Mother just passed and lady really pushing for her horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Mother just passed and lady really pushing for her horse

The title isn't what I wanted it to be, but here's my story:

My mother just passed away 2 weeks ago. She was literally my best friend, and it's just been incredibly hard. I know it will continue to be so. She had stage 4 breast cancer. She knew she didn't have long, but we never dreamed it'd go downhill so quickly. About 5 weeks ago, she decided to bring her not-quite-2-year-old Friesian filly to my boarding barn. She was worried about her, and wanted her to be cared for, preferably by me. This filly was very, very dear to my mother. She bought her for very little (when compared to other registered Friesians), shipped her clear from British Columbia, and took care of the filly herself. The filly is an absolute doll; she's the barn favorite, and everyone always comments on how well-behaved she is. That's honestly just how she came to us. She's also a growing girl, and the short, awkward filly that arrived at our place over a year ago is growing into a truly beautiful, elegant mare with expressive gaits.
This filly meant a lot to my mother. She was her comfort when I was not there. My mother (who barely had any energy at this past year) would go out occasionally to brush her, pick out her feet, and just love on her. The filly was never consistently worked with, and lived in her own pasture area, yet my mother never had any trouble with her filly. I can tell that this filly really had a connection with my Mom, as she never tried to take advantage of her, and would give her "kisses" and "hugs" without ever being taught.

Most of the people were a bit wary when we brought this filly up to my boarding barn, because she's young, and young horses can really get into trouble. After a week, everyone loved her. One other boarders in particular liked her so much that she emailed my Mom and told her, "If you'd ever like to lease her as a dressage horse, when she gets to be of riding age, I'd be very interested." This woman was previously a lover of warmbloods only, and put down my Friesian mare more than once in passing. So we took this as a good sign that the filly was really getting along at this barn, and that she was really turning into something special. My mother politely said that she'd "keep it in mind" and offered to help the woman find a Friesian of her own, but the woman made it very clear that she didn't want any old Friesian, she wanted this filly. My mother never intended on leasing the filly to her, but figured she'd be polite so that this lady would be encouraged to take care of the filly and turn her out when I wasn't there. (People sometimes ignore my horses when turning out, despite the fact that I am the one to usually turn every horse out, every day of the week.) My mother and I had both seen this woman ride, and while she considers herself confident, she is a very harsh rider. There is just no positive reinforcement, no elasticity in her hands, no calmness of leg or seat, etc, etc, etc. And her attitude is very much, "I NEED to win"; something that my mother and I didn't like. These are my honest observations, and they are unshaped by her attitudes towards my horse. You just feel sorry for the horse when you see her ride.

So my mother has passed, and I returned back to my boarding barn. This same woman makes some comment about how she talks my mother's filly through any potentially scary situations (which in all honesty, the filly doesn't need, as she's very level-headed, but it's okay with me if she makes the effort), and how "anxious horses need a confident rider", and blatantly implies I'm not going to be up to par. I ignored it and went on. When I later explained that my boyfriend was going to help me pay for the filly's board, this woman told me, "Well, if he wants a dressage rider to work with her, let me know." I ride dressage as well, so I have no idea what this meant, and I just shrugged it off.

Now other than this one person, I have gotten along with everyone at this barn. The barn owner (a different person from the woman I'm talking about) can be a really pain in the ****, but she's got good intentions, and she really took care of my horses while I was planning for the funeral and taking care of business. The barn owner even drove 3 hours so she and another boarder (not the same woman referred to in the previous paragraph) could attend my mother's funeral. They have all been incredibly supportive, but this one woman just keeps upsetting me with her somewhat rude comments. Especially when I'm going through such a difficult time. I don't want to put her down directly, because I still want the filly to receive good care. While I know that this woman wouldn't do anything to intentionally hurt this filly, I don't think she'd watch her as closely. And I really don't want to cause any drama, because I still have to board here for another 9 months.

If anything, this woman makes me feel like crap. I'm brutally honest about my riding abilities (and often downplay my abilities because I don't ever want to make anyone else feel inferior), but I have been told that I'm really not a bad rider at all. I can keep my seat on difficult horses (thanks to my former instructor who taught me balance before picking up the reins), but yes, I am aware that I can break, so I don't try stupid things or attempt something before I know I'm ready. I guess my feelings are being a little hurt at the moment, which is something I know I'll just have to get over, but it really stings when I'm already going through hell.

