Sunday, October 27, 2013

Not an Expert

I'm just a horseperson - the best I can be (on my good days).  I'm no trainer, or expert, although I try to learn from those who know more than I do whenever I can.  Blogging under these circumstances can be troubling.  I know more than some and less than a lot - does that mean I should blog about my horse experiences, or not?  I got one of those comments today - they're always "anonymous", not even a name - on one of my softness sidebar posts.  The comment was to the effect that the idea was nice, but my hands were too low and my posture leaning forward.  Yeah, guilty as charged - those are both riding faults I've struggled with for years - and some days I actually look better than that but a lot of days I don't.

I'm troubled by the whole blogging thing - I've got lots of followers and presumably some of them even read my posts.  But should I be posting about this stuff?  I'm no expert, don't presume to advise anyone else (particularly if I've never seen their horse and often not then), and think I have a long way to go in my horsemanship journey.

But somehow, I continue to think that the journey itself is valuable, and the small things I learn are valuable - at least to me and my horses although they may be obvious to others.  I certainly don't think I have answers, although I continue to learn things from my horses.  And I do strongly believe that there are certain ways of approaching and dealing with horses that are better than others - fairer, more effective and which take account of the horse and how the horse feels about things.  I think better learning and connection come out from this foundation.

Perhaps I should take down some of the softness posts - they're certainly not always great examples of horsemanship.  Perhaps this blog should just slim down to a riding log of what my horses and I experience each day.  I'm a bit inclined that way right now.

Let me know what you think.

22 comments:

  1. Eh, when someone leaves comments like that anonymously, not even a blogger screen name, I tend to just kind of shrug and move on. I certainly wouldn't dream of taking down some of your softness posts, they'r very good. I right about some of the things I've learned and observed on my farm, especially when it comes to herd dynamics. It doesn't make me an expert and I don't think of myself as one, but I enjoy sharing my experiences and hearing other people's thoughts on them. Sometimes I clarify a lot in my own head just through the act of writing certain posts so even if I get zero feedback the act of writing and thinking through a topic is very helpful to me. So my vote is keep blogging and sharing your thoughts and experiences, you wouldn't have so many followers if we didn't enjoy and get a lot out of reading your posts.

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    1. Melissa - I agree that the practice/discipline of writing things out is valuable to me as the writer - it does help think things through.

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  2. I have always enjoyed your posts - especially the ones digging deeper into softness and the Mark Rashid wrap-ups. In fact I often try some of your techniques you describe, even though some would say they are not "dressage" techniques. Sometimes they work for me, sometimes not. But like you said - whatever works for you and your horse. Perhaps those that claim they know more than you, are the ones who really have a lot to learn?

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  3. No way! Let folks relate to your blog or not! I read it as often as I can and I don't see you as an expert but as a fellow horse person doing the best you can and sharing your experience for all who are interested... It's funny, someone said something negative about my blog and it did affect me.. then I moved on. I can only share to the level of my own experience...

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  4. We all learn from each other... through our triumphs and mistakes. Someone who doesn't have the balls to leave their name with their comment is NOT someone worth listening to. The BEST riders still have riding flaws. Imperfections don't make you unqualified to share your experiences. You don't CLAIM to be a master of all things equine. Don't let one idiot get you down. People can be downright cruel behind the mask of the internet. It's hard not to let it sting, but it's not a reason to stop blogging.

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  5. I read your posts every day. We often think very much alike in our approach to our horses. I agree with the previous comment about anonymous posters - ignore them. Plus, every horse is different and I don't think there is one particular place for hands on every single horse in the whole world. Feel is what's important to you and how you ride your horse.

    Keep up the good work.

    Dan

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  6. No no please don't! Because I still need to re-read them...haha :) I think we all can learn from each other; saying what you've experienced and what you do doesn't put you as an expert. Some people will always feel the need to critique and I just feel sorry for them because they rarely ever learn much. I would be very sad if you took all those posts down... :)

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  7. Please do not stop. I know that for me, even though I don't comment often, is a wealth of information for people like me. I have never read a single post where in you try to claim to be a professional, you are a woman on a journey which parallels many of our own. I wouldn't give that comment a second thought.

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  8. I say keep on writing and sharing. Your information has helped me grow and learn and look at horses in a different light. Even though I don't have horses at the moment, I still read your blog and enjoy reading about what is going on and how you are dealing with things.

