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Condescending BO hates my horse- WWYD?

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  • Condescending BO hates my horse- WWYD?

    I have known my BO for a very long time. I used to work for them as a kid, and moved in with a new horse a couple years ago at their request. It's a very fancy, but very private farm and they just wanted some company. I am the only boarder. We have, up until now, had a very close relationship. Still refers to me her "long lost third daughter".

    Horse has a very sweet, lovely personality. She has been a doll up until about a month ago when she started giving me big big problems under saddle. Without getting into too many details about it, we know it's some kind of physical issue, but the vets can't figure it out.

    BO thinks horse is just a neurotic piece of $#it. Says she's not worth fixing. That I should just sell her, and that I can get a way nicer horse than the one I have now. Says I should send her to the trainers to get her "fixed", but that it wouldn't even be worth it because horse isn't worth it.

    BO is, in simple terms, kind of a spoiled brat. Typical millionaire husband, doesn't have to work (has never worked), her life is her teenage daughters, her puppies, and her horses. Just went horse shopping in Europe with trainer, and bought a Grand Prix mount to play with- she doesn't show. I don't think BO understands the blood, sweat and tears I have to put in to make my horse-hobby "work". I don't think she has any idea how utterly offensive, condescending and rude she is when she speak to me about my horse the way that she does. Horse is broken? It's terrible- just throw it in the garbage.

    It makes me feel like such a failure that she is so adamantly pointing fingers that *I* did this to the horse, riding wise. That I'm not a good enough rider to fix her issues, that I should ride with her trainer on their horses (at almost $200/hour and an hour away!). She feels that her trainer is the only one who knows what they're doing. I have spoken to her about taking my mare to some clinics with other BNTs in the past, and was scoffed at. I've tried explaining to her that I've done everything I can think of US to "fix" her, and that the vet(s) insist that it's something pain-related, and it goes in one ear and out the other.

    Before it's suggested, I'm moving out tomorrow. BO does not know that I feel the way that I do, and thinks I'm moving mainly because horse isn't in full work anymore.

    I don't want to leave feeling this terrible and beat-down (and like a really terrible rider), and want to tell her without creating any hard feelings (did I mention BO is EXTREMELY sensitive and super intimidating?? Must speak to her like you're walking on eggshells. I'm not a wimpy person, either!). Part of me knows that no matter what I say will make a difference, and I'm temped just to get outta there and pretend nothing ever happened.

    Another problem is that I often barn sit for her and her family when they go on vacation. Which is often. So it's not as simple as leaving and never seeing/speaking to her again.

    What would you do??

  • #2
    I'd act like a professional. I would move my horse, keep my mouth closed, realize that she has some issues and NOT make them my issues.

    Which is exactly how I think you should handle this. There is nothing you can say to improve the situation, now is there? Only create more hard feelings, right?

    So - realize that you are the only one who can make your situation better - and that you are doing so by moving your horse out.

    Then, in the future, when asked about your horse by this BO, smile, tell her the horse is "just fine", and firmly change the topic to her kids/horses/lifestyle, etc. Just keep redirecting until you wish to do otherwise.

    FWIW - this and $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
    Originally posted by SmartAlex

    Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.


    • #3
      What is it-exactly - and in ONLY 2-3 sentences that you want?
      For You
      For Her
      and for your relationship.

      What do you want?


      • #4
        Never burn your bridges. The horse world is a very small world, and you never know when you will cross paths again.

        Just be courteous, and keep your negative feelings filed away for future reference so that you can decide whether and how much you ever want to have to do with this person again.
        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


        • #5
          As weird and rude as it might seems, she is probably just trying to 'help' you...in her way.

          You don't like what she has to say about your horse, your training, your ambition and you ideas on how to handle your horse's problem, fine. Just ignore that and talk about other unrelated stuff that you will both enjoy!

          Friendship can be hard!

          And if you no longer want to be her friend then...you can always speak your mind but would this really change anything?
          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

          Originally posted by LauraKY
          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
          HORSING mobile training app


          • #6
            A wise trainer from my childhood years was once in a conversation with her daughter who was complaining about her friend and how she "made her feel"....Mom looks at daugther and says.."No one has the ability to make you feel but yourself". Wise words.

            Sounds like there's some issues on both your parts. She wants to tell you what to do and reading your post..sounds like you have resentment issues towards her because she is rich.

