Horrified by abuse (very long)
As some of you might know I've got a 35 year old quarter paint. He's a hard keeper due to a medical condition so he needs to be fed a strict diet or he gets VERY sick. With that being said, I switched barns a week ago to keep my old man closer to me. My draft has been leased out to someone at my old barn because he's an amazing jumper but I've been doing nothing with him.
The new barn is a semi board where I supply the stuff and the owner takes care of it. Well because Bloo needs a lot of extra care I go and set up his grain for the week with the supplements in it and the liquid portioned off in a container to just be poured in at feeding. The owner was originally interested in my draft but wasn't willing to pay what I was asking for and passed on him. I went to the barn today to set up his food again and noticed that less than half the buckets had been fed and none of the liquid supplements had been added. Because my work week was ridiculous and I had a funeral to go to I couldn't make it down to see him at all during the week, which is unusual, normally I see him twice a day everyday. I was shocked at what I saw. I gave the owner's trainer permission to lunge Bloo only. I trained him to ride a certain way and the people there are mainly 'kick 'em till they go' people. No judgements, I don't butt in unless I'm asked or something's getting hurt. When I went to see him he had lost and obscene amount of weight for me only being away a week. His hips are showing and his withers have sunken in, and I can see his ribs. I almost cried it was that bad. On top of it all he had saddle sweat on him and he was limping when he walked or keeping all his weight on the wall, I'm pretty sure if he had fallen or tripped he wouldn't have been able to get back up. I don't ride in a saddle with him unless I'm showing and my saddle isn't even at the barn, which means that someone used their saddle and he was very tender to the touch on his ribs and withers leading me to believe that the saddle sat on his withers and he had the crap beaten out of him for not going. I NEVER use a crop, spurs, or even my heels on him to get him to move, it's just calf pressure and verbal sounds. His stall was clean and he had water, so I'll give them that but I was horrified by the rest of what I saw.
When I confronted the trainer about riding him she said he was stubborn as a mule and she had to use all of her strength when she hit him with her whip to get him moving. Then she told me all he would do is canter around and run into the gate not listening to her kicks or yield.
The BO came out when she heard all the yelling and handed me some antibiotic cream and told me I needed to go rub this on his wounds. When I left there wasn't a single scratch on him. On the side he had resting against the barn there were 7 or 8 tiny but deep gashes that went the entire length of his barrel. It honestly looked like someone took a metal curry or shed blade and dragged it down his side until he bled. I pretty much broke down at that point.
The two women came to confront me about why I was over reacting so badly. I'm not the kind of girl to sit there and let people tell me how I should act or treat my like I'm being a dram queen when I've got every reason to be upset. So I lost it and started screaming at them. I let them know that what the had done was abuse and that they were lucky I didn't report them for what they did. I'm pretty sure everyone in the neighborhood heard me yelling at them because there was a group of people trying to look occupied while I told them how I felt about them. When I'd yelled all I could the trainer had the audacity to tell me I had given her permission to ride and she had just made due with what she had. In the contract I signed before moving Bloo there I stated no one under any circumstances was allowed to tack up or ride my horse.
Needless to say I called my dad to bring my trailer down I loaded him and everything up and drove him to my house. I put some sore no more on his ribs and back as well as wrapping his legs with a clay wrap to try and ease his pain. Right now he's on my dog run in my backward with the trailer for him to go in if he wants. A girl that board at that barn runs in the same circle I do and told a friend that the BO is considering suing me for breech of contract and that things would have been different if I hadn't been such a bitch about my draft. I don't care about the lawsuit, I can counter her trainer did the same and I've got the photos of before and now to show the difference. What bothers me is that she was so vindictive all because I wouldn't free lease my draft to her. It horrifies me that she would take out her anger at me on my horse.
I've got to have the vet come out and see if the damage can be undone. His medical condition takes it so I can't mess around with his feed rations or how many times he gets fed and I don't know how he'll act IF I try to ride him again. He was the kind of horse that thrived off having a job and being used but I'm afraid now he'll freak out or hurt one of us if I try to ride him again. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back and shoot them for what they did. How can people who have horses of their own willingly do what they did to someone else's horse? Especially when I was paying her to take care of him. The worst part is that there really isn't anything I can do about it except look for somewhere else to keep him and hope he can pull through. I just wanted needed rant and get that out.
Show me a horseman who hasn't fallen and I'll show you a man who has never truly ridden.