Monday, July 9, 2012

My father, the motivational speaker

Now that I'm (for all practical purposes) unemployed, I've been spending my free time at my father's auto-repair shop.  Essentially, I get up FAR too early to do nothing but shuttle repaired mail trucks back & forth to home offices, run to pick up parts, and essentially spend 4-6 hours a day being that freeloading daughter that's done nothing remotely productive with her life, and now doesn't even have a stupid hobby to piss away her free time with.  

As I think I've mentioned before, I am the oldest of four children in my family, and still haven't graduated from college.  This is a point of contention between my father and myself, and I'm fairly confident that he's resigned his thoughts of me to somewhere between "Where did I go wrong? Why didn't I just pull out?" and "Well, at least she's too chubby to be a stripper."

This was the pep talk we had this morning in the truck on our way back to the shop:  

"So I got a call back from one of the temp agencies I sent my resume to."

"Oh yeah?  How are you gonna get a job?  You're twenty-four years old, ya got no skills. Ya been playing with horses your whole life. Ya got no job. Ya got nothin' goin' for ya."

"I've got skills!"

"Sleeping around doesn't count cuz you're too damn stupid to charge for it.  Even the smart girls charge for it!"

"...Thanks Dad."

I need a real job.  Stat. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I want what I want & I want it right now

Lately, stupid people are doing things and I realize why I'm not sorry to be getting out of the rescuing, rehabilitating and reselling business.  For those of you that didn't know, as of last weekend, I moved out of the White Lake facility and decided to board my 3 personal horses out at a private farm so I can start actually enjoying them again.  What a concept, right?!  While I enjoyed working with the sale horses and ponies, and MOST people that I surrounded myself with, it came to the point where it was more of a headache than it was really worth, and I've always said that when it feels like work, I'm done.  I have an aversion to REAL work, just ask my boyfriend.

I have had a lot of great clients these past few years.  And to you all, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me your money, taking my horses or ponies, and giving them the kinds of homes and lives they deserve.  But mostly for giving me your money.  I bought a lot of neat shit with it.

In all seriousness, I LOVE opening my Facebook page on a Monday morning and seeing pictures from buyers with their kids and the horses I sold them at a show or trail ride the weekend before.  I still keep in touch with a good portion of the owners, and I love getting the "THANK YOU AGAIN! HE'S AWESOME!" texts months and years after they bought from me.  It kind of makes me feel like what I did mattered, at least to someone.

And then I get these buyers who make me want to drive out to their farm, load up the horse, and punch them in the head on the way out.  They don't happen very frequently (thank GOD), but they happen.  And when they do, I wonder why I ever bothered doing this to begin with.  I'm sure any real horseperson reading this knows exactly the kind of person I'm talking about.

These people will call you thirty times in a 24 hour period about one particular horse.  They saw the ad, they watched ALL of the videos you posted of said horse, and they "fell in love/bonded/communicated" with the horse over the computer.  I have a theory on this whole process: If you fall in love/bond/communicate with a damn HORSE over a computer, you should be getting an appointment with a psychologist, not an animal.  When has falling in love with something with hooves over the internet ever gone well for anyone?

Alas, at one point, the teeny-tiny emotional part of me used to think that these people would be great homes to sell a rescued horse or pony to, because they OBVIOUSLY cared a lot about the horse, right?  I'd invite these people out, and tell them to bring a trainer or some other objective, knowledgeable friend that is capable of seeing the REAL horse in front of them and being bluntly honest.  They always complied.  I'm sure with the amount of giddyness these people had built up, I could have told them to bring me the kidney of an African Grey elephant and they would have been on it like a good whore.

