Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Trainer's Temper Tantrum

  Part 1

I clearly remember the day of that second visit by Crystal Baker. We traveled around looking at all the horses and I made notes on her descriptions of each's  condition.

Pretty quickly I realized her memory of how horses had been on her previous visit was as flawed as it had been between the stalls and my house.  Her recollections as far off now as that fateful comment about Legs but I kept writing what she said so I could have a record. I didn't want to be relying on memory alone to figure out what all this meant.

While looking at the mares in the field behind my house, Crystal claimed the horses were not gaining weight like they should. In fact she was quite belligerent in her accusations that her instructions weren't being followed. Her attitude at this point  was superior and arrogant. She treated me like I was ignorant of all things equine. When I called her on this behavior,  she quickly back peddled, telling me I had misunderstood her meaning.

 Wish I had realized then how pervasive this back peddling tactic was. Even if I had, it was only the tip of a very long, insidious weed that was yet to be exposed.

Still not understanding the motives of either woman, I allowed this tour with Baker's questionable behavior to continue. So unsure of myself, I didn't dare stop, lest my horses suffer, I put up with her insufferable attitude.

We went through every single horse with some of her observations so far off I  couldn't even deny the problems with her assessments. A beginner with horses could have been more accurate. I still can't believe I ever allowed this woman such access to me or my horses when I was so vulnerable and she was so ruthless. Nothing I know of this woman even suggests she was capable of helping at all. Just another example of desperation breeding rash decisions and choking out logic........which is nothing more than a polite way to say I got incredibly stupid while I was ill.

I don't know what prompted me to tell her I was beginning to believe that Kelly Panowicz had unethically taken Doc from me but she quickly and quite abruptly disagreed. Unflapped, I continued on saying there was no way Panowicz was going to get Lucy too.

It was then that Crystal Baker erupted in a rage. Screaming at me, "With all of these g*dd*mn horses,  you better be giving that f*cking mare away if anybody wants her!" and she went on from there spewing her superior views on how I should be living my life.

Her pompous, mean spirited tirade was most likely the only truly honest utterance I ever heard from this woman. The contempt in her voice unmasked for the first time. It was clear Crystal Baker had no respect for me whatsoever.

I couldn't believe my ears." Where did she get off?" raced through my mind.  Shouting back (which is unlike me except sometimes with Dave or Lindsay, i am embarrassed to admit) I told her she had no right to be telling me what I should be doing with my horses. I was not going to be told by her or anyone else to give that mare or any other horse away. For the first time since this whole thing started, I really stood up for myself. It felt good for that moment....but it didn't last.

We were out at the gate to the far barn with this all came down. I can still hear the rageful tone of her voice and see the mean, contorted expression on her face. Everything about her spoke contemptuous and even vengeful. It was an eye opener.

I was rattled by this exchange but she played her cards perfectly acting offended, wounded, victimized....'when all she tried to do was help' expressed clearly in her body language. I knew that game well. Like the 7 year old child I had once been, I tried to mend the fences for something I should never have been apologizing for in the first place.

 Crystal was having none of it. She stormed off in a rage leaving the farm gates wide open behind her. I was left thinking I had done something wrong instead of the more accurate perception that Baker had stepped well beyond the limits of friend and into the position of judge, jury and maybe even executioner since it was clearly my dream she was trying to kill.

Only after she was gone, did the afternoon's events begin to sink in. I pulled out the paperwork from her first visit and compared it with that just completed. Looking at those notes was as weird as recalling the day's events. The video of her tirade played over and over in my head as the meaning behind her words and actions began to slowly sink in to my overwhelmed brain.

The only thing I was sure of........Crystal Baker believed I had too many horses. In her mind that gave her permission to do what ever she wanted to get horses gone. Was that it? Or was there more behind her agreement with Panowicz's perception of my herd, not to mention those warnings about media, vets and ruined reputations. What was all of that?

At least now I knew this woman could not be trusted. I didn't get  her entire agenda but I was now convinced there was more behind this than the obvious and It had nothing to do with my best interests or that of my horses.

It would take many months for me to understand what her true motivations were. I may never understand them completely but at least I no longer had doubts about her intentions.  Whatever she said about my horses no longer carried weight with me.

I still didn't understand what Kelly Panowicz was up to but she and Crystal Baker would both be kept at arms length. These women had caused enough harm as it was already. Unfortunately, they were not done with me. Each had an agenda to further and my participation was no longer required for either to get that done.

To be continued.....

The Horses' True Condition....


  1. Am sickened by this whole thing , to rage and threaten an individual as ill and frail as you were in that time is simply abuse!

  2. What a piece of work these two were. I'd go so far as to say they were bullies and used to getting their own way without being questioned.

  3. Wow! Thats all I have to say, just shocked by her behavior, but at least now you knew why she was there (at least partly)