Both Sides Now

Both Sides Now

This is going to be one of those topics where the comments are more interesting than the post, at least that’s my prediction.

Carly from Poor Woman Showing wrote a post this week that made me do a fist pump.  If you haven’t read it, you should.  Basically it’s a “don’t tell me how to live my life yo” post, which I can certainly appreciate as a person who has been told how to live her life through blog feedback.

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However, there’s another side of things.  Not 48 hours later I found myself not really holding my tongue in a comment on a different blog.  I don’t regret it either.  Blogs are vehicles of communication on the internet, and sometimes I reach a point where I can’t not communicate anymore.  Not saying that’s the right thing or the proper thing to do, but just my personal reaction.

My question today for y’all is two fold.

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One, if you are a blogger what do you want to see in your comments?  If you write about a problem with training, do you genuinely want to read people say “Hey maybe try shortening your stirrups?” Do you want your comments to be 100% “You look great!” or do you want feedback from people?  I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here, to be clear.

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Two, if you are a reader of a blog… when do you choose to speak up?  Personally, if a blogger asks reader opinions on something I typically try to give one.  For training posts I normally hold my tongue even if I don’t agree with what’s happening.  Let’s be honest, most training post are super awesome and I’m mostly jealous at the progress and detailed lesson!  This is not a common problem for me.  If I don’t like what I see, I try to keep the “not my horse, not my problem” philosophy.

However, sometimes I fail at that.  If I see consistent problems that are making the writer upset or if someone’s safety seems to be in question, I generally speak up.  Not saying that’s the right answer or what other people should do, but curious what others think.

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In the internet and in life, I try to go by the Thumper mentality.  If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nutin’ at all.

That being said, a well meaning comment to try to help a writer solve a large problem isn’t mean by its nature.  It can hurt the writer’s feelings though.

Chime in readers!  What do you think on this subject?

55 thoughts on “Both Sides Now

  1. LOVE this topic.

    I typically keep my nose out of other people’s drama because I just don’t care enough to be involved. That said.

    As a blogger, I think very carefully about what things I want feedback on and what things I don’t. If I’m not comfortable with the range of responses I’m likely to get on any given topic, I don’t post about it. That doesn’t account for outliers emailing you personal responses, which can be… weird… but it covers most instances.

    I do speak up once if a blogger I care about is putting themselves or their horse in danger, but I’m not going to ride them about it. It’s their life to worry about.

  2. I loooooooove it when people chime in with ideas on my posts, even if I don’t agree with those ideas. The conversation is fun, and even weird ideas sometimes get me thinking of different things to try.

    In the same vein, I have a problem censoring myself on other people’s posts (as I’m sure you’ve ALL found out!). Sometimes I feel like I annoy everyone with my super long and detailed posts. I don’t mean to sound like a know-it-all (because, OMG I AM NOT), but I know how much I’ve learned from people sharing their lightbulb moments and little tips, and I like to do the same.

    1. I love your comments- I remember when I posted a video of Gina and I performing an Intro dressage test months ago, you had some really constructive things to say! I really appreciated it!

  3. When I write about a struggle I am having, I am usually looking for genuine feedback and advice. I’ve gotten some great tips from the blogging community, which I appreciate. I’ve also been fortunate in that no one tries to tell me how to live my life or train my horses through my blog, maybe because I’m not doing anything especially dangerous/wacky/unusual? I mean, how much can you REALLY criticize someone for spending all their time doing the most boring dressage movements on the planet or jumping like, 2’9? 😉

    When someone asks for advice on their blog, I try to think of something constructive to offer that a) they haven’t stated they’ve already tried or b) hasn’t been mentioned in a previous comment. If I can’t find something to say in that vein, I will sometimes offer moral support (e.g. “Keep trying!” or “Good luck!”), but I more often stay silent.

