Mareface has been pretty good the past week or so. I notice that when I'm having good or at least "on par" rides I don't really post a lot. Actually, I've been neglecting to post lately...I just keep putting it off. The 5-2 shift is a tough one.
Anyway...she's been pretty good. A little ADD at times, and occasionally a bit rushy, but no major issues.
We had a really awesome ride that actually started off with her being super witch. Our ride Friday was super awesome. We even jumped a mini course of 3 jumps, and did several singles. All awesome. She didn't get quiet as soft and quiet as I would have liked, but she was adjustable enough and I was happy with that.
We went on a ride down the road to cool out, and it was rather boring...but Amber seemed to enjoy herself. I think she enjoys jumping, probably more than flatwork, but I know her favorite thing is just to ride somewhere new outside the arena. It's nice that she plods happily along when we're alone, but it would definitely be more fun with a friend or friends...
Which brings me to the fact that I REALLY want to try to organize a barn overnight trailride in the mountains for next summer, or possibly in the NC foothills if we can't go that far. I think Amber would looove it. As would I.
I was going to try to do some research on horse-friendly parks. Talk to Casey, kind of try to estimate costs per horse and rider for the trip. Definitely something to go ahead and start thinking about and seeing if there's even signifigant interest.
Back on the side of our arena related work, I have to say I've been making an effort to be less serious about everything lately. Or maybe just less of a perfectionist. And it works. I can't expect her to go perform like some Grand Prix dressage horse or jumper, and I think if I ever have one amazing ride I start to expect that, and I didn't really realize it. If she's looking like a giraffe on crack for a day, I just do the best I can and let it go and let her end on something good. Giraffe on crack days, if she's not trying to run through my half-halts and seat, usually end best on a little jump. If she's really stretching down and striding out, I try to milk that for all it's worth.
And if nothing is going right, plan C is just ignore her, keep her ass on the rail, and ride like she's being perfect. Actually, one day, it felt like she just wanted to gallop around, so I let her. Then, she did excellent. Go figure. I don't think everything is as critical to her training as I think. I mean, consistency is key, but if worse comes to worse and she just needs to run around and let her frustration and energy out, it's not going to kill everything if we aren't doing that every ride.
Now...things that piss me off.
The "barn dwellers". We will call them L and H because I don't feel right posting their names. I can't remember if I've ever posted about them before. If I haven't, they are the couple that primarily care for the horses on the property. They've got a baby. And they live in the barn apartment. They're around 20ish...L is 20, H is probably older. Anyway. They're pretty classless. To a degree, I do feel bad for them, because their situation is not easy. Their job at the barn is for the apartment, and that is their ONLY job.
Neither of them have horse experience, other than what they've learned during their brief employment at ***.
That always bothered me a bit. If a horse colics, they wouldn't have a clue what to do, and I'm not sure they'd even notice the signs. They'd probably watch some poor horse rolling and thrashing, and kicking it's belly, laughing at it thinking it was just playing...that absolutely turns my stomache. And so many other things could go wrong - would they know what to do until the vet got there?
I knew several of the stall boarders were peeved about the cleanliness of the stalls. Amber was on pasture board so I didn't really have that much of an issue with them. They were a bit odd, and I found out H was physically abusing L which was pretty scary and made me not want to be out there alone. But as far as problems with what they did for Amber, they didn't do anything for her, and weren't supposed to, so it was whatever. I felt bad for my friends who did have problems of course.
For the first couple of weeks things were alright. Her stall was okay. Sometimes she didn't have enough shavings, but nothing that was really a big issue. I believe they moved one of her water buckets somewhere and lied about it, because I found her with only one really jacked up water bucket one day, but there's the chance someone else really did do it, so I won't blame them. But at the same time, surely they noticed and might have done something about it. Amber is a big drinker and she can go through two buckets in one night sometimes.
And then Wednesday night. When I got there, it was like 3ish and I noticed Amber's stall was still not done, but the ones around her were. Weird, I thought, but I decided not to say anything yet. I was certain that they wouldn't even try to leave it like that overnight. Especially not with me there! I rode, untacked and it still wasn't done. I put her in there and Victoria was there and I was like "Look at her stall, it's not even done!"
We asked L about it and her response? "Talk to H about it!"
What the hell is that crap? I didn't know what to say. But I was thinking she was going to tell him to get his ass out there and do it. I went and did a mane for a new pony who had such a ferocious mane that he used 3 blades on my cheater puller.
And the stall still wasn't done, but they were bringing in horses.
It was dark already and it was looking like the stall wasn't going to get done. So I grabbed a fork and got to work. I had to strip it. All the bedding was mixed with poop and it was all wet. Amber is NOT a messy horse. Her stall is never, ever bad like that. I was thinking that it hadn't been done the day before either.
L came out and saw me doing it. And didn't apologize or acknowledge that I was sitting there doing their work. I'd been up since 4am, cleaning my horse's stall in the dark that I pay to be done for me. I was super happy.
I called Casey and let her know...she was pissed. I noticed before I left that Dylan, Victoria's horse, didn't have his sheet, which she had asked L to put on when he was cool/dry. I ended up putting that on. The rest of the horses were double blanketed, and it was 50s and 60s.
Also heard that Victoria's horse was given beet pulp that didn't soak...L just put water over it and put it directly into his feet bucket. Wow. And I also heard that they turned out a horse that was wearing an $80 cooler, which of course was promptly destroyed, and they were told that it should be taken off.
And it's like they don't feel they've done anything wrong. Their main goal is to blunder through everything and do as little as possible to get by so they can go...do nothing. I really, really want so see someone more experienced doing their job...ASAP. I don't want to feel as though I have to go and do everything for my horse myself - because that's not what I pay for.