Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can I choke her now?

Cynthia feeds the horses in the morning on some days (she switches off with Cristy). I've discovered that she doesn't give them fresh water when she puts them in the pastures. I don't think her mind can wrap around the fact that horses don't drink water that isn't fresh. So there were five horses that went all day without water on Sunday. I know because when I went out to do the pm feeding, the water was stagnant and (shocking!) untouched. Awesome.

So yesterday, Cynthia did the am feeding and put Victor, Levi, and one other gelding together in the SMALLEST PASTURE ON THE PROPERTY that's barely big enough for two horses. Everyone knows that Levi hates Victor. There was no excuse. The BO's husband happened to walk outside later that day and guess what he found?

The electric fence was completely torn down and Victor was standing in the adjacent pasture covered in new wounds. Apparently Levi went after Victor and pushed him through the hot rope. Now he's scraped up all over again and he's got some new cuts on his legs and hips. He barely tolerated it when I was dressing them, so it's obvious he was hurting. I understand that the injuries aren't serious, but they're painful and that's what upsets me. I can't put a saddle over those raw spots, either. Just when the old owies were starting to heal, this happens. Thanks to Cynthia.

If this was the first careless thing she's done, I could forgive her. But she does stupid things all the time. Stupidity is her MO. If she ever used that lump three feet above her ass, this wouldn't have happened and I wouldn't have so many issues with her. This is just the first time her dumbass-ery has affected one of my horses directly. You know what she did when she found out? She called Cristy and apparently apologized profusely. I find that amusing that she called Cristy to apologize for MY horse getting hurt. Is she trying to avoid me until I cool down? She probably didn't want to be the one to tell me what happened. Or maybe she didn't have the balls to apologize to me directly. Not that it would help her case if she did. "Sorry" isn't gonna make those wounds go away. And it could have been avoided so easily.

I really want to know: Am I unreasonable for being upset? I mean about Victor getting bullied. Lorena thinks I'm being ridiculous. She is not willing to believe that her horse is dangerous and she seems to think it's perfectly normal that he chews Victor up. I don't think it's going to stop. They're okay if they're in the big drylot because Vic can get away from him, but otherwise, no. Also, Lorena and Cristy don't seem to understand that the problems are one-sided. Vic doesn't fight back at all. Levi is the instigator. How do I know? I've seen it happen many times in the past two weeks. Plus the fact that Vic is torn up and Levi doesn't have a scratch on him.

The wounds themselves don't bother me nearly as much as the idea of something happening and going unnoticed for hours. What if he'd gotten tangled in the hot wire? That's what bothers me. The scrapes and cuts aren't the worst that can happen. And it's that much worse because I'm paranoid.

I have more bad news. Rumor has it that Cynthia found two new boarders. One doesn't have a horse yet but wants one, and one lady wants to bring her horse in. If they're Cynthia's acquaintances, it can't be anything good. I don't think I can take more Cynthias. I'll go crazy if they end up being like her. My mom found a place that offers board for $100 a month, but there's no barn and it's just a pasture with a shelter. If these new people end up being bad, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and try to get my mom to move them to a place like that. I'd rather give up a nice barn and facilities than endure being around shitheads. For now I'm just praying that they end up being decent.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Victor got beat up again. D;

Levi is a bully. Vic had new owies on him when I went out yesterday. And Levi went after him (again) when I put them back out after feeding them. Lorena seems to think it'll blow over. I think not. But I've been wrong before, so we'll see. The way I see it, a horse is hard-wired to be the way he is and you can't change it any more than you can change someone's personality. I hope I'm wrong because I do not want to have to put up with my horse getting chewed up every time I turn around.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We had some problems last night.

When I went out to feed yesterday, eight horses were in the front pasture. That included Victor and Levi. I brought the horses in and I noticed that someone had beaten the living shit out of Victor. He had bite and kick marks all over him, especially on his neck. That has never happened before. All the horses were stressed and upset, and Levi was driving Doc (older gelding) away from all the other horses. It wasn't typical dominance behavior. Levi wasn't even letting Doc rest, no matter where he went in the pasture. I had a feeling Vic and Levi got into it, but I wasn't 100% sure is was Levi.

However, when I put the horses out that evening, Levi went after Victor again. Again, it wasn't just asserting dominance. Vic's been the dominant horse until now, so I think that's why the two of them are having so many problems. They were on opposite ends of the paddock, and Levi took one look at him and charged him. Vic got chased into the hot wire and Levi wouldn't leave him alone. So I brought Vic in and left him in his stall overnight. I might have been making myself paranoid yet again, but I kept having visions of him being driven into the fence and getting a leg caught in it or getting tangled in hot wire or kicking a hole in the metal shelter and slicing a hoof off... It's not the scrapes and bites that bother me. Those are superficial and they'll heal. It scares me to death what could happen if he and Levi were left unattended and I went out there the next morning to find a dead horse either beaten to shreds or tangled in a fence.

Levi was showing a lot of stallion behavior. Even though he was supposedly in a pasture with mares and geldings at his old place. I honestly never thought he would be like that since he's so docile with people. Pretty stupid of me, I know. I know stallions who were gelded as adults and they calmed right down and never had a problem. I'm positive that Levi still has a stallion's mentality. He herded Reba off by herself and won't let any other horses near her. He was patrolling up and down the paddock and going out of his way to chase other horses away. Vic and Doc especially. He just won't leave anyone alone. One of the mares nailed him in the jaw and now his cheek is swollen to twice the normal size. He's getting the shit beaten out of him too, because he's harassing everyone else in the herd. Vic is terrified of him, and I have NEVER seen Victor run from anyone. It was pretty brutal.

But I really don't want Levi to be sent back. I know how much Lorena and Cristy love him and I really like him as well. Just because he doesn't get along with a few of the horses is no reason to send him back. The problem is, all thirteen horses are together in one paddock. I HATE that. It's dangerous and I've nearly gotten run over several times while bringing horses in. They charge the gate because they're not being fed sufficiently and the BO is hellbent on keeping them all in "one big, happy herd", as she put it. It's ridiculous. When I first came to the barn, the drylots were separated into sections and there were one to three horses in each enclosure. The pastures were all separated, too. It was so much easier and safer. But the BO had the brilliant idea to tear out all the fencing and make the whole thing into one big paddock. She doesn't understand that some horses just do not get along. And she refuses to separate them. Now, the older and more timid horses don't get enough to eat and there's no way to assure that each horse gets the amount of hay that they're supposed to.

Lorena is extremely upset about the whole issue and I feel really guilty. She thinks the aggression would blow over eventually and they would be fine. She's mad at me for bringing Victor in because she thinks that that took away a chance for them to establish the pecking order. But I saw it and it wasn't normal. Was I wrong to take Victor out? I know the difference between asserting dominance and stallion behavior. And Levi was a breeding stallion up until last year. All I know is if I hadn't taken Victor out, I would have been up all night worrying. It felt wrong to leave him out there, and I'm sure many other horse people can relate when you just have "that feeling". Plenty of people end up losing their horses when they ignore that feeling.

I'm rambling. I'm just stressed out and guilty and I don't know what to do. I do not want to get in a fight with Lorena and I definitely don't want Levi to be sent back because of me. I have a serious headache right now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Better photos of Levi

Lorena is absolutely head-over-heels for this horse (so am I... hehe). We're pretty positive that she's keeping him. These pics are horrible for any conformation critique, but at least it's during the day and you can actually see his beautiful blue eyes. =) He needs more muscle tone in his hindquarters, but he's solid as a rock.

I'd like to get pictures of him all tacked up. He looks pretty sharp in English equipment. He's a dream to ride, too. Victor might have some competition...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eeerrgh. I'm going to steal their pony and give him to a little girl that will love him.

I don't know how Jack puts up with it. You should have seen what a brat Cynthia's daughter was being today. I wanted to slap her naughty little mouth. Like they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I was riding Vic when Cynthia came in and started lunging Jack. It was horrible. He' can't even trot rhythmically and she's pushing him to canter. She had him cantering on the wrong lead and didn't correct him. Then she had her daughter cantering on him. And her daughter shouldn't even be trotting. She doesn't even know how to hold the reins right. I'm not surprised, seeing as Cynthia is the one "teaching" her.

