Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Freakin New Year

Yes it is that time again, time for the New Year to begin!

So I Just want to wish you all a Happy New Year and Toadstool, I am glad to see that you have finally posted on your blog again!

It's about damn time.

Be safe and have fun everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A year is too long!

A year has come and gone and yet the same arguments continue.

This is a ranting blog and will remain as such, but I prefer that we quit ranting about each other. The equine community is way too small for that shit. (I know, I cussed, professionalism out the window. So sue me Toomey!)

It is time we bury the hatchet and forget where we put it.

I can speak for no one, nor can I ask anyone to apologize for what we all say to each other on the Internet. I can say this though, if I have offended anyone, I do apologize, but I do not apologize for expressing how I feel on any given subject. That being said I am a forgive and forget kind of guy, until someone tries to pull the same crap on me twice.

I am sure there are some who remember the famous FHotD 3000 thread of 2008. It seems that Dena was the intended target of that thread, or at the very least she became the target. Some pretty colorful expressions came out of that thread. Yet we were able to overlook her shortcomings and see the real Dena, who I have to tell you is very intelligent and funny as hell. The reason it was so easy was that she is able to admit her mistakes. Hell, we all make them.

So as I said before, there will be no more time issued to SFTS or Dena, and they are both free to join us here and voice their opinions like everyone else.

The way I see it, we all need to learn to laugh at ourselves, not just every once in a while, but all of the time.

We would also like to invite everyone to join us on the Crescent Moon Cutting Horses website, where you can follow our training chronicle and post your questions and comments there. We also offer the Trading Post for all of your advertising needs.

To all a Merry Christmas!!!

Johnie Rotten

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Perhaps it is time to look in the mirror!

I removed the last thread for the very reason I put it up. I was fed up with the bullshit that seems to follow one individual. But at the same time, and this is because of Dena's last comment, who are we really helping when we allow these things to go on.

And Dena, I do thank you for opening my eyes!

What I have to say may shock some of you, but I really have no personal ill will towards SFTS, I just do not agree with the way that she approaches certain things. And I often wonder why she does not tell the truth as to what is really going on.

I am aware that things with a certain individual and SFTS have gone way out of control and I have to ask myself, what really perpetuated all of that?

I remember back at sometime last year that there was a thread on FHOTD about a certain teenager, and that is where it started, and quite frankly in this horseman's opinion, that is where it should have ended!

Maybe, like a lot of us that used to post there, SFTS got caught up in the moment, and in her efforts to try to help she went too far.

But the creation of this blog originally for SFTS and Dena, while at times I think was a terrible mistake, was only started in an effort to try to get them to work out their own differences. And I decided later that we could use this blog to discuss rant over other issues that need to be discussed.

I only hope that SFTS is able to work through her issues, and if she needs some sort of help, then I will offer only what I can.

As of this time, and with Dena and SFTS's permission, as this is their blog, I would like to move on and change the topics. No more time will be given to SFTS as a topic on this or any other Rotten blog.

Only when we look in the mirror, can we seek the path to personal growth and enlightenment!

Please feel free to post your thoughts.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tell truth for once...

It has been brought to my attention lately, that there are a few trainers in my community that for some reason can not tell the truth. They simply tell the owner what they want to hear, so they can keep a paycheck coming in. The horse was in training for over a year, and when the owner wanted to see the horse work on cattle, it was a disaster. The horse was ringing his tail and mouthing the bit constantly. Definitely unhappy.

What has happened, is short while ago, I got an email from a potential client, that is interested in my training services. The problem that they had was that, the trainer they were with, was telling them that they have the greatest potential working cow horse and that he was going to show him and take them all the way to the Congress. Yet, the horse shows no interest in being a working cow horse, he is lazy and has since been moved to another trainer that specializes in western pleasure horses and is now doing very well.

I know another trainer that is telling everyone that they are so busy and making a lot of money when I know for a fact that they are not. As I have had the pleasure of talking to some of that trainers clients, and I know for a fact that this particular trainer has only one or two horses in the barn.

So what is my beef on this post.......I can not stand people that lie all of the time, they can not tell the truth even when it is looking them in the face. The fact that you have only a few horses in the barn is not a problem, but when you lie about what you are doing, that pisses me off. And when you lie to a client to keep their check coming in, that is just as bad. Not only does the client lose money, but the horse suffers as well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The tale of the Transient trainer.


I wanted to share this story with you. I know this is a few threads late but you can post it on The Gloves if you would like.

