Monday, April 26, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

Okay, a part of me feels kind of bad posting on this topic because I am a follower of Amanda's blog. But it's something I saw come up recently and I felt like talking about it. And you guys get my ramblings because, at least here, I'm not directly posting this at someone. It really is meant for folks in general anyway. I don't want anyone to feel attacked.

So, it began with some folks saying about hurtful comments made by other folks in regards to their size and riding. Some of those comments though, when I read them, just...didn't sound that inflammatory. I remember thinking are you sure that's even directed to your weight? Because..hey, they didn't confront the person saying it directly. (and hey, I suck at direct confrontation so I understand why someone wouldn't, just saying, they don't know.)

Then I saw someone on a forum post pictures of herself riding a horse. Several people relatively tactfully (on a forum not known for its tact!) pointed out that the horse looked uncomfortable (in comparison to the horse she normally rides that everyone seems to agree she does well on) and that perhaps she shouldn't ride that horse. This advice appears to fall on deaf ears, from what I can tell, as it seems no remark (not even a, "thanks for your concern" noncommittal sort of thing) is made in return.

Until someone gets nasty, of course. And now the OP is on the uber-defense. Now everyone is jealous of her and everyone from the groom to George Morris (exaggerating here) agrees she looks just fine on this horse and everyone on the forum are bitches for suggesting otherwise.

This OP has just lost any credibility with me she ever had. (for what it's worth)

People in general, who react over-strong to comments about their size or weight (or really, in this instance, a given horse's ability to handle said size comfortably) lose my sympathy.

Trust me, I get it. I'm fat too. By all measures I've seen, I'm considered obese (though I don't feel it and don't see myself in my mind's eye that way which is...I think...why I find it so hard to LOSE weight because most of the time I don't FEEL fat). I understand feeling upset by snide remarks and sideways looks. I understand just wanting to post pictures and have everyone tell me how awesome I am and how cute my horse is, it's incredibly validating.

That doesn't change the fact that sometimes, when people comment, they aren't wrong.

I would WANT someone to at least suggest maybe I need to change what I'm doing if I post pictures (more than one, over time) that show my horse is uncomfortable. Maybe that means it's a saddle fit issue. Maybe it means I or the horse (or both) need to get more fit. Maybe the person is just full of it (though if several people say it, maybe that's a sign). I don't want people to blow smoke up my ass. I canNOT become a better rider if people only tell me how great I am. Because I'm not great. I'm average, if that. Sometimes I'm mediocre. And the only thing that keeps me going is that I can see my horse is moving right along with me and that we're always getting better.

But I just don't understand automatically dismissing something I'm told because I don't like hearing it.

And here, have a pic:


My3Arabs said...

I have watched this rider you write of for the past 3 yrs. Her attitude has not changed in that time and she truly does not see anything wrong.

People have been tactfully giving her great advice but, as you said, it falls on deaf ears. I believe the ones that are giving her the bad advice just do so because they don't want to put up with her tantrums.

I am an overweight rider and I when I was riding my draft cross I always made sure his back was not sore. He did have a longer back so I really kept an eye on him. I now am back to Arabs one of which has a nice short back. The other has a longer back and I will not be riding him till I lose more weight.

Our horses well beings are in our hands and if we can't accept our own issues and how the effect the horses then we shouldn't have them.

BTW, this is OU812

Analise said...

That rider was the one that really set me off but it wasn't just about them. It's something I've seen elsewhere too, to some extent, I just let myself get all dragged into rambling on about the person. :)

Also: hi!

Jenn said...

This is such an old post that I'm not even sure you'll see this (I just discovered your blog and have been reading through the archives!), and my comment has nothing to do with the topic of the post, but I just wanted to say I LOVE the pic you posted!! Look at the legs on Kieran! Wow.


Analise said...

That's one of my favorite pictures of us. :)