When I first started riding at the age of seven I began taking lessons at a little farm. I knew nothing in the beginning and was just happy to be around horses. As I grew and my knowledge of horses grew I began thinking that maybe it wasn't the best farm around, but I learned to ride there, I worshiped (stupidly) my instructor and all of my friends were there. Despite the negatives it was my home away from home.
My dad kept trying to tell me that maybe it wasnt the best place for me, that sue (the owner/instructor) maybe wasn't the best person around and maybe I wasn't learning as much as I could being there. But I wouldn't listen, It wasnt until I was 18 and left for college, taking my horses with me, that I realized how horribly wrong I had been about that farm and the people there.
A bit about this farm. The horses are kept in small dirt paddocks, 5 or 6 in space meant for 2 or 3. They are all given the same cheap grain, despite age, exercise levels and such. They are all fed about 4 flakes of hay a day (2 in the am and 2 in the pm) regardless of temp. And they are all kept outside 24/7. They didnt even have runin sheds until about 2 years ago. And she'll use her horses in lessons all day, hard lessons, in the dead of summer, lesson after lesson.
Everyone outside of the farm agrees that the horses aren't well taken care of and that sue is a complete wacko. I feel so stupid for not realizing it until I left. Maybe I didnt want to see it, but now I feel so bad for ever keeping a horse there. My horse Liberty was almost sent to Slaughter by Sue, because he was "useless" I took him in and turned him into a wonderful hunter.
The other thing, Sue never taught us anything, and most of what she did teach us was wrong. I never knew how to wrap legs, braid, wraps tails, give dewormer, etc. until I left and went to a new farm. I feel so stupid not knowing much about conformation, or how to tell if hay is moldly. I have been riding for 16 years and I know less then people who have been riding far less then I have. And its all sues fault, she never taught but I worshipped her and trusted her to teach me right.
Apparently the rescue I volunteer at had to go take a horse out of that property about 2 months ago. And sue did everything in her power to keep him from getting on the trailer, including spooking him.
I'm not sure what the point of this rant was, lol but I needed to get it off my chest.