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.
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.
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.
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
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.