Prepare yourselves for a wall of text.
Well, I guess some people would say I have an "easy" set up.
I'm boarding my horse, free of rent, with a gentleman with 2 other horses who rents his property, plus 10 acres attached to it (the landlord owns them and gives him permission to go back there). (Yes, he has the proper insurance.) My rent stipulation is that I pay for a portion of hay and buy my own feed, as well as work his horses a bit so he can trail ride with his son. Easy, right?
Well, I find this guy pushing me around a little bit. I don't want to contradict him because it'd be rude; he could easily kick Bamber and I out!
When I dropped Bamber off, it was well around Midnight. We were late picking him up and it was a good 2-3 hour drive both ways. In the dark, can't see much... There's a small drop from the outside of the pasture to the pasture by the date. (The man feeds his horses at the gate, so they paw and dig stuff up.) Bamber balked a little bit and was nervous about this dark, scary drop. But made it after a minute of provoking.
The next day I caught him and brought him out, and when I returned him it was the same story. (Every time after this he goes right in.) The gent stood there and told me how I need to train him to lead with a rump rope. It wasn't his nerves about this drop he encountered in the dark last night, it was his lack of knowledge leading. :roll:
He's a hard catch, I won't deny that. And his previous owners... "method," we'll call it, did more harm than good. We spent a good hour getting him comfortable enough to walk into an open stall with us. The gent, in the adjacent stall, spoke up when I slowly approached my horse: "Oh, let him come to you," he said. If you ask me, this is more of an approach for a horse that trusts and respects its handler. Since I'm trying to show my horse that being caught is a good thing, I'm not about to play with waiting game. That will come after he's wanting
to be caught, not when he's afraid to be.
I just rolled my eyes inwardly and haltered my horse.
Gent accompanied me to buy feed. I told him how I planned to put him on a simple sweet feed (it's what his previous owners fed him for years) and work my way out to Equestrian's Choice
12%. We feed this at the livery and have no problems, and I will be using Bamber for similar trail rides.
He proceeds to tell me how whole corn is the way to go, and how sweet feed "sweat" attracts flies in the summer. Feed corn in the summer, sweet feed in winter!
Of course we got to the barn and feedless gent was feeding his horses the whole corn I'd bought. I had coupons for Purina feeds/treats, but didn't want to buy it yet because I knew most of my feed would end up in the bellies of horses I don't own.
I wanted to buy him a new halter and he tells me how horrid this brand of halter is, same for leads. He tells me he has these at his place and will sell them to me... Turns out these ropes are stiff and have been out in the elements for God knows how long! They were filthy, and who knows how dependable if
my horse sets back when he's tied...
Last, I'm finding out more and more how broke this man is. He was fronted 15 squares of hay when he was broke; he's a veteran and gets 1 check a month. So at the beginning, that 1/3 I offered to pay for my horse's hay consumption? I'm now worried that I'm going to wind up paying for this winter's entire hay reserve (we're talking about feeding rounds; those go for at least $30-35 each for smaller ones around here; large ones of grass
can reach $40-45). I have no idea how these horses will be on the rounds, especially in the winter, and the man doesn't even have a tractor to put them out. This means I'll be calling in favors to my boss to borrow her Kubota. Not exactly what I wanted to spend my "favors" on.
At the moment I'm free of rent, which is a sweet deal in advance. But this gentleman doesn't realize that it's my first personal horse, not my first "rodeo." I've handled age newborn (but didn't do much of the training) all the way up to 31. To have this man talk to me as he does, as if I'm keeping his horses and his only, is very offensive. I
must be the one to build a pen of sorts to work on Bamber's catching problem. I
must build his round pen to train his horses, and
supply all of the material for both projects. While I understand doing the labor, paying for every last thing wasn't on the agenda.
I guess I'd be a little less "greedy" if he didn't rent. I just don't feel like I should put all this money into maintaining the property he doesn't even own, that he could be evicted from any day for any reason...
What do you guys think?