Seriously need some advice for a "boarder"
It's a super long story, but I really need some advice on how to handle it.
I have 11 acres and two horses. Neither one of them is particularly beginner friendly: my mare is just a pasture ornament and can't be ridden, and my gelding is very stubborn and knows when a beginner is on his back. I have a friend with a daughter that has taken a few riding lessons (so she thinks she's an expert) and she's constantly asking if she can come ride my horses. For a long time I had to tell her no just because their feet were in such bad shape from the rain, but I always felt bad because I hate being the horse owner who doesn't have horses that can be ridden. I want to be able to share my blessing of horses with those who can't afford to have their own.
So a few months back, I posted on Facebook that I was in need of a beginner friendly horse that someone might be willing to give away or at least take payments on (I wasn't about to ask my husband, who is a lawyer, to buy me a horse... horses are my thing, and I like to keep him out of it if I can). A Facebook friend (who I only know because I bought a saddle from her) said that she had a 5 year old Quarab gelding that her ten year old brother could ride bareback around the farm, and that we could work out a lease/ board agreement; I keep him here for free, and get to use him all I want for whatever I want. She was running out of room at her place and needed to thin down anyway.
So she brought him over and we rode him around, and the friend's daughter came over and rode, and he was an angel. He did everything she asked him to without balking or hesitating. However, things went down hill fast. The next time I rode him he balked and tossed his head and tail and acted like he was going to crow hop. Then the friend's daughter came over and the same thing happened (he actually ran chest first into the fence trying to get back with his pasture mates). I tried separating him, but he threatened to break through my barbed wire fence.
I called the girl and explained and she said she'd come by and ride him to see what his problem was. A couple weeks later she finally gets around to coming over, hops on him bareback, and no problem. Rode like a dream. I got on him the next day with the saddle, and he acted like a dang fool again. Obviously, this horse was not going to work out with me. I'm not a trainer, and I don't have the time or energy to ride every day. I have a one year old son to take care of, and he takes priority.
Another week or so goes by, and she calls me asking if she can keep another horse at my house, just "temporarily" while she took care of some rescues she had taken in. She assured me he had been a lesson horse and was dead broke, and that the same "use whenever you want" rules applied. The friend's daughter came back out, rode both horses, and everything went fine. I was starting to feel relieved.
Then, about two weeks ago, I decided to take the lesson horse out on a ride with my son. After breaking my lead rope that he was tied up with, he tossed his head when I got on, and acted like he was going to have a hissy fit if I so much as tried to make him move. And this was the "lesson" horse. So, crying, I gave up.
On top of that, the 5 year old Quarab has broken through my electric poly tape fence more than once, and I've had to shell out money to put up actual fence just to keep him in.
I have been trying and trying to get this girl to pick up her horses, but she is unreliable at best. She'll say "Oh, I'm coming out on Wednesday", then Wednesday she'll text and say "Can't make it today, coming on Friday." But when Friday rolls around, I don't hear a word from her. I've tried getting ahold of her, but it's not in my nature to be a mean person.
I'm at my wits end. I can't even catch the Quarab anymore-- he won't let me come within five paces of him and kicks if I corner him-- and I'm scared to ride the "lesson" horse because of passed experiences. She hasn't been out to see them or ride them, and hasn't (obviously) come to get them, even though I've asked her to take them.
What can I do? What should I say? I don't want to be a b*tch, but I'm so sick of being taken advantage of!!
honestly, if the horses was well-behaved when you first met them. You might did something to make them rebel against you. You can try to think what you did and what is causing them to misbehave? Is it feed? hay? your approach? shelter? injury?
Give the owner a time for her to prepare a place for her horses since she already mentioned that she needs more space for her horses. Give her 7 days notice to move the horses or you will sell the horses or something.
GamingGrrl could be right - saddle fitting are one major problem for misbehaving horses.
Sounds like your saddle may not fit, if he was fine bareback and started acting up again when you saddled him.
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agree that it sounds like maybe a saddle fit problem. you said he was fine when she rode him barebacka nd when you tacked him up he acted up again?
anyways if you are just done and wanting her to get them beck....do you have a contract written up for the two horses? if so is there anything in there that would consider her not coming to get the horses back a breach of the contract?
sounds like you need to pin her down (not literally. just track her down and FACE TO FACE hash out what you want done with this)
I'm also going to vote on saddle fit as being a problem.
No offense, buuuttt... if you're having this kind of trouble and aren't able to cover the basics when trying to problem solve, is it really a good idea to put yourself and your husband in huge financial risk by giving lessons?
The gelding sounds buddy sour and scared. He's in a new place, with new people and doesn't understand anything. Why would he prefer to be with you when he can be with his new buddies? The lesson horse just sounds angry. Both of them are probably objecting to the saddle, it's very likely hurting them.
What kind of groundwork have you done with either horse?
All that being said... find someone with a truck and trailer and just find out when that lady is home and deliver the horses to her. It will likely cost you out of pocket if you don't have your own rig, but those horses will be gone.
Sounds like an awful lot of trouble.
I'd send a letter via registered mail notifying her that she has 7 days to move her horses or you will start charging $x/month per horse for board. If she still doesn't move her horses, see if you can ask a lawyer what the abandonment laws are in your area- when you could legally sell them to recoup your costs.
I wasn't giving lessons. I would never ever give riding lessons, because I know I'm not knowledgeable enough to give riding lessons. I just wanted to have a horse on the property that someone could ride without a problem.
However, since everyone wants to say that this is my fault, I'll go ahead and end this by saying that she finally came and picked them up yesterday. I have no idea what I did (or didn't do) to either one of them to make them not like me, because I didn't treat them any differently than I treat my horses. I agree it might have been a saddle fit, but I don't have any other saddles, and when I asked the girl to come out with her saddle so we could check, she never came. I asked her several times to come out and help me figure out what I was doing wrong because obviously I was doing something different that she never did, but it didn't happen.
But anyway, it's all over with now. Thanks for the "advice."
No one was rude to you. No need to cop an attitude. Glad your situation is all resolved.
Posted via Mobile Device
I don't hear *your fault* mentioned or insinuated. What I do hear is 6-7 posts from members trying to help you, you know, respond to your asking for advice.
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