A few students/friends of mine have left or are leaving, so I decided I had to finally face my fear and tell her. I wanted to do it in person, but having no time to go over there is what lead me to telling her only now, so I decided to send her a facebook message.
It started well, I asked how all the horses were, that I was sorry I didn't come to visit because I was busy. She replied positively, and then I asked her something about one of the horses and she didn't answer. She bluntly replied by asking me: was I riding somewhere else? (she saw my profile picture where I'm riding an unfamiliar horse to her (a horse from my new barn)). It's not a very clear picture, but it's clear enough to see that it wasn't taken at my old barn.
I was stupid to have put that picture and give myself away. For a long time I restrained myself from doing it, but a week ago I decided to finally do it because I was tired of hiding. A part of me wants to just just tell her bluntly: yes I went to try a new place a few times because it was cheaper, but keep out the hurtful but truthful parts. And then another part of me wants to lie and say something like: my new friend from college invited me to ride her horse at her barn, and I'm thinking of trying it out (which would lead to me telling her I'd stay there).
I know I should say the truth, but I know she'll be mad/hurt as we were friends and a few people have recently left. I asked my friend how she took it and she told me she took it alright, but was mad. I have a feeling her reaction with me will be worse, as it looks likes I've been avoiding them for months and I know she feels like she was has done me a great service as a friend/trainer for a few reasons I will not develop. Yet she hasn't really been anything more than kind.
Just to clarify, she isn't a "trainer" so to say. She has a very successful, full time job, and since my other trainer left she took over to manage the barn/teach on weekends/evenings because she enjoys it.
And yes I know now, business should definitely not mix with friendship. Please don't advise me to tell her exactly how I feel, because I know with certainty it's going to add more flames to the fire without coming to a full understanding in the end. With another person I'd be more frank/blunt, but I can't seem to with her.