*Warning, this is a graphic read*
Tom Olive is some sort of great horse trainer from Ocala, he and his mustang Einstein are supposedly famous. Tom agreed to hold a clinic at my friend’s barn. On the first day, 9/13/14, Tom worked with a few horses. I’m mainly going to talk about Juno, a 4 year old curly mare who had only ever been ridden in her pen a few times in a halter by me.
My friend asked Tom to get her dead broke by the time he left. Tom tied her to the side of the barn and proceeded to beat her with a golf club that he had turned into a carrot stick. She tried to run but would just get yanked back around by the rope. She also tried to strike out and attack him, causing her to get beaten worse. Then he saddled and bridled her, with a bit, and got on her while she was still tied to the barn. He began to jab her sides with his spurs and beat her some more with his golf club.
Eventually he untied her and rode her around the field. The only cues he gave her were to slam her sides with the spurs and yank the crap out of her mouth. Eventually she got tired of his abusive behavior, threw him, and once again attacked him. He then beat her around the face/head with the golf club for a good five minutes or so before getting back on. He worked her so hard she fell to her knees. He would give her a break every now and then, so he could work with other horses. The clinic started at 10am and that’s when he started with Juno. At around 5 or 6, a group of 10 riders, including Tom on Juno, and me on a friend’s paint, Joker, got together to go for a ride up to the lake to have a campfire. For the whole day and ride I was working damage control as best I could, however if I had spoken up or called anyone I would have been banned from the property, and the horses we did manage to get away from him would not have been warned in time. Many of the riders trailered up, and did not witness the abuse. It’s about a 60 minute ride each way. Since my sister, jdh-mst-gnt, didn’t get off of work until 7, she didn’t make it to the lake until 8. She then asked if anyone wanted her to ride their horse back for them. Tom, whom she had never met, agreed to let her ride Juno back because he was sore and didn’t want to ride anymore that night. When she saw Juno she was in bad shape. There was no life in her eyes, she refused to graze, drool was pouring out of her mouth, and she just looked like she had given up on life. She took off the bridle and Juno was very confused, she had no idea how to let go of the bit. She put a rope halter on her and mounted up, not long after that the rest of the group mounted their horses as well. When Juno’s owner saw that we had taken the bit off he got very upset and demanded that she put it back on but she convinced him that she didn’t need it. It took about 10 minutes, but life slowly started to creep back into her. They led the group, in the pitch black, back to the barn and by the end of the ride she was pretty much back to normal and was even trying to graze. She was untacked, rinsed down, and put up for the night.
The second day, 9/14/14, the farrier was out in the morning for Juno and another horse. He said that under no circumstances was she to be worked in anyway because a tendon in her leg was about to blow. Of course Tom and her owner were very upset by this because they had planned to do the same as they had done yesterday to her. So Tom went to work on an 18yr old AndalusianX mare named Misty instead. He said he was gonna teach her how to lie down. He tied a rope to her front left leg and tied the other end to the saddle horn. Then he cranked her leg to her stomach and pulled her head between her knees. She put up one heck of a fight. She nearly flipped over more than once. It took nearly a half hour to finally throw her. This continued for at least another hour if not more. Tom kept saying that he couldn’t stop because she needed to know that he was in charge and she wasn’t going to win. By the time he was done with her she could barely walk. Her leg was all tore up, and was barely usable. She was in a lot of pain; she has permanent damage because of this. While he was ‘training’ Misty a lot of the spectators left because of how abusive it was, yet the whole time her owner was very happy and saying what a great job Tom was doing.
We stopped watching after an hour and went to talk with some other people who were still waiting for Tom to work with their horses. My sister and I ended up working with them instead and had no problems and then the owners, very wisely, loaded them back into their trailer and left. Tom and my friend were very disappointed that there were no more horses to ‘train’, so they took Juno out of her stall and worked with her instead of retiring for the day. Tom worked on getting her to climb onto a stone pedestal and then stuffed her in the corner of her stall and worked on moving her hindquarters. It didn’t take long for that hopeless expression to find its way back on her face…