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 Post subject: Perfection, absolutes and the virtue of critizism
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:00 am 
White Lady
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:18 pm
Posts: 13964
Location: Eriksbråten, Skotterud
Lately I have gone tired of negativisms on the internet. There are way too many people who spend their lives in front of the PC, searching for faults in other riders. Many of them believe they are on a kind of idealistic mission, saving the health of the world's horses from their evil riders who are riding in a faulty way.

Yes, I know there are common errors flourishing. I work with them every day. I know there are top riders also who have faults, and I do not agree with all training methods. I work every day to try to teach people other methods that I think work better. Does that mean it is OK to pester the rest of the world with attacks on specific riders? It seems everyone thinks it is OK to spread personal harassment based on not so well founded opinions as to what is right and wrong.

Lately, I have seen many examples of harassment campaigns, where horse people have made their personal vendettas through the internet, especially on Facebook, trying to gain support from as many people as possible in mobbing a specific rider or horse owner. Their argument is that this rider or owner is not perfect, he has a fault in his riding, or her horsekeeping is different from what they would have done themselves.

I would not get so upset if this phenomenon did not gain so much support as it does. I see loads of people sharing these harassment campaigns, often with vigour and indignation. Even many of my friends, whom I thought of as balanced people with good judgement.

How many of you have checked the hard core truth of the stories you pass on? Often with names and pictures? How many of you are knowledgeable enough to know what lies behind a picture or a training method? Have you thought about what happens in the mind of a young rider that has just won her first prize, when the commentary field under her picture is full of bile and sour critizisms of her riding style? Which is not a "style", just a common fault in her seat, that I bet you have as well, since most modern people have it?

If you have an urge to spread the word about training methods, rollkur, the evilness of shoeing, curb bits, other people's stabling or your competitor's seat faults, please refrain from using identifiable pictures, names, or other ways to identify living persons. Can't you see that spreading gossip and evil minded campaigns like this is supporting harassment?

It seems we humans are obsessed with negative news. We like to say that we love the positive ones, but the negative ones are the ones we spread.

This harsh environment we create with our critical view on everybody else actually hinders good training and riding. Many people become so afraid to make specific errors, that they err on the other side, which is as dangerous for the horse's health. Especially "rollkur" is such a dreaded thing that most riders ride their horses with a too tense top line and above the bit, just to avoid being pictured in something that can be taken for rollkur training.

Too tense top lines and riding above the bit results in a horse that is moving without the proper cushioning of the movement, and a whole series of strain injuries follow. By being dead scared of falling into the ditch at one side of the road, one falls into the other. The safe one, where you at the present time will not get pestered by people following the ruling opinion on the internet.

Other people are so afraid to tell their horses what to do, because they do not wish to abuse the horse. This ends up with unhappy, bewildered horses and insecure riders. There is a middle way between abuse and indecisiveness!

Isn't it ironic that all these people, who are so fond of positive reinforcement are using revenge, backstabbing, negativisms and public punishment towards other people to try to stop the behavior that they don't like?

I find that education is the way to go. Tell people what to do instead, not what they should not do. And please, in public, you write in general and in principle. If you do not know what that means, please refrain from saying anything until you do.

Paradox is a pointer telling you to look beyond it. If paradoxes bother you, that betrays your deep desire for absolutes. The relativist treats a paradox merely as interesting, perhaps amusing or even, dreadful thought, educational.

Frank Herbert.

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