Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No More?

The business with Miranda, and my desire (not requested by my daughter - she wanted to make it clear that she didn't ask me not to talk about Miranda) to preserve my daughter's privacy, and the increasing feeling I have that my blogs are turning into some sort of bad reality TV show, lead me to question the blogging premise. I started blogging because I like to write, and writing for me is a way of examining and thinking about my experience. Even if people like to read this stuff, and I know people do, I'm feeling more and more that what I write is self-important, sometimes sanctimonious, and really a bit too much. I'm no expert on anything that I do, but I get into this "I have to talk about this" like somehow I know something, which I mostly don't. I'm not sure what blogs should be about, and there are many great ones out there - I particularly like the ones where people just talk about what they're doing, and seeing, and thinking, without preaching or trying to tell people how to do things - although there are some very knowledgeable people out there, for sure, who do have good things to say. I also enjoy the illusion of community, although I'm old-fashioned and to me the virtual community can never be a satisfactory substitute for a real community or relationships, although sometimes it's possible to fall into the illusion that it is. Fundamentally, blogging may just be a form of entertainment. Why do you blog? Does it make sense and are you happy with where it has taken you? How do you feel about the time you spend on blogging and reading and commenting on others' blogs? Is this activity really worthwhile, and what purposes can it serve? Are there aspects of it that are harmful (or at least not helpful)? What do you think?


  1. Really helpful questions. Thank you for this excellent post.

    When I started my own young blog, it was in an attempt to get off the hamster wheel in my head. I was transitioning between two horses, have confidence issues, and decided -- on a whim, really -- to begin a journal about where I was, and wanted to be, with horses. I thought if I had to write what I was thinking, I might be able to sift through the junk in my head and not set up myself up to repeat mistakes I had made with my first horse. Since then, circumstances -- like they do -- upended my plans and left me with a whole set of new problems and experiences to write about. I think blogging has helped me bring some order to my thoughts, but it has also left me wondering about the very questions you ask.

    Things I think about:

    People who read it over and over again, but never say a word. I can't see how it's that interesting.

    Is it entertaining? I don't know, but I do feel oddly responsible and calmed when I write something truthfully.

    Is it worthwhile? Maybe. I think time will tell.

    I wonder about the illusion of community, too. I don't yet have many readers, so I can't speak from experience, but your post today really resonated with me. That's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, maybe simple proximity creates a sense of community. I'm in Southeastern Wisconsin.

    Thanks again for the post. Please come check out my blog sometime.

    Julia R


  2. Those are good questions. I know that I have personally benefited from your blog in particular. Several months before I found your blog I had somewhat of an epiphany about the way I worked with my horses and my training methods. I realized that most of the methods I used were simply what I had been trained to do and that they weren't congruent with how I actually felt about my horses. I began my own made-up as I went methods. I was SO excited to find your blog and know that there were others who were training the way I'd just started. I love getting your insights on handling horses and hearing your views on it! So that's my humble opinion about this blog in particular anyway :) And I really appreciate your suggestions for working with my horses' various issues.

  3. You bring up an interesting point Kate. I, too, began blogging because I like to write. I also wanted to start a journal about training my horse, and had recently found out what a blog was. So I was intrigued with keeping a blog for myself rather than using paper and pen.

    And truthfully, I never fully realized that others would read what I wrote! LOL! Well, besides my mother..... :) She likes to check it, especially in the summer when I post about my horse shows.

    I have always embraced the idea of being an amateur, though I have been taking lessons/riding for 25 years now. I have strong opinions about horses (and life, for that matter) but I never really take a "stance" on anything or give advice in my blog but instead my purpose is more to share what I do, in a way to chronicle what my horse and I do together. Plus, I like to think that when I write about my successes and downfalls training a Standardbred for dressage/eventing, that maybe I am helping/encouraging someone else with a Standardbred.....or someone THINKING about owning one. (So, yes, it is a shameless plug for one of my favorite breeds!)

