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Monday, 20 July 2015

The Sum of Our Parts

I strongly considered not writing this post.  This isn’t exactly one that I want to look back on and remember (some parts of it anyhow).



Me and side eye mare on the morning of my wedding (last minute 5am wreath practice) 

 


I recently had two friends out to meet my herd (on different days). I’m kind of weird about letting people meet my horses.  I know that it would really hurt my feelings if someone said something critical of my horses.  So I don’t usually give people a chance.  #barnhermitrepresent



Friend #1 came out on a Wednesday.  She brought frozen coffee drinks and few saddles for me to try on Apollo.  I rode Apollo briefly in the saddles and then she asked if we could go see my young horses.  Henry was already standing at the fence so he got the first visit.  She gushed on how handsome he was looking and offered to train him/ride him when I was ready to send him.  She’s an amazing rider who has trained with some of Canada’s top showjumpers.  She knew Henry during his first Alberta winter (where he looked terrible) and commended me on the good work I had done nutritionally. 

Mystic heard my voice (creepy mare is creepy) and came over to visit too.  My friend gave Mystic a few compliments as well.  I brought up the idea of possibly selling Henry but how my heart was really struggling with the idea.  She felt that Mystic would be a better all-around horse but if I wanted to compete a bit more seriously than Henry would likely be a better fit.  It was a positive and helpful experience.  So positive, in fact, that I invited friend #2 to come out two days after.




Friend #2 came out on a Friday.  To say that it wasn’t a positive experience would be an understatement.  She initially complimented Apollo’s weight loss in the diet pen so we were off to a good start.  She also was impressed that I managed three horses, a full-time job, dogs and a husband. I called my babies over.  They both trotted happily over to greet me. 

And then my friend starting tearing apart their conformation. 

I didn’t ask for her opinion and it was hard to be around someone who was being so critical.  I really tried to tune it out and cut her off when I could.  But she was relentless.

She smugly said “Henry doesn’t really have the right shoulder to be a grand prix jumper.” 

And “Mystic has the laziest eyes I’ve ever seen.” 

Those are the only two things I heard before I stopped listening. 

I originally planned to brush both babies and maybe lunge them.  I was also going to ride Apollo and let her take a quick spin.  Instead I fed everyone their grain and ushered her out of there as soon as possible.  

As we were leaving she said “No wonder you have time to take care of all of them, you never do anything with them.” 

I was fuming at this point.  I haven’t talked to her since.  I don’t really want to discuss it unless I can discuss it in person and I want to cool down a bit more.  I don't think she meant to be so hurtful....I think she was trying to give me an honest opinion.  However, I didn't ask her to critique my horses or really for her opinion at all.  I thought it was a friendly meet and greet - wrong!





Friend #2 is a decent rider, but has nowhere near the skills or experience (or tact apparently) of Friend #1. 

I’m not perfect.  And I don’t think my horses are perfect either.  My knees brush together when I walk, I have a crooked back, and a somewhat neurotic temperament.  I would fail a vet check!  


Vet check failure + dog 
 


And if I wanted a “grand prix jumper” I would have probably spent more than 200 bucks and wouldn't have bought a horse from a feedlot.  I just want to fiddle around in the shallow end of the eventing/jumping worlds at some point.  I think the horse/human conformation in the herd can handle that.   

I am not blind to their flaws or my own - but I think we are so much more than the sum of our parts.   I love them with my whole heart, warts and all.   

Ironically, Friend #2 was standing next to 5foot+ fence Henry jumped out of when he was a yearling when she told me he wouldn’t be a great jumper. #bitchplease


Henry says no rude people at the barn! 

 

27 comments:

  1. Some people don't have filters or the ability to say nice things... Sorry your friend was such a jerk.

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    1. Thank you! I'm finally not so mad about it. The first draft of this post had a lot of colorful language haha

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  2. I'm sorry you had that experience. Maybe Friend #2 is jealous or just trying to make herself look better (in her own mind) by cutting you down.
    Either way, that's on her, not you or your horses. Sounds like Friend #1 was both knowledgeable and positive.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words. I don't know exactly what her motivation was to be such a cow... I sure won't be inviting her to the barn any time soon :)

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  3. Uh. wow.

    Actually, on reflection, I think friend #2 was raging jealous - no excuse for being a raging bitch however. What other reason would she have for being so rude and plain mean?! Maybe she's surrounded by people who do that to her so to her, she's giving "normal" observations. But even with that in mind, I would probably first have to talk to her about why she had to act like that and say those things before I ever hung out with her again. Lord have mercy.

    The thing I've learned is how better of a rider I am, how I'm a better horsewoman, when I'm surrounded by people who affirm me and my horse. I don't learn anything at all from people who are rude to me, who rudely tear apart my horse, and think it's okay to belittle my riding.

    So sorry for your time with Friend 2. That just sucks.

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    1. Yeah, I was really surprised!

      I think you might be right about her being surrounded by people who treat her that way. I think she felt like she was enlightening me or something. Who knows.