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  9. I hope you won't take down those posts. None of us are experts, and all of us will decide what ideas to borrow or dismiss from one another's blogs, but I can say that your blog has given me a lot to think about over the years. I don't always agree but a lot of what you say is similar to my own philosophies, and I think your posts have challenged me to think about things (and practice approaches in my own riding) that I wouldn't have otherwise had much exposure to. And honestly, who cares if your posture isn't perfect? Happy horses are more important than pretty posture.

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  10. Years ago I posted a blog on why I ride. The nutshell version- I ride for the love of riding. I get to trail ride, as I am blessed in my location. I read other horsepeople's blogs to learn why THEY ride, and how they do it. As long as the horse isn't getting hurt, I think they are doing it right.

    Continue to tell your stories. True horse lovers want to keep learning...

    Bill

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  11. I enjoy reading your blog for its honesty and because I admire the way you approach training (yes, train) your horses. We all make mistakes and one of the most valuable things about being part of the blogging horse community is the ah-ha moments I find reading and learning from others. I tend to ignore advice from critical/negative people. Don't stop sharing what you are doing, what works, and what doesn't. It is all valuable. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with low hands. :)

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  12. Blogging is a great way to document the journey. Comments are like icing - sometimes they add to the cake - sometimes they aren't necessary. This is about you and your three horses and when you share your growth you help other people with their own approach.
    You ride every day, Kate. That fact alone makes you an expert - in my world. Horse people have many opinions but riding - really riding instead of just talking or commenting - is what it is all about to me.

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  13. I so enjoy reading about your experiences with your horses. It's your blog, so you can write what you want and it' so vinous you write from your heart and are a very reflective person. God bless you and all your charges! Barb

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  14. We are the "experts" of our own experiences.

    Please don't let one knucklehead (nice version) make you change a thing about this blog - the lovely journey of a kind, sensitive horsewoman and her three horses.

    People whose opinions matter probably don't have time for anonymous criticizing...

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  15. If you're inclined to take them down because you don't want to have stupid anonymous people make petty criticisms about your riding, then I would support that. But if you're thinking of taking them down because they're not useful and that's what the internet at large thinks, I would ask you to reconsider. I have re-read almost all the softness posts (and clinic notes for that matter) at least twice and there's still more I want to learn from them.

    I am another one that is glad you took the risk in sharing your journeys and riding with us because I get a lot out of it.

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  16. I read your posts every day and value your posts on softness! I think it's a great tragedy of the blogosphere that people can make comments without really thinking about what they are saying. You are an inspiration and we horsepeople have to keep sharing what we are learning so we can promote a continuous learning style! There's so much wealth to be found in your posts, especially since you post so frequently (which is a rarity). Keep up the good work!

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  17. I wouldn't let negative comments,especially anonymous ones, bother me. In my opinion anyone who won't leave their name with a negative comment isn't worth a second thought.

    In our horse blogging community we all have the opportunity to learn from each other's experiences. I've been interacting with horses for more years than I care to admit to but I find I'm always learning something new. It's important to keep an open mind and seek new information all the time. And yes, at times I don't agree with some methods I read on others blogs but when that happens I just disregard it and move on without leaving nasty comments. I've got to say though that I feel you and I have the same basic concepts when it comes to training and working with our horses.

    So keep your side posts up and those who get something from them will appreciate all the time and effort you put into writing about your thoughts on softness.

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  18. I read your blog often. I don't find much to say but I like the window you give us onto your horsey life and experiences. Your blog should be essentially for you. Don't change a thing.

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  19. I find the people that are the most critical about how people progress and write about their experiences are often the most unable to achieve thsemselves.

    I think the posts are good. We should all be riders on a journey to progressing and seeing where we come from is a good thing.



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  20. I think your blog is wonderful just as it is. It gives me a lot to think about in my horsemanship journey. A dry ride journal wouldn't be at all the same. Of course, it's your choice. But I hope you'll continue as you have before.

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  21. Textbook riding corrections like the ones left in the comment can be written by anyone. They do not even have to know how to ride and completely miss the point of your softness posts. We all have imperfections in our riding form. This doesn't mean that we have nothing to offer. The horse shows if he is happy with his rider.

    Ignore the anon comment.

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