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.
- Keep scrolling.
- Write a CONSTRUCTIVE comment that does not blame or shame, but HELPS in a nice way.
- 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?
BE NICE OR BE QUIET!
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