I have two problems at the barn right now... and I just sort of need to vent about them. I know I rant a lot, but, seriously, I'm getting fed up. There is no other barn around here that I like, I really do love my barn, and drama there is pretty rare, but this week has just been too much. I seriously considered quitting more than once over the week just to get away from my barn.
So, problem number one. We have another barn in Virginia, with one of the best instructors I know teaching there, so I decided it might be fun to get away for the weekend & have some fun down there. I was under the impression no one would ride my pony while I was away, because I usually only ride him on the weekends & allow my BO to use him in strictly beginner lessons where he won't be pushed to canter or jump (he is green to both) during the week. My BO went with me to Virginia, and the only person teaching this weekend was Doreen, my trainer. Now, I totally trust Doreen. I love her and she is an amazing person and instructor. So you can see why I did not expect this at all.
I got back from VA on Sunday, to come home and find out that my pony had been ridden in an advanced lesson while I was away. Now, that did annoy me, but not too much, because I do sometimes let other people canter him, and I figured they would be smart enough not to jump. Just to check, I called up Marissa (barn friend). She then told me that a friend of mine had ridden him because I was away (even though I left no orders for him to be exercised while I wasn't there and I honestly don't mind letting him have a few days off..) and she had not only cantered him but jumped him too. The cantering thing would normally be okay with me. He has gotten very good with cantering lately and if you stay out of his way and let him figure it out for himself he is nearly perfect. Marissa told me she'd taken some pictures and videos of this girl cantering & she sent them to me via facebook... I was appalled. This girl was totally begging for diaster. On my green pony, she was sitting there, leaning forward with her reins incredibly short, leaning on his mouth, as he tore off around the ring, totally out of control. I am NOT okay with that. If she doesn't know how to control him, Doreen should not have let her ride him. He is a perfectly sane horse, but if you are riding his mouth too much he will get very, very nervous, and that is just what happened.
Now, even AFTER he had taken off like this, and was already so worked up and scared, she decided to jump him. I was completely shocked. My pony could hardly be considered safe to jump. It is a pretty strict rule that the only person allowed to jump him is me, and he is barely calm when I jump him. She decides not only to jump him, but to try and do bounces, which he has NO experience with what so ever. He completely took off with her, and didnt' stop for a long time, because jumping, quite frankly, terrifies him and the more jumps you add, the more scared he gets. I was just so pissed off that she would be so stupid, and now i'm afraid to try and jump him, because honestly, he's probably right back where we started, terrified of jumps and out of control. I am just so angry about this whole thing and now I might have to give him up because I told my mom I could have him trained, and I did, and I was even on the road to having him calm jumping, and now I have no idea where I am with him. I don't know what to do and I also am starting to mistrust my trainer because she let this girl do these things on him...
Problem number two. I recently started takign jumping lessons once a week on a fabulous horse named Chief. He is amazing, I have always had a thing for him, and after undergoing some training he has turned into one of the best horses I know. We do really well together, and I was planning on showing him in hunters this summer. Yesterday, we were doing a 2'6 jump, when he started refusing. It wasn't just because he felt like it or I wasn't steering- there was a little girl that we were leading over it and she kept running into Chief and I while we were approaching the jump. Getting too close really really scares pour Chief, but that's basically his only vice. Even so, when he refused, my BO was furious. She kept telling me he has never refused before, she has no idea what is going on & if I don't get him over that jump she is going to be really mad. After another refusal, we got over it perfectly. The next time, he refused again but we got over it after that too. We did some small outside line courses and he was PERFECT, and I was pretty good too. I was sure we'd ended on a good note and I really wanted to ride him again, because although we'd slipped up a couple times, it was a pretty good lesson... but on the way out of the ring, I asked my BO if I could ride him again, and she goes, "I don't think so. I'll consider it. But I don't really think so, after what happened." WHAT!? He refused a couple times so now I'm banned from him!?! Personally, I think I'm a good match for him and everyone tells me we look amazing on flat, and I've gotten some jumping compliments too. I absolutely LOVE Chief, and I was planning on taking lessons on him for a long time... I am just so discouraged and feel like I'm such a bad rider now. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure if I interpreted what she said wrong or what, but I'm pretty sure she's not going to let me on him again. I really just need some advice, because I am just so frustrated with everything that has gone on at the barn this week.... :( If you read this whole thing, thank you so much, hhaha.. it helps that someone listens.