A Hard One To Swallow!

Joined
16 May 2022
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7
Hi All,

Well where do I start... I have been a Head Groom/Yard Manager professionally for many many years, starting locally at a professionals yard from the age of 14 and working my way up from there... i was made redundant in 2021, unfortunately we lost the owner with her battle with cancer and the yard was sold by her family which is what she asked them to do... anyway.... so off i went to search for another vacancy, as hard as it was as obviously i had been at one place my whole working life, that wasn't the problem really the next bit was... so job opportunities came along and i felt lucky that i had a good pick of what i had available to me, alot of people were impressed that i had been in one place so long, and others were like why would you do that! either way i don't mind, I'm not a young person so i don't mind the questions, i settled finally at a yard where everything seemed nice, probably to nice looking back is a great thing. It was a private family yard with about 10 horses on it ranging from their kids (whom are now in their 20's) ponies, through to some adult horses and one youngster.
I started there as a yard manager and head groom, and indeed it was or seemed a nice place to work. I went through a specialist employment agency for this job. I am a qualified person, with a HND in sports and performance horse management and training, and a whole host of other qualifications all horse specific. I was on my own in the yard one day and went to bring the ponies in (there is 5 of them) and they are all in split fields one behind the other so it takes a while to empty the whole lot back out... turnout seems to be so easy sometimes! on bringing the ponies in i had no issues with anything or see anything that would warrant a panic etc... then on grooming and picking feet out no issues, i put all of the ponies away in their boxes and started to mix lunch time feeds... suddenly my long suffering partner who is actually quite horsey now (1 to me) came running out to the feed area where i was mixing them all up and said there is a pony down, i went running in to the indoor stabling and the pony was indeed down and seriously down, i knew at this point that it was serious, laboured breathing, sweating badly.... oh what !!
I told my partner to run and get someone quick from the main family house who could help me as i was already on the phone to the vets as fast as could be! the lady who owned the house etc etc etc came running into the barn, and saw the horse (at this point im already on the phone to the vet still who was now on her car phone and talking me through things as she was driving)
the person who owned everything, then started to play the blame game! why wasn't all of the ponies brought in at the same time?? if you got them all at the same time (all 5) this would not have happened! this is your fault! you killed my horse! oh you best believe it i got the lot!! I understand that she was upset that the pony had got this way! but i can assure everyone this was not my fault in anyway! shape or form! everything was done exactly the same!
I didn't say anything back for this time, rang the vet back and just said please get here now! i was outside the yard area at this point and said to the vet.... you have a major problem on your hands when you do firstly you have the horse and secondly you have the twat that owns it!!! with this i heard the vet sigh deeply... she had her own reservations about this owner for a while, she then told me on the phone how old this horse was, how ill it actually was and it turns out he was 36 years old, and had serious health issues (explains the medications for all sorts) the vet remarked that she's surprised that it had gone on this long and she then said it was going to happen sooner or later!
i stayed around being yelled at and sworn at and frankly realised that my temper was getting the better of me as i could feel myself bubbling over inside ( never a good thing) as i am then at this point normally going to literally go mental and shout back or worse still hit out!!! didn't do either (another 1 to me)
The vet finally arrived and came in at which point, i had really heard enough about how bad i was at my job etc etc.... i realised that i actually didnt have to listen to this rubbish anymore.... i had done my bit trying to keep this horse calm and chilled despite it being in quite a bit of pain my duty was to the horse and to keep him as comfy as i could and as calm as i could..... at this point i looked at this owner straight in her face with anger streaming out of my eye balls like lasers and said "we are done" i then walked straight out of the yard, moved out of the house and never spoke to her again!! unfortunately the horse did pass away that day, the vet phoned me in the evening, saying that it was not my fault and that after this situation she has taken this woman off her books forever! she also said she couldn't believe what was coming out of the owners mouth... the vet commended me on my professional conduct, and indeed she also told me that she would of hit out if it was her she admitted that she could not have done what i did...
and on that note i also left the equine industry.... never to return... that still to this day plagues me so much, i have nursed alot of horses in my time, have trained alot in dressage and jumping up to and including fei levels, it upset me so deeply, because i hadn't actually done anything! and now i have anxiety, trust issues, issues that i never had before with people, if someone told me i had to manage a yard of horses now i would literally lock myself in the car, would walk away, it has affected me that much i cant tell you! i love horses and always have, i cant even bare to think of buying one for myself on DIY livery! the mental health it has really surfaced has really now affected me so badly that i haven't been on or near another horse since!
the anxiety is particularly bad..... i saw some horses in a field the other day when i was walking my dog and one of them came over from the field and really probably to see the dog and he put his head over the fence... my dog being the wettest Doberman in history watched from her distance as per always, i stroked his head, and then had this thought.....
Anger really took over, all the way home i was going through arguments in my head, this woman with her foul nutty mouth has stripped me of my whole career, has taken everything i know, has affected my mental health beyond belief, has hurt me so deeply i cant put it into words, has affected everything about me and my personality for nearly a year coming up now, and for what because she wanted someone to blame, for a horse that passed away which was no fault of mine.... (i cant put what wording i would like to use here i think its against the rules) but if i ever come across her in life ever again i can assure you im sure i will be really really repaying of the favour..... even now as i sit and type this i feel empty that an amazing career that i once had with horses that i adored and that changed my life, i don't have anymore because someone else's actions!
alot of people (friends) said to me to not let her get to you, or told me i should have done other things before leaving! either way it hasn't made me feel better about anything at all..... i hope one day that i will have the courage to be able to return to the horse world before its to late! im 38 now so have some years left in me.........
what this has made me realise is no matter what happens in life, don't hit on someone else's mental wellbeing, words have far reaching actions, and can damage a person inside and out....!
what does everyone else think!
 

