Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Breakup - Part 9

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Besides deciding that I needed to end my trainer-student relationship with Paula, I also decided that I would not do it over the phone. I wanted to meet her at the barn and try to break it to her as softly as I could. I called her and she didn't pick up her phone, so I left a message saying that I wanted to talk to her at the barn. That afternoon I went to the barn and talked to the barn manager.

The situation at the barn was that there was no single trainer there. With permission of the barn manager a boarder could bring in any trainer for lessons. The trainer and the barn then entered into a contract where the trainer would pay the barn a fee for each lesson they taught. Also, there were three barns - two that were close to the arenas and one that was up the hill and was a partial self-care barn. Paula was boarding her horse at this "upper" barn, so besides seeing her for lessons I would frequently see her either down at the arena barns or I'd see her car up at the Upper Barn.

I didn't see Paula's car that day, but decided I needed to talk to the barn manager anyway. We went into her office and shut the door. I explained the situation, and how I thought it was going to be something that needed to be handled delicately. I stressed that I wanted to tell Paula myself, so I asked that the barn manager not say anything to her. I knew that Paula would be very upset, that she might create a scene and try to have me thrown out of the barn, or try to prevent Justine from teaching me there. I told her that I wasn't trying to make any trouble, that I just wanted to make a change. Since she new Paula, the barn manager completely understood my concerns and told me that she'd be discreet. She told me to have Justine contact her so they could sign the contracts.

I rode my horse, and still didn't see Paula. This was before I had a cell phone so I didn't have any way of hearing from her, so I left the barn. It turns out that shortly after I left, Paula arrived. Someone at the barn (you know the type) couldn't wait to tell Paula that I had been in the barn manager's office with the door shut. Being paranoid anyway, Paula went into the office to ask why I had been in there. The barn manager said it was between me and her. Paula became agitated, saying that if one of her students was having a problem that she had a right to know. The barn manager told Paula that she needed to talk to me about it.

Paula might have been paranoid, but she was not stupid. Between my vague details of the show and her conversation with the barn manager, she knew what was going on. She asked the barn manager "She is going to use Justine as her new trainer, isn't she?" The barn manager repeated that Paula needed to talk to me about that. Paula then said "Well, you certainly aren't going to let Justine teach here are you?" and the barn manager said "If she wants to teach here, she will be more than welcome." When Paula said "You can't do that!" the barn manager, who was starting to become a bit angry, said "I can, and I will, if that's what she wants!"

Although Paula knew what I wanted to talk to her about she did not call me back.

The next day I saw her car at the Upper Barn as I pulled into the barn parking lot. When I got out of my car the barn manager came quickly out to tell me that Paula knew that I was going to use Justine as a trainer. Apologizing, she said that she did not tell her, told me that Paula had heard that we had talked from one of the boarders, and then gave me the details of their uncomfortable conversation. I told her that it wasn't her fault, and thanked her for giving me the heads up. Then I drove to the Upper Barn to talk to Paula.

To be continued...

Part 10


Anonymous said...

Oh, you have no idea how much I look forwards to your blog entries, and this one is so far taking the cake!

Can't wait for the next installment...


ponytails u.k said...

Come on, dont leave me hanging on,I want to know what happened !

Mrs Mom said...

Me, three!

So many of us have been in situations like this. It is refreshing to see it handled tactfully but with no non-sense.

Looking forward to Part 10!

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr