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Kicked out of the equestrian center, and consequently miserable. How do I go back?

This is a discussion on Kicked out of the equestrian center, and consequently miserable. How do I go back? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        02-06-2013, 10:39 PM
      #11
    Yearling
    I know this isnt the answer you'd hope to get, but I'd say it's time to move on. View is as a chapter in your horse story and find the next place that you enjoy spending time at.
         
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        02-06-2013, 10:57 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    It sounds a little fishy that they would kick you out over a horse nipping you.

    I've been kicked, dragged, bitten hard, trampled, fallen on, run away with, bucked off, stepped on, whiplashed, slammed, etc. I have broken bones, gotten concussions and sprained my muscles. I've never been kicked out of a facility for any of those injuries. These were horses I was permitted to ride and handle. I never go near a horse that isn't mine or one that I don't know unless its running wild for some reason and needs to be caught. Even when I'm at the barn and someone has their horse out, I'm very cautious to approach because some people just don't like their horses messed with by people they don't know.

    There are laws in America that state the participating person in equestrian activities assumes all risk of injury/death. Most facilities make you sign a waver still, even with state laws.

    Something else is going on here.

    Regardless, just move on. You don't need to beg your way back into a facility that doesn't want you there. Take it as a lesson learned and don't do whatever you did last time. Find a different place and work on building new friendships.
         
        02-06-2013, 11:55 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Thank you all

    Thank all of you for the thoughtful and patient replies I have received.

    One person in particular said I should use my entrepreneurial skills to find other barns. I think that's a real eye opener, because I have been looking for other barns, but there seems to be nothing. I guess now the only thing left to do is keep trying - and harder this time. I guess I'll let all of you know how that goes, but I'll more than likely have to find someplace outside my community. (That should not be a problem. )

    One of you asked me why I'm so fascinated with this particular place that I want(ed) to go back to. I think the only answer to that is that it just felt looser and more laid back. Everywhere else is so strict.

    Regardless, I think all of you are right. My take on it now is, even if I could go back, I probably wouldn't want to.

    I'll keep you posted!
         
        02-07-2013, 12:09 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SannyDeeSmiler    
    Thank all of you for the thoughtful and patient replies I have received.

    One person in particular said I should use my entrepreneurial skills to find other barns. I think that's a real eye opener, because I have been looking for other barns, but there seems to be nothing. I guess now the only thing left to do is keep trying - and harder this time. I guess I'll let all of you know how that goes, but I'll more than likely have to find someplace outside my community. (That should not be a problem. )

    One of you asked me why I'm so fascinated with this particular place that I want(ed) to go back to. I think the only answer to that is that it just felt looser and more laid back. Everywhere else is so strict.

    Regardless, I think all of you are right. My take on it now is, even if I could go back, I probably wouldn't want to.

    I'll keep you posted!
    Why outside your community?
         
        02-07-2013, 02:07 AM
      #15
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SannyDeeSmiler    
    ...and she flies off the handle, and smacks the horse lightly, and says "bad horse!"...
    Think about that a bit. I doubt the horse was following the conversation well enough to know that you were talking about the 2-month old bite, so what the volunteer is teaching the horse is that humans are likely to smack it for no reason at all. So why do you want to associate with these people?
         
        02-07-2013, 03:27 AM
      #16
    Foal
    I am one of those people who does not want strangers messing with my horses. My family ran a stable for over 20 years. The things people think they are entitled to do with other people's horses are amazing. Our rules were simple. If it isn't yours; don't feed it, don't ride it, don't take it and don't go in it's pen. We bought a mare that had been starved, she was very skinny and we were rehabbing her slow. A boarder came along after hours and thought they'd give that poor horse a 50lb bag of grain, I guess they assumed they knew more than us, the next morning we found her dead. This is just one example of why I would leave a barn if they were allowing someone to bond with horses that weren't theirs. Sadly we were lucky we owned that horse or we may have been liable for another person's actions. The thought of all the things that could have happened is probably why they wanted you to leave.
    My advice is buy your own horse, go to a different barn, and bond with YOUR horse. Horses are expensive but those of us that love them find a way.
         
