Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Least Favorite Things: A Rant

I have a bone to pick. I'm not really sure what that expression means, but I guess it will work here.

There are a few things that drive me absolutely fucking bat shit crazy in the blogosphere. I've read them in the comments on others' blogs. I've read them in the content of people I follow. And fuck knows I've dealt with them here in my own little piece of cyberspace.

I've sat on this post for a couple of weeks, and usually when something sits there that long, it ends up just getting deleted for good. But this shit has been bothering me lately, so I'm going to go ahead and make it public. Maybe some of you can relate. Certainly some of you will take offense.

#sorrynotsorry

1. U BEATZ UR HORSE. Let me clear this up right from the get go: I do not beat my fucking horse.

Look, I know I use the word "beat" all the time in my posts. I'm constantly saying I had to beat some sense into Bobby, I beat him for misbehaving, I beat him for not doing what I wanted, yada yada.

No horses have ever been beaten in the making of this blog.

I have taken my whip and spanked my horse behind my leg before. I've used it on his shoulder more than once in a row. I've smacked him on his chest with my hand  plenty of times. I don't consider that beating.

Bobby's favorite evasion is running backwards and sideways as fast as he can. Sometimes he does it for a reason. Sometimes he gets over-faced. Sometimes I ask wrong.  And sometimes he melts down just because he can. When he falls back on this, no matter the why, I always react in the same way: leg, leg, leg, kick, leg, here's my spur, more leg. The instant he goes forward again, I release all pressure from my seat to my reins and especially from my leg.

I don't consider that beating. I don't think any part of that is wrong. I'm not going to change my response. He goes backwards, I get after him to go forward. He goes forward, he gets rewarded by being left alone.

I'm not going to pet his neck and tell him he's a good boy as he slams his body into jump standards. I'm not going to sit there and philosophize on what I could have done differently to not hurt his delicate horsey ego while he pins my leg against the wall.

If that offends you, I'm sorry you also have a delicate horsey ego. I'm not sorry that's how I ride.

Guess what? I also always have a chain over my horse's nose when he goes off property, even if he's not misbehaving. I bet your delicate horsey ego is now really broken.

naughty horse.

2. SELLZ IT. I think this might be the one that drives me the battiest because the root of it, to me, is that people make assumptions based solely on the little information you're giving them via a blog post. And I get that. What else are you supposed to do?

You're not around the horse and rider pair on a daily basis. You don't see their daily interactions. You're not privy to how every single ride goes. You don't know if the two or three or ten posts you just read are a true reflection of how the blogger feels all the time. I've written posts immediately after I got home from a shit ride and tore my horse apart, only to change my attitude on what happened with a little more reflection.

For anyone that's followed this blog for a couple of years, you'll know that Bobby and I have hit more than one rough patch. We usually go through several rough months at a time before having a little success and then spiraling right back down again. He's even been downright dangerous at times.

I've gotten the whole "SELLZ HIM IT SHOULD BE FUN HE IS NOT A GOOD MATCH U R NOT HAPPY" spiel from multiple people multiple times over multiple years. In fact, I've contemplated selling him several times. I even set a firm timeline last year--if we didn't have the show season I wanted, I wasn't wasting any more time.

I have a long history with Bobby, and it was one of the main reasons I kept pushing forward. Honestly though, I didn't even really like this horse for a long time after Red died. The other reason I refused to give up on him was because when he was good, he was very good. And the perseverance has paid off. I now have the horse that I would go out and look to buy if I was in the market.

Selling might be the way to go. But that's not anybody else's business.

from left to right:
refusing to get near a 2' starter coop while xc schooling. hubby eventually had to lead us over.
the same coop two weeks later at his second ever event. a little looky, but no stopping.
confidently clearing the 3' novice coop a year later.

3. GETZ A TRAINER AND TAKE SOME LESSONZZZ. Sweet baby Jesus, if I had a dollar for every time I read this one...

I am not anti-lessons. It may comes across as that. I really think some of you out there believe that about me. I love a good lesson as much as the next person. But just because I have an instructor available doesn't mean I'm going to get a good lesson out of that person. It's my choice not to spend money where I don't think it's getting me a return.

It's taken my horse and I longer to move up the levels and get good at what we do because I don't take lessons or have a trainer. I'm willing to admit that. It's not rocket science. If I was riding to be ultra competitive, I'd make taking lessons a priority over having fun. But I'm not, so I don't.

I am, however, always trying to expand my education. I watch other riders all the time--online, at the barn, at shows. I read everything I can get my hands on. I ask for advice from other riders I respect all the time.

And most importantly, I try not to be stupid about what I do on my own. I'm not going to go out and school Prelim cross country just because my horse jumps 3'7" at home in the ring. I'm not going to enter the Level 3 jumpers because we can jump a 4' oxer out of a grid. I am going to muddle through dressage movements on my own, and slowly increase the height of jumps in a course as I get more comfortable.


everything he knows, he learned from me. #theslowkids

I think my writing style and general sarcastic, snarky attitude towards life are difficult for some people to process understand relate to whatever. I try to make my posts funny, but my sense of humor isn't for everyone. I tend to gloss over specific ride details, and I generalize a lot which I get can lead to some people taking offense to what they think I do.

The solution to that is pretty simple: don't follow my blog anymore. You won't hurt my feelings. I won't be insulted. I thin out my reading list a couple times a year, usually because the blog(s) I'm dropping makes me roll my eyes more than read the content. I'm sure my blog has elicited that response puh-lenty of times before.

Overall though, I really love the horse blogging community. I think there's so much out there that people have to offer, and I'm constantly asking my fellow bloggers questions and getting great responses.

Sometimes I think we just embrace our horse person side a little too much, and we bitches be cray.

52 comments:

  1. I've wanted to post something like this a thousand times. Kudos to you for doing so. I completely agree with every word.

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  2. People constantly ask me how it is that I have such well behaved dogs, and my response is 99% of the time "I beat them, obviously." 20% of the time, I get a horrified response. That tells me I don't need to fuck with that person any more. 75% of the time the person looks cautiously amused, and just goes with it. That's the person I'm going for. (The other 5% often look like they actually believe I beat the shit out of my dogs, and they like that. I tend to back slowly away from these people.)

    Do your thing. People who love it will understand, and be a clear indicator to you.

    Btw. Bobby and Pig need to never get together. They would collaborate hard on the best options for backing up and throwing a huge meltdown fit. We've backed THROUGH an arena fence before. Super fun times, guys.

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    1. ^^^ THIS! I constantly tell people at the barn that Moe and Gina are well behaved because I beat them constantly. Usually it's the teenagers that look horrified- everyone else sort of assumes I'm joking. (I think they secretly think I might beat them because they've seen me hit Gina with a crop.) People take things way too seriously.

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    2. Obviously beating = good horses. I beat Simon so much that when I growl at him he cowers (true, but not from beating).

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    3. Omg, here too with dogs and horse. It's like "The line" at our barn. Yup, beat them. Yes, they're well behaved because of the beatings. "Do you want another beating?!" It's almost the only way to differentiate between the "I'll hug them until they listen to me" and the "They damn well are going to listen to me" people.

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  3. People need to chill the heck out, in general. I think the problem with horse people is we're so damn EMOTIONAL about everything! But I love you and Bobby, I get your (hilarious) sense of humor, and you just keep on keepin' on being an inspiration to the rest of us who can't get a lesson every week and have to figure most stuff out by ourselves!

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  4. Feel free to "beat" your horse however often you want, and take lessons (or not) with whomever you choose. However, please don't sell Bobby... where else would I get my RuPaul dress-up fix if not from you two?

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  5. I really respect you for not only writing this, but not changing how you blog because of the feedback you get. It's something I struggle with and am still working on figuring out. Kudos

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  6. Some people just don't get sarcasm at all. I enjoy reading your posts and wish I was a witty writer!

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  7. Btw. I had to add... the other day a good horse friend of mine and I were chatting about a certifiably crazy fellow horse person. We took a minute and asked each other "Dude. Are we crazy, too?"

    Probably, guys. Probably.

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  8. Truth- horse people be cray. And your posts are hilarious- blog on my friend, blog on!

