That's the thing, some people post for Critique thinking "What good things are other people going to say about my horse? That his mane looks so cute the way I braided it? That his coat is SOOO shiny?" I think some people post their best pictures of them and their horse looking the best they ever have and expect no one to find anything wrong with it.. then they get upset when someone does notice something. Others just post their horses more to brag about them, then quickly realise that this forum may or may not result in people bragging on their horse =)
Sometimes too you have to look at the riding age/age of the poster. If the Author is 11 years old, or 45 years old and been taking lessons for a year... don't post mind blowing critique... especially if they are taking lessons (they are already getting that critique! =) ) If I can tell it is a young poster, or someone without much experience, I wont bring up the details, only things that will immediately help them succeed, or prevent them from inadvertantly harming their mount (stuff like keeping elbows in, being gentle on the bit, heels down, etc). I won't give them the railing that I give my Level 5 Dressage students, LOL!
Furthermore, that's why im a firm believer in the ol' "Compliment Sandwich". If you only have one critique, say something nice about the horse, then add your critique, then say another nice thing about the horse.. usually, people will take criticism more seriously if they see other positives.
And I cannot agree with you more on that second point. The example I will use is something along the lines of: Someone posts a picture of their 6 month old Walking Horse baby, and someone who is familiar with non-gaited horses says "OMG the pasterns are WAY too long!!" an experienced horse person will know that Walking Horses are born with freakishly long pasterns (from time to time) that will tighten up as they age.
It is very wise to not comment or critique something unless you know exactly what your talking about, whether it be through personal experience or literature/schooling/other legitimate sources. Will you ever see me posting a critique on a mule? No. LOL because I don't know Mules enough to have a legitimate opinion on them.
I like that people don't critique you on this board UNLESS you post in the critique section. That sole fact will keep me here forever. (Now, that doesn't mean that people arent PRAYING that I post a picture of Charity in the critique section so they can tell me how parked under she is, LOL but at least people here have tact!)
Go onto Youtube and look at -any- horse video. I'd say 95% of all horse videos regardless of content (anything from someone getting bucked off to someone on the ground petting their horse) have such SNARKY and NASTY comments! I posted a picture of Jasmine doing a Western Pleasure trot, and everyone JUMPED on it and said how she was set in the "old" style of WP (yeah.. because she is 23.. she IS OLD) and how she was too fat, then when I said she was pregnant and at 6 months, they said I shouldnt be riding her and I was too heavy for her (im 140, she is 15.3 hh... no effin way!) down to comments on how they hate QH's because they are too bouncy. Horse people can be WAY too opinionated for their own good.
My goodness, im a long winded 22 year old! LOL!