Horse Sitting Drama? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 08-12-2010, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Horse Sitting Drama?

So I keep three horses at the barn that I work for. It's been about...two years since I've had to leave them longer than two or three days. Before that, I'd always had one person who also works with me 'horse sit' them for me. She's a decent rider, she's known my horses for awhile and I trust her. However, she was horse sitting when I only had two horses. I have since gotten Cash, a thoroughbred (never raced) who never the less is a very big handful.

My previous horse sitter didn't really have a problem with my other guys (Scribbles and Rambo) as Rambo is really a push button horse, very talented but just a very easy ride. Scribbles can be a little stubborn and he's big so he's strong, but I can fairly easily teach people how he likes to be ridden and he goes fine. I REALLY am not comfortable with her abilities with Cash though. I think he's too much horse for her, and he's not the kind of horse I can leave for a week without him getting worked under saddle at all.

Because of this, I've asked one of my students to horse sit for me. She's actually a fair bit younger than the girl I work with, but she's a VERY talented rider and extremely mature for her age. She's ridden Cash before and handles him very well. Though she's never been on Scribbles or Rambo I have no doubt she can ride them. My problem is this, my previous sitter has caught wind that I'm 'replacing' her with a younger rider she doesn't seem to believe is better than she is. I've tried telling her that it's only because Sterling (student) has ridden Cash before, not neccesarily that I look down on her riding abilities, as I'm trying to stay polite.

She's worked for the barn longer than I have, and is a bit more favored by the boss than I am (she sells horses, even if they're sometimes out of their riders league; while I'm really not that aggressive selling wise) and having bad blood between us really isn't good. I'm a bit at a loss for what to do :\
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post #2 of 31 Old 08-12-2010, 08:45 PM
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Are you paying these people to horse sit? Or can you have the one girl watch the two and then the other just watch the one so that they are both getting a good part of the deal. Just an idea. I know it's hard to go around people due to abilities since every almost every rider feels they are better than what they are. Or maybe just explain you felt three horses was putting too much on her plate since she has other horses to work as well and therefore sounding as if you're trying to help her?

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post #3 of 31 Old 08-12-2010, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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I never formally paid her no, I'd always get her a thank you card and like a Rick's giftcard to be polite. Sterling is just happy that she gets to pretend to own a horse for a week, happy to ride which I like about her. Stefanie (previous horse sitter) is a bit of a braggart, she likes to complain about all the work she has to do and how 'all these people need her to train their horses for them' etc. I may not be as favored boss wise as she is, but I'm highly regarded at my barn and VERY selective of who I let ride my horses, even my push button like Rambo. I think she's always gotten pride from it, and when I get back people tell me she was always going around saying how she had to go 'work Casey's boys' cause I think she's this epic rider etc.

I do like your idea though, it MIGHT work if I play up 'all the other horses she has to train' thing, thanks Poco :]
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post #4 of 31 Old 08-12-2010, 08:58 PM
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I think that is the perfect way around this situation. Just let her know that you heard that she was a bit perturbed about the situation and that you thought you were doing her a favor by taking them off her plate. She is, afterall, very busy with clients. Maybe even play it up about how you think Sterling(love the name BTW) is a great 'up and coming' rider and that you feel she would really benefit from riding your boys.
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post #5 of 31 Old 08-13-2010, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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So she sent me an email about our lesson schedule next week, (wants to swap horses for one of em) so I kind of used that as an oppourtunity to explain myself. Direct quote:

"Yeah that's fine, I don't really need Daisy for that kid, she'll do fine with George. What do you usually bit him with? Also, I apologize if you felt at all upset or offended by my descision to have Sterling watch the horses next month. I know that you'll be incredibly busy (especially with that couple that ride with you getting that four year old) and didn't think it would be fair to throw another three horses onto your plate. Sterling is a great up and coming rider and I think the experience would be a good one for her. Of course I've told her if she has any issues she can consult you.
Again my apologies,

Sheeeee did not take it well. Its a long response, but it mostly entails how I'm 'bull ****ing' and that she knows what I think of her riding and this has nothing to do with her work load and that if I want my horses spoiled by some 'young brat' thats my descision.

I honestly don't know what to do :(
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post #6 of 31 Old 08-13-2010, 04:30 AM
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err i feel for you i really do i guess you shouldn't take my advice for i have a short temper and i can go exploding all over the place (ask my brother i almost drop kicked him today) but somtimes my bff wil get anoyed of me saying ooo i suck at this blah blah blah and she will go like FINE YOU DO and then i'm all like snif snif cry cry ... wait a second LOL idk if thats right for this situation though o-o

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post #7 of 31 Old 08-13-2010, 04:53 AM
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It seems to be where there's horses and girls there's bound to be drama! Trust me I've experienced it first hand a few times! I liked the advice Poco gave you but If the older girl is upset about it and wants to act like a "young brat" then let her. It seems like no matter what you say she is set in her ways. I suggest just letting the young girl ride them and gain the experience (which she'll enjoy, unlike the other girl). The other girl will get over it... just give it time! Good Luck!
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post #8 of 31 Old 08-13-2010, 10:13 AM
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You could also put on another spin on it (on top of the "Well, I know you are very busy with everyone else's horses... and plus, I thought it would be a nice opportunity for this young lady to experience what it feels like to "own a horse" for a few days - who knows, maybe it'll inspire her (and her parents, who will see how well she handles it) to buy her a horse!" That way you address everything, including the boss who favors the better salesperson hehe
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post #9 of 31 Old 08-13-2010, 10:18 AM
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WOow - just read the entire thread - I'm sorry, you shouldn't have to deal with people like that. She must have very low self-esteem and uses her horsey stuff to bolster herself: there was a young lady at our barn like that. I eventually started just smiling and nodding anytime she'd talk and daydream while I was at it. Eventually she became "assistant trainer" at a training barn, although the job didn't last her more than a month.

You could always reinforce the fact that she hasn't ridden Cash yet, and your student has ridden him under your instruction, and is familiar with the work you've been doing with him, if she were to get in your face. OMG.
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post #10 of 31 Old 08-13-2010, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JumperStride View Post
Sheeeee did not take it well. Its a long response, but it mostly entails how I'm 'bull ****ing' and that she knows what I think of her riding and this has nothing to do with her work load and that if I want my horses spoiled by some 'young brat' thats my descision.

I honestly don't know what to do :(

This isn't your problem, it's hers.

If she's going to be a whingeing crybaby about who you decide should look after your horses, then so be it.

I wouldn't even respond to her again. Let it go, and anytime you see her after this, remain as cordial as possible but do not engage her in conversation.

If she tries to start up an argument tell her, "I'm not going to talk about this with you.", and walk away. Do not engage, do not feed into her drama, do not give her the satisfaction of losing your own temper.

Gah, I'm sooo glad I have my horses at home! Boarding with a bunch of tweens/teens/twentysomething females was tiring. I didn't let anyone suck me into their little dramas, but it got annoying.
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