  4. I’m with most other people who’ve commented already – If the blogger in question isn’t doing anything that is likely to severely maim themselves and/or their horse, I generally stay out of it. I’m happy to offer any tips and tricks I think might help, but I really put forth an effort to stay out of people’s business and not say anything unless it’s constructive, helpful, or positive. However if the person is about to do something really dumb, I’ll chime in. I don’t enjoy contributing to internet drama. I tend to not directly ask for training advice/feedback on my own blog, because I have my own IRL sources for that sort of thing, but I do appreciate the occasional helpful tip or comment! But this is the internet – if you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen, if you know what I mean.

  5. As for my own blog, I put myself out there, so whatever people want to say in their comments is fair game – I asked for it by creating a blog in the first place. Most of the time it’s supportive and encouraging, whether I’m telling my readers how great my lesson was or how naughty my horse was or how terribly I rode. I have a few times gotten a few pretty harsh criticisms and I just take it from where it comes, although that can be discouraging.

    As for other people’s blogs, I try to be honest, but kind. Also – I realize that what’s on the blog is usually only one piece of the puzzle, and since I don’t know the whole story, it’s not my place to butt in. I generally save my butting-in chips for people I know in person, when it’s called for. That said, I have forged some really strong friendships via the blogosphere, and that develops through the communication we get to do in the comments. So being supportive without being false is what I aim for.

  6. I love ideas and input! What I usually don’t like reading is the ‘next level’ stuff – ‘advice’ that goes beyond what the blogger has asked for or makes assumptions, particularly when it opens the door for other posters to chime in and gang up on the poster too…basically I agree with Carly’s post 🙂

      1. I guess by next level I mean those comments that take it from whatever level the poster was at: ‘I’m annoyed’ to a new one: ‘You should sell the horse’ ‘You shouldn’t ride’ or whatever. Maybe the commenter is somehow psychic and even right, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell someone that sort of thing unless they ask for your opinion. I hope that makes sense – I’m having trouble putting my thoughts into words and am likely a little sensitive due to someone IRL ignoring the boundaries with unsolicited ‘advice’ recently. I think there’s a fine line between seeming to be helpful and coming across as a bit of a bully, particularly when it’s in writing!
        I should mention if it’s a crazy horse or rider welfare issue and you know for sure you’re seeing the whole picture then by all means I think someone needs to say something.

  7. Like others have said, if someone is genuinely looking for feedback, I’ll try to give some that’s tactful and positive. I will also happily post things like “you look awesome!” or “way to go!” because really, that’s the only thing I have to say, but it’s fun to share other’s victories, big or small. I try to stay away from the drama. A lot of people genuinely don’t want to hear your advice, they’re just blowing off steam. That’s fine, it’s their blog and they can post what they want, but in that situation it doesn’t seem like even constructive comments will be taken well. Best to just back away. 🙂

  8. As a blogger, I wouldn’t put my life on blast if I couldn’t handle the possible back lash. I’m not sensitive, and I work with good pros who’s opinions I value, and this isn’t my first rodeo, so whatever. People are certainly entitled to their opinions, even if they’re wrong. 😉

    On the point of commenting on other peoples’ blogs, i think the world could use less “not my horse, not my problem”. Granted, if I don’t know the person or their history very well, I probably won’t say something. Or if it’s not really that important, I probably won’t say anything either. But I think there IS a way to speak up and be helpful, or speak up about a situation being unsafe, while still being tactful about it at the same time.

  9. I love getting genuine constructive criticism when I run into a problem…I do NOT love being told what to do as if the commentor’s “advice” is the word of god.

    I pretty much keep my comments to myself when it comes to other bloggers running into problems, even if they ask for advice. There are smarter people out there than I. They can dole it out.

    1. Playing devil’s advocate – do you think the commenter necessarily thinks their advice is the word of god or just happens to be their opinion? It’s really hard to dictate tone on typed blog comments.

      1. I think that some people can be pretty opinionated about their knowledge. This is fine, but if a person thinks they can fix a horse through reading about it on their blog, they damn well better have some very serious and high level experience to back up what they are telling the other person to do.