A friend on mine that lives in the Reno area, was taking lessons from a trainer that was leasing 15 stalls in a local barn. She had met this trainer at a show and started talking to him and was initially very impressed. He really seemed to know what he was talking about and offered to give her one or two free lessons before she committed to signing a lesson contract with him. And at the same time she was in the market for a new horse and he offered to help her find it.

Everything started off fine, for the first few months the trainer really seemed to have my friends best interests at heart. He helped her find a new horse and gave her a small discount on the training fees if she let him train the horse for her. The horse that she bought, cost a reasonable $12,500.00.

Then after she signed the training contract with this guy, things started to change and not for the better. She would go to the barn to watch him ride her mare, and he was never there. She would call and make appointments to watch him ride and he would never show up for those either. My friend started to get a little concerned when she showed up at the bare and there was a lock on her mares stall door. Turns out, while she was paying the training fees which included the boarding fees as well, her trainer was not paying the fees to the owner of the facility. Turns out, he had not been paying them for several months and the owners had enough and locked all of the stalls.

She told the owner of the facility that she would pay her to take her mare out of the barn the next day and the owner was okay with that. She called the trainer and told him the same thing that turned out to be a big mistake.

The next day when she arrived at the facility, the sheriff was there as well as animal control.

The trainer had come in to the facility on foot and had a truck and trailer waiting for him sown the road, he cut the locks on my friends mares stall and as well as the stalls of four other horses and led them off of the facility to the waiting trailer, and then came back and broke into the tack room, and took his as well as his clients tack.

Upon doing some checking, the found out that this guy has done this before in a few other barns. Luckily, they did find my friends mare 18 months later. She was being shown by a woman that claimed she bought the horse from her old trainer. The 'trainer' that she bought this horse from, disappeared a few months after she purchased the mare. The woman offered to give my friend the mare back.

So I have to admit that I feel a lot safer if I my horse is in a barn that is owned by the trainer and not leased.


Reader M

I hear ya!

I prefer to think that this is the minority and that these incidents do not happen all that often. Unfortunately, it seems to be happening more and more.

I have seen one horse be sold to one person in one state and then the horse is moved across state lines and is sold to someone else. This has gone on for a while.

Luckily for your friend, she was able to get her horse back. Many times that is not the case.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The True Measure of Success.....In the horse business

There is a saying in the horse business, 'the only way to make 10 million dollars in the horse business, is to start with 20 million dollars when you get into it'

The question keeps coming up and that is how do you measure a the success as horse trainer or how can you actually measure a persons success?

I think that the real answer to that question has become so skewed in today's society.

We seem to measure peoples success by the size of their bank accounts and how many assets that they own. In the last thread, I mentioned that I own my own facility and that is why I chose to set up my business the way that I did. And that seemed to open up a whole new debate.

The reason that I chose to own my own place is because that has always been my dream. I wanted to have a place where I could train horses and not deal with the bullshit that goes along with leasing barns. But there are days that I wish I did not own my own place, those are the days when the water lines break or the fence is falling down. The days when I look outside and see that I have to take care of the weeds that have gotten out of hand and I can not ride horses that day because of the overwhelming maintenance that has to be done. All at my expense!

The days when we want to take the girls to see grandma and grandpa for a weekend visit but we can't because we have to stay here and take care of the animals. Yes, those are the days that I wish we leased a barn.

When I lived in Flagstaff, I leased a barn and had 33 head in training,an assistant trainer/groom that helped me out. I lived in an apartment and always had money. But I still wanted a place to call my own.

Another way that we tend to measure success in this industry, is how many blue ribbons we win.

The only problem with that is that the color of the ribbons fade, and when they fade we lose sight of what is really important, and that is what did we learn and what memories did we take away from the experience.

Why do we teach our children these skewed values. I do love to win like everyone else, but I love the memories from the classes that I did not win. We need to teach our children that losing is OK.

So all of that being said, here is how I measure my success.....

My father is the greatest man I know and besides CNJ, he is also my best friend , of course as a rebellious teen I did not realize this. I can only hope to be half the man the he is. Beyond anything else that is going on in his life, my mother, my sister and I were and are the most important assets in his life and he would do everything in his power to make sure our needs were met.

I have learned that a man is only as good as his word, and his actions speak louder than any words.

I have learned that I need to be able to look into the mirror and like what I see. And just having money and winning does not make me like who I am. But I do pay my bills on time and I am providing a stable environment for my children.

I am able to accept my failures, and turn them into successes by the lessons that I have learned from everyone of them.

My honesty and integrity are intact.

