Saturday, May 1, 2021

Not okay

 New tires on the trailer?  Check.

All the updates on the truck?  Check.

Indignant rage about my horse's lack of care?  Check.

Chunky monkey on the trailer?  Check.

What did you call me?

I'm sorry, I draw the line when I hear that my horse's shoes were not done on time.  What?  WHAT?!  I couldn't get there to pick him up fast enough.  Don't work him, fine, but his damn feet will be done on time.  I might still be angry about that revelation.  Just a bit.  And when I picked him up I discovered that someone decided he didn't need back shoes.  Which answers the question as to whether or not he's been in work.  Theo's feet don't hold up under work without shoes.  Theo's farrier should see him on Monday to fix this.  Also his sheath is about the size of my head and has marks from him biting it.  Ready for pictures of my horse's junk?  Because it's that time.

Horse ownership is frequently taking pictures of your horse's junk to share with others

This is not okay.  This is NOT OKAY.  I tried to tell myself it was okay, that someone would miss that or that it was because he was in a stall today, but even my husband says that it's not okay and he only knows how to pick out feet.

All those nice brushes from Haas that I collected?  Gone, disappeared into the school horse program I'm sure.  The important items were found, I have my saddles and bridles back.  Judging by the SHAVINGS stuck to my horse's girth, he's been worked without even being groomed properly.  They did body clip him this week so he looks pretty good in that respect but his tail is going to take me a couple hours to fix.

At least his lovely mane has been left alone so I don't have to start over

When I went to pick him up he was inside on a beautiful day, just like all of the other horses.  I have no idea why.  He saw me and the trailer and started whickering and dancing around in his stall.  Someone thought he was on his way to a show.  I had my gloves, a chain shank, and my dressage whip just to be sure.  All the reports were that Theo has been almost dangerous to handle so I went in expecting the worst.  I opened his door and he pushed forward.  I said 'Back up!' and he did.  I held out his halter and he put his head in it.  He wanted out of that damn stall.  I walked him out and he was a total gentleman.   Up on his toes but respecting the lead.  I walked him to the trailer, said 'Uppie uppie', and he walked on like the old pro he is.  I just . . . . huh?

His new paddock is pretty much the same one he left last summer.  I turned him out expecting some dramatics but it was so anti-climactic.  He said hi to the horse next to him, rolled about 10 times, and then got to work on his hay.  I got an update at 7pm and he was still happily working on his haynet.  Out of control?  A liability?  Not so much.  He just wanted out of that damn stall.

Fresh air, sand to roll in, and a full haynet.  Theo's definition of heaven.

I don't know what I'm going to do with him but he's back.  There's a lot of emotions going on.  I'm happy to have my boy back.  Let's face it, our bond isn't based on his good behavior.  The fact he can be an absolute ass is part of his charm.  I am happy to have him back to visit, to groom, to fuss over.  I spent quite a bit of time just rubbing his ears and scratching his crest.  He was so happy for the cuddles.

I am an absolute ball of rage about the lack of care he's experienced.  I understand that I am a bit extreme in terms of my horse's care but I thought I was leaving him with someone that would advocate for him.  Turns out I was wrong.  No one was advocating for him.  When he was less than useful, he was pushed aside and forgotten.  No one tried to figure out what was wrong or even let me know that things had gone wrong.  I feel gullible and betrayed because I truly thought he was going to have a great opportunity and trusted that everyone had his best interests in mind.  But, as my bestie said, hindsight is 20/20.  I had no reason to believe there was a problem.  

Rage aside, I need to get him back to work and that's very intimidating right now.  He seems to be very much himself, just bored and desperate for attention.  But I have to be very careful.  I will not be the first on him.  He needs to be back in regular work and content to be his lazy self before I can take the risk.  I really am itching to get in the saddle but I have to be smart about this.

First I get to go shopping.  I have a bunch of credit saved up from consignment sales and I didn't use them during the pandemic.  His leather halter is currently held together with a loop of baling twine and he doesn't have a fly mask.  He needs those and I can go buy all the fly spray and things I need.  I'll be looking for a caveson to use for lunging since I'll be doing a lot of ground work.  I've always wanted to teach him to ground drive and this seems to be the right time.  I can make him tired while not putting myself in danger of getting launched this way.  Even if he's not tired, I need to get him back into the pattern of being tacked up, heading to the arena, and doing a job.  

He's back and I can't say I'll be eager to let him out of my sight again any time soon.  Once bitten, twice shy.


  1. So glad he's back! Maybe some of the behavior issues they were seeing were due to the care choices...

  2. Ohh, justifiable rage! And send them a bill for those brushes.

    I have leased several horses and I am OBSESSIVE about proper care because I was so appreciative of the opportunity. What I have learned from stories like this is you have to require regular updates, ask for videos, and go find out why they stop. If things are going well there is nothing to hide. When communication stops, there is a reason.
    I hope your boy is busy again in no time.