Originally Posted by Shegoesbyjenna View Post
We had a verbal agreement that I would do work around the ranch in return for one or two lessons a week. She overloads her schedule with all these riding students and training other people's horses so she kind of just stopped giving me lessons all together. And because she's a horse trainer/instructor, she does not want me hiring anyone else to train me on her property (I respect that--it's her house, her rules). I think taking lessons elsewhere and continuing my lease isn't a bad idea.
My biggest issue is the way she handles things. She's impatient and very rowdy with her energy. Her style of training is,"I'll only ask the horse to do something once and if it doesn't do it within 3 seconds, I'll MAKE IT do what I asked it to." They are older and mildly arthritic so I understand that it takes them some time to get warmed up. Once they do get warmed up, they are fine. She scolds me for being patient and tells me they are not listening to me and I am causing problems. They do not seem to respect her at all and they try to get away from her when she approaches them. She doesn't realize that her energy level needs to be toned down like 20 notches. Especially with the gelding who is very emotionally sensitive. She busts into his stall with her arms waving around and I can tell it freaks him out. He will charge at her and she'll turn around and tell me that I ruined him. He has not exhibited this behavior until recently when she started working with him a little bit.
But again, since I don't know how to handle my gelding when he charges at me for no reason, I don't have anyone else to ask for help besides my BM who may have caused the issue in the first place. I've been watching lots of videos lately and trying new things and he's back to being the well-behaved angel he was. These poor horses haven't gotten attention until I came along and began my lease. They really are special to me and I'm still torn trying to decide if I should stay or go. I just know if I leave, nobody will clean their stall, groom them, exercise them, or give them any attention due to my BM's busy schedule at her boarding facility (which is located somewhere else away from her personal ranch). It's a tough situation.
Agree with the idea of developing, Not my horses, Not my barn mentality. You HAVE to do that as a means of self preservation. Yes, it sounds like you're being taken advantage of. No way in hades would I be doing all the work and leasing horses and getting nothing in return. I have 10 horses of my own and they are nothing BUT work. I love the work and the horses but they're mine. No way would I take that on if they weren't. These are your BO's horses, not yours. Her problem, not yours. She will find another sucker to take care of them, clean their stalls (or novel thought, she will actually PAY someone to do the grunt work).
I'm only going to say one thing in the BO's defense, and only because I see this on the forum over and over and over again. You cannot "love these horses better". She may be rowdy, she may be loud and she's been around horses a lot of years and may have learned just one or 2 things on the way. You are a self acknowledged new comer who knows very little. She may be doing a lot of things wrong, or she may not. When she tells you that you have "ruined" her horse you'd better pay attention. If I said that to you, it wouldn't be but one time and I'd be sending you packing. A horse that charges (and I'm taking that as the literal definition of a charging horse, not one who gets into your space a little too enthusiastically) is a very dangerous animal. She has owned these horses a long time and knows what they know and knows when they are "playing" someone and knows when they are balky. I'm very patient with my foals and I can be a very demanding, impatient person with my trained show horses. I know what they know and I know when they are giving me the, "Call my secretary, let's do lunch. I'll get back to you. Sometime." routine. When they've spent the time in training that it takes to become a show horse or a lesson horse, they KNOW what's being asked. And they choose not to do it and they choose to 'work' the new kid on the block. Open your eyes, close your mouth and learn. You can't learn everything by watching stuff on YouTube or we'd all be master trainers.