  10. If I’m putting it on the Internet, it is fair game for any and all comments, opinions, advice, etc. My skin and my head are both quite thick. In my own comments, I generally go for helpful, nice, supportive, funny, but if something is super whack, I may or may not hold my tongue. I think keeping a civilized discourse about a lot of different horsey-related things is what we’re all here for anyway, right? Otherwise, why put any of it on the Internet?

    Also, I welcome any tack shopping enabling from anyone.

  11. i’ve gotten so much excellent feedback on my blog – and specifically use it to pick the collective brains of this awesome little community on a fairly regular basis. therefore, i figure any post is fair game since it’s really not up to the reader to distinguish when i’m just venting v. when i’m genuinely looking for help (even tho both things happen haha).

    when it comes to other people’s blogs – i will share relate-able experiences if i have any, with the understanding that what worked for my situation won’t always translate to someone else’s issue.

    it’s a fine line with everything tho. i just try to be positive and supportive 🙂

  12. Usually, if I give any form of advice, it’s because I’ve dealt with similar issues and I found something that works for me. Honestly, I try to make it so that it isn’t advice, just an option to try if they want to. I would never tell someone to sell their horse (probably not even if they ask), because I don’t think that option should be swayed by outsiders. Deep down, they probably know what to do and I wouldn’t want to be a part of swaying them from whatever that is. I would never tell someone that they need a trainer because they usually already know that and can’t due to not having the resources. Having someone tell you something you already know, but can’t do at the moment, is heart breaking.

    I welcome any advice and tips on my blog. I don’t get offended easily and as long as people mean well and aren’t just being jerks, pretty much anything goes. I believe that you can learn anything from anyone, whether it is what to do or what not to do. That being said, advice is always welcome, but I don’t want someone to start constantly playing at being my trainer through blog posts.

    1. I agree about not telling someone to sell their horse on their blog. Selling is a VERY personal decision and I really think that the owner has to come to that on their own time with their own conclusion.

      I will totally say to get a lesson/trainer though, and I guess that’s what I don’t feel bad about. I have been super poor and scraped my pennies together for a lesson and I’ve also been able to have the luxury of able to have consistent ones. For me, there seems a big ‘DIY’ training trend in a lot of blogs that I read and that’s often when my ‘hey… lesson?’ comments come out.

      1. To add to this line of thinking: I don’t think readers should tell a blogger that she should sell her horse if said person is having trouble with her horse. However, if a blogger is on the fence about selling a horse that is potentially dangerous/is making her unhappy or fearful or etc, and they have not been able to figure out this horse after exhausting the resources they can afford, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to say to that blogger, “You’re not a bad person nor a bad owner if you choose to go ahead with that decision.” Sometimes the person who is considering selling their horse needs to hear that too, and I’ve been in that position myself. So many people unnecessarily put themselves in danger with horses that are beyond their scope of experience, and then refuse to sell the horse when it is too much for them for fear of being judged or because it feels like they are “giving up.” If the person finally admits that this horse is probably too much for them/they are not having fun/they are not compatible/whatever and is already considering selling it, it can be nice to hear from other experienced horse people that this is okay. Of course, only if it is said in a supportive, kind way!

  13. I think there is a general line between when to comment and when to refrain. For example, I’d probably be really irritated if someone commented on my eq during a lesson post. I mean, its clear I am in a lesson. If I ask for help or am struggling with something, sure give me advice. But when I comment on my hands being shitty regularly a comment saying “your hands suck” isn’t going to help me make my hands better. I am all for constructive criticism when warranted.

  14. I think I subscribe to the same Thumper mindset with most horse things, unless there is something that just pushes me past my threshold…(eg. A horse “rescue” here locally posted a album on FB of a new horse that had “awful feet, ulcers, and was very underweight” yet the pictures were of her husband, a probably 200+ lb man riding him and the caption was about how fast they got him to go. Really?!). I have yet to see anything on a blog that I disagree with to that extreme that I feel I should bless them with my opinion.

