Ever had a horsey 'frenemy'?

chotty

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As title suggests really...

I have a friend - who I would honestly class as a friend, at my yard. We moved there together over a year ago, she helped me out a lot with my old horse when I had exams and dissertation and didn't have the time to go see to him every day, so I am truly grateful to have her.

I have recently (January) bought a new horse, who is my lovely little confidence giving mare. I am an extremely nervous rider due to many reasons, and now I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere, albeit slowly, with this new horse (started on lead rein, now walking trotting round school on my own, out for a little stroll down the drive with another horse/someone on foot). There was no space for my horse at the yard my friend is at when I first bought her, so for the first 3months I had her at another yard and didn't see my friend much, although we kept in contact. I've recently moved back to the yard my friend is at.

Since moving back I've ridden a few times, although not as much as I would like due to work/trying to sort out my horse's sweet itch and make her more comfortable. I was away for a few days visiting my boyfriend's parents and my friend was keeping an eye on my pony for me. I told her she could ride her out if she wanted, so that her and her boyfriend each had a horse to hack.

When I got back from my break away, she said that she had hacked my horse out and she was 'not as bombproof as I think' as she spooked and 'tried to take off' with her. She also said she tried to rear and buck! This does NOT sound like my pony at all, and I understand that she may have acted like this as she doesn't really know my friend/hasn't been on yard very long/spring grass/itchy etc... But my horse hasn't done this with me/last owner and I honestly wouldn't have bought her if she was going to be 'bad' to hack!

But now I am overthinking things when it comes to me riding her. My friend knows how nervous I am and it's sort of feels like she is exaggerating things to make it worse? I have a really sore shoulder at the moment, so picking out my horse's feet is a bit of a chore at the moment if she decides to be a pain. Friend then said to me 'oh your 'good' horse is turning out to be not so good isn't she!?' which made me annoyed as horse wasn't actually being bad, just impatient because im slow due to my shoulder and she wanted her haynet, so was trying to put her foot down. She didn't try and kick or anything, just waved her foot a tiny bit to try and get me to drop it. She soon stopped.

I then had a girl come up to view my horse to share her a couple days a week due to me now working 10 hour days. Asked friend to ride my horse once or twice round the school to show potential sharer what she was like as I know I'm very nervous and not the best example. Friend said that she would happily do it, but came out with things like 'oh I hate riding this horse..' etc when getting on in front of potential sharer - quite embarrassing for me when friend said previously that she liked riding my horse in the school!

The most recent 'comment' she has made is when a few other women at the yard, my friend and I were all talking about my nervousness, and thinking of things I can do to improve, and I was explaining that yes I'm still nervous, but im not half as nervous as I once was and I'm actually starting to enjoy riding again. I turned to my friend and said something along the lines of 'I'm a lot better than I used to be amen't I? I've come on a fair bit since my new horse' and all she could reply was 'ehh... A bit I suppose'. That hurt quite a lot as it was infront of others and this was after a conversation my friend and I had the other day about how much I had improved!

It's all getting me a bit down really. She is my friend as I say, and I really am grateful for her help, but I just think that she is sometimes a bit insensitive with her comments and either doesn't know that it is making me feel this way, or if she is deliberately doing it.

I feel like I always support her and am really enthusiastic when she talks about her plans with her horse, but now feel like its all one sided.

Sorry that was really long! Just feel like a bit of a moan today! :(

X
 

STRIKER

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Reread your thread and you will get the picture, there are bo friends where jealousy is concerned and i dont believe the horse pratted about with her, morelike she was a star and your friend couldnt stand that.

I dont understand though why you have a horse yet dont appear to have the time to keep it so resulting on others doing him and now looking for a sharer. Just seems a bit strange to me.
 

3OldPonies

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It's easy to say this, not being actually involved. but I think you need to get away from your 'friend' proper friends just don't behave like this! Having read your message twice I'm starting to think that she might a) want your pony for herself so is slagging it off (which lets face is exactly what she did in front of the potential sharer) or b) prefers you as a nervous nelly and doesn't want you to get your confidence back (the bit about the bombroof comment makes me think that). Also the fact that she says one thing to your face and another in front of others would make me wary - there could be some jealously hovering in the background, she's trying to make herself look good at your expense.

For what it's worth, I would be starting to look around for another yard and sharer, if this friend carries on like this it's not going to do too much for your confidence building, especially if others on the yard start believing her.
 
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fatpiggy

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Its up to you whether you ditch this "friend" or not, but I would strongly suggest you cultivate a few more and dilute her presence a bit. She is obviously one of those people who needs to be top dog and they don't care how many people's feelings they trample on in the process.

In the meantime if she persists in telling you about all the bad things your horse has done to her, I would suggest that you act completely surprised, continue to say she isn't like that with you and that of course, horses are very good judges of character (which indeed they are). If your horse is well behaved with you then it speaks volumes about your riding skills and attitude to the horse compared with those of the "friend". :)
 

PolarSkye

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I dont understand though why you have a horse yet dont appear to have the time to keep it so resulting on others doing him and now looking for a sharer. Just seems a bit strange to me.

