's so sad. With your experience, I'm sure you'll get him through it.

    I don't show either, but I do know how important it is that the first time for anything be positive. Poor Louie sure didn't get that.

  13. And the hits just keep on coming.... Holey smokes!

    I had done my time as a groom and No horse, Ever missed a class. That meant your head on a chopping block and you had better find a new farm to go home with! But if they knew you had messed up like that- not many farms would want to take you.

    Nature of the business and believe me- all farms talked about stuff like that at the shows! If not the trainers- the other grooms, the owners, the riders, people talked.

  14. As for helping Louie move past all of this stuff, maybe taking him new places, playing a little bit with him then going home? Keeping everything fun and low key.

    Go to a new arena just for lunging, then a few treats and go home. It's all about helping the horse find a good thing about going somewhere new. Maybe talk excitedly about going somewhere new and how nice of a place it is. If the horse aims to please, he will feel it in your voice. All positive reinforement, little to no pressure, and ultimately, you know your horse and what is working and what isn't.

    And still some never do settle in and relax on the road. We try though. Can't say we didn't try...

  15. Wow poor Louie! I had to go back and read your posts about it at the time, I feel pretty sorry for him, no young horse should have to go through that. Hope he is better after time off.