Dear Dobbin,

Some friends and I love to trail ride and one of our regular companions for these outings seems to love to trail ride, but might love her cell phone more. It is not unusual for her to leave her ringer on, answer calls, text, and sometimes even make calls when we are out supposedly to enjoy fellowship and nature. I am really getting tired of her rudeness! What should I do? How can I approach this without hurting her feelings?

-Riding to ringtones.


Dear Riding,dear-dobbin-horz

I cannot predict the sensitivity of your pal, but assuming you are a reasonable and kind individual, I wouldn’t lose sleep over the feelings aspect. Dobbin also hopes this problem is being nipped in the bud. It is awkward and unfair to have tolerated something many times and suddenly surprise someone with your annoyance. Dobbin usually advises private conversations with social criminals. Offenders such as the one you describe are guilty of the common root of rudeness, thoughtlessness. They generally reform when a problem is brought to their attention. Simply suggest that cellphones be used only for emergencies whilst communing with nature, your steeds and your fellow humans. If your friend cannot see clear to comply, I suggest finding companions more interested in the aforementioned pleasures.

To avoid such sticky wickets, Dobbin advises that there always be a game plan for trail rides. Talking over objectives and rules BEFORE setting out sets the stage for a good time had by all. A good trail ride is similar to a good party. Horses and riders that are compatible, have similar goals and values and are relaxed enough to enjoy each others company are the ticket. And rides should be geared to the greenest horse and rider on a given day. Sometimes one must make the decision to only ride in select company that suits them. Shunning for safety is never a bad call and valuing my time as I do, I see nothing wrong with avoiding annoyances either. Trust Dobbin on this, there are suitable riding companions for all, even outlaws.

– Dobbin