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Struggling with forgiveness horse related



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I am extroverted and out going but only have a very few close friends. I value those relationships deeply.

One of my closest, M, is about 10 years older, a fellow horse and animal lover, never married and fairly low income as background.

For nearly 2 years I let her ride my extra horse because she couldn't afford her own due to some financial setbacks. I never asked her to pay for gas and of course I was the one that did all the cleaning out of the trailer etc since I hauled to a riding place sort of between where we live. My logic was, she can't afford it and I had to haul anyway.

She bought a miniature horse that is trained to drive but M didn't know anything about that so I did many sessions working with them since she can't afford a trainer.

Then, I had some health problems and had to send my horses to board somewhere for awhile while I healed as I couldn't do the chores. 4 months.

It was expensive to send 2 to a big full care barn so I asked if she could take care of the gentle older horse of mine she always rode (she has lots of land and a barn setup) and I would send the more difficult to handle young one to a barn. She refused so I wound up sending both of them to another friends place and the older horse developed terrible feet problems due to the mud on his place, which took a year to heal. I couldn't afford to send them both to the expensive barn.

So, my feelings were hurt, especially since I was going to pay for all feed, shoeing etc I just couldn't do farm work due to advanced tennis elbow.

I decided I needed to let it go, and just accept that "it is what it is". Her reason was she has 2 goats and was worried that my well behaved, submissive gelding would kick her goats.

So that was all a year ago. I since sold the younger horse, for a variety of reasons. It was out of my mind until recently.

A few weeks ago, M bought/rescued a unknown horse from a feedlot. While rescue is awesome, it really got under my skin that she would take a chance on an unknown horse that she hadn't even met in person, does not know it'd level of training or goat readiness, but wasn't willing to help me.

I generally don't hold grudges, but this has gotten to me and I can't help but notice that it changes my feelings and level of trust toward her.

I don't have so many close friends that I want to let any go, but I feel myself being fakey in my excitement for her. Of course once she gets this horse going, she'll want me to go on easy training rides, so my sweet old gelding will keep her safe (inexperienced horses get confidence from the older calm steady ones).

I want to let it go, why can't I?

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Because what she did was messed up, that's why. I don't have any positive suggestions - I'm the type who strongly believes "show me who you are and I'll believe you" and in this case she has shown you who she is. You let her ride so long and facilitated her riding free of charge and when you need her to help you out for a little while she can't but turns around and does that...in my book she would be cut off. Reduced to a hi and bye friend. I am sorry you have to deal with this as you seem like a sweet person. I hope you find resolve.

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Because you've been a real friend to her, and when you needed her to be a friend to you, she wouldn't. And it hurts. And she wasn't a friend to your gelding, either, and that hurts worse.

I have a friend who has horses (I don't), and I love them. She knows if hers ever need anything I'll do it. Loving a horse is like loving a human, it requires responsibility.

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Because what she did was completely bone headed and selfish. It sounds like she has done nothing at all to help you. Unacceptable!

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Unfortunately some people are not able to live up to our expectations for ourselves. Sounds like your a really kind and giving person and she's just not quite there. You have to decide if that's something you can live with, and lower your expectations. There is no right or wrong here, your feelings count.

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I am so sorry you have experienced this.

It sounds to me like you have different values and expectations. Definitely look at how you define friendship.

She sounds more like an acquaintance who felt free to take advantage of your kindness than a friend.

I am squarely in the: "life is too short" and "it's not the quantity but the quality that counts" when it comes to relationships after all of my many years.

A book I highly recommend is Melodie Beattie's "The Language of Letting Go". It was really helpful in helping me come to terms with how to let go of some pretty dysfunctional relationships.

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PS, To give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she wasn't able/capable to take care of your horse when you needed her to but is able to care for a rescue now. Even if she isn't I think it would be better that she said "no" to you than said "yes" but then neglected your horse.

People and circumstances do change.

Holding on to a resentment only hurts you.

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I don't blame you one bit for being upset. You are justified in your feelings. Seems that she has the energy and money for things she wants such as the goats, miniature horse and now the rescue horse. All those animals take time, energy and some money to feed. After all you have done for her it seems such a small thing for her to have taken in one of your horses while you were unable to care for them.

I guess you just have to decide if the friendship is worth it. It is a personal decision and a difficult one. I think we all want our friends to be there for us when we need it- you were there for her that's for sure.

I wish you luck and wisdom in deciding what to do.

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She is a good friend, but she has a self image or world view of independence which is, ask no favors. Like she is proud of her independence. When this initially happened I did some self examination. I did not do "favors" expecting anything back. I thought I had come to peace with just accepting that we are different types, I am a giver and while she is not a manipulative"taker" she isn't a giver either. I decided that I would simply adjust my view of our friendship and in truth have spent less time with her over the last year. I think that has bothered her, but it has been difficult to discuss because whenever it gets even close, she mentions about my horse, and not being sure he is safe with goats since he has never lived with them. One of the many reasons I wound up selling the younger more difficult horse is because of the realization that I needed more help (in small ways) and I wasn't benefiting from owning two. My old man is 25 in a month and I fear approaching retirement so I do have some decisions to make, aside from this friendship.

What brought it all to the surface was her taking on this project horse that she can't really afford (it needs professional training etc.) when she could have kept my older horse, on my dime. My older horse is that special one of a kind who likes to "go" but keeps you safe whether it is hanging off the side of a mountain, galloping the open beach, or navigation urban environments (I rode him in a very noisy parade, for example).

