First of all, I would really appreciate to avoid any discipline or horsemanship practice bashing in this thread. Thank you.
Now to the topic. I live in a country where NH is relatively new. The majority of our horse world do either of these three disciplines - showjumping, dressage and recently driving has come into play, too. There are only a couple of NH barns and a handful of people who practice NH openly, and I'm among them, residing in one of these few barns - this exact one also practices natural horsekeeping, which is also unpopular around here as for now. Some people try doing it, but are bashed and laughed at by their more traditional barn mates, and some seclude themselves from the rest of the equestrian world, residing in very private barns and not even speaking about their practices.
When NH was introduced here, the few who did it went in a full battle mode, claiming that all the traditional practices are evil and harmful for the horse, thus making not the best impression and not proving their loud claims of being something like horse whisperers with reasonable proof.
Right now, a small group of people and myself are working on integration of NH practices in our equestrian world - we write and translate articles about horse psychology and such, once a year we may participate with horsemanship demonstrations in larger shows, a couple of more experienced people offer training, etc. Nothing aggressive and pushy, just being what we are and aiming to share our experience in a positive way. However, most of those equestrians, who practice strictly "traditional" ways, are always fast to bash on us and ridiculing our attempts. We try not to get defensive and not involve in their provocations, and sometimes the stereotypes that are thrown at our direction are truly confusing and funny.
Here's some of them and maybe you'll want to share any that you have heard.
* The horses actually don't trust them and are just beaten into submission when nobody is watching.
* They do NH just because they are afraid to ride.
* They are just a bunch of lovey-dovey individuals who treat their horses like puppies and dream of the Black Stallion Bond.
* They don't look and dress posh enough to be of any interest to the general equestrian world.
* No reputable trainer would ever try any NH methods.
* Their horses are so plain and boring looking (not clipped, with natural mane and tail, unshod, calmer than horses that are stalled for too long, and our particular also are mostly bay/brown and not of fancy breeds), and certainly bored to death with the 7 games.
And so on. It gets tiresome from time to time, to keep to the positive attitude, to explain, but it is really worth it when somebody finds their time to listen and to actually change something in their relationships with horses. So... I guess the question is - what do you do (if needed) to keep calm and carry on, and what would you do to endure the social pressure if you had chosen the path of a public horseperson who aims to share experience? I don't want to hide, but I don't want to be attacked either. :)