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: