Anyone else with annoying horse-y friends?
Prepare for a very long, long vent about my friend and her horse.
My friend, we'll call Sue, is originally from my area, and took her horse, we'll call her Sally, to Montana for school. I board my two horses at a lady's house, the lady who sold me my first horse. There isn't a ton of room, but it's enough for mine with how much they get worked, and there is also a pretty nice barn; three stalls, a hay room, a tack room, and a wash rack.
So Sue was coming back from school, and was looking for a place to stay for the summer until she went back to school at the end of August. "Well here's an idea! Stay with me!" It was only going to be about two months, it's my best friend, and hey, it might be nice to have a little company for a little while.
For the most part things were going well. Sure, Sue didn't put things away where they went, and sure, she left her stuff strewn about the barn aisle and tack room. But hey, it was only a few months. Sure, Sally was a beep of a mare, she kept taking chunks out of my little one, she pooped in the middle of the pasture [whereas my horses had ALWAYS gone in the corners], she started chewing the barn up, getting my mare back into the habit after she had finally stopped, they had to share hay and Sally was such a pig, I doubt my horses were getting what I was putting out for them. Sure, when I asked Sue to take a few minutes every day to pick the pasture, she never did [even though I was also doing it every day]. But hey, I only had to deal with it for a little over two months.
August rolls around and guess what?! Sue decided she doesn't want to go back to Montana. So guess who is STILL at my barn!? That's right! Sue and Sally!
First, Sue gets all mad when I tell her that her horse can't have a bedded down stall for the night over winter. Two of the three stalls will be taken by my two, and the third needs to be left open for shelter because it's all we have. "Why can't Ricci or Gracie be put out?" "That's not fair to my horse!" etc etc. Ricci is clipped for winter, and would be seriously depressed if I didn't let her come in. Gracie is a baby, and I don't trust her to stay outside by herself all night for the duration of the winter. Sally spent all of the last winter in Montana naked. It doesn't get anywhere near as cold here, Sally can handle it.
Sue spoils Sally rotten. Sally has 50 million blankets that needs to be changed all the time, god forbid she wear the same blanket for more than 12 hours. I can't explain how irritating it is to have Sue tell me she had to use a bag of my bedding to put in the run-in stall because the mats were wet. Sure, she got me another bag, but that's not the point.
When Ricci finally got fed up with Sally being a little beep and beating up Gracie [my little one], Ricci started beating up on Sally, and taking chunks out of Sally. I've watched them. Sally lunges at Gracie, Ricci lunges at Sally. Ricci ONLY got on Sally when Sally tried to start something. So when Sue finds all these chunks out of Sally, she gets ALL mad and ALL upset because her poor baby is getting beat up. I'm like, "Well gee, now you know how I feel about your horse taking chunks out of mine."
There have been so many mishaps, none of which have ever happened when I had the barn to myself. I'm just fed up. I want her out, if I knew from the beginning that Sue was planning to stay through winter, I never would have agreed to let her come. TWO MONTHS. That was it. Now I just can't wait for her to move her horse, and she says she found a place and now she's saving up for it or whatever, but I want her out NOW.
Sorry for such a long post, thanks and congrats to anyone that read all of it. I'm sure I'll remember something later and post again, but right now, I just can't wait for her to get out.
Are you the owner of the barn? If not, why don't you just try to talk to the bar owner and perhaps have HER tell Sue what is done here and what is not.
Perhaps make a nice paper and hang it up, with the basic rules of the barn.
Clean up behind you, ask to borrow stuff BEFORE borrowing.
Perhaps that way she will learn a bit what is acceptable in this barn and what not :-)
Wow, that sounds really frustrating. I can't say I've had an experience quite like yours before, but I certainly know there are horse people out there like that. Honestly, I don't really know how this can end without it harming your friendship. Is it worth loosing a friend over?
In my opinion, honesty is always the best police. Have you talked to the lady that owns your barn? Does she have any ideas of what to do? If not, then you really need to just talk with you friend face to face, while keeping your cool. Tell her about the things that frustrate you. Tell her how serious it is, without trying to sound bossy. See if there are ways you two can compromise. Also, is there anyway you can separate her horse from your horses? Even just running a line of electric down the center of the pasture would do fine. Draw a line in the sand, per say. Speak your mind more, don't just fume about it. But don't raise your voice or snap at her, that will only make things worse.
Remember she is your friend. Why not offer to help her out some? Why not the two of you get together and clean the barn and pasture as a team? Maybe help her think of some ideas for making money to move her horse, or help her find another barn. Do what you can to keep your friendship alive. Go do something together that is completely unrelated to horses to remind yourself why you two are friends. You may find out that you two have grown too far apart in your interests or personalities and that it may be time for you to go your separate ways as friends, but you still need to find ways to live with her until she is gone.
Here is a Bible verse I try to follow when it comes to these sort of situations. Even if you don't believe in the Bible, it is good advice that I have found to be true in many situations:
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
I hope I was of some help,
It seems like you have tried to be "friendly" enough. She is just walking all over you. Take a stand. If shes your friend she will get over it, if not shes just using you.
Thanks for your support everyone. To answer to a few things; No, I am not the barn owner, and the barn owner is pretty much useless. We're still waiting for the barn owner to replace the drain that Gracie broke several months ago, there's no way I could get her to divide a pasture. The problem with doing things as a team is I work mornings, she works nights, so the only time we're off together is early in the morning or late at night. We very rarely have the same days off, so it's pretty hard to get time to ride together, much less work. If we do get a day off together, she lives about a half hour away, so she can only come up once a day, and since she has a hard time getting up in the mornings, and I have a hard time getting to the barn at night, it just never works out. Sue has a job that pays her pretty decently. I know because we both work at WinCo foods [not together, I rarely see her there, so that's not part of the issue], so moving her horse is just a matter of getting enough money set aside to afford it. She has a barn picked up, met the instructor and everything. She does plan on going, but I'm not sure how to approach the subject without her getting offended. She is the kind of person who takes things a little too personally sometimes, so even I said casually, "When do you think you'll be able to get into that snazzy new barn? I bet your excited to start getting lessons again!" she'd go, "I don't know... why? Are you ready for me to leave?" She is a great friend, and this is not worth losing our friendship over, which is why I don't say anything. It was bad enough just trying to explain why her horse wouldn't be able to have a stall, she just immediately gets on the defensive and says, "Well your horse does this, your horse does that!" I think we'll be fine once Sue and her horse move, I'm not the kind of person to hold grudges.
If she indeed IS such a good friend, she should understand!
"She is a great friend, and this is not worth losing our friendship over, which is why I don't say anything. It was bad enough just trying to explain why her horse wouldn't be able to have a stall, she just immediately gets on the defensive and says, "Well your horse does this, your horse does that!""
Why does she get defensive? To me it's clear that she KNOWS she's doing something wrong.
If you indeed don't think it's worthlosing the friendship over, then I'm afraid you have no option but to let it be as it is :-(
Gee I am so aorry al that has happend. Sounds like a stressfull hell hole. Keep your chin up thing swill get better :)
Yipes, what a spot to be in. I understand that it takes all types at a barn, but those types need to get along as best as possible and not always at the compromise of just one person.
Definitely talk to her, at worst find some decent barns around you and give her their info. If she's as good a friend as you say, then she'll understand and get over it.
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