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Outrageous Tales From the Ring to the Barn

I’m doing some research for a book that is in the planning stages. It’s a romantic/comedy equestrian fiction.

What is the most outrageous thing you’ve seen or heard trainers or riders do to each other out of jealousy, envy, spite or just rudeness?


Just a suggestion: Your thread title should clarify your question, because you are going to get far more great stories if people know what you want without coming to the thread. :grin:

I have to say the thread title “Researching for a book” is not inspiring. Just sayin. :wink:

People are going to love the chance to share their best stories – anonymously !!! :laughing:


There’s also several old threads about the funny, mean and wildly inappropriate things that trainers have said and done to their students.


Read about Michael Barisone and Lauren Kanarek over in Dressage. That story is soooooooo strange.


Or the Vick Russell thread if you’re looking for drama. So many places where the truth is crazier than fiction! (Not knocking on OP’s creativity, just acknowledging that there is plenty of fodder for inspiration if that’s the direction OP is going)


Hmm well I’ve known of lots of incidents amongst horse folk that stemmed from jealousy, spite, and/or rudeness but I didn’t think any of them were material for a comedy.


I started writing something this summer that heavily borrowed from this! Was trying to come up with a suspense/thriller plot set in the horse world… I wish I wasn’t such a flake and could actually finish a decent manuscript :sob:! It has a good first act.

I wrote a crappy Big Eq suspense novel last summer that also used some ripped-from-the-headlines plot points. That one, I did manage to finish. But I forced myself to churn out 1500 words a day whether I felt “inspired” to or not. In the end, I think that approach led to some major pacing issues in the plot. It just read sooo slow and meandering. It’s pretty much unsalvageable!

So, after that experience, I’m hesitant to fudge up my next attempt by forcing myself to write gibberish just to check it off the to-do list. But then I fall out of the habit and stop writing! It’s hard to find the right rhythm.

Anyway, best of luck to the OP! If anyone is into the idea of a COTH forum writers circle, I will 100% be there!


Down to read this book when it drops :slightly_smiling_face:


This happened in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s at a horse show in Malibu. This was long enough ago that judges could excuse a horse in the hunters after a major fault (rail or stop) if they already had enough without major faults. It was also long enough ago that the announcer sat at the back gate and did that job too, and that judges stood in the middle of the ring to judge.

A trainer was doing a hunter round and had a major fault. The judge signaled to the announcer to have her excused and he did so. She kept going. Again, she was excused and kept going. Apparently there was bad blood between her (as well as her husband, also a trainer) and both the judge and the announcer. The judge then chased after her on foot, yelling at her that she was excused. Profanity ensued on the part of both parties. Ultimately, the rider and judge ended up at the back gate where the woman’s husband and the announcer were located. All four of them got into a loud argument, complete with more profanity. The announcer forgot to turn of the mic.


I just read the book “girls and their horses”

While it falls flat on some of the nitty gritty details, it is a JUICY read for a H/J on a plane/ beach/ etc


Ah, the 1970s: the glory days of showing in southern Calif. :laughing:


Down to be a first reader! But I’m much more of a copy editor than a content editor.

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I have ZERO evidence to back this up… but ages and ages ago a barn mate told me that one day the trainer did not want to give a lesson that afternoon to a particular client so in the morning she pulled one of the client’s horse’s shoes.


When I was a teenager, I braided at shows for several trainers to help pay show fees. There was another girl in the same age division as me, and I usually braided her two horses and her palomino hunter pony. She could be really two-faced: Nice to me when we were alone, but then she’d act like she didn’t know me when she was around others of her social class. (She was from a very wealthy, well-known L.A./Hollywood family).

We were staying at the same motel at a big A-show, in upstairs rooms that looked out over the pool, with a metal fence railing along the upstairs walkway. The doors opened inward to the rooms.

One night I had just had it with her attitude, and I knew she had the medal class with me first thing in the morning. So I took a skein of braiding yarn and tied it, loop after loop, from the outside door knob of her room to the banister railing, essentially tying it shut. She’d have to really struggle to open it from the inside.

I know, I know. It was awful. A safety hazard for everyone. But it was just yarn, and only a momentary impediment. And she did make it to the showgrounds on time. She seemed royally pissed because I heard her talking about it, but I never really found out if she knew it was me.

But I knew. :sunglasses:


An employee that gave notice had her horse’s tail cut


I remember India Ink on white Pinto/Paint markings and white tails on various color horses circa 1970s. Not water soluble.


I’d join too!


I don’t think this is too far fetched, I have pulled a shoe to get out of doing a clinic on a horse the owner insisted was ready and I disagreed.


Thats the best reason to know how to do that and carry the tool(s) I ever heard. Really. “Oh, shoot, Pookie has pulled a shoe and twisted it so we cant just tack it back on. Darn, I am so disappointed missing the chance to risk…errr…cough cough…show off Pookie to the clinician”. :+1:


It was safer for the horse and I to just pull the shoe off…
I literally pulled the shoe off while she was hooking the trailer up…
Walked out of the stall with the horse in one hand, shoe in the other. Thankfully he was one that did tend to pull shoes.

That horse also won back to back green hunter classes, sent him back to his stall with my assistant. Only to find out a few hours later that he had seizures after he was untacked in his stall-and my assistant was not allowed to tell me because I would scratch him from the hack and call the vet. Well yes, yes I would.