    As far as comments on my blog…I don’t mind getting other perspectives on things. I would’ve loved for someone to tell me this time last year that I should have Copper’s teeth checked before he lost a ton of weight, but if they’d said it in a holier than thou way, it may have just pissed me off. but having the thought that his teeth may need attention would be worth being pissed. I’m very new at this and have received 5 total comments in my life, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. 😉

  15. I’m going to go ahead and say it: I’m sensitive and I take things personally. I know this isn’t the best way to be or live, and I’m working on that, but it’s still a work in progress. However, knowing that about myself, I try to only blog about things where I can handle the feedback; sometimes that means I censor myself more than others… but that’s what works for me.

    As far as commenting, I usually only give advice or constructive criticism if it’s explicitly asked for, if it’s a topic I’m genuinely very passionate about (like helmets) or I believe something truly dangerous is going on. For the last bit, if others have already said what I wanted to say, I tend not to chime in — the writer has already heard my opinion, even if it’s not from my mouth directly. They don’t need to be inundated or feel attacked.

    1. My thoughts and feelings exactly, Tracy 🙂 I’m pretty sensitive as well (I’ve gotten a lot better!) but I know that anything I post on the Internet is fair game for unsolicited advice. With that being said, I only post things where I can handle the comments 🙂

  16. I’m in the “pro comment” camp. I love getting all comments, even (and especially) the ones that may be hard to read. After all, they are a reflection of how I describe my own journey. My blog helps me process my horse life, and comments contribute significantly in that.

    That said, my blog doesn’t have the readership yours does, so I don’t get random snarky comments or anything – everyone is genuinely helpful and supportive!

    I read blogs with the assumption that people want comments/feedback unless they specify otherwise, so I comment regularly, usually with ideas or suggestions that I hope people take in the helpful way it is intended.

  17. When commenting, I’ll admit that I like to chime in with advice, but only if it meets both of my criteria: (1) the author is specifically asking for advice or presenting a specific problem and (2) I have had experience with a solution to that same problem. Unless I’ve been through something similar myself and it’s clear that the author is crowdsourcing solutions, I try to stick with something supportive and encouraging.

    As far as comments on my own blog, I’ve been extremely fortunate so far- no flames. We do tend to stay fairly tame- we only jump in lessons or under trainer supervision, we ride in well groomed arenas, and we’re not jumping anything crazy or going that fast, so I think there’s not too much to ding us on in terms of safety. I also have a regrettable lack of pics, so there’s not a lot of opportunity for people to critique my eq. But I’ve asked for advice and feedback on quite a few of my posts including ones with pictures, and loved all the thoughtful feedback I received! I try to give people the benefit of the doubt- it’s so hard to read tone in a comment so I assume they’d be saying it in a kindly voice 🙂

  18. First of all, I love all comments. For the most part, all comments on my blog have been positive and friendly and super awesome. I’m not one to really post about training problems so that doesn’t leave people much to chime in their opinion on. Primarily because I have enough trainers and resources and it’s not often that I ride to have riding problems anyways LOL.

    But regardless, I absolutely love all the positive feedback I get on my blog. Whether it’s a simple “woohoo” for being able to ride or a “looking great,” it gives me a great, positive feeling that translates into the rest of my life.

    As far as commenting on blogs, I try to keep it the same. Short, sweet, simple and positive ;). And if I think I have some advice, I try to word it “maybe you could try…” Because I know not everyone will agree with my thoughts but if they want to give them a shot, then I can mention it without coming off as a know it all. Because I am definitely not….

  19. For myself, I welcome ALL comments, and I like to reply with why I chose to do things a certain way etc, but I honestly rarely get offended. I think the last time I got offended by a blog comment was probably over 4 years ago. I just read it, try and see if it is useful, and if not, move on.