And above all of that, I have the most beautiful family that any man can ask for. Whatever it takes to make sure their needs are met is what is truly important. If I have to get out of the horse business to make sure that is so then I will do it. Being a horse trainer is my dream, not theirs. All they have to know is, no matter what their needs, daddy will make sure they are met.

So my greatest success, is my daughters, including my step daughter. Who is becoming a beautiful and sensible young woman. Who over the past few years of mom and I banging our heads against the wall are seeing a change in that kid that is going well beyond our expectations.

The way I now measure my successes has definitely changed.
The picture at the top, well, that is me with one of my greatest successes ever!

Perhaps, I am more like my father than I thought!
Please join me on my new blog The Insomnaics Ball at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What has happened to the horse industry?

I am dealing with a nightmare right now, that I think can benefit your blog readers on the training blog by opening their eyes to what can happen in this type of situation. I will say it might get very ugly.

I quit my job officially June 16th, but in doing so gave over three weeks notice. I was working for the ranch trainer as his assistant, as well as the acting assistant manager of the boarding side of the business, and was doing very well in both those roles. The BO/boss was the woman that I got my horse from. I started a free lease on her early last year, and in October, she gave me the horse outright, with a signed bill of sale/transfer of ownership from her name to mine.

Almost immediately after I gave my notice that I would be leaving the job, things got shakey between us, due to several misunderstandings about what I was still responsible for around the barn. She would assume I knew I was responsible for task A, but would never actually tell me, and I would do tasks B and C instead, leaving task A undone. She'd get mad, we'd get it straightened out, then a few days later it would repeat. The other thing that was happening was that I would go to do Tasks A, B, C and find they were already done. She hired a girl to clean the stalls, which I was supposed to do still till today, behind my back, and didn't tell me she was doing it. So after my Monday off, Tuesday am I showed up to clean the stalls (I was no longer on a set time schedule at that point) and found someone else she was paying...already doing it. This happened with several other tasks as well, until finally I was just feeding the horses at night and nothing else.

During this time there were discussions between us about moving my horse out. I told her two weeks ago *mid-July* that I had found a place to move her, and would be moving her out. I had been receiving board in exchange for part of my pay. $350 a month, for the last 14 months. As I am not on a contract basis with her for board, save the verbal arrangements that had been broken time and time again, I was under no obligation to give her a full 30 day notice. I was unable to move her until the 31st into the new place, so in the meantime I paid in full (cash) for Augusts board, and since board there was just the stall, (self service), I bought hay, pellets, and sawdust bags amongst other things. I emailed her with the day I was moving her out, and that was that... I thought.
I was supposed to move her today.

Yesterday, she sent me an email saying that I was no longer her owner, and that I no longer had permission to move the horse off of the property. In doing so I would be trespassing. Apparently she has the ability to reneg on a legal bill of sale all by herself. Her reasons were that I had not 'shown up for work' the last week and a half, and was not 'financially responsible' for the care of the horse. (she had already, without informing me I was no longer needed, hired someone else to take care of the horses, and when I showed up to do the stuff that had already been done, I left without seeing anyone around. This is what she means by 'not showing up', because if she didn't see me, I wasn't there.)
Her reasons as listed included a vet bill I am paying off (it was several hundred dollars from last year that I have a payment plan on, agreed on by me and the vet himself) thats really none of her business; supposedly I was paying the farrier $20 at a time to shoe her ... which was entirely not true ... he charges much more than that and had I not been paying the full amount each time he WOULDN'T COME BACK (DUH!), again not her business; and threw back in my face what the judge in the custody case regarding my kids said to me about how I should seriously 'reconsider horse ownership at this time' not because of my finances, but her own bias that 'horses are big scary dangerous unpredictable animals not suitable for kids to be around'. AGAIN, none of her business.

I called Police Dept. for advice, in nutshell they say don't go on property without her permission, and that its a civil matter, have to go to court to get horse back. Great. I'm told this by several others as well. That I need to set up an appointment to get my saddle, grooming supplies, halter, etc. so nobody misunderstands why I'm there.

So, after the shock of being told all that, I find out from a friend whom I thought I could trust, and boards her horse there also, that boss had sent an email blast to all the other boarders sans me, saying if anyone sees me show up to take the horse to call her immediately. So, now everyone else is involved as well. Friend and I have a long conversation about it, and she promises me she will keep it confidential.

