In a seemingly idyllic world of trail riding and bonding with horses, the Original Poster (OP) finds herself at the heart of a big controversy. A conflict over suitability and sensitivity erupts when a heavier friend demands to ride OP’s older horse, creating a divide within their circle of friends. As a surprise twist brings about a potential resolution, the tensions start to unwind, but will it mend the frayed bonds?
The Aging Horses
OP has two older horses, but one is significantly older and smaller, closer to the size of a pony. Despite her age and minor back and hip issues, the older horse is well-conditioned, muscular, and enjoys rides up the steep mountains.
A Woman and Her Horse
Being on the lighter side, OP becomes her perfect companion on difficult mountain terrains. Together, they navigate rocky paths, traverse narrow ridges, and bask in the breathtaking vistas that await them at the mountaintop.
A Delicate Balance
When OP’s friends join for riding, they are assigned the older horse while OP takes the younger, more sensitive one. The older horse, albeit less sensitive, needs special attention due to her age and back issues. Because of this, OP is selective about the riders to ensure the horse isn’t overburdened, especially on steep rides.
The Heavyweight Friend
A friend of OP, who weighs over 200 pounds and knows little about horses, expresses interest in joining a ride. OP politely refuses, citing the horse’s limitations and the friend’s weight, prioritizing the well-being of both her horse and her friend’s safety over any potential discomfort or offense.
Offer to Groom Instead
Instead of riding, OP offers the friend an opportunity to groom and spend time with the horses on the ground. Not understanding OP’s concerns, the friend accuses her of body shaming, unable to see the genuine intention behind the offer.
The friend argues that if the horse can handle OP’s weight and the strenuous rides, she should also be able to ride. OP firmly retorts, highlighting that her horse isn’t a machine but an animal with physical limitations.
The friend is furious with OP’s refusal, and accusations ensue, leading to a halt in communication. This incident strains their friendship, creating a visible rift. Amid the silence, OP is left questioning the situation while the friend maintains her resentment.
The Court of Friends
The incident soon reaches OP’s other friends, sparking heated discussions about whether one ride could harm the horse. Some side with the friend, saying OP is unreasonable about her weight, while others empathize with OP’s concerns and recognize the importance of considering the horse’s well-being in such situations.
A Question of Suitability
Standing her ground, OP argues that bigger people can certainly enjoy horse riding, but they need a horse that can comfortably carry their weight. She insists her horse isn’t suitable for her heavier friend.
An Unresolved Issue
Although a few months old, the incident continues to surface among OP’s friends, igniting the same debates each time. OP seeks advice on whether her actions were justified, stirring the pot again.
Despite the ongoing conflict, OP reveals her love for sharing her horses with her friends. She regrets not having bigger, younger horses to accommodate all her friends. Her bigger friends have appreciated their time with the horses on the ground.
An Unfortunate Limitation
The size of her friend and other factors limit OP’s ability to take everyone riding, reinforcing the divide between OP and her friends. The size issue remains a thorny topic with no easy solution, highlighting the complexities of balancing personal boundaries, safety considerations, and maintaining friendships in the face of differing perspectives.
The Search for a Suitable Horse
Amid the conflict, one of OP’s friends, who understands her predicament, secretly decides to look for a suitable horse for the heavier friend. However, whether this would mend the rift in the friendships and appease the disgruntled friend remains uncertain.
Was The Horse Owner’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP reflects on her decision, which was in the horse’s best interest. Wondering if there was a better way to handle the situation, she posts her story online for feedback. Here are some of the responses from the readers in the community forum:
One reader said, “The animal’s welfare comes before someone’s feelings. It’s a bad situation you found yourself in, but you did the right thing.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “As a plus-size rider, I believe an older, pony-sized horse is not an appropriate mount for a heavier beginner.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “It’s your horse, and you know their limitations. It is your decision ultimately.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another person commented, “I am a horse person, and I would not be putting a 200-pound person on something smaller than a draft cross.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.