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DoubleS 09-20-2012 11:52 PM

How would you deal with this?!
I have a friend who, don't get me wrong, is a nice girl, but she's completely mean to her horse.
No, I am not a naive horsecrazy child. When I say mean, I mean like Aggressive.
Well, she's a stereotypical barrel racer and rodeo-er.. (again, no offense, its a stereotype) ...She's rough with her horses to say the least.
I often work my horses at the same time as her in the arena, and I often watch her run barrels at local rodeos and stuff.
In practice, Whenever her horse would turn a barrel too wide, act up, not go in the gate, etc, she would yank its face around in circles and spur it repeatedly in the sides. (she's one of those who is not afraid to use spurs or a whip that's for sure) and she doesn't use her spurs for the right reasons... She uses them more to punish the horse or make it run faster rather than the correct purposes of spurs.
To add to that, she runs her horse wayy past it's limits and will run him in circles nonstop for more than an hour straight (I've seen it.), and by the time she gets done, the horse is completely drenched in sweat. Plus she depends on the reins for balance and the poor horse is gaping and has his head up in the air the whole time.
I feel like I should definitely say something to her for the sake of her poor horse, but I don't want to be a barn b**ch either.. I feel absolutely terrible for the horse.
What would you say/do in this case?

Spotted 09-21-2012 12:00 AM

I hope thats horse kicks the xxxx out of her one day and see how she likes it! I would say something. are you boarding? Do they have any barn rules for abuse? Soo not fair to the horse, she shouldn't be allowed to own one.

Saddlebag 09-21-2012 12:10 AM

That's a tough one. I also knew a gal whom I tho't you were describing. She was under tremendous pressure to win by an alcoholic father. When someone did speak up her attitude that you don't know anything, you just think you do. When she didn't win a class, the judge didn't know anything. I heard it time and again. It was never her fault. I think you will find you are up against the same. It's her horse and I'm positive she believes it's no one's business how she treats it. Let's just hope the poor horse doesn't have any cracked ribs from heavy spurring. It does happen. When no one is around I'll bet your fingers would find spur dents in his ribs.

aqharyder 09-21-2012 01:30 AM

I don't know if this would work, but could you approach her with an offer to videotape her? Maybe under the guise of a new camera, wanting to practice videotaping, or some other benign excuse. Then once you're done you can show her what you got. Maybe, hopefully, after seeing herself she might backoff on her poor horse.

poppy1356 09-21-2012 08:25 AM

So I'm going to play devils advocate here... How well do you know this girl and her horse? I can tell you right now there are a few people at my barn that if they saw me doing arena exercises would scream abuse. I ride with some pretty nasty looking spurs, mainly because they were free, they are not sharp at all just regular dull rowel spurs but pretty big. I never kick with spurs ever, I actually never kick either way, I ride english so everything is leg pressure. Oh and my leg hangs far below her belly lol so I need spurs to reach.

My horse has a horrible cough, this is due to allergies and beyond her current meds there's nothing more I can do. I let her run for as long as she wants. She will be coughing and running, and I mean running until she is sweated up, but I do not make her do this, she is an Arab and will run for the fun of it. With her cough I simply go in the arena and let her pick the speed she wants.

We do lots of circles when she acts up. She knows exactly what I'm asking but sometimes she wants to jump out of the arena, it looks like I'm pulling her mouth off but really I'm just keeping steady pressure to get her to turn, she has no self preservation so attemping a 5 foot jump is definately in her mind. Now this is very rare now as she is learning it will get her nowhere.

But what I'm saying is to someone who doesn't know me or my horse or how my horse is trained they would be appauled. But those people are also the people that have let their horse become dangerous because they can't hit fluffy.

This girl could very well be abusing her horse but when other people claim it without video or picture evidence for me to see for myself I'm very hesitant to jump on the abuse wagon.

Speed Racer 09-21-2012 09:31 AM

I'm going to be blunt with you, OP.

Even if she's doing all of that and truly abusing her horse, what do you think approaching her about it is going to do? Honestly?

Do you really think she'll have an epiphany and say, 'Oh my, you're sooo right! How could I have been so blind and cruel?! I shall change my ways forthwith!!!

Not going to happen. The likely scenario is that you'll approach her with a huge chip on your shoulder, accuse her of abuse and start trying to lecture her. This will cause her to lash back at you, and the 'conversation' will escalate into name calling, slurs on parentage, and perhaps even physical assault.

Short of speaking to the BO, this girl's parents and trainer (if she's a minor), or calling AC (who won't do a darned thing), what exactly do you think as just another boarder you can do for this horse?

I don't like to see abuse and will engage someone in conversation about what they're doing and why. I approach it without rancor or accusations, though.

Instead of going in there with guns blazing, why not just approach her in a friendly manner and ASK her the reasons for what she's doing? Many things that appear abusive to others may actually not be abusive in certain contexts.

poppy1356 09-21-2012 09:39 AM

Bahahah SR gotta say I love your avatar... sorry off topic but it made my morning a bit better.

Speed Racer 09-21-2012 09:45 AM


Originally Posted by poppy1356 (Post 1691771)
Bahahah SR gotta say I love your avatar... sorry off topic but it made my morning a bit better.

Yessss, I AM that quiet neighbor and I DO have a very large freezer..... :twisted:

poppy1356 09-21-2012 09:54 AM

Haha I think I need to send my neighbors your way

AlexS 09-21-2012 11:21 AM


Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1691764)

Do you really think she'll have an epiphany and say, 'Oh my, you're sooo right! How could I have been so blind and cruel?! I shall change my ways forthwith!!!

This exactly!

There's nothing that can be said to her that's going to make her into a sympathetic horse owner. But if I were the OP I would change who my friends are.

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