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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!
My name is Maria. I’m originally from Russia, but am living in Italy.

The reason why I’m here is because of a tragedy that happened to me three years ago. Right now I feel that I’m at the point where I have to ask help from people around me, but before telling about it, let me introduce you to my story in a more detailed way. I feel that this is something that might be interesting to people out here, since every situation that happens to us, is a precious experience.

Since I was small I always dreamed about getting to know more about horses. My family was never related to horses in any form, not to mention that my father is Vietnamese, and it’s a country where horses are nearly unknown. As I grew I started to understand that some things are just mean to be, and in my case horses were my ‘’ meant to be ‘’.

I must be honest and tell you that my family was quite wealthy, my father build up a big business in Russia and we were living quite nicely.
At one point my interest towards horses grew bigger and together with my sisters we were sent to an equestrian school where we first sat on a horse.
It was an amazing and unforgettable experience both in a positive and a negative way. In positive because my passion and love for horses grew bigger, in negative because we became testimonials of how many horses are being mistreated in a cruel way when it comes to big sport. Right now I’m not judging anyone and anything, it’s just that at that time we ended up being in a wrong place. Seeing what was happening around me lead me to a kind of trauma, I started to be scared of horses and could even walk around in the arena. There was nothing to do and my mom ended this whole horse story.

Some years later we moved to Italy, and it’s where I first learned about western riding, because you see, in Russia western riding doesn’t exist.
I was a teenager and had a classmate that kept talking about horses. It was just a matter of time before I would come back with a talk to my parents.
So it happened, and I was given a chance to try it out and see if it might work for me. We went to the stable up in the mountains, I saw these beautiful quarter horses and people that rode them so nicely and calmly around, at that moment a new chapter for me has begun.

I spent two amazing years there and had learned about disciplines such as western pleasure, reining, horsemanship, trail etc. I was also gifted a lovely reining mare Bueno that has become my partner in crime in further years. We were finding our selves well until some problems with the trainer came up and we decided to move to a professional reining barn where I could focus on this discipline and dedicate myself to it. That was the best decision and in next two years from that move I gained a lot of experience from my trainer and reining horses and community became my second family.

Although Bueno was a reining mare, she was quite weak and had poor maneuvers. That of course didn’t influence on how much I loved her. When I reached the maximum with her I decided to move upper. My father wasn’t really happy about my hobby and agreed to buy me a professional quarter horse on a pact that together with my trainer we would produce him and then resell him. In other words, my father wanted me to learn about business and deals. Since I couldn’t miss the opportunity I agreed to it and received a green light to start the search for the perfect one.

I spent two months before finding that one mr.Right, aka Ziggy. From the very beginning it was special. You know, I had the feeling that I’m at the beginning of an exciting path that will lead me to beautiful destinations. I found Ziggy threw connections and my trainer wasn’t really enthusiastic about him, to the point where I ended up going check him alone because my trainer refused to go believing that other horses are much more interesting than him. Well, he was wrong.
I still remember the day I saw him, he was there standing and looking at me with his unbelievably beautiful eyes. He was beyond anyone’s imagination, a really beautiful and special one! His presence was so majestic and powerful, yet he was behaving himself as a master that has lived on the earth many times and knew things we didn’t knew. Might sound hilarious, but you should’ve seen him!

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From the very beginning there was a deep connection, and the feeling of loosing him one day started to weight.

The plan went smoothly, first results didn’t let us wait. He was exceptional, taking first and second places.
Then, at some point, due to different views with my trainer I had to retire him from sport ( at the age of 4 ) for some months so he could take a break, I could see that he was exhausting himself and was pushing himself to much. It was a moment where I found myself a little bit disorientated because my initial plan failed.

