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WWYD? Friend taking advantage of me? Or am I to blame?

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    WWYD? Friend taking advantage of me? Or am I to blame?

    So, I have a friend I'll call "Julie". She's a good person, a very good rider and horseperson, but has always been unmotivated to work (as in real job)

    That's fine, it's her choice. Her husband works full time and supports her and her daughter. Whenever I could, I would take "Julie" with me on riding trips or whatever because I enjoyed her company. And she would reciprocate with doing lessons with me, passing along what she had learned. Until last year, it worked out OK.

    She does do some work, at a local barn. She's a good rider and has turned into a decent instructor. But...she works a few hours a week at this place for peanuts. The rest of her 'pay' is free lessons for her and her daughter, "Alex".
    A little back history here. I personally think the BO where she has been is horrid. She's an old fashioned wheeler dealer, and has, quite frankly, ripped off a lot of people in the area over the years. I myself ran into the sarcastic, insulting side of her a couple of times and now refuse to set foot on her place.

    "Julie's" daughter "Alex" is now a tween. And she has been showing for several years. She rides other people's horses from the farm. Last year, I was planning on attending a show in the area with my horse. "Julie" came down and had "Alex" ask me to take her and the horse she was using too. OK, no problem. It's a few miles out of the way before and after the show, but not a big deal.

    Two days before the show, "Julie" calls me up one night, needing an article of clothing for "Alex" to wear in the show. (I had several of what she needed because I was selling stuff on ebay at the time)
    I set out a few pieces of clothing for her to try to see if any fit her daughter. She found one that did.

    She never thanked me for it. She never asked if I wanted anything for it. She just never said anything at all.
    OK, I was annoyed but said to myself, well we will trade out lessons. And I should have said something up front.

    So I take them to the show. And noticed (probably because I was annoyed because of the clothing thing) that they hung to themselves all day, didn't really interact with us, and never said thank you or asked if I wanted gas money for taking them (I would have said no)

    Well, there were some life changes over the summer and I never got to ride with "Julie". In fact, she and her husband moved to another town late in the summer. We haven't been as close as we used to be since all that happened.

    So now, here we are in this year. "Alex" is getting ready to show again. She shows every year. "Julie" has been asking everyone for clothing for "Alex". I just got an email from her asking me to loan them some of my tack.
    (She is riding a horse that belongs to the BO who I dislike, BTW.)

    Sooooo...I have not responded. Here are my thoughts.
    Her daughter shows every year, so it's not like this is new. At Christmas, she tells me how they go to the mall to get her clothing, makeup, etc. Why can't she pick up some nice gear for her daughter for showing? I would if I were in her shoes. Why wait until three weeks out and hit everyone up for loaner stuff?

    I am not happy about how it went last year when she needed gear for "Alex". It felt like I got used.

    I do not like loaning out my tack. I do not like having my gear used on strange horses. I've had too much stuff get damaged that way.

    The woman who owns the horse is benefitting from letting them use her horse. Why should everyone else be responsible for outfitting them?

    I feel guilty because I like 'Alex" and would like to see her have fun. My first inclination was to let her use the stuff even though it ticked me off.

    Do I just not answer the email? Do I most likely loose the rest of our friendship by being blunt with "Julie"? (I know, it's probably not much of a friendship left if it's like this) Do I buy a decent piece of tack in December to give to "Alex" for next year?

    WWYD? Would you show this way? Or would you take care of your daughter's needs yourself? Am I being selfish? I am feeling pretty torn about this.

    I would not be rude or anything, but I would let her know that my tack was not available. She does not sound to be the type to be in any hurry to get it back to you, if she bothered to return it at all.


      Why do you think you're being 'selfish'?

      Sounds to me like Julie and Alex are big-time users, and you've been rolling over and playing doormat for them.

      Instead of being passive-aggressive and not answering her e-mail, send back a simple, "I don't feel comfortable lending tack for Alex to use." and let it go at that.

      If she asks you why, you can tell her the truth.

      Stop being such a wussy. You're not obligated to outfit anyone else's kid or horse for shows.

      It's not your problem if they don't have the money for tack, riding apparel or show fees.
      Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


        I personally dont think you should "loan" her your stuff. It seems unlikely that if it got damaged/lost/stolen etc. that they would offer to replace it considering they never offered to help pay for gas. I would simply tell her that you dont have any equipment available at this time to let her borrow.
        Happy Hour-TB
        Cowboy Casanova - Brandenburg


          "Sorry, I can't lend out any of my tack at this time."

