While Amanda was laying the groundwork to get her foot in the door, I was taking her word that all of this was genuine. I wasn't inclined to throw her the kind of lifeline I had offered Jessica but I was being my usual self expressing my opinions when I had them. As long as Amanda shared about her life, I shared my two cents worth giving her some much needed guidance.
It was easy to see that Amanda was putting the cart before the horse. In addition she was all over the place. Her life lacked focus and a reasonable plan and she squandered time like it was an unlimited resource. There was no way she was ever going to realize the dreams she claimed she wanted with her coping skills. I did not try to change her or judge her but I did offer my perspective. I also wondered what it might take for her to see she was getting in her own way.
Considering what Amanda said she wanted and where she was at this time in her life, I thought she might benefit from a little glimpse of the other side. Having been on the outside of such a dream at one time, I offered her something I thought might inspire her. I let her ride Legs. (The only other time Legs had been ridden at this time was my first time on a horse after my third surgery)
It wasn't all that much of a ride but he was his usual charming self. He took care of her and she seemed thrilled but then I didn't hear from her for an unusual amount of time afterwards.
To me it looked like this had the opposite effect from what I'd expected. For a person who claimed she dreamed of competing successfully on the Arabian show circuit but knew nothing about collection, riding a horse like Legs should have inspired a thirst for more and with that should have come some much needed focus. Instead she stayed home and surfed the internet and supposedly studied for a real estate license which she still does not have.
I could explain her reasoning but I don't think it will contribute any understanding towards what happened here. I only mention this story about Legs because I think her reaction should have told me something. Instead I wrote it off as a personal quirk when I should have run for the hills. Had I listened to that little voice telling me once again something didn't fit, I could have spared myself a lot of heartache. Instead I came another step closer to a wreck.
Right from the start she expressed a desire to help with the horses and the farm but she couldn't afford the gas to come here. She repeatedly mentioned she wanted to help me if she could only be here so I offered her gas money telling her to let me know when she needed more.
On one of her trips she helped me with Andy, a young stallion with a dangerous method of play. I posted about the day she worked with him. She spent some time with him but not an inordinate amount, seems like maybe twenty minutes or so. As sick I was, I was grateful to have any help with him. My perception of the work was flawed. The problem was in no way solved. Had I been well, I would have realized that. His behavior unusual, the solution would be unusual too and not anything Amanda would have in her bag of tricks although she wanted me to believe otherwise.
The work she did was something new for him and a helpful cue but it only helped long enough for him to figure out how to avoid it. Like any other horse Andy needed all of the wrong things blocked so the only thing left was the right thing. That was not going to happen with a simple back cue. However, at this time I was giving Amanda more credit than she had coming. That skewed perspective certainly influenced my decision making about Amanda.
Other than that one time, Amanda did not express another interest in working with Andy or any other stallions at this time. In hindsight I see it like Jessica's ploy with the stall mats. She did enough to convince me she would be useful then quit helping. The similarity between them got lost amidst all the differences. The hope there was much needed help overshadowed the reality.
Amanda only made a couple of trips here on my dime when she claimed she was not comfortable taking my money since I was the one mentoring her. Looking back I suspect this was more about her not wanting to work than respect for me in anyway. Hindsight always is the most insightful view and it certainly is the case with Amanda but even knowing the outcome the story is worth telling. I learned a lot over this year.
Maybe the most monumental lesson to date came in the realization that "neediness" in one form or another has hooked me. Even as a child I was drawn towards rescuing strays and hindsight tells me I have not outgrown that tendency.
Poor Chase and Chance ended up in their situation because of the soft spot I had for Heather Davis Kohl. I actually witnessed some pretty difficult times for her at horse shows when she was a kid. That history caused me to want to help her. With some guidance and a desire to learn, she could have so much more but instead she chose to carry on the legacy and my horses paid for my inclination to rescue needy humans like her. Afterwards I understood how I had put my horses ar risk and vowed not to make that mistake again but I didn't realize how this tendency made me vulnerable until after I got sick and the vultures swarmed in.
Writing this story has opened my eyes to aspects I hadn't realized until the patterns have jumped at me from the screen. Guess it only made sense that could be the result of writing, just as it made sense there would be those who used my desire to help others to their advantage. I can definitely see how it came into play with Amanda. I got sucked in and didn't see it coming. I should have been protecting myself and instead I was trying to help another young woman who really didn't want what she claimed. Unfortunately Amanda was not the only needy young woman contacting me. There was one more laying her cards on the table right next to Amanda's last spring and she would leave her mark here too. It was definitely open season at Rising Rainbow Arabians.
To be continued.....
Enter Stage Left - More Trouble