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Ask GHC: Good or Bad?

Published by • Jul 18th, 2009 • Category: Ask Girls Horse Club

Ask Girls Horse Club

I have been riding a horse named Jersey for about a year. Then my instructor made me switch to a horse named Hojo. I love Hojo, but I LOVE Jersey. I have been riding Hojo for about two months. I learned that no one rides Jersey, no one wants to. I worked at the riding center, and at the end of the day we had a free ride. Since Jersey hasn’t been riding in like two weeks, someone had to ride her… I was FORCED to (that’s how much they don’t like her). I had to retrain Jersey. I could tell easily she hasn’t been ridden in weeks. She’s a Quarter Horse Belgian cross. Belgians are huge, and Jersey is big. She only gets like four flakes of hay a day. Which is not enough. She starves at night. There are different pastures. And she is in a small two acre pasture with horses that attack her. I think no one rides her cause each time a horse gets close to her, she pins her ears back and is ready to fight. I don’t think she’s mad, I think she’s scared. Maybe in her old home the owners didn’t give enough feed so all the horses must have fought her for the food. No wonder she eats a lot, and no wonder she’s always ready to fight. Before I went in group lessons a long time ago, I remember my instructor trying to warn me that Jersey doesn’t like other horses. But that never stopped me. Not even close to stop me. As I watch her being tortured in front of my eyes, I wonder: Why do they keep her if they don’t like her? They should give her to me! At that moment, I heard a strong neigh. Horses. Horses are fighting with her. This poor horse runs to the gate where I stand. She’s hungry, all the other horses ate the food and didn’t let her have any. She’s not aggressive, but people think she is. No! She’s scared! Why can’t they understand?! They are careless! Careless! As I watched my instructor ride her once, I almost yelled “What are you doing! Can’t you see she’s scared?” My instructor stabbed her in her flanks with her spurs. There. There goes my tears. My instructor yelling at me, I walk to Jersey’s stall. No food! She’s the only horse with no food! I had enough. I talked to the owner of the barn. She said, “If there is something wrong with her, the instructor will take care of it.” Before I had a chance to say a word, she walks away. Other girls giggle and tell me, “Why do you like this pathetic horse? She is mean when you saddle her, she is hard to bridle, and she attacks other horses! And…” “Stop!” I yelled. I didn’t and I still don’t understand what they are talking about. She is so easy to bridle, she doesn’t do anything when you saddle, and she is not hard to ride! I don’t think Jersey likes them, besides, they don’t deserve Jersey’s love. Jersey is an angel sent from above. Always trying to please me. Always trying to make me laugh when I’m sad. Words don’t do any justice for this angel. Once you know her, you’ll know what I mean. She’s a rare spotted Palomino, with a flowing mane and tail. Her forelock flows on her face and around her eyes, her beautiful eyes. I can never say enough about her. I’ll try to get a nice picture of her. I want to lease her. But, there is a list of horses for lease, and Jersey isn’t on it. But who cares if I lease her? No one rides her, no one likes her. Maybe I could buy her one day. So girls, what can I do now? I tried everything. I did my best, but I feel as though my best isn’t enough. Please help me, before something worse happens to Jersey.

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25 Nickers »

  1. Well is there a reason they are not feading her enough? Do they not think she is earning her keep or something? I am undergoing a similar problem at a fair ground stables with misused horses and ponies. I planned to take pictures of their conditions and talk with the owners about it. Maybe you could take some pictures of her being mistreated. Is there any health problems with Jersey, when is the last time she saw a vet? There could be many reasons why Jersey acts the way she does. If you were doing well on Jersey in the first place why did they make you switch over to HoJo? If things get out of hand… that she is being abused and you know it with proof then i woudl contact the Animal rescue or a place like that to come and have a look for themselves. Ask the owner if its possible you can put her in a seperate pasture or enclosure where she has food enough for herself. I implore you to try and get the owner to see the situation as you do; ask them for just at least a couple minutes of they’re time. Don’t give this up; eventualy they’ll have to give in. If things start to get out of hand get some friends, family, and people to back you up and contact the animal rescue groups. Even if your alone you should stand up for what is right. That is what im doing right now with the fair stable poines and its not easy. I would act as soon as i can if i were you or it could end up badly for Jersey if she gets too scared. Meaning she could end up hurting someone or herself and that would probably be the end of it. Im praying for you and Jersey. Hope this helps and good luck

    All the very best

  2. WesternMare, I’m confused by some conflicting things in your description. For example, you say “No wonder she eats a lot” and at the same time you say she’s not getting enough food. Can you see her ribs? Click here for Sweetie’s blog that describes what to look for. You also say she’s a big horse and aggressive with other horses, which doesn’t sound like the kind of horse that would submit to letting others take her food. Does she have injuries or sores that are not being cared for? You also say she’s in a ‘small two acre pasture’. I would consider that a very large pasture.