    The worst part of blogging was when folks who know me personally felt the need to be negative in my blog. I have always been open about who I am in real life on the blog, but I am careful to not use names of others (unless I have explicit permission to do so). But when I might write something that others don't like, it bothered me that they felt it was OK to be rude to me in my blog comments, especially when they NEVER would have had the guts to do it to my face. I am a very honest and somewhat blunt person, who does not "blow sunshine" and these people (in a horse club)) I used to be involved with who decided they did not like that about me. I am not mean spirited, but I do "tell it like it is" and well, that is just how I am. I had to close my blog to the public for about 5 months as a way to say, HEY this is MINE and I will write and say and feel what I want to. I reopened it after I was able to remove myself from the club and eliminate all that DRAMA from my life. I don't do drama. Never have and never will.

    I enjoy reading blogs when I have time. I like hearing how other horse folks interact with their horses, and especially how other working moms out there are balancing family, horses, and showing. And few blogs I read are actually people I know in real life, so that is fun. Most of my readers are people who know me in real life.

    I agree that personal and "real" relationaships are WAY better than virtual communities, but I like the support and fellowship fellow bloggers have given me at times. I hope I do the same for them.

    And it is a form of entertainment for me. Sometimes I am just bored and need something to do, especially this time of year! I might not read a blog, or write in my own, for weeks, and then I will check Blogger every day! LOL! It is ranked up there with FaceBook to me. It is something I enjoy, but I do not sacrifice my family and friends for the virtual world.

    That was a long answer! :) Interesting and thought provoking post.....

  4. I blog, first and foremost, because I am a writer by trade and I just plain like to write. :o) I started blogging because I was maintaining blogs for clients, and it made sense to start some of my own. I used to journal a lot, so blogging has more or less taken the place of that -- especially my horse blog, since if I kept a journal these days it would definitely be 99 percent about my horse!

    And I also love the virtual community. We can't ride together, but there is still an important support network and a give-and-take of ideas that happens in the horse-blog community.

  5. My blog is my own journal, an opportunity and obligation to write every day, and a way to get my ideas out into the world.

    HOWEVER, I am always conscious of my audience and that practically anyone in the world might be able to read what I write, so I strive to be honest, but also to only write about things I want made public.

    Too often, people who write on the Internet forget that what they say is strikingly public. I always reminded my English class students of that while I was teaching

    If I do actually have any good horse advice to offer anyone, I gladly offer. (Didn't forget about the spooking....) The key here for all of us is that in this virtual community of ours we have hundreds of years of experience training and handling horses and each story we tell shares that experience with others.

    I love to read other people's stories and how they have learned to handle problems or train their horses. The day I do not learn something about working with these amazing creatures is the day I'll "hang up my spurs." It is a neverending journey and it's wonderful to be able to share it with fellow bloggers.

  6. I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like mine is too much "me, me, me" too. Isn't it inevitable to some extent since I *am* the one writing it? It seems to me the only blogs to avoid this are the ones that have one strong theme (consider your own 'fear no finance').

    I blog because of the breadth of perspectives I get. I suppose it's a bit selfish...I'm sure I get more than I give, my blog isn't that interesting. I just love hearing people's thoughts/opinions etc. I might not agree with everything but it all makes me think and question my own views. I learn a lot. That is a pretty priceless purpose!

    I also find this makes me have some different opinions from horse people in my area. This can be good and also difficult at times.

    My ideas for blog posts are usually way better than the actual posts end up being, lol. I just don't have the time to devote all that often...yet I don't give it up!

    Similarly, I wish I had more time to comment. I often read posts at work over lunch and security settings mean I can't comment on some blogs...which means I often can't comment when I want to.

    I don't know...I struggle with these questions regularly. At the end of the day though, I like the virtual community I participate in and think it gives me a broader view of the world. I like that.

  7. I blog primarily as a way to communicate with the people who have horses retired with us. I found that regular contact with us allowed people to feel like they had a better feel for their horses' daily lives. Instead of just one on one communications with people about their own horses, they get to learn about the community in which their horse lives, and read the little things about what is going on at the farm. I don't blog much about what I'm doing with my own horses, but I enjoy the feedback I receive when I do write about it. I've gleaned some wonderful nuggets of information either from people commenting on my blog or by reading the blogs of other people.

