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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently work at a thoroughbred racing stable and I did not kid myself into thinking it would be heaps of pretty ponies with no one getting or anything. Over the 10 months I have worked there the trainer/breaker and I have come to have quite an unfriendly relationship, I am not the only person who feels this way towards him. Almost no one who works there likes him or agrees with what he does and at least 3 people have quit because they can't stand working with him one other and myself are soon to follow.

I want to ask for some people's opinions about whether I am overreacting or not about what I see as him being abusive to the horses? Until recently I only worked on weekends and didn't see what he did now I have and really wish to speak to boss though I'm not sure whether he would actually listen.

Here is a list of things I have seen or heard about him doing and to me are in varying degrees abusive.
He constantly will leave horses in stables with a surcingle and bridle with their heads tied down either sometimes overflexed. The part that gets to me is he leaves them like this unattended for a few hours everyday(until they get ridden)with the bridles done up way to too tight and this is often their first time having a bridle on he doesn't build them up to this. They always end up with bigs sores at the corners of their mouths.
Today for the first time I saw a horse liek this in the round yard unattended for at least an hour with blinkers on and then it was found later on the ground I think with one of its legs tied. ( I'm not positive about the tieing up though).

He attempted to leave a horse tacked up in its stable all night before he was caught and got in trouble.

His riding drives me insane because he nearly always has the reins really tight and is clearly pulling back on the bit quite a bit then he whipping and trying to get the horse to go forward. He constantly whips the horse while he rides them I can understand desensitising and what not but he just keeps doing it and doing to horses who are quiet and are walking quite forwardly it makes me want to take the whip from him and hit him repeatedly.

He got really angry at this one horse (which I think he has a grudge agaisnt now) because this horse is very quiet on the ground he skipped parts for its training and just jumped straight on and was bucked off. Instead of starting properly he just kept getting back on and putting another guy on and they were repeatdly bucked off. I can't remember what happened exactly but always handles this horse quite roughly and easily gets angry at him. No one else has a problem with him. This is the horse he tried to tack up all night.

He has been seen beating a horse for not standing still or something and it was bleeding I don't know exact details. This filly is is only a coming 2 yr old who has inconsistently been handled and who is a very nervous and spooky horse who has become even more nervous and jumpy since the incident.

I have once seen him hit a horse around the legs with a bridle and the bit was the part that hit the horse when it was fidgeting a little bit because of flies.

He also has had this filly come back from a break that he broke in last year and to my knowledge hasn't been touched since. She is very forward when you lead her but he can't make her move forward when ridden. I have no idea if the tack anything to do with it but I have seem him attempt to ride her before and he was all in her not givng her any room to move and was kicking her as well as having someone hitting her on the butt. To me if he had just given her head some more she would properly have been more inclined to go forward.
Today I saw him get on and someone was going to lead him. The moment they tried to move forward she faught then ended up rearing a little bit he just sat there when she came down and stood quietly he got off fixed himself up then kicked her in the gut. I'm not saying kicking is really bad I have had to resort to it once before but to me the timing was way out it was like she was rewarded for rearing then she was punished for standing still.

I'm not sure I feel like he is abusive but I don't know if I am overreacting because I feel like I'm the only one finding this wrong. I am thinking of talking to the boss though he has been told of the beating by someone else and his answer was your not the one that has to ride them. I think he just keeps making excuses up for this guy. I really can't work out if he is just looking the other way or if he really is that unknowing about these things that he thinks its normal. I am just getting so frustrated by it all sorry for the rant.
 

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You have described several incidents so personally I would say something. You have to be the voice for those horses and if you say nothing they will continue to suffer from this guy being cruel. There's nothing wrong with being firm, but there is no excuse for beating a horse! When you talk to the owner I would tell him frankly what you have witnessed. Good luck
 

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I agree with the person above me
you need to be a voice for these horses,
if you know that this is happening and do nothing
you are just as responsible for what happens as the trainer
 

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It definitely sounds over the top!
You could try talking to the boss but I think theres a fairly good chance that it's already been mentioned. I hope not you could try doing it with another person whos also seen the behaviour.
 

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I personally would like to know which of these things that you have actually witnessed and which are rumors. There is a reason why hearsay is not allowed in a court of law. People have a tendency to exaggerate or even down right lie just for the purpose of telling an interesting story.
 
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You need to catch this guy on film.

