Goodbye September 2013, and all the turmoil that came with you!
I’m both happy and sad to report that Corona has moved on to a new home, without me.
A lot has happened since my last blog, I didn’t even bother writing because things seemed to change every few days. I’m angry because it was all so unnecessary, I’m hurt because I lost my wonderful horse, I was fuming at the bullying that went on, but above all these things, I’m relieved that my Corona is now out of the Boss’ and in a good situation.
Since my last post, I agreed that the best option would be for him to go back to his previous owner. I let the Boss know this and then found out that she had lied to me, and she hadn’t actually spoken with Corona’s former owner about this. It tuned out that the owner couldn’t take him back because she had too many others to take care of. At this point, I offered to take him elsewhere, or to assist in finding him another home to solve the problem of the Boss not feeling comfortable handling him. I was outright refused both of these options by the Boss. She flatly told me that she would not let him go anywhere else because he is dangerous, and if anything were to happen to anyone that it would all come back on her and be bad for business. While I recognize that there are “dangerous” horses out there, Corona is not one of them. If he were dangerous, the Boss herself would be dead right now. If he were dangerous, how has a 76 year old woman who can barely walk looked after him for the last 3 years? If he were dangerous, how have I survived riding and showing him, taking him on hunter paces, and riding him bareback around the property for the last 3 years? If he were dangerous, why did he come to the Boss’ in the first place from a very reputable person in the horse community who has trained with Olympians? It doesn’t add up. The horse is not dangerous.
I was told that “as time permits” the previous owner and the aforementioned reputable person (we will call her CC), would try to place him, but that “nobody wants a lawn ornament”. At this point, I was going away for a week on vacation to visit my brother in California. I proceeded to get a text from the Boss that advised me to really think about what I wanted to do with my riding career because I shouldn’t waste my talent on a horse like Corona, I don’t owe him anything and he’d be better off put down. She then proceeded to reiterate that she would not pass him on unless she was guaranteed that he would be retired and never to be used, and that it’s her call to make. However, if I wanted to keep riding him at the Boss’, then I could. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with me. While away, CG emailed me to let me know that she had spoken to the Boss about it and the Boss said the same things to her. Basically, the option was to keep leasing him from the Boss and he will get put down when the Boss decides she’s done, or stop riding at the Boss’ and he will get put down immediately.
Great choice eh? What would you have done given these options?
Well, after much deliberation and being away from the situation, I chose the second option. Walk away and accept that he was going to be put down. It was gut-wrenching. I felt so guilty giving him this death sentence. The only thing that I found comfort in was the fact that I knew it wasn’t me doing this to him. I offered everything I could have to help and the Boss outright refused. It was clear that she just wanted my money and she was bullying me, she feigned that she was doing it for me, and for awhile I believed she had good intentions. I have known the boss for 7 years now and always given her the benefit of the doubt. Enough was enough, I just couldn’t take it anymore because it was so manipulative.
On Sept 25th, I went out to the Boss’ to let her know my decision and to say goodbye to Corona. I refused to tell her to put him down, I didn’t want to ever say such a thing because I didn’t believe it was a valid option. The Boss was in the barn, and I politely said, “Like you requested, I have done a lot of thinking about what I want to do. I want you to know that today is going to be my last day out here”. The Boss was shocked. She didn’t know what to say. I proceeded to tell her that I cannot keep coming out knowing that she will be putting this horse down in two weeks, two months, or two years, or whenever she decides to get out of the business, and that my only option is to ride there under that premise or to tell her to put him down now. At first she tried to deny it, saying that that’s not how she sees it, but then she said, “Well, that’s going to be the case no matter where you ride.” I don’t think so.
She proceeded to tell me how she would be very sad if I were to leave, and that she has no problem if I wanted to continue to ride Corona there. My mind was made up however. We went for our last ride together and I said my goodbyes….again. CG was there too and helped me gather up all my things and put them into the car. I left that night feeling powerless, but confident that I had made the right decision.
The next few days were nauseating. I was just waiting to hear something from the Boss or CG telling me that he had been put down. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard from the Boss since my last night out there. I was certain I would have got another email, but I guess not. Last week, I saw a text from CG – I started to read it with a lump in my throat and then I saw, “The Boss found a home for Corona!!! Well, I suspect CC did…but he leaves on Sunday and it is a retirement home with some rescue horses!” Tears filled my eyes as I blasted CG with 100 questions that she didn’t know the answers to. I was so happy. I guess my praying paid off and the horse gods were listening. Sure enough, CG made sure she was out at the Boss’ on Sunday to load Corona to make sure there was no funny business going on. I had one more proud moment when I found out he loaded perfectly ! Later that night, the Boss sent CG a text telling her that it was a “nice place with really nice people and the other horses look to be in great condition, they even use the same vet”. For the first time in month, the overwhelming feeling of guilt and nausea subsided.
I still haven’t heard anything from the Boss, not even to let me know personally that he wasn’t put down. I tried to message CC on facebook to pass along Corona’s blankets to the new owners, but I haven’t got a response and I suspect I probably won’t get one.
I’m still very sad about the whole situation, again, just because it was so unnecessary, but like many have said before – I believe things happen for a reason.