I'd try and catch her in the act. Biggest fan or not, without permission, she shouldn't even been joking about riding him.
I do try! I try all the time, and I can never catch her. The closest I have gotten was when the farrier arrived before I got there, and she took it upon herself to catch him for me. Not sure, if she rode him? I don't know. It's frustrating. The farrier knows where he is, and doesn't need her help.
I would present her with the evidence and ask her if she was riding him.
Excellent idea, I should do that next time I see her. She's just the type of person who would throw a huge hissy fit about it, and run immediately to mommy and daddy.
Time for hidden horsey camera
Ah! How great, I wonder if my BO would be opposed to me hanging one in his stall.
If only I had a way to see who was interacting with him while he's in pasture
I remember reading somewhere (maybe here) that someone was suspicious of the same thing. It was recommended that the owner put koolaid powder (purple/grape) on the horse's back. When the suspect rode the horse, the pad had big purple stains on it from the koolaid mixing with the sweat. The culprit was caught red-handed (or purple - handed, lol).
That is perfect! I may actually try that! I just don't want my pad ending up stained, because she has borrowed it without permission in the past.
Would you do anything if you did get proof it was her?
I would definitely confront her parents with any evidence I had, and the BO. And possibly warn other boarders? I don't know about that one. Wouldn't want to cause any drama.
Next time you see her at the barn tell her you found out someone has been riding your horse but you can't figure out who. Just kind of go on a rant to her about it (without tipping that you think it's her). Hopefully finding out you know and seeing how upset you are will get her to knock it off. Also, you can use this to tell her you are worried about them taking your stuff and you want to start locking it up so she needs to find a new place for her things.
That's a great idea, I'll totally do that next time I see her. And it's a perfect way to get her out of my box without having to actually kick her out.
I'd also try to come out at unexpected times when the daughter is at home to see. For example, if you generally ride in the mornings and she rides in the afternoon when she gets home from school, randomly show up then. It'll discourage her from riding when she's sure you won't come out if nothing else.
Good idea, I should do that. I talked to my mom as well, I asked her that every time she takes my little sister out after school to take my horse out and just brush on him, or at least check on him etc. Cause I'm pretty sure that's when she's riding.
And, start looking for a new barn.
and that's the hard part, I know I may have to do that soon. I've just been with this barn since I started taking riding lessons at age 8. It would be hard to leave, and the BO would be very hurt. But I can't risk my horse's safety
That happened to me once, with my Arabian, Djinn. I had to board him for a month while I was job hunting. He was only 3 1/2 and had only had a saddle on him a few times and then just in a round pen. Well, when I trailered him in to the boarding barn, I said something like, "If I don't land a job soon, I might have to sell him." So she took it upon herself to find him a new owner, and let this teenager "Robin" start riding him. He had only been there a week, and I was there every other day or so, when I arrived one evening, he was, like, destroyed!
I never saw anything like it. One day he was full of fire, piss and vinegar, dancing and snorting and being generally his three year old awesome Arabian self, and the next: 3 legs swollen, huge gash on his back open sore on his withers and a bloody lip! I was absolutely stunned.
Apparently the girl was lunging him in the arena prior to her second ride, and he spooked and darted out, going under a board blockade, and running off the property and down the road. When the vet, (who they did NOT call, I did!!) arrived, she said that Djinn's back was so damaged he might never be sound again, and she could not say for certain that he hadn't bowed a tendon. Of course the barn owner (a friend) apologized up down and sideways, but me and my horse were gone, gone, gone...
Oh my gosh, that's terrible. That is exactly why I want to put an end to what is going on. I'm so sorry that happened to your horse :(