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  9. Your blog is on my top 3 must-read-on-the-daily list! I LOVE your writing style, and the relationship you and Bobby have is really entertaining. I especially love the conversations you have with him, and who doesn't love a horse dressed in drag?!?!?

    Preach on, girlfriend. PREACH. ON.

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  10. oh my gosh, the #2 and #3 points..so great. I love your posts, and love you and Bobby. Although I've had more drama on Instagram over blogging, literally can relate to this so much. I think people forget that some people have different goals in mind.

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  11. I read the CAPS portions in the Jenna Marbles "How to Care for Your Cermet" voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1QOAd6o0C0

    I haven't really gotten any advice online that offends me so far but I'm not really doing anything. Apollo has lovely ground manners and when people ask me why I always say that I "beat a brain into him". A 140lb girl smacking a 1500lb horse is not abuse, another horse kicking him would hurt a lot more! I wrote a post about things I hate about the horseworld (and changed my mind about posting it) and it shared a lot of the sentiments in this post! :)

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    1. Just because something hurts less doesn't mean it's not abuse. Since when is abuse defined by how it's ranked on the pain scale and the weight of the parties involved? So if a man were to slap you instead of punching you in the face and breaking your nose, is the slap not considered abuse? This logic makes no sense. IMO people abusing animals has a lot more to do with punishment for no reason, punishment at the wrong time, or punishment out of scale with the "crime", and very little to do with how much the punishment actually hurt them physically.

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  12. Agreed with all these points!

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  13. "Sometimes I think we just embrace our horse person side a little too much, and we bitches be cray."

    Favorite. Line. Ever.

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  14. I hear ya, sister. Love your style!

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  15. I've only been reading your blog for a few weeks, so I don't know your history with Bobby and really don't have a sense of your views on most stuff yet, but I can tell you this post is SPOT. ON. We do sort of open ourselves up to critique by blogging about our horses and our rides, and I get that and try to take the negative criticism as it comes, but sometimes people really should mind their own beezwax, or, like you said, find another blog to read.

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  16. Replies
    1. And I know I don't comment often, I do read but its not because of any of those reasons why I don't comment :)

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  17. Apparently I have never payed much attention to the comments going on her, but really? People. I don't get people sometimes. Oh well, you just keep doing yo thang, and I will keep applauding on the side lines!

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  18. It's pretty easy to get on our high horse in the blogosphere where we rule a little digital universe. Especially when your blog becomes a "new shiny" and people flock to it. I have CERTAINLY been that person (although I don't think I am now? Maybe I still am).

    I think long time readers of your blog will realize that behind all the sarcasm and calling him a fuck head, you have a deep love for Bobby. As readers we only get a small piece of the pie, and sometimes that may leave us thinking "Uh she should do X" but that's because horse people are pretty judgy by nature... myself included.

    I spend a lot more time here laughing and smiling than I do anything else. That's all I know!

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  19. Your writing style and sense of humor are SO IN LINE with mine that I've understood you from the get go. I crack up reading your blog more than any out there, and I know young Robert is in wonderful hands. Honestly, if people can't tell from the effort you go to to dress up that pony in magnificent RuPaul and Pioneer Pony outfits that you adore him and don't actually beat the shit out of them, you know they aren't worth listening to!

    So keep beating sense into Bobby whenever you need to, and I am right there with you!

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  20. This. ALL OF THIS. You are a blogging badass. Congrats!

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  21. just wanted to say I love your blog... and find you absolutely HILARIOUS!

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  22. Lol...go back to beating your moose Carly ;)

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    1. I giggled because I'm mentally 12 and this just sounded vaguely dirty :)

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  23. I love your sense of humor. It's what keeps me reading. People need to get over themselves on the internet. I'm glad you're not filtering for them.

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  24. I absolutely adore your sarcastic, snarky attitude! Glad I'm not the only one muddling through life with it! <3

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  25. Geez guess I need to read your comments more. We all have slightly differing opions of how to train, ride, love on our horses. Many of us differ on what training aids to use. But your blog sarcasm to me, shows how much you love and enjoy working with him (he's worth the effort of blogging). Our trainer is notorious for yelling things like "rip his face off", bystanders look freaked, but we know it's her way of saying take control of the animal 10x your body weight before shit be Cray Cray.

