Just blowing smoke (vent) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Just blowing smoke (vent)

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.
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New Mexico
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I don't blame you for being upset at all. When someone borrows a horse they need to be completely honest with what they intend on doing with that horse. The fact that she I not a good rider is a sad fact because she will get herself, her horses, and other horses around her hurt. You need to be clear with your family about how this whole occurance made you feel. Other than that just foucs on your horse. They are amazing at listing to you talk! And those eyes always make you feel better!
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: BC, Canada
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Well I am sorry this happened to you. But don't be afraid that these people will push you into putting your horse down because their daughter can't ride and fell off it. They sound very ungrateful to me!
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 07:47 PM
Green Broke
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Sadly, I think your mom should have had them sign a release of liability just to cover your family if someone gets hurt riding him. It was explained that this is a fast horse that has been trained to do this and loves to do this.

But it's all said and done. Now just take a deep breath, relax, calm down. They can not FORCE you to put the horse down. Even if they took you to court they can not force you to put a horse down because their inexperienced child insisted on riding it despite warnings and fell off of the horse. Also, this was your mom's decision and if it were me, I would just walk away and let her handle her own mess. She's a big girl and I'm sure she knows that she put herself in a pickle with friends. Sadly, the friendship may be over and there may be issues with these people from now on.

Or you could luck out and they could come to their senses.

Now take another deep breath.....
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: North Carolina
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That sucks. Take a deep breath. My horse was a barrel horse, so I know how you feel, but my boy is fast enough to WIN. Hs previous owner had 150+ ribbons and trophies. Hes a quarab, best we can tell. I can ride a barrel patern, but if I fell he gets so into that he would squish me in a heartbeat. This idiot girl has no idea how lucky she is, and your horse sounds lovely.
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"two things are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chickenoverlord View Post
but if I fell he gets so into that he would squish me in a heartbeat.
I get the impression from what my friend said that it was pure luck that he didn't touch her. I guess her body was just in a way that lined up with his strides so he just went right over her without hitting her. I was also told that he went and ran the second and third barrels before my friend caught him on his way back.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 08:11 PM
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I can definitely understand why you are upset!

I am glad to hear that you talked to your mother about Sonny. That is the start of fixing this issue and preventing it from happening again. However, I'm sure she didn't mean to make you angry. Your mother might have just assumed you wouldn't mind, especially since you've been away at college for a few months.

As for the girl, she just demonstrated some very reckless behavior and I would personally not let her anywhere near your boy. For both her, and Sonny's safety.

I'm sorry this had to happen. I hope this situation resolves without conflict.
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 08:23 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
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This pretty much underlines why I don't let others ride my horses.

Your mother should have asked, but you have left the horse in her care, so that's too bad.

My opinion - to be honest I think the blame should be on the girl's parents, possibly somewhat your mother. When lending the horse to them she should have told the parents that he was a trained barrel horse and that he can behave that way. When borrowing the horse they should have been the responsible party, for pretty much everything, ensuring the horse was fed and rested adequately, making sure their daughter was making the right decisions and being responsible for any mishaps. It's not reasonable to expect a child to be fully responsible. However, your mother should have made the boundaries clear to the parents, and ensured they were taking responsibility. If they knew about this and still let their daughter ride barrels then they are the ones at fault.
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 08:38 PM
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At least no one got hurt, horse or person. Take it as a lesson learned .
I am very picky about whom rides my horses.
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-18-2013, 09:50 PM
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Wow, that would totally piss me off! I don't know anything about barrel horses or barrel racing, heck I barely know how to keep myself from falling off on a slow lope. But what I do know is that it was just plain stupid to let a minor do something as dangerous as barrel racing on a horse she has no experience on especially without a waiver of some sort being signed by her parents. Also you state she was not hurt so I'm sorry but her parents should have absolutely no say about whether or not you put your horse down. It is simply none of their business. Her parents were idiots to allow this to happen in the first place. It was an accident, no one was hurt so everyone should just be able to move on.

I don't know why but your story totally struck a cord with me. I am sick and tired of any time something happens with an animal that people put them to sleep. Horses are dangerous. Don't want to get hurt? Don't be around them.
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