Topics of Interest
Topics of Interest
This Horse Forum gives me a lot of pleasure and as some of you will know I regularly post articles and starter threads for it. My interest in largely in Horse Training, & English Riding but I also look through the new posts to see if there is anything else for me to consider and maybe make a comment on. I find it puzzling that there is no sub thread of Rider Training but some rider issues are covered under Horse Riding.
What also is very puzzling to me as to the popularity of particular threads. Some go on for ages and attract a lot of viewers; some even attract viewers and posters; whereas some fall by the wayside quite quickly. Personally what I like to see is a thread which bounces back and forth with lots of comment and counter comment. It is pleasing to spot a new “nomme de plume” every now and again but of course it is also good to see the same old “posters” coming back to put in their “two penny worth” . It is very interesting to see contributors from around the English speaking world - Canada, Australia, Sth Africa and of course Britain. We Brits somehow get to be everywhere but there again we invented the medium of the English language and for that matter the Internet -(yes we did!). You guys are welcome to use the language anytime - even misuse it if you insist. We even attract articles written in English by some non native speakers of English in Europe namely Germans, Swedes, the Dutch and, I even noticed, two Czechs. Amazing. Welcome everyone! Where are the Russians, the Hungarians the Chinese and the Mongolians - they all have strong horsey cultures - and many of them speak English as a second tongue. Maybe the more we communicate with each other, the less we will disagree about.
Personally I don’t get upset when someone who has literacy problems comes on. If they were speaking then they would not attract much attention but when their writing skills are obviously inept then for some reason they attract unkind and negative comment. There is no reason however why they are not good with horses just because they can neither write nor spell or punctuate. As long as I personally can ’catch the drift’ - that’s OK by me. Anyway Pidgeon English has got we Brits out of trouble on many an occasion. Have any of you folks been to Newcastle on a Saturday evening? They speak 'Geordie' up there which is almost unintelligible.
I don’t like to see aggression. I don’t like it addressed to my horse nor to my fellow Forum member. The problem to avoid when writing is that the written word and the spoken word can be different. One can easily offend with the written word, whereas in speech one can cloak any obtuseness by using inflection or other tones in one’s voice. In the written word sarcasm is especially difficult to put over. The Internet offers little scope for “body language “ - (although after thinking about that, I am not so sure if I can write that). If the inept writer has put finger to keyboard, then let us not discourage them or worse upset them - they know their skills aren’t up to much - let us help them get better. We’d do it for a novice rider wouldn’t we?
The purpose behind this particular article is to get some feedback from all you folks who read but don’t post. Why don’t you post? is an obvious first question. Undoubtedly you will have ideas- why don’t you put them forwards for discussion.
Another question is: “Which genre of topics do you find most interesting?” I am a little puzzled as to why a thread I started entitled: “Why heels up and not down/English riding“ has attracted over 3000 viewings to date. By “any stretch of the imagination” it is a pretty intense subject. It is nevertheless a fascinating subject and one relevant to any English style rider but the thread has gone on and on yet relatively few individuals (86) have contributed to it - although some writers posted more than once. - including me. This old thread was No I for me with 1499 viewings a month ago on the 4th November.
I print out the same time each day a list of the threads I have started - just to see which articles have been of interest to viewers. I can’t draw any conclusions other than one:- whenever a written argument develops, the viewings go up. The more controversial the subject the more the interest.
My No 2 thread was Western to English/English Riding with 1637 viewings and back on 4/11 it had 1220 viewings. Now I am careful in prose when comparing the Western v English styles of riding because one can get close to offending in a nationalistic way - not that English riding has much to do with being English these days. Those Germans and Dutch are now the leading exponents within the dressage world. Noticeably this thread had a mere 33 posts over a long period - again several by the same author excluding me. Yet the thread is still being viewed on regular basis.
My biggest surprise has been the response to How to respond to a bolting horse/Horse Articles - 1633 viewings to date (8 last night) 1395 on 4/11 - yet only 22 posts in total over several months.. I wrote the starter way back last year soon after I started to contribute. It has drifted on and on. Is there more to be written on what obviously is a very hot topic? Interesting the article I wrote on The Gallop/ Horse stories & poems resulted in no posts and only 179 viewings. Yet galloping and bolting are so closely related - perhaps I put it into the wrong sub forum?
