New Friend

...Or, "How I Learned to Stop Being a Mega-Bitch."

I never intended for this blog to be all about my horse.  So, I'm going to try to make it more about "life in general... for a horseowner."  But this post is pretty heavy in the horsies.

I board the kid at a small, private barn.  It's about eight acres in deep Georgia, covered by oaks and spanish moss.  Three stalls, three bay Thoroughbred geldings.  Sounds blissful, right?  There's a dirt road into some marsh land and a relatively peaceful walk to some other peaceful roads.  It's less than a mile from my house.  The location is phenomenal.  The setup is great.  The management blows.

We've had to have talks about the importance of manure control.  When I first got there, I was all sorts of gung-ho about picking up sticks and making things pretty.  I try to clean out the single water trough at least once every two weeks.  I've cleaned and bought shavings for Archie's stall on a regular basis.  I'm so burnt out.  For the first year and a half that Archie and I boarded there, I was the sole boarder and the owner had two geldings.  She ended up euthanizing one of her geldings (horrible story) and started looking for another boarder.

So, the new boarder came and I tried to discretely tell her that, while the owner gave a great story about her intentions, she'd pretty much be expected to do her fair share to keep things clean and functioning.  It didn't go so well.  Every time after that, whenever we talked, she was telling me things.  Not asking questions, not being interested, but like I had a problem - couldn't ride my horse, wasn't riding my horse enough, wasn't brave enough for my horse, shouldn't be giving my horse this supplement, blah blah blah.  I'm at the point that I don't even say hello to her.  If she's there, I ignore her.  Literally.  She asked about riding Archie.  I gave her an explicit no.

The boarder is a poor college kid with a part time job.  I won't get into how I have no sympathy, though I should be the perfect person for such sympathy.  As a result of her financial and time constraints, she decided to lease her horse out.  When that rider started showing up, I blew her off.  It wasn't intentional - I didn't set out to make her uncomfortable or not want to be there.  It was just the chain of events.  I hate the person that she's connected to.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I was driving to the barn.  The lessee is normally there on Wednesdays, so I was hoping I'd see her.  She was and I did.  We ended up hanging out for about two hours, which started with me apologizing for being standoffish.  I explained that I didn't care for the boarder and that carried over.  We ended up having a lot in common - a history in hunter/jumper with a recent passion for dressage.  Same age, same car.  She wants to go into the same field as my husband.  And she watched me ride the kid and was so incredibly complimentary.  She talked about how he's a giant asshole in the field, but completely different when we ride.  How well we communicate.  How springy his trot is and how smooth the transitions were.  I talked about how important it is to be assertive with him, to be the boss.  How he'll get pissed off and you have to keep pushing forward.  And he actually showed her what I was talking about!

We have a date to ride together on Monday.  I'm actually really looking forward to it.  It's been a while since I had an equestrian friend who did what I do.  Everyone else I know is all into Western and thinks I'm crazy for how spoiled my horse is.


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