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Author Topic: Why I want to live in the boonies...  (Read 11776 times)
AIONIA
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« Topic Start: January 07, 2008, 02:59:16 pm »

  Yesterday I took my mare to a friend's farm, where I also give riding lessons, so that I could work her in their round pen. She was a little nervous as it was her first time away from home for any real length of time, but settled down nicely and behaved herself all day.

  However my ride got delayed and didn't get back to the farm to pick me up until well after dark. So obviously I waited, which wouldn't have been so bad except that the neighbors, in full view of the horse startes shooting off fireworks and Missy's mortal enemy Poprocks.

  So it's now pitch black outside, and all she can hear are the bangs from the rocks and the flares of the sparklers. I spent about five minutes trying to calm her down and got struck on the elbow for my troubles. Thoroughly pissed with them I asked them to stop while we loaded her in the trailer as my ride had arrived, they didn't. She was understandably nervous, and nearly broke her neck trying to get away from my grandpa and follow me when I went into the barn to get treats to get her in the trailer.

  Finally she was in the trailer and secured, I gave her the alfalfa cubes and patted her. My grandfather noticed that her tail was in the door and opened it, leaving the butt chain hooked so she wouldn't back out. This was when they decided to throw some Poprocks across the rearend of my trailer.

  Missy flew backwards, and knocked my grandfather down, then struggled to get free as she was already latched in. Her backlegs slid under the trailer, and she couldn't stand up because of the chain. I got to her head and pulled on the rope through the window, so she saw me and scrambled back into the trailer. My grandpa closed the trailer door and told me to get in the truck as I was already on my way to confront the neighbors.

  We got home and walked her around to check for injuries and she seems alright, but extremely sore. I'm so mad at the neighbors I'm really considering stopping lessons, because I don't know if I could stand the sight of them. But I have a duty to the kids and their parents, so we'll see how I manage the next few weeks. But today I'm ready to wring their necks and have the bruise to prove they did me and my horse harm. A blue whopper on the inside of my elbow.
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Jenett
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« Reply #1: January 07, 2008, 04:11:20 pm »

We got home and walked her around to check for injuries and she seems alright, but extremely sore. I'm so mad at the neighbors I'm really considering stopping lessons, because I don't know if I could stand the sight of them. But I have a duty to the kids and their parents, so we'll see how I manage the next few weeks. But today I'm ready to wring their necks and have the bruise to prove they did me and my horse harm. A blue whopper on the inside of my elbow.

That's unforgiveable behavior.

Take photos of the bruises immediately (and as they heal: if you use a digital camera, you'll get date/time stamping), and of any swelling on your poor mare. And then call both the parents of the kids you teach, and the police. (not the emergency line, but in a "Look, this happened: I want to know what to do if something like this happens again and what the law is about animal cruelty or deliberate endangerment".) You might also want to talk to your vet, your state agricultural folks, or any other local horse-owner's groups about it.

What you describe is *really* close to animal cruelty statutes in many states, and could also count as endangering you and your grandpa.

I wouldn't take your mare back to your friend's until you had talked with the kids you're teaching (and their parents) and to whatever adults exist at the neighbors and gotten assurances that seem good to you about avoiding this in future.

(Erm. Can you tell I've been around a very few similar situations in the past? I used to ride in an area with a lot of ATV activity, and where a very few kids would deliberately try to scare the horses and make them bolt - *incredibly* dangerous when you're out in the woods a mile or three from home, and the area is bordered by some busy roads. We handled that one by a combination of peer pressure from the brothers of people I rode with, and the families who owned the bordering land coming down like a ton of bricks and reporting people who went over the line of acceptable behavior very aggressively for a while. Plus some defensive riding training and learning to handle horses in those situations training for us.)
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« Reply #2: January 07, 2008, 04:32:54 pm »

That's unforgiveable behavior.

Take photos of the bruises immediately (and as they heal: if you use a digital camera, you'll get date/time stamping), and of any swelling on your poor mare. And then call both the parents of the kids you teach, and the police. (not the emergency line, but in a "Look, this happened: I want to know what to do if something like this happens again and what the law is about animal cruelty or deliberate endangerment".) You might also want to talk to your vet, your state agricultural folks, or any other local horse-owner's groups about it.

What you describe is *really* close to animal cruelty statutes in many states, and could also count as endangering you and your grandpa.

I wouldn't take your mare back to your friend's until you had talked with the kids you're teaching (and their parents) and to whatever adults exist at the neighbors and gotten assurances that seem good to you about avoiding this in future.

I'm going to second everything Jennett said, that's ridiculous behavior.
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« Reply #3: January 07, 2008, 04:37:33 pm »

I'm really considering stopping lessons, because I don't know if I could stand the sight of them. But I have a duty to the kids and their parents, so we'll see how I manage the next few weeks. But today I'm ready to wring their necks and have the bruise to prove they did me and my horse harm. A blue whopper on the inside of my elbow.
If I were you, there's no way in HELL I'd go back there.  These people obviously have zero respect for the animals they're riding.  I wouldn't want them within a hundred feet of a horse!  Besides, it's a chance to teach the little monsters that their actions have consequences.

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« Reply #4: January 07, 2008, 04:42:27 pm »

  Yesterday I took my mare to a friend's farm, where I also give riding lessons, so that I could work her in their round pen. She was a little nervous as it was her first time away from home for any real length of time, but settled down nicely and behaved herself all day.

  However my ride got delayed and didn't get back to the farm to pick me up until well after dark. So obviously I waited, which wouldn't have been so bad except that the neighbors, in full view of the horse startes shooting off fireworks and Missy's mortal enemy Poprocks.

  So it's now pitch black outside, and all she can hear are the bangs from the rocks and the flares of the sparklers. I spent about five minutes trying to calm her down and got struck on the elbow for my troubles. Thoroughly pissed with them I asked them to stop while we loaded her in the trailer as my ride had arrived, they didn't. She was understandably nervous, and nearly broke her neck trying to get away from my grandpa and follow me when I went into the barn to get treats to get her in the trailer.
I would be real mad as well. I know that in most states if not all endangering a person by intentionally scaring a horse is a big deal. Are fireworks even legal in your state? Most states have strict laws on what you can do around a horse. Here if you come upon one being ridden on the road you have to immediately slow to 25mph, can't honk and do nothing to scare the horse which in turn could injure the rider. You should check with your local athorities. Can't imagine anyone intentionally doing this anyhow and near a place where children are learning to ride is unthinkable.
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RandallS
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« Reply #5: January 07, 2008, 06:22:06 pm »

Finally she was in the trailer and secured, I gave her the alfalfa cubes and patted her. My grandfather noticed that her tail was in the door and opened it, leaving the butt chain hooked so she wouldn't back out. This was when they decided to throw some Poprocks across the rearend of my trailer.

There is no excuse whatsoever for this behavior. Don't take your poor horse (or your poor selves) back there again unless you are sure the behavior situation is going to greatly improve.
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« Reply #6: January 07, 2008, 06:29:54 pm »

  Yesterday I took my mare to a friend's farm, where I also give riding lessons, so that I could work her in their round pen. She was a little nervous as it was her first time away from home for any real length of time, but settled down nicely and behaved herself all day.

  However my ride got delayed and didn't get back to the farm to pick me up until well after dark. So obviously I waited, which wouldn't have been so bad except that the neighbors, in full view of the horse startes shooting off fireworks and Missy's mortal enemy Poprocks.

  So it's now pitch black outside, and all she can hear are the bangs from the rocks and the flares of the sparklers. I spent about five minutes trying to calm her down and got struck on the elbow for my troubles. Thoroughly pissed with them I asked them to stop while we loaded her in the trailer as my ride had arrived, they didn't. She was understandably nervous, and nearly broke her neck trying to get away from my grandpa and follow me when I went into the barn to get treats to get her in the trailer.

  Finally she was in the trailer and secured, I gave her the alfalfa cubes and patted her. My grandfather noticed that her tail was in the door and opened it, leaving the butt chain hooked so she wouldn't back out. This was when they decided to throw some Poprocks across the rearend of my trailer.

  Missy flew backwards, and knocked my grandfather down, then struggled to get free as she was already latched in. Her backlegs slid under the trailer, and she couldn't stand up because of the chain. I got to her head and pulled on the rope through the window, so she saw me and scrambled back into the trailer. My grandpa closed the trailer door and told me to get in the truck as I was already on my way to confront the neighbors.

  We got home and walked her around to check for injuries and she seems alright, but extremely sore. I'm so mad at the neighbors I'm really considering stopping lessons, because I don't know if I could stand the sight of them. But I have a duty to the kids and their parents, so we'll see how I manage the next few weeks. But today I'm ready to wring their necks and have the bruise to prove they did me and my horse harm. A blue whopper on the inside of my elbow.

THe they is kind of confusing. Thepeople with the fireworks are the neighbors of your friend?  are they taking lessons, or just happen to be next door to where you teach.
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juniperrr
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« Reply #7: January 07, 2008, 07:27:24 pm »

  Yesterday I took my mare to a friend's farm, where I also give riding lessons...

That is horrendous behavior, you have no duty whatsoever to these kids and a great deal of duty to your self and your terrified mare. If they want to learn so badly, let them get their own horse, teach them on that. See how long they can torment their own horse before they get seriously injured and I wouldn't feel a bit sorry for them.

Damn, I dropped a client when I was training for simply not following directions, if anyone had done anything like what you describe I would have had the cops out and sued for damages to myself, trailer, vet bills to have my mare given a full check up AND never gone back again.

