Kicked out of the equestrian center, and consequently miserable. How do I go back?
Hello, everyone, I'm new to the forum, and I want to start off by saying hello to everybody here. I would tell you more about myself besides that I'm 23 years old and an entrepreneur, but as far as the internet goes, I like to keep the specific personal details private. You never know who might find you if you're not careful...
So, anyway, I came to this forum because I have a specific goal in mind, which is to go back to a place I've been kicked out of. Besides that I feel pretty rotten about it, which is obvious, I feel that I haven't been treated fairly, and so I'd like to ask what can be done. The other reason for my coming to the forum is that my philosophy is to take charge and not be a victim, yet today, about two years after the fact, I'm sitting at my computer, and I realize that I was unwittingly allowing myself to be a victim, because I haven't fought back! (I'm a total hypocrite when it comes to more subtle situations.)
Before we get into all that, however, I'd like to explain the specifics of what happened. I went to this equestrian center in November, 2010, because I had taken this sudden interest in horses as companions as opposed to the competitive, sporty animals we culturally see them as. They didn't have a problem with my talking to the horses, and I really enjoyed it. Besides that, we were pretty much a big, happy family, the staff and I. We had no real problems of any kind, and the lot of them were almost like grandmothers. (It sounds trite, but that was my impression.)
Well, on New Years' eve of 2010-11, I was nipped by one. This was not an aggressive bite, (it was the opposite,) nor did it do any damage beyond what a simple bandaid could fix. (I also want to insert here that whenever I tell anyone about this, I refer back to when I was eleven years old, and a toy poodle bit me on the leg. That horse, which, as you can imagine, was easily hundreds of times bigger than a toy poodle, caused a less serious wound than the toy poodle did. The poodle gave me a massive bruise - the horse only scratched me.)
So, anyway, knowing how negligible the horse's nip was, I didn't think much of it, and I treated the information in a casual way. I didn't care if the people there knew what happened, and if it came up in conversation, of course I'd mention it, because it was not a big deal! It was anything but a big deal!
So this volunteer and I were talking in February of 2011. (Two months later.) and I mention the "incident", (if it can even be called that :?.) And then I made some joke about it, (which I don't remember, but mention anyway because I want to drive the point home that to me it was nothing to be worried about,) and she flies off the handle, and smacks the horse lightly, and says "bad horse!" and says I should know better than to "pet a horse I don't know." (It should be noted that I was just beginning to bond with one in particular and I knew him in some ways better than my best friend.) So then word gets round that the horse did something awful to me, and I could sue, and they could lose the ranch, blah, blah, blah. (In other words, she blew it completely out of proportion when she spread the news about it.)
The next day, they told me about what the volunteer said, and they kicked me out. They basically explained that they could get sued if they continued to allow me to visit. They wouldn't listen to me when I tried to get the story straight.
I went back there last July, and I was surprised that they didn't at least threaten to call the police. (Boy, was I lucky.) But I tried to tell them that I had taken lessons for the better part of two-and-a-half months, and I also had at least a year of experience with horses outside the lessons. (It felt like a parole application, so humiliating.) They just looked for reasons not to bury the hatchet and have over with it. (And I think somewhere in that discussion they made a borderline sexist remark about me, which I didn't know enough to be offended by, but would have been.)
In the meantime, I went to different other places, so I could rebuild, but it was never the same. As a result, I have felt frustrated, angry, and heartbroken.
I don't know what kind of advice you can give, or if you can give any at all, but I figured at least it was worth a try.
I think that life is too short.
You tried to make "amends", if amends were even necessary. '(I don't know both sides of the story, so I can't comment on whether or not they were!)
THEY REJECTED IT.
That's really all you can do. Be at peace with the fact that you tried to be a bigger person, and those other individuals could not accept it....and enjoy your time with horses.
Since there are other places available to you, just let it go. You don't know what that girl said and they're not going to believe you. You won't ever regain those original happy feelings at that barn. You will have to find them somewhere else.
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Move on, plain and simple. Thankfully, there's an abundence of horse people around, you just need to keep an open mind. Are you comparing the new places you find to the one you want to go back to?
Everyplace is going to be different, have a different vibe, blah, blah. If someone is going to be that extreme (in reference to having you kicked out of the barn) without listening to your side of the story, it's not somewhere you want to be anyway.
Honestly, they seem a little too worried about any potential legal repercussions (which makes me wonder how the insurance issue is with having boarders/renters at their place) and to a sense I can get it - America does tend to be a pretty sue-happy country but...Personally, I wouldn't waste my time with them.
I get you probably have/had a connection with a horse there (If it were the people, I'd still be moving on - one sided relationships get you nowhere) but you will find that again. We always do.
If they don't want you around, unfortunately there isn't much you can do but just move on - there is always bigger and better out there.
Running a business, you need to have a lot of common sense, patience, courtesy, and the ability to change and grow up - I see (from this story) a lot of that lacking and I wouldn't find them worth the dust my Dodge or horse would kick up leaving their place.
I wouldn't have kicked you out, but a horse-related business has to think about the liabilities involved with allowing people who are not horse-owners or customers to be on the property "unsupervised," for lack of a better term. They have a right not to allow you there if they think you are a liability, and it sounds like they do.
You tried to apologize, and they are sticking with their choice. Even if you were allowed back, I think you'd be miserable. I wouldn't want to spend any time with people who didn't want me there.
Stay away from that place, they are a bunch of no nothing kooks who slap horses for a bite that happened 2 months prior. They don't want you there and from what you described, you don't need to be there.
You should have told someone at the time. Absolutely the horse could have hurt you worse, but usually horses will test the water and start out small and get bigger. As they didn't know, they couldn't deal with the horses behavior.
If it were my horse, I wouldn't have been pleased that I didn't know.
As far as going back there, no I don't think you should. It's more than likely a private facility and therefore they have the right to ask anyone they like not to come back.
Why the fascination with this place? There are so many horse barns, I think you should find somewhere else.
What is your attachment to being welcome at that particular place? There are lots of different opportunities out there. Use your entrepreneurial skills and find some.
You're not welcome there, plain and simple. Nothing you say or do is going to change that, based on what you've stated. Move on and find another barn.
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