    I will say that sometimes I feel very egocentric when I am writing my blog because it does feel all "me, me, me" in a way. I'm not all that and a bag of chips and I'm fully aware of it, but sometimes I think it is easy to come across as having that misconception about myself with the blog.

  8. Not sure what prompted this KAte , your blog has seemed quite insightful and pleasant to me ,and I have not found it to be sanctimonious. I started blogging for a couple reasons ,mostly though I though it would be an online training journal. I have never had the ability to write in a diary or a journal, and was a little sd about this .I recieved my grandfathers journals after he passed and it was a wonderful way to know more about him.I tried pena paper ,but never could.So somehow my "training journal "became more a journal of me ,I have loved the great sense of comuntiy I have found ,there is great advice ,laughs and good friends out there. I do hope you carry on

  9. I find your blogs refreshingly easy to read and not at all sanctimonious. We ALL have opinions about things and I enjoy reading yours no matter whether or not I agree with what you're saying.

    I read a lot more blogs than I write, and that's a fortunate thing for everybody ! LOL ! I read blogs for the same reason I read books and that is to expand my worldview and increase the level of diversity in my life. Since joining Melissa in our farm blog I've thought long and hard about issues that never before managed to cross my mind and I can't help but believe this is a good thing !

  10. Kate, I just wanted to add my voice to the ones saying that we hope you keep blogging. My comment was very focused on why I blog, but I have to say that your blog is one of the most interesting ones I follow. I feel I've learned a lot from you, and I hope I will continue to be able to do so. Not to mention I simply love reading about your horses and the others at your barn!

  11. I have to echo what a lot of people have already said - I write for me, so I will have a record of what I've been through with my horse. I'm glad I have some readers now, so I can ask questions and get reasoned answers, but I don't write "for them." I personally think if I wrote for other people, I'd censor myself and hurt my journey with horses.

    If you don't want to talk about Miranda, don't. It's your blog; limit its focus however you want.

    I've met some awesome people through blogging, both online and in real life. I know this sounds totally lame, but it helped so much last year, with the constant moving around. I had to uproot and move cross-country twice, but I still had a familiar group of friends "waiting" for me in each new place.

  12. Also - I don't think you're sanctimonious. You are speaking your truth, on YOUR blog. It's not like you go wandering around leaving comments on other people's blogs about how if they'd just take a Rashid clinic and learn to feel their horse it'd all be so much better - you just talk about what works for you, on your space. :)

  13. I find your blog interesting and often informative. It's obvious you know and care about horses, especially your older, special needs bunch. After all is said and done, it is your blog. Anyone who does not appreciate it can go elsewhere.

  14. Kate...first of all, there is no pressure for people to read our blogs. Hopefully they do it out of interest. I started my Journal after I was introduced to the Bedlam Farm Journal by Jon Katz (the author). When I read it, I was motivated to start my own. Mine consists of writings and photographs of a small town in Western New York and I am constantly promoting our area...which I love. It is a daily report of what goes on here...dogs, horses, cooking, social events etc.

    The best part for me has been discovering amazing people all over the world. It has been educational and a pure pleasure.

    Your blog Kate, has brought an awful lot to the horse community. I visit you because I want to. We all have "artistic license" and are free to present ourselves and information any way we choose to do so. I would absolutely love to meet (in person) so many of the people I communicate with.

    Hang in there...we love what you write.

  15. I started to just to keep a journal and to give a window to friends and family into my progress with my horse. I had no idea people I didn't know would be interested in the plight of a girl who bought the wrong horse, dealt with a coffin bone injury, and emerged on the other side a better horse person. But many people tagged along on my journey and became my "blogger buds."

    It is nice to be surrounded with like minded people and have this cyber connection with other horse people.

    I ended up not taking the job, but my blogging got me a job offer from Parelli. I have learned so much and made great connections. It has also offered me a shoulder when I needed one and a cheering section for something well done. So I blog on.

