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How to refuse trail ride with new barnmate

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    How to refuse trail ride with new barnmate

    I am a timid leasure rider with a 10 yo OTTB mare boarding at a sport oriented barn.
    The barn has access to trails, but I am the only one who is trail riding. We have a new boarder (joined last week), and she quickly asked around and then yesterday sheapproached me that she wants to join me. I said no problem, but I mostly walk, occasionally trot and very rarely canter (I am way too careful of footing etc). Now trails are muddy, so I told her walk only. She refused and said she needs to canter. So I explained her how to get to trails and off she went. And then the horse came back alone. Thankfully she was not injured.
    Today I went to barn late, just to check on horse, brush and prepare feed for weekend, as I need to prepare it for weekend staff. She approached me immediatelly and asked me to join her. I told her it is getting dark and that I would need at least 30 minutes to tack up anyway, as I am grooming my horse for very long time and plus I need to prepare feed for weekend, so I was not going to ride anyway. She made a face, said my horse is clean anyway and I can just tack up quickly and go. I said no, as I told you yesterday, my mare loves great scratch and I am not going to skip that. She went alone and fell off again.
    When she returned she approached me again and told me that I really MUST ride with her tomorrow and that I surely can canter with her as her horse clearly needs more excercise. I told her no way and then she angrily said ok walk then.
    Problem is, I have a bad feeling about her, I certainly would not enjoy her company and I feel like I am being pressured for absolutely no reason. I don't want to be rude, but I worked hard to make my horse relaxed trail horse and really don't want to ruin all my effort as I feel like her or her horse will be trouble. WWYD?

    No is a full and complete answer.
    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


      Absolutely do not cave. Not only will she endanger YOU if you go with her, she will endanger your HORSE. No is a full answer.
      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


        Good lord! I think you've done all you can do - the only thing left is to wait for her to get tired of hearing you say no. I have had horses who do much better on the trail with buddies, and ones who do much better alone. I totally get wanting a buddy to ride with, but... uh... not like that!


          This is absolutely not your responsibility and even me as a very experienced instructor in dressage , showjumping and cross country and a tail ride guide would say no.


          Because I know what can go wrong and I do not want to spend the ride stressing about another horse and rider.

          What this rider needs is lessons. Lessons in dressage. What this rider does not want is lessons or to go anywhere near a dressage arena.

          Take a big sigh. Say no you only ride alone. No need to say why. Put on your big girl pants and be a b$?#'$

          This type will end up either selling the horse and get another ..... repeatedly or sell the horse and not get another ever ........ or rarely get lessons and be one someone you would like to trail ride with.
          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


            What a pain. I think you’re doing great - keep saying no!


              As I read this I admit that I giggled about how it is the exact opposite of the other recent thread we had about trail riding - that person can not find anyone to ride with that is willing to gallop across fields and such and why is no one any fun, blah blah blah.

              OP, I think you are making the right decision for you and your horse. Just keep being polite and saying no.


                Be strong and trust your gut. It would be different if she was looking for someone to just walk with to help her horse settle. But, she sounds like a yahoo who will eventually get hurt, or her horse will get hurt. You don't want to be around when that happens.


                  "No Thank You"

                  That's all. Nothing more is required.


                    You might have to be a little more blunt and " kindly" tell her that you prefer to ride alone, especially since her horse seems to come back from every trail ride without her,.


                      Anyone else wondering how she keeps falling off and then thinking she should go back out alone? I would express my concern with her recent falls and say it’s too stressful for you to go out with her when she expects to canter. Maybe say you’ll ride in the ring with her and give her some pointers, or send her off to someone who can help more. We used to have a rider at the barn that was dangerous on trails and the only thing that worked was brutal honesty- no, we won’t go out with you because you’re dangerous for x y and z reasons (not to mention she always got us lost!). Eventually she’ll get the picture and you’ll be enjoying the trails in peace again.


                        Original Poster

                        Thank you all for replies, I was having a guilt trip as when her horse returned riderless today other boarder mentioned that poor new girl fell off at trails twice already and that I should go with her next time to make sure she is safe. But I really don't want to endanger myself or my horse, and I enjoy that caring aspect of horse ownership way more than riding itself - I am present at barn almost daily, although I ride only if weather is good, no rain, wind or too hot/cold and neither my horse or me are on fitness level to canter the fields - 98 % of our rides is walk and most of the time I even stop to hand graze for a while.
                        Sadly the new girl goes to barn around the same time as me, and is there daily, so it probably will create bad blood that I am not willing to trail ride with her and I really enjoy my peace and quiet at the barn. I will keep saying no somewhat diplomatically, probably that "its not you its me" type of conversation - like I am bad rider and don't feel comfortable going with other rider etc. I hope she will eventually get the hint.


