Unfiltered Story #155566

, , | Unfiltered | June 28, 2019

(I work as a ‘senior barn girl/junior instructor’ at a horses-as-therapy program. Often riders or their parents will bring treats for the horses, especially the horses they ride. One rider’s mother comes by with a bag of apricots. She is feeding them to a few of the horses, without taking the pits out.)

Me: Um, ma’am, I don’t think you should give those apricots to the horses.

Mother: But aren’t they the same as apples?

Me: No, apricots are more acidic. Horses can colic easily if they have too much acid in their stomach, or if a pit gets stuck in their intestine. Colicking isn’t fun for the horse or the caretakers, and horses can’t vomit up whatever’s upsetting them.

Mother: Oh, ok.

(She leaves and I go to check the chores list and check a few things off. A covolunteer and I move a few horses around and I return to the main barn, where the mother is still feeding the horses whole apricots. Legally, she is not allowed to touch the horses without a liability waiver, as horses can and will bite. Usually only the rider has the waiver filled out, as the parents like to drop their children off and go talk with other parents or go run errands during the lesson. I happen to know this woman does not have a waiver filled out, and therefore the organization risks a lawsuit if she angers a horse and gets bitten.)

Me: Ma’am, please, don’t feed the horses apricots.

Mother: (pointing to one of the instructors) But she told me I could!

Me: Ma’am, you have a lot of apricots there. Why don’t you leave them on that tack trunk there and I’ll let the volunteers know we can feed them to the horses. We typically don’t give horses too many treats when they haven’t worked yet.

Mother: (pointing to our two goats) So I can give these to them, right?

Me: I guess, but you’d want to remove the pit.

Mother: I can feed these animals my fruit however I d*** want!

Me: Goats can’t eat the pits of apricots, ma’am.

Mother: DON’T F******* TELL ME HOW TO FEED SOME S***** GOATS APRICOTS! THEY CAN TAKE THE D*** PITS OUT THEMSELVES!

Me: Ma’am, please don’t use that language. We have two small children coming soon to ride and–

Mother: F****** TAKE THE G****** APRICOTS, THEN!

(She throws the paper bag on the ground and stalks back to her car, where she sat for half an hour more until her daughter’s lesson ended. She still comes to the barn, but hasn’t brought fruit or spoken to me since.)

Your Demand Can Kick The Bucket

, , , , , | Right | October 27, 2017

(I work at a barn so that I can ride the horses there for free. Today, it’s my job to clean and bleach every bucket in the barn, which can take hours. A lady I don’t know walks up to me and just completely blows my mind about how people treat stable hands.)

Lady: “Hey, you’re doing a great job there! I have six seriously dirty buckets in my truck, and you look like you could use the extra work!”

(I laugh, because I think she’s joking, and continue cleaning. A minute or two passes and the lady comes back with, no joke, six of the grossest buckets I’ve ever seen.)

Lady: “You thought I was kidding! Get to work!”

(She smiled and walked away, so I finished my job and drove home, leaving the random woman’s dirty buckets as a surprise for her when she came back.)

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Equine Isn’t Fine

| Working | March 14, 2017

(It’s my first time riding a horse, and I’m more excited than nervous. The instructor makes me fill out a sheet.)

Instructor: *glancing at my sheet* “So, this is your first time?”

Me: “Absolutely! You take beginners?”

Instructor: “We take beginners.”

Me: “Great!”

(We go into the paddock and she helps me get on to a horse. It’s bigger than I thought, and I’m very nervous. The horse looks nervous, too. It keeps sideways glancing at me as though unsure.)

Instructor: “Well, there you go! Pull on the reins to steer. Dig your heels to stop.”

(At this point, she moves away to help someone else.)

Me: “But? Uh?”

(I do my best, but the horse takes off, heading straight for the low wall as if trying to jump it. I pull and dig my heels, but it does not stop. I scream, and some people look over. They leap in front of the horse to stop it.)

Instructor: “What’re you doing?! You were about to go through that wall!”

Me: “I told you, I’ve never ever ridden! I tried with this horse, but it didn’t listen!”

Instructor: *rolls eyes and sighs* “That’s the tamest horse we have. Fine, you’ve better get down, then.”

(I’m more than happy to, but when I try to throw my leg over, it somehow gets stuck.)

Instructor: *impatiently* “You HAVE to get off. What goes up must come down. So. Get. Down!”

(I managed it after a few more tries. I handed over the reins and helmet, than walked away to my car and sped out of there! I’ll never be back. Later, I heard on the news that a lady got thrown off one of her “tame” horses and broke her leg.)

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Pitching It Is Horseplay

| Working | September 2, 2016

(When I was younger I had a period of severe depression. When I start going back out into the world, I ride horses regularly. My parents support it as a means to get me out of the house and interacting with the world again. I have a favorite horse and the staff know me well, so when I come they know to put us together if he isn’t otherwise occupied, which he generally isn’t as I usually ride during off-peak hours.)

Guide: “You know, the owners are looking to sell some horses. If you wanted, I’m sure they’d be willing to sell [Favorite Horse] to you.”

Me: “Well… as you know considering the times I’m here, I’m not exactly consistently employed.”

Guide: “You could talk to your parents about it; I know they support your riding.”

Me: “I’m also not sure I want to commit to the crazy amount of work it takes to care for a horse.”

Guide: “Well, you know that’s not a problem; we have full-service boarding here.”

Me: “So… basically right now you guys own [Favorite Horse] and take care of him, and I ride him when I want. But you want me to talk to my parents about spending money to buy him, so we can pay more money for you to take care of him… so I can ride him when I want?”

Guide: “Well, I wouldn’t pitch it to them THAT way!”

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In The Same Aisle As The Spit-Polish

| Working | June 18, 2016

(I’m working in a stable with Arabian show horses. My coworker and I are grooming some of the horses.)

Coworker: “The last show I went to, there were some horses there that looked just wonderful. I asked the owner how she got their coats so shiny.”

Me: “Uh huh.”

Coworker: “She said she just used lots of elbow grease.”

Me: “Mmmm…?”

Coworker: “You should have seen the looks I got in the drug store when I went in and asked where they kept the elbow grease.”

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