Am I in the wrong here? -honest opinions please- - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Am I in the wrong here? -honest opinions please-

Okay, so I'm having a major problem with my barn owner. I really need to know if I'm the one in the wrong here, because I've cried way too much over this particular sittuation, and am seriously thinking about moving because of it.

First off, let me put it out there that I am a minor. I'm seventeen, however I am mature for my age, and I drive my own self to the barn. I also work my butt off for my horse, working for my dad (I earn the money, and he pays the expenses. Board/vet/farrier, but it's not free on my part) and everything I own (including the HORSE) I have either paid for on my own, or worked my ass off in order to obtain. I seriously mean everything. I'm a hard worker and I don't get any slack cut. That's the deal. (I am a daddy's girl, but I don't get anything handed to me, if that makes sense).

So everything is in MY name, because Cricket is MY horse and I have to deal with everything. I book appointments, I train her, I do everything. She's my horse. I'm not an idiot, and although I'm young, I make decisions for her and myself just fine. I have a trainer, and I trust my vet. I'm not some young, disrespectful yahoo who doesn't know a lick about what they do. I'm just trying to make this CRYSTAL clear before I get started. You'll understand why in a minute.

Okay, so it all started when I first moved to the barn. Our barn is fairly large (Forty horses or so, maybe a bit more...) and this was my first experience in a large boarding facility. I am a naturally nice person, and I don't really know how to put my foot down. I think this is where I made my first mistake. My second mistake is probably that I want everyone to like me, so I will go out of my way for you because I don't want you to think I'm being a bitch. It's a bad habit, I know, and I can't help it. So day one, my barn owner attacked my trainer verbally. The first thing she said to us was "So, are you an ACTUAL trainer, or just one of those idiots who THINKS your a trainer?". I was offended, but I blew it off because I don't like to judge on first impressions, and I really liked the facility. Aside from that she seemed super nice and I've helped her countless times cleaning corrals, feeding, and filling water buckets. All without pay, or decrease in board payments.

Sometimes, I NEED my trainer. I need her. It's that simple. I'm young, and I don't know everything. I have no problem admitting that. I REALLY needed my trainer in the beginning of my ownership of Cricket because she was a young, abused, emaciated horse who had hardly any training. My barn owner was ANGRY that my trainer would be out in the barn helping me. We were always nice. We never break any rules, and there is NOTHING in the contract that says I can't have my trainer with me. My BO even states several times that she (the bo herself) is NOT a trainer, and there is no set barn trainer on the property that we have to use, and that we can use our own as long as they fill out the proper paper work. My trainer filled all paper work to be here. Yet BO always makes rude comments about her to me, about her training, and is constantly trying to step in to show me how to work MY horse. She does this all the time. and even takes my horse away from me to show me the "proper" way to do things. I don't agree with her training methods, but for fear of being rude or disrespectful, I let her do what she wants and finish with my own methods. She's told me more than once that she thinks Cricket is too much horse for me, and I should get something older and more mature. She's informed me countless times I'm just a seventeen year old, and I basically have no buisness owning an under trained six year old, especially one with wild thoroughbred blood in her. Because we all know how TERRIBLE thoroughbreds are. -eye roll- Let me say now that Cricket and I have a wonderful relationship. We have our days, but she listens to me, and I have put miles on her, and training that no one else gave her. She respects me, and I can do just about anything with her. So to tell me that she's too much horse for me, or that she's too young for me, is ridiculous. I'm a good rider. I handle her just fine. She's nothing I wanted and everything I NEEDED.

So I've been having a problem with keeping weight on Cricket. (Before we get started on this subject, she is wormed, her teeth are done. She's fine.) She's at a healthy weight, but I've noticed that she's getting a little ribby. So my BO's idea of getting her fat is to up the crap out of her hay. She doesn't gain any weight from this, she just grows a massive hay gut. Well, after talking to my vet, we decided to put her on 7 grass hay, and 3 alfalfa, and suppliment her. I talked to my BO about it, and she changed her food. So this is going just fine for a while. Maybe a month or so... When my BO tells me that Cricket is still looking a little ribby and we need to do something about her food again. I told her that I'll talk to my vet and get back to her. That was the last time I talked to her before what happened. I went out to the barn the other day and noticed that my horses food had been changed. She's now on 5 grass, 5 alfalfa. I never talked to her about changing her food, so she made the decision on her own, without asking my permission. This is what happened when I talked to her about it.

