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Boarding Barn Blues

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  • Boarding Barn Blues

    I just wanted to vent and realized I didn't want this to be public.

    Being at a boarding barn is tough!
    Last edited by ottbichiban; Nov. 28, 2016, 02:04 AM. Reason: want to delet post

  • #2
    I think you just have to politely ignore and brush off the teen's substantive remarks. You can be nice and politely talk about non-horse related topics. But anything regarding your horse should just be met with.... nothing. This might mean changing the subject or saying, "Thanks, I have a plan for taking care of it."

    Remember that your relationship with teen and her mom/your new BFF can be separate things. It sounds like you want them to be.

    Do keep the teen uninvolved in discussions of your horse for as long as it takes. if the mom is gracious, she won't somehow demand that you be chummy with her kid.

    I hope you can sort this out.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • #3
      Keep the teen off your horse, ignore her attitude, and stay friends with the mother.

      There is nothing at all unusual about a mom and her teen daughter having totally different personalities, and about a teen being rude to her mom's friends. Believe me, the mom is quite aware that her daughter is rude, but (a) she doesn't really know how to make it stop (no one does, ever) and (b) you will not be able to have a direct conversation with the mom about this, without upsetting the mom. The mom's number one priority is keeping her daughter physically safe while hoping she grows out of the Terrible Teens sooner rather than later.

      Note that the teen is rude to everyone, including the clinician. She is rude to you and she is no doubt rude to her mother, and I expect she is rude at school , too. You can't however discuss things like this with mothers, because they are insulted if it sounds like you are criticizing their parenting skills. Think about how touchy people are about their horses and their riding. Then multiply that by 1,000. That's how touchy people are about conversations about their badly behaved kids and how they should be reining them in.

      What you can do is say, nicely and quietly, no thanks, to the teen. How many times has she demanded to school your horse? Once, just smile and shrug it off. Twice, say I don't think so, nicely. If she asks three times, say no, it's not a good idea. If she asks three times, talk to the mother *alone.*

      Say: "Suzie has been asking to ride my horse. I don't think it's appropriate because it's not very safe. I'm jumping three feet and she is only jumping eighteen inches. I don't think it's very safe. I'm sure you can appreciate that and we probably agree?"

      Appeal to the safety factor, which is the one common ground you can always have with parents! Get the mom to agree with you, and then you can feel secure in continuing to turn down the teen.

      Don't talk about the kid being rude or condescending. First, mom knows this, and is dealing with it *everywhere.* Second, the kid is *not* the mother and you need to be able to separate the two in your head. Would you be uneasy about a friendship with a woman who had a toddler who kept screaming and hitting you? No, but you'd probably find times to visit her when she could leave the little monster with her husband or nanny or grandma, and go out with you alone!

      If you are socially awkward (not sure totally what that means, but assume you have some problems reading social cues), you might be thinking that because they are mother and daughter they are a united team against the world, and that like two teenage best friends, they share attitudes. But they don't, and the teen is even more of a puzzle and problem to the mom, than she is to you. It's just that mom does not want to talk about this to other people.

      Indeed, it is possible that mom has been giving you clues that she doesn't approve of her daughter's behavior. She might have a little embarrassed smile when daughter acts inappropriately, or she might try to smooth things over when daughter offends people. Or, maybe she even reprimands daughter?

      I expect that the neither the mother nor the teen would predict that you would feel condescended to or insulted by the teen's bad behavior. They know that you are a skilled rider. The mom is still seeing teen as a toddler acting out, a kid who knows nothing. The teen is reacting against people who see her as a kid, and clearly has some problems of her own navigating social situations appropriately. She wants everyone to see her as competent and a good rider, but hasn't yet figured out that the way to get there, is hard work. She may never figure this out. Not your problem!

      The kid may even have some "behavior issues," as they are known these days. Usually, even kids that are rude to their mothers are able to be polite and good students for clinics and instructors. If they can't, they are not going to last long, anyhow, in riding lessons.

      Make opportunities to spend time with the mom, without the teen, if possible.

      Comment


      • #4
        I arrived after the OP deleted her post.


        The responses make me wonder. Why is it that an adult must politely side step the teen's rude behaviour? Why can't the adult quietly, without fuss (as one would correct a horse) tell the teen that her behaviour is inappropriate? Isn't a correction in the moment the best time? The adult need not involve mom unless the teenage child does.

        Is it social conditioning? That society demands women not make a fuss, but accept whatever poor behaviour is directed at them? Is it the shift in society to being totally "hands off" when it comes to other people's children? Both? Something else?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RedHorses View Post
          I arrived after the OP deleted her post.


