New to site - Kid/Horse Question
Hi, new to site. Joined to brainstorm with others that possibly have had this happen and maybe help me sort this out. I think a bit of history might be appropriate first. Thanks for anyone bearing through this.
I bought my SS a really nice well trained, well bred, papered and sweet APHA mare that had a ton of training and it showed. But very safe.
She did everything, sane, sound, safe and still had the go go he liked. Awesome horse. He was 14, lived with us, courtesy of DCFS removing him from his BM/Stepfather's home. I had issues as the SM, but won't go there, but they were revolving around helping/chores, giving, attitude, etc.
Fast forward. SS hits 16, 17, doesn't take as much interest in horse. Ok, we keep the mare, ride her once in a while, take care of her. He only helps when convenient for him or wants to ride. Like a game, pick it up, put it back down, but not involved in the daily grind of taking care of the herd.
So, at age of 21, I give horse away to super home, along with his twin sister's horse who had already moved out, which was another awesome horse but a bit on the lazy side. We took a bath but the horses went to good caring homes together and they RIDE them and love them! That was most important to us.
I cried. Best horses, not junk. Kept my horse and a foal we had raised (for the kids that never did anything with him as they promised, of course).
Now, we are in process of tuning up my mare (she's good for 95%, just a few minor issues) and starting over/retraining the foal (uh, now 9 years old, but we kept up on ground/respect manners and a few weeks every summer of riding at walk, trot). He's a good boy, just needs time.
We have a trainer coming over 1x a week to critique our work, going good with both horses (that were somewhat neglected for awhile because we had 4 to take care of, work long hours, kids weren't helping). So, we are getting back into the swing of getting back with OUR horses and having this time to spend with them, and as a couple and we are enjoying it again and re-establishing our man/wife relationship without interference and issues.
Ok, between giving his mare away and SS moving out, he asked if he could work the gelding (the foal that was now 7 years old) to get him back where he needed to be. Gelding had 2 months of breaking in at 4, but was still very green. We weren't so sure after the way he ignored HIS horse, but thought, well, ok, give him a chance under our supervision. We did, it didn't work out, he was at times a bit too aggressive, not giving the horse enough consistency or attention, but still expecting miracles and not really believing us, was a bit too impatient and the horse, again, was forgotten as soon as his friends had a weekend party!
Now there is even more to these chore issues, but I'll stick with the horse issues. So he gets mad at horse and says, it'll never work, he's buddy sour with his dam, we're like yeah, so bring her out, tie her off close by, and a little at a time, we'll take her further away, bring her back, etc. Just going to take time. Then we will separate them in pasture. Nope, he didn't want to take the long hard road, wanted to just trade him off for a well trained horse. I'm appalled. He had one that was perfect that he paid very little attention too, that's why we gave her away and took a bath$
He's still not even an advanced rider, although he has great balance, he's not advanced. He still needs to work on that! Oh hell no and we told him so, we would take care of him, and we are as I write this, and he's coming around nicely and is very calm with us.
So, last weekend we get hit up HARD. We are at SD's wedding. She had it at the farm that we gave their horses too, prettier picture than our farmette see...so another sore point, but ok, SS comes up at reception (he doesn't live with us, lives 15 miles away) and says he's going home to get the horse trailer and bringing a horse of theirs (not the ones we gave them!) home to our property to "train". I'm like WHAT? This is a green broke (worse than ours) 5 YO breeding stock paint, she's weak in the hip, weak in the chest, a strong wind would knock her over, pretty, just weak in conformation, I'd call her a grade unbroke green horse...and she BUCKS when taken away from the herd...lovely. I'm like, uh, wait a second here, DH wasn't around. I'm fuming, oh, oh, your well bred, highly trained B/W overo mare that did EVERYTHING willingly and safely wasn't worth your attention, but these people offer you a **** horse and all of a sudden you're interested again, my my my.
I said what's going on here. Well the people we gave our GOOD horses too don't want her anymore, she bucks and have said every time our son rides her she's good with him, uh huh. I'm like whoa here Sparky, slow down.