I don't think you're overreacting at all if he's really doing what you're describing. It's impossible to work for someone who has different ethical standards than you, and you can't be expected to stand by and let it happen. It sounds like several other people have witnessed the abuse, and I find it hard to believe that all those people are just fabricating outrageous accusations. Do some investigating on your own and try to catch him in the act. Take it to the Humane Society if it's really that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only one I did not actually witness was the beating and the tack up all night though I did see the evidence the next day from the tack incident and hear the boss yeeling at him about it. Though I would not put it past him if he lost his temper which he does quite quickly. I did actually like this guy when I first met him but the more I learnt about him the less I liked working with him.

I have only known about this for a little while I did tell people higher then me at first which I realised didn't really result in anything. That is why I am going to the boss though I am not expecting much to happen. I have really been trying to take pictures to prove my point and report it but its hard to get a picture when people are around.
 

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Get evidence and show it to your boss. No "he said he saw this" or "they told me this" as that will only make you seem untrustworthy.

It does sound awful but without proof it's only talk :/
 

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Unfortunately these are some 'tools' that are used a lot by some 'trainers'

In all honesty, I would say leaving a horse with a bridle on, attached to a surcingle is WRONG, however, everything else you have stated that you yourself have seen are just a man with a bad temper.

If you haven't seen the 2yo filly beaten till its bloody, I would leave that out. Rumours get people in to trouble (not talking about you, here, talking about who ever told them, and the possibility of embellishment)

As others have said, video, and send to the employer. If you go and tell the employer, they're more likely to get rid of you, as you're easier to replace than a trainer...

Just take the picture, and if anyone says anything, ask if there is a reason you shouldn't be, unless they're ashamed of what they're done, and don't want it to be seen, in which case they shouldn't be doing it in the first place- be bold about it.

As for the guys riding... you get them everywhere, and if the boss is active around the yard, he is more than likely aware of it, and allows it.
 

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Just curious, in what situation have you ever had to resort to kicking a horse? I would class kicking a horse in the gut as abuse

...horses kicking each other in the gut, does that count as abuse? We cannot physically put as much power in a kick as a horse can, even if we can aim better.

I am in no way condoning the actions of this man, however, its not the worst abuse I have heard of, or seen, and the only thing that really sticks out for me is the bridle/curcingle incident. The rest are unsavoury training techniques that we may not agree with, not something I would class as abuse. JMO though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Usually I would too. I only resorted to it once when my gelding who knows better was kicking out with his back feet when they were held up for too long and it was not helping my farrier. I had tried many other ways to get him to stop but he just kept doing it. He is quite an arrogent horse who you could slap really hard on the shoulder and he would completely ignore you. So one day when I was working with him he kicked out and nearly got me so I kicked him back and he was so surprised he hasn't done it too me since. I also didn't have boots or anything on I only had thongs/flip flops whatever you want to call them on.
 

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Usually I would too. I only resorted to it once when my gelding who knows better was kicking out with his back feet when they were held up for too long and it was not helping my farrier. I had tried many other ways to get him to stop but he just kept doing it. He is quite an arrogent horse who you could slap really hard on the shoulder and he would completely ignore you. So one day when I was working with him he kicked out and nearly got me so I kicked him back and he was so surprised he hasn't done it too me since. I also didn't have boots or anything on I only had thongs/flip flops whatever you want to call them on.

:-x don't wear flipflops round horses!

Okay, telling off done :lol:

I kicked my old gelding in the gut once.. but again, it wasn't for pain, it was for the shock factor. He threatened me with a hind leg, I couldn't have backed him up as another horse was tied up... and like yours, he realised that threatning the hand that deeds is not a good idea aha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know I shouldn't wear them its a bad habit I have when it's too hot to get socks and boots and I'm not riding.
 

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Not having a dig.. but I'm glad you've never been put in a position where you need to.

I think the posters in here are in agreement (in regards to gut kicking) that its a quick resort to very rude behaviour, and something a horse doesn't expect.

Haven't had to do this on Duffy.. her stomach is too high aha!
 

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Get your pocket camera and take stills and video. My new camera takes both. Bleeding around the mouth is unacceptable. The rest sounds abusive. UNfortunately the best you can hope for is that the BO is pleased that you discovered this. The worst is that the BO condones it and likes the results this trainer is getting from his horses. You could lose your job over this. If you have the photos and lose your job, you can get animal control involved.
 

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I personally would like to know which of these things that you have actually witnessed and which are rumors. There is a reason why hearsay is not allowed in a court of law. People have a tendency to exaggerate or even down right lie just for the purpose of telling an interesting story.
Yes - there are a lot of "from what I heard" "I think". Unless you have witnessed something first hand - you are basing your view on hearsay. You need to salt what is being told to you but make up your own mind.
 
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