The day to day operation and events of a small Thoroughbred Racing Stable using unconventional training methods
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Don't Touch My Horse!!!!!
Pet peeve. Piss off. Major irk. Can of whup-ass ready to open. Teeth and claws extending.
Anyone with me here?
One of the no-nos around a racing barn- if you have no affiliation with a horse, don't frigging touch it. Unless the horse is running loose and needs catching, stay away. Not a hand, finger, nothing.
That said, let me tell a little story that happened today.
I took the Doodle up to the arena to turn him out this afternoon after my hay run. We'd already trained and everyone was done. I asked the last exercise rider I saw and he told me, everyone is finished. No one is using the arena.
So I sweet talk Doodle into behaving himself, all the way up the hill to the arena.
Turn him out, let him go. I watch him do caprioles, unofficial mini-works, he runs some poles like a champ (there are beams in the center of the arena). He bucks, he kicks, he runs, he has fun. After witnessing the biggest steam being let off, I tell him:
"Have fun, don't hurt yourself, I'll be back!"
I turn all the horses out at least once a week. I do it for obvious reasons- they're not meant to live in stalls 24/7. Unfortunately, we have no turn out paddocks or pastures. So the arena gets to double as my horses' turnout field.
Nice thing- it is well maintained and has great footing. Racehorses don't all behave as well as they should when turned out. Some of them will invariable hurt themselves. This is a really nice, safe alternative and my guys all love it.
I go run my errands and go back up the hill to get Doodle.
When I walk in, the gate is wide open - my first thought is, oh shit! He escaped!
Once my eyes adjusted- I see Doodle in one of two temporary stalls off to the side. In the arena are two guys doing their idea of longeing a two year old.
They see me and one says: "Hey, we took good care of your horse!"
I'm livid. Good care my ass!
"Oh did you now?"
"Yea, we were really careful when we moved him!"
"Not careful enough!"
Horse stops circling and the guy turns to me:
"What do you mean?"
I clear my throat, walk in and face him about a foot away:
"What I mean is that if you EVER fucking touch my horse again without asking my permission, I'm kicking your fucking ass, is what I mean!"
My arms are crossed, my foot is tapping and I'm waiting.
The other guys is off to the side, snickering.
So I turn to him and tell him:
"And you think that's funny, I'll kick your ass, too, come on!"
I turn around and walk over to Doodle.
I hear a "man, I'm sorry, I was just trying to do the right thing here, you know.."
"Well, let me tell you, the right thing would have been for you to come ask me to move the horse and that you need the arena. That would have been the right thing.
In the future, you'll know what to do, right?"
I snapped my shank back on Doodle and as we were leaving, Doodle turns towards the little group, snorts, snakes his head up and down and with an elegant turn of foot, leads me out of the arena.
So, I know rules as related to race horses are different than rules in boarding barns.
You guys ever have to deal with this type of thing? And does it bother you? Ever come into the barn to find your horse has been moved to another stall without any notice to you or permission from you? How do you guys handle it?
I'm obviously not very tactful when getting my point across when it comes to my children (human or animal). But I think I made my point and it left a lasting impression.
How do you all feel about people outside of your circle handling your horse(s) without your permission?