Basically, I have been one post behind for the past few months. GAH!
And a lot has been going on, but not necessarily good things. I haven’t been able to ride nearly as much as I want to because of the incompetence that has been happening for the past three years at the farm. Everything is coming to a head, and of course it happens to be when the stress of senior project is catching up to me.
Here’s the situation in a nutshell:
There is the barn manager, Robin. Then there is Mike. He does the weekends for Robin. Neither of them take care of their horses, so I have no idea why Sherwin trusts them with HIS horses and his boarders’ horses. For example, Mike will leave his little gelding and mare in stalls all day. And in the evenings when I am there, they either have less than half a bucket of water or none whatsoever. Their stalls are filthy. I mean, they have to stand in their own piss and poop all day, all night. Nobody ever cleans their stalls. (They were actually stripped today, but still. Disgusting. No horse should have to live in those conditions. Luckily, they were turned out with other horses, too, today. So they get some kind of stimulation.) And nobody comes to feed them. I remember when both of those horses were fat, and now they look like they could be rescue cases, especially the gelding. Mike pretends to know a lot about horses, but he had never handled them before he came to work for Sherwin. Still, he ought to know better. Robin says that she grew up around horses. Her dad apparently had this huge stables and she used to help out every day. She DEFINITELY should know better. Yet she has a five year old miniature stud that she has NO use for. He doesn’t have a job. He just stands in his dirty stall 24/7/365. I have never seen him in a paddock, never seen her walking him for exercise. ONCE he was in the round pen, but that was just so that Robin could clean his stall. And that was a year ago. And I give him water and the occasional half scoop of grain because she doesn’t even bother to take care of him. He has terrible club feet on all fours, and desperately needs to be groomed. But he won’t let anyone touch him because Robin never interacts with him except to switch his stall every few months. Why the heck does she have a mini stud if a) she won’t breed him, b) she won’t feed/water him, c) she won’t even let him out to stretch his legs. It really, really pisses me off.
UPDATE: (It’s April now, and Robin and I are on good terms again. As you can imagine, I was very cross when I wrote this and posted it.)
Neither of them turn out horses when they should. Neither of them clean stalls. Neither of them show up consistently or on time. I’ve been there countless times when no one comes to feed the horses. Robin is always treating me like I am stupid, and like I don’t know what I am doing. She passed me and Winchester when he was eating his grain. “That’s a lot of food in there, HorseGirl.” Seriously? Have you seen him lately? “Yeah, but he only gets fed once a day and I work him a lot, and he is really ribby.” My God, she can just get off my back. She has no business telling me what to do with MY horse. SHE is supposed to feed in the AM, but she doesn’t. And she lives thirty seconds down the road. So I have to give Winny one big meal in the evenings if I want him to be semi-healthy looking, even though a horse should have at least two meals per day. But nobody will feed in the mornings, because they are morons. Robin also rubs me the wrong way about shavings. I have to put Chic in a stall when it gets too cold out, and Robin freaks if I use more than one wheelbarrow of shavings. I typically use three. Otherwise Chic ends up swimming in piss and poop. Shavings are meant to insulate and absorb, not sit there and look pretty. And each stall should be stripped once a month. It doesn’t sound logical, but that actually saves shavings. It’s better to be on a mucking schedule like that than to wait for the stalls to get so bad that they have to be stripped, and dried out from all of the crap that was sitting there for several months. Oh, and Robin “forgot” to turn Chic out with the rest of the mares. Yeah, sure you forgot. There is no way she forgot. If that happens again, she is getting more than a polite “reminder”. She also didn’t bring Will, a gelding that is on stall board, in from his paddock and left the farm. There is NO WAY she forgot, because he shares a paddock with another gelding who gets put in at night in the same barn. Will would have been out all night, in 12 degree weather had I not noticed and brought him in. His food was in his stall, so his owners meant for him to be brought in. Absolutely unacceptable.
Ugh. I really, really needed to say all that. I end up getting stuck doing a bunch of barn chores that I am PAYING to have done by the “staff”. But no, those two hooligans are too busy painting their nails and playing patty-cake to do any real work. They come, scrape by with barely doing anything, and then leave. WHILE I am there, doing a stall for Chic, feeding both Chic and Winchester, feeding the geldings, getting water, hay, and other things that they are BEING PAYED to do. I don’t have time for that, I am a student and I have a life outside of the barn. A barn manager should, ideally, live ON THE FARM, and be available at all hours in case his/her services should be needed. It is a full-time job if the farm is going to look anything like a professional, pleasant environment for the average horse and for the top-quality show horse.
Instead, Sherwin lets these two clowns run the show and take advantage of ALL OF US. Where is our money going?
Yeah, so this is what’s been happening lately, and why my entries have been late for such a long time.
This is one wheelbarrow: