How to stop people from giving advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down How to stop people from giving advice

This is going to sound strange but I'm looking for advice on how to stop people at my boarding facility from giving me advice.

I'm new to horses, recently got my first horse. I am so tired of every person giving me advice - do this, do that, buy this, buy that. Example, tonight I'm working in a pen pretty far from the 'tack room' building, across a pasture - everything is going really well. Then this woman who's always there (and always telling me what I should do) starts walking aaaallll the way over to us. She finally gets to the pen, comes on in - I ask "what's up?" at which point she tells me I need a 'bigger saddle', a back cinch, breast collar... She tightens my cinch to show me how the saddle shouldn't move around - where do I begin?? I asked her if by bigger saddle she meant wider bars, she said no just a bigger saddle... that did not make any sense. I smile and nod, whatever. She tightens the cinch, but the saddle clearly still moves because my horse is REALLY round, so she tells me he's fat (obvious, I've been working on his weight since I got him). She tells me I need to buy a different latigo with holes, a back cinch so the saddle doesn't pop up and down (we were walking the horse...).

This is every single time I go out there, to the point where I worry about other boarders being there~! It's making my new fun hobby stressful.

How do I politely, nicely, tell everyone there to mind their own business, go tend their own horses, and leave me to learn on my own???
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 09:16 PM
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Gosh, I saw myself in "that woman"! I am sure I have done just that very thing way too much in my lifetime of riding (all 11 years of it!) But I think I can see how it is annoying, and I do work at keeping that impulse to "help" bottled up.
I try not to offer any advice unless either I see an unsafe situation, OR I ask if it's wanted, 'cause I think I really can help and make it go more smoothly for the other person.

Otherwise, I try not to watch them and make them uncomfortable. I hate being watched, too, and I know that I am doing things in ways that can be done better.

Oh well, I guess you will just have to tell them. "I really appreciate that you want to help me, and if you see me in real danger, please don't hesitate to speak up. But I am learning a lot just by kind of struggling through these things on my own, so I also appreciate being allowed to do this without being watched or babysat."

what thinkest thou?
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 09:33 PM
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I would have told the lady in no uncertain terms that if she touched my horse again, she'd be picking herself off the ground! Then I would have thanked her for her unsolicited advice and showed her the gate. But that's me, old/cranky and don't have time to beat around the bush!
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 09:33 PM
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Yeah, I'm probably that person too. When you see someone struggling or not doing something like you think they should be, it's hard not to want to say something and be helpful (or so you think). I make a policy of keeping my mouth shut unless someone is totally out of line or doing something so extraordinarily stupid it's dangerous, as people usually don't want to hear unsolicited advice.

Try: "I really appreciate that you're trying to help and if I ever have questions I'll be sure to ask, but right now I really need the space to figure some of this out for myself."
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 10:36 PM
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get you a MP3 player, and some earplug earbuds, actually all you need is the ear buds, they dont know it isnt on, dance a bit and just smile and nod, they'll assume you are listening to music and cant hear them.
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 10:42 PM
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I think a polite response as stated above but I also think you need to chill out a bit. Most people give advice to be helpful and a lot of times more experienced horse peoples' advice is right...but whether they're right or wrong, try not to let it get to you too much. Any time you are around horse people, you are likely to get the occassional unsolicited advice. Maybe try to view it with humor rather than annoyance and certainly don't let it ruin your new hobby.

And be thankful its adults giving you advice. I once had a 4 year old (yes she seriously was 4!) march into the arena while I was riding and loudly announce "if you put a martingale on Lucky he might actually keep his head down!" I was embarrassed not only that his head was way up but especially that a child not only noticed but pointed it out to everyone...
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 10:48 PM
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Oh boy, unfortunately- I believe this is just one of those things that will happen. People want to help people, or atleast pretend to, it's just the way it is. It's even more intense with horse people... It kind of reminds me of being pregnant & EVERYONE having advice.

It still happens to me, especially with my old trainer, my aunt, & my grandmother.. & I haven't had my horses at their place, for 5 years haha. Yet still, if I'm doing something new, or have a new horse in- the advice flows.

Don't let it dishearten you, most people mean no harm, it's just people feel as if they know something they should share..
At the same time, I wouldn't accept it or even be polite about it if it came off rude or was dangerous advice. However, if they are being kind, I just nod, smile, & say thank you. Wen it comes to touching your horse, I would ask that to not continue tho.
For the most part, when someone is new to horses, it seems as if it's par for the course to deal with all the unasked advice, no matter how annoying it is. Sometimes, they are genuinely trying to help, & sometimes they are giving good advice or making you realize something you didn't notice.
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post #8 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 10:51 PM
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if it was once in a while, or if the people asked, " Need some help?" or hows it going? But after about the millionth time it starts getting old, it is so hard not to tell people off, but it is really annoying. Try just letting know your doing your own thing but thanks for the offer, touching my horse or tack with out permission is crossing the line and would get an extremly quick reprimand.
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-09-2011, 10:51 PM
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She is just trying to be helpful I am sure, but I would draw the line when she enters the pen you are currently occupying (assuming you mean a round pen) and touches your horse and your tack.

I would thank her for her advice, but tell her that this is your horse and your hobby and you'd appreciate it if she wouldn't get in your personal space while you are working your own horse.
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-10-2011, 07:23 AM
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I guess I see things differently. If you are new to horses you should welcome the advice and help. You have a lot to learn, and are fortunate to have people around that are willing to help. Many horse people, including a lot on here, are always willing to help a tenderfoot. If I were you I would listen and learn rather than complain...
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