          The responses make me wonder. Why is it that an adult must politely side step the teen's rude behaviour? Why can't the adult quietly, without fuss (as one would correct a horse) tell the teen that her behaviour is inappropriate? Isn't a correction in the moment the best time? The adult need not involve mom unless the teenage child does.

          Is it social conditioning? That society demands women not make a fuss, but accept whatever poor behaviour is directed at them? Is it the shift in society to being totally "hands off" when it comes to other people's children? Both? Something else?
          I think there is a prevailing attitude that other peoples' children are off-limits when it comes to behavioral corrections unless one is in a teaching/coaching interaction.

          I too arrived after the OP deleted the original post, but I would like to add an example that I think may help explain what the problem is.

          I was on a long flight a number of years ago (4+ hrs) and was sitting in front of a child who was kicking the back of my seat. I ignored it at first, assuming that the child's parents would ask him to stop. The child looked to be around 5 years old, so probably old enough to know better. I turned around to see the mom reading a book and ignoring her child's behavior. Finally I decided to address it myself and asked the child to please stop kicking my seat.

          Instead of saying "oh I'm so sorry", the mom got mad at me! Her exact reply was "Don't speak to my child that way" to which I responded: "I wouldn't have to if you'd supervise him".

          Didn't have a problem with the kid for the rest of the flight.

          I was appalled that the parent seemed completely oblivious to her child's behavior and even got mad at me. I don't understand why some people act like this, but I've encountered it enough to know that some parents just don't care. Perhaps it's a result of living at a time when people are so worried about what is PC and what isn't.

          Comment


          • #6
            I did respond to the OP's post. To be clear, the question was not about the OP intervening with the parenting of someone else's kid. Rather, it's that she wants to remain friends with the mom but the pushy teen seems to be part of the package deal and she'd like to keep the Mom Friend while establishing some distance from Pushy Teen Mom Friend Daughter without offense.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

            Comment


            • #7
              Can OP just say NO without trying to explain why? To the teen just say "NO, you cannot ride my horse, I do not let anyone except a paid Pro ride". If you try to defend your decision and explain why, teens often see a soft spot that can be exploited. NO often works better...and they don't hear a simple NO often these days. But it's YOUR horse, don't feel any guiltier then you would if teen asked to drive your Mercedes instead of her Kia.

              Far as Mom, bluntly speaking, is her friendship more important to you then the guilt and aggravation her teen causes you? Can you just tell Mom NO, teen cannot ride your horse just like you would say NO teen cannot drive your Mercedes? Or do you worry you'll hurt Moms feelings if you say no to what her teen wants to do with your property?

              Only OP can answer these questions or decide if this friendship makes her happy or creates turmoil in her life.

              Reminds me of a once close (I thought) friend with an obnoxious, manipulative teen. I continued to be a friend figuring the kid would grow out if it and/or move out. However I started realizing friend was always asking me for help with situations and not reciprocating. Teen is 30 now, still obnoxious and manipulative and at home with Mom, guess who cares for grandkids...

              All depends on OP and her feelings about the friendship.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                If friend does not want to be your friend because you do not want to put up with their pushy teen then are they really someone you want to be friends with?

                Not saying you are free to be just as rude as the teen but simply saying no when asked about riding your horse should not make the mother annoyed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I find it interesting that here we are telling OP to enforce her boundaries with this teenager and teenager and mom need to respect them, even after OP has deleted her post and made it clear she no longer wants to have this talk on a public forum.

                  Let's just guess what the post said and keep shoveling advice at OP anyway!
                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                  Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                    I find it interesting that here we are telling OP to enforce her boundaries with this teenager and teenager and mom need to respect them, even after OP has deleted her post and made it clear she no longer wants to have this talk on a public forum.

                    Let's just guess what the post said and keep shoveling advice at OP anyway!
                    OP prefaced her post by saying that she is "socially awkward" and not always sure what to do in social situations.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Think the topic is worth discussing in the general sense. We've had plenty of threads about it and dealing with fellow boarders and their offspring in regards to borrowing your things or pestering to ride your horse is often part of the overall boarding experience.

                      Perhaps, even without specifics, some readers might find it helpful in dealing with issues in their own boarding situation.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        +100

                        Originally posted by findeight View Post
                        Think the topic is worth discussing in the general sense. We've had plenty of threads about it and dealing with fellow boarders and their offspring in regards to borrowing your things or pestering to ride your horse is often part of the overall boarding experience.

                        Perhaps, even without specifics, some readers might find it helpful in dealing with issues in their own boarding situation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dear mvp - I had a thought prompted by the responses that I felt might make for an interesting discussion, and put it here because this thread prompted the thought and with the OP deleted the thread wasn't being used for anything else.