I talked to my vet about dropping her hay to 3 grass and 2 alfalfa, and to fill in the rest of the weight in hay replacer, grain, suppliment, whatever he reccomended. He said that would work fine (considering this is the diet she was on AND PUTTING ON WEIGHT WITH before I moved her to big ol' fancy 40 horse barn...) I texted my BO and asked her if there was any way she would feed this schedule. She told me yes, as long as I wanted to pay 45 dollars cash along with the 225 I pay her for board, and supplied my own hay replacer, grain (I already knew I would have to supply my own suppliment). So, I texted her back to scratch that idea, and asked her if instead, we could drop her hay back to 7, 3 and I'll suppliment my own grain untill I can figure something out. She said she wanted to talk to me about my idea in feeding because she didn't agree with it, and since she's been in horses longer than I have, I should run by what I decide to feed my horse with her before I feed it and she'd tell me yes or no. I told her that if she wanted to talk about food, to let me know and I'll get my vet to call her since he'd probably be able to explain it way better than I could and if she wanted we could all sit down and talk about it, since she dissagreed so strongly. In comment to this, she responded that she thought it was funny that a teenager wont listen to what's right untill the vet has to get involved, and she thought my ignorance was comical. (she never told me to supliment my horse. She told me to up her hay)

I told her that I wasn't trying to make her angry with me, and that I didn't appreciate that comment, that from where I was standing it sounded rather rude, and that I just wanted to keep her informed with what I was trying to do with Cricket, not start a conflict, and if she wanted to talked further about the matter, to please call me so we can get everything sorted out.

Instead of calling me, she flamed me over text message. She informed me that what she decides to feed "her" horses (referring to the ones boarded at her barn) is her buisness, and not my concern. And that while I was "at it" I need to watch my mouth and the way I talk to adults. That I am a rude teenager who doesn't know what I'm talking about, and to never talk to her again. That she doesn't want to "deal" with me, or my horse, and that if I need to get a hold of her to have an adult who knows how to converce properly to call her. She also, basically, told me that these are matters that I shouldn't involve myself in, because I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as she is in the matter, and since I'm a teenager I'm not at the proper level to discuss these things with her.

My dad tried to call her twice. She didn't answer her phone. My mom tried to call her, she didn't asnwer. However, when my mother texted her that she was sitting with me the entire time, and that she read my every text message before I sent it and she found nothing wrong with my conversation abilties, or respect, BO texted back within two minutes, in all caps, telling my mother that feeding is HER buisness. And that she won't stand having a teenager talk to her the way I did, and that if I do not appologize, I will have a two weeks notice. I was shaking about that time, and sobbing, because I honestly don't get what I did wrong. This is not the first time she has disrespected my wishes regarding my horse, saying that since I'm not an adult I don't get to make the decision, and to be quite frank I'm really sick of it. I'm tired of tip toeing around her, and kissing her ass because I don't want to start a conflict. And I'm sick of her sticking her nose in my buisness, taking MY horse away from me, and sitting to watch ME ride while commenting on all my mistakes. I'm tired of it. It's making the barn not an enjoyable place, and every time I go out to the barn I look to see if her truck is in the drive. I already struggle with depression, and severe anxiety, and she causes me to nearly have a panick attack when I go to the barn because I don't know if she'll be there or not, if she'll try to watch me ride and pick out all my faults, or if she'll be in her house and leave me alone. I love my barn. I just wish it was owned by someone else.

If you feel I am in the wrong here, please let me know. And explain why. Honest opinions please. I won't be mad. And if you read all that, I love you.

"I was eight years old, and I've never forgotten her face when she told me about watching you ride. She told me she saw you, and your horse was dancing in the moonlight."
-- A.C. Crispin's "Sylvester"

Last edited by Thatgirlsacowboy; 08-31-2010 at 01:35 AM.
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post #2 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 01:34 AM
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First of all, your horse is under the care of a veterinarian, a degree which the BO does not have..... any changes in diet should and will be made by your vet, even if you have to have them write a diet order....

her flaming you on texting is inappropriate.... sounds like this will be a lesson in life for you on setting boudaries... next time she tries to show you something with your horse, tell her no thank you and if I need your help, I will ask.... also, all feeding changes go through me and my vet... I recognize your knowledge on this but my horse is well cared for and if I need your advice, I will let you know...

Keep in mind, this person works for you. You pay her to take care of your horse.
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post #3 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 01:36 AM
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You are not in the wrong.... your barn owner is just over stepping boundaries that you are not comfortable with. I think your choice is to tell her and in doing so take your power back, or move. We all need practice is telling people we don't want/need their unsolicited help. Good luck and know that all feelings are okay- they just give us information on what is going on with us and what needs to change.

