Actually a human training question ... need moral support. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-27-2011, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: West Central Illinois
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Sounds like 'Mommy Dearest' just wanted someone else to blame.

It's not your fault her precious Snookums doesn't know how to properly care for her own horse, and as her parent SHE'S the one responsible for her, not you.

At 13 y/o, that kid isn't a baby anymore. If she didn't call her mother and said she did, why should you have to toddle around behind her?
I agree with Speed Racer. You did the right thing making sure the horses were taken care of (after the girl irresponsibly overworked her horse in 20 degree weather.). ANd you did make sure the kids had rides home, even though the one didn't follow through and call her mother. And I agree the mother was out of line. She is legally responsible for her child, and therefore responsible for the wellbeing of her daughters horse (though she clearly doesn't understand proper care of horses).

Next time, I would say you should get the kids cell phones and dial their parents numbers for them, since they clearly don't have the responsibility to do so. Nor to care for their horses.
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-27-2011, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Virginia
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Thanks for all the feedback. I had agreed to take A. home, so it really was on me to make sure she got there safely. The other mom was totally right to call me on that. I have now apologized to the girl on facebook (and she was very gracious in her reply) and to the mom via e-mail, and also left a voice mail message to the mom on Tuesday morning, so there's really nothing else I can do.

It is kind of a culture clash thing, because if you're non-horsey, you just don't get how out of line that all was. But I don't think I'll try to explain it. ""least said, soonest mended.""
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-27-2011, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
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I am going to go against the grain here a little bit. It's good that you put the horses welfare first and made sure that they were taken care of, and it is not your fault that the kid did not call her mom when she said she would.

But, you had agreed to take the child home, and at 13 she still is a child, and you left her alone at a barn because you had other things you needed to do. I believe that feeding your kids and their homework could have waited 30 mins, and if necessary you could have sent your kid to school with a note explaining that things came up and the homework would be handed in the next day instead.

I personally don't think it is a safe situation for the barn owner to leave kids riding horses unsupervised. And I would not be happy if someone agreed to bring home my child, and then left them alone til I got there, because they would not wait 30 mins.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-28-2011, 01:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
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Hmmm...interesting situation. I -do- feel for you. You've accepted the parts of the issue that you did wrong and that's a good thing. Makes it easier for others to accept the things they do wrong...sometimes. =-)

At our stable, kids aren't allowed to ride horses without an adult around...period. End of story. In a perfect world, a stable should be like a little community with everyone watching out for everyone else. Now...we -all- know that this isn't the case most of the time...but it's something that should be striven for. Standing rule in the stable is that no child is left at the barn by themselves...meaning that if you are the last adult around and a child is there by themselves, you need to, at the very least, take them over to the BO's house (which is 100 yards away.) That is for the child's protection as well as the BO's and the adult's. We also have a rule that as far as volunteers and employees go, no adult is ever to be alone with a child in a non-public area.

I think that you erred in not talking to the mom directly when you decided that you couldn't take the girl home...but I also think that the mom and girl need to understand WHY that situation occurred. It wasn't as if you all of a sudden decided that you couldn't take her home. Had she been responsible and ready -on time- when you arrived or soon after, it would have been a different situation. But that's not what it was and therefore, circumstances changed. Had it been me in your situation, I would have taken the girl over to the BO's house and then had the girl call the mom and said " I am so sorry Mrs.Whatever...'A' isn't ready to go and it's going to take her an hour to properly tend to her horse. I didn't anticipate that and I really need to get home. Are there any other options to get her home after she's done?" or something to that effect.

It does sound like the mom needs a crash course in being a good "horse-rider" parent. Sometimes parents get kids into activities and have NO idea what's involved. I'm not a big fan of that because I think the parents need to have a basic idea of whats going on and what their child's responsibilities are. Their children are taking care of a living, breathing animal and you can't just toss it in it's stall and go.

Probably would be a good idea for the BO to post some policies on having kids at the stable so everyone knows how to handle the situation should it arise again.

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post #15 of 15 Old 01-28-2011, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
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P.S. Sorry...I knew there was something else I wanted to say.

A few months ago, I was helping to supervise an on-ground horsemanship class. We had three girls ages 8-10 with three of the schooling horses in the cross-tie area. One of the girls was my 10 year-old daughter. I was preoccupied helping one of the girls with something on their halter. My daughter started to lead her horse out of the cross-tie area and mistakenly led the mare in front of another mare...who proceeded to lean out and bite her mare on the butt. Her mare reared up and had a fit, understandably. I acted like a mother whose child was in danger and ran forward to get the lead rope out of her hand and wrapped her up in my other arm away from the horse. Now, she -had- been wrong in leading the horse in front of the other but she was leading her safely so avoided being trampled herself. Once I got the three girls out into the arena with the trainer, I walked back to the stable past a group of adults...and this one woman said very loudly " If -I- was that girl's parents, I would sue the stable for negligence."

I decided to reply to that....cause at that point, I had been dealing with 'non-riding' parents for a while and it was sort of the last straw. I looked at her and said " I -am- her parent." She looked at me with a confused expression on her face and I repeated myself to clarify. Her next reply was 'Oh....well, you probably know stuff about horses and I really don't so it's hard for me to deal with all this stuff." We had a nice long chat about the inherent dangers of riding. I mean, it's just insane the ideas that some people get into their minds about their kids riding. Some of them delude themselves into thinking that there is no danger because their kids are taking lessons or are on schooling horses when the reality is that horses are unpredictable and a lot of training has to do with how to deal with that unpredictability. Things happen when you are riding a very large animal...=-)

Sorry for hijacking your thread for my rant. =-(
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