God! I hate that! At my barn, I always catch so much crap about what I wear, what put on my horse, and how much I spend on all of it. I board at a barn with a bunch of natural horsemanship disciples/speed eventers/barrel racers. They are great horse people, very laid back and down to earth, but the second I put on my half chaps, tack up with my English saddle and my bridle with a nose band... I hear all kinds of jokes. They may not be serious, but I still think it's rude.
I don't want to feel ashamed about how I ride, especially if I'm not doing anything wrong. I have studied Natural Horsemanship too, and from what I understand, those techniques are pretty much how I have been approaching horses my entire life. I'm sorry I didn't buy out the Parelli store. I don't need all those high priced training tools to work with my horse. I can't even use a leather halter without getting a sideways look from my barn owner. All of her horses have rope halters and apparently it's just wrong to use anything else. My horse is well behaved, he will follow me anywhere without a halter so I don't even need one, really. I bought him a leather one because I think they look nice.
Plus, I am the only person who blankets my horse all winter. Every quarter horse and mustang on the property grows a long, thick winter coat. My horse is a thoroughbred, he just doesn't get as woolly. I made an even bigger "mistake" by buying a nice burgundy and green plaid blanket this year. My horse is a dark bay and he looks so handsome in it, but the first day he had it on, one of the other boarders made a joke about how it made him look prissy. Then he went on to say "Maybe that's why he is at the bottom of the heard, the horses think he's a wuss!" I was so mad.
I'm at the point now where I just don't give a **** about what anyone else thinks about me and my horse. I love him so much, I would never do anything to make him uncomfortable for my own personal satisfaction. I may be the odd duck at my barn, but they will have to get used to it. I'm not changing the way I ride or the things I do for my horse to make them happy.
So there! Rant over. Lol