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At the beginning of 2017 I tried to collect myself and start everything from the beginning.
Ziggy that before appeared exhausted and unhappy, regained his forces and came back to his initial glory state. We didn’t do anything in particular during that period of time, we played, we went on trails, and we were just being us, happy and calm. Oh, how I loved that times. For me it was first time of experiencing something that is not riding, I was experiencing a pure and a deep connection with a horse without riding or doing something particular.
I’m a person that listens to inner voice, and at that time my intuition kept clearly telling me that Ziggy doesn’t like being showed in reining, but still he would do it because he would is that kind of horse that will go for everything if you’ll ask him. My heart was telling me to stop, but my consciousness under the pressure of father was telling me to proceed with the plan. I feared my father and I feather loosing Ziggy. Back then, deciding to turn back to my intuition was the worst decision in my life, that still pains me today.




I had in plan to send him to his first ever rider, that broke him in and trained him. That rider and trainer was Giuseppe Prevosti, a really great horseman that has also showed Ziggy’s sire, Chic Magnetic. He was really a great option for Ziggy, but once again, I failed listening myself and ended up bringing Ziggy to a barn suggested by my friends. It was a month before the Italian Derby and I proposed to Nicola ( unfortunately right now I can’t disclose all the information such as surname etc. ) to show Ziggy at level 2-3 Open Derby. He agreed and everything went quite smoothly in that period of time. Ziggy once again showed amazing results and caught a lot of attention from potential buyers. Long story short, we didn’t win, but we still came back as winners. We were in top 5 in both rounds and it was satisfying knowing that we were among the bests. After Derby I fell in a depressive state where I had to choose what to do further. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but in parallel I started working with unique Russian golden horses and acquired some from Russia ( don’t worry, I will also tell you about it ! ). I was in a depressive state because my heart couldn’t let go of Ziggy, it was a torturing feeling and I used to cry at night knowing that I have to make a decision in order to move on working with Russian horses that were also in need of my help. I needed funds and my dad put me in position where I could only rely on myself. I took a heartbreaking decision to put him on sale for two months and if by the end of these terms he wouldn’t be sold, I would have taken him as my personal horse to live by my side. Many requests came, but the feeling of sadness and emptiness were still there, until one day I got a call from a very gentle and kind man that asked me about Ziggy.

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We spent an hour on the phone, he presented himself as a wealthy businessman that was searching for a horse to compete in Non Pro, just for hobby.
He sounded really nice and you could feel his great energy. For the first time I felt that I could let Ziggy go, because I knew that he would be taken care and would be living a great life even after sport career. We scheduled a meeting and the man took a flight from Germany to Italy just to see my Ziggy. I notified trainer that I would come with a client and I was told that everything is ok apart from a small detail, Ziggy ‘’ lightly scratched ‘’ himself in the round pen and can’t be ridden for some days. I talked about this with the man, but he still insisted on coming just to see him.
I still remember that day, we open the box and find Ziggy on three legs.

I really would like to go in more details, but something is still restraining me from doing it.
That day everyone was shocked. I asked for forgiveness and of course had to send away the client, thanks God he was understanding one and even tried to cherish me up. Once they were gone I had a talk with the barn owner and trainer, both of them stated that he got spooked in the round walker ( am I calling it right? ) and eventually got scratched. I was told that the vet has checked him and sad that he will come back to the original form in two months because in his opinion nothing serious happened. I was really naive and believed their words, they agreed on taking all the costs of treatment on them and to maintain him for other two months and bring him back to how he was.

Two months passed really quickly, and since I had no updates I went to check him on with my personal vet. It happened in September 2017.
That day was a second big kick. X-rays clearly stated that it was a fracture and due to precious lost time we were no chances of recovery.
I busted in tears, and not because I lost a great opportunity and a great show horse, but because I realized that all this time he was standing there alone, in such a big pain. He didn’t deserve any of this. I was so and still so angry at myself from bringing him there and forcing him into this kind of situation.

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Thanks to my mother we immediately started to clarify the situation, I tried to politely come to an agreement with the owner of the stable. Ziggy was legally under their supervision and responsibility, and what happened was mostly their fault ( later it was also legally proved that he got hurt due to the malfunction of the walker ). I asked to refund his cost and was also ready to discuss the price, but they denied their responsibility and we started legal process. This is the third year of the cause and it’s already been proved that the other party is at fault. Unfortunately due to particularity of Italian law, there are still two years of legal process to go and I can’t hope on a refund in the meantime.