So, DH waffles, I tell him, I don't WANT that horse on my property! If they think he's soooo good with her, he can ride/train (pardon me, fool around with) on THEIR property and he can HELP them w/chores in trade.
We WILL get stuck with this green bucking horse on our property, feeding it, mucking stalls, grooming and of course working on ground handling, vet, farrier, etc. while SS comes by a few times a week to fool around with it, and it will change the dynamics of what we have going on w/training with the two we have right now. I told DH this, and I told SS, I don't want a monkey wrench thrown into our training w/our 2; also, it will change the herd dynamics, no no and no, to work the horse at their place and not accept ownership of her, just help THEM out if he wants a horse "fix" and if he gets her going, walk, trot, lope, whoa, perfect ground manners, etc., etc. maybe he could bring her her and keep her here (we are 8 miles closer). We want to see commitment first. And what the real kicker is, he really isn't in the position to own/train a horse, he's young, just starting out, has his own place AND he was offered free riding on my mare just to work her at NO expense to him, I do trust him with my mare because she's good and he treats her well and he does like riding her. But noooo, not good enough. I thought it was a win win, I work nights, DH works days, he'd have private time with his Dad.
Ok, I know this is a book, but I'm in a pickle, I want renege on my deal that if he got this horse going (at THEIR place) then we'd consider letting him board her here...now, I don't here at ALL (after having time to digest/think through). My DH will get stuck with all the work, farrier/vet visits, and it will dilute the attention we give to our two, and our relationship too, because he's gonna try and sneak over on the night we have the trainer come to critique our work, and then the attention will be diverted to HIS issues at our expense/time and our horses.
What would you do? I can renege, I have no problem telling him or DH I changed my mind and sticking with hit, my DH knows he's gonna get stuck with the work and he's having 2nd thoughts too, but it is his son, and of course SS would figure we wouldn't charge him board (just feed/vet/farrier) because we are the parents, of course.
I told my DH, this is a WANT not a need, and it's conflicting with our NEEDS right now to get our 2 back where they need to be.
Any good solutions, I just want to say, no aint happening. I did tell him, you had a horse, a good one, and he said, well I made a mistake, and I want to tell him he's about to make another one with this horse, but then you know I'm the evil SM.
i would stick with being the evil stepmother then lol that just sounds like an accident waitign to happen. if he wants the horse so much keep it at the current farm not yours. and if he knows he made a mistake why doesn't he own up to it and help you guys with your current mare..
i see spoiled/greedy/ungrateful written all over him just by your post and if i acted like that infront of my parents whether step parents or not i would have my ass handed to me.
i personally dont know the son or you guys but what you described is just irresponsibility on his part for wanting to take on a horse when he can't even handle taking advice when working with your younger horse. plus being irregular will only make the horse and his attitude with horses worse.
good luck i would talk to your hubby and make sure no horse is brought to the property..
First welcome to the forum :)
I'm a teenager still, barely 20 so this will come from a different perspective than say you.
To the point: That boy can train broncos at a boarding barn, not your land.
Honestly with the wishy washy nature of his ways, you're going to end up with a mess. You should be enjoying your horses, not spending money babysitting his.
Yes he lost interest, and he may be excited to work with this horse (perhaps to impress a girl?) but if he was frustrated about it before and didn't want to take the time to work with the buddy sour horse (which is SO easy to fix.. sheesh) then it's going to be dejavu song-on-repeat all over again.
Send him to a barn, he can pay for this horse and if it works out, great! He did it and everyone is happy as you enjoyed your horses and he got what he wanted, with a few extra dollar bills mind you..
Just no, absolutely no way JOSE do I think letting him be on your land is a good idea.
Tell him no, he can't bring horse there. Tell hubby no, his son is not bringing horse there. Ss wants a free ride, you and his dad to do all the work, pay all the expenses(cause he will never have the money for neccessities) and then get a pat on the back IF he ever does anything for the horse.
If you and Hubby are just getting things back to an enjoyable situation where both of you are enjoying the horses and being together then put a stop to this before it gets worse.
