Tuesday, March 11, 2014

No, Tell me What you Really Think...

I follow and read a LOT of blogs.  More than I've linked.  Here's what I've come to learn:

Some people blog as a "Here's what I do, what I think is the best way to do things, and you should learn from me".   Others blog as a, "Here's how it went for this ride, what I did well, what I was terrible at, and what I'll do differently."

Then, there's a mix of the two.  Usually someone who touts themselves as an "expert" in whatever field they ride in.  They're either pleasure princesses, dressage divas, reining-roping-racing runners, trail or endurance trotting, something.  These folks will blog about their adventures, or the lack thereof, and then delve into all the details so the 'rest of us underlings' might learn something from them.

My favorite has to be the blame-blogs.  You know .. "I had ___ happen in my ride/play session/groundwork stick training, and it's all ___ fault."  There's no possible way they could admit they can't ride, can't read a horse's mind, the horse is too much for them, or my favorite, *gasp* they need riding lessons from one consistent ride until your damn legs fall off and come back in two weeks for another round instructor. 

Here's my two cents, because those 28 few of you that follow me here, read what I post, sometimes comment, sometimes send me messages through email or facebook, or in person.  Feel free to share this post, comment here, email me, facebook message me, toilet paper the old oak tree in my front yard (if you can find it)..

If you have a terrible day riding, it's your own dang fault.  Fix it at home before you go anywhere and search for blame somewhere else.  (For the record, I had to censor that first sentence... that's how aggrevated I am.)  Quit looking for some karma-riding batshitcrazygoofball to blame your bad day on.  The horse knows what you want, 98% of the time.  They either choose not to listen because your cues suck, or you're distracted.  If you can't ride it out in your back yard, there's not much a chance the show ring, or competition field, or the trainer barn can repair it.  30, 60, 90 days with a professional will only fine tune the horse's skills, and if you can't handle the ride now, your horse will definitely over-react when the cues are less sensitive. 

Each of our disciplines have the good, the bad, the ugly, and the "holysh!t I can't believe they haven't banned that person for life".  Quit pretending you have the perfect sport and only *that other riding event over there* has the crappy trainers.  Quit stereotyping breeds of horses, or styles of riders.  Not all dressage riders practice rollkur, not all event cross-country horses are goofy and injured, not all barrel racers spur their horses bloody, and not all trail riding is benign.  That being said, not all western pleasure horses are forced to go slow, some horses LOVE to jump (pulling their riders to a jump if the rider isn't paying attention), some barrel horses live to run, and some trail riding is outright dangerous. 

If you're a quiet reader that isn't a follower, doesn't comment, and thinks I'm evil for picking on your or your best friend, that's your problem.  I've been blogging for quite a while, I comment here & there , and I'm reading enough every single day to see the trends.  I should say here, "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings or offended you", but I can't muster it today.  Maybe a few months from now, but not today. 

Here at work, we have a phrase with one of our instruments (a gas chromatograph), to "check the nut behind the septum".  It means, "Check the user before you blame the instrument."  So, I say here, "check the nut".

When I fall, I blame me.  I gave Harley more of a jump challenge than I could sit.  I hadn't sensitized him to gunfire.  I'm not as secure in my seat as I wish I was.  I tried riding him or Mo bareback and mentally wasn't in the game for it.  Other events lead up to my accidents, but it's not the events fault.  It's mine for not having enough years in the tack to stick it.  I'm getting there.  Thank you for reading while I win ribbons, tolerating the days I ramble on more than I post details, and for not asking too many "training technique" questions.  I'm no trainer, just a student that keeps on learning, and doesn't intend to stop.

I'm riding this evening... who's with me?


Hunter Zebra said...

well said. we all learn from our mistakes,or at least we should. our horses are not machines and they feel all our fears and tensions and try to figure us out too.

GunDiva said...

You made me smile :)

I absolutely feel the same way a lot of times. I'm hardly an expert in anything and if a ride doesn't go as planned 99% of the time it was my fault.

Eh, some people just won't ever get it.

Mrs Mom said...

Sing it, Sister! ;)
Hope your ride was outstanding tonight and that you got to ride for me, too, for a few moments.