Ownedby4horses

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7 May 2020
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1,401
What an absolutely horrible experience for you.

I would agree that talking to a professional may help you to come to terms with the situation and to stop carrying the weight on your shoulders.

Firstly, you’ve done nothing wrong, this woman is truly something else and remember the vet has removed her off her books also, I would say there’s previous form there.

The awful woman hasn’t taken your career from you, she’s done a very good job of knocking the wind out of your sails. As hard as I can understand it is, you need to find a way of thinking you are not the victim and be relieved that you are no longer working for this woman.

you can rebuild your career, even though the horse world is a small one. I guarantee there will be people out there who have also at some point had a run in with her.

When you are feeling a little more settled with things in your mind, apply for jobs, remember you were at your previous yard for 14yrs!

I wouldn’t hide the fact that you left your last job, as it is better to be upfront. If you are asked to expand then keep it brief and very matter of fact that the vet has removed the client from her books over an unpleasant situation while the owner’s very elderly pony was dying and you felt it was not an environment that you wanted to remain in.

You CAN recover from this. Have a hug as you will find a lot of support on here. Life is so flipping tough at times.

Stay strong! x
 

meleeka

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I think if you were being charitable you could argue that the owner wasn’t thinking straight and was in a state of panic. If not she’s just a horrible person. You can’t help what some people are like, but you can change how you react to it. This was bound to upset you but you didn’t nothing wrong, so I think finding a way to move on from it is what you need to focus on. Have a virtual hug because you sound like a lovely person (())
 
Joined
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Thankyou to each person genuinely for your kind words, it has affected me alot in my personal life, sometimes i feel stupid because i am a qualified person and know my own strengths etc, i have spent a life time working hard to help people, not just in the horse world but outside of it, i have helped young people who have no way out, people who cant afford riding lessons regularly for their kids i have put people onto my ex grand prix dressage horse and taught their children to ride, (thank god he was a good horse with patience of a saint) and im thankful for each and every horse who has walked into my life, for the lessons they all taught me, for the whispers when they were finding things hard in training, for making me listen when i really was a little sod at 14 years old when i began this journey with horses, im also thankful to the people who taught me my craft and gave me many chances to do really cool things......
i have a great respect for people, and am always one to not have my filter completely zipped tight .... we were taught and brought up this way, so makes sense to be like this..... but anyway respect i have this in bucket loads both for horses and for owners, i take my job so seriously im fanatical about all sorts from owners turning up and there horse isnt clean, from the yard looking a state, from feed being ordered on time, you name it i like it done right, i dont cut corners with any person, their horse or if i was training a horse i am the same, if im training a person i am also the same, this is why i feel this has got to me sooooo much is because i take my job really seriously and the horses in my care even more so..... thats why i truly believe it has hit me so hard..!
 

meleeka

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Thankyou to each person genuinely for your kind words, it has affected me alot in my personal life, sometimes i feel stupid because i am a qualified person and know my own strengths etc, i have spent a life time working hard to help people, not just in the horse world but outside of it, i have helped young people who have no way out, people who cant afford riding lessons regularly for their kids i have put people onto my ex grand prix dressage horse and taught their children to ride, (thank god he was a good horse with patience of a saint) and im thankful for each and every horse who has walked into my life, for the lessons they all taught me, for the whispers when they were finding things hard in training, for making me listen when i really was a little sod at 14 years old when i began this journey with horses, im also thankful to the people who taught me my craft and gave me many chances to do really cool things......
i have a great respect for people, and am always one to not have my filter completely zipped tight .... we were taught and brought up this way, so makes sense to be like this..... but anyway respect i have this in bucket loads both for horses and for owners, i take my job so seriously im fanatical about all sorts from owners turning up and there horse isnt clean, from the yard looking a state, from feed being ordered on time, you name it i like it done right, i dont cut corners with any person, their horse or if i was training a horse i am the same, if im training a person i am also the same, this is why i feel this has got to me sooooo much is because i take my job really seriously and the horses in my care even more so..... thats why i truly believe it has hit me so hard..!
So you know you do an excellent job and are experienced and qualified, polite and pleasant, yet you have allowed someone, who is known to be difficult, to shape your whole future, based on what impulsive things they said that day? That doesn’t sound right does it? Once you understand that, you just have to find the way forward. A counsellor will be able to help you with that, but in order to move on you do need to take the first step.
 
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Joined
16 May 2022
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So you know you do an excellent job and are experienced and qualified, polite and pleasant, yet you have allowed someone, who is known to be difficult to shape your whole future, based on what impulsive things they said that day? That doesn’t sound right does it? Once you understand that, you just have to find the way forward. A counsellor will be able to help you with that, but in order to move on you do need to take the first step.


now its put like that, i can understand it better..... i honestly did a great job, sure i made mistakes like everyone does! but i was desperate to not do this alot.... in general before all of this happened i was a fun, outgoing person, which i still am, but i have learnt to shy away from people who speak in a nice way (posh way) i am happy to get along with anyone but as soon as i hear that plum mouth i run a mile!
in a way, i want to protect myself, my family as i feel that this could have impeded them alot and indeed affected them also, i find myself looking at horse kit again which is something i love to do.... shopping! who doesn't love a good tack shop!! I am sure that one day, i will do a great job for someone's family, and i also enjoy teaching too, training horses comes high on that list also. so maybe one day i can go back to it without the sweats, and shaking and all the rest of it like those people are looking at me and those people are judging me, i used to competition ride alot and feel that this would have to be put to bed for now as i cannot in any which way fathom how to get myself back there, small steps!
 

planete

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5 May 2010
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It sounds as if the incident has left you with PTSD. You need specialised help and counselling to be able to move forward, please find out what is available in your area and look after yourself. This kind of reaction to a traumatic event is beyond our control and can and does spoil many people's lives. I had the same for years from childhood trauma and really wish I had got help for it.
 

SEL

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25 February 2016
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OP I feel so sorry for you - its awful having a horse obviously dying in front of you and the woman sounded horrendous. She may well have been in shock but I think if she was then the vet wouldn't have reacted the way she did and you'd have got an apology.

I had someone's youngster die in my arms a few years ago. She did not act with much consideration for her horse during the day (the vets were involved) and I never got a single word of thanks from her. The year beforehand I found another of her horses in the field with an obviously broken leg and from the way she carried on you would have thought I'd engineered the broken leg. I do appreciate people can act badly when they are in shock but equally some people are just unpleasant and we need to set that to one side and realise it is THEIR problem and not ours.

Like others have said try and get someone professional you can talk to and can offload on. Its OK to be angry but don't let it eat you up inside.
 