So guys, now we get to the punch line. I write for pleasure and amusement. I find the contacts I make on the Forum introduce me to new people and fresh ideas. The English village pub is dying - I cannot these days readily “pop out” to sit and gossip with the locals with a pint jug of beer in my hand. You folks are now my locals and hopefully I am going to continue to sit and “chew the cud” with you chaps. (You Americans use funny expressions on TV - here is yet another example in this post of the English vernacular)
Why don’t some of you post at all?
What do you want to read & write about?
& What is your response to what I have tried to outline in this article?
& Why haven’t we got a ‘Rider Training’ sub Forum?
If viewers care to suggest articles of interest then I for one will have a stab at writing a starter post - so long as I have some knowledge of the subject. Just keep the ideas horsey - for dogs there is the Dog Forum.
And be advised that I am an Old Man well past his prime - be gentle with an ‘Old Codger‘.
(Now, mumble, mumble, which sub forum do I put this under?)
I personally like all of your posts and if I don't comment on them (which is rare) it is because I either have no background or opinion on the subject or you have said what I would have said in a much more elegent way.
As far as what i want to read and write about, I like the posts that go further than "my horse won't lunge" and gets into the philosophy of horse training or riding or manners (horse and rider). I enjoy being introduced to new voices in the horse world that have different take on the subject of horses.
As usual, I am intrigued by the questions you pose...but for once (or maybe twice) I am actually going to respond! :-)
I actually read HF almost daily and have since the time I signed up. But as you can see from my statistics, I very rarely post. I have done more in the past week then I've done on average in the prior months, but still, in general, I don't post much.
The reason I'm sure you may be asking? I don't know much about horse training. Now, I own two horses that are happy, healthy and are a great source of joy for me, but I have no where near the experience of most of the members and I don't think I have much to contribute in terms of advice. My ponies are by and large pasture puffs. They don't have jobs other than to eat, sleep, make me smile when grooming and mucking out the barn and take me and my husband on the occasional stroll around the back pasture. And sometimes I wonder if I am doing them a disservice. Do they mind? I don't think so but I still sometimes wonder.
However, I love reading this forum and adding to my knowledge base, and I love looking at all the pictures of the beautiful horses on here.
And being the voracious reader that I am, I return to certain posts more than once just to keep up with the discussion and to garner additional tidbits of advice. But I do read most of the posts at least once. Yours I read more than once. :wink: But that is because they are so thoughtfully written.
And to your comment about spelling, punctuation and the mastery of the English language...I don't really mind if words or grammar aren't exactly right as long as it's clear someone is taking the time to write out their responses. Which mostly it is. It's the text speak laziness that sometimes makes it difficult to get through the postings without feeling a teensy bit annoyed. I shouldn't be so judgmental I know...but there you have it. I too am not without flaws. :-)
"Now, I own two horses that are happy, healthy and are a great source of joy for me, but I have no where near the experience of most of the members and I don't think I have much to contribute in terms of advice. My ponies are by and large pasture puffs. They don't have jobs other than to eat, sleep, make me smile when grooming and mucking out the barn and take me and my husband on the occasional stroll around the back pasture. And sometimes I wonder if I am doing them a disservice. Do they mind? I don't think so but I still sometimes wonder"
Dai, In my mind that is just what so many horses do in life and it becomes a way of life for you. Great!
You are not worried about jumping high, dancing the two step in the arena, or charging about. You merely want to enjoy the company of your horse. You represent a lot of owners.
I personally would like to hear a lot more from folks like you guys.
You came forward and explained your situation - where are all the others?
PS What do you want to chat about on the Forum - you didn't say?
Aside from the fact that it is good training and experience for our mares, I realized that a big reason I enjoy it so much because we always wind up meeting and talking to so many different types of people along the ride. Some are horse folks, most are not. They can be walking their dog, tending their garden, or just sitting on the porch enjoying the day. Some don't like horses coming through their neighborhood, most think it is great that their suburban children can actually see, touch, or sit on a horse.
Unlike a typical trail, I can ride the same route every week, the experience will be different every time, and I have the freedom to ride anywhere a horse can take me....that's what I enjoy the most.
Barry, you bring out the best in members and are certainly more tolerant then many. As I look at the replies so far, what I've noticed is how thought provoking they are. I also notice that members seem to follow your lead in their use of language.
Jake and Dai, I hope to see more of your posting in the future. There is nothing wrong with having horses that you enjoy in your own way. Abuse is the only sin. BTW, we are making a concious effort to end the use text speak. It is an affront to our language and educational system regardless of the content.
As for being an "old codger", I'm either right there with you or not so far behind!
Paint Horse Mares
I am right with you.
