I have a kind of delicate issue going on at my barn currently. It's been going on ever since some friends of ours moved their step daughter's mare to our barn - about a year.
First off, they bought this mare without ever seeing her, never did a test ride, and didn't set up a trial period - which most of us know, is not the way to buy a horse. They bought her because "she was a good deal" and "all horses are the same."
This horse is a lot of horse. She needs an experienced rider. Intermediate or beginner won't do. And the rider is not experienced. I've been riding my entire life and I can tell just from watching the mare, that she'd give me a run for my money. And I've ridden everything from dead broke bomb proof horses to green, unbroken ones.
The girl who rides her is not experienced at all (she rides once a week in the summer, doesn't touch the horse in the winter). She's afraid of the horse. The mare is big, powerful, and extremely cocky and flighty. She's afraid of the normal stuff, and trailers, lead ropes, and halters. She's head shy and aggressive.
It's just a very bad match. Because the girl is afraid of her horse, she lets her get away with just about anything. However, despite being afraid of her mount, she refuses to send the horse off to be trained. What's also odd is that this girl is so possessive of her horse. So much so that she wont let anyone touch it. Neither my mother nor I (both who have been riding for 20 years) have been asked not to mess with her. However, given a little effort, either one of us could turn that horse into a perfect animal.
In addition to the problem horse, the rider is careless. She's young (13) so I'll give her that. But in the time her horse has been at our barn, she's let the entire herd out three times. The way we have it set up with them is that we feed in the morning, and turn the horses out and then they feed and turn them in at night.
On three occasions, we've received a call from them telling us that our horses were out. I tell you what, running around at 12 AM searching for horses all over fields and roads is NOT fun. Where we are, there are barbed wire fences in the farmers' fields, and coyotes.
It almost happened last night as well. I checked the barn when I came home from work at 2 AM and found both the gate leading into the barn and the gate leading from the barn to the pasture open. I searched our pasture, found, and stabled all the horses. In the dark. At 2 AM.
So she's careless and is riding too much horse. And it frustrates me beyond belief. She also doesn't listen to any instruction anyone gives her. She's going to end up hurting herself, her horse, or any of the others.
So how would you handle it? I'm sure you can understand the severity of the situation. She's endangering the animals, herself, and is just careless. My mom says we can't make her leave because she's our friend's kid and we're being nice.