Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A bit of a rant.......

I don't often do ranting (well not online anyway) but I'm in a bit of a ranty mood today (blame the binmen for deciding to come and empty the recycling crate at 5.30 this morning and waking me up). This one has been building for a while. About three years, probably.  So here goes:
What is it about horse people? And horse people on the internet in particular?
I have joined a variety of online horse forums over the years, and I think I’ve identified the main categories of member. There’s the self-proclaimed “expert” who always answers every query in minute detail and tells us lesser mortals what we should be doing. They're usually the inflexible type who cannot entertain for one second the thought that there might be another way to do things.
There’s the “talk the talk” ones who know all the theory down to the last detail of vibrating the inside rein to ask your horse to relax his neck – but when requested to show some video of themselves riding, never quite get round to it (oops, left my camera at home!). When it comes to criticising other videos online, however, they have a field day…….
Then there’s the total re-inventer who tells a lot of stories (lies?) about how they’ve jumped, ridden, competed on their wonderful horses when the reality is they’re languishing in a field eating their heads off because said person is to too scared to actually get on and ride them anywhere.

There’s usually a drama queen who is so very precious about everything but when eventually persuaded to post a video it turns out they ride like a sack of shit and if anyone dares to disagree with the general consensus that they’re wonderful, they rant on about how hurtful any such comments are and that the moderators really ought to do something about it.

And of course there’s always a troll or two who just want to have a good argument for whatever reason – because it’s fun to them? – and stirs everyone up on a regular basis.

I spent a fair few years going along with all of this and trying to be, um, circumspect. I didn’t feed the trolls, I didn’t disagree with the drama queens, I didn’t question the outright liars. But I often went to meet people I’d met online because I am a nosy sort.  Sometimes I was pleasantly surprised to meet a kindred spirit who was genuinely interested in putting their relationship with their horses first and did exactly what they said on the tin, erm I mean, forum. But I also met people who were frankly unfit to be horse owners…….

Me? I don't claim to be a dressage diva, or a horse whisperer. I merely strive to practise the noble art of keeping a horse between myself and the ground. I go out and try to have fun with my horses and I spend a lot of time making sure they are Solid Equine Citizens (thanks Dressage Curmudgeon for that expression). And the online armchair experts criticise me. For not wearing a hard hat sometimes, for allowing my daughter to stand on her pony's back, for hacking out on the roads with an unshod horse and most of all for being a fat bastard and daring to drag my lardy arse onto the back of a horse. Not to mention getting so sick of all the aforementioned intolerant, self-obsessed, delusional, opinionated, egotistical "experts" that I and a couple of like-minded individuals actually dared to be “disloyal” enough start our own forum…….
Why do they feel the need to criticise? Presumably because, as the saying goes, moral indignation is just jealousy with a halo.

Bollocks to the lot of 'em.
Moving on, here's a pic of a fat bastard on a four year old on her first ever solo hack that my friend took as I passed his house the other day.
Not sure what my lower leg is doing in that pic, I'm sure the dressage divas can tell me ;-)


Di said...

Hehe, well said!

English Rider said...

It's a great photo of a confident, curious, forward moving horse (who is conveniently between the rider and the ground:)

Chrisb said...

This is your blog, and of course you are entitled to put anything you like on it - but I still think it is quite a mean and nasty post............... move on Helen - you left, all your like-minded followers went with you, fair enough, but please don't keep harking back to what a bunch of tw*ts we are.

Helen Barnes said...

Ah but one person's "nasty" is another person's "being honest". It's all a matter of perspective. Yours is not the only forum I used to frequent, nor are the people on there by any means the only ones I'm referring to, but if you choose to take offence, and call yourselves a bunch of twats, that's your problem......

gniddonton said...

So which category do you fit in?

Helen Barnes said...

Depends entirely on who you ask, I should imagine ;-)

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