Amanda Wright who also goes under the name Mannuq Arabians appeared delighted to get those magazines. While here, she got her first opportunity to see Leg's get and we talked about my breeding program, my illness and my experiences with Kelly Panowicz and Crystal Baker as well as the problems with Jessica. Her visit lasted several hours, too many really, considering the state of my health but it felt good to talk horses and not to be alone.
Like Jessica, I saw Amanda as someone whose life was a mess but I did not see myself as being in the position to be helping anyone at this point. I had learned a lot from the ordeal with Jessica but not enough to identify the similarities in how they both worked me. That would only come much later.
While Jessica was here I did get a better understanding of my physical limitations and how they affected my life. I had wanted to believe I would bounce quickly and it was OK to push myself beyond my limits. Instead I had learned that doing so only set me back. The day Amanda had been here had taken me nearly a week to recover from and it was typical of any exertion by me. I knew my first responsibility was to my family and my horses. If I ever wanted to recover so I could do right by them, I needed to take good care of myself. I could not do that if I was giving myself away. Jessica had taken a lot of energy and caused a lot of stress. Neither of which was good for my recovery. I had no intentions of going down that road again so I was not looking to help anyone but me and my family. Even if I had felt so inclined, Amanda would not have been the object of such intentions. We just did not have that kind of connection.
I really didn't think much about the length of that visit in the context of what it might say about her. I know other visitors always seemed to cut their stays short, out of concern for me, even though I always insisted I was fine not wanting them to leave yet. There was no such concern from Amanda but I didn't notice that until much farther down the road. I do remember always wishing she would go long before that time actually came. Being a person who enjoys talking, I am not used to breaking off a conversation so I didn't know how to end her visits without hurting her feelings. Instead I sat through them trying to be polite but hoping she would go at least a couple of hours before she actually did.
Never once did it occur to me those long stays might indicate a lack of concern. Maybe that was because she expressed a desire to want to help me and I thought concern was a part of that. Instead I have come to realize that "desire to help" has been a way in with me, a way to convince me I could trust her or others with similar claims. I wrote her lengthy visits off to a lack of social graces instead of seeing them as the disregard for my condition that they actually were.
There were other reasons than my health for me not being inclined to want to help Amanda like I had wanted to assist Jessica. There was a lot I didn't know about Amanda and what I did know put me off. Her circle of friends was very different from mine and the differences were monumental to me considering what had already happened here.
Those circles in the horse industry tend to revolve around particular breeders or trainers, sometimes both. In Amanda's case there seems to be an appreciation for a different kind of horse, training methods and sometimes even ethics. It tends to be a much younger crowd and I am old, opinionated and set in my ways. All of that seemed good reason for me to stick to my world while she stuck to hers.
Despite these feelings I still communicated with Amanda. Maybe it was the isolation I felt or maybe it was because I felt an obligation to the breed to teach her if possible, either way the door was open so she gradually changed my mind about her. Once again I ignored my instincts and allow someone in who caused nothing but harm.
During those initial conversations, I remember asking about her circumstances because what I perceived suggested she was not really in a position to be leasing for the purpose of breeding. My instincts turned out to be correct. She had no job or means of support and she was living in an old camper on an old man's rundown farm. Learning about the camper made me wonder what she could even have done with the cases of magazines I'd given to her whether she really wanted them or not. I remember a little twinge that something did not fit but didn't really know what to do with it. Even today I don't know what to think except that it is a question in my mind. I find myself wondering if the magazines were just a way to get an invite to my farm but I will never know. I do believe she is capable of such calculations.
She did have a car, a rundown old Chevette that sounded like it was critical. It wasn't pretty with an assortment of faded quarter panels showing it had a tough life. Normally an old car would not bother me but the worst part of this one was you could hear it coming before she ever turned down my road because of a bad muffler.
In hindsight I think the fact she could drive that noisy beast with no regard for how the noise affected the neighbors, hers or mine, says plenty about her lack of regard for anyone but herself. Granted she is poor but I and others have been there and not allowed our issues to affect the quality of life of those around us. For me that muffler would have been repaired immediately or I sure wouldn't have driven that thing during hours when people might be sleeping until it had. But that is me, Amanda believed anyone who didn't like it, could just deal with it. It didn't strike me how selfish her attitude was until her car was disturbing my neighbors on a regular basis. Then I was embarrassed I hadn't realized the impact her behavior had on them. As much as I hated being awakened by her car, I hated the fact it was disturbing my neighbors more. That's when I began to realize how selfish her attitude was.
Nothing about her circumstances suggested she should be breeding horses. She was barely meeting her basic needs.
Being outspoken is something most people know about me so I don't think that Amanda was surprised when I told her my opinion that it would be irresponsible of her to lease and breed a mare when her financial resources were slim to none. She appeared to take this in the spirit it was given but claimed she would soon have a job that made her idea feasible.
The job never did materialize but it was the way Amanda handled input from me that made me think she genuinely cared about horses. To me that is an important factor in whether I allow someone close or not. So many claim to love horses but only have them as an extension of their ego instead of genuine caring for the animals. In hindsight I realize Amanda is just another of those talking horses,selling an identity. As the story unfolds I believe you will see there is no genuine caring there.
Maybe it was in the context of selling that ruse that she confessed the reason she had left the area so abruptly. There had been a deadly accident involving horses in her care. A stallion got loose attacking another stallion in a stall. The latter horse was euthanized due to its injuries. The owner of the former horse blamed Amanda and she appeared to do the same. She appeared contrite and she claimed she liquidated her horses and left the area planning never to own horses again because of the pain this incident caused. She appeared sincere but it is another one of those things that looks differently in hindsight. At the time, however, I felt sorry for her. Maybe that's what caused my perception to begin to change. Whatever it was, it was a long, slow process before I trusted her enough to offer her a place to stay.
To be continued....
Grooming....and It's Not Just for Horses