"Equine-facilitated therapy employs a form of biofeedback for practicing self-awareness, emotional management, and relationship skills that human role-playing exercises and discussion groups cannot begin to access." Linda Kohanov (The Tao of Equus)
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post #4 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 01:38 AM
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I had a barn owner take my horse from me when I was a teenager.... it was scary and intimidating and that is not cool from someone who is supposed to be professional....... However, you are most likely the person on your horses papers and if you are on the board contract, you are the one she has to deal with.... ask any lawyer.

"Equine-facilitated therapy employs a form of biofeedback for practicing self-awareness, emotional management, and relationship skills that human role-playing exercises and discussion groups cannot begin to access." Linda Kohanov (The Tao of Equus)
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post #5 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 01:43 AM
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It sounds to me like the BO has a very serious issue with minding everybody's business but her own. The way I understand it, you were nowhere near in the wrong and could have actually been quite a bit meaner and still stayed on the side of right. Cricket is your horse and therefore you have say in what she gets fed, when she gets fed, and what training she gets. Even if you are a minor, the BO has no authority over how you care for your horse so long as she is being cared for. Being the person that I am now, I would have likely lost my cool and told her off. However, I was very similar to how you are when I was 17, avoided confrontation and just wanted to be friends with everyone. It was hard as hell for me to learn to stand up, look someone in the eye, and tell them NO. The way I see it, you have 3 options. You can either a) tell her off and see what happens, b) just keep on going the way things have been going, or c) start looking for another barn. I can understand that you like the barn itself and don't want to leave but if a crappy BO is making life there miserable, you and Cricket would be better off elsewhere.
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post #6 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Also, after the problem we had with the fire so close to our barn, she called my mother and told her that she was ANGRY that I showed up at the barn to take care of my mare during the fire. She told my mother that she didn't appreciate me showing up with my brother, and that she didn't mean for me to be involved in the buisness of evacuating, and that it was ridiculous that I showed up and that she should have kept me home. Wow. Okay, when my best friend calls me, panicking because theres a fire right behind our barn and peope are evacuating, I'll just stay at home and have a panick attack while my horse burns to death. Because, you know, getting my horse and my belongings out of the fire ISN'T my buisness. How dare I even think it was.

I didn't realize everyone posted so fast. Thanks guys for the comments! I appreciate your opinions.

After she texted that to my mom, I just didn't text her back. I'm not quite sure if I should just let it go and ignore the entire sittuation, or to pursue it further and to see what happens. The whole thing just sort of makes me sick, and my trainer is pretty pissed too.

"I was eight years old, and I've never forgotten her face when she told me about watching you ride. She told me she saw you, and your horse was dancing in the moonlight."
-- A.C. Crispin's "Sylvester"

Last edited by Thatgirlsacowboy; 08-31-2010 at 01:50 AM.
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post #7 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 02:33 AM
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If I were you, I'd start looking for another barn. The woman has been disrespectful to you, your trainer and even your vet! You have even gotten to the point that you dread going to the barn. The barn isn't a place you should be dreading...just the opposite. That should be a time for releasing stress and anxiety. Also, to me, a person boarding their horse at a barn should be treated with respect (even those under age). If she has a problem with that, then she shouldn't be letting teens board at her barn. My 13 yr old daughter boards her horse. She pays her board and so, should have every right that every other boarder at the barn has. She is a kid, but as long as she isn't breaking any of the barn rules, can do whatever she wants there....without fear of intimidation or ridicule. And guess what...that's not something special....that's the way it SHOULD be. Sorry for the long winded speech, but find your horse a barn where you can both be happy.

BTW, if I found out a fire was getting close to my barn, I'd rush at break-neck speeds to get there, too. I bet a lot of the other boarders at your barn did the same thing. Your parents need to go in person and have a talk with that witch.
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post #8 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 02:47 AM
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Agreed, I'd get out if you can. You're definitely the furthest thing from being in the wrong in this case! Bringing the vet into this situation is a great call, too.
I'm very sorry that you've had to go through this and really hope that you can get Cricket into a better feeding regimen soon.
Best of luck!
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post #9 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 02:55 AM
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I would give her how ever much notice is required and find a new barn.
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post #10 of 51 Old 08-31-2010, 03:51 AM
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Gosh I hate people sometimes. I sympathize wth you here. I am a 16 year old living on my own. Thankfully I rent a suite on a farm (where I boarded my horse before moving in) so none of that drama.
Give your notice, then get out. See what child rights are in your area, then throw the book at her. YOU own YOUR horse, and your barn owner works for YOU. You pay her to do so.
PM me if you need to vent. will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
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