          Or just don't bother to respond. This freeloader's time is UP.
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


            I have had friends like this in the past. I think it's the mentality more than anything that gets to me. You'll come to my house, help yourself to the fridge and never once offer or bring anything over. Or, you'll take something from me for free, and the next thing I know I see it somewhere with a friggin price tag attached so you make money off of it. Sure, it was yours after I gave it to you so I won't argue about that, but maybe, just maybe you should have offered it back to me and been honest..."Hey, I really don't need this anymore. If you don't want it back do you mind if I sell it?" Or heck, give it away to someone else.

            Gave a gift to a friend once and found it offered in her store with a price tag. Have to say I haven't given her a gift since.

            Also had a friend who would take my ideas and follow through and make money off of whatever it was. Keep my mouth shut now.

            These people just don't get it, so I don't bother trying to explain. I just quit giving ideas and such. Saves me the frustration.

            I would say to her, "I'm sorry, I don't have any tack to lend." And leave it at that.


              It's hard to outfit kids because they grow so fast-what fits at Christmas might not fit in spring-perhaps give her a gift card for a gift, or somehting like a saddle pad that she can't outgrow.

              BUT...I wouldn't lend them anything at this point, since they never returned the last item. Perhaps return an email asking "Did she outgrow the item I lent her last year? I know another youngster who can use it if she did. Shall I put you in touch with her? she writes the loveliest thank-you notes, so I know she'd really appreciate it. I don't think I have anything that will fit this year, though-try (fill in the tack shop)-they have a lot of consignment items that are in great shape, and I saw a really nice (whatever they are looking for) there a few weeks back that wasn't very expensive."

              (If she takes you up on it, tell her to just bring it by and the other child will pick it up, since your place is much closer, or something)

              As for tack...if she's showing someone else's horse, why isn't she using the horse's own tack, or school tack from her barn? She shouldn't be asking someone else to supply that-what if what you lent her didn't fit the horse?


                Personally, it's really rare for me to loan out tack or anything unless I wouldn't be too upset if it didn't come back. I think it's completely reasonable to deny her request to borrow your tack.

                Generally what I've seen when a kid is riding a borrowed horse for a show is that the horse's owner provides the tack, and the parents dress the kid. Which can be done on a shoestring budget with a little preparation.

                When I was younger, myself and one other girl were the token poor kids in our local pony club. My mother made me a jacket out of an inexpensive polyester fabric, without a liner, and sewed a piece of old bedsheet onto a white t-shirt to look like the collar on a show shirt. We found rubber tall boots used, and I put a black rain cover on over my inexpensive schooling helmet.

                If the kid is really a great kid despite her mother, and she needs/wants a inexpensive piece of equipment, I'd probably approach the kiddo directly, and offer to let her work off the expense of purchasing one for her. I know I would have jumped at that chance as a kid. But again, you are in no way obligated to do so.
                "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesnt merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                -Edward Hoagland


                  Answer the email, and say I'm sorry, but I don't have anything I could loan Alex at this time. I think ____ has them in stock, they usually do. How have you been doing? Been riding much blah blah blah'

                  Just stop it from happening. And since they've moved, I can't imagine they'll ask to be toted to the show. If they do, just refuse. Similar statement as above, I'm sorry, I can't come get her.'

                  Why, if asked? Because I feel like I'm a taxi and closet service to you, and unappreciated for either. I don't like that I feel that way, but that's where I am with this, Julie.

                  it is hard- I find myself at an impasse with a gal similar to this gal- when the phone rings my first thought is what does she want this time? with her it's training advice - which I usually get paid to provide LOL- but we started as acquaintances/now while she won't call Full Time has a DVD Trainer Friend Dianne, she will call RiderPartTimeTrainerSheWon'tMindFriendKat'. I HATE it.


                    To answer the question in your title...

                    You obviously feel your friend is taking advantage of you. Several people have already agreed. Are you to blame? No, she is. But if you continue to do what you are not comfortable with, then you are to blame for making yourself miserable.

                    I agree with a polite "I'm sorry, I do not have anything to loan."
                    If she asks for a reason, then (and only then) do you need to explore the rift in your friendship to whatever level you feel necessary. she may be blissfully unaware, and may just need a reminder to start being more repsonsible or caring towards you. We teach people how to treat us. If you would like her to treat you differently, a little refresher course may be in order.


                      So, she's going from second-hand ratcatchers to tack? Next, she'll want to "just borrow" your horse and trailer.

                      "Alex" just sees you as a means to her desired end. She doesn't see you or care about you. We all know people like this. They say, 'Hi!" and then start talking non-stop about themselves, and when you try to mention yourself, they say, looking a bit startled that you would even interrupt, actually, "uh huh, uh huh" and launch right back into their story. That's the last of them.