I never want to sell someone a horse that won't work for them.  I don't care how much money they give me, it's a pain in the ass because they will ALWAYS call you unhappily later on and it will ALWAYS be your fault that they were stupid and didn't think anything through or listen to you when you said "Hey, this horse has 60 days under saddle, I don't think it'd be a good fit for you when you've been riding at a walk-only for your entire life."  They'll tell you OH YES, they have a trainer! and OH YES, they're going to have LOTS of help working with this horse!  They're not going to do it themselves!  You can meet said trainer, listen with your own ears when said trainer says "Oh no, they're not going to do it themselves.  I'm going to help them." and TRY and feel good about the new partnership you're being backed into making.  I'm learning quickly that people don't CARE what won't work for them, I know NOTHING, even though I've been riding the horse daily for the past three months, they want what they want and they want it RIGHT NOW, goddamnit!  "Forget riding the horse, he's obviously the same one from the videos.  Here's some cash, let's throw it in the trailer!"

These are the people who take home a horse that's used to a non-negotiable set of rules, boundaries, and knows what's expected of it from me....and throw everything right out the goddamn window in the first week:

"What?  You want to push me all over to check my pockets for treats?  Go ahead, Sweetheart!  Here's a few more for you while you search!"
"Oh look Honey!  He's nibbling on my side when I scratch his withers!  Isn't that cute?  It's like he thinks I'm a herd member too!"  

"Oh I could NEVER leave him tied up for a few minutes while I run to the bathroom, he'll start pawing and hollering because he misses me!  He used to stand still for hours, but now if I don't come back quick, he'll pull and break his halter because he gets bored!" 

"You want pull the reins right through my hands because running back to the barn on a trail means you get done faster?  OKAY!  Let's race NOBODY!  Isn't this fun?!"

"Oh, he told me he didn't want to work today when he scooted away from my saddle going on his back.  I'm just going to put him back outside to graze."

Eventually all of these cute little "Oh look Honey!"s add up to a rude, disrespectful horse who owns the person, not the other way around.  Then I get a phone call from a frustrated owner who says the horse in their pasture  "Isn't the same horse we bought."  You're right, it's not.  The horse YOU bought had manners, knew what was expected of it, and respected authority.  YOU ruined that horse by treating it like a puppy or a child instead of the 1,200-pound animal that it is.  I no longer use the phrase "Idiot-proof" in my ads....I'm just not good enough to make one truly idiot-proof, they've proven that to me.  It's a sad time for us as a society of horsemen & women when we have to leave our sale videos up for years after the horse is gone solely to prove to the public that the horse had manners when it left here and to keep our name protected from jackasses with computers.

Anyone can ruin a horse very quickly when they neglect basic safety protocols.  They're somewhat-intelligent animals (they ARE at the bottom of the food chain...), and they learn fairly-quickly, both good and bad.  It is not my job to follow you around when you get home and make sure you're doing everything correctly to keep from screwing that horse up and turning it into a great big holy terror.

Also, I am not Kmart.  I do not have a "If you break it, ruin it, or otherwise decide you don't want it anymore after owning it for months, I'll take it back for a full refund, no questions asked." policy.  I will absolutely help you, (and if I can't, I will find someone that can) but I will not fix your stupidity for free, and I will not help you unless you're willing to admit you were wrong and don't know what you're doing.  Do NOT call me whining about how you don't know what to do, you don't have any money for a trainer and you don't want the horse anymore.  It's called a commitment.  You made it when you bought that horse, and last I checked, a commitment meant you fixed things when they go wrong.  I know a lot of trainers that are fairly inexpensive.  If you're not willing, or are "too broke" to put out $40 for a one-hour session with a trainer, you have absolutely no business owning a horse.  A regular vet bill STARTS at $40 for the barn call alone.  It's not an ego trip for me to hear you admit you were wrong, it's only so I can remember that I'm dealing with TWO dumb animals during this process.  I can fix horses, but I shouldn't have to fix horse-buyers as well.

Fortunately for me, I'm done with this nonsense for awhile.  I'll still write blogs, because I'm sure I'll still encounter idiots that everyone else will want to laugh about, and maybe one day I'll be back into the swing of things & selling again.  Until then, I can't say I'm going to miss it!!