Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jess and Bar in trouble again

Yesterday was a reminder of why there are some people I won't ride with. Or even share the arena with.

Steve and I got the barn at 3 or so, which is usually the perfect time on a Saturday for us to ride our kooky horses. Peter is done with lessons, the arenas are pretty empty, and even if Bar is in a mood (which is less and less these days), we won't interfere with anyone. It also allows me to focus on him and give him the kind of training--whatever that is--he needs that day.

In general, we make it a point to choose times to ride that won't interfere with lessons, and won't intersect with the people who have the hardest time with Bar. He was very much a wild horse--even on the ground--when we first got him, and he made himself quite a reputation that colors how most people see him. And since I do try so hard to work him away from most of those folks--since they make me nervous, too--they really haven't seen him be any better.

It's probably a bit of a loop, isn't it? We don't work around them because they make me (and then Bar) nervous, they get nervous when they see us because they haven't seen him actually being good, then I get nervous, and so on.

He still needs to be worked, and yesterday he really needed to be worked, except Peter's daughter Brie was in the indoor arena. Normally, I would have just groomed him and put him away, but it looked like Brie was finishing up, and the outdoor arena was open for riding if she wasn't, so Bar and I went down to warm up in the round pen.

I don't really know what happened with Brie. I do know that when Bar got through the gate, he spun his butt away from me and then started to barrel over me. Not allowed, no matter what, so I backed him up, possibly more forcefully than needed, but I'd bounce off 1200 pounds if I were lucky, and end up under it if I wasn't.

I heard a couple of the women who watching Brie shouting directions at either Brie or me, but I couldn't tell who or even what they were saying, and my focus was on Bar and getting him to stand still in any case. When he was standing still--mere seconds later--I glanced over and saw that Brie was on the ground and walking next to her horse, so I started to lead Bar towards the round pen and he was calm and obedient--a little clingy, even--at that point. I heard one of the women tell Brie to "just get out of there," but was on the other side of the round pen by then, still focused on my own horse.

The story today was that by "beating" on my horse, I made Brie lose her horse and someone else had to catch that horse.


My first priority is my horse and keeping him under control. Nobody else but me is responsible for that, and I have to assume that other riders have that attitude, but sometimes I wonder. If it had been Steve, would he have blamed Bar if Lena had spooked and wandered off? Or would he have made sure he was controlling his own horse?

Some days, I wish I had my own arena on my own property. On my less grumpy days, I realize that Bar can and does work fine around some horses and riders and this is yet another training challenge for both of us to work through on our way to better horsemanship.


aurora said...

Sorry to hear you had trouble again...I sure don't miss the barn drama - takes the fun out of working with horses. Doesn't sound very welcoming. Can the barn manager help the situation, maybe schedule a time slot for "advanced" riders?

Jessica said...

Thanks, Aurora. We'll get through it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Peter is the owner/manager and Brie is his daughter. He is usually pretty understanding because he knows I try to stay out of everyone's way, but he didn't witness it and went (I think) from what he heard. Which obviously wasn't how I saw it from my perspective under Bar's nose.

Oh, well. ;)

Dane Jane said...

Yikes. I don't miss barn drama either. There are as many opinions about what should happen in any incident as there are horse people and sometimes you just have to let it slide but it's pretty hard when the owner of the stable is involved. You do have to save yourself though!

Hang in there.

aurora said...

Glad to hear Peter is understanding, that's helpful!

Buckskins Rule said...

Like you, I don’t care for riding with other people in the arena (with a few exceptions). I tire of the people who have no sense of arena etiquette, and are completely oblivious to every other horse and rider in the place. It gets difficult to work when being cut off at every turn. I also do not care for the people who blame their riding problems on other riders or horses, as opposed to accepting responsibility for their own horse and riding. Even if another rider’s horse has a come apart nearby, it’s my own fault if I can’t control my horse. Riding is inherently dangerous, and each individual is responsible for their own safety. Folks shouting “directions” during a mishap tend only to compound things.
You were right to discipline Bar when you did. I’m sure you know that. You do not sound like someone who beats your horse. I would suspect that the folks who made your comment are the ones who let their horses push them around, at their own peril.
With that said, I understand that you have to tread lightly and take you lumps, since the owner’s daughter was involved. Sometimes it’s simply best to take the high road.

Sorry, that got a little windy!

Anonymous said...

This is from someone who witness the incident. And Bar and Jessica were in trouble with no one. Bri was getting off her horse when Jessica came in the arena through the big gate. And Bar came through very quickly and Jessica got after him for misbehaving.
This all happened when Bri was getting off her horse and her horse jumped sideways and got away from her because of the comotion by the gate. All the women said was for Jessica to stop getting after her horse until the horse that was loose in the arena was caught. As I am sure everybody can agree it is in everybodys best interest to stop what they are doing until a loose horse can be caught. So I think offense was take when none was given or intended. So it is probably not a good idea for people to be commenting on something they know nothing about.

Anonymous said...

There is a time scheduled for the advanced riders, it's before she comes.

Jessica said...

Thanks to Anonymous for the perspective from that day, I'm glad you shared it.

I really didn't take offense until I heard about it the next day, but it was a bit of a confusing situation all the way around, which obviously lead to misunderstandings.

I didn't hear specific directions, just bits and pieces from behind Bar because I was focusing on him. I'm just glad he trusted me enough to settle down and stop with all that was going on and that no one got hurt.

Jessica said...

And, yes, there is a time for advanced riders, but as I said in my post, I usually try to pick times that won't interfere with anyone but people I know are okay riding with me.

You know, like Katie and Steve. :)