Thursday, April 24, 2008

Brad Paisley wasn't kidding about people online...

This is kinda-sorta horse related.

Someone brought up the concept of pseuicide yesterday on the blog and I about died laughing because I have seen people pull this shit! Check out this tale of drama...unbelievable. However, it is NOT limited to fandom. I have seen people pull it on horse communities! Let's face it, if you're an attention whore, the Internet is your playground. You can develop a fatal disease and collect sympathy AND cash with often no one the wiser. Or you can just tell a grand and elaborate story guaranteed to garner sympathy and freebies galore.

There was an incident on COTH last year with a person who claimed to be in a scary equine employment situation. We'll call her CrazyAssBitch. Hey, fairly believable ... most of us have been in a scary equine employment situation at least once! CAB claimed her horses were in danger which of course got everybody all revved up to help poor her. Some kind but a bit too gullible person let CAB bring herself, her horses and her dogs and move in. OMG. You all see the train coming around the bend, heading for the place where the tracks are out over the cliff. Unsurprisingly, CAB was nuttier than a fruitcake and the kind, gullible person had one hell of a time getting themselves out of the situation.

It happens every day. We decide we "know" people based upon many hours talking on the 'net, and it turns out we don't know them at all. The world - and particularly the horse world - is full of scammers, con artists, and people who are flat out delusional. The Internet is the perfect place for them to create new identities, win friends and influence people. Dean Solomon's message board is still full of people who love and support her - even though most have never met her. Well, duh. They have bought the bill of goods she sold them on the Internet. They believe, damn it, and no amount of animal cruelty charges are going to make them reconsider their position.

(Come on folks. Get real. Do you know how hard it is to actually get animal cruelty charges brought? It DOES NOT HAPPEN without good reason. IT DOESN'T. This is not like robbing a convenience store, where someone might be unfairly accused because they look like the thief. You have to leave a trail of dead animals behind you before you actually get charged and that is exactly what Dean did.) As to her health - it has now been posted that she had a brain aneurysm and is in critical condition - all I will say is that the last time the shit hit the fan, she allegedly had to get a pacemaker - but was posting to her message board that night. Anybody here ever have heart surgery? Were you posting on the net that evening? From the ICU? Who allows that? Obviously I am not privy to Ms. Solomon's medical records, but common sense tells me that it's interesting when you are hale, hearty and merrily going to horse auctions and Starbucks one minute, then you start to get in trouble for your hoarding and, shazam, immediately you are on death's door. Hmmm...just saying...

Back to the topic of Internet personalities, I "knew" this woman for years who claimed to be a Friesian breeder in North Dakota. I still wonder about her, because she knew a lot about horses and must have had them at one time. Her internet personality was very believable because she could talk the talk. She claimed to be wealthy (though I did wonder from the start what a wealthy person was doing choosing to live in Wahpeton, ND, a fact that came out early on). She had a lot of drama in her life. Some believable, some not so believable. Also tons of health problems. Honestly, it was a damn good internet reality show and I kept chatting with her long after I discovered that she was really living in an apartment in the middle of town, had money judgments against her, and her dogs were real but her horses weren't. I will say this - she was clearly just doing this for her own amusement/ego. She never asked for money or anything from me. No real harm done. The funny part is, I'd still be friends with her because she was so damn entertaining, but I think she figured out I was on to her, and went poof.

One well known internet scammer is Trina Kenney. Ms. Kenney, thanks to the Internet, has been able to sell the same horse to multiple people and laugh all the way to the bank. She is also infamous for selling lame horses, mentally unsound horses, and misrepresenting horses in every way possible. The Internet has made many of her deals possible - after all, she can create endless identities online and there are a million places to post horses for sale that do not verify your identity in any way.

I know a lot of people think I could be guilty of the same kind of fraud. I have been accused of being all sorts of things and people, but we have at least two dozen people who post here who do know me and my horses in real life. I am not trying to hide anything, and no, I truly am not madly posting this blog from my trailer in Arkansas where I breed Pit Bull mix puppies. :-)

So share your stories - who have you met who is so much cooler online? Have you been swindled by someone on the Internet - a rescuer, a private party claiming to have money problems? Have you just been emotionally swindled by someone who pretended to be someone they weren't and sucked you into their drama? Have you met someone on the horse boards, thought they were way cool and then met them in real life and went, holy shit, they're a BYB? Have you found out that a good internet friend was hiding all kinds of craziness in their real life?

This should be good...

Pictured today is Star, a three year old TB gelding with a slab fracture of his knee. Star desperately, immediately needs a home - no adoption fee. He will need stall rest and a slow rehab. There is a rescuer willing to board him for you and hands-on handle the rehab if you pay the bills. For those of you who are getting skeered of the big ones, this is a little 15 hand guy! He is at Emerald Downs, south of Seattle. Pictured as a long yearling. Contact me if you're interested.