What would you do in this situation? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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What would you do in this situation?

I'm just curious...

I have a cousin who I love to death. She's one of my best friends and we hang out a lot. She's horse-crazy and has her own horse (a senior kid-broke Arabian gelding). We used to ride together a lot, but lately we've been having some issues... mainly riding issues.

Here's the scope...

I ride in groups a LOT. Groups of 3-5 other riders, depending. I rarely ride just me and another person and prefer to ride in groups, especially since now I have my aggressive-under-saddle gelding a saddle that fits him and have started working on his issues with riding in groups.

I invite my cousin to go riding whenever I go, because she likes to ride, and she's always super gung-ho about it. Really excited and eager to go out riding... but she has started chickening out a lot right when we're about to leave. Before I had a properly fitting saddle for my gelding, her horse was the only horse I could safely ride him with aside from my mare, so my cousin and I rode just the two of us a lot... however, now that I'm riding Dakota in groups, she's quit coming out with us. She's making all sorts of excuses (and she's not scared of riding in groups, she's done it a lot before) such as not going if certain people are going, claiming she has to go 'babysit' her grandparents, and the other day she just left me hanging and didn't even bother to call and tell me she'd decided to not go!

I'm upset with her to the point that I've decided to not even bother to invite her anymore... I'm not going to talk to her about it because she gets defensive easily and I don't want her upset, but it's got to the point that I have had people we ride with ask me if my cousin doesn't like them, because she doesn't ever want to go out with us and that's how she's acting.

What would yall do in this scenario?

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding) & Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding)
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:36 PM
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Well Britt, since you stated you are not going to talk to her about this, all you can do is either let her know you are riding and set a time of departure, if she's not there just go. Or simply stop calling her.

As far as the others asking you why she is not riding with you all, you can't answer for her so just say the truth, you don't know why.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:36 PM
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Don't ruin your own day because of the actions of someone else. Ask if she wants to go, state a time you plan to hack out, and leave it at that. If she comes, she comes, if she doesn't, so be it. Don't fall prey to planning your day based on someone elses indecision or excuses.

It's entirely in her hands at that point and you need not feel any pressure nor really even care about her decisions.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:39 PM
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I would stop inviting her to go ride. You were doing this for her, to spend some quality time together. If she has lost interest because of whatever reason, then it's better you focus on you instead of trying to please someone who has no interest in going. I wouldn't mention it if it no longer bothers you and continue on with your routine. If it does bother you I would say "can we get together and chat about a few things?" and go ahead and tell her your feelings about the situation. Let her know how much you enjoyed going riding together, but that you're unsure now if she is still interested in riding, and if not how come.

Her reaction and whether or not she gets upset is all based upon the delivery of what you want to tell her
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:40 PM
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If you refuse to talk to her about it, then I'm afraid you have limited options. You don't know what's going on with her and because you will not speak with her about them, you will never know what is the matter. All you can do besides addressing the problem with her is to leave her alone.

Communicating with people and sorting issues out is a normal, and common obstacle of life, a close family member will not be the only person you will have to talk to about things like this.

There are many ways to address her without sounding accusing. You could try "I've noticed recently blah blah blah," "How are you doing?" "Is there something wrong?" "I was really offended when ..." Avoid using "you" and use "I" instead.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I hadn't thought about talking to her in a general sense. I stated I wasn't going to talk to her because I can come off as aggressive and domineering when speaking to people and she gets defensive so easily. I might think about how to approach her, because we do enjoy riding with her (me and my other friends)...
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Britt View Post
I hadn't thought about talking to her in a general sense. I stated I wasn't going to talk to her because I can come off as aggressive and domineering when speaking to people and she gets defensive so easily. I might think about how to approach her, because we do enjoy riding with her (me and my other friends)...
Good for you Britt! My first tactic is always to speak in a non confrontational way with the person to work out the situation. Since you do enjoy her company and so do the friends, that is a wonderful beginning for your conversation with her. We all like to feel wanted and sometimes it is easy in a group for someone very sensitive to feel left out.

Have an idea of how you want the conversation to go, it will give you an outline to follow. Best of luck to you and your relationship with your cousin.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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I could sort of see how she might feel left out... when in a group, we all like to ride close enough to talk to each other and the last few times she actually rode with us all, she lagged behind a lot and wouldn't trot when we wanted to trot, etc..., though when we asked her to or brought it up with her, she came up and got in with us all.

Though, her not wanting to go faster then a walk isn't new. I noticed it several months ago when riding just me and her, I'd ask if she felt like trotting and she always said no, but for me to go ahead. I didn't think anything of it, though, because in the past there have been times she wanted to trot or canter and I didn't, but I'd tell her to go ahead and she would for a bit then wait on me to catch up, which is what we've always done if one of us wanted to go a little faster and the other didn't...

I'll have to think on this. gotta go, though... don't have home internet so will check this thread out again when I am somewhere with free wifi.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding) & Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding)
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 05:01 PM
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Do you know if something has happened while she was riding alone that might have put her off riding faster?

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-01-2014, 05:07 PM
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Just because she isn't afraid to ride in larger groups doesn't mean she enjoys it. Did you ever stop to consider that she had more fun when it was just the 2 of you and, now that you are riding with larger groups, she doesn't enjoy doing it anymore?

As far as I'm concerned, you have no right to get frustrated with her just because she doesn't want to do what you want to do. She might be making the excuses because she's not confident enough to tell you that she doesn't want to go because she doesn't like riding in large groups or she doesn't like riding with certain people who are in the large groups. Also, the more you got after her and got frustrated with her, that might have made her withdraw more.

I only suspect this because I used to be that way. If I didn't want to do something, I'd make an excuse for why I couldn't instead of just telling folks "Nope, I don't want to go because I don't like so-and-so". I suppose I was too afraid of them getting upset because I wouldn't just go along with their plans.

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