Trust A Stranger or Never Trust Anyone

January 13, 2010
We all have moments in our lives where we stop and wonder what just happened. We all feel like we cannot take it back no matter how hard we try, we need to move on. I bet your mind just went back to that moment and you whish you could change your descion. The problem is we cannot change what happened in the past but we need to push on and dare ourselves to correct our mistakes in our future, even if that is outside of your comfort zone. Everybody has this moment, some will change us and some will break us. And some of us will sit there and act like nothing has ever happened, that our life has always been like this.
My anticipation was running as high as the clouds in the sky, and my emotions were running in one confused ball in my head. I wonder how different this barn will be, I thought with slight curiosity. It was my second time to switch barns. The last barn I went to was called Sam Houston. I had no real reason to quit Sam Houston besides the fact that my parents refused to drive anywhere outside the loop. When I was told this I was surprised by the fact but elated. No more long drives to go to the barn; I only got to ride twice a week because my parents refused to drive out there everyday. I mean who would want to drive from their home an hour and half everyday just so your son/daughter can go to the barn?
Before I was able to grasp my mind around this fact that the barn would be ten minutes away it was time to go to the Houston Polo Club. When I got in the car I wasn’t expecting to feel queasy because of my nerves, but they staked their place in the middle of my stomach. I couldn’t get over this feeling for most of the car ride, but before I knew it we were pulling into the long, bumpy driveway. The polo fields were nice and lush, yet they held a forbidden aura. Everything about this day was new: the barn, the trainer, and my boots, even my helmet. The trainer, Eliza, was probably in her mid-thirties, with cropped brown hair, and grey eyes. Every trainer is different but Eliza was like the trainer at Sam Houston, the only difference was that she has us point are toes out. I was kind of confused by this fact. Even though I was sort of appalled, I was nine so I threw all of my trust at her…. the thing nine year olds do. I figured if I were about to fall she would be there to catch me, no strings attached. Everything in my mind was simple and had no worries. I could not wait to start riding with Eliza; maybe she can lead me to do great things!
As the years progressed my horsemanship got better and I would know more about Eliza then I intended to know. I ended up showing my friend, Maddy, this barn and we rode almost everyday together. I realized that the covered arena at the end of our side of the barn was called Memorial Park Hunters. Whenever my mom would drop me off early I would sit on one of the tack trunks and watch the horse and riders jump the intricate courses. If it was a bad day for them I could hear their trainer yelling at them. I would have loathed being in their positions. Honestly, I have no idea how they could stand their trainer almost always yelling at them! I was positive Eliza would have never done something like that unless I wasn’t listening at all, maybe not even then…
A half a year passed and my desire to see what Memorial Park Hunter’s barn was like was growing. The most I knew about it was that Eliza didn’t like us washing our horses like they do or holding our rains as short, or using our crop. The only way we were allowed to use our crop was if we absolutely needed it, which was almost never since she had her horses trained to where they couldn’t blink unless she told them to. I almost loathed Memorial Park Hunter’s because while we would have to sit at home while it rained they were still riding under their arena, and when it was sonny and we were sweating like we just climbed up a mountain at full speed they were shaded. Though I loathed them I still had my own payback. They got the tough, mean trainer while I got the sweet trainer.
My obsession with their barn grew until I figured out the trainer’s name. Her name was Patty Roberts and she trained the family friend’s nieces. Apparently, they made it all the way to nationals with her. If I had the chance to interview them I would but I never got the chance. I was a demanding little twelve year old… I demanded that my parents should research this barn so just maybe I could try something new. It ended up taking days for my mom and dad to figure out what this barn was made of. Finally, someone had the genius idea of googling the barn. They did have a website but it was nearly helpless. All their website had was the barn’s name and phone number. Though this doesn’t seem like much to the average viewer to my family and I it was like we hit the leprechaun gold pot. It only took a couple of days to configure, but I was going to try out the new barn in a couple of weeks.
I am finally at a new barn. A new place, different people; this is my time to start fresh. The greatest are always the toughest, the ones who work the hardest. Those people are the ones who make you into something more. And they are always the ones who are the most unpredictable. I switched to a new barn, Memorial Park Hunters. The horses were magnificent, they moved with such grace and when they jumped you could see every muscle in their body move. The trainer and the “head honcho” of the barn was Patty Roberts. She trained with best and worked with the best, there is no telling what her limitations were. When I got there this tall, dirty blonde, girl walked up to me. Could this really be the famous Patty Roberts? I asked myself.

“Hey, I’m Evan. You can go get Sonny out, he’s over there,” Evan said in a high voice. I watched her long, tan arm extend and point to where Sonny was supposed to be.

“Um, okay,” I said in a feeble voice. Apparently everybody knows you even if you are the new one. I walked over to were Sonny was supposed to be. When I grabbed his halter I saw that the name on his halter said George. Confused, I walked into his stall and put the halter on. Sonny was not the most spectacular horse I have ever seen, I was judgmental but he was the right height for a twelve year old with ridiculously long legs. I was not expecting the best horse in the barn; I mean I just started here. For all they know I have never seen a horse in my life. He was at the very least seventeen hands high, chestnut, and he had a white marking on his face. When I took Sonny up to the cross ties Evan explained all that I needed to do to get prepared. I felt like she did not understand that I worked with horses before. While she was explaining everything I needed to know I got distracted and started looking at the scenery. It was spectacular, even though my recent barn was on this property I never really got to see this barn, only when I was walking over to the field.
Everybody says that the grass is greener at the other side, but its different when you experience it. The grass seems to be more lush and when you look back to where you came from you are condescending because you know your better then them, but the truth is you are just as bad when you do it. When you see people that you know and you are close to you get scared and try to bring them over they resist. All you can do is sit there and wait. You know you can try harder but you don’t do anything.
When I was finally ready for my lesson I was confused by the way they do things. I was told they taught differently then Eliza but I wasn’t expecting to figure out the difference so quickly. I thought it would at the very least take a couple of more days.
Patty Roberts intimidated me, I would walk by and I could hear her yell at people because they were not meeting her expectations. And her expectations were high since she trained with only the best. I thanked the Lord that I was able to start with Evan and not Patty. Who knows how badly I would fall. It took me months to relearn everything I had learned, we were starting from scratch. It turns out Eliza never had her degree to teach me how to jump higher than eighteen inches; I never had a chance at the Olympics with her. Nothing could have made me feel so awful, my dreams were crushed but I might still have a chance with Patty but how can I trust her if Eliza betrayed me, how do I know Patty is not going to do the same thing?
Eliza may not have betrayed me in the same way that most people would think but the realization still hit me like a rock in the stomach. The fact was that I trusted her and expected her to take me far. When I would talk to Eliza I understood she was a great trainer in her own way but she made it out for me to believe that she would be the trainer to take me to the Olympics or even the McClays. In my mind this was like betrayal.
Now that I am older I can look back on this story and I have learned so much from it. I have been training with Patty Roberts for three years now and she no longer intimidates me, she actually has quite a personality. I learned that some people may betray us simply because they want to protect us. They have all the right intentions but they go about it the wrong way. We all do this to the people we love or want to protect from any harm. I have also learned to be careful about who to trust and how much trust I put into people. I forgave Eliza for everything and I still see her almost everyday. Even though Eliza was not the right trainer for me I know she is the right trainer for my friend. I admit though I still have those childish moments where I just want to throw my trust at a complete stranger.





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