    As far as commenting, I give my opinion a lot. I am trying to bite my tongue more now though, and pipe up only when I see the same thing happening over and over, or a dangerous situation. I saw a dangerous set up on a horse on a blog the other day and commented on it. I’m sure the author might have been offended but what I had seen, I had been through something terrible because of a similar set up myself. I was genuinely trying to help.

    The thing is I only comment if I think what I have to say is useful to the blogger, and something I have first hand knowledge or experience with. I would never just say “you’re an idiot” or “get a trainer”, unless I knew a trainer would help….most cases it does. I am always just trying to help…I think more bloggers need to realize that is what their readership is doing.

  20. First, I love that you respond to current events with your blog posts.

    I really do think carefully about the comments I write. I read and re-read them, delete and re-write them a million times before I hit send. I really try hard to make sure my comments are thoughtful and honest without being mean. I’m sure I overthink them way more than they are ever read into.

    That being said, there is still plenty of room for misinterpretation of tone or meaning in the written word.

  21. These comments are awesome!!
    I personally love comments, but I am also kind of a sensitive sally. Stuff that is genuinely mean does hurt my feelings and I know that about myself. I am almost always telling my whole story when I blog, but I am also pretty aware of the kind of comments I am going to get from every blogpost. When I was having dressage trouble this summer and was writing about it, I knew all the comments would be mostly very helpful and one part cruel. And they were. When I write about how awesome a driving lesson was save for one giant buck, I know most people are going to go “yay good job!” but there might be somebody mentioning the buck. I therefore made sure to add the addendum saying “think I got this one handled guys, hopefully,” to avoid nasty people.
    I see a lot of people that struggle, and write, and then get really mad or upset when people offer up their comments. I never know why anyone is surprised by comments – I always think, “what are people going to say about this? what would *I* say about this?” It doesn’t stop me from writing about things, because I know the comments are generally warrented. With the exception of a few nasty bad eggs out there who are just genuinely mean people… they have mostly been weeded out of my internet life though.

  22. I am also sensitive like Tracy and I haven’t been blogging long, but I know enough about myself to know that I have and probably will in the future censor certain things that . I genuinely welcome ideas and advice in comments to my posts, however I think there is a way to say things TACTFULLY and constructively that can come across as more helpful than than as I Know Everything and You Know Nothing (*coughcough* COTH Forums, *coughcough*).

    When leaving comments on blogs I also have the Thumper mentality. I just don’t think negativity and drama are necessary in the world. Horses and riding are supposed to be fun and I want to build a camaraderie with folks who share the same passion as I do. What fun is it if we all criticize one another and tear each other down?

  23. I generally welcome advice and constructive criticism. I, however, rarely dole any out… I prefer to keep my comments pretty light, or more of a conversation. I read blogs more because i’m interested about people’s stories and their lives with horses. I go to trainers, in person, for horsemanship and training. Sometimes it’s also an insecurity thing with me, I may have some advice, but I don’t really feel like I’m at the level where I can give advice on much, so I just leave well enough alone.

    However, the only time i’ve been annoyed is when I write a post that’s in a more sarcastic, or humorous tone, and it’s fallen on deaf ears and I get ridiculous advice that isn’t warranted. I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, but the comments always induce some eye rolling on my behalf. However, that’s possibly, in part, my own fault for not better clarifying tone.

  24. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t gotten more unsolicited opinions in the last year regarding the issues I’ve had with wizard (you know “that horse is obviously in pain” “you must be a terrible rider to be creating those problems” “omg give it up already” etc) but people generally have been suppprtive and thoughtful. I like suggestions even if I decide it doesn’t work for me, and when I do get a comment that rubs me the wrong way I may vent for a second but then try to calm down and understand what the author is really trying to say and not jusytassume snarkiness.