Anyway,it isn't about the horses, it is about the fact that I feel hurt and intellectually I know I am hanging on to this -and which I thought I was over it- it does me no good. If she were an all around lousy friend, it would be easy, but she isn't. And it takes me a very long time to let someone get this close to me.

I gave up another friend because she put my life in danger on a technically difficult ride due to her explosive temper. At first, I just scaled back my rides with her, but the day she screamed at me just because I called her phone at a bad time was the last straw. She apologized profusely the next day, especially since it was in the context of me doing a favor for her, but it was the last straw and we are no longer friends. This lady, T, has ruined 2 horses that I know of due to her temper and it has cost her many friendships so it was easier to let go since I just didn't want that toxic personality around me anymore. A very different situation.

Anyway,I do want to let it go and be happy and hopeful for M that she can make the feedlot horse workout, but I do not feel genuine and I want to get over it.

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She demonstrated what she thinks of you. You are not obligated to be her friend.

“Toxic people will pollute everything around them. Don’t hesitate. Fumigate.”
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

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@@CowgirlJane, M behaved badly. She could have brainstormed with you to find a way that she could have helped when you were out of commission. Alas, there's no snapping of fingers to get past the hurt-resentment-anger-disappointment, whichever thereof. Since you find value in aspects of your friendship, you may get past the bad feeling by reining in the interaction to the good parts.

I have a situation with a couple of friends with similar effect. It revolves around my now and then being given comp tickets to performances (concerts, dance, theater). Two of these friends whom I've invited on occasion have responded with a stinginess that just irritates and neither is strapped financially. Like you, I don't expect anything in return, but I can't imagine having a friend invite me to an event and my not treating for dinner or whatever we stop for before or after. To me it's the same as borrowing a car and not returning it with a full tank regardless of how much of the gas I used. It just isn't done; it's unthinkable to me; it's the unspoken training at my father's knee. All this came to mind a few months ago. I decided then to eliminate the two people from my list for these comp events. There is much that I value in our associations and I don't want the good to be discolored. At the same time, I can't help but wonder if I'm "wrong" and their conduct is acceptable. My primary invitee is my very closest friend and we reciprocate by various methods; he, too, often invites me to events.

Edited by WLSResources/ClothingExch

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In the past year, I have learned to let go of a good many friendships. I've learned that it's okay for me to let go of toxic people. If someone doesn't treat you or your friendship with the same values and respect, you no longer have to entertain that relationship. You're entitled to your feelings after all you've done for her. Just out of curiosity, have you considered talking to M about your feelings on the matter?

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I'm sorry that happened. Horses are expensive and a lot of work. It bothers me that she didn't help you with yours, feeding, cleaning after rides. Not to mention the expense.

I don't understand her not helping when you needed it, then rescued one. Maybe she rescued it using her heart not her mind and made a hurried decision. That is still no justification.

My suggestion is to not make a decision today. Sit on it a couple of days then go with your heart. Sometimes I forgive and forget, I just get over it and feel ok about it. Sometimes I don't. If that's the case I go with my feelings. Then I would be through riding with her.

Have you thought of calling her and saying "there is something bothering me. I asked you to blah blah and you said no, and now you have blah blah and it really hurt my feelings?" After talking to her you will probably have a clear picture of what you want to do.

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Sound advice.

When I was getting ready for the surgery I am now recovering from, I had to line up help. M asked me what I was going to do about my horse and I didn't even mean to say it, it slipped out and I said "I knew you wouldn't take him for a month so this is my plan....blah blah". This was before she had decided to take on the rescue. She said in a very intense tone "I love him, I want you to know I would help with him, but I am afraid for my goats ". I just let it pass because any horse person knows that a basically docile horse just needs exposure and see how they do. My horse has tolerated dogs, small children and uninformed people to get under him, get in his way etc and he is truly the type that does anything to avoid harming or stepping on or kicking or anything like that. He is a very good boy.

As I mentioned I had made a sort of peace with the whole goat thing until she brought home the sight unseen feedlot horse. Rescuing an animal is a very good thing, done it myself, but it made the goat thing a little harder to swallow.

I am just belaboring the story, so I think i need to stop thinking about it for awhile and see if maybe in time I can just let it go.

I am surprised at myself because I am not a grudge holder and I am not even angry, I think the words used by others - disappointment and hurt are probably more accurate.

I'm sorry that happened. Horses are expensive and a lot of work. It bothers me that she didn't help you with yours, feeding, cleaning after rides. Not to mention the expense.

I don't understand her not helping when you needed it, then rescued one. Maybe she rescued it using her heart not her mind and made a hurried decision. That is still no justification.

My suggestion is to not make a decision today. Sit on it a couple of days then go with your heart. Sometimes I forgive and forget, I just get over it and feel ok about it. Sometimes I don't. If that's the case I go with my feelings. Then I would be through riding with her.

Have you thought of calling her and saying "there is something bothering me. I asked you to blah blah and you said no, and now you have blah blah and it really hurt my feelings?" After talking to her you will probably have a clear picture of what you want to do.

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Do you pray? Do you have a God box?

It sounds a little Whoo Whoo, but it works for me.

Write on a piece of paper what you are concerned about/what you want to let go/forgive/resent and date it. Pray, turning it over to God asking God to bring you resolution and peace and then place the paper in the box.

It can be remarkably freeing.

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