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Livery yard bitchiness

19 replies

mummyof2munchkins · 01/06/2016 01:12

Hi, I posted a few weeks ago about having to make the awful choice of having my horse pts due to a degenerative illness. I said goodbye to my lovely horse 2 weeks ago.

It's been a horrible 6 months and I've been terrified to start again. I've looked at a few horses for sale and this weekend found a lovely horse that I really like. I'd have loved to have brought it home with me. This was quite a big step forward, I didn't think I'd ever see a way of bonding with another horse.

The yard I'm at has been really supportive over recent weeks. I've made a couple of friends and we've been out for drinks. All nice and friendly. I showed off pics of the horse I'm hoping to buy. All nice comments. I later received some messages from one yard friend that were about me but clearly destined for the other friend. Quite scathing and nasty about my ability to cope with another horse and my lack of skill.

For the record we are all in our 40's. All varying degrees of amateur rider. I hate to admit it but Part of me is now worried they're right. I'm terrified of making a huge mistake.

OP posts:
flumpybear · 01/06/2016 02:00

Be honest!! Tell that person clearly they sent that to you in error but you'd be happy to hear her views in case you're making a mistake?! What's your worry OP? Is this horse bigger? Not broken?!

mummyof2munchkins · 01/06/2016 02:09

I've replied saying " I strongly suspect you didn't want me to see that".

My last horse was very green and did have problems but turned out they were health related. I had some advice from yard friends at the beginning saying I was letting him win and I should give him a smack and push on. Turned out horse was in chronic pain.

This time I've chosen a slightly older, more experienced horse who'll never be a champion but should be able to have fun with. I was so excited about finding this one.

The comments were more nasty than concerned.

OP posts:
Mrsmorton · 01/06/2016 02:14

Horses can bring out the worst in people. I've had some seriously nasty bullying from some pretty average horsewomen.

Is there anyone independent you can ask for an assessment? Local instructor etc? Good luck.

mummyof2munchkins · 01/06/2016 02:23

I'm having a 5 stage vetting done and I've asked if can ride the horse during the vetting. There is also a riding instructor who works at the yard who watched me ride the new horse and suggested we were a good match. She has nothing to do with the sale.

I've no doubt I made mistakes last time but the horse was ill. He was vetted but I strongly suspect something masked the illness. My fears are around buying a horse that changes from the perfect horse when I try it to something scary when it's home.

OP posts:
Mrsmorton · 01/06/2016 03:32

Ignore ignore ignore

mrslaughan · 01/06/2016 08:40

Just ignore it - I also suspect that they are not as good as friends as you would like them to be.
Ignore them and go with how you feel about the horse...... You sound like you are being very sensible.
I never know what drives these people to behave like this .... Jealousy- but of what? The only thing I can think is it is just a sport for them, not a quality I look for in a person.
As lots have said - just ignore them and maybe not look to them for advice- as it turned out you instinct was right, and they were wrong- maybe it's that that they don't like.

Gabilan · 01/06/2016 19:17

I had some advice from yard friends at the beginning saying I was letting him win and I should give him a smack and push on. Turned out horse was in chronic pain

Well done for picking up on that. So many people assume horses are being naughty. But they have no concept of "naughtiness" and often behaviour is pain-related. They've evolved to disguise pain and so it's only when really pushed that they start bucking etc.

All horse owners make mistakes. But you're doing your best to get experienced advice - which is all you can do. Just be glad this woman has shown her true colours now. Good luck with the new horse. I have an older, more experienced horse. He won't win at county shows - but he's booked solid as the sensible uncle who escorts all the youngsters and any horses anyone's having problems with.

YorkieDorkie · 01/06/2016 19:23

Good for you OP, I'm really sorry to hear about your horse. I still remember when mine just died in the field Sad.
They are judging you on your ability to ride your last horse and as you've explicated, the poor thing was in pain. If you truly feel you've found a good match then I'd go for it. Do you have an experienced person you can take to get another opinion? I'd always take my step-mum because she's a font of knowledge on buying the right horse. Just please don't let those people deter you when you've had lots of positive comments from those who are impartial.
Oh and find another nicer yard.

mummyof2munchkins · 01/06/2016 20:38

Thank you so much for the advice. This lady actually came with me to help buy the last horse. I've done it alone this time, if I'm honest I didn't want anyone telling me how I should feel. The people on the yard are very pushy. I'll have to rely on the vetting for soundness and suitability.

I am tempted to start again somewhere else. I'll have a look around for somewhere a bit less competitive and a bit more friendly. Xxxx

OP posts:
WombatStewForTea · 01/06/2016 23:20

Definitely have a look around for another yard. My personal experience has been that smaller yards tend to be less bitchy apart from one but that YO was a little psychotic
Good luck with your new horse I'm sure you'll be fab together! Smile

CatchIt · 13/06/2016 22:00

I'm assuming that these women are exceptional horsewomen and are competing at Olympic level. No? Well they can fuck off then.