  16. Good points. I started a blog to talk about my pony Sam. I didn'y have a lot of horsey friends around me at the time and I just wanted to talk about what I had been doing with him and how he made me feel.

    I don't think I keep my blog as up to date as I used to and I think it is because I know have horsey people around me that I can talk to.

    I enjoy reading other peoples blogs to see what they do, how and why. Just to see if they do something different and it gives me ideas.

    I certainly don't think I could help anybody I am not that knowledgeable about training.

    I don't make it known to my friends that I keep a blog because I don't want them reading it. Strange I know but I guess I feel that I can't be one hundred percent honest about them and what they do and how I feel about that. I have certain beliefs about basic horse care and it is hard when they have different ones. That is why I want my own place so I can do things my way without being picked on. I know people aren't being nasty, it is just that I am a little padantic about my horses well being and do my best to give them everything the require because they don't live in a huge paddock with pasture all year round.

    Sorry got a bit carried away. Kate you just keep going how you want to. I enjoy your blog. Some things go straight over my head and other things I go - yeah I get that.

  17. Like many, I started blogging because I like to write, and blogging is a structured way to do that more. I never counted on readers, and vowed to continue writing whether anyone followed along or not.

    I enjoy being part of a small community. One negative for me is this: rather than getting thicker, my skin is getting thinner. What I mean is, where I once gave no thought to whether anyone commented or not, I now find myself feeling (at times) ignored or rejected.

    I am a small-time amateur, and my blog is just about my day-to-day experiences, or, to put it another way, it's like Seinfeld -- a blog about nothing. I try to look at the comic side of my misadventures. Sometimes I look at other blogs about nothing that have tons more readers than I do and wonder what they have that I don't.

    Sometimes I really have to pick myself up to blog another day, but I always do. And I just have to keep reminding myself of why I started in the first place and not judge my worth or value based on whether someone takes the time to comment or not.

    I will say this: it's a lot more fun to socialize in the blogosphere when it's not one-sided.

    I don't find you sanctimonious :-)

  18. I started reading blogs when I'd hit a roadblock with my current horse, and was looking for some different approaches. I found what I was looking for: lots of different ideas and theories and discussions. Your blog in particular has led me in a wonderful direction, introducing me to Mark Rashid and other authors (I love your book recommendations) and demonstrating a new definition of patience.
    Thanks so much for that.

    I don't blog because I just don't open up that easily. I've begun responding on blogs, but still go back and delete my responses sometimes because I don't like my words "hanging out there". So I understand if you decide not to blog any more. I would definitely miss your musings if you quit.

  19. This has crossed my mind too. I started my blog because I wanted to keep a training record of what I was doing with Anky. I've never written a journal and I'm not too good with words, but I am at the computer quite a lot so thought i'd more than likely keep it up. I am aware that people read what I'm writing and I like comments, but sometimes there are things that I'd like to put up there as a record, but are not really for public consumption, so I can't have it both ways. I find it therapeutic as it makes me think and work through things in my head as I'm writing it down.

  20. I started blogging so I could feel organized about Bodhi's training, it then changed into a place where I could also organize my new ideas about training. I read blogs like yours to hear about your ideas and experiences so I can learn from them. I enjoy the exchange of ideas that this faux community brings though there are drawbacks in that I feel a bit sucked into a world I am not sure even exists. It is a strange little internet world that we live in, but I never would have had so many ideas about training, or felt so challenged intellectually if I had just stuck to reading books. Over all I think it is worth it. I hope you do too!

  21. Great post Kate. I don't think you should let your blog go because you do write very interesting and helpful posts.

    I started blogging like many others because I like to write. When my horse Erik died from colic a few years back I really didn't know what to do with myself for a while and so I started my blog. Being an older equestrian I thought that maybe there were others like me out there and we could support each other as we aged. I'm not an expert on horses or anything else but I thought if we could give and take on ideas and review products that work etc... it would be informative and fun. And it has been for the most part.

    But like you I sometimes find myself wondering if it's really worth it. I can't imagine that many people care what I think or write about. I don't blog about my daily routine because I'm boring, so unless something humorous happens to show how silly my horses can be I don't do the everyday stuff.