The situation with Ziggy lead me to a difficult situation. My mom, my grandparents helped me till the could with the treatment and rehab, I ended up spending all my money on advocate and all the commissions and visits that were needed in order to proceed with the cause. My father despite being wealthy left me in this situation alone, he thinks it is a lesson that I must overcome by myself. On one side I agree with him, I’m of opinion that everything what happens around us is a reality that we create ourselves. Yet despite the fact that it is my lesson, I don’t understand why the horse must suffer when you have the ability to solve it.

I started with the stem cells therapy that released his pain and made his life a little better. As the time passed I lost my ability to pay for the boarding and ended up being in a huge debt with the barn owner where he was brought after the incident. While my other horse was sponsored from the beginning and was secured, with Ziggy it was a different story. Right now it’s been a year since I last saw him and I desperately want to get him back and re-start the treatment. It pains to know that he is enclosed in box and doesn’t receive any attention. During this year, despite the pandemic, I got back on my own two feet and together with my family ( please note that my mom divorced my father and he lives separately from us ) we plan to build a business that will secure all of us.
upd. The situtation with Ziggy is finally starting to get solved. I will be bringing him back very soon

The situation with Ziggy taught me a really precious lesson and that is to listen to yourself.
Only we know what is the best for us and our animals. It’s important to create our own reality from state of peace and harmony.
Rushing to decisions under the pressure of fears etc., lead to situations like mine. So please, don’t repeat my mistake.

I sincerely apologizes for all the mistakes in the story.
It has been a while since I wrote in English.
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Are you interested about the story about Russian hidden gold ( Russian Budenny horses ) ?
 

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Is Ziggy still at the barn where he was injured, the one with which you are in legal proceedings? If so, tell them you will drop the case, if they either give you the horse or have him put down.

He probably should have been put down when you first found out that he had bone fractures. It looks like a bunch of bone chips, if I am reading that x-ray correctly. If he had been staning, mostly 3 legged lame , in a box for a month, then he probably was developing problems in the supporting legs, too. Why did you not opt to put him down , right then? Is there any way you can get this to happen now? If he is confined, in pain, with no real future, you should put him out of his misery.

I'm sorry you've had to go through all this. It's a very sad story, I would love to see photos of the golden horses from Russia.
 

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Very sad that your horse got injured. I could see perhaps holding someone liable if they knew the equipment was malfunctioning, horses were at risk for being injured, and they were using the hot walker anyway.

Otherwise I don't think people should be held responsible for horse injuries just because the horse was in their care. My horse was injured last week, probably on a fence. The more you are around horses, the more you understand they can get seriously injured in many ways. Any piece of equipment, including water buckets, stall doors and fences can prove deadly. For a valuable horse, I'd suggest insurance rather than trying to prove negligence.

There seems to be a dilemma here between choosing to use your funds for a healthy show horse you are currently involved with and enjoy, versus a broken down horse you are keeping alive due to liabilities and legal issues but haven't seen in a year.

I'd say the ethical thing to do would be to either sell your show horse and use the funds to care for the injured one, or else have the one that is obviously going to be always in pain and permanently lame put down. Things like stem cell therapy are not going to work miracles on a horse that has been suffering a stall bound existence for a year.

Trying to ignore the dilemma of your injured horse while enjoying the other...well, it seems to bother you as it should. The answer is not more money, but instead having the courage to make decisions that might be difficult for you emotionally. You have choices available to you that don't require more funds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is Ziggy still at the barn where he was injured, the one with which you are in legal proceedings? If so, tell them you will drop the case, if they either give you the horse or have him put down.

He probably should have been put down when you first found out that he had bone fractures. It looks like a bunch of bone chips, if I am reading that x-ray correctly. If he had been staning, mostly 3 legged lame , in a box for a month, then he probably was developing problems in the supporting legs, too. Why did you not opt to put him down , right then? Is there any way you can get this to happen now? If he is confined, in pain, with no real future, you should put him out of his misery.