    It sounds like Jersey is a horse that requires a more experienced/confident rider, and maybe your barn mates don’t like her because they don’t know how to handle a horse like that?

    Your feelings about the situation are clear and it’s great that you have an emotional attachment to Jersey. But removing the emotion from your description it’s hard to tell whether this is a situation of neglect/mistreatment or a disagreement between you and the horse’s owner/trainer about how she should be handled.

    So my advice is to be very sure you’re acting on facts (not emotion) before you accuse anyone of mistreating a horse.

  3. Agreed with Leadmare, but if she is neglected, then don’t hesitate to contact someone like the ASPCA or whatever cruelty organization you choose. And if you don’t want people to be mad at your for reporting them, then tell whoever comes to check it out not to mention you.

  4. Oh sorry if I wasn’t clear! I meant she eats a lot of grass but when she’s in her stall she doesn’t get enough hay. I’ll try to be clearer next time. Well 2 acre is big, but half of it is full of mud. I’m so sorry for makin’ you confused. I waited three months before I was sure she was bein’ miss treated, I didn’t tell you girls the first time somthin’ happened, I waited to be sure of the situation. Sorry for the confusion.

  5. HorseFeathers, that helped a lot! You can’t see her ribs, she has fairly thick skin. She’s gettin enough grass outside, but not enough hay inside. I hope she gets treated better. Yeah me too I don’t understand, if me and Jersey work very good with each other, why did I switch? I don’t get it. Well, maybe they want her to loose wait? Because she did loose wait from the last time I rode her. I think she is earnin’ her keep. She does get agressive with other horses, but sometimes the other horses scare her. She can be a strong leader, and sometimes she can be a scardy cat.

  6. I love big horses.It’s hard to imagine people being afraid of them but some people are scared of tiny dogs.It seems to me that yes your feelings may be geting in the way but also that instead of talking to the owner trytalking to your instrutor.I don’t your instructor personaly so you must decide your approach.From what you say it seems that the instructor is telling the owner about the horse.Not the other way around.And proving that Jersey (to him/her )isn’t bad is your best bet.As for how you prove this here’s what I’d do.Ask the owner,instructor,parents,and anyone else nesescary if you can lease Jersey.Get a freind or family member to help you socialise Jersey by leasing a friendly ponyand doing everything with it.You may want to just have trail rides with a bunch of friends like every day.Spend tons of time grooming her.If money is a problem tell the instructor Jersey needs to be fed seperately.Don’t stop saying this.Ask if you can groom her.And ignore those girls.Tell your parents how bad the barn is.Ask them if you’s are paying shouldn’t you chose your horse?I really would’t call a cruelty orginization.Only at last resort.This would help Jersey but will it change the people?Another girl may have to do the same thing your doing.Calling them will cause bitterness inside and they’ll make it harder for another girl.Stop it once and for all!Be a good example!These are my ideas.You may come up with something more effective.Can’t wait to know your plan.Be strong for Jersey!~Good Luck~SP~

  7. Poor Jersey!!! But I also agree with leadmare. It’s horrible to know that there are people who treat horses like that!!

  8. Jersey shouldn’t be treated that way. I agree with leadmare. Hopefully Jersey would be treated right soon.

  9. I’m going to try not to be repetitious of what others have said.

    It sounds like you have a very strong bond with Jersey and she listens to you well. Which is a very good thing. However, your instructor is obviously an instructor because he/she loves horses. Some horses need to learn respect. It may just be that from not being used enough in lessons and whatnot, she’s picked up bad habits both when she’s mounted and in the pasture. Also, a lot of it could be that she’s fresh from not being worked regularly. If her ribs aren’t visible, then she’s a good weight. I know a horse that is diabetic — so she’s never let out in a pasture because she can’t eat grass. So just ask about her diet but not in an accusing way.

