How to Handle the Horsey World
As with anything in life, people in the horsey world can be hard to handle. There are so many different opinions, views and types of people that it can often be difficult to know what is actually best for you and your horse. Sometimes all you want is some simple advice for a problem that you've been having but instead you get answers that oppose each other completely! So here are 5 types of horsey people and how to deal with them! (Or at least their opinions!).
1. The ‘natural horsemanship’ folk - these people believe that gadgets and material items are not there to help you. Common things that they disagree with are bits (that are not the most simple of snaffles), nosebands and spurs. Of course these things are not ok if they are misused however in some cases they are necessary! A good example of this is bitting. Many horses are perfectly fine in a simple loose-ring snaffle however in some cases it is dangerous for a certain horse to be ridden in such a ‘soft’ bit because it would simply be out of control and a danger to you and the people around you. So in circumstances such as that it is ok to ride them in something ‘stronger’ which will give you more control. There may come a time when you have put in enough work that the horse starts to relax more and not go so crazy so you can try again in a ‘less harsh’ bit but every horse is different so find one which is best suited to you and your horse. (I do recommend seeking advice from a trained professional when choosing a new bit. They are very helpful)
How to handle them - as I will go on to say with many of the different types of people, it is all about finding a balance and building your own opinion. ‘Natural horsemanship’ people say a lot of valuable things and are often very knowledgeable and just want the best for their horses. So don't ignore everything they say but just because they say something doesn't mean that is the only truth.
2. The ‘gadget lovers’ - these people are the TOTAL opposites of the ‘natural horsemanship’ folk! There's always some sort of magic device that they claim can fix everything whether it be a supplement, a bit or any other fancy piece of tack. We all know that person that feeds their horse 10 million different powders and granules in their feed and when they ask if you could feed their horse for them one day the list of instructions looks something like “One heaped scoop of chaff with 10g of garlic, 15g of magnesium, 25g of biotin, 1 cup of balancer, …” which frankly is just a nightmare to make!
There is no magic gadget or feed (as far as I'm aware) that can fix every problem immediately. The majority of the fix is just hardwork and training!
How to handle them - again it is all just all about finding your own opinion. Gadgets were invented to help you and some are extremely useful but not all of them are good in the long term so make sure to be careful and do some research before trying them out.
3. The Pony Club mum - these are the SUPER competitive mums (or dads) that are found at pony shows. They often shout at their children if it doesn't go well and seem very bossy and can often also appear to be quite rude!
How to handle them - the best thing to do is just ignore them, unless you feel personally offended or upset by them or feel that they have gone a bit too far. If that is I the case then report them to an official or staff member at the showground. But in the end you have to remember that they just want the best for their son/daughter.
4. The instagrammer/blogger - let’s face it, there is always someone at every yard, whether it be you or the person in the stable across from you, that is always on their phone! They walk around ‘talking to themselves’ and never ride without the whole session being film so that they get the perfect instagram post.
How to handle them - either ignore them or join in! If you ignore them then they'll be perfectly happy going on as normal or if you join in then most of the time they'll be delighted! You can feature on each other accounts, give each other shoutouts and help film from the perfect angle. It's great fun!
5. The non-horsey mum/dad/boyfriend - these people are just trying their best. In the beginning they have absolutely no idea what they are doing, they're just trying to follow instructions without being squashed or kicked or bitten (basically not be killed).
How to handle them - you've got to give them credit!! Most of the time they are just being dragged to the yard by their horse-mad girlfriend/daughter and have no clue what they are doing. Think back to when you first started being around horses and think how difficult it was and how scary it must be for them. They are pretty impressive people!
So I hope this helps you to keep all the strong opinions from weighing you down and just remember, at the end of the day it's your horse.
Speak to you next month,