Day Fifteen: 30 Day Challenge

Day Fifteen: If you could say something to any one horse, what would you say?

Hmm…this is a weird one for me because I talk to my horses all the time. In fact, I think one of the reason that Gen and I get along so well is because he loves to be spoken too and I love to talk. I spend most of my work day listening to others so as soon as I get to the barn I start talking and I just don’t stop. Gen is an excellent listener and I swear that he knows what I am saying a lot of the time.

I tend to not live my life with a whole lot of regrets, if I need to say something, I just say it (that is not always a good trait). I mean, I explained to Phoenix why I wasn’t going to see him anymore, I spoke to both X and Heart before they were put down. I guess if I had to pick a horse that I wanted to say something to it would be one of the horses from my college days. I could be wrong, but I think the horses name was Tricky? Maybe? I need help from my college friends who read this. He was a tall, thin Chestnut that I rode in pretty much every lesson. He was totally safe, but had a rough trot to ride. Of course we always did no stirrup work every week so that was fun.

Anyway…The horses at my college were not taken care of very well at all. They still had straight stalls in the barn where horses would have no access to water for the entire day. That should give you some indication how highly care was on their list of priorities. Well Tickey got rain rot, badly. I pointed it out to the barn manager who just shrugged me off. I pointed it out to the riding instructor and she told me to just relax.

I am sure that you all can tell I am not good with just watching a horse suffer so after hoping for two weeks that someone would care I decided to take matters in to my own hands. The rain rot was on his back was so bad that it was BLEEDING. And no one cared. People kept riding him and I just felt so bad for him. So I decided that I would take care of it myself. I went to the barn everyday for weeks treating the rain rot in the morning before anyone else came around. I would scrub and do my best hoping that the rain rot would go away before I had to leave for the summer when the horses would be thrown outside and not looked at again for three months.

Well one day after almost two weeks, when he was finally looking better, I got caught. I had already treated him and was just putting him away in his stall when the barn manager came in. She was NOT happy. I admit, I did not ask if it was okay to treat him. I had just assumed that people would be happy that the horse was getting better. No such luck. I got IN TROUBLE. Big time. In fact, it was so bad I was not able to return to the barn for the rest of the year and the next one. I didn’t ride my junior year in college because of all of this.

So because I left in such a hurry, I never got to say good bye. I wish that I could have told him how sorry I was for him. How he was a good horse and deserved to be better and what a good horse he was. I heard that over the summer his owners came back and saw the condition that he was in and pulled him from the barn.

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5 thoughts on “Day Fifteen: 30 Day Challenge

  1. Hindsight is 20/20 but maybe you should have called the vet they used to report the problem or even animal welfare (after taking some good pictures as proof!). You were only doing what was best for the horse and shame on them for kicking you out for that!! You should know in your heart the horse and owners probably loved you for what you did.

  2. First, I am appalled at how “college” horses are maintained. Rent string horses, pony ride mounts, whatever. You can always tell those who care for the horses as living beings versus those who use the horses as a means to an end. I’d have reported the woman who got angry with you for treating the horse with rain rot. She was disgusting. Wonder how her children are going to treat HER when she gets sick. One can always hope, heh heh.

    I too talk to my animals. They also “talk” to me. I keep a running conversation when I’m riding and while some old-timey cowboy-type guys don’t understand why I do it, I know that it’s really none of their business and if they don’t like listening to me as I “chat” with my horse down the trail, they don’t have to ride with me.

    If I had one thing more to say to a horse, it would be to my first horse. I did not go to the barn the day I asked the vet to euthanize him. I should have been there but I was so angry with the idiot barn owners who had made me sign all kinds of waivers regarding HIS behavior in the pasture (because he was retired there) but they didn’t watch other horses and how they interacted with him. He got injured and there was nothing to be done, so I did the compassionate thing. I just wasn’t there. I should have been there, and I would tell him what he truly meant to me and how sorry I am.

  3. Yeah, you know what I think of that college program. They let my favorite horse (UCWM) die of founder. They’re supposed to be an Animal Science school and they let someone put him away too hot to eat his dinner. They use barbed wire for their horse fencing. They run the horses across a busy street to their stalls. I can go on. I told UCWM a lot but I wish that I had explained better to him that I was leaving forever when I graduated. I also wish I told Cavat at the barn I rode at off campus that I wouldn’t be back. I was the only human he liked; everyone else he would run out of his stall with ears pinned and teeth bared.

    But these horses did teach me to not miss an opportunity to tell any of my other horses what I felt. I talk to PJ all of the time. I explain what I’m doing. I apologize when I do something stupid. I thank him for a great ride and even a not so great ride. I know he understands me.

  4. yes that was tricky! He was such a sweet horse, and I could tell he really loved you! I dont think I have heard that story- or maybe I did but I forgot. It still breaks my heart to think of how some of those horses were treated. I ride with some girls that are in the program now, and it does seem like things are improving slightly.
    I dont know what happened to tricky, but I do hope that it is true that he was taken away from the barn.
    I also talk to my horse a lot. The other day I left the barn after a not so great ride. ANd I was so angry that we werent understanding each other. I was so mad at her and myself. And I felt horrible leaving, and I wish I could tell her why i was so angry and upset and frustrated. Almost like I thought she would think I dont love her anymore because I was so mad at her.

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