And this comment just seems a little judgemental and out of order to me. Plenty of horse owners who work full time have sharers - not at all strange.

P
 

WandaMare

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She is jealous of your new horse. She must see more potential in this horse than the last one and is worried that you might overtake her now. She liked you when you were under her in the best horse competition stakes. I have had this with two 'friends'. They liked me when I had my old horse and was only able to hack gently round the lanes but when I bought my new horse they were so negative and bitchy about her I have had to distance myself from them.

Its really sad when this happens to friendships, I miss being as close to the two people that I knew. I think you need to talk to her and ask her if she is feeling a bit put out about you having your new horse and that you don't want it to spoil your friendship. Bring it out into the open to clear the air and hopefully stop her putting you and your new horse down.
 

Fides

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I had a friend like this - she was an amazing friend when I was new to owning and she could 'teach' me. As I became more independent she accused me of 'using' her and said some really cruel things. At the time I really appreciated her help, I never asked for it, she volunteered it. Now I think that she is one of those know-it-alls on the yard who like to give everyone their tuppence worth. They are nice as pie if you are their pet project though...
 

PolarSkye

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chotty - real friends don't treat people like this . . . chin up and chalk her behaviour up to her jealousy/immaturity/general unkindness.

P
 

SadKen

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She's jealous. Watch your back.

I don't really know any people like this as I stick 'em in the cooler as soon as this sort of behaviour shows a hint of appearing. I would quietly disengage from her company (not nastily, she'll be the type to hold a grudge) and find some new more reliable friends.

There are quite a lot of people like this in the world, which is why 1) I don't really like people and 2) I have only a small number of friends!
 

tiga71

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I have also had a friend like this. I think she liked it when I was a complete novice and she could tell me what to do and I listened to her. Once I started doing more than she could do with her horse and questioning what she said she got really weird. It was sad as I really appreciated all the help she gave me but she started undermining my confidence so I just moved away from her.

I would move yards or just keep a wide berth from her.
 

ClobellsandBaubles

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Probably a shot in the dark but maybe your friend is not as confident as she would like to think and maybe you flourishing with you new horse and the fact you may 'surpass' her is making her feel insecure so she is trying to dent your confidence by spreading stories about your horse so she can stay the 'more confident' one ???
 

Tiffany

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Agree it could be jealousy and maybe in a weird way your 'friend' is worried she might lose you if you get more confident and don't need to rely on her as much.

If she means a lot to you and you want to stay friends then maybe bull her up a bit saying things like I wouldn't have got this far without you, you've helped me so much, you should be pleased I'm doing so well.

Other option is to distance yourself from her.
 
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Copperpot

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She's no friend. More like someone who makes herself feel better by putting you down and knocking your confidence. She probably loved it when you relied on her and she could be the confident rider helping. Now your getting on with your new horse and finding your own feet she doesn't like it. Don't let her bring your confidence down and enjoy your new horse. I'm pretty sure the horse didn't do any of the things she said. More likely she was well behaved and your friend is jealous.
 

PolarSkye

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And, yes, chotty - I have encountered people like your "friend" . . . and in my experience they are best kept at arm's length. Crack on with your new horse . . . onwards and upwards!

P
 

smja

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This is not a real friend. Be polite, but distance yourself and remember how far your confidence has come on. Is there anyone else on the yard who's of a similar level to you that you could buddy up with instead, to go hacking/encourage each other etc.?
 

Ruth_Cymru

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Sounds to me like control thing, she keeps knocking you down to keep your confidence where she wants it- low, so that she can be the one in control. It's not a nice place to be, my advice would be to distance yourself, and not take to heart what she says. You may find that if you don't allow her to bring you down, she'll stop trying, and if she doesn't, then you'll know at least that she isn't the friend you thought she was. You sound like you're doing really well with your mare, keep doing as you're doing, and trust your instincts.
 

chotty

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Thank you all for your replies! Seems to be that you are all saying what I was starting to think... Is definitely makes a lot of sense as I don't think she has much confidence herself, albeit more than I do, so would probably quite like me to stay how I am.

I looked at different yards, and to be quite honest there's no yard as good as mine in the area unfortunately.

I'm hoping things will get better and I can distance myself a bit when I start my new job (4 day week) as I will be off for 3 days and can go up earlier in the day when she's not there.

Thank you all very much, I feel a bit better that it's not me that's the problem :) x
 

Goldenstar

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I don't do difficult friends and this ones being mean and difficult .
Don't overthink it just stop asking her to do stuff and be friendly but don't involve her in your horse .
If your enjoying your horse that's enough .
Good luck remember it's her problem not yours .
 

