Monday, March 23, 2009

When Common Sense is Amiss at the Barn

The past month has been an exciting time for my eight-year-old as she prepares for her first dressage rally with The Pony Club coming up this Sunday. She has memorized her test, practiced it on foot nightly in our living room, set up her Breyer model horse dressage arena and had her models do the test, and of course she has ridden Monty daily and they look beautiful doing the test.

So, we were very excited last Thursday to have a good friend of ours who is also a grand prix level dressage rider and instructor come over to our barn and give her a lesson. The pony and my daughter warmed up and things were going well. They did the test a couple of times and then...

A guy with a horse and a dog is what happened... The guy decides to turn his horse out into the back arena, behind the dressage arena, about a hundred or so feet away. My hunter jumper trainer sees this and starts to walk over there to tell him, "Hey, we have a little one in the arena, can you hold off on the turn-out." But he wasn't fast enough. Not only did the guy turn the horse out, he proceeded to chase after the horse, arms flying in the air and the dog in tow, jumping and barking. See where I am going with this, right? Monty spooked, jumped over the arena (Kid stays on), he's going pretty darn fast and headed toward a good sized jump, which he swerves around and she comes off. I run to my child, pony takes off (heads straight for a stud horse--of all the horses in the barn) and my hunter jumper trainer comes unglued at the guy in the arena chasing his horse. Of course the man felt awful and was sorry and he isn't the most horse smart guy, but come one--doesn't common sense dictate here? You can see a child in an arena taking a lesson, it's dusk, they were down on the end closest to the turn-out--ay, ya, ya!

Fortunately my little one was okay. She did have a little bump on her forehead (thank God for helmets). We iced it and she did get back on the pony and do the test again. I was very, very proud of her. I was also very, very, very happy that she wasn't really hurt. I was also extremely angry that what happened was completely avoidable. Well, as of this week there is a sign up in front of the turnout arena that states "No turnouts when riders are in the dressage or jump arenas."

How about any of you? Any no common sensers at your barn? Love to hear the stories.



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mugwump said...

Idiots turn up everywhere you go. I'm glad your little one survived with her enthusiasm intact. Good for her!

Anonymous said...

Since I ride mostly at my own place, I don't have much of any one to blame but myself. My kid came off his horse this weekend, too--the first fall he's had. He's fine, and learned a good lesson. He was getting pretty over-confident. I think he'll pay attention more now. But his was just the horse spooking, and a simple tumble.
I'm glad your little girl is OK, her fall sounded a bit more scary.

Gayle Carline said...

I always joke that I should be the barn poster-child for "Don't Do It Like This" - I've been bitten, kicked, jumped on, stepped on - all my own fault. BUT I don't drag anyone else along for my bumpy rides.

Stupidest thing I've seen lately was at an AQHA/NRHA show in Del Mar. Someone tied their Appy to the sliding stall door. He spooked, pulled back and removed the door from the track. In the middle of classes, we've got a poor little horse running backward down the aisles, dragging a big, heavy door with him. As you can imagine, all the horses reacted, although no one got hurt.

Glad your daughter was okay - and that she got back on that horse!