I have learned so much from fellow bloggers. From training techniques to stories that give me hope, reading other blogs has definitely expanded my brain.
But I want to ask a question of all of you. What do you do when you find a blog or blogs or a forum post and you disagree? I'm not close minded, but I am opinionated and there have been some times when I haven't been sure what to do. And sometimes there's blogs that I start reading and now, every time I read an update I have to sit on my hands not to type something.
I'm going to reassure you that this blog is probably NOT about you. I know if I was reading this, I would be paranoid that this post was about me and that I had offended someone. It's not like that and it's most likely not you. So here's some examples. They may or may not be actual (in order to protect identities!).
Example One: Pictures posted of horse wearing ill fitting tack (bit hanging too low, noseband too tight, saddle obviously not fitting.) Would you say something? What if someone else had already commented: Hey, it looks like your bit is a little low and the original blogger responds saying "no, it fits just fine. My trainer said so."
Example Two: Rider posts about how amazing they are at jumping and how wonderful their horse is at jumping. Pictures posted are of a rider who is GOING to fall off unless they go back and get some training and/or a horse who is out of control and over faced, I'm talking about legs too far forward, hands not releasing, arched backs, roached backs, leaning too far forward or too far backward. Do you say something? I know that a picture is just a moment in time, but if EVERY picture of them and their horse jumping (and we're not talking crossrails, we're talking competition 3 foot kind of stuff) shows serious and dangerous equitation flaws, would you say something to them? I'm not a trainer but equitation isn't just to look pretty. When it comes to jumping, poor equitation can lead to accidents.... What do you do if they're not working with a trainer? Or worse yet, they ARE a trainer? Do you just let it go? It's not my ass that's gonna hit the dirt, but I hate seeing people get hurt. And yes, I am a helmet wearing, seatbelt wearing, crosswalk using person, so maybe this is just my neurosis....
Example Three: Rider writes long eloquent posts about their stallion that they're keeping a stud because he's gentle and my five year old likes him.
Example Four: Posts about training techniques that you consider ill advised. I know in some barns (one with a trainer I used to ride with) the way they teach the horses to give to the bit is to tie their head around to the saddle horn and leave them in the stall for up to 6 hours. I left that trainer and that barn and won't go back, but what about when you see folks doing it on the internet? Do you keep it to yourself?
I'm curious because on the one hand, I really think there is such a WIDE variety of knowledge and pearls of wisdom often come from the most unlikely places. And certainly, my journey has not been a straight road. Is anyone's? Probably not. But if someone isn't asking my opinion and the tone of their posts is that they *do* have the right answer, is it worth saying something? Or should I just stop reading these blogs and let my blood pressure go down.
I hope I struck the right tone with this post. It's not to say that I sit and read blogs and make judgements about other people. Nor do I feel snarky about it at all. It's just how far away from what we consider *right* can we go? Horses seem not all that far from religion. It's a hard conversation under ideal circumstances. I want to have an open mind but I also have a pretty firm idea about what things are okay. I would have a hard time reading blogs about people who thought it was okay to beat their children or people who posted pictures of themselves driving a car drunk or something.....mainly because I don't think these things are okay and I think they're dangerous. So maybe I shouldn't be reading blogs of horse people that are doing things that I think are far outside my realm of *right* and ones where I think they are being dangerous......
What do you think? Is it expanding your mind or is it just poking yourself to read blogs like this?
And seriously, don't worry. This is not about you. YOU, I have probably learned something from. And the fact that you're willing to participate in this discussion also means it's probably not you.