Joined
16 May 2022
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luckily, im not suffering flashbacks from it ....... but the whole situation was really bad.... I'm glad the vet reacted the way she did.... (10 out of 10) and im glad that i got to say to her (we are done) and in the way i said it my partner thought at that moment i was going to loose my professionalism and just go through her like a bull and not stop.... i was brought up with better morals luckily, and as such didn't do either, but if looks could kill.... wow she would be gone im sure my eyes said everything else that didn't come out verbally! enough to shut her up there and then.... as i was walking away im dam sure that she said he cant just leave me here with this situation, followed by he cant just walk away..... (yes he can and yes he did) simple as that....
i said to my partner outside the indoor barn, she thinks she can do better than me great im done, ive done my bit now im gone!
even the local horse feed supplier telephoned me and said that he was shocked by what he had been told from the vet, and rang to see if i was alright! at this point i think i was still really angry with her and went on a tangent about it all, she even had the cheek to hand deliver a letter saying that she didn't think it would work out, but if i didn't mind mucking out the stables between the hours of 8am and 1pm that i could stay in the accommodation and to not be on the yard after 1pm because of the other staff on the property. she told them all not to speak to me at all on any grounds, obviously they did, two ended up putting in their resignation letters that same week with immediate effect and left, one man told her what he really thought of her, and she went to walk off apparently and he followed her and really gave her a full piece of his mind!! maybe i should have done the same...... luckily i didn't as she now has to live with the fact that people literally had enough...... one day she may come up against someone that will really do some damage, i heard of a groom years ago that did exactly that.... and really lost it completely and actually punched the woman full on in the face, which i bet hurt after lifting bales of straw and hay for many years she was quite a strong girl so i can only imagine how much that hurt....... i remember this well and i don't condone her actions at all, but i can understand why she did it, she obviously felt backed into a corner, being yelled at for nothing, everyday and the employer was known by all of the local grooms and yards as a bully.... well that bully got planted in her mouth and the girl said she didn't have much to say to her after that at all, the groom also said that the woman in question literally started on her for no reason so the groom chased her with a plastic muck out spade thingy, then when she realised that she had enough of that the girl punched her instead. serious as it was the employer actually apologised to the girls on the yard and it was left there, i don't think that she ever did that to any groom ever again!
I'm so glad that i didn't loose my cool because that would have been made a whole lot worse, the woman in my case can live with alot, obviously doesn't feel guilt, and doesn't respect anyone at all.....
I have to say that some employers whom i have heard in the past at competition etc, are really bad at speaking to people that work for them, if it wasn't for grooms or staff like me, it would be up to them to do all the donkey work, all the organising, and all the rest of it. employers need to be thankful for the work there staff do on a daily basis, keeping there business going, there clients happy, and the horses well looked after.
 

MissTyc

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It sounds as if the incident has left you with PTSD. You need specialised help and counselling to be able to move forward, please find out what is available in your area and look after yourself. This kind of reaction to a traumatic event is beyond our control and can and does spoil many people's lives. I had the same for years from childhood trauma and really wish I had got help for it.
I was about the say the same this. This sounds like post traumatic anxiety, which is an excessive reaction to the situation and therefore merits professional treatment. You deserve professional help and you deserve not to feel like this or to be plagues by these memories.

We didn't realise my husband had PTSD until he had a nervous breakdown. In retrospect, it was obvious and I just wish we'd managed to get him the help earlier as that journey of recovery gets longer and longer if you leave it untreated.


((however, the vet should not be gossiping with you or with the feed store!))
 

Cowrie

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Please seek counselling, it was a horrible situation but obsessing and ruminating on it endlessly will not help you. You are obviously an eminently capable horseperson and it is sad that you are being held back from something you were good at because of one bitter, reactive individual. Good luck - you are worthy of recovery and contentment.
 
Joined
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I was about the say the same this. This sounds like post traumatic anxiety, which is an excessive reaction to the situation and therefore merits professional treatment. You deserve professional help and you deserve not to feel like this or to be plagues by these memories.

We didn't realise my husband had PTSD until he had a nervous breakdown. In retrospect, it was obvious and I just wish we'd managed to get him the help earlier as that journey of recovery gets longer and longer if you leave it untreated.


((however, the vet should not be gossiping with you or with the feed store!))


I am looking into this and also CBT therepy also ....... My friend said to go up to her yard and just get on a horse shut the indoor arena door and just ride about.... bless her if only it was that simple
 

ponynutz

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I am looking into this and also CBT therepy also ....... My friend said to go up to her yard and just get on a horse shut the indoor arena door and just ride about.... bless her if only it was that simple
CBT is absolutely wonderful. My mental struggles are chronic unfortunately but for you therapy alone should cure you. It can take a while but while you're working on it you'll notice that you will have much better skills to use to cope with the stress and anxiety this experience has caused you. I'm sorry this happened - what a horrible woman!
 
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CBT is absolutely wonderful. My mental struggles are chronic unfortunately but for you therapy alone should cure you. It can take a while but while you're working on it you'll notice that you will have much better skills to use to cope with the stress and anxiety this experience has caused you. I'm sorry this happened - what a horrible woman!

I think im going to do the therepy for exactly these reasons, im sure at some point i will come up against someone else whom is like or similar to this, at least i can try and deal with the aftermath of the situation. i feel that i did a pretty good job, but im glad that i managed to walk away and not start a war with the woman. i cant believe people like this exist... or have people working for them!!
 

bluedanube

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It’s great that you are able to release some of the pent up emotions that are obviously swirling about in your brain, however, a forum may be the start of the healing process but imho you need to be brave and take the next step.
As has been suggested perhaps it is time now to seek a counsellor to help you make sense of and come to terms what has happened and why it has shaken your self belief so profoundly. I wish you all the best and hope you can move past this…sending cyber hugs
 