Her stirrups were about three holes too long, her feet were shoved into the irons to her heels, her toes were pointed down, her legs were flopping all over the place, she was leaning forward, leaning on the reins. No wonder poor Jack got fed up. He didn't do anything really naughty, but he crow hopped a few times. And the worst part is, the girl was whining because she wanted to jump. And Cynthia is going to let her. I don't know when, but she told her daughter that she might jump next time they're out there.

This is coming from the woman who didn't even know what a diagonal is. There's no way she knows what a release is. Someone's going to get hurt and it's going to be either Jack or her daughter. Or both. It's especially sad because if Jack got really naughty, they're blame it completely on him.

Cynthia had a trainer coming out there for a while who was absolutely crazy. I disliked her from the first time I met her. She was the kind of person who just rubs you the wrong way, y'know? She had rather questionable training techniques and she was bizarre to say the least. The BO realized this (shocker, I know!) and she actually had the 'nads to tell Cynthia not her have her out there anymore. I have to give the BO a brownie point for that one. One less nutjob out there to deal with.

Now if we can just get rid of Stank Bitch.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Horse festival photos!

I went to a horse event recently and thought I'd share some of the pictures. My two favorite stallions were there. *squeals like a fangirl* Santiago and Fandango. Andalusians. They're like the ones you see in baroque paintings, only much better because they're real and standing right in front of you. Lookie and enjoy. Click for larger views...

First we have Santiago:

And the ever lovely Fandango:

This was all during the baroque presentation.

The vaulters were awesome.

This was when the mare spooked. Fortunately they all managed to stay on and it wasn't a big deal.

Friesian mares with their foals. It was adorable to watch.

And last but not least, we have the mini pulling the chariot. It was hysterical. XD They were tearing around the arena and the music was all dramatic and it was just hilarious. lolz

Aaannd... a picture of Annabel because she's cute and fuzzy. You can tell she has such a hard life.

*pulls hair out*

I did it again. I cleaned up after Cynthia. She had a bunch of kids riding Reba again last night and as expected, she wasn't groomed. I wasn't there, but Lorena was and she told me Cynthia also had her five-year-old son riding the barn owner's Thoroughbred mare. Who had also not been groomed afterward as she had a dirty, sweaty saddle mark on her when I went out this afternoon. And the BO didn't seem to care or even notice. I would have knocked her ass through the ceiling if that had been my horse. I'm assuming she had permission, but Cynthia's got some nerve treating the barn owner's horse that way.

So anyway, I took some pics of Reba after she got all cleaned up. She's pretty cute when she's clean.

Sorry for the bad lighting. Photos don't come out that great in the barn. XP

She's a gorgeous color. I love roan horses. You can't even see her skinny-ness in the pictures. Her ribs stick out and you can feel all the vertebrae in her spine. Her dock sticks out as well and her hindquarters are really sunken in. She's be really cute if she gained weight and filled out.

You can kind of see her ribs in this one. She's a bit sway backed, too. But still irresistible. She's so patient and forgiving. Probably way too patient, but a lot of horses are. And unfortunately those are the ones that most frequently end up with bad owners/riders.

She's another reason I really hesitate to move. No one would look after her and she'd probably never see a curry comb again. Stank Bitch Cynthia would continue to use her as a play toy and no one would care. If I moved, Lorena and Cristy would probably come with, so Reba would definitely have no one (can you tell I really really really like this horse? lol).

IF I move, I might call her owner up and fill her in on everything. And possibly ask her if she would consider moving Reba to the place I go. I'm sure she would at least consider it if she knew what was going on.

Lorena and I went to look at this therapeutic riding facility today and it was absolutely gorgeous. It's on 20 acres, the barn being remodeled, there's a pond and a creek that runs through the pastures, indoor/outdoor arenas, and all the horses were in great condition. The people there were nice and they really care about the horses. It's a boarding facility as well as the therapy riding. We want to do volunteer work there, and we could eventually become state certified instructors. And if I worked out there, they might let me keep my horses out there for a lower fee. It's a huge "maybe", though. So we'll see.

