REALLY Annoying Me, Just Want to Rant
The mods can delete this if I did something wrong here, but I'm just super mad right now and I need to tell people about this; writing to my journal about this is not at all satisfying and my parents just don't get it.
My newly mostly permanent horse, who I'll be showing with until at least the 2020 season (And hopefully after!), is a big, sweet, loveable gelding. Riding him feels like I just put in the missing puzzle piece to a bridge I was making, finally connecting the two sides. He gives me so much confidence and makes me feel good in my riding again. Even though I haven't been riding him long, he means so much to me already. But, he's blind in one eye. As in, he doesn't have an eye. (Well, he has a glass eye, and his eyelids are sewn over it.)
Because I'm showing him, and I've never been in the ring with another horse when I'm on him, the trainer put us into a group lesson. I got there a little later than usual, but because the weather has been horrible lately, he was in his stall, so he just needed a light currying, dandy, and a hoof brush. So I put him on the crossties farthest towards the back and start grooming him.
One of the other girls' mothers was feeding each horse a cookie before they were tacked up. She comes back to my horse, all smiles, and calls his name. I was on his blind - right - side, and he likes to 'look' at you, as in he cranes his head. So she doesn't see his eye. He turns around to look at her, and she kinda falters. She pets him, WITH THE TREAT IN HER HAND, and walks away, looking mildly disturbed.
But I kinda shake that off. I get it. Seeing a horse without an eye, especially when you're used to horses with both eyes, can be perturbing. I was mostly annoyed because she teased him with a treat, but, still. I give him one of his post-ride treats instead.
When I went to get my saddle, I passed her talking with the other mother. They were talking about him. It wasn't like, "Oh it's so neat that he's missing an eye! I've never seen that before!" It was, "I can't believe they'd let a blind horse into the ring with [Daughter]." And other comments like that. They also made a comment on me, which was something like, "I heard she hasn't even been riding that long, and she's riding a blind horse like that?" or something along those lines. I tried brushing that off, like, okay. Yeah. A parent is concerned because there will be a horse with a strange condition with their daughter.
But then, after a little bit more loving on him, I go and get his bridle. In which I hear the OTHER MOTHER, who hasn't even approached him goes, "Wouldn't be surprised if he was a hazard. Poor thing should've been put down when they took out the eye."
You wanna talk hazardous horses, Lady?
Your daughter's horse has flipped over on her no less than five times. (That I'm aware of.) He's bucked off 2/3 of our trainers AND YOUR DAUGHTER. One of those trainers he's kicked multiple times. This morning, he almost kicked her in the head when she went to give him his breakfast. He takes strong cues at home, and a crop is required to ride him.
You wanna know what my horse does? Responds to the slightest seat and leg pressure. Since he's been at the barn, he has not nipped, kicked, or even pinned his ears at a single person. And just because he's missing an eye, suddenly he's a hazard and needs to be euthanized?
Don't even get me started on what she was actually doing during the lesson. She was purposely trying to spook him. When we'd pass her, every time, without fail, she'd make a loud, sudden noise ON HIS BLIND SIDE. Her excuse was, "Oh I was on the phone." Sure. Being on the phone requires loud yelping and laughing. Eventually, my mom was like, "Can you please take the call outside? The girls need to focus."
They both quickly untacked, put their horses away and rushed out of the barn. My boy got lots of loving, pets, kisses and treats. He worked, harder, flashier and faster than both of the girl's horses. We were talked to the least. AND I shoved into his strong side, which my trainer likes to call "The Beast".
I'm sorry this was so long, but getting it off my chest feels great. Amazing actually. Please do not judge a horse on looks alone. Not everything was exact quotes because I was more focused on him. But it gives you the general gist. I'm not a very confrontational person, so I just kinda brushed it off as 'Worried Parents', but even being worried parents does not give them the excuse to say that a horse that they've never seen worked, needs to be put down.
Stay Calm - Ride a Friesian!