Any advice on how to handle this situation? Maybe "talk" to another boarder that's friends with this woman, and make it clear that I never intend on leasing out the filly, selling her, or etc.? I could just try to ignore the woman, but it's hard to when this is such a small barn.
Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!
MyJumper and Peanutbutter like this.
TurkishVan is offline  
post #2 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 05:18 PM
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I'm sure it's hard to deal with someone who is so insensitive. I haven't ever been through this kind of a situation, so I can only imagine how hard it must be. It sounds like you're being much nicer than I probably would in your state.

If she brings it up again I would just be honest, but not rude with her. Tell her that since this horse meant so much to your mother you plan to keep her and never sell or lease her. It might mean that the lady stops paying special attention to her, but that really might not be a bad thing in the long run. She sounds like the meddling type and personally, I never let that type do anything with my horse just to make sure they don't get any ideas in their head about working with my horse behind my back.
TessaMay is offline  
post #3 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 05:21 PM
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Agreed. Fix it now, or it's very likely to get a lot worse.
squirrelfood is offline  
post #4 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 05:23 PM
Green Broke
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I too lost my mother to stage 4 breast cancer *hugs* 2 years ago. I know how rough it can be.

I'm a tad on the rude side of things. I'd flat out tell her to drop it and to leave the situation alone. She sounds incredibly pushy and with those types of people you need to push back. Much like a horse, to get the point across, you need to be as rude as they are.
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 05:27 PM
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Quite honestly you need to stand face to face with this woman, square your shoulders and look her straight in the eye and tell her that this filly is very special to you because she was special to your mother.
For that reason and that reason alone you are never going to lease her, loan her or sell her.
Tell her that when the time comes to rode the filly you will be the one doing it.

Tell her that you appreciate her caring for the filly and hope that she understands your position.

Be determined and positive and she will get the point. Of she doesn't then I would tell her that under no circumstances would you let a ham fisted person like her rode the horse!

She would have to be pretty thick to not get the latter point!

My mother passed last October, that was fair, she was worn out and considering she was 93 it wasn't surprising. To have your mother pass at a young age seems so unfair. (((((Hugs)))))
Foxhunter is offline  
post #6 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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my personal thought would be:

don't go through a third party to get the message across, but also don't go seeking her out to tell her "no"

prepare what you are going to tell her the next time she does mention, and then tell her that at this point you don't have any intentions of selling/leasing this horse due to her being so special to your mother, therefore extra special to you too.

up to you but maybe tell her down the road once she (the mare) is trained up to your par, then the lady can take a ride on her since you understand that the mare is special to her to.... I would only give her that line if you are serious though, not saying "here take my horse to a show" just "hey lets go for a ride around the property, or you can take a few lessons on her" but that might give her an understanding and also get her to back off until you have your horse trained to the point that a ride or 2 with a heavy handed person isn't going to set your mare back. Also could provide you two some positive conversation from the other lady of "how is she doing" vs. "I could get her to do xyz"
tim62988 is offline  
post #7 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 05:59 PM
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First, I'm truly sorry for your loss.

Next time this lady makes some rude comment, try to be as nice as possible but tell her that at this moment you are grieving and you don't want to hear anything about the filly being leased to anyone. Try and make it not personal, not like you dislike her riding style, but like this was your mother's filly and you can't bear the thought of anyone riding her (or training her or whatever).
Cielo Notturno is offline  
post #8 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 06:16 PM
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I'm so sorry for your loss... I can hardly imagine anything more difficult than losing a mother.

As for the woman pestering you, don't let her get away with the way she's been talking. The next time she's going on in that way, you should make it clear, but not rudely so, that you plan to keep the filly. Even think of a way to subtly state it without directly telling her. Something like "I can't wait to work with this filly in the future" could work well. (I'm all about being subtle when dealing with people. Most get the idea unless they're particularly hard headed. In that case, say it flat out!)
clumsychelsea is offline  
post #9 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 06:19 PM
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Hugs* for your loss. You sound like a strong woman, don't let anyone make you feel inferior, do what you got to do and tell anyone, including that woman, the way it is. You don't have to be mean, you just have to be assertive and straightforward. Any chance we could see a pic of this filly, she sounds magnificent.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
waresbear is offline  
post #10 of 28 Old 07-10-2014, 06:42 PM
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I'm so sorry for your loss . Some people just have no sense in regards to the feelings of others. Pardon my language, but it seems to me that this woman is a rather large b*tch. I agree with others, I think the only option here is just to straight up tell her that the horse is not, and will not be, for sale/lease/loan/etc...ever. When the time comes for her to be broke, you'll do it yourself or work with a trainer to learn how to do it yourself.

Of course, try not to be rude, but don't sugarcoat anything either. People like this, if you give them any answer that isn't a solid and resounding "NO", they'll take it as a "maybe" and keep on hounding you.

Again, I am so sorry for your terrible loss .
smrobs is offline  

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