Back in 2004, my family started riding at HorsePlay of Gastonia. We were new with horses and wanted to learn. My daughter went there to learn how to ride. She received no instruction. They put her on the horse and said "kick him". That was the extent of the education. The kids were also used to clean the stalls so the adults didn't have too. Our daughter was still getting something from the experience so we didn't push the issue. My wife was very active there helping with activities at the barn for the folks who would board their horses there, picnics, gatherings, etc. We bought 2 horses from Jim Browning and his then wife. The first was a 5 year old green broke Arabian that was presented as well trained and finished. The horse was neither. That horse threw my daughter on her second ride. Almost broke her ribs and shoulder. After that horse got in a bloody fight with her own Grand Dam, Jim came to us and said that he would take the horse back. This was good! We chose another horse that was then and continues to be a wonderful partner for our family. As time went on, Jim got hooked up with another couple in running the business. Things were getting more and more shady. My wife was getting some insults thrown at her by Browning. We decreased the amount of time we went there. Fourth quarter of 2004 we were planning a move across country. Jim and his partner Roger said they would move our horses (3) for us. After we declined their proposal we hired a professional transport company.
I was concerned enough about how Jim handled situations that I got to the barn at 6:30 am the morning the transporters were picking up the horses. Because I didn't trust Browning, I felt it important to get to the barn 4 hours before pick up. When I arrived to the barn our 3 horses were in the round pen. The horse we purchased from Browning was in a smaller make-shift round pen in the middle of the larger one. I went to the horse and saw that the horse in the smaller pen was clearly drugged! His behavior was uncharacteristic of normal, dragging his feet and almost falling off his feet. When I approached Browning he said the horse was fine and would get either Bute or another med to give him. I did not allow Browning to give the horse drugs of any kind. When I approached him about food and water for the horses he became irate saying some not so nice things about my wife. When I didn't back down he suggested a gun would solve the issue. I informed him he could meet me in the arena if he needed the gun to be brave bring it. When the haulers arrived they took a look at the horse and confirmed he was definitely drugged. The horse bounced back very well and by the next morning he was back to his self. I am confident Browning had every intention of giving the horse another shot to kill him. When I didn't let Browning have access to him, Browning became angry. This is a BAD man! He needs to go back to prison!
BE AWARE, THIS MAN WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU!!