The ones who will make it into PNH Instructor's school aren't the Tonya Hardings of the world, I can tell you that. Every member of Parelli's organization is kind, generous, trustworthy, helpful, and truly supportive of others' goals. They are more concerned with seeing others move up in their levels than they are with their own success.
The Former Friend (FF), on the other hand, is all about themselves. More concerned with how they look in a class than what is being learned. Can't stand to look bad, not even for a second. Well, that's their problem, not mine. My goal in clinics is to learn and improve. If I look stupid doing something or make mistakes, great. The instructor will help me. That means I can learn something and be better next time. It's not a performance, for chrissakes.
FF has not contacted me since the clinic earlier this month, except to forward a couple of jokes and gloating PNH-related letters. No response to any of my emails, except for one, in which I was berated for not attending to my duties as a stall manager at the clinic. All misspellings are as it was sent to me (only the names have been changed):
I hope you can handle the truth ... the point blank honeste of what I'm about to say here....
The problem is you expected Truck and I to bring your horse like last time without checking with us to see if we could. I expected you to have already made plans. I only found out you were expecting us to get your horse there the same day you had agreed to be there from 6-9 to check people in. The system I had ... thank God ... worked out even though you were not there. I'm sure you picked up on my being a bit miffed about not being able to count on you twice. I felt bad about not being more excited for you with your passing Level One but I had plenty of other things going on and not being able to count on you really let me down. I managed to be able to do it all and ride. Dealing with the toilet problem and everything and still rode in the clinic. I expected problems from OG, and the curve balls she keep tossing out there but from you. That hurt. I already have riders volunteering to work the next clinic so it will not be a problem next time.
Congratulation on your L 1. I really should have been more supportive about that at the clinic.
Yeah, and if you were a TRUE FRIEND, my dear, THAT would have been the priority.
It's been way too hot and muggy during this heatwave to be out at the barn, so I have no idea what the atmosphere has been like. Following the clinic, we had rain, rain, and more rain, rendering the round pen half-full of green stagnant water; the arena a mud lolly, and the mare's pasture a swamp of magnanimous proportions. I've had ONE session with WF. It went well; we played the games, I gave her withers a gooooood scratching with the end of the carrot stick that had her wiggling her upper lip and reaching around to groom my "withers". Then I worked on snappier transitions and quicker responses. Then it began raining. WF looked at me as if to say we are done now, aren't we? Silly horse. It's just liquid sunshine. Until the rope gets soaked through and muddy and becomes a heavy, unwieldy and ineffective mess. And then the rain cleared up and the heatwave began, and somewhere in the middle of it my motivation dried up.
The next chapter in this sorry tale concerns the NEON Savvy Camping Trip that was supposed to take place this weekend. The bunch of us from our barn were planning to meet up with members from the Cleveland NEON group for a horse-camping trip. My inquiry as to when we were going was ignored. Then I was anonymously forwarded an excerpt from an email from FF to someone else about the trip. It was about ME (as usual, names changed to descriptions):
Truth be told I just want to take up all the room in the trailer so that Jeanne could not pull one of her last minute "When are we taking the horses?"
She already sent me a e mail: I just don't have the stomach to put up with her for a hole weekend. A Male L1 Student was so pissed about her running into him in the clinic, I know she will never be welcome at there place for play days.
BD must feel bad for her because he told her there was no wedding he had to go to after the clinic. Said he couldn't lie to her. Well, he's lied to me enough times and never felt bad about it.
Find a horse to take for someone so we can say all the trailers are full. Hell if Truck does not go I'll just say it's My Horse, BD's Horse, and NB's Horse in my trailer with BD driving. I can't wait to hear from Truck. I'll plan to call her tomorrow. I want to talk to her before Jeanne talks to her.
The duplicitous cow is as mean as a half-skinned hungry snake! Telling someone else that they should all just LIE to me, oh the trailer's full, sorry, no room for you, boo hoo. The story is that apparently I am a direct threat to FF's success and progress in PNH—total bull, b/c your progress is completely up to your level of motivation, ability, and dedication to the work—therefore, I must be stopped or delayed and put out of the competition. The idea FF has is to ruin my confidence and turn everyone against me by spreading innocuous, easily-believable lies about me that if you don't know me, you might be inclined to believe but if you did know me and my character, you'd dismiss as crazy talk. Inhibit my progress, encourage newer students to hurry up and pass me (so I'll feel what—less capable?)—sorry, but that has the opposite effect: it only makes me more motivated to work harder and pass L2, b/c if they can do that already, I certainly shouldn't have any difficulty with it since I've been at it for much longer and it feels more natural. Surprisingly, IT WORKS. Seeing how sloppily the other L1 students were performing the tasks and hearing them pass only bolstered my belief that if that's all it takes to pass, we've got this licked, sticked, and delivered!
I'd sware profusely, but this is a family Blog.
I have no intention of further associating with FF, nor with Truck or any of the people who are even hesitantly friendly to FF. Especially not the ones whose loyalties flip flop from "best buddy" to "eh, we're not on speaking terms this week" and back the next. They can't be trusted with confidences b/c they'll confide in ME when they are "out", but turn my words against me when they are let back "in". I have to wonder if that isn't also part of the master plan, b/c the timing always seems to coincide.
The ones who are completely neutral and have no association with FF other than to nod and say "hi" as they pass in the barn, or the ones who have likewise been irrevocably wronged as I have, I will continue to be friendly to. But I think that my days of buddying up in the barn are over. I am on my own. It is me and my horses and our plan and no one else's. If that means I miss a clinic due to lack of a trailer, so be it. They accept videotaped submissions at PNH.
They'll figure FF out soon enough. Hell, FF told me once that the goal for the year was that Pat Parelli himself would know their name by the end of the year. Methinks the wish may be granted—but not in the manner they were hoping. More likely, it'll be litigation-induced, not favorably induced.
Me, I keep my nose clean, and maintain honesty and integrity in all of my practices. When I say something about somebody, even if it's negative, it is ALWAYS the truth. I don't lie. Not that they would know that, because they don't know what an honest person is. And I don't believe that we can further our goals by hurting those of others. The only way to achieve success is to WORK for it honestly. We'll just see who gets their L2 first. And we'll just see who might wind up an instructor. I really don't care, it's not a competition; but time will prove who the real horsepeople are, who has the talent, and who can be trusted.