    There's so much to do around here and most times I don't have any earth shattering ideas to post about so I've been toying with the idea of shutting down my blog.It takes lots of time to read,comment and write posts and lately it seems I don't have a lot of time for any of it. I do enjoy being part of a cyber horse community because other people have great ideas and I like to see how they interact with their horses. I feel like I've made some good friends on the net so it's a hard decision for me whether to let this whole thing go or not. That's about it because this is getting too long.

  22. Kate, blog cus you want to. You're interesting, even if you're just writing about something that happened at the barn in the morning. All the little stuff I wouldn't know about until I saw you later on. I like reading it on my lunch hour so I know what's going on with the horses that day. Besides, you inspired me to blog about my own progress. If folks weren't interested they wouldn't follow your blog.

  23. I started keeping a training journal when I got Izzy so I could track our progress. Eventually, I decided that it would be more interesting to do that online and I knew that there were enough horse people out there that there had to be horse blogs and an online horse community. My husband loves it, because it gives me a horse outlet and greatly reduces the amount of horse stuff he has to listen to.

  24. What a great question--and I have felt like you do MANY, MANY times. (Did I stress that enough?) Sometimes when we write, since people can't actually talk to us in person, things are taken wrong, and that's frustrating. You are very knowledgeable and I've grown from your insights--horse or otherwise. I didn't think your daughter had requested you not to talk about Miranda, it came off clearly that it was your choice out of respect for her. My daughter, however, HAS requested I be careful in blogging about her. Unfortunately, I embarrassed her once. It's hard sometimes to know what's your (my) story and someone else's.

    I started blogging to get HELP with my Mustang adoption. I hadn't planned adopting one AT ALL. I was working at my non-profit's booth during a horse fair and there they were--brought in by the BLM. I was drawn to them, of course, I'm a horse woman--I LOVE horses. And, they were just so sad looking--defeated, tagged--it tugged at my heart and I hoped they'd get adopted. BUT, no one was bidding that day!!!! So, guess what? I did. And, that's how I got a Mustang I DID NOT need, but have since fallen deeply in love with.

    But when I got her home, I didn't know what to do with her--she was WILD and SCARED. So, I immediately went in, started a blog, and got to know other mustang people. They helped me immensely.

    After gentling her though, I really questioned the whole blogging thing, but I'd made friends through it--and I developed my other interests because of their inspiration. So, all and all, I think blogging is a GREAT way for community, but like you, not a substitute for flesh and blood interaction.

  25. Kate,
    I originally started my blog about Romeo because of the health issue he was born with. If I could help even one other person out there that had a horse with the same condition (although it was very rare)then they would not have to grapple in the dark like we did. The other main reason is that I like to hear about ways people train their horses or issues and learn a great deal from them in the process. I don't blog because I love to write like many, matter of fact, I'm a horrible writer but that does not stop me. I will say, however, that I wish I had not started another blog. I felt I was getting too many other topics on my horse blog that was a bore to my horse friends? Who really knows why people keep coming back to read our blogs? We just tell what we're up to that day or week and share our lives....to me that's enough plain and simple. I do believe it is a good community in the virtual world but agree it should not replace our relationships or be abused in any way. It can become addicting and you can spend a great deal of time reading other blogs. I think self discipline is the key. I would not think to spend entire days devoted to it like some do but if that's the way they want to spend their time, it's their choice. I have too much to do around the farm. I do find it a nice break from my daily routine when I come in to sit and relax for awhile.

  26. I agree with English Rider!

    I started to blog because I had friends abroad whom I wanted to keep updated; and then I discovered a new world.
    Fellow horse bloggers! How exciting!
    I am happy because I have made new internet friends, and they have all given me valuable input.
    In my blog I just put down whatever is on my mind.
    As I have a lousy memory, it helps me to remember what I was struggling with half a year ago. Helps on the day when you feel down because "nothing happens".