                      Why even continue the relationship? Getting her out of your life will give you time to know nicer people!


                        I do not understand why someone would need the loan of a piece of tack to show a horse that they are already riding. Does this horse not have tack it is normally ridden in? Can't it be cleaned up and used for the show?

                        I loved HenryisBlasin's response. Very good.


                          It's pretty apparent from your post that you are resentful of this woman's freeloading. And she's not even a grateful freeloader! That resentment will just eat at you. The friendship, and I use that term very loosely, is not worth it. Are you getting anything back from it? It sounds like you don't even enjoy their company. I've recently found that I have no time for people whose value system doesn't mesh with mine. I have let a friendship die when I realized that I just didn't respect this person any longer. I'm not going to waste my time on a person that I feel that way about. I suspect you feel that way about your friend as well.

                          I would respond to the email saying you don't have anything to loan out. Be cordial, but I would let this relationship die. If you don't initiate contact, maybe she'll realize she can't mooch off you any longer and will move onto someone else. Honestly, who needs a friend like that?


                            No one can take advantage of you without your permission. "I'm afraid I don't have anything to lend anymore." "No, I'm sorry, my tack is not available." "No, I'm sorry, my tack is not available." Just keep repeating NO until they give up and go find someone else to mooch off of.
                            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                              Evasive/Polite Reply: Sorry, I don't have anything you're looking for. Good luck showing!

                              Blunt/Honest: No. You borrowed quite a lot from me last year and you never thanked me. I will not be lending you anything else.

                              Playful/Malicious: Great to hear from you again! I was just thinking about you the other day! Do you still have that great SUV? I need to go pick up a LOT of potting soil and it just won't fit in my little car!!!! We could make it a trip, go out to lunch, shopping, etc. I'd love to reconnect!

                              Vindictive: I have a pair of gloves she might like to use. How about we meet for dinner and we can catch up and I can give you the gloves then?
                              (in this scenario, you would see how long you could keep this woman stringing along with vague promises and tiny rewards while sucking her dry - ie, show up at restaurant without cash or cards, borrow her stuff, make arrangements to trailer her to a show and then - oops - forget.)


                                Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                Answer the email, and say I'm sorry, but I don't have anything I could loan Alex at this time. I think ____ has them in stock, they usually do. How have you been doing? Been riding much blah blah blah'
                                I like this.


                                  E mail response

                                  "it is great that you have found creative cost saving ways to keep Alex showing in this crazy economy. Good luck!"

                                  Kinda like saying "well bless your heart"


                                    From the way you just described the situation with this lady and her daughter, there is no way in hell I would lend out my tack to her. Just tell her, that you will not be lending out your tack to her and to have a nice. Or just don't answer the email and she will probably get the hint.
                                    Last edited by ThatScaryChick; Jul. 30, 2009, 01:21 PM.


                                      Yes, your friend is taking advantage of you and probably most other people she knows as well. I understand the desire not to respond, but if it were someone who I've known for a while I would just send a quick email back saying no.

                                      In the horse world you have to remember to always have the LOWEST possible expectations of people. Sad, but this has been a lesson I've learned the hard way. There have been a good deal of relationships that I've had where horses are involved, and I find that once others realize that I don't have much to offer them (money, horses, tack, flattery, etc), they fade away. Normally they insult my riding first though! So just you wait, I'm sure you'll be hearing about your terrible riding from Julie soon.


                                        Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                        I do not understand why someone would need the loan of a piece of tack to show a horse that they are already riding. Does this horse not have tack it is normally ridden in? Can't it be cleaned up and used for the show?

                                        I loved HenryisBlasin's response. Very good.

                                        Thank you.
                                        That was what I was thinking too. When someone shows my horse, I provide all of the tack for him. All they need is their own gear. They are responsible for any entry fees. I transport to the show. They are responsible for pre-show cleaning and prep of horse and gear.

                                        I guess I somehow was feeling guilty about saying no. Because she really is a decent person. Her daughter is a great kid. But this routine of asking people to do for her totally doesn't jibe with the rest of her. And it's only been on this issue, the showing.

                                        Which is a priveledge, not a right. And it IS expensive....heck, what isn't in the horse world today?
                                        I guess I will probably need to let the whole relationship go at some point. And that does make me sad. I've watched 'Alex" grow up. Watched her mom come a long way in her riding and instructing. Had lots of good times together, good laughs, good trips.
                                        Why do people always have to be so complicated? The horses are easy, the people are hard..