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How to refuse trail ride with new barnmate

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    One thing I would like to add is that with that personality type, you don't want to JADE- Justify, Argue, Defend, or Explain. Any reason you give her she will hear as a negotiation, regardless of your intent.

    You can say "no," politely, but keep it as brief as possible and don't explain. Just say "no thank you," or "I'll be riding alone," if she pushes at all, just keep repeating those same phrases, calmly, and assertively. You can even smile to lighten the blow. But the answer must remain "no"

    Most of the time people like her will stop asking if you don't engage in their drama


      Original Poster

      Update for anyone interested: I came to barn earlier than usual today and when she arrived I was already done. She did not attempt to talk to me, if she ever tries to persuade me again, I will tell her just no - thank you COTH community.
      I am just worried about the situation when she falls off while I am also at trails, I really don't want to deal with horse running free on some narrow path. I will probably ride in arena more often in the next few weeks and hopefully she will stop trying to trail ride after more unsuccesful attempts.


        Does BO know that she continually falls off? That's a whole other issue entirely, and something the BO should address.


          She's batting a low average here. 2 trail rides, 2 falls. Not good stats that I'd want to trail ride with a person like that. Too many things can go wrong and go wrong quickly. It's no fun to be on a trail with those who are inconsiderate and don't ride with every rider and horse's safety in mind. I know there are those where "ignorance is bliss". I've had the pleasure to go on trail rides with one of my instructors way back who made trail rides such a pleasure. He always made sure the horses were where they were most comfortable, never took off without letting the last person know we were trotting or cantering. No one got hurt, everyone had a good time. Such a pleasure. A friend of mine was Medivacced by helicopter on a trail ride once - people took off at a gallop as soon as they crossed a creek, they didn't bother to wait to see if her horse who stalled a little got across. He tossed her in a panic from being left behind. She had a punctured lung and some busted ribs.

          So no, I don't blame your for not wanting to trail ride with this person. She doesn't appear to think about safety.


            Originally posted by Darat View Post
            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.
            Please don't let people like this other boarder put you on a guilt trip. If she's so concerned about the poor new girl, she should go with her.

            No need to be unkind or bitchy. "No, thanks," with a smile, repeated every time poor new girl asks, will eventually get her to stop asking.

            "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."


              Originally posted by Darat View Post
              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. ​​​​​​
              Why is this your responsibility? If this other boarder is SO concerned then she can get her happy butt out there and go with New Boarder. Just think of the word Nacho. Nacho horse, nacho dog, nacho problem. Or there's this.....

              "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
              - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

              Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


                I agree with the others: don’t give her a reason to argue against. Just keep saying, “Sorry, that won’t work for me.”

                Alternatively, you can flip it back on her: “I’ve told you I like to take my time, in the barn and on the trail. But you keep insisting I need to go with you, at a pace much faster than I prefer. Why is that?”

                (Not that you need to solve or address any of the reasons she gives you. Just that it might be a way of getting her to take a step back and reflect on her approach.)


                  I agree with the poster who suggested talking to the BO about this.

                  PNG is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

                  I dont know if your BO required boarders to sign a waiver, but even with a waiver people who have been injured while riding can and do win lawsuits.

                  The BO needs to tell PNG not to go out on the trails alone until she can demonstrate proficiency with proof from the dressage instructor.

                  If PNG cant or wont do that the BO needs to give her notice and move her out.

                  Also agree with the poster who said to have a wee word with the dressage instructor who volunteered you without asking you first.

                  You dont have to feel guilty about saying no. You arent the designated trail baby sitter for psycho boarders.

                  Certified Guacophobe


                    Original Poster

                    BO couldnt care less about boarders or horses, he runs the stable for his daughter to have fun - BO daughter is said dressage instructor. It is a college girl with not much sence of responsibility and she knows about both PNG falls. BO is present at the barn once in a blue moon and hates when someone is complaining - he sais that he wants to take no part in "us crazy horse girls drama" and as long as we are paying on time, he doesnt care.
                    That barn has excellent staff though - they genuinely care about horses and take good care of all horses even though management is non existent.


                      Well, shoot. It sounds like she got the hint, though. Just keep telling her she needs a trainer or that she should work her horse's issues out in the arena for awhile before going back on the trail. Her horse is probably barn sour. He'll get so bad that he'll balk and refuse to leave the barn, or dump her sooner.


                        Original Poster

                        I think her horse is sour from overworking - she owns a horse 8 days now, 7 days in current barn (joined last Sunday, as my barn friend brought her horse home). She rides every day, before each ride she lunges profusely, then goes to indoor arena for 1,5 - 2 hours. After those trail rides she lunged and rode in indoor again, claiming that the horse is spooky and needs more excercise daily.
                        I am going to avoid her if possible now. I tried to be friendly to her as I ger how stressful is it to be new in boarding stable, but I realize that this girl is just ticking time bomb.


                          Dear God. I’m getting nervous sweats just imagining going on a trail ride with this individual. It’s like a horror movie playing in my head. Complete with screaming volume Yeehaws, horses galloping up from behind, rodeo style broncing and a splatted rider on a rocky cliff.

                          OP good on you for sticking to your boundaries. Hopefully this individual will leave you alone going forward


                            I'd leave a 'good' horsemanship book tied on her stall..... yeah not the type to get it, but it is a message.
                            The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


                              Unless that horse is in good shape, and she's easy on his back, he's probably sore and sour.


                                Original Poster

                                So, she approached me again today, asking for a trail ride together. Told her no, she looked confused and asked why, I said Im not comfortable with riding with her. She wanted to argue, but I ignored her. She chose not to go alone to the trails, so obviously she is learning.
                                However, poor horse is 15, previously not being ridden for more than 2 years. Previous owner gave it to her for free.


                                  This situation will implode soon. Just stay out of it.


                                    Are there any other trainers besides the 20-something wannabe Dressage trainer that could help this clueless new idiot boarder and more importantly, her poor, unfit, probably terrible sore and grumpy horse? I feel bad for the horse just thinking about this. No wonder he's leaving her on the trail alone.


                                      Original Poster

                                      Well, since BO daughter decided that she is an instructor now, there are no outside trainers allowed in our barn.
                                      There are other trainers in our general area, but she would have to haul to get there.
                                      Im not sure she is willing to pay for a trainer, as she claims that she has everything under control, just needs someone to trail with.


                                        Not your problem. Stay out of her way and let it unfold. I expect she will leave the barn soon, or stop riding. I expect there are more emotional issues here besides the bad horsemanship.


                                          Originally posted by Darat View Post
                                          So, she approached me again today, asking for a trail ride together. Told her no, she looked confused and asked why, I said Im not comfortable with riding with her. She wanted to argue, but I ignored her. She chose not to go alone to the trails, so obviously she is learning.
                                          Well done you!!