The most popular equestrian discipline seems to be. . .

22 Oct

. . .bashing people who do a different discipline.

I have often joked that “riding is religion”. People cleave so firmly to their own area/school/trainer/belief system/sport. Which is great if it means you’re positive about what you do and the people you do it with, and have faith in your own system. But so often it seems to turn into an assumption that everyone who doesn’t agree is either stupid or, increasingly, cruel. Dressage trainers “all” use rolkur. Except “classical” ones who stay in walk for a decade. Jumpers jump the legs off their young horses. Hunters are drugged. NH enthusiasts are scared. Event riders are careless with their horses. Western trainers only want shut down zombies. Everyone else is doing it wrong!

I’d say there is also a divide along “class” lines – “professionals” treat their horses like machines. Recreational owners are more likely to be poor riders. People who compete for money must be cruel, people who compete for fun always have the horses’ best interests at heart. (This is actually the one that annoys me the most!)

Of course not everyone feels like that – if I said that, I’d be just as bad – and maybe the internet makes it more obvious, but it’s still amazing to me how many people assume the only “real” horsemen are the ones they admire and how “horse friendly” their own discipline is relative to all the others. Let’s face it EVERYTHING we do to/with horses for sport looks insane from the outside.

What ever happened to judge as you find? Better yet, check to see if you can see through your own walls before you start throwing stones. At the very least, realise that if someone what really is bad, that doesn’t make you and yours good.

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