Spent the last three days helping the girls from our barn at 4H Fair. I'm pretty sure I'm more tired than they are. At least they didn't have to deal with the dreaded horse show moms and associated drama. I spent most of the time helping one girl in particular (A, aged 12) as her 4H leader (L) can't stand her or her grandmother (K, who is a wonderfully sweet and kind woman) and couldn't be bothered to do more than grunt at A.
K and A live about a mile from our barn, and haul in/use our lesson horses for lessons. K just wants to trail ride and have fun, but A is 12 and fearless. She's been taking weekly lessons from Jen and does wonderful. She has an adorable Welsh pony, Owen, and does a little bit of everything with him. This is her first year in 4H.
The 4H club at our barn was started last year by L,a boarder who now has 3 horses for her and her daughter. They mostly ride western, with some "English" thrown in. They were in a different club, but L felt like her daughter wasn't getting enough attention and started her own. L can be your typical show mom; rude, insensitive, and insisting that her way is the best and her daughter is always right. For the most part I tend to ignore L and let most of what she says roll off my back.
L has been going through a divorce for the past six months, and her priorities have majorly shifted. She started cancelling 4H meetings/rides to go hang out at the bars and meet guys. Her daughter stopped riding for a few moths and you could tell that both of them had lost the will for 4H. But the show must go on and they pulled it together for fair.
Since L can't stand K (I'm not sure why, except jealousy that K has $$ while L doesn't) she told me that I was in charge of K and A for fair. Fine by me as I get along really well with both of them. A has some issues, but as long as you focus her and give her something to do she's a great kid. Very smart, very intuitive and a great rider. They got blues in showmanship, trail, and English eq with a red in western eq.
A was pretty upset about the red and was crying. Her grandmother and I got her calmed down and while she was untacking her pony L walks up and starts in about what she did wrong. A had very obviously been crying, puffy/red eyes, runny nose, and here's her "leader" verbally beating up on her. It took everything I had to not loose it at L. After she walked away, A lost it again and we had to calm her down.
L couldn't be bothered to congratulate A on her blues, and actually slept through one or two of A's classes. Since there were only 2 girls from our club competing at fair (Anna didn't take Phoenix since she didn't feel ready) it wasn't that hard to watch both of them go. L was incredibly rude and tended to ignore both K and A for most of the 3 days, unless they could do something for her. K had brought her very nice motor home to use as a base, cooked breakfast, lunch, and a dinner for everyone, and bought snacks and drinks. I never heard a "thank you", or "can I help with anything" from L.
I've reached my limit with L and told K and A that I will help fix things for next year as L told me that she needs to find a way to "get rid of K and A". Unfortunately there isn't another 4H group close by, so that leaves me the choice of trying to perform a coup and take over the group or start my own. My barn owner and K support my decision either way. L normally helps with chores to offset her board but has (shockingly) been slacking lately and pissed off the BO. I'm going to let everything sit for a while then decide what to do.
Why do horses involve so much drama?!