Negativity in the horse world

Negativity in the horse world

Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with people in this world of horses. I truly wonder what is wrong with people who work with horses. You would think that moving around online each day would desensitise you to all the negativity, degrading comments and awful words that people happily throw after each other in the comment sections, but I can tell you that it doesn’t. Even though the comments are not meant for me I can still feel they anger inside when I see it. I can understand that we are all different. That we want different things, have different approaches and think differently about the training and goals with our horses. What I don’t understand is why it apparantly has to be such a problem that makes people feel the need to openly throw mud at each other for the words, thoughts, photos or videos that are shared.

I never intend to step on anyone. Not in real life and not online. If I see some kind of training method I do not agree with, I often either keep scrolling or look at it, consider it and move along. I simply don’t feel the need to place an awful comment stating how wrong I think it is or what bad trainers I think they are or whatever people might write. Often people don’t even write how THEY would have done it. They only leave the receiver with a “I think you are doing terrible” and that is it. Over the years I have talked to so many girls/women (both younger and older than myself) who was being targeted online with comments like those and by the end they took it all so personally that they even considered selling their horses and stop riding because they became so insecure about themselves. What is wrong with people? In most cases these poor victims actually did a great job with their horse, but because they dared to do things differently or follow their own senses they became so haunted by other people that they shut down completely and stopped doing anything at all. They stopped listenting to themselves as well as their horses and suddenly all their joy and pleasure disappeared from the work with their horses because they constantly feared of doing something wrong or being judged by others around them.

There is nothing wrong with not agreeing on a specific way of thinking or training horses. Not at all actually. Wouldn’t it be terribly boring if we all thought and did the same things? Then why do we have to step on those who dares to do something different? Why do we have to step on those who has a different approach than we do? We do we have to publicly humiliate them and tell them how bad we think they are or how wrong we think they are doing? Maybe what they are doing is not wrong. Maybe it is just different! It is so easy to disagree with someone when talking about horses, but it does not have to become a problem. Instead you could pick up a bit of manners and self-control and leave alone those who you do not think you will learn from, be inspired from or simply do not agree with.

What I do when I am online is to observe. If I see something I like, I let people know that I think they have done an amazing job and encourage them to keep going. If I see something I do not agree with, I observe and try to see if I can get something useful out if it. Maybe I can learn something new, figure out ways I do NOT want to do things, pick out tiny things that I like and then that will be great. If it is not the case that I feel that I can get anything out if it, then I will simply go on with my life. It does not have to be any harder than that.

If you see something online that you do not agree with or would have done otherwise you have 3 options on how to respond that will keep you from stepping on someone else and make them feel awful about themselves.

  1. Keep scrolling.
  2. Write a CONSTRUCTIVE comment that does not blame or shame, but HELPS in a nice way.
  3. Write a personal message to the person who shared and tell them what you think, why you think they should do things differently and a good alternative way of doing it.

If you absolutely want to see your own name in the comment section then try to see if you can use your energy to point out something positive instead of something negative. It might even feel good?

Stop all this negativity online. Maybe it pleases your ego to sit behind the computer screen and act like you are a saint to all horse people (which you most likely aren’t), but would you ever dare to go directly to the person and tell them the same thing face to face? If that is not the case then think twice before typing and move on instead. It is neither helpful nor encouraging for anyone to receive all those condescending words and in worst case you will end up destroying them just because you had a bad day and felt like stepping on someone to feel better about yourself. It is so easy to write an ugly comment as you will never have to take responsibility for it. You will never have to look the receiver in the eyes and neither will you have to prove that you know better, does better or even that your way of doing it actually IS better. You can easily say “this is such a terrible way of riding. I would never do a sitting trot on a horse” and have a horse standing in the stable injured because you pushed it too hard during training and actually damaged its body, but who will ever know? You are not responsible for ANYTHING online and I believe that is why it is so easy for people to be so mean to each other. So instead of growing your ego on behalf of others or thinking that you are an all-knowing god, please think once more before infecting everyone else with your negativity.

Maybe it took you 30 seconds to write a negative and blaming comment and then you will never think about it again, but have you ever thought about the fact that the person who receives your comment might spend the next hour feeling bad about the condescending words that you wrote?


Please share this post with your friends and get the message out there! 

22 thoughts on “Negativity in the horse world”

  • I so agree with this post! If I see things I dont like and I simply keep scrolling, no need to make someone feel bad about it because I dont agree with them. But most people dont think about the way it makes people feel when they read the hate comments.

    • Thank you so much for this lovely feedback! That is exactly the way it should be. If you do not have something nice to say, don’t say nothing at all. It is lovely to hear that there are people out there thinking about others too!

  • Hallo Sophie! What an important and truthful post on this subject. So many suffer from this problem online. Especially those who open up and show people a new way of success. Just like you.
    Sadly I think it is just a cause of envy witch makes some people write mean things. And they can be anonimous so they won’t have to take responsability for what is written.
    The most of us love your posts, the beautiful pictures, the way you handle your horses. When you get sad-think about us, not the others 😉

    • Hello Camilla.
      Thank you so much for your kind words and lovely feedback! Sadly it is a big issue to many and even though I have not really been victimised a lot myself, I still get so angry when I see how mean other people are to each other. I am sure there are many reasons why people do it, but in my opinion none of them a good enough. People need to be more humble and accept each other…

      Once again I really want to thank you for your love and heart-warming words. It means a lot to me!