                          The recent hullabaloo in the media about misogynistic and generally sexist behaviour, plus several incidents at work have made me think about how we women have been conditioned to behave by societal expectations. Confrontation is a no no, and as such we haven't got the skills to confront someone in a productive way. When we do confront someone we get labelled with various sexist, dismissive and derogatory terms - even if the other person is another woman.

                          I was at my barn one night finishing up with my horse when the father of another boarder arrived. I popped into the Tack room for a minute and when I came back I found the man had moved my horse to a different set of cross ties so he could use the ones I had been using. I was so flabbergasted I didn't know what to say and so said nothing. In the years since I have imagined several scripts and wouldn't keep quiet if something similar happened again, but it irks me to realize I had been that conditioned by society.


                          Another time a very pushy woman asked me without asking me to do something to help her out. I responded to what she had actually said, not the unspoken request for a favour. After she finally came out and asked for the favour directly, I said no. Then I got called a bitch when I refused to give her a reason so that she could pass judgement on it. This was a woman who manipulated other women by using that societal conditioning to avoid making waves. As my "punishment" she refused to speak to me for years after that.

                          At work I am sometimes stymied by the situation and keep quiet. It bothers me that I have to do that, but it isn't going to be productive to get into a slanging match either.

                          Have you broken free of your conditioning? Or been fortunate enough to have learned how to confront such situations when you were a child?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Certainly did NOT learn these skills as a child - was in fact discouraged from learning them as that would've usurped Mother's power over me. (she ruled with an iron fist, period.)

                            Have I broken free?........ up to a point. What I have learned, is to read people pretty quickly as to who is "one of those" that I should just plain avoid. If I can't, I simply keep my mouth shut and go on about my business. I consider myself fortunate enough that I can "walk away" from most situations where nothing is served by remaining.

                            I was at a barn awhile back where the BO's daughter (middle school age) was a nice kid (usually) but god help you if you looked at her sideways. Mom would come marching out and "defend" her kid. Didn't matter what it was - or was not. Feel sorry for kids like that actually as they won't learn they need a thicker skin to survive in this world.

                            I am not the quickest thinker (speaker) on my feet. So keeping my mouth shut and going on about my business is generally my best option - and believe it or not, gets my point across. (can't argue with a fence post).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RedHorses View Post
                              Dear mvp - I had a thought prompted by the responses that I felt might make for an interesting discussion, and put it here because this thread prompted the thought and with the OP deleted the thread wasn't being used for anything else.



                              The recent hullabaloo in the media about misogynistic and generally sexist behaviour, plus several incidents at work have made me think about how we women have been conditioned to behave by societal expectations. Confrontation is a no no, and as such we haven't got the skills to confront someone in a productive way. When we do confront someone we get labelled with various sexist, dismissive and derogatory terms - even if the other person is another woman.

                              I was at my barn one night finishing up with my horse when the father of another boarder arrived. I popped into the Tack room for a minute and when I came back I found the man had moved my horse to a different set of cross ties so he could use the ones I had been using. I was so flabbergasted I didn't know what to say and so said nothing. In the years since I have imagined several scripts and wouldn't keep quiet if something similar happened again, but it irks me to realize I had been that conditioned by society.


                              Another time a very pushy woman asked me without asking me to do something to help her out. I responded to what she had actually said, not the unspoken request for a favour. After she finally came out and asked for the favour directly, I said no. Then I got called a bitch when I refused to give her a reason so that she could pass judgement on it. This was a woman who manipulated other women by using that societal conditioning to avoid making waves. As my "punishment" she refused to speak to me for years after that.

                              At work I am sometimes stymied by the situation and keep quiet. It bothers me that I have to do that, but it isn't going to be productive to get into a slanging match either.

                              Have you broken free of your conditioning? Or been fortunate enough to have learned how to confront such situations when you were a child?

                              Interesting...very individualized and situationally dependent I should think.

                              Im a career front line customer service person. But the fact I pretty much have to shut up has taught me the vast majority of these situations don't escalate if you don't let them. Dr P ( hate to refer to a TV shrink but...) calls it "right fighting", you are right but it's not worth stressing yourself out trying to prove it to the other person over inconsequential incidents that might be perceived differently by each side.

                              Like the Dad who moved the horse to the other crossties, is that worth a verbal altercation? Or would a word to the barn manager and let them deal with it via a reminder to all boarders about handling other people's horses be a better choice?

                              Trust me, I'm no doormat but have learned through age and experience many conflicts never needed to escalate past mild annoyance and go away if just ignored. I save stressing out and speaking up for when it's important and really matters, not a thoughtless, spontaneous action like moving your horse for his daughter. Some people, male, female, kid are clueless it might bother that horses owner. Waste of time to stress over little stuff like that.


