Remain friends, use blind eyes and deaf ears, or walk away?
I've been Alt-nerd for obvious reasons, but I come seeking advice about horsey frienships from the wise and tough COTH crowd. I have been struggling with a personal problem between a friend and me. I have liked alot of things about this person, but can two adult horse people be friends with so many differences? If anyone has done this, how did you make it work?
Do you and your close horse friends think alike in most aspects of horses and horse care?
I want to know what it this with this two year old relationship, is it me, is it her, or are we just too different? Can a: well informed and educated (I seek to continually expand my knowledge on a daily basis) in all aspects of horse care, hoof care, nutrition, (and a specific riding discipline), breeding, and well read generous (shared a lot with her - because I like(d) to and have a lot to offer, experience and material things) horse person with 40 years (some professional) of practical experience, be friends with someone who has had horses for about a third of their life (but keeps referring to her number of years of experience like that time alone would make her a well informed conscientious horse person), that keeps making harmful mistakes at the expense of her horses (clueless about every aspect of basic horse care), doesn't seem to have any interest in expanding knowledge about hoofs, basic nutrition, horse care, etc., doesn't believe in manners (they are rude in your face bumping you, pushing you, jumping on you and she thinks it's cute), has been riding a horse for a couple of years that is very unhappy being ridden and probably shouldn't be because of unresolved physical problems (keeps guessing it's this disorder, that disorder, saddle, yada, yada)? Ethically, how could a person keep riding a horse that was so unhappy? I know I couldn't do it; I'm all for the good of the horse.
Aside from all her drama, one thing that made me back away a bit and rethink this was when she complained about some of my rather large generocities. Being the type that likes to communicate like an adult and resolve issues, I asked on a few occassions if she could tell me what her exact complaints were because they came completely out of the blue. I got no response to my inquiry except she blew me off, and then a manipulative, "well! then maybe I should just "xxxxxxxxx", huh!" both times. I think her disfunctional communicative ways stems from the unhealthy relationship she has with her husband and how they interact. Well, I am not her husband. I don't like unresolved issues; I'd much rather clear the air and then move forward.
I had to back off, take a break, and walk away for awhile. I feel a bit taken advantage of because of the complaints about my generocity (sharing, helping, free professional opinions), and then no real explanation, discussion, or closure. Can two opposite horse people be real friends? Just use blind eyes, deaf ears, and don't get too close or expect a real friendship? Or just keep walking the other direction, don't look back?
Last edited by I'mAltNerd; Jul. 1, 2009 at 06:41 PM.
Walk away and find a decent equestrian to replace her as your friend. Unfortunately, the kind of equestrian she is is the kind that are being churned out these days, so perhaps you should find someone a bit older and wiser to fill her spot in your T-Mobile Fave Five.
Are you perhaps depending upon her friendship too much? Everyone is different and although you are a generous, intelligent, and sensitive person to others doesn't mean their world is going to be like yours.
Sounds like you need someone that can have intelligent conversation with you, even someone that has something to offer you in return...doesn't sound like it is this person. Walk away kindly. JMO
"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"
You can still be friends, but more of acquaintances really.
I have plenty of horsey acquaintances that I don't see eye to eye with, for whatever reason. We never really became close friends more like just people at the barn I interact with. I am always friendly, give help if offered, but otherwise I mind my own business unless someone or some horse is in danger of being injured.
I only have a handful of horsey friends that I am really close with, that I feel we are both on the same page. I do what I can to keep those friends close, because I know they are few and far between!!
Originally Posted by barka.lounger
u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.
Most of the people I've met in my life have become 'acquaintences' rather than true close friends. Close friends really are hard to find and precious when found. That isn't just an old saying, it's true. It sounds like this one will be one of your 'acquaintences'. Find some middle ground where you can get along, but stop looking for anything more. You can't force what isn't there. That being said, I've had 'acquaintences' save my butt more than once, so there is also real value in this type of friendship.
Horses are my passion, so I tend to be more emotional with people in the horse world that I don't agree with. I find it's usually best to be friendly at arm's length with the 'seat of your pants, I know everything already' types. Not my style and they make me and often and sometimes even " Nice knowing you - have a good life - I can't watch anymore - BYE!!!"
I have lots of friends whose horse keeping theories (from what they do discipline wise to how they take care of their horses) differ from mine. I have never found it to be a breaking point. Are they what I would call great friends? Naw. Just friends. I tend to go by the theory that different does not have to be wrong.
I know you are trying to be vague in your OP and maybe that is why I read it incorrectly but to me it sounds like you are unhappy with this relationship because your friend is not smart enough and is not appreciative enough of your generosity.
To me that sounds almost shallow.
Maybe this friend finds it frustrating that you are always telling them they are wrong and expecting great praise for the gifts you give?
Maybe weird, but I can imagine a totally different side to this story. Most horse people I know that REALLY know their stuff never offer advice or correct anyone without being payed for it. You get to know someone because you have something in common, not just because you both have a horse. It might be that you are a control freak, who knows from just one person's account. You never get the whole story.
Walk away. Don't storm out and slam the door, just walk. calmly. AWAY.
I am friendly to everyone at the barn, but that is about it. Most just make me wonder what makes them tick. The ones who would rather blame someone else 's 'bad' advice than admit their horsiekins might not be the total angel the think he is...good luck.
I doubt you are as wonderful as you think or your "friend" is as horrible as you think.
You might not be able to "get along" as "friends" meaning bosom buddies/blood sisters/whatever, but that's not the same as you being better and her being worse, and it doesn't rule out being able to have an amicable but more loosely connected "friends by virtue of not being enemies" relationship.
