Its because you are nicer, more understanding, and more supportive. I guess I only stated what I wouldn't be working on because normally when I ask for critique, I get expected to be professional. I just want to be able to jump when I want to. Not show. I think I get really irritated easily, too because I am SO proud of being able to jump again and then having someone tell me I can't do it because I don't have a trainer. Its heartbreaking. Im not doing anything earth shattering wrong. Just when I feel happy about something, its usually crushed by someone saying I'm not good enough. That is why I am a backyard rider because I don't want to have to please everyone. Its impossible. I just want to be able to ride without having to worry about being ostracized for little things like my weight, my horse, my equipment, my facilities, etc. I have just been so hurt by the equestrian community. Im really disappointed by it. You are one of the few people that is actually nice but honest with me without being snarky or snobby. Which is why I haven't said anything
I completely understand where you're coming from. Growing up I was tortured at school and when I found horses I thought I'd finally fit in - but never did. I was always the dork who wanted to ride western and bareback in formal english riding schools. After years of switching riding schools repeatedly because of trouble with the other girls I started volunteering at a local rescue.
It was like a whole new world, everyone there was just as 'different' as me. I stopped taking riding lessons and spent every waking second at the rescue. There I learned all about the real issues happening in the equine world, I learned all about horses on the ground. Everything from dealing with physical and mental health issues - in dealing with their issues I overcame my own emotional troubles.
I decided I would never work in the horse industry because it was all immoral and all the people were nasty and mean- so I went to college for fashion design. What a mistake xD if you think horse people are catty - go to fashion school!! I struggled through 2 years with minimal horses and by the end of the second year I was so depressed - numerous other issues had occurred to make things all the worse. I gave it all up - dropped out of school and was ruined.
I went back to the rescue (I needed a place to sleep after all)- they took me in and a year later I had my own horse, I was in a healthy relationship and I started looking at the horse world with fresh eyes. The people in the horse industry aren't uniquelly unkind people - they're simply human. Humans, especially teenage girls, are really difficult to get along with - especially if you're even not comfortable with yourself, like I wasn't, there was no way I could be comfortable with other people!
Horses were different I could be me with them. I got a really awful horse-related job, where the people I worked with turned into being like family, including the blood-curdling yelling matches. In this job, the people were my family, but the horses were treated poorly - I struggled with that for a good long time before I left.
That's when I realized I couldn't live my life without horses, I couldn't have a regular job and just have horses on the side - No horses are my LIFE.
So I started looking around, what job could I do that would involve horses but not compromise my very high standards.
I finally realized, I could be a therapeutic riding instructor! Having never reached advanced levels of competitive riding I couldn't teach recreational riding beyond beginner level - and honestly I didn't want to teach those kids who had tortured me either.
I eagerly worked for a year as a recreational riding instructor while I got licensed for therapeutic work - I've been doing it now for a couple years and can't get over how much I love this career. I spend my days with well cared for horses and students who thrive with them.
I got my own horse, unwisely and untouched 8 year old draft horse xD At the rescue I had learned a great deal about training - I had NO idea how much I didn't
know until I got my mare. It was appalling! I immediately educated myself in everything I could find on horse training. I read every book in every book store and library, read the internet a million times over.
Still my mare still had serious issues- I still hadn't even tried to back her, her ground work was so miserable.
I finally posted on a forum - I got BLASTED by rude and mean people - including everything up to telling me my horse was better off if I euthanized her than keeping her! I was so miserable - it haunted me I couldn't sleep and I didn't want to even look at my mare anymore.
I finally posted something on this forum, I don't know what compelled me to try again - masochism maybe?
I was met with similar aggression and rudeness, people telling me I couldn't do it and I shouldn't try. But among the masses there were a few small voices with some really good advice. And when I went back and read *without such a heavy heart* the messages from the people who were less than kind - the advice they offered was valid - they just said it in very harsh ways.
The few kind voices had made a world of difference in me and my horse's life - we have come so far together now and are working on mounted work together. I even got a pony too! I'm using the same methods that they taught me here, and having equally exceptional results. I am more than thrilled.
My point in telling you my life story is to say, I've been there - but the thing I've noticed in all your posts is the same problem I have - I focus on the negative and ignore the positive. We get offended and mad about the slight negative jabs here and there, that we don't even see or acknowledge the positive, constructive advice that really could make a world of difference.
So please work hard at focusing on the positive, because that
is what will last - that is what will make the difference (if you let it). The little negative bits only matter for a short time, it's the good stuff that matters!
Sorry for the novel :)