        02-07-2013, 07:54 AM
      #17
    Yearling
    Welcome Sanny!

    I have been mulling over your issues brought up here, and I think the bottom line is this; It can be extremely hard, in some areas for whatever reason, to "break into" the horse world if you don't meet any of the following criteria:

    1) being a horse owner,

    2) have been riding with a specific trainer that is somewhat known in the community for a significant amount of time,

    3) are capable at present time of becoming a legitimate and highly valued volunteer at a horse rescue or rehab facility. Being "incapable" usually just means that currently, you are lacking knowledge about significant important aspects of horse care and training-thus--you become a sort of "hindrance" rather than a helper to the staff of trained volunteers--unless, of course, they have the time and are organized enough to train you in basic horse care and barn care tasks.

    Sometimes in the volunteer world, people are turned away due to lacking in having enough free time which you are able or willing to contribute significant amounts of to the effort the facility needs the volunteers to put in. Many rescues require their volunteers to commit at least 4-8 hours/week to working there for free.

    Sometimes, it takes you having significant donation monies to offer the rescue...In the case of a good source of funding some rescues will fall over backward trying to give you the "lovey-time" you are looking for with their equines, since what they need are two things...helping, available personnel and MONEY...if you have a lot of either to donate, most rescues and rehabs are more than happy to let you hang around all day petting and loving on the rescues (once the work is done or the check is written, of course!).

    If I were you, this is what I would do...I would continue with your riding lessons (you said you had about 2 1/2 months of such under your belt?) and see if you can volunteer some additional time on other days at the instructor's barn. I imagine you have already signed a waiver stating you will not sue if you are injured during the normal course of your lessons or sue for anything occurring in the normal time you spend at the barn before, during, and after a lesson, thus, you can safely (in their eyes) be on the property at pre-planned intervals and not be a liability.

    While there, I would be very certain about which horses you are permitted to "bond with" and which are you are not. I'd imagine the trainer's lesson horses would be potential equine bonding partners, and that would only help to further your rapport with the same horses you are riding in lessons. But, as is most always the safest approach, avoid doing anything around the barn or with the horses without getting specific permission from the owner of the horse and the barn, (if this is not the same person). As well, be sure that you request this permission before/during/or after your scheduled riding lesson time, and do not disturb your trainer during his/her work, and never during another student's lesson time, as that is inconsiderate and would likely be highly frowned upon, as you surely understand because you probably wouldn't want your time interrupted, either!

    It's not easy, especially since your goal, while quite acceptable and a very positive one causing no harm to anyone and probably brings you and the horses receiving the love many positive feelings, is honestly a somewhat unusual goal.

    This is because "most people" (for whatever that generalization is worth!) either want to ride and learn a specific discipline (as you mentioned in your initial post, "I had taken this sudden interest in horses as companions as opposed to the competitive, sporty animals we culturally see them as"); want to own or possibly lease a horse, and thus establish the sort of bond you are describing with the horse they are responsible for, (even if they never plan to ride it or do anything more than groom, care for, talk to and spend time with the horse). Some will engage in horsemanship purely as a business opportunity (sale/breeding, etc...), and others will become equine rescuers or rehabbers (or both) and use their love for horses to care for those who have had previously abusive owners or have been abandoned by their owners, or some combination of both.

    Since most people do not choose to establish bonds with random horses owned and cared for by other people, it is probably understood that what you look to do may be viewed with some suspicion. Thus, you may have been seen as doing something "unusual" in your last barn experience and they used the "nip" from the horse episode as an easy excuse to help you to move along. I am absolutely not trying to be hurtful here, I am just wanting to give you some true-life feedback about what may have occurred at the previous facility. Many people are very narrow minded, and if they cannot see themselves doing something, well, there is no way they can believe you were there simply to meet your "horse-fix". It possibly made it uncomfortable for them, having you there. As well, perhaps there was a possibility that they viewed having a young person just hanging around, talking to the horses and the people on occasion riding and what not as "odd" and maybe a "distraction"? These are just some ideas...did you try to ask a lot of questions of the boarders at the stable? Did you tend to hang around just watching while others worked with their horses/tacked them up/groomed them, etc...?

