This has really been quite a day of WTF. (For those of you over 18 years old who don't actually know what that acronym stands for it stands for "what the fuck?!")
It started out fine and really nothing horrible has happened it's just that two specifically weird and annoying (and potentially bad) things have already happened. I'll actually start with the second one which is not that big of a deal but was annoying. I was trying to train the little Australian Shepherd to come to me when I pick up her leash and call her (her habit is to run away and play chase which I refuse to do). Unfortunately, this got the pitbull all wound up because she thought we were going for a walk. Little dog got wound up too and next thing you know they were jumping around all sorts of ditzy, yahootastic and excited. Just as I was about to chastise them for being too rambunctious in the house they heard something super interesting in the backyard and bolted across the house for the sliding glass door which thankfully was open. But the screen door was not and they just plowed right through it and sent it flying (thankfully in one piece) into the backyard. I'm actually surprised they didn't put a dog shaped hole in it. I guess it could be worse. It could've been my horse trying to go through the doggy door.
The other incident REALLY pissed me off. To the point where it's good I left because I was seething angry about all the liability and potential for harm to people (especially a child) that I think I would've started a major yelling incident. One of the trainers at the barn who I don't see much but who has some pretty high strung, volatile horses and who uses a lot of artificial means to work her horses because she doesn't seem to know how to train them without yanking their bodies around with shanks and martingales and big spurs. Anyway, she had a student in the arena on one of her horses and the student couldn't have been more than fourteen. And of course, the student was a beginner, had on some big spurs (which I would never use on a beginner because they don't have quiet legs/feet and one false swing and ouch to the horse and then a reaction from the horse and the riders going to be going ouch) Anyway ... she's got this beginner up there with spurs and no helmet and I'm thinking "Well, every time I've watched a lesson with a beginner from her it's been a safety train wreck so lucky I'm done with my ride and taking my horse in on our side of the barn." So, I'm picking Maiden's feet and chatting with a couple other boarders who are grooming their horses when I hear some weird bumping around and a scream from the other trainer and a minute later someone sobbing. Trainer K. took off in the direction of the trainer's scream and one of the boarder's said, "Someone came off and it's not good!" So the three of us boarders ran to the arena door yelling, "Are you ok? Is everyone Ok?" and no one answered - we just heard sobbing.
Before running into the arena we looked in (just because you never know and don't want to rush into an out of control horse and get injured yourself because then you're of no help to anyone) and the teen student was all alone in the arena and she was still sitting on the horse but she was shaking really hard and sobbing and the horse was very anxious. We rushed up to her and one of the other boarders took the horses reins and I put my hand on the teens leg to steady her and asked what happened and if she was ok and I believe my exact words were "Where the hell is ------?!" (the trainer). The teen said that some horses got out and she ran out of the arena to catch them, but when she did the horse she was on started freaking out and she didn't know how to handle him so she just held on and he started rearing and she just held on. She told us this through gulping sobs. So we told her it was going to be ok and did she want us to help her off and she said she was too scared to move and we assured her that we had the horse and he wasn't going anywhere and one person held the horse and I put my hand on her back to steady her as she got off.
So, let me list off ALL the incredibly unsafe things the trainer did that in my opinion are inexcusable if you are teaching a minor to ride horses. First of all SHE LEFT THE ARENA WITH THE STUDENT ON THE HORSE!!! You don't do that EVER!!! Second THE STUDENT HAD ON NO HELMET!!! WTF??? Do you really want to risk a kid falling off hitting their head and dying on your watch? I don't even care about lawsuits or losing your insurance (if she even has any) or liability - do you want to be the stupid dumbass who is responsible for a child dying?! She put spurs on a beginner, she put the beginner on a horse that was going to freak out and she left the beginner on the horse when there was an obvious crisis involving horses freaking out which everyone knows is going to make other horses (even calm ones) freak out! Oh my god I get so angry just thinking about it! If she wants to do incredibly stupid, and foolish things on her time that's one thing, but to put a student at that much risk and in that much danger because she just isn't thinking or planning or using safety precautions makes me soooooo fucking angry! But then I'm angry at the mom if she sees this happen and still brings her child to take lessons with her. I was seriously shaking and almost hyperventilating with rage when I left the barn and it's probably good I had to be home to pick up my daughter because I would've completely blown up at her and it wouldn't have done any good because if you're stupid enough to put kids at risk like that you're certainly not going to listen when someone yells at you about what a totally dangerous and stupid thing you just did.
Must breathe. Must breathe. Must breathe. Can not do anything about the situation so I need to just not make myself feel awful about it.