  • I agree with what you said. Unfortunately, when it comes to horses, a little experience allows someone to be a “trainer” which, in my opinion, is dead wrong. Many of us get caught up in the training process, and many of us get off track, in my opinion. If you will notice, the brutal trainers of old are gone, the gentler, more subtle ways of training thrive. Some of the old tactics work, but they are just that, old tactics. Horses are very sensitive, like dogs, or other animals that enjoy humans as much as humans enjoy animals. Please use kind tactics when starting a horse, wait 3 or better yet, 4 years to climb on board. And, prior to that, sack them out or introduce them to the correct starting tactics, there is no hurry. “Breaking” horses is old fashioned, and was done for expediency, nothing else.

    • I completely agree and luckily – as you said- it seems that is has become the time for gentler and more subtle ways of approaching the horses. I do not think that it is a problem that people take the role as a “trainer” if they have a natural talent with the horses or has nice ways of helping horse and rider. The problem usually does not occur until these “trainers” believe that all THEY say and do is the only right way. That is when things goes wrong because they do not have the humbleness to acknowledge that they still have much to learn and experience.

  • I totally agree with your post. Too many people think they are better than others because they maybe have more time with horses or have a different method, not always the right one, than there’s. I feel as long as you are not damaging your horse, treating it with kindness & respect you are at a good base to start. There are so many ways to learn now from the Internet & good ways too. People should mind their own business when it comes to other people’s horses. Unless you can add a constructive comment don’t comment at all. Surround yourself with positive people & you will find the help you need. People like to be asked questions & there are some very knowledgeable & kind people out there. Thanks again for the good post.

    • I want to thank you too for a lovely feedback too and I do very much agree with what you stated above! It is indeed a really good place to start with kindness and respect which most often leads to a lovely companionship between horse and rider. From that place most things can evolve with knowledge and patience…

  • I agree so much. I think it’s sad that a huge amount of people in society are so conditioned to believe in their own insufficiency that they lash out in so many ways- including this! Nothing feeds insecure people’s inner desperation like attempting to put others down – and what “better” way than to take advantage of people sharing themselves on a social media platform 😑 I hope someday those people will love themselves enough to not feel the need to put others down, and that their victims are able to rise above and continue to love themselves in their own unique way of being!

    • This is so beautifully said, Tara. Thank you a lot for sharing your thoughts on the subject with me. I truly do agree with you and hope for the same thing for those poor people out there who needs to step on others to feel better about themselves. Hopefully the day will come!

  • Yes! So many are quick to judge. Although, not saying this in anyones defense but there are also many people who are too sensitive to handle positive constructuve criticism and lash out. There was an instance online where i had seen a seriously overweight girl riding and the horse was in pain. I tried mentioning it as nicely as i could and as i have studied equine anatomy and form could tell how the horse was hurting and it was relative to her weight. I was not pointing it out to make her feel bad, but to help her help her horse. I was met with foul language and harsh words. Someone making assumptuons that i was putting them down when i was intending to be helpful. I whish that with all the different horse people that we can learn from each other instead of put everyone down

    • That does not sound like a nice situation for you to be in. I can understand why your brought it up when it was obvious that the horse was not feeling good… and yes – sadly that kind of comments with the only intend to help are not always taken in nicely either. Sadly! It is so true that we should be better to listen and learn to and from each other instead of believing that we know it all ourselves. Hopefully the girl put some extra thought into her riding even though she didn’t seem to take in your advice!

  • Also who takes your pictures? Friends or a photographer?? I am usually working with my horses alone and never get any good pictures!! Lol

    • It is my mother who takes all the photos and by now I think she could almost call herself a real photographer 😉

  • Beautifully said – and while I don’t post my feelings, I do sometimes have strong reactions to things I see. I’d personally like to frequently remind myself that we are all on spaceship earth together, barreling through the darkness in many forms. It certainly does more good for myself, horses, and others when I my power is combined with an equal amount of compassion. Thank you for a lovely post and reminder. Beautiful horse and images, btw. Lucinda “Lessons from Listening to Horses:”

    • Thank you for these beautiful and wise words, Lucinda. I very much appreciate that you wanted to share this with me and I can completely put myself in your shoes. I will take look at the video right away!

  • jeg er SÅ enig! jeg fatter ikke hvorfor der er så mange i heste verdenen der skal hakke med på andre? både online og i virkeligheden. som du siger, hvis er er noget man ikke kan lide så ignorer det eller gør noget konstruktivt, der er ingen der bliver bedre mod deres hest af at få af hvide at de er dårlige heste ejere, men hvis de gør noget godt skal de da klart have en positiv kommentar! Det er faktisk lidt lige som med heste og positiv forstærkning;)

    • Nej, jeg tror heller ikke altid det er meningen, at man skal forstå den slags.. Heldigvis kan man starte med at være opmærksom på det, så man kan undgå selv at ende samme sted. Det er nemlig fuldstændig ligesom med positiv forstærkning i hestetræning. Hvor er det fint observeret! 🙂

  • I love this! Having been the victim of a hate campaign myself, I know all to well about the dirty end of the stick. It has left me feeling like 98% (at least) of all horse people are completely crazy.

    • Thank you for this, Nick! I can (sadly) agree with you very far on this theory, but luckily there are lots of amazing, heart warm and loving people out there as well <3

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