                              When I have spoken up and had somebody, relative or not, refuse to talk to me for years I was delighted...but not so much when a BO gave me a verbal beating over the phone and 48 hours to vacate. I was right but...lost that battle. Shutting up and moving would have been a better choice, especially for my horse who did the equine equivalent of "sleeping on a different couch" every week for a month.

                              You can't change others proclivity to manipulate, thoughtlessness or entitlement as it's not got anything to do with you, It's all about them.

                              That's what 47 years boarding out has taught me.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I actually think the Dad moving a horse to a different set of crossties is worth speaking up about. Not necessarily in an accusatory way but because it's kind of silly.

                                "Hey, Dad-person, did you move my horse to a different set of crossties?"
                                Yes
                                "Why did you move him without me here? I was nearby and I can't be responsible for your safety around my horse if you approach him without my permission or consent."
                                -Mansplain- (probably)
                                "Please do not move my horse without speaking to me or the barn staff unless it is an emergency. We are all neighbors here and I think it is safest for everyone if we simply follow those ground rules."


                                For the OP, No is a complete sentence.
                                When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
                                -William Shakespeare (Henry V)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  In keeping with some of findeight's comments, I've run into situations similar to what she described.

                                  I agree that it is important to decide which battles to pick. Every place is going to have a problem of one sort or another. There is always going to be a drama queen, a clueless person, a know-it-all, etc.

                                  I posted something a while ago about a woman who walked up in the middle of a group conversation at the barn to tell me that she went into my horse's stall and sat down with him while he was napping. It put me in an awkward position since many other people were there, so I would be less likely to say something. I ended up just looking at her (out of complete surprise) and she continued to say she thought he was sick or colicing and went in to check on him. To take it further she said that my horse looked so peaceful while he was napping that she wanted to sit with him.

                                  I ended up not saying anything in front of the group but emailed the woman to thank her for being concerned for my horse, but to please not go in his stall since I was concerned about safety and liability issues were she to get hurt if he was startled and tried to stand up suddenly. I also let the BO know what happened and she was outraged and said she would have a private chat with the woman who "shouldn't be doing that".

                                  This particular woman started to badmouth me indirectly in front of other people at the barn when I wasn't around. I heard back from several people who said that the others were coming to my defense and shutting this person down.


                                  the kind of people who do weird stuff and then get defensive when asked nicely to not do whatever it is are probably not the kind of people that are worth wasting time with. So I wasn't disappointed when that lady wanted to ignore me after that.
                                  Last edited by SnicklefritzG; Nov. 29, 2016, 01:46 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I've had quite a few folks ask to ride my horse(s) over the years - lots of teens or other well-meaning but insufficiently skilled folks who I really don't want on my horse.

                                    I just laugh as if it's the funniest thing I've ever heard and say something along the lines of "oh god no - I prefer to be Dobbins' only lawn dart" or something similar. If they push I just let them know that Dobbin is a work in progress and I'm his only rider. If they push past that... well... "No" really is a complete sentence.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Foxglove6 View Post
                                      I actually think the Dad moving a horse to a different set of crossties is worth speaking up about. Not necessarily in an accusatory way but because it's kind of silly.

                                      "Hey, Dad-person, did you move my horse to a different set of crossties?"
                                      Yes
                                      "Why did you move him without me here? I was nearby and I can't be responsible for your safety around my horse if you approach him without my permission or consent."
                                      -Mansplain- (probably)
                                      "Please do not move my horse without speaking to me or the barn staff unless it is an emergency. We are all neighbors here and I think it is safest for everyone if we simply follow those ground rules."...
                                      .
                                      Thats where it's situationally dependent. Each barn is different, in one like mine, there is good management and adequate staff so no question clients simply do not touch other clients horses and it's covered in the written barn rules just in case somebody doesn't get it. A word to the BM to reinforce knowledge of the policy with the offending client, or better, the barn population in general is the best way to handle it.

                                      But been in plenty of less supervised barns where, yeah, I would have said something. But only in private or via e mail as poster above suggested, people react differently when presented negative feedback in front of others. Take it private to avoid the barn drama. Then if that person keeps talking behind your back, THEY look the fool to the rest if the barn population, not you.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Interesting responses to Dad moving my horse. Some show a clear lack of explanation on my part. The BO was standing right there when it happened, chatting to Dad. There was no one else at the barn, not even the daughter. Dad apparently just wanted the crossties outside the horse's stall. Dad was not a horseman. I still have no idea why the BO allowed it to happen.

                                        I should have spoken up. I will if something similar happens again - not in a battle mode, but in an educational way.


                                        But I can see the training given girls as I look back - the conditioning that still goes on today. Even boys are conditioned to be silent about some things, though they are not chastised to the same extent should they go against that conditioning. I find it frustrating to be in a situation that clearly calls for action and be at a loss as to how to act.

                                        Comment

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