This morning, I check my email about noon for the first time, and theres another email from boss saying that she knows she's been getting my messages because she and my friend were talking and that I can contact her if I want to work something out in writing about me leaving her there, and being able to ride her there. My friend, when asked if she mentioned anything we discussed to boss, denied everything and claimed not to know whats going on. I can't tell if she's lying or not, but I have come to the conclusion that I can't trust anyone related to that ranch right now because anything I say might get back to boss and be used against me. So, I loose a great friend over this as well.

Now, this mare was used for most of her hard life as a surrogate broodmare or 'reset' mare, and how boss lady acquired her was exactly that way. She embryo transfered from another mare she owned years ago into (my horse) and shipped her from Florida to here. Once the foal was born, she was supposed to be shipped back, but boss kept her instead, and supposedly bought her from the vet facility. They claimed last august, when I tried to get her records, that the mare had not been paid for, and needed to either be paid for or sent back. I never followed up on that for fear that I wasn't supposed to know that information and never mentioned it to boss. To this day, I still don't know if boss ever paid her off. Then a few months ago, she asked me if she could use (my horse) again for that very purpose next year to breed her mare that colicked two weeks after her last foal was born, and almost died from it. She is so desperate to get another baby out of this other mare, that I really believe she is trying to keep (my horse) on the property for that reason. But I have no proof of that.
So I'm stuck canceling my transport with less than 24 hours notice (out the deposit there), have to go to the barn I was moving her to and tell them whats going on and ask for a refund, so they can open the stall back up, and I'm sitting on all the supplies I just bought and now can't use.
I have no other choice but to either sue for the horse itself back, or for the 14 months of board pay I worked off back because she never intended for the horse to leave the property. At the $350 per month cost, thats almost $5000. The horse is worth maybe $500 on open market, probably much less because she's slightly lame in 2 legs, has a club foot, and is not registered. And I have a signed and legal bill of sale! (for the record, I knew from the beginning that she would never be a lifetime riding horse. she would in the next 5 years or so, need to be retired from riding and put out to pasture, or given a non riding job. I was ok with this, and was starting to plan for it.)
I guess my intent on sending this is so maybe you can post this as a 'beware' type story, even though nobody would have seen this coming. By the way, this woman and her husband own two very profitable car dealerships and are quite active in the charities locally. My boyfriend suggested that I take this to the news media, with the slant that this woman is so generous as to spend thousands of their personal money to help those less fortunate but months after gifting a horse to someone close to her, with a legal bill of sale included, refuses to let the horse off the property when the new owner chooses to move her because of selfish personal reasons? HMMM. Think that might get some attention?
Anyways, I am just disgusted at the way this has all turned out. And I know others that read your blog may have had similar experiences, and I'd really like to know what happened, how it was resolved. I think if I go to court and sue for the full $5000, she won't pay that if it was her choice, she'd rather let the horse go, but in truth I am starting to wonder if I wouldn't be better off with the money, and go to the next Horsebreakers auction and pick up a gelding there..... but in truth my heart lies with her, problems and all, and It would be very difficult to let her go.
Thanks JR for reading this.


I have always taken a lot of pride in being an honest trainer and taking the utmost care of my clients. If I tell you I am going to do something, I do it and there is no questions asked.

I find this kind of crap in the horse industry alarming.

There seems to be a level of dishonesty that is in this industry that goes above anything else, primarily because there is no regulation.

But what do you do when you are in a situation like this?

It is important that you do get a written contract when buying a horse from any trainer of owner. No matter what!!!!!!!

I advise people, never enter into a free lease. They rarely work out.

When you go to the horse show and there are trainers there offering to sell you a horse that has won everything at the show, and the trainer tells you that the horse has won multiple Championships. Do not take his/her word for it, check the horses show record for yourself.

If the trainer/owner offers a vet check, get it, but use your own veterinarian, not the sellers!

If the seller tells you that you have to use his vet, then walk away.

Never, and I repeat never make an arrangement in which you are going work off the payments of the horse. If you work for the owner, let them pay you and then you write a check as a payment for the horse.

One of my neighbors was involved in a deal in which they were buying a horse from someone and working off the payments. The seller decided that she was not happy with the arrangement and went to the buyers house in the middle of the night and took the horse back. The buyer reported the horse stolen the next morning and now the seller is facing felony charges.

Do you see where I am going with this?

You absolutely have to protect yourself when buying a horse. There is absolutely no reason to take any risks.

The horse business is way too small. I hear about this crap all of the time and I start to question the integrity of horse people more and more. I know there are really honest horsemen/women out there that care about their reputations, but the bad ones seem to be popping their heads up more and more lately.

And that pisses me off!

Rant over!