Tell your SS to get his big boy pants on and be an adult. Quit relying on daddy and step moms apron strings. If he wants to train the horse, then either keep it at the other peoples place or HE needs pay board at a nearby stable.
wow.. Here's my 2c just remember I am working off your description.. I don't have any other info/knowledge.. Hubby needs a spine implant. Son is an ADULT and should expect to be treated and act as such... I wouldn't allow the horse on the property EVEN temporarily. It however needs to come from his dad, hubby needs to let you out of eveil stepmother role and man up. his boy is a spoiled twit and needs to be straightened out, but you can't/shouldn't do it.
Like Sky, I am only 20, going on 21, myself. What your son is asking of you is ridiculous. He had a perfectly good mare and he ignored her. The fact that he expects Dad and Step Mom to care for his responsibilities points to a big issue. Not only would the animal not get the attention, but good lord your son is 21, he should know how to manage his own responsibilities.
I am married, and my husband and I would never assume either of our parents would take care of our horse. He is our responsibility. Even when I was single and kept my mare at my grandparents (I was 16), I came out and fed her, worked her, bailed her hay, trained her, bought her equipment. When I kept my horse with a friend, same deal. I did a TON of work on her farm, fixing things, bailing 20 acres of hay, working for her business for free (when I was previously paid), training her horses for free, feeding, watching her barn/house for free when she was gone. And I was **** THANKFUL for all she did for me. I know both her and my grandparents did me a favor, and I was willing to work my butt off for both of them to keep my horse.
If he doesn't work for it, he doesn't deserve the horse. If he can't even do the basics of chores, then he doesn't understand what it really means to take care of a horse. It doesn't matter if you are his parents, he needs to grow up and be a man, taking responsibility for his actions and his property.
Stick to your guns IMO. If you don't want that horse on YOUR property for XYZ reason then it's a done deal.
If he wants that horse all that bad, he can do some research and find a place to board it or leave it where it is and work with it there.
I think the only consideration here is how is the Hubby feeling about this and you two need to work with each other for the best possible outcome. Keep your relationship in tact, etc
BTW - Welcome! :)
I'm a step mom. So, here is my advice. Unless you are willing to walk out on your marriage, you will lose if your husband and the boy's natural FATHER does not 100% agree with you. In fact, 125%. He has to be more mad than you. It sounds as if he is waffling on the idea, so my advice, Don't go there.
Don't lay down the law about "my land" or what YOU want. The boy's father will end up feeling like he has to choose between you and the boy and again, most dad's fail to make the right choice.
Here is what I would do in your circumstances, which is actually sneakier and more in your favor.
Draw up a contract between YOU and the true horse owners. Spell out the care / grooming of the horse, fees for boarding, how the horse will be fed and trained and contigencies.
Basically, put it in writing that you are completely washing your hands of the situation and your remediations to the situation.
In the contract include that if the horse is in your herd and causes injury to one of your horses, any medical treatment will be billed to the owner.
Identify that you will bill them monthly for any grain and hay. If the feed is part of their arrangement with the son, they will need to get reimbursed by HIM. Include a general "pasture board" fee. Again, let the son reimburse them if they feel it is part of the training arrangement.
Identify that failure to pay the monthly fees within 5 business days will result in the horse being surrendered to the authorities on day 6 because you will not maintain the horse in their absence. Include a statement that you can surrender it as abandoned / failure to pay or sell at auction.
When you hand the contract to the horse's owners, let them know that the most simple thing would be for the horse to stay on their property. But, if that is totally unacceptable to them, you are happy to allow the horse on your property, but since your son does not "officially" live there and does not pay taxes or insurances, you feel this is only fair.
If they suggest you contract with your son and leave them out of it, kindly inform them that you will be happy to, but if your ss fails to maintain the contract terms, you will still surrender the horse to authorities or sell at auction to recoup your money. And if the contract is with your SS, then you are under no obligation to the horse's owners to notify them before you do so!
My point being, whether you do it with vinegar or honey, I would speak directly to the owner's of the horse, even if it means throwing your SS under the bus. You should tell them your concerns and that the contract is really for you not to have a six year mistake hanging around your property.
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