Finally, as promised, I got a picture of Levi. It's not very good, though. It was getting dark and you can't see much. I brightened it a lot, but it's still yucky. I'll get better ones as soon as I can. I apologize again for the cruddy photos. :/

Friday, September 11, 2009

I got to ride Levi!

He is a gem. He's the kind of horse that you never want to get off of once you're on him. He has a lovely trot and a nice quiet mind. Lorena is completely smitten. I know, I promised to get pictures, and I forgot once again. But they are coming. He is sooo handsome.

Totally off topic, but Cynthia had a bunch of people (some complete beginners) go out on a nighttime trail ride a few days ago. I wasn't there at night but I saw her talking to people and organizing the whole thing during the day. She was trying to get Cristy to go with, even though there weren't enough horses for the people that were already going. So then Cynthia suggests that she takes Victor.

O.O Cristy and I almost fell over. First of all, he's not Cristy's horse, and second of all, Cristy doesn't want that death wish. She's seen him when he's in a pissy mood. I don't think she'd get on him if someone paid her.

He's a one-person horse. If a stranger took him and just hopped on, you're asking for trouble. He'd probably send someone to the emergency room.

She even had kids riding double because she didn't have enough horses for everyone. I'm pretty sure she used Mariah. And for the record, she STILL hasn't been groomed. I should take a picture of her so you can see how pathetic she looks. They claim she's dirty because she's gray, and I say bullshit. There's a big difference between pasture dirt and old, caked on sweat. It would not be that hard to keep her clean, but they seem to think grooming is blasphemy.

One of Mitch's daughters asked me how my horses are so shiny. That's what happens when you GROOM them! Shocking, isn't it? I know it's a terribly hard concept to wrap your brain around.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

OMG I just want to kill her.

Yesterday was an eventful day. Wendy and Eddie left and went back to their old barn. I'm not surprised and I don't blame them at all. But I'm gonna miss them. It was such a breath of fresh air talking to people who know what they're doing. Now it's back to square one with me, my mom, Cristy, and Lorena against the shitheads. My mother keeps insisting that we can't afford to go anywhere else. So the search continues. I'm still trying to talk her into going to that one place.

Anyway, Reba's plight continues. This girl was out there yesterday with one of her friends. I think the girl is somehow related to Reba's owner, but I'm not sure. Both girls were riding Reba, and my stomach was in a knot the whole time. The friend must have been at least 200 pounds. And Reba's about 15 hands and has no muscle at all. She's too small for me to ride, let alone someone who's so heavy. Nonetheless, she behaved perfectly the whole time and never put a foot wrong. She is such a good horse.

I feel bad for girl #1. She comes out with Cynthia a lot and she's basically being corrupted. She's not being taught any better, and she doesn't know a good trainer from a bad one because she's a rank beginner. I'm seeing her pick up all of Cynthia's bad habits and the last thing the horse world needs is another Cynthia.

When the girls were done, they untacked her and tossed her in her stall without even rubbing her down. Exactly like Cynthia does. And Reba had grain in her stall, so she was all hot and sweaty when she started to eat. I grabbed her out right away and showered her down. The girls left to fast to see me do it, but I'm going to say something to girl #1 next time I see her. I think she'll listen, too. She's a nice girl and she does care about her horse, she's just been hanging around Stank Bitch way too much. I don't know if it'll cause any problems with Cynthia, though. She might think I'm undermining her. I don't care if she's mad at me, I just don't want her to whine to the BO, because the BO probably won't back me up.