                          You are doing fine, that lady is crazy, going to get hurt and/or her horse get hurt.

                          You don't want any part of those crazy riders with no sense at all.

                          Next time she ask, can you nicely say no, quit asking me.

                          What she needs is some lessons in an arena before going on trail rides.
                          Then slow trail rides and learning to pace with the slowest member of the group, common courtesy when group riding.

                          Going any faster and getting dumped off and horse running around loose where it may get injured is crazy.


                            Just say No! And don't cave for a second, she's endangering you and your horse, as well as her own.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                              You've done great so far in resisting her pressure tactics. A key thing to understand is that a manipulative/pushy person will always try to negotiate around your initial "No" because that puts her in control. For instance, you want just W-T paces and she wants WTC. Once you tell her that, now she has leverage. "OK, we'll just walk then" -- even though you know she's going to renegotiate the agreement conditions once you get out there. "Well we can just canter this little stretch ahead, mmmkay?"

                              So just remind yourself to keep the conversation short, and you do not owe any reasons. Your decision is yours to make, and you don't have to defend it to her.
                              Because the reality is: you don't want to ride with her, period, under any conditions. This is clearly not a safe, responsible rider you enjoy sharing your barn and riding time with. Just a simple "No, sorry I can't join you. I prefer to ride alone." Or "Jane, you've asked me a few times to ride and I've said no each time. So I'd like to be really direct here: I'm sorry but I'm not the right riding partner for you. You'll need to ask someone else."

                              If she presses "Why?" or tries a million other ways to try to get you back to the negotiating table, just respond with "I know this is disappointing." or "Sorry, I can't help you out." And then change the topic, redirect conversation as if nothing at all has just happened. Or just go groom your horse. If she gets pissy, she'll get over it soon. Most bullies actually are ok with getting slapped back a step.



                                And then, NO.

                                Who died and made you responsible for NB's personal safety? Will it be your responsibility if she falls off and you are riding with her?

                                Plus, who in the world moves into a new barn and decides to start TELLING existing boarders they need to do anything at all

                                "Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
                                soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."

                                Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                                  Originally posted by Darat View Post
                                  Sadly the new girl goes to barn around the same time as me, and is there daily, so it probably will create bad blood that I am not willing to trail ride with her and I really enjoy my peace and quiet at the barn. I will keep saying no somewhat diplomatically, probably that "its not you its me" type of conversation - like I am bad rider and don't feel comfortable going with other rider etc. I hope she will eventually get the hint.
                                  I don't recommend the diplomatic, hope-she-gets-the-hint, "It's not you, it's me" bit. Firstly, because the most diplomatic approach is just respectful communication that tells her a clear No. Vague hints are more likely to lead to hurt feelings.
                                  Though this is violating my above rule not to offer reasons, you could say something like "Jane, I'm really concerned for you because regularly falling off on trails is incredibly dangerous for you, your horse, and anyone else who's on the trail with you. I've spent my whole riding career trying NOT to be a crash test dummy, so I'm definitely not the right person to help you, but I know of a couple trainers / instructors you could work with, who can help you get things figured out with your new horse."


                                    Original Poster

                                    Thanks again, funny thing is that there is a dressage instructor at the barn, and the instructor sent her to me. I used to trail ride with few boarders that no longer board at this stable and the instructor knows that. I am riding alone for the last few months though, so I will directly tell that new boarder something like sorry, I really don't like that "canter-pushing" attitude of yours and would not feel safe with you, sorry, but no.
                                    After all, Google maps do exist, trail is public so she could walk them without her horse first if she feels lost etc. Or she can just hire another instructor for trail riding.


                                      Darat, I agree with the others who urge you to stand your ground. She sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Things can go wrong even with the safest trail partners, so why roll the dice with someone who could get you hurt, too? I'm glad you are going to make it crystal clear - no trail rides together. Good luck.


                                        I always tell people choosing with whom you ride is as important as what horse you your safety and to your enjoyment of the ride.

                                        Just say no. You don't owe her an explanation.