Topics of Interest
This Horse Forum gives me a lot of pleasure and as some of you will know I regularly post articles and starter threads for it. My interest in largely in Horse Training, & English Riding but I also look through the new posts to see if there is anything else for me to consider and maybe make a comment on. I find it puzzling that there is no sub thread of Rider Training but some rider issues are covered under Horse Riding.
What also is very puzzling to me as to the popularity of particular threads. Some go on for ages and attract a lot of viewers; some even attract viewers and posters; whereas some fall by the wayside quite quickly. Personally what I like to see is a thread which bounces back and forth with lots of comment and counter comment. It is pleasing to spot a new “nomme de plume” every now and again but of course it is also good to see the same old “posters” coming back to put in their “two penny worth” . It is very interesting to see contributors from around the English speaking world - Canada, Australia, Sth Africa and of course Britain. We Brits somehow get to be everywhere but there again we invented the medium of the English language and for that matter the Internet -(yes we did!). You guys are welcome to use the language anytime - even misuse it if you insist. We even attract articles written in English by some non native speakers of English in Europe namely Germans, Swedes, the Dutch and, I even noticed, two Czechs. Amazing. Welcome everyone! Where are the Russians, the Hungarians the Chinese and the Mongolians - they all have strong horsey cultures - and many of them speak English as a second tongue. Maybe the more we communicate with each other, the less we will disagree about.
Personally I don’t get upset when someone who has literacy problems comes on. If they were speaking then they would not attract much attention but when their writing skills are obviously inept then for some reason they attract unkind and negative comment. There is no reason however why they are not good with horses just because they can neither write nor spell or punctuate. As long as I personally can ’catch the drift’ - that’s OK by me. Anyway Pidgeon English has got we Brits out of trouble on many an occasion. Have any of you folks been to Newcastle on a Saturday evening? They speak 'Geordie' up there which is almost unintelligible.
I don’t like to see aggression. I don’t like it addressed to my horse nor to my fellow Forum member. The problem to avoid when writing is that the written word and the spoken word can be different. One can easily offend with the written word, whereas in speech one can cloak any obtuseness by using inflection or other tones in one’s voice. In the written word sarcasm is especially difficult to put over. The Internet offers little scope for “body language “ - (although after thinking about that, I am not so sure if I can write that). If the inept writer has put finger to keyboard, then let us not discourage them or worse upset them - they know their skills aren’t up to much - let us help them get better. We’d do it for a novice rider wouldn’t we?
The purpose behind this particular article is to get some feedback from all you folks who read but don’t post. Why don’t you post? is an obvious first question. Undoubtedly you will have ideas- why don’t you put them forwards for discussion.
Another question is: “Which genre of topics do you find most interesting?” I am a little puzzled as to why a thread I started entitled: “Why heels up and not down/English riding“ has attracted over 3000 viewings to date. By “any stretch of the imagination” it is a pretty intense subject. It is nevertheless a fascinating subject and one relevant to any English style rider but the thread has gone on and on yet relatively few individuals (86) have contributed to it - although some writers posted more than once. - including me. This old thread was No I for me with 1499 viewings a month ago on the 4th November.
I print out the same time each day a list of the threads I have started - just to see which articles have been of interest to viewers. I can’t draw any conclusions other than one:- whenever a written argument develops, the viewings go up. The more controversial the subject the more the interest.
My No 2 thread was Western to English/English Riding with 1637 viewings and back on 4/11 it had 1220 viewings. Now I am careful in prose when comparing the Western v English styles of riding because one can get close to offending in a nationalistic way - not that English riding has much to do with being English these days. Those Germans and Dutch are now the leading exponents within the dressage world. Noticeably this thread had a mere 33 posts over a long period - again several by the same author excluding me. Yet the thread is still being viewed on regular basis.
My biggest surprise has been the response to How to respond to a bolting horse/Horse Articles - 1633 viewings to date (8 last night) 1395 on 4/11 - yet only 22 posts in total over several months.. I wrote the starter way back last year soon after I started to contribute. It has drifted on and on. Is there more to be written on what obviously is a very hot topic? Interesting the article I wrote on The Gallop/ Horse stories & poems resulted in no posts and only 179 viewings. Yet galloping and bolting are so closely related - perhaps I put it into the wrong sub forum?
So guys, now we get to the punch line. I write for pleasure and amusement. I find the contacts I make on the Forum introduce me to new people and fresh ideas. The English village pub is dying - I cannot these days readily “pop out” to sit and gossip with the locals with a pint jug of beer in my hand. You folks are now my locals and hopefully I am going to continue to sit and “chew the cud” with you chaps. (You Americans use funny expressions on TV - here is yet another example in this post of the English vernacular)
Why don’t some of you post at all?
What do you want to read & write about?
& What is your response to what I have tried to outline in this article?
& Why haven’t we got a ‘Rider Training’ sub Forum?
If viewers care to suggest articles of interest then I for one will have a stab at writing a starter post - so long as I have some knowledge of the subject. Just keep the ideas horsey - for dogs there is the Dog Forum.
And be advised that I am an Old Man well past his prime - be gentle with an ‘Old Codger‘.
(Now, mumble, mumble, which sub forum do I put this under?)