Mariah, that super old Arab mare that's foundered and arthritic, was ridden at the same time Reba was last time. Cynthia had a bunch of girls riding Mariah, Reba, Jack, and Nikki. And not surprisingly, none of those horses were groomed afterward. Mariah still has the saddle mark from three days ago. And she's been droopy and sore since then. She isn't in any condition to be ridden at all. Plus she was dirty when they tacked her up so she might be sore from that as well. She's had huge sores under her girth before. It's really sickening. It's situations like this when I wish our area had an SPCA. Every city needs animal cops. All we have here is Animal Control, and they only deal with cats and dogs because they don't have the facilities for large animals and none of them know anything about horses. They won't do a damn thing if I call them. I've reported several cruelty cases and they never do anything. It makes me want to move and go somewhere where they actually have law enforcement.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm taking care of another horse.

There's this mare named Reba and she never gets any attention. The reason is because she's owned by a non-horse person and she only keeps her for sentimental reasons. You see, Reba used to belong to her owner's daughter, but the daughter died. So now she's just living there and the worst part is, Cynthia somehow got permission to ride her whenever she wants.

This has been going on for a long time. Cynthia rides the poor twenty-something horse into the ground and then tosses her back in her stall or paddock without so much as a pat on the neck. That's how she treats all the horses she rides. So the other day, Stank Bitch had a bunch of kids riding Reba. Then she tossed her in her stall when they were done, sweaty saddle mark and all. Didn't bother to rub her down or anything. That's what you do with toys, right? Just beat them up and toss them back on the shelf.

So I took her and hosed her down, then conditioned her mane and tail and Show Sheened her. She was in desperate need of some pampering. And I did it right in front of Cynthia and everyone else at the barn. AM I GETTING MY POINT ACROSS? Does anyone ever see Cynthia even groom the horse? Hell no. Wendy came over and commented on how skinny she is (she's about 75 pounds underweight). And Cynthia suddenly starts saying that she watches her weight so closely and she gains all the weight back when her teeth are floated and she's so concerned about the horse. Bullshit. Reba's been a skeleton for a long time. She could pack on the weight if she was fed enough, AND if Cynthia kept her ass off of her. FYI, the photo was taken several years ago before Cynthia came. She doesn't look like that anymore.

So she KNOWS the horse is skinny but she continues to ride her the way she does? She has a horse that she can ride for free whenever she wants and she completely neglects her. It's no wonder she looks like shit. And Reba's not the only one. There are several horses out there that look pathetic. Reba also isn't the first horse in Cynthia's care that was underweight. Her original pony, Sarah, was way too skinny. Cynthia claimed they were doing everything in their power to help her gain weight. She said they just couldn't get her to eat. That's because they fed her cattle hay that resembled straw. No fucking wonder she didn't eat.

However, you know that they "sold" Sarah and got Jack instead. Sarah's new owner has this brand new barn and she's treated like a queen. She gained all the weight back within a couple months of getting proper nutrition. I'm happy for Sarah, but Jack is the next victim. That pony isn't gonna last long. I see early onset arthritis in his future. Both Cynthia and her husband ride him. They practically need roller skates so their feet don't drag on the ground. That poor pony is an absolute SAINT. Lord have mercy on him.

Her husband said something the other day that pissed me off. He's not a horse person, and he values horses even less than his dipshit wife. He said he wants a mustang because they're so low maintenance and rarely ever need farrier work. Which means God forbid if they ever DID get a mustang, he or she would be severely neglected. It scares the shit out of me when I hear people say ignorant things like that. The BO actually agreed with him, not surprising. But still. I bit my tongue because they wouldn't have listened to me anyway. No one ever does.

But back to the fact that several horses there look terrible. The BO just doesn't see it. She thinks there's nothing wrong with any of them. Her barn is going to get one hell of a bad reputation. Visitors come through that barn and wonder what the hell's going on and why the BO isn't addressing the issues. It's because she's blind and she doesn't have the balls to confront anybody and straighten them out. The woman can't run a stable. Period.

Our horses make her barn look good. And by "our" I mean mine, Wendy and Eddie's, and Lorena's. If we left, the only ones that would be left are the scraggly, malnourished ones. And the only people would be the clueless ones. If we left, her barn would fall apart. There would be no clean, healthy horses and knowledgeable people to make the place look good. I think if one of us left, all of us would follow, too.