    Then, of course, there are horses that are only meant for one or two people and aren’t cut out to be lesson horses. They are just too smart for their own good and need a single experienced person to handle them.

    Good luck with Jersey — I hope things work themselves out.

  10. 1. I have felt sort of like that before. But in a very different way. I’ll pray for her.

    2. I was a little confused, because you said:
    “She only gets like four flakes of hay a day. Which is not enough. She starves at night.”
    And you also said:
    “Maybe in her old home the owners didn’t give enough feed so all the horses must have fought her for the food. No wonder she eats a lot”
    I hope you can clear this confusion..

    3. And SweetPea, actually, although i have never gotten the chance to tell if I am scared of large horses, I am sure it may be a little intimidating at first though for girls who have not been raised with large horses, or horses at all. And, I….I am actually afraid of some little dogs. They can be feisty! But I still love ’em.

    I will pray that things will go smoothly for Jersey and you.

  11. I can see that Jersey is treated differently and unfairly, but in the end that is only your point of view. I think to solve the conflict and figure out why there is such unjust, you need to gain the opinion of your instructor, barn owner and riders who don’t like Jersey. Right now, we don’t know why Jersey is being treated as such, so without firm and absolute evidence that the mistreatment is intentional, it’s hard to point fingers at anyone.

    One reason why she might not be getting enough food is that she isn’t popular, which in turn leads to thinking that she doesn’t need as much energy as other horses, she’s not earning her keep and etc. We’re left with many questions about Jersey’s treatment and no definate answers, so you can probably continue asking your instructor about her diet and behaviour.

    It is also part of the barn owner’s responsibility to see that all horses are being well-fed, healthy and are treated justly. Being the owner is also time-consuming, so it’s difficult to have a long conversation with her. I think you shouldn’t give up telling her about Jersey just because she walks away. Try to talk as much as possible whenever she is available. By the looks of things, you might need to explain to her lots of things, because she doesn’t seem aware of Jersey’s treatment.

    Other riders obviously misunderstand your feelings towards Jersey. For them, she is probably a difficult horse who has bad habits, which leads to naturally disliking her. However, some horses react differently to different people, and that seems like what is happening with you. Maybe ask to observe them when they are interacting with Jersey and try to grasp the problem that way. You can also explain to them your thoughts and facts about Jersey. There’s a lack of understanding between other riders and Jersey, and when they see that she is a good horse, she’ll hopefully become more popular.

    In the end, when talking try to include detailed facts and as few opinions as possible. I hope you have the best of luck with everything! Good on you for sticking up for Jersey!

  12. Oh sorry WesternMare! I didn’t see your answer to someone else’s question of confusion

  13. Thank-you girls. Once again I’m sorry for all the confusion. The owner is barely around, so I don’t know what to do. I asked my instructor about her diet, she says the its not her fault if she doesn’t get enough food outside. She said that Jersey has less food because they want her to loose a little weight. She refused to tell me why others don’t like Jersey. I’ve seen others ride her. I still don’t get why they don’t like her. I really need help. How can I convince my instructor? How can I talk to the owner? I’m scared that they yell at me. But I’m willing to do anythin’ for Jersey.

  14. Well i guess you have to understand that the instructor is not in charge of every single horse’s well-being is she? That’s the owners responsibility. If you feel that the horse is actualy being mistreated then you should take upon your own self to call the head person in charge or ask a parent to skedule a meeting time to talk and ask questions with them. Like Leadmare said; make sure you base your judgements on fact and not feelings. Actualy with over-weight and obsese horses there is such a thing called a “starving-pasture”. A place where the grass is kind of dead and not really abundent. It may seem cruel but it is one way to help a horse loose weight and main-tain a healthy diet. I understand your situation but if you truely care for the well-being of this horse you need to talk to the head hancho person in charge even if they yell… life isnt all peachy cream my grandpa says. Don’t be disrespectful though… that’ll loose they’re attention. They can’t accuse you for asking questions so ask away for Jersey’s sake.


  15. Westernmare,

    I’m going to try not to repeat what others have said.

