I realize OP has moved but my thinking is this. Unless there is a dangerous, or abusive, situation brewing, I keep my opinions to myself unless otherwise asked for my opinion or help. Sure, I've had to bite my lip a few times to keep from interfering in some issues but while maybe not horse illiterate, what people were doing was more lack of experience vice true damage. Now, if I see one of the kids having a problem with bridling a horse who suddenly decides to become their giraffe half, I'll walk over and ask if they need help.
I expect the same courtesy in return. If there is a situation developing of which I am unaware for whatever reason and it can become dangerous I expect someone to speak up, but, unless I ask for help or someone's opinion (outside of my trainer or fellow riders that have more experience than me and are helping me out) then I expect people to not do what this woman was doing. I WILL tell someone off, politely, if need be.
AS for patting..understanding my horse, I pat the rump and shoulder and will otherwise give rubs anywhere else. If I am actually riding at the time I may do a quick stroke of the neck followed by a couple of LIGHT pats..never could figure out why people have to give those over exaggerated versions I see..I sure wouldn't want to be patted that hard :) but the fact the horse doesn't launch them may mean they are either used to it or don't care.
Last edited by tlkng1; 08-09-2013 at 06:46 PM.