      I definitely want to spend my time around people who are positive and kind. It was an eye-opening experience about friend #2 for sure!

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  4. I heart friend #1.
    Friend #2 could a learn a valuable lesson from a sweet little bunny named Thumper. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." I don't know of your history as friends, but honestly that may be one you can move on from. Would you go to her house and tell her that her kids are fat? Or will never be runners because they're short? Do they even want to be runners? Because that may be completely irrelevant, as is the comment about your horse jumping a grand prix. Hey guess what?! MOST horses can't jump a grand prix! Certainly doesn't make them useless.
    Separately, it's an insane amount of work trying to balance 3 horses, dogs, and a full time job. (I can't speak for the hubs... I don't have one of those!) INSANE. Last night I was in the barn until 10 after working all day. So yes, some nights, especially after being verbally assaulted, you need to just feed and go.

    www.amateuratlarge.blogspot.com

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    1. Friend #1 is so awesome. She has been a huge cheerleader for me and my horses.

      My dad always used to say "What does Thumper say?" when I was a little girl! Perfect reference! I don't plan to invest any of my time or energy into the friendship. I would never speak to anyone that way. I don't understand why she behaved like that but I don't need to be around it! It definitely felt like a verbal assault. :(

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  5. Yikes. Sorry to hear that Friend #2 was super rude to you. Don't let it bother you though - it sounds like she has nothing better to say and in fact, doesn't sound like much of a friend anyways!

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    1. Yikes is right! She's not much of a friend at all it seems.

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  6. People are just plain weird at times. It's like they are unable to hear themselves. It pisses me off when someone tears apart someone else's horse. A couple stories: When I was trying out Carmen I asked why she had been returned to the breeder. Turns out that the owner's trainer told her that Carmen 'had no FEI potential'. I laughed and said 'that's fine, neither do I". When I took Steele to his first show (he didn't show, he was there to hang out), I was talking to someone and she asked his breeding. I said he was an andalusian and she asked 'does he have the gaits?'. 'um, yes'. "oh well, at least he's pretty". I was so surprised I left. I had this plan of putting it on a t-shirt.

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    1. That would be a hilarious t-shirt! I was so surprised at my friend's behaviour. I work really hard to have horses and to have someone tear them apart was infuriating beyond words. She is not invited back! Mystic and her lazy eyes won't allow it :P

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  7. Wow!!! I don't think i would ever pick apart a friends horse no matter how close we were.... constructive comments if asked yes but I would never get nasty or cutting. So not ok! Hugs to you for holding your tongue!

    I wonder if friend 2 will realize what they did...

    BTW Henry's are the best horses ever :)

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    1. Henry's are the best for sure! :)

      She is not invited back. I do plan to let her talk to her about it at some point, which might save someone else from an "impromptu conformation analysis".

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  8. My vote is she's jealous and/or unhappy with her own life. Still, that's no excuse to be rude. Sorry that visit didn't go so well, glad you had a nice visit with your other friend!

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    1. Totally, I think she has her own stuff going on. My other friend is super awesome, she is invited back anytime! :)

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  9. It always seems like it is the more average riders that have to put someone down to build themselves up more. The good riders are typically more likely to want to help build someone up because they are happy and confident in their skills and expertise. I'm sorry about friend #2. There is a huge difference between being honest and just being a witch. Even if she didn't mean to hurt your feelings, she needs to learn to not be so dense.

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    1. Definitely, she seemed to set out to tear me and my horses down. I don't really think she meant to be hurtful but it doesn't mean it didn't hurt! I think she was trying to "enlighten" me.... sigh!

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  10. Ugh, I hate when this type of thing happens. Like can't people just say something nice and move on?!

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  11. Wow. That's all I have to say about "Friend" #2. I have zero filter and I probably would of cut her off and said "are you f*cking kidding me?"

    Yeah. She needs to learn a little more kindness, a little less judgement.

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    1. I agree! I don't know what her issue was.

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  13. Some horse people are funny (and not in a good way)! Friend #2 is looking at your world through her own lens which is a distorted and narrow (and frankly irrelevant) view. We would all fail a vet check in some way! You know what your goals are for your horses and your riding, you know what your guys are capable of, you know the investment you've made in time and effort. So what anyone else thinks shouldn't matter ... but its still hurtful :-(

    Keep your chin up and to heck with Friend #2! Stick with Friend #1.

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    1. Yeah Friend #2 is out of friend rotation for a while I think haha. Thanks :)

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  14. ugh how completely unnecessary! like c'mon ppl how about you just don't say anything, mkay? i don't think you're alone at all in feeling sensitive to those types of comments. a new trainer commented once on how my horse looked a little lame before she ever even introduced herself to me. not a very nice first impression (and no, my horse was not lame, fyi)! the first friend sounds really nice tho, and hopefully the second will understand why her uninvited comments weren't well-received.

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    1. I know right? A trainer called Apollo stupid once...I was so tempted to run her over.

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