Figured after five months I was due for an update. So much for keeping active and posting regularly…
So much has happened since I last posted, that I might have to make two posts. So for now I’ll update you guys on Libby and where we are.
When I last posted I’d been relatively happy at my barn. I was paying 3x what I normally have paid in the past for board and training, but I felt like I was getting great training. I didn’t think I was getting what I paid for facility wise, but I made due. Thankfully my parents were splitting it with me, so I could barely afford it on my measly retail pay.
Then board went up. I’d been struggling to pay to regular prices, and my dad was getting fed up with paying so much every month. I mentioned to my trainer that I just couldn’t afford it anymore, and at first she tried suggesting things to help. Maybe I’d teach some up down lessons (which I said no to because I don’t want there to be any reason to get in trouble with USEF), or let Libby be used for lessons (which I also couldn’t agree to). After the first conversation, I was feeling really down. I knew I’d have to leave and was starting to look at places to move to. Without having my own trailer, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to continue training with J.
I then got a call from J that one of her clients had just finished building a barn on their property close to my house and they needed someone to manage the facility. Owners were not horse people, so they really needed someone who was experienced who could take care of the horses. They would have me work there in exchange for FREE board. Of course, not thinking about the consequences, or really anything but the word FREE I jumped on the chance. And the horses (3 horses) were moved to the new facility early October.
Things were fine at first. They’d promised to buy a jump course so J could come teach us lessons, and in the meantime would allow me to use their truck to borrow a friends trailer so I could trailer out for lessons. But as time went on, the promises started to fall through.
They didn’t realize how expensive jumps were, so they were going to wait to purchase them. Their horse was recovering from an injury anyways, they said, so he didn’t need to jump until the new year. Their daughter decided to lease a horse at J’s facility, so they were taking lessons and showing every weekend anyways.
They didn’t want me using their F150 to pull my friends very light aluminum trailer, because they’d been told they needed at least an F250. And my trainer J, with no jumps wouldn’t come out to give me lessons.
I was stranded. I was doing so much work, that I started getting sick again. The owners kid, the only one in the family who rode, never came out to care for her horses, so it was super lonely. And the random times she did come out, she was super snotty, and was just a terrible brat child.
I lost confidence in myself, in my riding, and in my relationship with J really fast. She stopped responding to my messages. When I had issues, would come down on me like everything was my fault. After a month and a half, I was done. I gave my notice, before I’d even found a place to go, and basically told J that I was done.
I ended up deciding to go to a friend of a friends place. And honestly, I should have moved to their place months ago. When I was first struggling with the board I should have just had a leap of faith and moved. But hindsight’s always 20/20. Its a quiet place, with a nice ring, and really great care. They care for Libby like shes one of their own, and I’m their only boarder so its quiet but not lonely.
I’ve taken a couple lessons with my new trainer E, and even had a dressage ride on Libby. I really wanted to focus on finishing her changes. Had some vet work done, and we’re ready to get back to work!
Now I’m just trying to figure out how to pay for everything. My dads done, wants to tap out of the horses. So I need to figure out what way I can keep paying for it, and go back to school so I can build a career for myself.
Ugh the struggle is so real right now! But I know that I’m very lucky, and thankfully these are first world problems.
I’ll post next about my whole boots ordeal. Everything’s a struggle!