Sometimes I worry about how much the modern young rider is seemly obsessed with competition. To ride a horse is a semi-rural environment, to meet up with people whom you don't necessarily know and to pass the time of day with them for a few minutes - well its magic. A sudden glimpse of the way of life of years gone by.
And only the horse can do that for you.
If I could just train my dog to walk with me and the horse - well that would be paradise.
And Barry, you asked what I am interested in reading and commenting on. I've been giving that a bit of thought this morning and I'd really have to say...anything and everything to do with horses!
To be a bit more precise, I usually gravitate to the training and grooming threads. I love to read suggestions by members on how to fix 'problems' or their philosophy in training and riding methods. I most like the responses that get in to the why of their suggestions. Not just, here's what you should do because it's the only way.
I also like the health care section. I've always had extremely easy keepers so never really ran in to any of the challenges some describe other than 2 cases of colic over the 5 horses I have owned in my lifetime. I don't think I'm as 'experienced' in life as you and iride...but I certainly am getting close!
But again, I like to read and learn. And I think I will start contributing more by asking more questions to continue my education of a topic I am so passionate about...the horse.
Thanks for your interest! :-)
Today is the first day that I've looked into this particular forum. I visit the website frequently, but usually just a quick look at the post in the Trail Riding section. But since it's a blizzard outside today, I'll take a few minutes and respond.
First off. If my spelling and grammer is not perfect, I beg your forgiveness. I tore the middle two fingers off my right hand with a rope and horse seven years ago. ( Not my horse, I was hellping a lady with strange horse). I had to go see 4 doctors before I found one willing to sew the fingers back on. The first 3 just wanted to finish amputating the fingers. So I do have the fingers which I'm grateful for, But they don't always work as my mind thinks they should. Some times I get letters in the wrong order or hit the wrong key. Also the "L" key on my keyboard some times doesn't work. So even when I type that key, some words that should have an "L" don't get the letter. I need to buy a new keyboard. But it's not a pressing issue. I am fairly tolerant of how people type and especially those who english is a second language.
I do enjoy talking with folks from around the world. Reading their words is often easier for me than trying to talk to them. Between their various accents and my less than perfect hearing, it's sometimes difficult to understand those from distant lands. So while it's hard to add body language, inflection or tone to a written word. It does avoid a thick accent.
I don't show or compete with my horses. But I do put them to work. I bought horses many year ago as I become proficient in hunting. It doesn't take too many successful hunting trips where one has to pack an elk that has been harvested off 10,000 foot mountain on your own back to encourage you to invest in something that can pack. As kid, we used to ride motorcycles up all kinds of trails in the mountains. As dirt bikes, ATV and jeeps became more popular, The forest service has restricted their use. And they have a just cause. These machines can do a lot of damage very quickly. With the restrictions that don't allow wheeled vehicles, the only real choice is horses.
I quickly learned you can't own horses and expect them to do a great job during hunting season if you ignor them the balance of the year. As I rode my horses to keep them in shape and to keep them respectful of the riders, I became attached to being with them year round. Whether it's throwing hay out to them twice a day in the back yard, or spending a week in the wilderness hunting. My horses have to trust me. We ride them is some of the most remote areas of the United States. I pack my gear on their back. I load meat from freshly killed wild game on their backs. In all kinds of weather. We frequently encounter all manner of other creatures along the trail. From Llamas and goats being used as pack animals. To wild game such as moose, elk, deer. We also frequently run into herds of domestic cattle on grazing permits.
I often joke with my wife, that photos of myself are on my coffee tables in Europe than my wifes has pictures of me around the house. We frequently ride in some of the most picturesque landscapes on earth. Tourist from around the world often travel great distances to come see what I consider just an average days ride. I am still amazed at how interested most europeans and orientals are of people dressed in cowboy clothing sitting on a horse. I've literally had bus loads of Germans pull over on the side of the road and swarm us as we were saddling our horses for ride. When we ride the trails in Bryce Canyon, Zions National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and other popular western destinations, tourist stop what they are doing and take pictures of us on our horses.
I have very little interest in how to train a horse to do barrel racing, or dressage or hunter/jumper. My interest lies in where is the next wonderful trail to explore. How do I survive in remote areas. How do I keep my horses comfortable whie traveling to remote areas. How do I keep my horses with me while camping in remote areas etc.
And, Barry, I'm not quite an old codger, But not many years away from becoming one.
Riding in the Grand Staircase National Monument
Riding in Bryce Canyon
Sunrise during hunting season at 9000 foot elevation
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