These People Sound Really Un-Stable

, , , , | Working | December 15, 2020

I was like a lot of young girls; I loved horses. “That crazy horse girl” was me, and I was her. My parents weren’t rich, so when I got ten lessons at our local stables for my ninth birthday, I was ecstatic, and I literally fell in love. I saved up to ride more, and I always dreamed about becoming a professional horseback rider. But there was one catch: the owners of the stable.

They quickly saw my enthusiasm and, being a new yard knee-deep in work, they made an offer that I literally cried over with sheer joy. When I was ten, they said I could work there! So, I started working every Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm and some days after school. But I wasn’t getting paid, and I actually still had to pay them for my half-hour group riding lessons on Saturdays.

Not only was I working like a dog there, but they didn’t have any shelter for me and wouldn’t let me in their house. One winter was so bad that I sat in a stable and cried, trying to heat my hands up against a horse. I was an eleven-year old, freezing to death, and they wouldn’t let me in their mansion because I had “work to do.” The only toilet at the stables that I was allowed to use was in a rundown shed that had never been cleaned in the years I was there.

I got pneumonia; I developed hypothermia and I already had childhood asthma. I don’t remember a lot from that period of time, but I do remember going back to horse riding after recovering and getting yelled at for being away too long.

I was ignored, yelled at, and overall treated like crap, so my parents decided that at the very least I shouldn’t have to pay for lessons. Well, when I told the owners, they laughed at this and basically told me to f*** off, and I knew if I told my parents then I wouldn’t be allowed to go back. So, my parents stopped paying for lessons under the assumption I was getting them for free due to all my work, and I just pretended I was getting them when, in reality, I wasn’t.

Unfortunately, although my parents were aware it was a bad situation, they had no idea I didn’t have shelter or sanitary setups, but they knew the owners treated me like crap. I would lie and tell them plots of horse cartoons I’d seen, pretending I’d done it with my imaginary yard friends — sad, I know — and I told them that I was always given hot chocolate. And they did try to stop me going a few times, but I would cry for days and beg them to let me go back because I loved the horses so much.

I started dreading going, but I loved the horses and couldn’t imagine not seeing them every weekend, so I put up with the freezing weather, the abuse, and the exhaustion until I was fourteen. Something snapped and I had a mental breakdown and called my mum to come pick me up. The owners were furious because I was supposed to be leading a few lessons that day — another great perk of the job was walking around an arena for three hours nonstop, leading the new riders — and hadn’t finished mucking out all the stables. I couldn’t do it anymore and went home. For the first time in forever, I slept in and went out with friends.

A few months later, I started missing the horses badly and booked a lesson so I could see them. (I know, but I was desperate.) But when I got there, I found out that my favourite horse had died. No one had told me. I was getting weekly texts from the owners demanding I go in, but no one had even thought to tell me that the horse I had grown attached to over four years had died! I left right then and there in tears. They still made me pay for the lesson I never went to — even though it was a group lesson and this happened a few hours beforehand — and sent abusive messages to me until I blocked them.

They sold their school horses shortly after and became a livery yard. I walked away from horse riding after losing all faith in the sport. I do still miss the horses I looked after, and I hope they’re in the best homes possible. I gave this family my weekends, my time, and my childhood, and they didn’t give me anything in return. Sometimes they would even pretend I hadn’t paid for a lesson, knowing I was too anxious to protest, and I would cry at the end of the day, counting that $30 I had given them for nothing.

I eventually told my parents; they are racked with guilt to this day and have apologised a lot. I didn’t realise at that age that I was being abused because — even though most of the time the owners would talk down to me and shout at me — they would occasionally compliment me, and I would feel so appreciated and happy.

As I’ve told this story, a lot of people have pointed out that this was way more serious than I gave it credit for, and I’ve decided that I will try and take legal action, or at the very least, get the message out about how bad they treated the help. I’m not sure how it’ll go, but I’ve realised that if they did it to me, they’ll do it to other kids, and I will try shine a light on the truth of this company.

Source: Reddit (Credit: MO11YY, Original Story)

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