There is one place that's about half an hour away, and I think it's $275 a month for full board. That includes a stall, daily turnout, hay, grain, shavings, stall cleaning and farrier. And it's owned by one of my parents' friends. He supposedly keeps everything immaculate and he actually feeds his horses. But it's thirty minutes away. That adds up to a lot of gas money and I might not see my horses as often as I do now. They're ten minutes away right now, and the idea of them being so far away is a bit unsettling. I'm probably just being paranoid again.

Nevertheless, I really really really want to move. If we go there, I won't have to worry about my guys not being taken care of. Plus we wouldn't have to supply our own grain and shaving and hay anymore. So I don't think it would be that much more expensive. And we wouldn't have to put up with the morons. The owner doesn't sound like the kind of person that would tolerate morons.

Lorena, Cristy, and maybe Wendy and Eddie would come with us. So our current BO would lose over half her boarders. Maybe that would be a wake up call.

I want to get out of there so bad I can't tell you. It's just a matter of talking my parents into it. They still want to try to make things work out there. I've given up and I consider that place a lost cause. But whatever. If things miraculously get better, I've been wrong before. That would be great if Cynthia and Mike left. But that's probably not going to happen because the BO loves them. Hence being a lost cause.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The shenanigans never end. lol

The BO is kinda... goofy. That's the nicest word I can use to describe her. She has the memory of an ant and she knows nothing about horses. She claims she's been around horses all her life, but if that's true, I think it was just the good ole' farm pony types.

She almost knocked my socks off a couple days ago. Eddie was talking about bits and the BO comes up and says, "What's a loose ring?"

HOSNAP. She supposedly has several decades worth of experience under her belt and she doesn't know what a loose ring is? She started asking him all these newbie questions that anyone could figure out simply by opening up a State Line Tack catalog. She had no idea what an eggbutt or D-ring is. And she didn't know the difference between a snaffle and a leverage bit. The woman uses a pelham on her Quarter Horse and she has no understanding of bit mechanics. That scares the bejezus out of me.

Another weird thing about her. She's sworn up and down to my mom and I that she was a prosecuting attorney, but come to find out, she was only a paralegal. *facepalm*

I think she's pretty harmless, nevertheless. Just extremely goofy. She can't manage a stable if her life depended on it. That's why Lorena is such an asset.

Speaking of Lorena...


She has him for thirty days, but she still doesn't know if he'll be good for Cristy's daughter. All three of them are head-over-heels in love with him, though. He is sharp. His name is Jim, but Lorena is calling him Levi because... Jim sounds ridiculous. But he's a piebald with blue eyes. Very handsome. He's nine and was a stallion up until last year, but he has no stud left in him at all. Nothing seems to bother him, not even half a dozen little girls squealing and petting the heck out of him. I need to get pictures. I got to ride him yesterday, and he was definitely cowboy trained. He has no bend to him because all they did was point him and kick. He thinks one leg on him means "GO". But that's the kind of training Lorena likes to do. Bending and flexing and whatnot.

I promise to get pictures next time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Secret's going back.

Lorena is taking her back Saturday because she has a crack in her front hoof that goes all the way up and the farrier said it looks like permanent damage. They pulled her shoes yesterday and there was hardly any wall left to put shoes back on, so they left her barefoot. It might have been the result of a bad shoe job and/or a shoe that was a size too small. So that definitely won't work out.

However, our farrier happens to have a horse for sale. And that horse happens to be a black and white paint gelding with blue eyes. My trainer's favorite kind (and mine. I'm really excited). He's coming for a thirty day trial the same day Secret leaves. I cannot wait to see him. She rode him yesterday and fell in love.

There are two problems. One, he's asking $3500 for him, which is out of Lorena's price range, but the farrier is willing to work with her on payment and whatnot. And two, the horse has to be suitable not only for Lorena, but for the 7 year old she gives lessons to (Cristy's daughter). Apparently he's a lot of horse and he's only been trained for working. Herding, roping, cutting, etc. If Lorena gets a horse, it will be half-and-half ownership because she and Cristy want to buy a horse together and split the cost and work. So he has to be suitable for all three of them. Hopefully she can get him into shape in that thirty days.