            Move your horse and find a situation that makes you comfortable and happy....life is really too short to sit around and stew because of what someone else says/does.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by katarine View Post
              What is it-exactly - and in ONLY 2-3 sentences that you want?
              For You
              For Her
              and for your relationship.

              What do you want?
              Ideally? I want an apology for what she's said. She needs to understand that the world isn't black and white, and that there are more than one way of doing things. I want our relationship to remain relatively the same, although I will never feel quite the same way about her. All of those things are not going to happen.

              Dalpal- No, no resentment issues about her financial comforts. They have always been wealthy, and it's not really flaunted. I mentioned it only because she pretty much sees the world through rose-tinted glasses.. having not really "earned" anything in her life. Maybe I do resent her a bit for feeling like everything that isn't perfect is disposable.

              You're right that I should not take what she says to heart, but after so many years of looking up to her and asking for her advice about stuff, it's hard not to get squashed a bit when stuff like this happens. I think she also feels like I'm still 13 years old.. early 20's now, but it doesn't feel like that sometimes!


              • #8
                I completely agree with Oldenmare. And then, perhaps in order to boost your own confidence in yourself, do something with a trainer you trust...lessons on your horse (when she's better), on their horses...just something that proves to yourself that you ARE the good rider you know you are. But don't feel any need to tell former BO about it. This is for you. Just keep your relationship with her cursory and professional.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MeanieBO_Alter View Post
                  Ideally? I want an apology for what she's said. She needs to understand that the world isn't black and white, and that there are more than one way of doing things. I want our relationship to remain relatively the same, although I will never feel quite the same way about her. All of those things are not going to happen.
                  You're right, none of the above is going to happen. Everyone's perception is their own reality. She isn't going to apologize because, as was mentioned, she's trying to "help" you. If it makes you feel any better, she's probably frustrated you won't do it her way.

                  Anyway, if your feelings are so hurt by what she's said, then don't barn-sit for her and move on with your life. If you're still going to barn-sit, and I'm guessing you're being compensated, then you need to decide if it's worth putting up with her comments.


                  • #10
                    She might be worried the horse is going to hurt you, and doesn't know how to verbalize her concerns. Even great riders get hurt by horses that are off in some way.

                    I wonder if she has seen someone badly hurt by a horse acting in the way your horse is.

                    She may not know of a better way to keep you safe than to either sell the horse or send it to a trainer.

                    Perhaps if you consider it from that point, you may appreciate her concern and not feel so much as she is condescending despite the innappropriateness of her comments.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                    • #11
                      This is harsh

                      First of all, my feelings would be hurt and I would be moving. The BO seems disrespectful.
                      The following is the advice my father would give to me:
                      The big BUT here is the BO is entitled to her opinion, just as everybody is entitled to their opinion. While you dislike her opinion about your horse, she dislikes your opinion regarding your horse. The two sides will never meet.
                      Very harsh, but very true I hate to sound unfeeling, for if I were in your position, I would feel as though I had been punched in the gut! I definitely feel for you


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by oldenmare View Post
                        I'd act like a professional. I would move my horse, keep my mouth closed, realize that she has some issues and NOT make them my issues.
                        Good advice and perfect timing. If your contract requires you give 30 days notice, do it today!
                        Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


                        • #13
                          Here is what I have done in a situation I felt was extreme for me and very emotionally charged. I wrote all that I felt down in a letter. Re-read and corrected/clarified a few times, sat on it a week, and thought as to whether I really need to give it to the person intended for or not.

                          Well, you could try to point out to her that your horse is more like your child and while financially and riding wise it may be "smarter" to give up on this animal and move on to the next, you are committed to doing what you can within your financial and riding abilities to make your relationship with THIS PARTICULAR "CHILD" work. You can also mention that you are awfully sensitive to criticism of your "child managing" abilities and that you would really appreciate any support she can muster as your "long lost mom".

                          She may very well be trying to help you see the "truth" as she sees it, she may or may not have a point. Sometimes what is logically correct and financially sound are not the things we want to hear or intend to follow due to emotional or other thoughts. It is your horse and your decision.

                          I agree with others about not burning bridges; sometimes writing it down and not saying it is best.
                          Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                          ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                          • #14
                            ahhh, 2-3 sentences, not paragraphs

                            If you think it can't be gotten, an apology I mean, then just let that goal go. Poof, gone. Done.