JLD

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Yes definitely. Really good friend but got alot of her confidence and sense of self esteem from minimizing mine ! Used my nervousness as an excuse for never doing anything with her horse ( we rode out together ) and came out with all sorts of c**p about what she had done with my horse behind my back which was all utter fabrication. I kind of knew what the score was but went with it as wasn't really that bothered what other people thought but was relieved when we ended up on different yards. Still really value her friendship it just didn't mix with the rubbish that goes on round horses !!
 

throughtheforest

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Interesting thread! She is not a good friend but myself being maybe a little naive and soft thinks that maybe she is unhappy about herself or has her own horsey related issues. As she has been great in the past, I would directly approach her about it, maybe she doesn't realize what she is saying and the impact of her words. I would distance yourself too, to make it obvious that you're no doormat.
However if she takes no notice or gets worse, I would definitely make plans to move elsewhere and carry on enjoying your lovely horse, nobody needs poisonous "friends" that could drag them down.
 

Caol Ila

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What everyone else has said.

I had a friend like this, who was one of my best mates for my second and third years of uni, but during my fourth year, things went pear-shaped and she would say things, quite out of the blue, like, "Your horse would never stay sound enough to event." Given that I (a) had no interest in eventing and (b) didn't then and don't now have any trouble with the horse being sound (knocks on wood), narky comments like this were bizarre to say the least. Or I have a collection of saddle pads with tiger stripes, galaxies, flamingos, flames, NYC subway graffiti, et. al., and this lassie would say, "My trainer would never let you ride in a lesson wearing those saddle pads. He'd tell you to get off the horse and put on a white pad." Again, as an out of the blue announcement. Uhhhh.... and I should care because...? It wasn't like I wanted lessons with her bloody hunter/jumper trainer. There were more, and sometimes they didn't have anything to do with horses. I was just learning Irish bagpipes at the time, and she announced, "If I ever have to hear those f ** ck *ing things, I am going to be so p i s s ed off." I always practiced in a soundproof practice room in the uni's music building and most certainly didn't play in public at that time, so the chances of her hearing them were precisely zero. Just weird little barbs like that -- always quite random and never very pleasant.

We sort of fell out that year. Shame, really. I still have no idea why. Nowt so queer as folk, as they say.
 

EbonyJayne

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I have a ''friend'' like this. Unfortunately I also have family members like this. It's hurtful and it gets to me sometimes but I know it's jealousy so in some ways it makes me know that I'm doing something right or they wouldn't have anything to be jealous about. I tend to just act like I don't realise they are having a dig and I think it winds them up more.
 

Spot_the_Risk

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I've had this too, and it took some real friends to point out to me that others were jealous of what I had. OP do whatever you want, when you want but IMO I wouldn't be offering your mare to your 'friend' again, and I wouldn't ask her to help at all... And this might help. When talking about you and your horse, state the positive ie I've improved loads since the mare arrived, rather than asking if others think you've improved... Don't give them the option of putting you down. Good luck and I hope you have a fab summer with your mare. :)
 

poiuytrewq

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Hi OP I totally agree with everyone else about this lady.
Be a bit careful! You sound like your doing so well confidence wise and she could really damage this.
I once used to ride with a lady who made constant comments like "oh no there's a lorry coming your horse will go mad" and so on about everything we passed and I did start to become nervous! It wasn't til someone else pointed out that I'd become a bit shaky when I hacked with a certain person that I realised!
That's all it took and I was back to normal! I knew really the horse was ok and even if he wasn't I'd always coped before it was simply constant comments getting into my head!
Try and avoid her as much as possible and good luck with your lovely sounding horse x
 

Archangel

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I have a friend - who I would honestly class as a friend, at my yard.
No, this isn't a friend, this is a cow.

When I got back from my break away, she said that she had hacked my horse out and she was 'not as bombproof as I think' as she spooked and 'tried to take off' with her. She also said she tried to rear and buck!

Your horse is telling you she is a cow as well.

Move onwards and upwards, spend time with people who enhance your life and keep that cow away from your horse.
 

Grumpy Herbert

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No, this isn't a friend, this is a cow.



Your horse is telling you she is a cow as well.

Move onwards and upwards, spend time with people who enhance your life and keep that cow away from your horse.

I agree with all of the above! It's amazing how many people take delight in knocking down everyone else's confidence. Ignore her and get on with enjoying your horse - if the horse is well behaved for you, that's all that matters. Maybe she's better behaved for you because you are a better, more sensitive rider than your 'friend'?!?
 

_EddiesMum_

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I haven't read other replies so apologies if repeating. She's not a frenemy, she's a b***h! Friends are people who support you and help you through good times and bad no matter who is around. Her helping you when you were busy does not mean you need to stick by her when she does things like that! She is being mean and deliberately spiteful! And I know exactly how you feel as this happened to me just last year. I gave a huge amount of my free time to help a friend and had it thrown back in my face when the season finished and suddenly I wasn't of any use anymore! Don't let it happen to you. You owe her nothing and she's being unnecessarily nasty to undermine your confidence as she knows its your weak spot. Call her on it and tell her it has to stop or that's it. Life is too short to fill it with people like that!
 

The_snoopster

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Have you just sat down and told her over a coffee that she is knocking your confidence with her comments. If she goes off in a huff she was never a friend to start with, she may of just been showing off infront of others with her comments making herself look better than she is, she may not know how much this hurts you and stop doing it......worth a try. If after the chat she continues to do it, knock your friendship on the head and just move on, good luck
 
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