  27. Lots and lots of worthwhile comments above, and I hate to restate what's already been said so well :)

    I'd say why I blog is different on different days. Some days it's stress relief - a kind of safety valve. (Better than venting at one's husband, etc., although venting all over the webwaves can be problematic too, can't it - LOL!)

    I write here because I like to write, and because writing for an audience (and like someone above, I thought it probably would be just my mother) keeps me on my toes a bit.

    Occasionally it's to brag, whine, or just share something I think is beautiful, funny, or informational. I don't know that any of those are stellar reasons, but they're mine. If I stopped enjoying it, I'd likely stop posting - and I do post less now than I once did for various reasons, not least because I see my pony much less!

    I enjoy reading others' blogs - do I read every word? Sometimes, sometimes not. Some posts strike a chord, some don't.

    Your blog is one I enjoy, and I hope to see you continue :)

  28. I like blogging because it give me a chance to talk about horses without boring anybody. In the real world, I think I have a desire to talk about horses all the time. I know that it would be terrible for my family and friends so I keep quiet. On my blog, I can say anything I want and I never have to worry because no one has to read it if they don't want to. I feel relieved to "discuss" my horses.
    A huge bonus was "meeting" other horse bloggers. I didn't know that would happen. I love reading your blog and visualizing your daily horse adventures.
    I decided early on to not be tied to my blog or feel guilty if I decided to skip days, weeks, whatever. It is like a diary without dates in it. I can write when I want to and that makes it fun!
    I say, do what makes you happy. If your blog(s) bring you joy, keep on with them. If they become a chore, then stop...or stop until they make you joyful again.
    I love posting after a good ride. It makes it seem like I am riding twice!

  29. OUr blogging while very public has in fact created a nice network of people. While I'm on the other side of the world I enjoy you virtual company through your supportive comments. At times your comments have made me look at what I deem as problems and reassess them. I think Trix has alot to thank you for .....some of your posts have probably made it possible for her to still be in my paddock. I love the little things that happen in your life ....your time in the barn with your horses ....learning about their personalities ......
    Blogging is such a weird thing in many ways ....but the communication it creates is wonderful. I've made a friend

  30. Oh my goodness, I hope you don't give up your blog! I love reading it, I love looking at the pictures, I don't think it's pretentious or a waste of your time or mine!
    I think you should be having fun with your blog! I hope you still do! I know I keep a blog above all because I am a writer at heart and this for me is a perfect and focused way to write in a slightly public sphere about something I truly love. I don't count the numbers of followers I have because really I do this for me. I have "met" some really interesting and beautiful horsepeople in the process and that community has been an unexpected and very wonderful surprise. New horsefriends?! Truly meaningful.
    I figure my blog is like my own little graphic novel. It's also an excellent horse chronicle that I can look back on the see what I was doing on this day, or on that..like my own little horses resource library.
    I just hope you are still having fun with it, because if it isn't fun, if it isn't charming you or inspiring you that would be such a bummer. For all of us!

  31. I enjoy your blog too. I feel that I can learn from you, because you have several horses in your care, and some of them are old like my son. And you spend so much of your time learning, you have a lot to share. I'm so out of touch with the horse world here, I need your blog to keep me in tune.

    Your sidebar articles are awesome too. (I wonder if you are making money through your blogs?)

    Just like you, I hate the how-to type blog entries some people do, unless someone is talking about a first hand experience, and sharing knowledge that can help people, so in effect, it's a how-to, but told in a "what happened today" style.

    I'm so picky about my blogs!

    I blog cuz my grandparents are dead now. I used to write them long letters about my endurance rides, etc, telling the stories, hand written, with a stamp, through the US postal service. I still feel that letter writing (on stationery!) is important, but now that I'm in Germany...

    I love to write; I'm a technical writer by trade (when I had a trade). I wish I could be a creative writer, but I simply have no creativity. I have to stick with what actually happened in my life, and tell it.

    I love bloggging, cuz I love my horse, and it's all about him. I hope that my blog is a tribute to my son, something I can enjoy when he's gone. But I don't want to think about that.