Everyone makes mistakes with horses, we're always learning and making improvements.

As a PP said, horses are rarely naughty just because they feel like it so well done on not listening to them.

If you like this horse, which clearly you do, get him vetted and buy him. You don't have to go back to your current yard though. See if you can find another more supportive and friendly yard.

Horses are expendable and the time we spend with them has to be enjoyable, this includes the people you spend time with.

Good luck with your potential new horse!!

Gide · 14/06/2016 22:50

She's pissed off that you went without her, she wants you to rely on her and she's a bitch.

Has she replied to your text? I'd also be tackling the intended recipient of the text as she clearly thought the other 'friend' would agree. Bunch of charmers, I've yet to find a non bitchy yard.

AWaspOnAWindowInAHeatwave · 14/06/2016 23:06

So sorry to hear about your loss OP. 💐

There's little wonder horsewomen are thought of by the non-equestrian world as conceited, unstable, cliquey, two-faced bitches.

There must be at least one of these on every yard (and in my own experience, there's also at least one who follows you from yard to yard, and who always catches you up if you ever are lucky enough to get a temporary break from her). I've been on three yards in 20 years, all with the same horse, and every one it's been the same woman causing the majority of the trouble (and it's been me stuck squarely in the middle, each and every time). I've always made it clear that I don't wish to compete - my horse is purely for leisure, and now retired, has been a pet for the last 5 years - so I can't perceive that she would see me as a threat. I've also heard the same names popping up repeatedly amongst friends on other yards, of women who seem to take trouble with them wherever they go.

I've lost count of the number of times I've come away from the yard in tears, thinking that if I didn't love my boy so much I'd quite happily walk away from the whole scene. I've found the only way to deal with it and preserve my sanity is to grow a rhino hide (or at least give that impression, even if I'm crumbling inwardly), ignore the bitches, and never to participate in the social side of livery (going out for drinks etc). Just fake a packed social life / busy schedule with the kids etc - no need to be openly hostile towards them - but believe me it makes things a lot more bearable.

Best of luck with your new horse, and take no notice at all of what anybody else has to say.

CatchIt · 15/06/2016 03:08

Obviously I mean expensive - not expendable! Grin

I'd like to also add that I've found the worst yards for bitchyness are without a doubt DIY yards.

I'm on a part livery yard and have been there for 7 years, I've made amazing friends and have a wonderful supportive yard owner. They do exist!

If you do look for a new yard which it sounds like you should do your research throughly.

froubylou · 15/06/2016 06:39

Op how involved is your yo? Is it worth mentioning to them. My yo would be having words. We don't tolerate bitchest and bullying which is why my yo has empty stables! She is of the opinion that it isn't worth having the hassle of them.

Horses attract some oddballs. Everyone is an expert and everyone is desperate to prove their knowledge and expertise. Just ignore and quietly go about your business.

mummyof2munchkins · 15/06/2016 21:17

Thank you all for the advice. I bought the horse, she's been with me for a week now. She's, so far, a lovely girl. I had an initial confidence wobble when I first hacked her out but have since had a couple of lessons and spent lots of time grooming, doing in hand work and generally just enjoying her.

The yard "friends" tell me they can't wait to see me ride. Gather round for a chat every few days, all as though I hadn't seen the message. I've taken the advice I've had here. I'm polite and friendly but I just won't engage. I'm riding only when nobody is around, booked lessons in very quiet times and I refuse to be in the spotlight. I see their friendliness different now, it really is all very childish and goady.

I'm looking for a new yard, just hope it's not out of the frying pan into the fire. X

OP posts:
froubylou · 15/06/2016 21:51

Ahhh op this is supposed to be a pleasure not a mission. Am so glad you are bonding with your new horse. That's the biggest snub you can give them!

I have found smaller less posh livery yards much friendlier than big buzzy ones with all the facilities. I hope you find somewhere to enjoy your new girl xx

Rollingdinosaur · 16/06/2016 14:13

The trouble is where horses are concerned, everyone has an opinion, and everyone likes to do things differently. I don't think you will ever get away from that mentality entirely, you just have to learn to trust your own judgement, and ignore it. Glad to see you are enjoying your new horse!

CatchIt · 17/06/2016 19:41

Ooh how exciting! Is she your 1st mare? I've just joined the mare club, though she's only 3 and I'm 40 weeks pregnant!

Keep us updated & definitely look out for another yard. Not all yards are bitchy and I'm sure you'll find somewhere lovely to enjoy your horse. Grin

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