I'm sorry you've had to go through all this. It's a very sad story.
Unfortunately, asking for monetary support on this website is not allowed. The moderators will remove that from your post.

at some point, I would love to see photos of the golden horses from Russia.
Hi!
No, he is at a different barn right now. We brought him away in order to treat him with stem cells. I thought about putting him down at first, and had a long talk with my vet about it, both us decided to give him a chance and help him to at least be able to walk around and just be a happy stallion. The treatment really helped him a lot, indeed he can even gallop when he feels like it, of course showing some sign of lameness, but still, it’s better than nothing. The second reason why we’ve let him live is because the court must state his condition and the inspection happened about a year later, without him being alive we wouldn’t be able to proceed with the legal matters.

These two days actually have been really special, I managed to deal with the owner of stable and will be repaying first part of debt and taking him to another place. Feeling that finally I am moving from a death point, can’t wait to see him. Will be posting updates here !

Very sad that your horse got injured. I could see perhaps holding someone liable if they knew the equipment was malfunctioning, horses were at risk for being injured, and they were using the hot walker anyway.

Otherwise I don't think people should be held responsible for horse injuries just because the horse was in their care. My horse was injured last week, probably on a fence. The more you are around horses, the more you understand they can get seriously injured in many ways. Any piece of equipment, including water buckets, stall doors and fences can prove deadly. For a valuable horse, I'd suggest insurance rather than trying to prove negligence.

There seems to be a dilemma here between choosing to use your funds for a healthy show horse you are currently involved with and enjoy, versus a broken down horse you are keeping alive due to liabilities and legal issues but haven't seen in a year.

I'd say the ethical thing to do would be to either sell your show horse and use the funds to care for the injured one, or else have the one that is obviously going to be always in pain and permanently lame put down. Things like stem cell therapy are not going to work miracles on a horse that has been suffering a stall bound existence for a year.

Trying to ignore the dilemma of your injured horse while enjoying the other...well, it seems to bother you as it should. The answer is not more money, but instead having the courage to make decisions that might be difficult for you emotionally. You have choices available to you that don't require more funds.
Thank you for your opinion!

I think I did not translate my message in the right way. Thanks to the treatment he really got better and I did turn him out. He remained enclosed due to the conflict between me and the owner of the stable where he is being kept now, and of course in this situation I’m the one at fault.

Regarding the incident that happened.
It was proved that the malfunction of the walker represented a danger for horse’s health. It has been also officially inspected. If you know that there is a problem, why should you put in the horse?
I understand that horses are unpredictable animals, and if he would have fallen in a paddock or got stuck in the box, I wouldn’t complain. Yet, here we are in a different situation, first of all, the fact that horse got injured badly was hidden from from the very beginning, secondly it was told that the vet came immediately to see him, but that’s not true, there were no official vet statements, and the vet that as they told came to see him, refused to present in court to confirm the fact that he has really seen him on that day. Later, my official vet ( that is also very known in Italy ) confirmed that if they would have notified us immediately, there were a chance to at least give him an operation that would have a huge impact on his health, so basically, we lost our precious time.

As mentioned upper, things started to sort out. Writing about this story somewhere else really helped me psychologically, right now I’ll be repaying the first part of the money I owe and will be bringing him away. I will also proceed with treatment until it’s necessary.

Regarding miracles, of course Ziggy won’t ever recover fully. But stem cells cured my sister’s horse that by the best vets of Europe was told to be put down. The regeneration that they stimulate is amazing, I choose to believe in it because I saw the results and x-rays with my eyes.

Regarding the enjoyment of other horse.
I had him ( my showjumper ) since he was three ( and he is six now ). He is one of the best sons from a rare lineage. I have been slowly investing him and knowing what potential he holds it would be unreasonable to sell him ( considering that the breed is in danger ). I learned that no matter how many difficult situations arise, you still have to able to lift yourself up with something else. I’m not that kind of person that would lie in a depression and dilemma. While there is something that fell down, you still have to continue to work up for what can rise, grow and glow. Because if not, you can end up loosing time in regret and sadness.

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Anyways I really appreciate everyone for saying a word.
I’m happy that I could talk about it here, because I am not allowed to do it in Italy. I’ll be waiting for this case to be closed before making conclusions and talking about it to everyone around me.
 
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