Quigleyandme

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OP, I completely understand how you are feeling. A colleague with mental health issues did her best to ruin my life and very nearly succeeded in bringing about the end of it. I’m grand now, happy and settled, you will be too given enough time and support. It may not seem like it now but you can heal and move on from this. X
 

chocolategirl

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I think im going to do the therepy for exactly these reasons, im sure at some point i will come up against someone else whom is like or similar to this, at least i can try and deal with the aftermath of the situation. i feel that i did a pretty good job, but im glad that i managed to walk away and not start a war with the woman. i cant believe people like this exist... or have people working for them!!
Sorry for your situation OP, but like others have said CBT is or at least was, life changing for me in my mental health struggles. The most important thing is to embrace the therapy fully, if you don’t, it won’t work. I’ve had 3 lots over the years and the last lot included worry therapy, omg, what a revelation this was for me😳 see your GP and get it organised asap, you won’t regret it 😉
 

Ratface

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You've done really well, OP. Congratulations on walking away from a situation which could have damaged you professionally.
The YO sounds . . . possibly disordered in several areas of her personality.
I live with PTSD. I had two three month weekly sessions of CBT and found them a useful tool. This was several years ago. The strategies I learned then are still useful now.
I accessed my treatment via my GP surgery.
Meanwhile, have a look at "CBT for Dummies". It's one of a series of practical help books and should be available in bookshops/mail order etc. I bought it after my direct treatment was concluded and I still occasionally use it as a top-up if I'm feeling a bit shaky.
Good luck. I believe that you will get where you need to be, professionally and personally because you demonstrate so much energy in wanting to do so.
 

Getbackboys

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20 February 2021
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I agree this owner was probably in a state of panic knowing she was going to lose this dear horse who clearly was known to the vets, yes she shouldn't have spoken to you the way she did, but you never know what is going on in the background of peoples lives when they act in ways which are upsetting to others. Sometimes we need to stop a minute and not be so accusing, the same applies to threads on this forum sometimes. Anyway if it was me I would pick up the phone and call her and cry if you like, she will probably cry back, or just tell her how you feel she will probably tell you how she feels, what I am getting at is it is a way of healing she may be feeling the same as you. It is like forgiving a murderer. Time heals and you will also feel better for reaching out and making that first move, it also kind of makes you feel stronger that you were able to do that. Good luck let us know how it went.
 

Wishfilly

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If you are going to employ someone, you have to treat them decently- no matter what is going on in your own life. It's not on to be abusive towards an employee no matter what happens, and actually the employer may have broken the law around constructive dismissal etc had the OP been employed there longer.

I fully understand a horse dying is a difficult situation, but equally, I've worked with horses, dealt with very difficult situations- no-one swore at me. Now I work in a school, and again, no matter what is happening we have to stay professional. No matter what is happening in our own lives, we definitely can't take it out on the children, but equally my line manager can't take it out on me, or whatever.

If the owner couldn't do that, she should have told OP to leave.

Personally, I would not reach out to someone who had treated me so badly, and I hope the OP is able to get some closure somehow, but I don't think that is the way to go about it.
 

Goldenstar

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What do I think ? it sounds like a very nasty incident and that your former employer lacks self control under stress ( polite way to put it ).
But it’s you that allowed her to rob you working in the industry you loved .
I agree wIth PAS you still sound angry I would talk it through with a professional counsellor.
 

Wizpop

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15 April 2015
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261
You have had a truly dreadful experience that has traumatised you both professionally and personally. You remained the professional throughout and it has taken its toll on your mental health which is totally understandable. You need to be able to get on with your life and follow your dreams and passions.
I would strongly recommend that you find a qualified NLP practitioner to help you work through this. Trust me. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you can be who you want to be. Wishing you all the very best ❤️
 
Joined
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Hi all,

Quick update

Feeling alot better to say the least.... Having been to about 5 sessions of therepy later.... Now have applied to work as a yard manager at a large livery yard, also as a head rider (same yard).... Have got the job and secured it so now just awaiting a visit date to go up and see it all and meet everyone and also then the move in date as I can live onsite which will help alot as I like to be able to keep an eye on horses so if I'm there it's so much easier.
Y/O - really understands the problems I've had with employers but was unfaised to say the least and said its not an issue here....
I don't feel useless anymore and my confidence has returned in droves... I went to a small show the other day and dressage my way in the open gold section of a medium class on an unexperienced horse to secure a win and with a pretty good percentage also....
Many thanks to all who replied 😊 just wanted to give you all a quick update to say I'm back 😊😊
 

Pearlsasinger

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It's always good to get an update, thank you.

Congratulations on your new job and on dealing with your MH issues arising from the previous one. Onwards and upwards!
 
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