It's a super long story, but I really need some advice on how to handle it.
I have 11 acres and two horses. Neither one of them is particularly beginner friendly: my mare is just a pasture ornament and can't be ridden, and my gelding is very stubborn and knows when a beginner is on his back. I have a friend with a daughter that has taken a few riding lessons (so she thinks she's an expert) and she's constantly asking if she can come ride my horses. For a long time I had to tell her no just because their feet were in such bad shape from the rain, but I always felt bad because I hate being the horse owner who doesn't have horses that can be ridden. I want to be able to share my blessing of horses with those who can't afford to have their own.
So a few months back, I posted on Facebook that I was in need of a beginner friendly horse that someone might be willing to give away or at least take payments on (I wasn't about to ask my husband, who is a lawyer, to buy me a horse... horses are my thing, and I like to keep him out of it if I can). A Facebook friend (who I only know because I bought a saddle from her) said that she had a 5 year old Quarab gelding that her ten year old brother could ride bareback around the farm, and that we could work out a lease/ board agreement; I keep him here for free, and get to use him all I want for whatever I want. She was running out of room at her place and needed to thin down anyway.
So she brought him over and we rode him around, and the friend's daughter came over and rode, and he was an angel. He did everything she asked him to without balking or hesitating. However, things went down hill fast. The next time I rode him he balked and tossed his head and tail and acted like he was going to crow hop. Then the friend's daughter came over and the same thing happened (he actually ran chest first into the fence trying to get back with his pasture mates). I tried separating him, but he threatened to break through my barbed wire fence.
I called the girl and explained and she said she'd come by and ride him to see what his problem was. A couple weeks later she finally gets around to coming over, hops on him bareback, and no problem. Rode like a dream. I got on him the next day with the saddle, and he acted like a dang fool again. Obviously, this horse was not going to work out with me. I'm not a trainer, and I don't have the time or energy to ride every day. I have a one year old son to take care of, and he takes priority.
Another week or so goes by, and she calls me asking if she can keep another horse at my house, just "temporarily" while she took care of some rescues she had taken in. She assured me he had been a lesson horse and was dead broke, and that the same "use whenever you want" rules applied. The friend's daughter came back out, rode both horses, and everything went fine. I was starting to feel relieved.
Then, about two weeks ago, I decided to take the lesson horse out on a ride with my son. After breaking my lead rope that he was tied up with, he tossed his head when I got on, and acted like he was going to have a hissy fit if I so much as tried to make him move. And this was the "lesson" horse. So, crying, I gave up.
On top of that, the 5 year old Quarab has broken through my electric poly tape fence more than once, and I've had to shell out money to put up actual fence just to keep him in.
I have been trying and trying to get this girl to pick up her horses, but she is unreliable at best. She'll say "Oh, I'm coming out on Wednesday", then Wednesday she'll text and say "Can't make it today, coming on Friday." But when Friday rolls around, I don't hear a word from her. I've tried getting ahold of her, but it's not in my nature to be a mean person.
I'm at my wits end. I can't even catch the Quarab anymore-- he won't let me come within five paces of him and kicks if I corner him-- and I'm scared to ride the "lesson" horse because of passed experiences. She hasn't been out to see them or ride them, and hasn't (obviously) come to get them, even though I've asked her to take them.
What can I do? What should I say? I don't want to be a b*tch, but I'm so sick of being taken advantage of!!