Being willing to like and appreciate only people who share your views and blow smoke up your butt is something... I dunno what, but it's sure something. And THAT might very well rule out that amicable but more loosely connected thing I mentioned.
I think you are more dependent on their friendship than you realise. Why, otherwise, would you still be friends with them?
Different people communicate in different ways. You may be open and want to discuss things and have them out in the open - good for you - other people do not have the same communication skills for many, many reasons and just completely close up when questioned or pushed.
Does the person want your advice or your generous presents - perhaps you are actually making them feel inferior and poor as a result. If you want to be a friend, perhaps just be there and stop interfering - it may not feel like interfering to you, but if it's unwanted help or gifts then to her it is interfering.
One last thing - you say you have had horses for 40 years and she is older than you, but has only had them for 1/3rd of her life. So doing a quick calculation - she may have had horses for 15 years or more - I suspect that many, many people who have had horses for 15 years may know way more than many people who have had them for 40 years. Honestly I know that the internet is a difficult place to ever truly communicate things to people that don't know you, but when I read your post you do sound extremely full of yourself, your knowledge, your intellect and your money - again, this may just be because the web is an anonymous place to really say something honestly.
Some people just don't WANT to know better. Because once you know better, then you have two options. Carry on as you were knowing you suck or try to do better--and that takes effort. More effort than some people want to put in it.
The flip side of that is...maybe you're the type that latches on to every new "fad" concept in horse care, horsemanship, etc. (not saying that you are...but for example...I had a friend get really into PP and all of a sudden, everyone BUT her and PP were abusive to horses. It was really annoying. And she always wanted to "help"....but it wasn't the kind of "help" I wanted or needed.)
Yet another possibility is that her standard of care is just less than yours and while it annoys you, it's not as detrimental as you think it is.
Hard to know without situational information...but those would be things to think about. Personally, if I knew that someone was really doing detrimental things that I couldn't "live with", I'd quit doing horsey stuff with him/her.
Regarding the personal generosity: A lot of times, people don't value what they're not paying for. So stop.
It sounds like (from the limited info here) that maybe you two are on different pages in a number of areas both as it pertains to horses and as it pertains to friendship. I think backing away is smart. It sounds like this friendship is causing you a lot of angst.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
The first thing that came to my mind after reading your post was WHY you would want this person for a friend if she really is as you describe? There is something "not right" about this. If your description of her is accurate or if it's not but that is how you see her, walk away. There is no real basis for a friendship.
In my case, I walked away. I adored my friend, outside of her horsey ways, but it was putting too much of a strain on us/me. She sounds a lot like your friend. I know a lot of people can't figure out why you would be friends with someone like that, but my girlfriend happened to be fun, vivacious, supportive and generous (both of the last two - in her own way), in addition to a little self-centered, dramatic and a follower. We were friends for 6+ years and I hung around to see her through all the latest fads, 5+ trainer gods and two lame or very sick horses. Neither horse got the diagnostics it needed (why a vet didn't push for it, I'll never know) and one was eventually put down when things deteriorated. The other horse I eventually paid for some of his diagnostics. I helped her buy a replacement horse.. and had to put a knife in our friendship when she returned him to me in pieces.
The girl is not stupid, or malicious, or anything of the sort. I didn't end our relationship because I looked down on her, or thought I was better than her, or I was sick of her. The horses were just too much a part of our relationship, and we were too different in that respect. I tried many, many times to resolve that in my mind and I just couldn't. I think it's an individual thing.. either you can separate the person and relationship from the horsey stuff or you can't.
I've learned to keep my mouth shut about offering unasked for advice to people.
There are things my trainer does that I don't agree with, but overall she's a wonderful horsewoman. I know there are things that I do that drive her batty, too. But both of us realize that each one has the horses' best interests at heart.
I'm not going to put on my judgey pants about you or this woman, because I don't know the real story. I suspect her version is quite different from yours, and the actual truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Bottom line is if she's doing things you find unacceptable or intolerable, walk away. Life is too short to be stressed out over what someone else is doing, when it's not directly hurting you or yours.
Last edited by arabhorse2; Jul. 2, 2009 at 09:26 AM.
You may just be giving this person too much "advice", and she's sick of it. I would either curb the comments/advice, or find another horsey friend more to your liking/thought process...People do things differently, it's a free country. Who's to say her management skills are wrong?
I have 35+ years experience, and I have seen many things from my boarders and their trainers that I may not agree with. UNLESS it is out-and-out abusive, or dangerous, I generally keep my mouth shut-UNLESS asked. It takes all kinds to make a world!!
You want her to need and respect and value you more than she (seemingly or truthfully) does.
That's ok. , because not everyone can or will or should fill that emotional bank. She's free to NOT do that. You keep chasing her with your cookie cutter, and keep getting slapped back. Learn from that, girl.
If you find yourself feeling undervalued, back up. It's just not a match for that level of comaraderie and kinship. You can be polite and still be friends, but shut your mouth and stop the advice and comments, what you are calling 'generosities'. Silence is fine, it won't hurt a bit. I don't give free riding lessons or (much) free advice. I quote my rates and smile and protect my own interests, and really, those that are our 'friendship'. Meaning someone has a rubby-headed horse? I don't hold 'em
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)
OP sounds like you like to help people out, but you also have to consider the other side of the equation. Ask yourself, how is this relationship helping me? Or even better, how much am I benefiting from this relationship?
This it be all wot we want in life, wenn peoples dey loff us. ~ Willem