The story: I had an aggressive hi-powered lawyer as a client. She was all about ribbons and trophies at shows. I purposely helped her find a horse that suited her, a bit timid as her riding style was bossy and pushy and a timid horse went well under her. I went on one of my horse buying trips to Ireland and was gone for a month. When I returned it seems my client had trouble while I was away jumping her horse and had enlisted the help of another trainer. She got a rough cowboy type guy who just tried to beat the horse up and force it to jump, the worst way you could ever train a scaredy cat horse, as they totally terrified him and he would not even go near a jump by the time I returned. I almost dropped her right there, but she begged and pleaded (not to mentioned paid me time and a half) to get the horse going again. So I told her to not ride for a month and I would do the painstaking work of getting confidence built back up in this poor horse.

Things were going well, starting slowly and I had the horse working over gymnastic lines of jumps and getting him to relax and be okay again. The owner shows up and sees the horse working well over fences and wants to take the horse to a show. I said NO WAY, he wasn't ready for anything near that and I also wanted to now start training HER on how to deal with the horse in the fragile mental condition he was in.

Yes, you guessed it, she took the horse to the show anyway, tried entering jumping classes and got eliminated because the horse would have nothing to do with the fences and she also fell off trying to make him jump. I would have enjoyed seeing that. But she ruined all the work I had put in and was being cruel the horse for the sake of her neurotic need for ribbions. I dropped her as a client in spite of all her threats to sue etc. I heard later she stopped riding all together and sold her horse. Best thing all around, especially for the horse.

Had anyone ever done anything close to what you described, there would have been hell to pay.
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« Reply #8: January 07, 2008, 09:51:55 pm »

    However my ride got delayed and didn't get back to the farm to pick me up until well after dark. So obviously I waited, which wouldn't have been so bad except that the neighbors, in full view of the horse startes shooting off fireworks and Missy's mortal enemy Poprocks.
 

Make sure the people you give lessons to know what the neighbors did and what the results of their actions were - injuries to you and Missy. Explain that you can't return until you are reassured it won't happen again. 

Since it seems it was unsupervised minors involved, their actions need to be broughht to the attention of adults (parents or guardians.) They may be horrified to know what their kids did. If not, and they actually sick up for the brats, then you will need to consult a lawyer before going back again. 

If I misunderstood you and adults were involved with the fireworks, then you really do need a lawyer and I wouldn't recommend ever going back there.


Sending feelings of calm to you

(((Missy and Aionia)))
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« Reply #9: January 08, 2008, 01:59:15 am »


While I've never been in a situation like the one you were in, at the very least, I'd call the cops and ask about animal cruelty, animal endangerment, assault....that sort of thing. I also second the notion of taking pics of any and all injuries you, your grandfather and Missy may have sustained.  Also, have a vet come out and check Missy for hidden injuries...and have the bill sent to the ones who threw the Poprocks at/across/into the trailer and spooked her so badly.

But what are Poprocks and who threw them at/into/across the trailer?  The people who's place you're training at?  Or neighbours of theirs?
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« Reply #10: January 08, 2008, 07:25:21 am »

But what are Poprocks

I'm wondering, from the context, if they're the things that are called whippersnappers around here.  They're fairly small little things that you throw at the ground, the wall, etc. and they explode (loudly) on impact (but no fire or sparks or anything, just sound).  They're usually sold alongside fireworks.  I can see where they'd startle a horse pretty badly, especially at close range.
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« Reply #11: January 08, 2008, 02:32:01 pm »

I'm wondering, from the context, if they're the things that are called whippersnappers around here.  They're fairly small little things that you throw at the ground, the wall, etc. and they explode (loudly) on impact (but no fire or sparks or anything, just sound).  They're usually sold alongside fireworks.  I can see where they'd startle a horse pretty badly, especially at close range.

Yes, that's what they are. Kids can buy a small bag of them, they are about the size of a dime, and they throw them at the ground and they explode with a very loud BANG. Even though they are technically legal, every festival I attend out here in the West has forbidden the sale of them. Kids are immature (well duh) and do stupid things with them, even without any horses around.
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« Reply #12: January 08, 2008, 03:29:08 pm »

I'm wondering, from the context, if they're the things that are called whippersnappers around here.  They're fairly small little things that you throw at the ground, the wall, etc. and they explode (loudly) on impact (but no fire or sparks or anything, just sound).  They're usually sold alongside fireworks.  I can see where they'd startle a horse pretty badly, especially at close range.

Oh, those things. Roll Eyes

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« Reply #13: January 08, 2008, 04:00:06 pm »

Oh, those things. Roll Eyes
I'm glad that's been clarified.  "Poprocks", to me, are little candy bits that fizz in your mouth, and that, contrary to urban legend, do not make you explode when combined with carbonated beverages.

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« Reply #14: January 08, 2008, 04:25:59 pm »

I'm glad that's been clarified.  "Poprocks", to me, are little candy bits that fizz in your mouth, and that, contrary to urban legend, do not make you explode when combined with carbonated beverages.

Those candies are my favorite!!!

Aionia, what they did to your horse is completely inexcusable. If any ferrier I have ever met was there (and one in particular) those kids would have gotten the snot beat out of them!!!
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