Hold Your Horses!

, , , | Working | August 4, 2016

(I’m 18 and I’ve been volunteering at a horse sanctuary for a number of months. A coworker in her early 20s seems to take an immediate dislike towards me, taking every opportunity to put me down or tell me what to do. I’m cleaning one of the stables while singing to ‘Country Roads’ on my iPod when she storms up to me. All the horses are in the field.)

Coworker: “[My Name], stop singing! You’re scaring the horses!”

Me: “Sorry?” *glances at the little, fat, grey pony sleeping next to me* “I don’t think I was that loud.”

Coworker: “Just do what I said!” *storms off*

(At this point I’m used to this so I just resume my work. Some time later one of the staff comes running towards the yard screaming that one of the horses has escaped. The sanctuary is right next to a main road notorious for people speeding. Everyone runs to the field where the horse has run into.)

Owner: “Everyone look for him!” *turns to me* That gate is broken. Stay there and stop him if he tries to get out!”

Me: “Sure.”

(20 minutes later, I can hear everyone yelling after the horse, and eventually I see him running towards me in a panic. I’ve been around horses for a number of years so I just let him run back and forth until he stops and let me hold his head.)

Me: *in a low and quiet tone* “You’re a good boy, [Horse]. It’s okay, son.”

(I suddenly hear the woman shout out of sight.)


(Suddenly the horse gets a fright and tries to barge past me to get out of the gate. Thinking quickly, I push him on his chest which makes him stop. This horse is two meters tall and weighs about 1200lbs. A second later a speeding car zooms past about a metre behind me. Everyone freezes and let’s out a shriek.)

Owner: *panting* “Oh! [My Name], good lass! I’m so glad you were there!”

Me: *shell-shocked* “Me, too! Come on, we need to get him back to his field!”

(I get a few ‘well done’s from a number of staff but nothing much else, which I am fine with since I don’t like attention. The whole time the coworker is giving me a weird look. Once the horse is back in his field, the owner lets me take my break early. I’m sitting on a hay bale drinking my cola.)

Coworker: *walking up to me, looking annoyed* “You know how you saved [Horse] from being run over?”

Me: “Yeah?” *jokingly* “And myself?” *looks more annoyed so I’m expecting something bad*

Coworker: “All I’m going to say is you didn’t do it right.”

(She rambles on about how I was “supposed” to save the horse from being run over, the whole time I am fighting the urge not to face-palm myself.)

Me: “[Coworker], I stopped him from running out—“

Coworker: “But all I’m saying is, you didn’t do it right!”

Me: “I made a snap decision—“

Coworker: “Horses make faster decisions than you can! Anyone could have done it!”

Me: *fed up* “Listen, this isn’t the first time I’ve saved a horse’s life.”

Coworker: “Don’t start bragging!”

Me: “A horse at my old farm had colic and I was the only person to notice. I called the vet and the owner. Everyone had gone home and I stayed an extra two hours walking him until the owners came! If I hadn’t, I don’t want to think of what would have happened! Maybe I didn’t do it correctly but I still did it!” *pauses* “How many horses’ lives have YOU saved?”

Coworker: “…”

Me: “Well?”

Coworker: “…” *glares at me* “Don’t get an ego over this! You’re not that great with horses!” *storms off*

(I still volunteer at that horse sanctuary and the incident isn’t much more than an amusing story to tell to people who work there. As for the coworker, the owner dismissed her because of her attitude as well as her demanding more money (keep in mind this is a non-profit organisation). And she claims I have an ego…)

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