So...It's My Fault?
Im in a really tough place right now, and I just need to vent, as I have no one else who really cares or understands. Its not in my nature to spill all my feelings to a bunch of complete strangers and I really do try to keep as much to myself as I can..i just have no clue what to think or do.
So my dad fancies himself a horseman. I don't want to seem like a little b****y teenager, but I hate to say he's not. He's got anger issues-severely. He gets worked up over the tiniest thing, and to this day I am amazed how I actually turned out a half competent horseperson from watching him (i eventually learned from trainers, and an instructor, and kind of self-taught stuff..). I feel terrible just writing that, but I need you to understand how bad the situation is.
So now I guess I have to relive some of the worst experiences I've ever had so you can really get the picture... When I was about 11-12 maybe, we got a team of heavy horses. I was a typical young girl who was in love with horses and who thought that if you were nice to them and loved them then you would have a special bond and all that baloney. My dad wanted horses because he had a bunch of horse friends with heavy teams and wanted to plow and drive with them and all that. Well, I was 11 and had never had horses before-how was I supposed to know anything about them? My daddy was so knowledgable and smart with everything else that I fully believed we would have so much fun and be happy and safe and everything would be perfect in lalaland. Well it wasnt a few months before the dream turned into a nightmare. I really don't want to explain everything that happened, but just to give you a brief picture: one of the very worst days I've ever had was when my dad was having a "plowing match" here, and he had the horses on this little cart that he'd built. I guess he took them down the road or something, and it was just luck that I happened to look out the house window to see a huge cloud of dust and a cart go flying down the road-if you can call that luck. I watched as the cart went in the far ditch, and by that point I was used to wagons going in the ditch so I waited to see dad lead the team back up onto the road. But he didnt. For the longest time. I wanted badly to go down there, but mom went down instead and came back angry and shaking, and when mom gets like that it means she's scared. Trucks and cars had stopped at the corner down near the crash site, and I was in more of a frenzy than ever because no one would tell me anything...it actually ended up with no one hurt, but it turns out a rope snapped on the harness and scared the horses, they took off, dad bailed, and when he went to pull them out one jumped on him, plowing him into the ground just as mom drove up-well, that incident screwed dads back up and he had to get surgery...
So long story short: our first year with horses was not fun, and as stupid as it sounds and as wimpy as I feel saying it, it was traumatizing. Before then I would have sat on anyones horse or rode them around or helped someone harness, and to this day I still feel a little nervous riding and especially being around teams...luckily im getting over it. Dad kept at it until I refused to help him harness anymore because I was in danger-i'd been reared on and nearly trampled countless times-and until mom told him I was not to help him anymore because-well, because it was really dangerous and terrifying. For the last year or two his horses have sat in the field, and not been hitched a single time, and I think he did-try-to get them out one day last week, which was disasterous (I was at school at the time).
Im quite happy with my horse and the level of respect she has for me and even though I still feel a little nervous riding, im never really in danger-i mean, I know you're always in danger around a horse, but never the amount of danger I've felt before. Even after dads been with me and watched me learn and be taught and garner information and pick up every little tip I could, he still just...doesnt get it. I don't know HOW he doesnt. He doesnt understand personal space, or perserverance, or respect or anything of the sort. So you can-BELIEVE-i was. SPEECHLESS. When he went out-and bought another team. There was a minute where I just couldnt move. Like: what? you ruined your first team, and havent learned any horsemanship skills at all...so you go out and buy a second one? These new horses are massive-taller than any horse we've had before, and powerful, and energetic and excitable since they're the show-bred horses, and the first day he had them home he already started to enforce bad manners. He asked them to pick up a foot and one did while the other moved away from him. And he just left it. I actually had to tell him to make sure he got the foot, or it's teaching the horse that it doesnt have to pick up its foot if it doesnt want to.
I am a natural worrier, and I stress, and when I try to talk to him about how irrational and stupid it was for him to get another team when he hasnt even sold the last one (so now we have 6 horses on less than 3 acres of pastureland) he just gets angry and says: "you just worry about your own horse." Well I do, and I stay away from the new ones, but the fact remains that he hasn't told mom, like he doesnt tell her about anything, and when she does find out it is NEVER him that she gets mad at. Its ALWAYS me. ALWAYS. And dad asked me not to tell her, so what can I do? If mom asked me not to tell dad something I wouldnt, because I always keep promises, and even if I do tell her she's still going to explode anyways.
So because of the fact I don't want mom to be angry, and I am worried that dad is going to be hurt or killed on these stupid horses, and I am only upset with the best of intentions dad still taunts me for being a worrier and a stresser. He tried to walk them today, and their ropes were all tangled up and dad was getting frustrated (he yelled at me because I didn't undo the gate the way he wanted, but w/e, at least he didnt turn that anger to the horses) and even though I didnt want or buy these dumb horses and still don't want them, it's ME that feels guilty because im not helping dad with them. A part of me says that I should be helping him and doing what I can to save him from himself, but the stronger side says that no: he bought the animals, and if he can't control them and gets angry at his own incompetence its his own **** fault. Its not my responsibilty to help him.
More than anything if you're still with me, thank you for reading. I've tried talking to my friend about this, and she just doesnt understand or really care. The fact that I am going to have to relive what feels like the worst year of my life is a big issue for me. I don't want to and I don't think you should have to be worried for your dads life every time he takes his horses out. He's been hurt so many times, whos to say the next time he wont be killed? I know i'm a coward, and a wimp, and a worrier, but I just needed to tell someone. So thank you.