Hello members of HF,
As fellow horse people, maybe you can understand my frustration with this situation I have found myself in.
First, some facts about the horse involved with my frustrations.
Sonny is my 17 year old, 15.3 hh barrel horse. He's the one in my picture for those of you who haven't seen me poking around this site.
I don't use him for barrels competitively but the lady who owned him before us had him from when he was 4 months old and she broke him and trained him on barrels. She competed nationally with him for a few years but he always placed 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, never 1st. He wasn't fast enough for her so she gave him to us and he's plenty fast for me
He stays at the barn at my parents' house. I'm only 20 so I live there too. He's *technically* my mom's horse because she paid for him but she bought him specifically for me and aside from her, I'm the only one who rides him for the most part.
Also, let it be known that I am at school (1.5 hours away) currently and have been since August.
In my hometown there's a fairgrounds. They held a fun show a week or so ago and it was a speed type fun show.
There is a girl who is about 15 who lives down the road. Her family and my family are really good friends. She got into horses about a year or so ago. Before that day she had never run a barrel pattern.
Her horse is not very well mannered and not a speed horse. So for the fun show she asked my mom if she could use Sonny. Sonny is a pretty level headed horse - for the most part. He gets very excited when he's around barrels though because he absolutely loves to run them.
My mother didn't ask me my opinion, and told the girl she could ride him but told her that he was very fast and she needed to be mindful of that. This girl swore up and down that she could ride him. My mother watched the girl as she walked, trotted, and loped him and all was fine. She didn't run barrels with him though because she wasn't planning to do a barrel event, just flags and polls.
Sonny goes into a whole other gear when he sees barrels though so the loping was not even close to his barrel speed.
So I hear from a friend who helped run the show a few days later that this girl and Sonny go to run the barrels and it's obvious she has no control over him at all. I also hear that they start their run and immediately the girl loses her seat when he starts to run and when they reach the first barrel she goes into it wrong and falls off in front of the barrel and Sonny, being so trained in the event, continues to round the barrel and almost tramples her.
This shows how she was laying (blue) in relation to the path he ran.
He didn't step on her, thank goodness, but she was pretty bruised and shaken from the fall.
Sonny was not hurt. My friend caught him, calmed him down, and made sure he was fine. The girl wasn't hurt either but her parents were so upset with what happened. I understand that, but they took it out on us because obviously it is *our* fault that she lost her seat.
They're saying my horse is dangerous and are wanting him to be put down.
But the girl? She thinks it was just the greatest thing ever, came home and offered to buy him from me.
So I'm upset about a few things:
1. That my mom didn't clear it with me that she could ride Sonny
2. That this girl decided to run barrels for the first time at a show for a time with zero training
3. That the parents actually thought it was my fault my horse has 15 years of training at barrels
4. That they're (I think) overreacting and wanting him put down
5. That this girl paid zero attention to the fact that she was on a horse way too powerful for her and could have died
6. That she actually wanted to buy him
I did tell my mother that she was not allowed to let just anyone ride him - especially in speed events. She has agreed to let me choose who rides him in the future.
Maybe I'm not seeing something here but I'm pretty peeved about it right now.
Anyway, thank you for listening (or reading) my vent. It feels better to get it off my chest. Feel free to tell me what (if anything) I overlooked or where it's my fault that this happened.