    I have been at barns where there have been retired folks who have come out simply to feed and love on the horses, and have (totally inadvertently, and without even realizing what they were doing) become something of a nuisance; constantly talking to trainers trying to prep for upcoming lessons/grooms trying to get horses blanketed quickly and who did not have time to chat, as this was their job, and they had only so much time to spend.

    I did not expect to write a novel and apologize for the length of the post, but as you are moving forward with your quest, I wanted to not only give you some ideas about the ways to break into the horse-world that are a bit more "socially acceptable", but also try and give you some ideas about possible reasons for the (obviously) lingering questions you have about why you were asked to leave that barn over seemingly "nothing", and then not permitted to return.

    I truly wish you the best with your future acquisition of a good barn with warm and accepting people around that will see having someone near to love on their horses as an asset and not a liability! Please let us know how it goes for you. If I can think of any ideas to get you into the "arena" (pardon the pun!) any faster, I will return with them...

    Best to you! B2H
    thesilverspear and GotaDunQH like this.
         
        02-07-2013, 08:41 AM
      #18
    Started
    Its probably for the better you are no longer going to that barn. I agree that something must be going on that you don't know about for getting kicked out for being nipped. But let's take it for face value. What would happen when you fell off? You may think you were happy there, but IF you were to go back you would feel like you would be walking on eggshells all the time. Riding and being around horses should be fun. Move on.
    Back2Horseback likes this.
         
        02-07-2013, 08:56 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    I'm slightly confused. Were you helping at the barn? Taking lessons? Or just hanging around, interacting with the horses?

    If the third, I think Back2horseback's post about "socially acceptable ways to break into the horse world" is spot on. If you were hanging around, "bonding" with the horses, I can empathize with the barn. If there were someone just hanging out at my stable talking with the horses, but not a boarder, instructor, client, barn worker, whatever, I would -- to be perfectly honest -- find that a bit strange and I would not be comfortable if they were trying to bond with my horse. All the more so if they were a novice and didn't know what they were doing and could inadvertently cause a problem or get themselves injured. I don't know the situation at your barn, but a lot of people who board horses would not be impressed if they knew that someone who didn't work or volunteer at the stable was messing with their animal, however good that person's intentions might be. Perhaps owners were complaining to the barn owner and the horse nipping you was a pretense, more than anything?

    I also would avoid any place where a volunteer would smack a horse on the nose for a two month old transgression.

    Perhaps the best thing to do is follow Back2horseback's advice and return to lessons and see if your instructor will let you help out with barn chores.
         
        02-07-2013, 10:10 AM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thesilverspear    
    I'm slightly confused. Were you helping at the barn? Taking lessons? Or just hanging around, interacting with the horses?

    If the third, I think Back2horseback's post about "socially acceptable ways to break into the horse world" is spot on. If you were hanging around, "bonding" with the horses, I can empathize with the barn. If there were someone just hanging out at my stable talking with the horses, but not a boarder, instructor, client, barn worker, whatever, I would -- to be perfectly honest -- find that a bit strange and I would not be comfortable if they were trying to bond with my horse. All the more so if they were a novice and didn't know what they were doing and could inadvertently cause a problem or get themselves injured. I don't know the situation at your barn, but a lot of people who board horses would not be impressed if they knew that someone who didn't work or volunteer at the stable was messing with their animal, however good that person's intentions might be. Perhaps owners were complaining to the barn owner and the horse nipping you was a pretense, more than anything?

    I also would avoid any place where a volunteer would smack a horse on the nose for a two month old transgression.

    Perhaps the best thing to do is follow Back2horseback's advice and return to lessons and see if your instructor will let you help out with barn chores.
    My sentiments are expressed in this post and Back2's post. I too am a little confused. OP, were you taking lessons at this barn? You were an approved volunteer for the facility? Those things make a big difference. If I was the owner of a barn with boarders, I would not want someone coming to just hang out regularly...someone with no ties to the barn. I've found in all of the places I've boarded at...that this same sentiment is shared.

    Anyway, like someone else said....get back into regular lessons so you can get the "hands on" relationship with a horse, which is what you clearly desire.
         

    Tags
    expulsion, liability, wrongful accusation

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