    I also try to stick with the thumper mentality unless I just see certain things. I may not agree with particular bits or styles of riding but we’re all different and that’s not for me to critique (unless its like super rolkur or something I feel passionately about). When I do give suggestions I try to be tactful, and if its a critique I try to make the blow easy (like “I have struggled with my hands so much here’s what worked for me maybe it’ll help”).

    Anyway, great topic

  25. I feel the same way. Sometimes I feel compelled to leave a food for thought type of comment. I wouldn’t tell someone to sell their horse, but there have been times when I left a comment related to safety, health, biomechanics, or something else and I knew that it was not a flowery comment, but I left it anyway. I always try to weigh the risk/benefit factors and not to comment impulsively. As a blogger, I really like comments and appreciate the time someone takes to leave a comment on my blog.

    I read the post you referred to in this post and I know it is meant to be funny, but I guess I am one of those people who doesn’t really find faux-beating to be funny. I have reprimanded plenty of horses, but describing what I do as beating leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There are some people who really are harsh with their animals and cross the line, but think it is okay because of x, y, z. I have seen this in different settings and to different degrees. It is ugly. According to the comments, my point of view is considered a poor sense of humor. I don’t agree, but I can live with being different. That is what makes blogging interesting.

  26. I follow many, many blogs and I’m not a big commenter and I’m not one of the “cool kids” because I’m sort of inbetween various disciplines, none of which I particularly excel at at the moment. I have a blog title that is misleading, though not deliberately so. I know a lot of h/j people have signed up to follow mine simply because of the title, but the truth is that “Wait for the Jump”, while a holdover from the time that I did jump, now stands for waiting patiently for the next jump in life and not trying to rush through it. That is all.

    I love hearing other people’s stories and journeys. In real life, I’m an avid listener, not a talker, and I think that reflects itself in my approach to commenting. If I don’t have something nice to say, I don’t say anything at all (I didn’t realize that is a Thumper thing? This was simply drilled into me by my mom and teachers when I was a kid.) If I don’t agree with a blogger’s approach to something, I don’t say anything. If said blogger asks for advice, I might present my point of view, not in a “YOU MUST DO THIS IT WILL FIX EVERYTHANG” tone of voice, but in a “This worked for me/for a friend/someone I know during a similar circumstance”. I have a hard time commenting sometimes because I don’t have a desk job and don’t really get to read/comment while at work like so many others do: I’m limited to commenting from my phone, which is incredibly frustrating and which I hate because I either end up typing in a hurry (which can affect tone!) or have to leave a well-thought out comment incomplete because I got called away (because such is the nature of veterinary emergency work). So I don’t usually comment unless I have something to say that I think will make a difference to that person or that might be helpful, and I usually do it from my computer at home during my time off. Like this comment right now.

    As to what types of comments I expect: my blog is my training log and my exercise in positivity. The times I have been down I have received so much love from my followers, and so much encouragement during the good times. I’ve had some kindly worded tips and advice when I’ve needed it most, and I’ve met some of my best friends through the blog alone! So I try to return the favor: I either give gentle advice when a person asks for it if I think my perspective might help, give encouragement to cheer someone on (like I have with you, especially, and I hope my tone has come across in the right way!), or give my opinion on posts such as this one simply because it is fun to share different opinions. 🙂

  27. I don’t mind feedback as long as it’s constructive, I used to frequent a dressage BB but it got so negative. Every poster seemed to be vying for “meanest critique.” I eventually noticed that a novice dressage person on a green horse got just as harshly critiqued as an Olympian which lead me to believe that they would never be happy unless they were being mean.

    As for replying on blogs, I tend to do a lot of reading and not a lot of commenting, but I recently replied when I felt like a blogger was going down a negative road of not admitting she was having horse issues and dealing with it by avoidance and depression. I felt a firm pep talk was in order, as I’ve never seen going down that road turn out well.