  32. Dear lady,
    I have been reading your blog for a while and always felt your posts as your sounding board. With the number of comments, you have a lot of friends to help you sort things out. I think it takes more courage to share what you’re thinking than to share what you have done. It is a long ways from the brain to the seat but a good place to work things out first.

    Hope you continue

  33. I do not blog as I am aware of my underwhelming literary skills and, I am a technical writer by profession!!!
    I l have been soo submerged in the technicalities, that I find no joy in the act.

    I find your writing to be insightful and heartfelt. You offer your thoughts and experience to others and, that is a huge gift.
    Write because you enjoy the fact that others find value in your thoughts! I do; and I am a small time scared to death amateur with a horse that makes her a bit nervous ! Your posts surrounding your training and handling of Dawn have been very helpful in my apiroach to my horse.

  34. I can't really add much to what has already been said, good comments.

    I blog because it's a way I can chronicle my progress with Gabe. I blog because I enjoy writing and sharing and horse people love to brag on their babies. Through blogging on my own, the comments I get and reading other people's blogs, I have learned some things and been able to address some of the issues I was having in a different way than I would have, with success.

    It is a network of "friends." Horse friends. People who get it. People who can offer advice or sympathize or say "Hey! I've been there!"

    Blog because you want to. If you ever get to the point where you feel you HAVE to blog and no longer enjoy it, stop.

  35. Hey, I don't want to hijack mugs
    How long has it been since Miranda had her setback?

  36. Holly - start by reading the January 30 post and the posts referenced in it, which give her whole history with us. We attributed a lot of her issues to ulcers - she did have severe ulcers and they've been fixed to our knowledge, but now I'm beginning to think that the ulcers were just another symptom of what was going on rather than the core issue. The February 6 post describes the set-back that seems to have unraveled things. Thanks for visiting and being interested in talking about this.

  37. Firstly, I love to read your posts. Sometimes I can hardly keep up, you always have so many great things to say :) I don't think the tone of your blog is as you think it is.

    I blog to be honest. My blog actually started as a keep-fit blog for me to try and encourage me to stick at it.

    Also, I suffer from not being able to see the wood for the trees, I can get bogged down in problems with my horse and I forget all that we've achieved thus far. I could just write in a diary but I type faster than I write. Plus I have friends all over the place and not being a member of too many forums these days, means it's a way for us all to encourage each other.

    I guess there are lots of problems which could arise from blogging. Loss of privacy, leaving oneself wide open to negative critique, readers misunderstanding what's written and copying techniques without understanding the basis behind them, etc.

    But I like it. I learn so much by reading what others write, and the great thing about having comments and followers is that they can offer a totally different perspective. Their influences and ethos offers a totally alternative take on my situation and it is useful to get that sort of feedback IMHO.

  38. Hello Kate, I thought I would reply to this one as I really enjoy reading your blog and hope you will continue :)
    As you know, my blog is mostly all sorts of life-goes-by waffle with a bit of a training diary thrown in. I blog because I love writing even if though my foreign command of English language must be putting some purists off ;)
    I blog because I think it's a great motivational/goal setting tool. I believe that writing about things is more beneficial to talking them through. It takes focus to put everything in somewhat logical order and it helps to see things clearly.
    It's enjoyable to be able to share experiences both positive and negative. It makes me feel like I am doing something useful if someone out there learns on my mistakes or benefits from my experiences.
    I always wanted to write a book. Maybe writing the blog is a little substitude for that.


  39. It's funny, your blog is one I come to because you are a person in transition with how you work with horses. It's in transitions that the most interesting lessons in life come. It's where the teacher becomes the student and a new way of looking at a problem provides insights previously invisible.

    It's not reality TV (which is, in fact, largely scripted) in my mind. It's a place where you can "think out loud" and gain perspective.

    Basically I blog for two reasons: To learn from others and to explore my thoughts. Put another way, for input/encoragement and contemplation.

    As a writer I contemplate through the act of writing. I put it out here because story is how we learn, how we process, and for me, how I keep going.

    I do hope you don't close the door now. Because I, like so many others, have enjoyed the stories and insights you've generously offered.


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