Dear Annie: I grew up horseback riding in Montana. It was something that my father and I did together, and I have such fond memories. We would trail ride under the big sky and talk for hours on end. I formed a love of nature and have found it to always be my happy pace.
In addition to loving the great outdoors as a result of this, I have a deep connection to animals. I am an attorney for animal welfare and in particular make sure that horses are being treated fairly by the horse carriages in New York City. That is where we now live — my husband, our daughter and me. It is a long way from the peace and quiet of Montana, but it seems to be where there is a need for my line of work.
Now that I am a mother, I really want to pass on the gift of riding to my daughter. The problem is that my husband is a city-born boy and doesn't understand horseback riding. More importantly, he doesn't understand the cost of riding, which, in fairness to him, is considerably more expensive in New York than in the stable where I grew up riding. We have both dug our heels in, and I refuse to not give my daughter the gift of riding. And he complains about the money we spend at the barn every time we go. What can I do? — Horseback Riding Mother
Dear Horseback Rider: Congratulations on your dedication to protecting those who can't protect themselves. There are so many advantages to horseback riding for children. In this day of screens and technology, it is a good way for kids to just get away from electronics and back into nature. It is also very hard work to care for a pony and can teach your daughter about discipline and build up her confidence. Riding is also good physical exercise.
The benefits are many; however, the cost is not something to discount. You could see if your barn will offer lessons for work. Depending on your daughter's age, sometimes barns have programs where the riders can work for their lessons. There are also great organizations that focus on horseback riding as a source of therapy. Perhaps you and your daughter could volunteer, allowing more opportunities for riding while supporting worthwhile causes.
Dear Annie: There is a person in my life who thinks I'm her best friend. She is sort of obsessed with me, and it gives me the creeps. I've tried being subtly rude, but she doesn't take the hint. She talks about me all the time to others and is always telling people we are best friends.
Usually, these people don't even ask anything about me, but she will bring me up. She is a gossip and a racist. I have moved 1,800 miles away from her, blocked her number on my phone and blocked her so that she can't see my Facebook or Instagram posts.
I have not emailed her since I moved about seven months ago. When she emails me, I reply with a very short, terse response. When I see an email from her, it completely ruins my day. I just want her out of my life! — How Do You Get Rid of Someone?
Dear Getting Rid Of: Using subtlety, or any type of hints you drop to this person, seems to have gotten you nowhere. You must be direct and straightforward and ask her not to email you or contact you any more.
It sounds like moving away from this toxic person was a good thing. Now, it is time to completely cut her out of your life. Ask her once and very directly not to contact you, and, if she continues, you should ignore her completely. No need for terse replies when no reply is better.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]
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