    If you are wondering why you had to switch over, then maybe its because your instructor thought you could improve from riding Hojo. Riding different horses can help you improve your riding a LOT.

    Are you sure Jersey is starving? I would check the quality of hay. Some types of hay have different nutritional values than others, so maybe she doesn’t get a lot of hay because the hay that is fed is high in ingredients that can make a horse gain wait if fed too much. Also, is she getting any other feed besides hay and grass? They may be feeding her some kind of grain.

    Don’t be afraid to talk to the owner. Don’t be scared that they’ll yell at you. You can always walk away.

    Others might not like Jersey for different reasons. Some people like bigger, slower horses, and others may like the skinny, fast arabish type. You never know. They may not have the same level of respect from Jersey as you do.

    You can always talk to your instructor about ridng Jersey and Hojo. I have really improved riding different horses, and I bet you could too. Maybe talking to her about this will help her consider.

    Hope this helps!

  16. In my opinion, starving a horse isn’t a good way to make them lose weight. A healthier and overall better option is to exercise her more. However, seeing that she isn’t a popular choice, that’s a problem. Is it possible that you’ll be allowed to ride her more in exchange for a suitable amount of food for Jersey?

  17. Madelania- when i said a “starving-pasture” i didn’t mean literaly starving the horse. Its just a field with less grass so the horse gets back to a healthier diet. Exercising is a champion weigh to help a horse also =0)

  18. Stargazer: She only gets hay and grass. There is numerous reasons why others don’t ride her, but only havin’ her bein’ ridden once every couple of weeks isn’t very good.

    Madelaina: I agree its not a proper way to make her loose wait. I’ll try talkin’ to the owner again. I’m gettin’ at a point where I will just go up to her and make her listen. I’m guessin’ they are gonna switch me back soon. I just don’t know. I will talk to the owner, but I’ll have to wait on Saturday. Somethin’ inside me is holdin’ me back, but at the same time somethin’ is makin me call now.

  19. Nevada Sunshine:What I was saying was the girls might be afraid they might get …squased,bit,ext.That’s not the case though as WesternMare pointed out that others ride her.And while I love huge animals and am not scared of little dogs usualy anytime I see a Chihuahua my brain screams,”It’s gonna bite!”

    I wonder why those girls don’t like Jersey.Hmmm.

  20. HorseFeathers: I was actually referring to WesternMare’s instructor’s method of making Jersey lose weight, but your comment still helped me understand the “starving pasture” better. Thanks :)

    WesternMare: At times like this, we’re afraid of speaking our minds and standing up for ourselves or others because we might experience humiliation, ridicule, failure or rejection. That something inside of you might be this small fear and hesitation, but contrasting that is your love of horses, which battles that fear and gives you courage, making you want to call sooner for the sake of an earlier, better life for Jersey. Either way, do whatever you’re comfortable with. I think a girl like you can definitely help Jersey :)

  21. Hey i have been on this one thing it’s for petitions it’s called care2 mabey you could start your own petition for people to sing your petition i don’t know just thought not bad to try :) hope it helps

  22. Madelaina, I sometimes get confused with what I feel, but you helped me understand. Thanks!

    Girls, thank-you for all your help, I will definitely keep you up to date.

    Mystery, I looked at the lesson board and it said my name and underneath it it said Jersey. That means there is the name of the rider on top, then at the bottom there is the name of the horse. So does that mean I’m riding her next week? Is it a misstake? I don’t get it… Hmm…

  23. Maybe she isn’t getting anough food,water or attention that could explain hr behavior.Ld

  24. Call a horse rescue. That’s what I would do. Jersy is definately scared and she needs patiants, love, and kindness. So find a horse rescue in the area and call them. I hope it works out for you.


  25. ok i am praying that if you haven’t already fixed this you do and soon! ok if you still don’t know why she’s being starved keep asking. don’t stop til they tell you why. start a petition to help her. and find out what level riders were on her. i say all the time a horse is as good as it’s rider meaning if she was being used for the novvice class then she could have been bad when they put the saddle on cause there was some thing rubbing her and maybe some she was worried they would hurt her putting the bridle on. mixed signals is also one of the key reasons most good horses don’t act well. so see who rode her. and check for raw spots round the girth area. hope you have already sorted this out.