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  26. Your sarcasm and snark are my favorite ever. Keep doing you.

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  27. I don't know about you, but I blog mostly for ME. Sure, comments are nice, and I even like the occasional advice. Mostly, though, I just want to be able to look back on things I've done and reflect on them. I feel you on this one on many levels.

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  28. I came looking in these comments for a fight or some Carly bashing and all I got was a lot of agreement? How disappointing ;) Love that you are putting your opinions out there!

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  29. I always say I beat Twister, too. My riding buddies know I don't mean it. 98% of the time, the tone of my voice when I threaten to beat his ass if he doesn't do this that or the other thing produces results on it's own. But if people could actually SEE us together daily, or you and Robert together daily, they'd see there was no actually beating going on. And if you ever sold him I'd cry! You raised that child!

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  30. HIGH FIVE. I pretty regularly tell people that I beat Tristan's good ground manners into him. They often give me a funny look. I'm sorry, what would YOU do when your 1200lb horse is rearing and striking at you? Parelli mind meld him down?

    Tris wears a chain shank every single time he goes off property too, and I do not hesitate to use it.

    I often describe him as my 2x4 horse. He needs a line, and he needs that line to be reinforced. THIS FAR, NO FURTHER, HORSE. Once we have that talk he goes oh, ok, cool, got it. If I keep moving that line it just escalates.

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  31. I love your blog and your snarky writing style, and you are clearly one the most dedicated and conscientious horsewomen out there (hello barefoot farrier woot!) so anyone who thinks you actually abuse Bobby hasn't been reading for very long.

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  32. You're fabulous. Keep it up!

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  33. love this post! there's something about commenting anonymously/pseudo-anonymously (bc frankly we are all strangers even when we use a name) on the internet that can bring out the evangelist in people. i certainly don't claim to be above that -- nobody is perfect...

    but it does bother me when people look at the little glimpse into a situation provided by a single blog post and react like - "ooh yea, i've been there done that and got the t-shirt. you must do X, Y & Z to fix it" ... or take some hastily typed or sarcastic comment as the literal gospel. guys - it's not that serious!!

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  34. You go girl, I love your blog and your sense of humor!

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  35. Your blog is one of my favorites and I find it hysterical! It's like I call my husband's husky the Worst Dog Ever, but deep down he's my heart dog. Even if he is The Actual Worst.

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  36. I know I'm not the only one who things this is dead on. One reason I'm glad I don't have a HUGE following because of all the shit people will post and say. Sometimes criticism is life, but do your research! This is one of my favorite blogs and I think you've got a good crew you follows you. All the other sh*t is BS dude. We're right here with you #theslowkids

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  37. Another regular beater, here. I give that EXACT same line about my dogs, horse, kid, boyfriend, etc. BECAUSE IT'S FUNNY. Will I hand out some corporal punishment/reinforcement appropriate to the situation? Damn straight. Do I *actually* beat my child, boyfriend or animals. No. It's funny. Some people need to buy bigger undies, I swear...

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  38. late to the party on this one, but had to comment anyways. I FEEL YA ABOUT TONE. Sometimes I post the funniest shit in my head, and it's dripping with sarcasm and hilarity, maybe it's about how my horse is an utter donkey and looks like a giraffe when he attempts lead departures and it's just suppose to be funny and light and someone comments with some training advice and I just heavily sigh ----____---- why don't you get me?!

    In other news, your blog is my fav, keep on being you.

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  39. People misconstrue everything.

    My horses are the Semi Ferals. Maybe falling into the crazy Arabian sterotype. Some days, they can be.

    Most days, they are not. But I do things on my own accord and I follow plans as I see and lay them out, so I am a little feral compared to most people's ideas and doctrines.

    Constructive comments should be welcomed on most blogs, but it seems sometimes that people enjoy trying to get a rise and be negative as often as possible.

    Upon meeting these people in real life, I realize that they are often just as negative and even more insecure in their own lives.

    So screw them all. ;)

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If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.