  28. Well, I guess when it comes down to it, we are all just looking for support. Nobody wants negative comments, and when we are having trouble with our horses, writing about it in their blog is cathartic. Sometimes the struggles just need to be said out loud, because training a horse isn’t always a pony ride in the park! Anyways, I guess for me, just be nice, be encouraging, and I will do the same for you. 🙂

  29. Although I have a hard time with it myself, you can give someone critiques and ideas without criticizing and there are a lot of people out there that “know best.” I love seeing ideas and thoughts and what would you do kind of things. We’re all different, but that’s why we’re here right?
    When I published the post of Brantley being laid down I was actually hoping for people who didn’t completely agree with it because it’s definitely something that a lot of people see as a mini-controversy. It gave me a chance to explain why I did it and how much it helped.
    When I feel like I can comment and give some insight, I always try to point out the good stuff! Plus, most everyone I follow does some hardcore showing and I just sit here going, “I want to be like you!”

  30. It doesn’t have to be either or, and it really shouldn’t be. You can give constructive criticism and not come off as a mean person. There’s a difference between, “Your position is crap!” and “You know if you moved your leg back and adjusted your stirrup you wouldn’t you wouldn’t be getting left behind all the time” or whatever. If someone points out that I’m doing something wrong, then yes, I do want to know how I can improve, especially if it impacts my horse.

    Though, to be honest, if someone only wants agreement then maybe they should just turn off comments or blog privately or only give access to certain people. No matter what, not everyone will agree with you, that’s life, so is learning how to deal with that.

  31. As a fairly new rider, having only been riding a year and a half, I like it when people offer advice and tips on how to fix things I need to improve on. Obviously I don’t like when people do it in an arrogant/mean way(which hasn’t happened) but constructive criticism is welcome and taken gratefully, because I’m always working on improving.
    I don’t comment so much when people have training/problems questions because again I am fairly new and don’t have enough experience to tell someone what to do, especially someone who has been riding for years. If I learned something helpful in a lesson, I would share it and say, “This is what I learned from my trainer.”

  32. I like getting ideas/advice/stories when I ask for them, and even often when I don’t ask. I like that blogs promote discussion, even if that discussion isn’t where the blogger wanted it to go. I firmly think that people can help others regardless of their levels. I’m a Grand Prix rider, but it doesn’t mean that a lower level rider hasn’t had an experience that I have not and can give me advice.

    On the other hand, I can see how unsolicited advice is really obnoxious, especially in large amounts (I don’t get tons of comments so I haven’t experienced being ganged up on!). Pictures and even video can only show us so much and blogs are inherently bias. I tend to try to describe the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I certainly don’t share EVERYTHING, nor am I always aware of everything.

    As for the other side, I don’t usually give advice unless it’s specifically asked for. I feel a bit weird about it. But most of the time when I have given advice, it has been relatively well received so I should probably get over that.

  33. I’m late to the party, as always. I’m fine with pretty much any comment unless I say in the post “don’t suggest acupuncture, please” or list things I tried and someone tells me something I specifically said I’m not into or asked to not have commented upon. Like when Lex had to be retired, and I was like DO NOT SUGGEST ALTERNATIVES THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO DO, and someone still said that I should try surgery or whatever. That comment actually had me in angry/sad tears.

    I do NOT comment upon everything I see. If I think the horse/rider are a good pair and going through the learning process, I’ll make supportive comments, or I’ll give feedback if requested. If it looks like a trainwreck waiting to happen, I’ll either speak to the person directly or stay out of it, especially if the person is defensive. I think it’s fine if other people do that, but it makes me too nervous. I dunno, maybe I still have hangups about people liking me. Ha!

  34. I find myself to be a bit of a cheerleader when commenting on blogs. I enjoy receiving the little notes of positive myself! When feedback is asked for I contribute if I have a strong opinion on the topic- otherwise I tend to let others lend their experience!

  35. I guess I follow the “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” I’m far from perfect, I have so many of my own issues I need to work on I really don’t need to dish on anyone else.

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