                            You can have a professional, polite relationship. Just move the horse, and go on with your life. If she's never had to work, never had to negotiate the real world and the real workplace, she has no idea (possibly) how to bend and yield and not speak her mind w/o regard for her job or her paycheck. If she asks about the horse, you can just say she's fine, thanks. And drop it. If she tells you to drop her with a bullet, just say I'd rather not, thanks. She wants to make it better, in her own bizarre way, and make the pain go away by making the horse go away. So in a twisted way, she is trying to help. It just isn't, and it's unfortunate. But ...just move the horse and be a total pro about it.

                            Very best wishes, from the bottom of my tiny little rat heart


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                              Never burn your bridges. The horse world is a very small world, and you never know when you will cross paths again.

                              Just be courteous, and keep your negative feelings filed away for future reference so that you can decide whether and how much you ever want to have to do with this person again.
                              This is so very true. You'll only be hurting yourself, and it's true for business as well as the horse world.


                              • #16
                                It sounds like the BO is a know-it-all and from my experience with this type of personality she will never see your side of the situation. She will always think your horse is worthless, with the exception of her BNT saying otherwise. Just move on, don't say anything, because she will believe there is no wrong. You've mentioned she makes you feel badly, so get out of there before she tears your self esteem to shreds. In her weird way, she does like you since you're her only boarder and thinks of you as a daughter.

                                If you need the money, then farm sit for her. Good luck with your horse!
                                "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


                                • #17
                                  Agreed, you are never going to get her to see your side of things. Just be polite and leave. Don't burn any bridges.

                                  My favorite quote for these situations: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
                                  Eleanor Roosevelt
                                  DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                  • #18
                                    Thank her for letting you board at her fancy barn, pack your stuff and leave.

                                    Don't say anything negative to her or to anyone else.

                                    Decide if you still want to farm sit for her but keep it separate.

                                    You will NOT get an apology from her. She won't even understand why you want one. It will just mean that you leave with bad feelings on both sides.

                                    You could say something if you think it will make YOU feel better, but most of the time the pleasure that comes from that is short lived.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                    • #19
                                      OP, if you just want to avoid the bad feelings, I echo the advice from those who recommended a quiet departure and strict avoidance of the topic of your horse.

                                      On the other hand, if you want a particular relationship with this person, you have an opportunity now to start training people how to treat you. It's really quite simple, and I wish I had learned it at your age instead of 20 years later! You simply use open, honest communication and a bit of sensitivity to your BO's feelings. (And, given your brief description of your past with her, I suspect the poster who said she may be concerned for you and believe she is helping by offering valuable advice.) The horse is not the issue; the way you felt when she said and did the things she did is.

                                      Your script -- for after you move the horse and have some cooling-down time -- would go something like this.

                                      "BO, I have something important to tell you. Please humor me and let me go through the whole speech without interruption.

                                      "BO, you have always said I am like a daughter to you, and please know these feelings are returned. I have looked up to you and cared for you for years. This is great! But I need you to know that the respect and affection I have for you means that your words and behavior have great power over me.

                                      I need you to hear that I feel very hurt when you question decisions I make regarding, for instance, my horse. I realize that we have different perspectives, and I respect yours. But you express your opinions so strongly that it feels like criticism of my opinions, like you feel I am wrong or unworthy. I hate feeling like that! And when I feel that way, it is very hard for me to hang onto all that love and respect I have for you. I don't want to lose that.

                                      I just wanted you to understand how I feel when you say things like "XXX" or "XXX." I feel criticized and feel that you don't respect my ability to make decisions or any opinions that might differ from yours. To me, that feels like you don't respect me as a person. BO, thank you for hearing me out. I feel better having told you how I feel."

                                      I would also let her know that her comments are a part of the reason you are moving your horse. She needs to know she has hurt you, particularly if she truly did not mean to do so.

                                      There may be protestations, there may be additional discussion or argument, there may be actual productive conversation. It is certainly possible the BO has no idea of the impact her words have on you; as you said, she sees the world quite differently.

                                      But if you want her to treat you in a particular way, you have to tell her what you want and then enforce it. If she really cares for you, she will come around. If not, well, at least you know where you stand ... and I guarantee, in the long run, you will be happier with that.

                                      Good luck to you, both with figuring out what is bothering your horse and with your relationship with the soon-to-be-ex-BO.
                                      Equinox Equine Massage

                                      In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                                      -Albert Camus


                                      • #20
                                        You said your horse just recently started acting up? Did your your BO like her prior to this or has this been an ongoing issue?

                                        Otherwise, leave on a good note. If you love your horse so much, who cares what someone else thinks?! It is the horse world, after all!