Incredibly frustrating people & their horses (a vent) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-26-2013, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Incredibly frustrating people & their horses (a vent)

I board at a "pleasure barn" - limited amenities, but it's decent and cheap. Big problem comes wintertime, because there's limited arena space and it's not very well lit, so more boarders will ride around there than on the trails. The primary riding arena is kind of small - you can fit two riders in there that are actually working their horses as long as you pay attention. I've seen four people cram themselves in there though. Near the riding arena is a round pen, and a grass arena fenced by t-posts hammered into the ground and a string of paracord.

My horse is a nervous creature (we're working on it, it's one of the things I am addressing this winter) and it doesn't take much to set him off. I was riding in the arena working on getting him not to "spook" (wiggle away in a random direction while gawking at something random).

Two boarders are walking along the main driveway with their horses. They are hooting and hollering and making a bunch of noise, riling up their mares and the mares in the pastures they're passing. Ok - whatever. I maintain my horse's attention and we keep working. They approach some barrels that we have standing near the grass arena, and they begin charging their horses in hand to see if they will jump the barrels. Ok, whatever, kept on working.

One of them goes into the roundpen, and is "teaching" her [gaited] horse to canter, except she doesn't know how to get her horse to canter, and her horse has minimal groundwork knowledge. She begins to chase the horse, waving her arms and going CANTER! CANTER! and basically spooks the horse into something of a canter.

The other lady goes into the grass arena and proceeds *to let her horse loose*. Remember, the grass arena is fenced by t-posts and one strand of paracord. The mare begins to run around the arena, screaming for her friends, bucking and generally being a menace. She tests the fence several times by charging at it and stopping short. After the fourth test, she jumps the fence - SHOCKER (sarcasm). The owner begins screaming her horse's name while laughing hysterically. The mare is galloping down the road, slipping and sliding, screaming her fool head off. Of course, my horse just sees a horse running off in a panic and starts to panic himself. Fortunately, I've got a pretty decent 'whoa' on him and while I can feel he's nervous and wound up, he's listening. I walk him around asking for bends and circles, at a pretty slow pace, just asking him to lower his energy. The horse owner starts slowly walking down the road after her horse, while her horse is making a menace of herself 'visiting' other pastures and screaming at horses over the fenceline.

The first lady is now done "training" her horse. She walks over to the shop area and I guess she has to go to the bathroom because she walks away, *leaving her horse untied and unattended* (WHY didn't she just leave the horse in the roundpen?) Well, this horse already has a history of wandering off, so guess what she does?! She already saw her friend run down the road screaming, so down the road she goes. Except, this horse is less concerned about her friends and starts visiting the pasture near the riding arena, which causes much squealing. Horse owner appears and starts yelling at her horse, which of course causes said horse to take off at a mad gaited-canter thing (not quite a canter, not quite a rack), bucking and screaming....which of course completely freaks my horse out again. I make him stop and I can literally feel his heart pounding and he's so wound up he's shaking (I'm guessing it was fear).

I try to get him to walk, but he keeps wanting to bolt (he doesn't though, he just is wound up and wants to), and after a long while, the fear in him is gone but he is definitely tense and nervous. I give up trying to get anything decent from him under saddle and get a lunge line to do some groundwork and get him focused back on me. Apparently, he thought that was an awesome thing to be doing because he was trying exceptionally well to make good choices.

So yes, my horse "should" be better around madly galloping/screaming loose horses. I'm sure many other horses are just dandy in that scenario. My horse isn't. It could just as easily have been someone riding on the trail whose horse could have turned into a runaway or have gotten dumped because of it. Their horses could also have just kept on in any number of directions and caused all kinds of damage to themselves or others.

Am I fussy for thinking that the two boarders acted incredibly irresponsibly with their mounts and somewhat inconsiderately towards me?

This is the second incident in the past month. The first incident was when some kids left the primary arena and came into the grass arena where I was and proceeded to just run their horses around without any concern for direction, or you know... the presence of other horses. They also would "jump" (charge their non-jumping horses at jumps, grab the saddle, scream and hold on) without consideration of whether or not another horse was passing in front of the jump. (I didn't say anything because their parents were there. Their kids, their problem.)

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-26-2013, 10:13 PM
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I don't think you're being unreasonable. That sounds like bad horsemanship to the tenth degree. Have you talked to someone who's in charge about it? Sounds pretty dangerous to every one and horse involved. We had a couple of borders like that where I am and the BO ousted them after they proved themselves incapable of being pleasant and safe.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-26-2013, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Incitatus32 View Post
I don't think you're being unreasonable. That sounds like bad horsemanship to the tenth degree. Have you talked to someone who's in charge about it? Sounds pretty dangerous to every one and horse involved. We had a couple of borders like that where I am and the BO ousted them after they proved themselves incapable of being pleasant and safe.
There's no BM there, only the BO. She saw. I don't know if she said anything to them because I was trying to convince my horse that there really was not a giant monster chasing horses to the other side of the farm.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-26-2013, 11:27 PM
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Well at least your horse is getting some good desensitizing. If he can stay under control through that, he can handle anything. Kudos to you for not falling off or dying of a heart attack.
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Celeste
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-27-2013, 12:17 AM
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I agree with Celeste.

I have the total opposite environment. Our own land, no boarders, very rural area. It's hard to get mine used to the noise, other horses, and the general rowdiness of being in a public place. The first few times we take them to camp and trail ride they think I'm torturing them by bringing them to the land of chaos. The more they're exposed to camp the better they deal with it.

You never have control over what other people do but you do have control over your horse so that is what you have work on. I understand your frustration because some people have no sense when it comes to being considerate of other riders/horses.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-27-2013, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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It definitely was a "training opportunity" and has given me an "aha" moment about why he is so unruly around other horses (he gets scared. He's not being bratty, its just straight out fear).

However, sometimes I get tired of "training opportunities" and really would just like to school my horse without people smacking themselves with whips, children throwing rocks in the air, people screaming at the top of their lungs repeatedly asking questions while I ride. Hopefully some of those people will go away as it gets colder.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-27-2013, 01:30 PM
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Heck, DA, I think my dead-head draft cross would have been having a mild panic attack with all the crap going on. I think you an your horse handled it very well, considering.

I would have been up at the barn having a talk with the BO had I been in your shoes. The two barns I've boarded at have been very hands-off, but when someone is doing something blatantly stupid and/or dangerous, it is not tolerated by the BO. I've seen my old BO fly off the handle at a someone for lunging their crazy horse who didn't know how to lunge in the arena while others were trying to ride.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-27-2013, 02:17 PM
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As a BM I encourage my boarders to come to me with any issues. And if need be We can go and talk to the person or persons creating the issue.

I hope you can depend on the BO to be as easy to talk to.

Don't Flatter yourself Cowboy I was looking at your Horse
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-27-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
Well at least your horse is getting some good desensitizing. If he can stay under control through that, he can handle anything.
Yeah, it's why my neighbor (who has her arena just over my back fence) likes my dog to come and bark at her horses sometimes.
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