They have started a saddle club in county where I live. Had maybe 5 meetings, I've been to 3 of them, (one was canceled due to weather but some showed up to ride.)
Fairgrounds in behind us, wanting to get more horse events at NW MO State Fair as the end result of this. Have said will build bleachers, concession stand, pens for cattle, roping boxes, and purchased the land to west of fairgrounds to do this on, and there is now a semi permanent arena, consisting of some fence sunk in ground, and some movable panels.
At present there is nothing there but arena, and that is not drug well at all, and 3 barrels. Nothing solid to tie off to really, and arena in middle of maybe 3 acres, rolling hills, and on south are the back yards of a lower end subdivision, whose yards border the "grounds" and are not fenced.
I've been to two meetings where horses have been, and there is one kid, whose whole concept in his 9ish year old brain is to scream YAH as loud as he can and run his horse the whole time, which has been 2 hours or more. (Kid is idiot at school and on bus too from what girl who knows him said)
His dad, does not seem to understand much about horse etiquette, or horse safety, or horses in general? He rides, and has some natural ability and dumb beginner's luck with his horse, but has no real training. He also isn't watching kid much to see what trouble he is causing.
First meeting kid was only kid there, and ran horse like I said, his method of "stopping" is to run horse at other horses, people, cars, fence, trailers. He runs out the gate when other riders were trying to enter, comes up behind horses and screams YAH and rockets past. You get the picture I'm sure. He also came up running behind me and one of my horses, while I'm on ground and just missed crashing into Bonanza by a foot or so. I told him then he was going to get hurt, and to stay away from me and my horses.
We had one rider there with only 4 rides on her horse, our horses hadn't been ridden since last summer and I could tell it made her apprehensive with her horse and how it was acting under here. Our horses were watchful, but none of them acted badly. Friend and I were talking about the kid, and how maybe a clinic???? Held by us two, stressing proper horsemanship....ring etiquette?
The next meeting was one we had called off because of weather, but this kid and his dad and another person did show up, and my friend said the kid did better so had hopes someone must have talked to dad?
This weekend??? Whole other story. 3 kids there that were boys, and 13 year old girl that rode friends horse for a while, who has only ridden sparingly, and with no formal training, although "rides" grandpa's horses, she plow reins and is scared.
3 boys ran and raced around the outside of arena over and over. I had to leave and go get gas and tack, but when came back? I just didn't even tack up, it was 2, and friend had to leave by 3, so just offloaded horses and tied to trailer. I got back just in time to see the 3 boys, outside of arena, have one horse start bucking and bolting, ending up getting an older boy off behind a long trailer with 2 horses tied to it and at neighboring yards border.
Kids have no helmets by the way, that is not the norm up here to wear helmets.
I also noticed several of the homeowners out in their yards watching us, so imagine at some point, if this continues? Complaints will be made about the kids, horses, and no helmets issue to Fairgrounds committee and Welfare too and possibly police?
Kid who was thrown, did get on another horse, but his father had no clue of how badly this all could have ended. Horse could have fallen under tied horses, or kid could have, or tangled them all up together too and killed horses and kid.
This kid did stay with dad rest of time, but the younger brother, and other boy raced and whooped the whole time still. Had to get on them during meeting, because he would not shut his mouth.
As I wrote, I did not tack up, nor ride, and was standing by another woman's car who was pulled up towards arena, and sitting in chair, her daughter was the leery 13 year old on friend's horse.
She got me a chair out of her SUV, and there we are sitting, and all of a sudden the boys come tearing around the front of her SUV headed right for me, the worst kid in lead, he didn't move horse to keep it from hitting me, the horse swerved on its own and came within 1 foot of running straight over top of me in the chair.
I got up and laid in to them, telling them that they were dangerous, and were going to get someone killed, or someone's horse hurt, or kill themselves, that if they wanted to run, they needed to stay on far side of arena and away from all of us, but they were not showing good horsemanship, nor good ring etiquette by the way they were acting. Also told them NOT to come around the other horses/riders again.
They rode off about 50 feet, and were talking about me "yelling at them" between themselves. They don't realize just how good my hearing is, they were not talking loud, but I could hear what they were saying. Just didn't feel like walking over and discussing it again with them.
The thing is, since these kids have no concept of any control, or sense? Doesn't matter how far away you park trailer, or how safe you try to be, these kids can still end up bothering your horses at trailer, as was evidenced this past Sunday. And their parents don't seem to be able to get handle on them either for various reasons.
I'm the VP of the darn thing too, but am really seriously considering just not going again, I will unlock gate this Sunday, but don't want to take my horses, or bother with staying at all. Let someone else lock it and do VP.
My friend and I talked about it again going back to barn and she said maybe do a clinic so idiot kid doesn't feel singled out, but I told her at this point I am not caring if he feels singled out or not.
We also had an older couple there that I got impression from that they didn't like way kids were doing either.
I've got too much invested in my horses and tack, not to mention me, to risk getting one of them hurt, or having to put one down due to being injured because of these ignorant kids. Just in board I've got 15,000.00 tied up over past 5 years, and that is pasture board too?
SO...tell me oh wise ones.
Am I wrong to feel like this whole thing is headed south, and someone will get hurt? Or am I "too sensitive" about safety issues? Or just being an old biddy here?
Would you bow out of this too, or stick around and try to "help", which I feel is a waste of time, as most of these if not all, have no real background in horses in terms of formal training and are what here is referred to as "I'm self taught and don't need to know anything else, as I know it all."
And to top it off? They are planning to go to trail ride sponsored by a BAR that has 50 people or more there...